Home Property in Bulgaria
How to buy a house in Bulgaria?
Here you will find the detailed information about real estate purchasing in Bulgaria:
- the right way to choose the property and to effect the deal;
- property taxes and duties that should be paid;
- everything about home loans in Bulgaria;
- home property management and renting;
- rental, commercial properties and related investment properties.
Real estate for sale
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Regardless of the fact that real estate market in Bulgaria is developed well enough, the price for real property here is so low, that it may at first even seem suspicious. However, there’s nothing shady about it – it’s a simple fact: the most cheap houses and cottages are located in Bulgaria. The country has one of the most low salary levels throughout EU, therefore real estate price level is correspondingly small.
In the third quarter of 2013, the average requested price per sq. m. was €739 for Sofia, €706 for Varna and €578 for Burgas. The average square meter price across the country is €442.
Recent statistical researches have shown that 75 % of all real estate sale transactions in Bulgaria amount up to €45 000.
A 30 sq. m. apartment in a new block of Necebar starts at €25 000, but it jumps up to €35 000 for an apartment close the seashore. A 40 sq. m. apartment in a resort town of Pamporovo will cost around €19 000. An apartment with an area of 45 sq. m. from Sunny Beach resort zone will go for €18 000 if it’s 2 km away from the seaside, and for €30 000, if it’s located just next to the sea.
The price for a square meter in Sofia starts at €1000. Averagely, a single-room apartment can be acquired for €20 000 here. A 100 sq. m. country cottage which is 30–40 km away from the seaside will cost approximately €20 000. Real property on Bansko ski resort will amount to €500 per sq. m.
Despite the fact that real estate in Bulgaria is quite cheap compared to other European countries, there are also lots of prestigious cottages and detached houses. Wealthy clients usually prefer moving to the resort town of Pamporovo, or some other places close to the Black Sea coastline.
A 1700 sq. m. cottage in Varna region with land area of 1100 sq. m. costs €1 400 000. A 900 sq. m. house in Sofia is worth €2 000 000. The price for such houses may reach several million euros. For example, a luxurious 5570 sq. m. mansion in Vratsa region goes for about €3 500 000, a 780 sq. m. villa in Blagoevgrad region – for €1 500 000; and a premium villa with an area of 860 sq. m. and 1700 sq. m. of land from a resort city of Varna – for €3 000 000.
An apartment in such prestigious Sofia districts as Boyana, Dragalevtsi and others may cost near €2500 per square meter.
Acquisition of real estate in Bulgaria is a simple process, but it requires carrying out certain preparations.
1. Paying a deposit and signing a preliminary agreement.
Having selected a real property object, the buyer needs to sign a preliminary agreement with the property owner. Then the buyer must pay a deposit. It may vary from 5–10 % of object value for secondary market, to €1000–1500 for a primary market object. The payment transaction should be regulated by a special document called “Reservation Form”. A preliminary agreement should point out all main details of a transaction, such as its amount, terms of payment, rights assignment, etc.
2. Sell and Purchase Agreement
After receiving a deposit, a property seller has to prepare the documents necessary for signing a contract. If a buyer wants to participate personally during signing an agreement and carrying out a transaction, then he or she only needs to have an international passport along. Signing an agreement remotely will necessarily require the following documents:
1) A power of attorney for a purchaser’s name;
2) The document verifying the origin of the funds for a transaction.
Then both seller and purchaser (or a purchaser’s authorized attorney) meet at a notary office in order to prepare everything for a peal property acquisition in Bulgaria. Having mutually checked the documents, both parties sign an agreement. After signing an agreement the purchaser needs to pay the rest of the amount. The notary registers a transaction and starts a procedure of a property object registration in a country asset registry. The process of a property registration in Bulgaria usually lasts 3–7 days. After a registration both the agreement and the object ownership should be handed over to the purchaser.
Note: Acts 14, 15, 16
A buyer may often find a description mentioning the Acts 14, 15, 16 in a real estate object description. These documents regulate the stages of building construction in Bulgaria.
Each act rules certain steps of construction work which should be made, according to Bulgarian standards.
Act 14 is issued after state commission approves a construction plan of the object. This act is required for adding a building into a cadastral register.
Act 15 is issued after building construction is over. It proves that the building is ready for its intended usage.
Act 16 gives a building residential status. As soon as a building gets an Act 16, its owner starts paying real estate taxes. Sometimes owners prefer not to acquire Act 16 in order to avoid paying taxes. That’s why it’s important to make sure that a real estate object has at least Act 15, which allows living in it.
The following taxes and duties are to be imposed upon real estate acquisition in Bulgaria:
0.1% to 1.5% of transaction amount for notary services;
0.1% to 3% of transaction amount for transfer tax;
0.1% of transaction for object registration.
Overall expenses for real estate acquisition in Bulgaria may reach 0.3% to 3.5% apart from the agency services fee.
The amount of transfer tax is regulated on a municipal level. For example, transfer tax in Sofia amounts to 2.5%. archived version