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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's )

This section is designed to answer some of the most frequently asked questions and to clarify a few concepts to thos who are new in the property investment business. We hope you will find this page useful.

1. Tourism in Bulgaria?

As a traditional holiday destination Bulgaria has a variety of attractions to offer visitors including some of the most unspoilt countryside in Europe in contrast to other more famous European destinations. There are many sources of information on Bulgaria among them is "Bulgaria - The Rough Guide" (ed J Bousfield and D Richardson), "Eastern Europe - A Lonely Planet Guide" ("Bulgaria - A Lonely Planet Guide" published in 2002) and the Blue Guide to Bulgaria. These are just a few. A good source for history buffs is the Concise History of Bulgaria, Professor Edwards, Oxford University. All good book shops should have a selection.

2. What is the weather like?

Bulgaria has long been a summer tourist destination, as well as offering popular winter resorts. Generally summers are longer and warmer (and guaranteed) whilst the winters are shorter but can be more severe. The Black Sea coast is less cold in the winter and rarely sees snow. For 5 months (May - September) average temperatures are 25 degrees Celsius and often above in the peak summer period.

3. What are the living costs in Bulgaria?

It's not possible to compare living costs in Bulgaria and Western Europe. Living costs in Bulgaria are extremely low! For example the food is generally twice cheaper than UK. House insurance: around 100-200 EURO per year depending on the type of house, together with the belongings and furniture inside. For a property of price 30,000 EURO insurance against theft, flood and fire costs about 125 EURO per year with a decent insurance company like Allianz. Gas: the gas system network is not developed in Bulgaria yet. People here mostly use electricity to cook. For heating: there are central heating systems in the big cities: monthly costs for a 2-bedroom apartment around 120 EURO. In the small places people use charcoal and wood, which is even cheaper way to heat a house. For electricity, when used for cooking, light or hot water one pays about 30 EURO monthly. Local and national taxes for owning a property: depending on the place where the property is located, the most expensive area is the capital Sofia, where the annual taxes of 2 bedroom apartment are around 150 EURO per year, but the rest of the country is around 80 EURO per year. To employ a gardener or maintenance man or builder you will not pay much. The average salary in Bulgaria is 200 EURO per month.

4. How long is the coastline?

The Bulgarian coastline is 354 km (220 m) long of which more than 200 km (125 m) is sandy beach.

5. Population?

7,517,973 (July 2004 est.)

6. What religions are there?

Bulgarian Orthodox 82.6%, Muslim 12.2%, Roman Catholic 1.7%, Jewish 0.1%, Protestant, Gregorian-Armenian, and other 3.4%.

7. How big is Bulgaria?

Bulgaria is not big compared to the other European countries:
total: 110,910 sq km
water: 360 sq km
land: 110,550 sq km

8. What is the Bulgarian currency?

The currancy is Bulgarian LEV (BGN), plural LEVA (1 Euro = 1.95 Leva, fixed)

9. How to arrange a travel to view Bulgarian property?

If you decided to proceed with buying a property in Bulgaria only after visiting the complexes and the area, you can get in touch with a major tour operator Balkan Holidays, who would assist with arranging a flight or a packaged holiday. They can be contacted on 0207 543 5551 (flights only) or 0307 543 5569 (tailor made holidays). The trip can also be arranged by First Choice, Thomas Cook, and JMC. Direct flights to Sunny Beach sea resort can be arrange only during the holiday season to Bourgas airport, which is 30 minutes drive from the resort.

Please let us know the date of your arrival, so we can make an appointment to view properties for sale in Bulgaria. We can also assist with the hotel reservation, if you booked the flights only.

10. How much is a return flight ticket to Bulgaria?

You can buy a return flight ticket to Bulgaria for about £220.00 (350.00 EURO)

11. What is the availability of the flights to Bulgaria?

Direct international flights are available to the capital, Sofia, all year round. Direct charter flights to the Black Sea (Varna/Burgas) are available during the spring/summer months and can be booked through local UK travel agents.

Regular direct flights (approximately 2.5 hours) from UK major airports (London, Birmingham, Manchester and East Midlands). The costs of flights are going down all the time due to the increased demand in the past 2 years. A good travel agent will help you to select the best available flight to suit your time schedule.

12. What is the time difference with UK?

Bulgaria is 2 hours ahead of the UK time. (GMT + 2)

13. Is Bulgaria economically and politically stable country?

Bulgaria is an economically stable democratic country. The rate of inflation is low. Local currency is the Lev - 0.50 Euro and is pegged to Euro. The country's population is predominately Christian (Orthodox Church). A very low crime rate makes it safe for holiday makers, especially families.

14. Do UK citizens need a visa to travel to Bulgaria and how long can we stay?

No, like most of Western European visitor a visa for a period of 30 days will be issued on arrival at the airport. You would need to register with the local authorities, but this will be done for you at the reception of every hotel. Long-term visa (D) can be obtained from the Bulgarian Consular service in London. Visa control has been considerably relaxed between the UK and Bulgaria. For further information please contact the Bulgarian Embassy in London on 0207 584 9400 or check www.bulgarianembassy.org.uk. The British Embassy in Bulgaria also provides information at www.british-embassy.bg

15. Are credit and debit cards widely used?

No, in big shops ,all standard services in hotels, restaurants, night clubs, shops, car rentals, travel agencies, etc, you would not have a problem paying by credit card, however in small restaurants and shops it is advisable to have cash in hand. A reservation fee for an off-plan property in Sunny Beach has to be paid in cash, as credit card payments are currently not accepted.

Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, Access and Airplus are all commonly accepted.

As we are UK agents for Bulgarian property, we take reservation deposits in Euros or Pounds Sterling drawn in your UK bank only or by wire transfer. We can reserve your apartment, however is on-refundable if you change your mind altogether.

16. Are there any restrictions on buying property in Bulgaria for a foreign national?

There are no restrictions on buying property in Bulgaria for a foreign national. You can buy as many apartments in Bulgaria as you can afford!

According to the Bulgarian Constitution, foreign individual persons can buy buildings but not land. Therefore the most common method for foreigners buying property in Bulgaria is to set up a company which then owns the land and the buildings. We can organize the entire process from start to finish, together with all aspects of conveyancing. We expect the law to change within the short to medium term as Bulgaria opens its doors fully in line with its expected entry into the European Union (2007). This historic restriction is one of the reasons why property in Bulgaria is so competitively priced compared to Western and Central Europe.

17. Is it better to buy off plan apartment in Bulgaria?

As a general rule buying off-plan property in Bulgaria is more attractive. One of the main advantages and benefits is that your property in Bulgaria will not be built for another 12-24 months and you are buying into a development at an early stage. The prices for similar properties for sale in Bulgaria would be significantly higher, as the past trend showed a good capital growth for properties in Bulgaria.

New apartments in Bulgaria are built to a higher standard with more facilities on the complexes that appeal to foreign buyers and holiday makers. Re-sale market has not yet matured; therefore the choice of second hand properties for sale in Bulgaria is limited. In future years we will see more quality re-sale apartments on the market. Currently we offer some good value for money brand new completed apartments fully furnished in Sunny Beach sea resort. There are priced the same as off-plan apartments and deferred payment terms are offered.

18. How long will it take to buy a property?

Generally it will take 3 weeks to buy a property. This is dependent on a number of factors, not all of which are in your control. Once you have decided on a property, contact will be made with the seller or his estate agent. The terms and conditions of the sale can be negotiated very quickly, depending on how easily we can instruct an independent surveyor to assess the property, which is our usual practice. It is important to have an accurate picture of the condition of the property, likely repairs that will be needed and its consequent value. Usually a surveyor can prepare a report within a week of instructions. The legal title to the property can be checked at the Land Register in a day or two. Searches with the local authority, trying to confirm the uses and building permissions associated with the property, will similarly take several days. The Preliminary Contract is then exchanged and a deposit paid. There is then a period of, at maximum, a few days while the money transfer is arranged and any final checks made. The sale will take place in front of a Notary at an agreed date and time.

19. What are the procedures when buying a property in Bulgaria?

The procedures vary depending upon the type of property you buy - villa or apartment. Please refer to "4 easy steps to buy BG property".

Do not hesitate to call us to talk to our consultant if you need advice.

20. Are there any limitations on renting the properties and repatriating the rental income from Bulgaria property investment?

There are no limitations to repatriate the rental income or property sales proceeds from Bulgaria property.

21. Who will manage my properties?

There are a number of options dependent upon your own personal circumstances. We are happy to advise you individually on the various options available.

22. Which are the preferred types of business organizations with foreign investment?

The most common form of organization for foreign investors is a limited liability company. Other types are general partnership, limited partnership, joint stock company, sole proprietorship, joint venture, branch, holding, cooperatives, representative office. Limited liability companies, unlimited partnerships, public limited companies, limited partnerships, holdings and cooperatives are legal entities. Branches and representations are not independent legal entities: branches may engage in economic activities, they have their own property and compile a separate balance sheet; representations may not engage in economic activities.

23. Why Bulgaria?

"Bulgaria? It is the new Costa Del Sol" , Daily Mail, April 4th, 2004.

24. What level of capital growth can I expect on the value of my property?

It is not possible to say with certainty how the property market will react in the future. However, the property markets of the Czech Republic and Poland, two of the most recent new members of the EU have risen by approximately 250% in the five years to today's date. Bulgarian property prices themselves have increased by 17% nationwide over the last 9 months. The increase of the value of a property depends on a number of factors, including the condition of the house, its location and the type of property.

25. What are the advantages of using UK agent for buying a property in Bulgaria?

The main advantage of using UK agent when buying a property in Bulgaria is that in most cases you will not be charged a commission on top of the selling price (please ask your agent about that). It is a standard practice in Bulgaria to charge a seller and a buyer a commission. Also, Bulgaria estate agent will not know about mortgages for foreign nationals, currency exchange fluctuations, advertising your property in Bulgaria to rent to UK holiday makers. They are used to work within the local market and will not give you impartial advice. In some cases the prices on re-sale properties are going up by the day, when the sellers become aware that a foreigner is interested in the purchase.
Always look for the added value in terms of services that your UK agent for Bulgarian property offers.

26. What time is it?

This is joke, but anyway it was 02:43:45 when You start reading this page, so it's time to step forward to your new properties:

Sea propertiesMountain & ski propertiesRural and inland properties

Should you have any other questions please feel free to email us!

info@homes4ubulgaria.com