Buying property in Bulgaria
Whether a property is being bought for investment, a holiday home, or a retirement home, current prices are exceedingly low, but they are set to rise. The continued growth in tourism is fuelling the price rise as foreigners realise that Bulgaria is a desirable alternative to Spain, Portugal or Greece as a holiday destination.
There are many areas to consider when buying a property and obviously it helps if you can narrow your search. There are many areas to choose from depending on the circumstances and requirements of the particular buyer:- The Black Sea Coast, the ski resorts of Bansko, Pamporovo and Borovetz, the mountain regions of Rila, Rodophi or Pirin and the Capital Sofia.
The mortgage market is also developing in Bulgaria and this is likely to cause a great surge in demand for Bulgarian property
Basic Legal Procedure
Detached property with land
If the property you intend to buy comes with land then you will need to set up a Bulgarian limited company to own that land. The reason for this is that at present, the Bulgarian constitution states that a foreign person may not own title to land. The company that you own will then legally own the title to the land. Forming the company is relatively straight-forward and we can assist with this.
Property without land
It is generally accepted that the purchasing of an apartment does not require you to set up a limited company. In such case, you can purchase the construction right over the land, which at completion will automatically convert into the ownership right over the apartment.
When you have agreed to purchase a property your lawyer will draw up a preliminary or primary contract setting out all of the agreed details and stating the initial deposit amount to be paid (normally 10%).
Upon signing the preliminary contract, it should be made conditional that the property is removed from the market. It is extremely important that you use the expertise of an independent lawyer to undertake the initial searches and checks on title deed documentation, licences and permissions, debts on the title, and the terms of the contract.
Completion of the purchase takes place in front of the local Notary Public. This is the final stage when both the buyer and the seller meet together and complete the transfer. The buyer usually pays for the completion expenses, which include the notary’s fee, local tax equivalent to the UK stamp duty and the registration charges.
Following completion the buyer has to apply for personal tax numbers (Bulstat), register the property for council and garbage tax and connect the property to the utilities.
If you would like legal help buying a property in Bulgaria you can contact the The International Law Center