How to Buy a Property in Bulgaria

The Cost

Although the property prices in Bulgaria are quite low compared to the other European countries, there is still a wide variety of prices depending on the property type and location (as a rule the properties in Sofia and at the Black Sea are more expensive). The first thing you will need to figure out is how much you can afford to spend and thereafter to determine the price range for your purchase. Apart from the actual price of the property, there are a lot of other one-off costs you have to consider.

The expenditures

There are some differences in the property-buying property process in Bulgaria from those in the UK. Below is the list of one-off costs which provides you with a rough estimate of the expenditures you will have to cover. It is advisable always to take all eventualities into account when making your estimates.

1. Deposit

Usually you are required to put down at least 10% of the price.

2. Solicitor

You will need to employ a local solicitor, who speaks English, for all the legal aspects of buying a property. Some charge a flat rate, others a percentage of the property price (usually 1%). We recommend to get some quotes before choosing one.

Solicitors in Bulgaria frequently represent both sides of a transaction, but are legally obliged to be diligent and fair.

3. Preliminary contract

Its cost is of around £100, with an extra £15 or so payable for a translation of the contract – remember that the English version is not legally binding.

4. Survey / Valuation Fee

5. Agency fees

Agency fees in Bulgaria are often split between buyer and seller; a typical fee might be 6% with buyer and seller each paying 3%. Sometimes the buyer is responsible for the whole fee; would-be buyers should clarify beforehand precisely what percentage of the value will be the fee and for what proportion of that fee he or she is liable. Occasionally – and this is most often the case with new-build properties – the fee is included in the purchase price; again, though, the buyer is advised to find out if this is the case and, if so, what proportion of the overall price pertains to the fee as it may affect the resale value of the property.

6. Stamp Duty

The government charges a tax based upon the property’s purchase price. This is called country tax and it is the equivalent of the Stamp Duty in the United Kingdom. This is a maximum of 2% of purchase price charged at completion.

7. Notary Fee

The notary puts on public record that the title deed has been signed in their presence and understood by the parties concerned. The notary is further in charge of the submitting of the title deed with the other related documents of the transfer to the cadastral and the property register (land register).

The Notary will pay registration and state fees collected previously from the buyer.

Registration confirms you as the legal owner of the property and registers you at that address. The fee charged depends upon the price of the property (See Stamp Duty).

8. House-hunting Expenses

Property-hunting can be quite a costly business. Expenses include money for travel to Bulgaria, hotels and eating, and telephone calls.

9. Removal Fees (if not only a holiday home)

Doing the removal yourself is time-consuming and stressful. If you decide to employ a company, ask around for quotes first.

Find a Property in Bulgaria

After having calculated how much you can afford, you can start on the most exciting part of the property-buying process: selecting your future property.

But before you start spending your nights digging through piles of Bulgarian property web sites and looking at estate agents’ brochures, it is advisable to sit down and think about what exactly you want. Property-hunting is exhausting and time-consuming, and you can save yourself a lot of work and energy by deciding on certain prerequisites before starting out on the actual property search.

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