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Nice little secrets about Bulgaria

Discussion in 'Bulgaria Property' started by Jain and Chris, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. Jain and Chris

    Jain and Chris Senior Member

    OK all, I'm sick to death of reading rants and ravings about Bulgaria..

    Property developers and sales agents trying to pick holes with the other and the areas other people are selling and their products, moans and groans, people with the same ip address trying to post as someone else to help their own cause ............ all NOT to the benefit of visitors to this forum.

    I'm starting this thread about "Nice Little Secrets about Bulgaria".

    Woe and betide any of you who try to have a go at someone else in this thread. This is a positive thread and will remain so.

    This is not to say that everything in Bulgaria is good (it's not, and besides is anywhere all good) but let's have some positive feedback this time - less *****ing and whining, less tales of rip-offs (many of which are not entirely accurate and all of which occur everywhere in the world) and more about the positive aspects of the country and investing here.

    I'll start first:
    - Coast - there are many parts of the coastline which are not over-developed and will provide good purchases at a good price - properties which are front line.
    - Ski - Pamporovo seems to offer huge potential for a big hit and has always been popular with the locals (follow where the locals go for best investment potential!). Let alone Vitosha - just on the edge of Sofia and significantly under-rated.... ski all day then party in the evening on your doorstep.
    - Cities - Varna is pretty much the most Western-european town and how many places have you invested in which allow you to be working in the office one minute and the next on the beach with nobody around? Sofia, for sure a capital will attract investment and it is much under-valued compared with many EU cities. Rousse - one of the most architecturally interesting cities in Bulgaria, beautiful beautiful architecture with Parisien overtones and of course a river. Plovdiv - indeed has an old quarter which even Sofia cannot rival
    - Countryside - many towns and villages offering cheap houses in lovely countryside, just ripe if you want to not only to invest longer term but also want to get into eco and rural tourism potential.

    Best Kept Secrets :
    Museum Towns - beautifully preserved authentic houses which they are not building any more of - remember France years ago when you could buy a trad built stone house for so little money? Even better, choose a listed house in a museum town within an hour of an airport. Mostly being bought by rich Bulgarians from the coast and Sofia (do they know something you don't?), plus Russian buyers are highly active with these houses.

    New Golf Course just north of Sofia - being built by the Spanish Ferry Group. Close to Sofia so easy access and an area where the locals working in the capital buy all the time, thus supported by the local market.

    Ski - Vitosha (see above)

    Coast - top end villas detached and with private pool plus sea views. Again local wealthy Bulgarians are buying these, Belgiums and Russians too. Top location and top quality will always re-sell.

    Cost of Living - for those who want to spend time here, where else are you going to go down to the local corner shop in town and buy 2 bottles of wine (GOOD wine, not cheap muck), two loaves of hand made bread, a whole chicken, a kilo of best beef mince and a dozen eggs (real free range, mostly double-yolkers too) for just 6 BGN (3 euros to some and 2 quid to Brits).... oh, by the way, all whilst taking a pleasant coffee with the locals :) Don't knock this, I just did it today!

    Now, does anyone else have anything good to say and even a secret to share which is positive (without advertising please). Let's hope so :)

    All the best

    Jain and Chris
  2. Gerry Pridham

    Gerry Pridham New Member

    Hi Jain & Chris,

    Thanks for the positive post. I have a mild interest in Bulgaria, and last year on vacation in Syria, I visited the commercial attache in the Bulgarian Embassy, and was so pleasantly surprised that he took a long time to talk to me about the pros and cons of Bulgaria. Ultimately, my property interests in countries I am now investing have taken precedence, so unfortunately, it may be a while until I visit Bulgaria.

    But to add credence to what you say, I spent 11 years in Damascus as an oil company manager, and met my wife there. We have five property investments in Syria (a bit tough for most since only Arabic people can own property there, but my wife is a national, so that's OK).

    I do think that people really need to visit a country, more than once and more than for a 3 day inspection trip, before they decide to invest there. If you truly see yourself returning again and again, and you are patient not to buy up the first "new hot spot" property that is dished up in such eloquent gossy brochures, you will be satisfied with your investment regardless of whether or not it performs as per the glossies.

    I have a friend who, over the last five years, has accumulated 17 properties in 8 countries. I asked him whatever possessed him to want to diversify his portfolio to that extent, and how he is going to keep track of the tax reporting and arms length management of those properties. He did admit that he had to now consider consolidation. Had he mapped out his investment plans before going on the worldwide spending spree, he would have contained his investments to two, possibly three countries.

    So for anyone who concludes that they want a personal association with any foreign country, go for it. Investors just have to be careful not to spread themselves too thin.

  3. chrisc

    chrisc New Member

    Well, I have bought and sold apartments and land in and around Varna and have done generally quite well, and am even keeping 3 apartments for rental income.

    BG is definitely an area where one needs to go in with eyes wide open and not believe every piece of hype you hear. (I did once and am still holding on to a silly plot near Varna!) It is important to do your own due diligence, preferably via a lawyer or partners that you trust, never buy land that is "guaranteed get regulated next year", never believe rental guarantees, and in general buy only desirable front line properties. And then you cannot really go too far wrong, IMHO. BG is a country full of people who feed off the greed of other people, mainly foreigners, so it is important that you make the effort to research everything before you do a deal. It's all common sense, really, and I know for a fact that one can make quite serious money from investing in BG.
  4. thetravelbug

    thetravelbug Banned

    I would add Spa resorts. There are loads of them in Bulgaria.
    Just around where I live there is the Stara Zagora mineral spa area being developed with new hotels and great for a days relaxing by the pool and complete body massages for 30 levs (about 15 pounds!). There is also Pavel Banya, world reknowned for treatment fo various diseases and then just a couple fo minutes away from me is Yagoda, and while not yet developed, the old original baths are open for business and a great experience for those on holiday here. 2 levs for washing in hot mineral water and soaking in small, hot pool, with water deemed to be cure for all sorts.

  5. Georges

    Georges Banned

    Ski Schools

    In the same positive winter mood I'd mention the excellent opportunity to learn how to ski while living or vacationing in Bulgaria. This is not exactly a property related topic but one doesn't live on property alone...

    We have been taking our kids, ages 4 and 6, to Vitosha for two years now I only have good things to say about the ski schools at Aleko. The instructors are nice and competent and the instructed learn fast. No need to bet the farm neither (under 200 lv for 5 days including transportation and ski rental). You can't beat that. And they 'd teach old dads and moms as well. Personally I took skiing in my 30ies and everything else afterwards was a piece of cake.

    Your brand new forum fellow
  6. Jain and Chris

    Jain and Chris Senior Member

    Hi Georges

    Welcome on board and I agree, Vitosha is much under-rated as a ski destination... but I don't think it will remain like that for long. Great family skiing and right next to the city.
  7. Bansko MGM

    Bansko MGM New Member

    It's all good....

    This is an interesting forum, so hopefully I can contribute in a positive manner as requested!!!:)

    I find the country intriguing with it's rustic countryside, Mehanas, ancient monuments, and the beauty of mountains and shorelines.

    Let us not forget that it was Bulgarians who founded the first computer, invented the contraceptive pill, and gave the Cryllic language to the world.

    Sure it has pot-holed roads, red tape, and miserable service sometimes, but so did Sarasota, Florida when I lived there from 1981 to 1985.

    Bulgaria has made a lot of people very happy, and I'm convinced it will continue to do so for ages to come.

    Bansko MGM
  8. Jain and Chris

    Jain and Chris Senior Member

    Hello BanskoMGM

    Welcome. Yes, I agree, Bulgaria has made a lot of people very happy and it will certainly continue to do so.

    I sometimes think when I read the forums that many of the posters are in danger of spoiling things. This is a shame. Things can go wrong with property purchase anywhere in the world (and indeed they do). We sometimes forget the nice and good things Bulgaria has to offer and these should be promoted more fully.

    Your comment about Florida made me laugh :)

    All the very best
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