Procedure for buying a property in Bulgaria
GENERAL INFORMATION AND RESTRICTIONS
Bulgarian law allows foreign persons to buy property in the country but with some limitations. All foreign natural or legal persons can buy apartments in Bulgaria on their own names, provided that the apartments don't come with ideal parts of the land on which the apartments were built. Most of the apartments for sale in Bulgaria are sold without land, so we may say that in most of the cases you are able to buy an apartment without any limitations, no matter which country you come from.
When buying a house with a garden or a plot of land you must know that land cannot be sold to foreign persons and can only be bought by registering a Bulgarian company on the name of this company.
Important notice: Exceptions to this rule are applicable to EU physical and legal persons. They are allowed to buy houses with gardens and regulated plots of land in Bulgaria on their own names. This applies to all plots that are within the zoning of the settlements, apartments coming with ideal parts of the land, offices and other commercial properties. The same regulation applies for citizens of countries from the European Economic Area (EEA).
For all other foreign persons who are not citizens of EU or EEA countries, including the UK after Brexit on 1.01.2021, the overall restriction to buy land in Bulgaria is still valid, which means that they need to register a Bulgarian company.
Read more about buying agricultural land in Bulgaria
STEP-BY-STEP BUYING PROCEDURE
▪ To begin with, browse through our website and find the property/properties which you like. After that contact the estate agent responsible for the listings and they will advise you on any issue related to buying a property in Bulgaria and will tell you what you want to know about Bulgaria. All this will help you navigate through the great number of offers on the site.
▪ Then choose the date of your viewing trip to Bulgaria so that you can see the properties you chose. We are always ready to help you organize your trip to Bulgaria.
For your convenience and due to travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are able to organise virtual viewings online over Skype or other video chatting services. Contact the agent and request this service.
▪ In Bulgaria you will be met by one of our colleagues who will show you around the properties you wish to view, will answer all your questions and will help you choose.
After you have made your choice the purchase process starts. It consists of the following steps:
1. The chosen property needs to be reserved and taken off the market. After the unit is selected as a rule the buyer has to pay a deposit to the amount of 2,000 EUR. Only after that will the property be marked as reserved on the site and will be no longer available for sale.
2. After paying the deposit a preliminary agreement with the owner is signed within 30 days. The agreement settles the basic conditions which will later be copied to the Notary Deed. The conditions include a description of the property, the price, conditions and terms of payment, and for off-plan properties – the term for finishing the property.
3. Drawing up of the Notary Deed (Title Deed) which is considered the legal document certifying the ownership of the property. It is drawn up by the local notary public in the presence of the buyer and the seller.
4. The notary public certifies the deed and registers it with the Registry Agency and from that moment the ownership is transferred to the buyer.
5. Only for legal persons: a week after receiving the Notary Deed the lawyers of BULGARIAN PROPERTIES enter the legal person - buyer of the property - in the system of the Bulgarian National Statistics Institute. The property owner (legal person) will then receive a card with a unique number (EIK number) under which all issues related to the property will be accounted. The registration of the property in the tax office is automatic when the ownership is transferred.
PROPERTY TAXES AND OTHER EXPENSES
After buying a property in Bulgaria as an owner you must start paying annual property taxes. There are usually two property taxes to be paid: property tax and garbage collection, which are paid at the local municipality.
You will also have to pay their monthly utility bills.
If you bought a property in a gated development, you will also probably have to pay fees for security, maintenance, management, etc. called maintenance fee. It is paid annually in most of the vacation complexes and monthly in the cities.