The number of people who decide to purchase properties in Bulgaria is constantly increasing. By taking under consideration the long term prospects for this country, we can see that the market provides and incredible investment potential. What are the main reasons for which you may choose Bulgaria?
The popularity of this country has increased due to its mountainous landscape and natural beauty. Prices remain very attractive in this part of the world even though foreign investments have generated important progresses in infrastructure and newly developed proprieties.
If you are looking for a holiday home, Bulgaria is the perfect country due to its wonderful terrain. Each and every individual can find something extraordinary in this country that is located between the Black Sea and the wonderful mountain chains of the Balkans. You will surely find the perfect place to buy a house in Sunny Beach, Golden Sands, Nessebar or other location along the Black Sea coasts. In the summer period, the temperatures may vary between 26 degrees Celsius and 38 degrees Celsius in the air and 22 degrees Celsius and 26 degrees Celsius in the water. In May and September, you will enjoy more than 240 hours of sunshine, and even more in July and August. There is something special related to the Bulgarian Black Sea coast that derives from the deep-cutting covers, lovely peninsulas, vineyards and orchards. There are also other important things to visit in this country in case you attracted to sea and sand.
It provides access to a big variety of wonderful churches, mosques, rustic villages and long-lasting folklore. If you are into hiking, mountain biking, climbing and even caving, Bulgaria is the perfect place for you since this country features and important natural history that was shaped by the Balkan and Mediterranean ecosystems. Let’s not forget about the natural spas of created from pools that contain important amounts of minerals that come from underground thermal waters. Besides the fact that they provide incredible relaxation, these natural spas are also considered important health centers offering a wide variety of treatments.
If you enjoy winter sports, such as skiing and snowboarding, then you need to know that in the winter months the mountains in this country are full of ski resorts. You will surely have lots of fun during the cold season in Bulgaria.
In conclusion, we can say that Bulgaria is the perfect destination to buy a property due to the warmth of the long summer months and the wonderful snowy views in the winter.
Location - The geographical position of Bulgaria is located in the Southeast Europe. This beautiful country occupies the eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula.
Bulgaria’s neighbors are: Romania in the north, Republic of Serbia and Republic of Macedonia in the west, the Black Sea in the east, Turkey’s European part in southeast and Greece to the south.
Relief - Considering the fact that Bulgaria includes vast lowlands, planes, low hills, high and low mountains, valleys, river basins and deep gorges, we can say that it is quite a diverse country. The formation of such surface structures took place in different geological eras. 470 m would be the average altitude in this country. The Danubian Hilly Plane, which is the biggest in the country, is located in the northernmost part of Bulgaria, to the south of the Danube River. Between the Belogradchik Pass and Cape Emine, we can find the mountaing range of StaraPlanina. Sofia Valley and the Southern Balkan Valley are its southern neighbors. The Troyan-Kalofer Mountain – Botev Valleys holds the highest elevation at 2376 m. the Sredna Gora Mountains can be found to the south of StaraPlanina. 1604 m is practically the highest point here, called Golyam Bogdan Peak. The highest on the Balkan Peninsula are the Rila Mountains and the Rho. They include the Rhodopes, the Rila Mountaines, Pirin and the mountain group of Osogovo-Belasitsa. These mountains offer an incredible alpine view due to the sharp rocky peaks. In the regions of Trigrad, Velingrad, Dobrostan, Peshtera and Arda, you will find numerous Karts formations. Wide beaches outline the Black Sea Coast, which is located in the eastern part of the Country. Nearly 130 km of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast are occupied by beaches. The longest one is the Kamchiya-Shkorpilotsi Beach Line.
Climate - Bulgaria has a temperate continental climate that includes 4 seasons.
In the southern regions of the country, people can experience a Mediterranean influence. 10.5 degrees Celsius would be the average annual temperature.
0 degrees Celsius would be the average temperature in the first month of the year.
In rare occasions, the temperatures may go over 30 degrees Celsius in the summer period.
History - The name of this country was given to it in 681, when the Bulgarian state was founded on the modern-day territory of Europe. Here are practically the most important dates and events in this country’s history:
885 - The Slavonic script was created by Cyril and Methodius
864 - 886 - The country adopted Christianity
1018 - 1185 - The country fell within the limits of Byzantine Empire and Rule
1185 - The Bulgarian state is restored
1396 - 1878 - The Turkish Yoke rules Bulgaria
1878 - 1944 - This country was declared a constitutional monarchy
1944 - 1989 - Governed by the communist party, Bulgaria was a people’s republic.
Bulgaria is currently a parliamentary republic since 10th of November, 1989.
The country has joined the European Union in January 2010
Population - a research conducted in 2015 showed a population of 7,179,132. The vast majority of people are Bulgars. Howeve, we can also find minorities of Turks, Gypsies, and Macedonians. The most used language in this country is of course Bulgarian.
Official language - Besides Bulgarian, Russian is also a popular language, especially in the big cities. The alphabet used is Cyrillic. Roman letters are used for signs in international motorways, airports and resorts.
Religion - nearly 87% of the population are Eastern Orthodox, with 13% Muslims. The Patriarch leads the Bulgarian Church, which is autonomous.
State government - the form of government in this country is of people’s democracy. When we talk about sex, nationality, race, religion, education, occupation, social and material status, each and every citizen in this country is equal. The new Constitution of Republic of Bulgaria was approved in 1991. Free democratic elections are made to elect the Members of the Parliament.
Economy - the country’s economy is the 55th freest in the 2015 Index, with an economic freedom score of 66.8. The improvements made in freedom, freedom from corruption, and monetary freedom has made it possible for a 1.1 points growth in this overall score. This score is below the regional average, but what’s also important to know is that it is above the world average.
The economic freedom in Bulgaria has progressed with approximately 2.0 points over the past 5 years. This growth was possible due to improvements in the fiscal outlook, lower perceptions of corruption and a lower inflation rate. The main gains were noted in 6 of the 10 important aspects, with the most important being the investment and monetary freedom, which have produced a growth of 10 and 7.7 points respectively.
Reform is required in order to accomplish broad-based economic freedom and growth, even though Bulgaria has taken the necessary steps to control budget deficits and public debt more effectively. To improve the foundations of economic freedom and ensure progress toward greater prosperity, it is important for institutional reforms to express judicial independence and handle corruption.
Capital - Sofia (pop about 1.200.000)
Important Cities - Plovdiv, Varna, Bourgas, Veliko Turnovo, Pleven
These are the steps involved in the process of purchasing a property in Bulgaria:
Find the right real estate in Bulgaria – analyze all the available data presenting all the offers for properties in Bulgaria and find the adequate option.
Real estate agencies can offer the proper assistance in finding a suitable property.
Apart from the mediation part, these agencies also provide assistance in the following steps until the final closing of the deal. They will also receive all the commissions for the services rendered on the transaction. The agency and the client will negotiate the amount of the commission, which is normally a percentage of the total sum of the transaction.
The Preliminary Sales Contract - a preliminary contract is normally signed within 30 days after paying the deposit. The entire set of details is included in the preliminary agreement: price, presentation of the property, administrative address of the property.
The following details are for off-plan properties: the finishing date for the property, square meters of the apartment; the information and documents of the person who is selling the property, conditions and terms of payment, method of payments by installments, the term of putting the building into exploitation (license for exploitation – Act 16); terms of drawing up the notary deed, the term for finished property (“filly furnished property” or BDS – Bulgarian State Standard), is there a management company to advertise and rent your property and how much it will cost.
Art. 19 of the OCA and art. 326 of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) must be considered when stating the legal framework of the preliminary contract. This contract should be done in writing for both purchase and sale of real estates. The clauses that normally individualize the transferable property, the price, the parties, the deadlines for the conclusion of the final contract in the form of a title deed are some examples of the terms and conditions that should be included in the final contract. Normally, the parties make an agreement that part of the sale price will be paid upon signing the preliminary contract, in most situations being of 10% of the final sale price. Each and every party involved in the preliminary contract has the right to file a claim to declare the contract final, according to Art. 19, para. 3 of the COA. In this situation, the final contract is viewed as concluded as from the enactment of the judgment. Jurisdiction will be appointed to the court at the location of the property. Normally, customers receive standard preliminary contracts from the real estate agencies. It is recommended to verify the contract with a lawyer that has experience in the real estate deals, considering the importance of the preliminary contract. When you sign the contract, you should have your lawyer with you. By doing this, you will reduce the risks of signing an unwanted contract.
Notary Deed – this is practically the official document of the property. In this part, the seller transfers ownership to the buyer after a payment of at least 90% of the total price. This document is drawn up by the local notary public in the presence of the buyer and the seller. The deed will be certified and registered with the Registry Agency by the notary public after the signing. You will need to wait a couple of days for the procedure to finish, and then you will obtain your document in possession of the property.
The parties should appear before the notary to sign the title deed so as to complete the formalities associated with the deal at the notary’s office.
Jurisdiction is granted for the notary public performing in the area where the property is located. The notary will check whether the property is situation of the area of their jurisdiction:
The identity, capacity and representative power of the persons appeared to him will be verified by the notary public.
The fact that there are no legal impediments to the transfer of the property is also verified by the notary.
The presented draft title deed should meet all the legal requirements and this must be ensured by the notary.
The fact that the seller is the actual owner of the property is also verified by the notary.
The parties must confirm their wills before the notary public after the notary reads out the contents of the draft title deed.
The notary public and the parties must sign the title deed.
A copy of the title deed should be provided by the notary.
The title deed will be presented in the registry office where the real state is located, by the notary, in the day of the performance of formalities in relation to the deal.
The rights of the buyer in case of future claims of third parties are ensured by the fact that the Judge of Registration will order the registration of the title deed with the Property Registry at the Registry Agency. The buyer can dispose of mortgages, rentals and other similar aspects since that moment.
Registering property at the tax administration – this document will come after the buyer receives permission to use the property. Registering the property at the tax office can happen after obtaining this document in case you buy a property during the construction stage.
Any individual who has recently bought a property, whether old or new construction, must file a tax declaration, levying an annual tax within two months of the performance of the formalities involved in the deal, according to the Local Taxes and Fees Act.
This tax declaration must be filed upon the acquisition of the property and the establishment of the right of use as well. The buyer must go to the Local Taxes and Fees Department at the municipality where the property is situation to file the declaration. The owner should wait to obtain use permit in order to declare the property within two months if he purchases the building at the stage of rough construction. In case this deadline is not met, the owner will suffer administrative and penal penalties. For people who are at the discretion of the penal authority, these penalties may range from BGN 10 to 400. The penalty will range from BGN 100 to 1000 in case the obligation for declaration of the property also applies to legal persons and in case of failure.
The deadline will be different if the property is inherited, due to the fact that it is pursuant to another provision of the law. The declaration should be filed six months in this scenario. The declaration of the inheritance tax will determine the same deadline. The rule which states that the declaration filed within the set deadline by 1 of the heirs applies for the declarations of the inheritance tax as well. The fine will range from BGN 10 to 500 in case the heirs, legatees, or their legal representative fail to file a declaration.
Also the tax declaration should be filed in case of modifications in the property that may lead to modifications in the amount of the tax. As an example, luxury renovations, major rehabilitation or modifications in the intended usage of the property – from a family property to a business location, from primary housing to any other type of housing and so on.
An authorized person has to declare the property. A separate declaration must be filed for each property.
Important documents for individuals to declare a real estate:
Declaration pursuant to Art. 14 of the Local Taxes and Fees Act (LTFA);
Document of ownership /copy/;
Use permit or certificate of commissioning /in the case of new construction/;
Certificate of Inheritance /in case of inheritance/;
Decision of the Territorial Expert Medical Commission /in case of primary housing/;
Power of Attorney /when the declaration is filed by an authorized person/.
II. Necessary documents for the declaration of a real estate by legal entities:
Declaration pursuant to Art. 17 of the LTFA /if the property is not residential/;
Declaration pursuant to Art. 14 of the LTFA;
Document of ownership /copy/;
Use permit or certificate of commissioning /in the case of new construction/;
Power of Attorney /when the declaration is filed by an authorized person/.
Document of ownership of the property - the seller and all the previous title deeds are legitimized through this document. Popular ownership documents:
- Title Deed - Registered with the Registry Agency. This document is classified in the following categories: title deed for donation, for exchange, notarized statement of ascertainment, and for purchase and sale.
- Deed, holding the records for its registration.
- Done under the Ordinance on State - Owned Properties, another popular document would be the Sales Contract.
- Done under the Municipal Property Act and the State - Owned Public or Municipal Real Estate Act is another Sales Contract. These sales contracts must be registered at the Registry Office if done after 1 June 1996.
Certificate of Tax Evaluation of the property – released by the tax office in the city where the property is located. This document must have the exact same address with the address of the property according to the title deed. If it does not respect this condition, it is mandatory for the respective administration to issue a Certificate of Identity of Addresses.
It is mandatory for all co-owners of the property to be listed on The Certificate of Tax Evaluation.
The Certificate of Tax Evaluation of the property must point out that all co-owners should have no outstanding obligations regarding the property.
Certificate of Marital Status - this should belong to the seller or sellers and should highlight the marital status of the owner as of the date of acquisition of the property. This document is released by the ESGRAON department associated with the district of domicile of the owner.
In case the seller is married, you will need a Certificate of Marriage
The property would not be considered MPC in case it was not acquired during marriage. However, in case it is the registered address of the spouse, a statement has to be filed as per Art.26 of the Family Code highlighting the consent of the spouse to the sale. This situation is also available in case the property has be acquired through inheritance, donation, and other actions other than MPC.
The user needs to abandon the actual right created in their favor to perform the sale transaction in case the real rights are registered for the property. This is done by filing a statement for waiver of the right of use. The statement should be done at the notary’s office and is it can be registered. An excerpt of the Death Certificate has to be submitted in case the user is deceased.
The respective document in case the property is subject to partition.
In case of transfer of land, it is important to obtain sketch of the property. This can be obtained from the technical service in the district where the property is located and is available for half a year.
Certificate of Inheritance, Death Certificate of the ancestor in case the property was received as inheritance.
The court judgment for the dissolution of the marriage in divorce should also be presented in case the seller or sellers are divorced.
Various documents tracing the history of the property and proving the right of ownership are needed in some cases.
You also need a Certificate of Encumbrances on the property, from the initial title deed to the last one, which is released by the Registry Agency, enclosing all documents of the ownership. A sketch of the property should also be enclosed in case the property includes lands or parts of land.
The seller has the legal power to authorize a third person to represent him/her through a Power of Attorney in case he/she can’t reach the meeting for the deal in person. The representation rights granted by the authorizer to the authorized must be clearly described through this Power of Attorney. This document needs to be notarized with certification of the signatures affixed and the content of the document. It also needs to enclose a notarized declaration under art.25, para.7 of the Notaries and Notarial Practice Act (NNPA) and also a declaration under art.264, para.1 of the Tax-Insurance Procedure Code (TIPC).
All kinds of documents that individualize the buyer and the seller, including the identity document.
Corresponding documents from the builder/investor in case the deal concerns the transfer of a property in a newly constructed building. These include architectural design, distribution of land, building permits and so on.
Other types of documents associated with the type of deal. It is always advised that the documents on the transaction kept by both parties to be checked by your lawyer, considering the big diversity of options.