In a couple of years Bulgaria went from a perceived paradise on earth to a byword for property swindles and broken dreams as far as holiday homes were concerned. Both extremes are not quite representative of what you can actually fi nd with a bit of research – well-situated properties in good condition at relatively low prices. When your preferences do not quite stretch to the hot aridity of Greece, or your bank account would not accommodate a large seaside place in Italy, Bulgaria can offer its own diversity and the charm of discovery.
Although relatively small, the country has a variety of climates and locations – cosy mountain villages close to well-supplied towns and ski resorts, pleasant countryside views and, best of all, a scattering of prime spots along the seaside. All of these provide good investment opportunities in the long-term as well, considering possible future developments in the Bulgarian property market and tourism.
The bad reputation of the country that arose in the last few years came about partly because of disillusionment. Many buyers, particularly British citizens, had their eye on making a quick profit by buying a cheap village house and selling it on, or letting apartments in seaside resorts for short-term holidays. When the tourist flow ebbed as the economic crisis hit and property buyers became much more cautious, these investors were saddled with dilapidated houses or empty apartments running up high maintenance bills. That prompted them to express their disappointment vocally. But despite this, the demand for holiday property in Bulgaria has remained quite stable, with many Russian citizens looking for second homes and other Europeans judging the country to be a solid investment.
To avoid going down that same route of disillusionment, think of your property deal primarily in personal terms. Would you like to live there yourself? Is it possible to organise your life in this place according to your preferences and needs? These are the first questions you should ask yourself, considering practicalities such as distance to major towns and cities, infrastructure, and the suitability of the particular property. For example, if you do not intend to do a lot of gardening, but want peace and quiet, you may do better to concentrate on small towns rather than villages. If you intend travelling to your second home several times a year for quick breaks, factor in the closeness to airports to minimise travel time and avoid hassles. Some expats feel isolated in their village, or would like to have a more dynamic environment – if you think along these lines, look for city homes.
Figuring out whether you prefer the cool mountain air or the beach sand is a good place to start. Because of Bulgaria’s mild climate both can be used throughout the year to give you different flavours. Avoid the bigger resorts, since the infrastructure has not caught up with the construction boom in recent years. A great number of visitors flock there during the peak season, causing disruption and facilities can be inadequate, while off-season they turn into ghost towns. Look instead for well-organised residential areas that can support you all year round.
Choose reputable property agencies, or do your own research and deal directly with the construction company. This last option may save you quite a bit of money and will give you a chance to explore the property thoroughly before committing. The practice of direct buying is becoming more widespread in Bulgaria, especially with seaside property. In the unique and quaint town of Sozopol, you can buy your seaside apartment from Villa Byzantium. The villa, designed as an ancient Byzantine basilica, is situated in an evergreen forest by the sea and has twelve luxurious and modern apartments. All of them are furnished with twin or double beds, fully equipped kitchen, living room and bathroom. Your holiday entertainment is ready to go with the LCD TV and DVD players, air conditioning and Internet. The villa boasts a lobby bar, bistro, spa centre with an outdoor pool and Jacuzzi, restaurant and excursion planning.
Newly-built closed complexes comply to all regulations and have their own touch of individuality as well. In the Atlantis Complex in Sarafovo you can enjoy the latest construction technology in your holiday home: breathing facades to save energy, special thermal insulating windows that reduce energy waste, sound and fireproof materials to keep away external influences. The interior of the apartments is custom designed, with 100 percent Italian-made materials, which you can work around at will to suit your preferences and give you an unobstructed view of the sea.
If you would prefer to have someone take care of all the details for you and find you a certain kind of property, leave everything to Omega Real. With offices in the most popular resorts, the company will guide you through all aspects of the buying process, such as legal matters, an on-the-spot tour, mortgage documents and residential permits. You can pick and choose among properties in Sozopol, Santa Marina, Pomorie, Nesebar and Sveti Vlas, as well as exclusive elite complexes along the coastline. Nearly all of the properties are five-star and fully furnished with modern amenities, offering various services to keep you entertained and relaxed throughout your sunny holiday.