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Maynard

Is Bulgaria All That It's Cracked Up To Be?

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I've been doing a bit of research on Bulgaria, exploring the possibility of buying an apartment on the Black sea coast, Sunny Beach. I'm looking to go out there sometime on a reccie.

From what I have read, Bulgaria is a pretty sound investment, is this really the case? Is it the new costa del sol?

Has anyone bought out there yet?

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I heard that all you have to do is buy a place and youre instantly guaranteed to become a millionaire.

Where have you "heard" this nonsense?

What exactly is it about Bulgaria that makes it a good investment?

Is there a vibrant economy? Is there an economy at all?

Whats the capital city? Whats the law regarding foreign ownership?

Why do people keep coming on here asking stupid questions about god-forsaken hell-holes in transylvania?

DYOR FFS

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Who says Bulgaria is a good investment? Some VI no doubt.

Buying property abroad has tons of pitfalls. Not to mention some locals getting totally pissed off with foreigners pricing them out of their own market, so expect a bloody nose or two.

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Guest tenant super

I've been doing a bit of research on Bulgaria, exploring the possibility of buying an apartment on the Black sea coast, Sunny Beach. I'm looking to go out there sometime on a reccie.

From what I have read, Bulgaria is a pretty sound investment, is this really the case? Is it the new costa del sol?

Has anyone bought out there yet?

It's an absolute shithole. Honestly give yourself a slap FFS. a glorious opportunity to make some money off the Bulgarians, they have more money than sense, fill yer boots.

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I was asking for advice in good faith. Not too sure why some people on here feel the need to throw a load of s**t at someone just for asking an honest question.

I would agree with your comments, it does seem like a lot of aggravation. I was just looking for some feedback, that's all.

Politeness doesn't cost a penny.

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Anecdotal which made me laugh (on a roughly related subject). Had the misfortune to watch some kirstie 'where is the hottest foreign property hotspot to invest and become a millionare' crap, she starts wittering on about some bizarre eastern european country where "you can buy a mansion for only €35,000" and then almost in the same breath proclaims "and yet you can walk down the hill and enjoy a charming meal in the top local restaurant for under €3".

DID YOU NOT THINK THE TWO THINGS WERE FU**ING RELATED YOU STUPID BINT!!!

needless to say the house was a "bargin" and the fact that the local population only earnt a few thousand euros p.a. had nothing to do with it. I think they predicted it could be worth somewhere north of €200,000 in 10 years or some such rubbish - despite the country being practically empty in terms of population and unlikely to have particularly stringent planning laws...maybe they were banking on a massive increase in the price of bricks and timber, after all commodities are apparently the place to be now!

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Hi Maynard

Maybe I can give you a more informed opinion as I have bought a couple of apartments on the Black Sea coast in Bulgaria.

In a nutshell:

Plus points of BG: Its still pretty cheap, budget airlines are sure to start flying there soon, EU membership which will guarantee significant improvements to the infrastructure, coastline is beautiful, countryside largely untouched, golf courses are being constructed, very cheap to eat out.

Negative points: It is very poor, summer season is shorter than somewhere like Turkey or Spain (gets very cold in Winter!), has a declining population (this is more a problem in the rural areas), there are off plan apartments going up everywhere especially on the coast with very little control (although the govt is supposedly introducing legislation to combat this)......

Sunny Beach is the main resort on the coast to the south. I have driven through it. Basically its like Benidorm if you like that sort of thing. A lot of Brits are buying just north of here in Sveti Vlas - supposed to be a bit more upmarket - but loads of building work going on here.

I actually bought more up north near Varna. There you get the resorts of Golden Sands and Albena. But I decided to buy near a town called Balchik where nearby they are building 3 golf courses. Bought 2, 2 bed apartments right on the beach in a nice secluded part of the coast. Out there again next month to furnish them.

Basically if its a cheap holiday home you want then Bulgaria is a fairly safe choice. Just dont rely on rental income, and buy first line to the beach if you can or something with a sea view (got to think of what will resell it!).

Dont listen to others on here as I bet most of them havent taken a risk or two. Better to do something than nothing.

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I think this is nuts.

Yes, go and do something like give yourself a problem rather than do nothing........

FFS do you intend to learn their language, do you know bulgarians, do you like them ?? Do you like their food, their culture, their religous beliefs ??

Do you plan to go there year in year out for holidays or are you the type that wants to explore as many countries as possible before you're not able.

I just DON'T understand why ANYONE would want to buy into a country they know nothing about.

Edited by Sold up and Renting Abroad

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Hey people talk to the guys on this forum who actually own properties in Bulgaria:

http://www.mybulgaria.info/bulgaria-property-forums.html

Personally i am attracted to the insanely cheap country villas plus land to be found inland. I wouldnt buy as an investment just somewhere very cheap to live. I think other countries would provide better investment returns. The Bulgarian Black Sea coast has already been over hyped.

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Hey people talk to the guys on this forum who actually own properties in Bulgaria:

What you mean like the VIs ??

My advice is first hand. I don't live in Bulgaria, I am renting abroad and have been doing so for over 2 years.

I speak all the languages, my wife is from my host country, we're about as integrated as you can get without actually being one of the locals.

I still say you must be nuts to be buying property in a country you no absolutely nothing about. I don't care how cheap.

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What you mean like the VIs ??

My advice is first hand. I don't live in Bulgaria, I am renting abroad and have been doing so for over 2 years.

I speak all the languages, my wife is from my host country, we're about as integrated as you can get without actually being one of the locals.

I still say you must be nuts to be buying property in a country you no absolutely nothing about. I don't care how cheap.

All though that site has a lot of advertising, the forums themselves are strictly independant and property owners tell it like it is. The forums cover all aspects of life in Bulgaria. Some posters even recommend cutting out the estate agent and buying direct from the seller to save money.

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I need to ask a simple question (I have a friend who has invested heavily in Bulgaria and keeps encouraging me to do so, but I can't work out why I should):

- Who has been to Bulgaria on holiday? Do people know anyone who has been to Bulgaria on holiday?

I don't know anyone who has decided to take their precious two weeks Summer holiday there, and I wouldn't dream of it myself (not being snobbish, just don't know anything about the country and plenty of other places to visit). So, why should I buy a holiday home to let to people who don't go there?

I know it sounds facetious, but I really would be happy to stand corrected if someone can prove to me there's a market there rather than pure speculation.

Edited by mikthe20

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I need to ask a simple question (I have a friend who has invested heavily in Bulgaria and keeps encouraging me to do so, but I can't work out why I should):

- Who has been to Bulgaria on holiday? Do people know anyone who has been to Bulgaria on holiday?

I don't know anyone who has decided to take their precious two weeks Summer holiday there, and I wouldn't dream of it myself (not being snobbish, just don't know anything about the country and plenty of other places to visit). So, why should I buy a holiday home to let to people who don't go there?

I know it sounds facetious, but I really would be happy to stand corrected if someone can prove to me there's a market there rather than pure speculation.

Talk to the guys on this forum http://www.mybulgaria.info/bulgaria-property-forums.html The Bulgarian Black Sea coast is a big tourist draw - only disadvantage is that it is cold from about Sept to April. Also skiing is a big tourist draw in parts of Bulgaria. Also Bulgaria has areas of excellent natural beauty.

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I have been doing a bit of research about Bulgaria over the last year and decided not to buy.

My thoughts-

1) There is no resale market yet. Who knows what the resale prices will be. A lot of investors will sell off a few years after 2007 When Bulgaria joins the EU. This will flood the market with shed loads of places.

2) The season in Sunny Beach is too short (4months I think). The Ski Resorts are a better bet.

3) The ski resort rentals are better than Sunny Beach.

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Considering buying a holiday home (especially abroad), note to self, Engage Brain!

If the saying ‘that the first casualty of war is the truth’ is a truism, then ‘the first casualty of buying a holiday home is often basic common sense’.

We are a nation seemingly obsessed with property and property prices. Witness the rash of TV programs imploring us to relocate, trade up, buy to let and do up to sell. In the last five years property prices in Britain have increased dramatically and a whole industry has sprung up encouraging us to release equity and buy abroad. The vested interests (VI) such as the Developers, Estate Agents and Banks/Building Societies are ably assisted by the ‘Lifestyle Media’, in marketing the dream.

There’s no doubt that buying and selling property in the UK can be a minefield, especially for the uninitiated or inexperienced. However that pals into insignificance when you consider the additional pitfalls that can await us in buying abroad.

Well over a million Britain’s now own holiday homes abroad. Our love affair with owning ‘a place in the sun’ has never been greater. As ever Spain, France, Italy and Portugal are proving popular. More recently as prices have been pushed up in these countries we’ve looked further a field. To places like Slovenia and Croatia in what was the old Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. You cant beat the Dalmatian coast only don’t dig too deep in the back garden, as mass graves are commonplace and 20,000 bodies are still unaccounted for. They don’t put that in the sales presentation. Recently Latvia, Bulgaria and Romania are being pushed as the next hot, ‘Fly to Buy/Fly to Let’ leading edge locations. When buying abroad its important to recognise that the laws, processes, customs and practice, for the transfer of unencumbered title to land and property, are not the same as in the UK. We hear horror stories, where unsuspecting Brits having bought abroad, only to find themselves with no end of problems, having either been duped or failed to take appropriate precautions. Be it problems with the escritura (title deed) in Spain, Villas built on war expropriated land in Northern Cyprus or inheritance/tax issues in Monrovia. As mentioned earlier with countries like Romania and Bulgaria now being pushed as destinations to buy holiday homes, the term Caveat Emptor has never been more appropriate. If you’re not entirely happy with the reputation for honesty of Estate Agents at home here in the UK, wait till you meet some of the ex Transylvanian Donkey rustlers selling unsuspecting Brits holiday homes in Tulcea and Constanta on the Black Sea! Where next? Ski lodges in Nagorno-Karabakh, just 8 days yak ride from Baku international airport. Or Beach Villas on the Aral’s Sea health Spa, specialising in chemical body scrubs, with all the toxic pollution you can drink. Prices start at 3 million Dram (£15,000), 10% discount if you buy off plan. Legal title guaranteed by The South Caucasus Development Corporation of Kazakhstan All deposits underwritten by the Bank of Chechnya, as advertised on Channel 4 by the regional goodwill ambassador Borat! Don’t miss this ground floor, investment opportunity of a lifetime.

Thousands of Brits who have bought in Spain/Cyprus/Dubai are going to lose their shirts. Bulgaria isn’t cheap it only looks cheap relative to the UK. There is no second hand market in Bulgaria. Your costs/problems/ aggravation and stress will all be higher than you could possibly imagine. You wont be able to resell your Bulgarian property as the second hand market does not exist and you will be competing against new build developers offering incentives.

Pablo Silver or Lead?

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Yes buy. Capital needs to be spread around Europe more fairly. You can help that process by transfering some of your money to the Bulgarians.

Once you are done there. I think you ought to buy in Africa. The weather is better. There are more capital gains to be made in the long run. The locals need your capital too. Don't you think that Morocco will beat the pants off Bulgaria once it becomes part of the holiday home gravy train?

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There are always 4 bellweather indicators for property markets abroad, where Brits are clustered.

1. Are the prices (like for like) being achieved for new build (by the developer sales machines) properties higher or lower than the past?

2. How easy is it to sell your shiny new property that you just paid the developer top $ for? And what will you get for it?

3. Is the supply of new mugs/dreamers getting off the plane, going up or down as a proportion of, new build and disillusioned old mugs/dreams shattered by reality who are putting their place in the sun on the resale market, going up or down?

4. Fundamentals. Many people buying in Cyprus and Dubai are releasing equity form UK or other property abroad. The Wall of cheap money that became artificially available after the US dropped interest rates to 1% is evaporating and it’s time to start paying the bill!

Oh and with Dubai in mind it has a risk profile ignored by most, never buy a property built on sand. If you seriously believe that terrorists driven by a fundamental hatred of the west are going to allow Dubai to be a show case of western decadence then good luck. If you’re already in the market and can get out with a profit, then consider taking it. This place will be the world biggest white elephant as there will not be the market to sustain it!

Pablo Silver or Lead?

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ignoring the simpletons like Needle who probably have not been further than clacton! and owns a timeshare in torremelinos places like bulgaria would never have been considered 5 years ago. it is the smart money that sees the early opportunity.

people invest overseas for 2 reasons i can think of, to make money or to make money

we live in dubai and are now investing around the globe, bulgaria seems a good option, for a number of reasons...

1. joining the EU - this will drive their economy and assist their growth.

2, if it is so poor and locals earn peanuts, then your investment is aimed at other sectors. Skiing, golf and beaches always draw the crowds & as some bulgarians grow more affluent (cheap exports, new easier access to EU markets) there will be like ANY country more cash to spend, look at Latvia!!

3. like with Dubai if promoted correctly the market will see steady growth.

4. Spain, florida and similar saturated markets will only go one way, therefore new regions need to be looked at.

5. Needle and the other morons who cannot do anything but sneer as they have made $5 on a toilet in staines and think they are big shots will not be buying there, that for me is worth the investment alone....

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kjr, speaking about getting in early... guess you forget a few ten thousands of foreign (Uk/Irish) speculators already bought in Bulgaria in last few years. Those who made money have exited the market 1-2 years ago. The many thousands who are in or entering now will be lucky if they don't lose too much money. Why don't you search online, boards etc, and speak to people? I've not heard of anyone who's been able to sell or rent their new BG flat (whether coast or ski), quite the contrary. But, one learns on mistakes, so, wish you best of luck with your Bulgarian investment.

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I've not heard of anyone who's been able to sell or rent their new BG flat (whether coast or ski), quite the contrary. But, one learns on mistakes, so, wish you best of luck with your Bulgarian investment.

Well you've heard of one now. I dipped a cautious toe in the Black Sea three years ago. The studio flat I bought has been let out every summer since (ie 3 seasons now). The rent I get is not great. The season is short.

There are a lot of Irish, Russians and other Eastern Europeans holidaying there, as well as Brits.

So far I'm not impressed with it as an investment. There's no such thing as a mortgage there (7 - 8 percent is not a mortgage in my view) so you tie up a lot of capital. But on the other hand if I decide to get the hell out of the UK I can go and live there for a quarter the cost of living here. If I can earn £10,000 a year I live like its £40,000. That doesn't sound challenging - in theory I could rent me house here and use the money to live over there (instead of doing things the other way round). Thats got to appeal to a few of us Brits who might go for early retirment if this government keeps on dragging the UK back to the Seventies.

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I would never consider investing in Eastern Europe. Think about it. 5% of the Irish population is now Polish. 600,000 Poles have settled in Britain since joining the EU. And why shouldn't they. The smartest, brightest people from these countries are leaving their homelands and moving abroad tempted by prospects of higher wages.

Who is going to be left in the country to buy properties and generate demand - only the foolish foreign investors. Who will rent the properties once they are completed? The average Bulgarian who earns €400 per month - I don't think so.

People buying in these countries are following a band wagon and buying only on the back of cheap prices. Once the honeymoon of artificial inflated "guaranteed rental" yields finishes and rents drop dramatically, what are you going to do?

Stick to blue chip countries with stable markets, world cities where the demand will always be there. I'll pick London over Sofia, Warsaw and Bucharest any day.

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I would never consider investing in Eastern Europe. Think about it. 5% of the Irish population is now Polish. 600,000 Poles have settled in Britain since joining the EU. And why shouldn't they. The smartest, brightest people from these countries are leaving their homelands and moving abroad tempted by prospects of higher wages.

Who is going to be left in the country to buy properties and generate demand - only the foolish foreign investors. Who will rent the properties once they are completed? The average Bulgarian who earns €400 per month - I don't think so.

People buying in these countries are following a band wagon and buying only on the back of cheap prices. Once the honeymoon of artificial inflated "guaranteed rental" yields finishes and rents drop dramatically, what are you going to do?

Stick to blue chip countries with stable markets, world cities where the demand will always be there. I'll pick London over Sofia, Warsaw and Bucharest any day.

This is not correct.

Take Estonia, according to independant international surveyors 'Frank Knight' it had the highest HPI last yr and economic growth runs at about 8%.

Many who made money in the West return to thier homeland with wads of cash which is pushing up local prices.

Many of these countries were prosperous prior to the Russians ruining them. Take Slovenia, it is just like Austria and it wont be long before prices reach the levels they would have been had the Russians not inflicted communism.

These countries are mopping up former western employment. Take Latvia as an example, where many US and UK film producers now favour.

Poland is a dynamic rapidly expanding nation with a highly educated workforce.

The Baltic states are experieincing masive inward investment from Scandinavia and other expensive Western economies.

To simply write these places off, is just as shortsighted as those who wrote Ireland off just prior to the boom when it was refered to as the 'sick Man of the EU'.

Of course there is some over exuberance in places such as Bulgaria.

I take a keen interest in property funds. A big movement into Eastern Europe is well underway. UK property funds such as the ultra cautious 'Kenmore' of Edinburgh are now focusing new money away from the UK property market.

Every E European closed ended property fund has been heavily oversubscribed.

Some of our most high profile investors such as 'Jim Mellon' are buying capacity in E Europe.

Londons merchant Banks have been quietly gathering assets. A quick look at the list of key shareholders into E European property funds reveals this.

To simply 'write - off' the capacity of E Europeans to aquire our standard of living, is about a s short sighted as those at the BBC who asserted TV would never be anywhere near as popular as radio :rolleyes:

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Anyone read the Mail On Sunday (19th November 06)?

Comments on how the only people making money in Bulgaria are the agents and developers. Something like 30% of apartments in Bansko don't even have heating - and that is a ski resort!

It goes on to say how there is no local demand for the seaside apartments and the only people who are buying are the English.

In addition there are something like 300,000 unlet office spaces in Sofia.

Trust me, if considering property investments, stay away from Eastern Europe - its a bubble waiting to pop!

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