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Cheap Bulgarian Properties, Buying in Bulgaria, Relocating to Bulgaria

thetravelbug 

Buying in Bulgaria, Living There, Renting, Selling....

.....the good, the bad and general advice from someone who has been there, done it, been through it and survived....just!

I moved to Bulgaria in 2006, after visiting the country for two years. I lived there permanently for around 3 years before deciding I needed a break and then headed for France. I then split my time between France and Bulgaria for 4 years before deciding to once again make Bulgaria our main home. The aim of this site is to give people an insight into life in Bulgaria and the problems and issues you can and quite likely will face there, as well highlighting the beautiful nature, amazing culture and history of the place and showing what Bulgaria has to offer - either as a holiday destination, somewhere to relocate to or just invest in. I am not an agent, although did spend a few years arranging viewing trips, sourcing property for people, helping others relocate and renovate houses and worked in partnership with a couple of real estate companies. I have faced horrendous problems with builders, been dragged through the Bulgarian court system numerous times, had issues with other expats............all is explained below and on other pages of the website. However, on the upside I have a fabulous house for the fraction of the cost it would have been in the UK and elsewhere, a lovely seaside apartment, the weather is fantastic (most of the time) and enjoy summers pottering around in the garden, picking fresh fruit, growing vegetables.....

On the left you'll find links to useful articles, details of properties I have bought and renovated. There are also private 'for sale' listings with the small amount of money raised being used to run this website and any additional funds going to the dog charity we now run here in Bulgaria, which is now our main focus here.

So briefly about me (more here but grab a beer or glass of wine first :)) - Like many people my search for property began on the internet. It was 2004 and I was looking to invest in Bulgarian property somewhere near a ski resort. I ended up putting a deposit down on an apartment in Bansko (despite never having been there). However the ink was barely dry on the contract when that all went pear shaped and there began a long battle with the developer and agency which resulted in me eventually pulling out of the purchase and taking the agency to court in the UK for misrepresentation. More on this on the 'About Me' page and also in full detail in my eBook - 'My Bulgarian Nightmare'.

But from the first trip over I loved Bulgaria - the way the goats and cows still wandered down the streets making their way home each evening, the curious locals willing to put on a full table spread at the drop of a hat for you, the fact that there was mountains and skiing, lakes and forests, beaches and everything in between in one (fairly small) country. I made several trips over to Bulgaria travelling around and viewing property. I viewed property with a number of different Bulgarian real estate agents - some good, some bad and some indifferent. I made my first purchase of a Bulgarian property in summer 2005 - a small cheap rural Bulgarian house with a good sized plot and lovely mountain views (now sold to friends who are renovating it). Buying and selling Bulgarian property developed into a side line and then a full time business - sourcing and selling Bulgarian property to other British. And I bought several more Bulgarian properties. Early 2006 I decided to move over to Bulgaria with my long term partner (although in the end he never came) and designed and built a new house from scratch. That in itself turned into a complete nightmare cultimating in several court cases which dragged on for over 5 years and cost a fortune. I also renovated several more properties.

 I have experienced Bulgaria first hand - the frustrations, the struggles, the ups, the downs...I have catalogued the last few years of renovations, court cases and other struggles on this site to hopefully help others looking at buying property in Bulgaria and keep the website regularly updated as the law changes, the property market changes and just about everyday life in Bulgaria. 

After more than 3 years living in Bulgaria and building up a portfolio of 12 properties, I decided to downsize my Bulgarian portfolio and sell off a few houses and have purchased a couple of apartments on the Black Sea coast, one for our use only, a Sunny Beach apartment for rental and a speculative purchase of an apartment in Sozopol. I absolutely love my home in Bulgaria and am proud of the houses I have renovated but would like more time to enjoy my house and garden, concentrate on Bulgarian holiday lets and the charity I have set up to help Bulgarian dogs & cats. I can't see myself doing any more major renovation projects in the next few years, although am keeping one old place next door to my main house as a future project, as something we can potter on with and try different eco-building techniques. I have now sold the 4 old un-renovated places I had (Red Brick House, Mud Brick House, Small Bungalow and 100 Year Old House) and the renovated villa I first lived and the other villa in our village as well as one of the first renovations I did. 

Back in 2006 Bulgaria was "the" hot spot to buy in and British and Irish came here in their droves to buy houses. Many came for a weekend or a week, bought a house or two and have never been back since. Many people invested in off-plan apartments and got badly burnt. When the recession hit the UK and Ireland, it had a knock on effect here and the property bubble burst, leaving many with apartments and houses worth only a fraction of what they paid for them, whilst others lost everything they had invested when developers disappeared over night with millions of investors money, leaving half built apartment blocks. The situation remained pretty much the same right through until 2011. However, now things have improved slightly, many fuelled by Russians buying in the resorts and through a more local market for property sales and purchases. Prices are still far below what they were in boom, but are now more realistic. Many of the fly-by-night agents and developers have folded or fled. Slowly half finished developments are being taken over or sold off and completed. 

There are many British trying to escape the rat race of Britian, but there are also many who moved here with the dream of living a relaxed and easy life in the sun, who are desperate to sell and return to their home country. The pound to Euro rate has hit many hard, prices here for fuel, electric, food etc have all risen signifcantly in the last few years and many are finding they cannot sustain the lifestyle they once had and want here.

If you want to talk to someone independent about buying in Bulgaria, discuss various areas, what your money will get you, your options then please drop me an email. I have much experience with problems with off plan developments, builders, the court system, renovating, renting out places etc. Contact me by email or skype but please note I cannot really help you decide whether to buy a cheap house you have seen on ebay, an old wreck somewhere up Varna way or do much about the fact you may have paid silly amounts of money for an apartment in Bansko that is now worth next to nothing. 


Rachel

  To be kept updated on available properties for sale and exchange, news about Bulgaria and other information that maybe of use to you when considering buying or selling, please consider filling in the form below to join my mailing list. I only send updates once a month if that, so you will not be inundated with lots of emails and advertisements.

 

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