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Bulgaria, Buyer Beware!

Updated on September 25, 2012

What you need to know before parting with your hard earned cash.

Beautiful Bulgaria. A country with mountains, long beaches, traditions, friendly people and slower pace of living attracts those looking for a cheap holiday home or place to get away from the stresses of everyday life. But did you know that many foreigners who buy in Bulgaria get ripped off by estate agents, builders, new found friends or even neighbors?

There are currently no laws governing estate agents in Bulgaria and a property can be for sale with any number of agents at the same time, and sometimes at different prices. Dodgy deals are commonplace and what you might see on the internet might not be remotely like what you have actually bought!

You can find horror stories and advice on a multitude of forums and internet groups, so what should you do if you really would like to buy in Bulgaria? The answer, of course, is to come along and see for yourself. See past that witty blurb on the Ebay listing, ignore the photographs taken from strange angles, and NEVER buy without coming to look at the property yourself.

Even if you think it's a total bargain, or must be worth more than the advertised price. Don't be fooled into paying for something you have not seen or have no money back guarantee for. Your bargain property could make a huge dent in your pocket and be a drain on your health, wealth and lifestyle. Buying in Bulgaria is a risk, but can be a dream for some.

Here are a couple of tips to help you make the most of your buying experience:

  • Always visit a potential purchase before signing anything or agreeing to buy.
  • View properties with at least 3 different estate agencies.
  • Do your research and find out as much as you can about the area, both pro's and con's.
  • Make sure buying in Bulgaria really is what you want to do.
  • Spend time in your chosen area, at different times of the day to see what facilities are available and how many people are in the area.
  • Don't just listen to the estate agent's blurb, if need be hire a translator and talk to the locals.
  • Find out about water and electric supplies all year round, plus winter access/roads.
  • If you find a property that ticks all the boxes, make the owner an offer, but beware some estate agents bump up the price or claim the owner wants more because you are foreign! Please remember that signing an agreement and paying a deposit is a legally binding contract and you may lose that deposit if you cannot close the sale within 28 days.
  • And finally don't rush into anything, the property market in Bulgaria is rather slow at the moment and your potential purchase will not usually be snapped up by another buyer if you take some time to think things through.

Enjoy Bulgaria, come and see it for what it really is, leave the rose tinted glasses at home and you could save a lot of heartache and hard earned money.

Map of Bulgaria


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