Real estate in Bulgaria for Ukrainians
One of the most frequent requests to Bulgarian real estate agencies in 2022-2023 was whether it is possible for a Ukrainian to buy an apartment in Bulgaria and what to pay attention to. Apart Estate agency offers professional assistance in the selection and purchase of real estate in Bulgaria for citizens of Ukraine. In this article, we will try to answer the most common questions regarding the acquisition of real estate in Bulgaria by a Ukrainian citizen.
Is it possible to buy an apartment in Bulgaria for a Ukrainian; what documents are required
You can find a wide range of real estate in Bulgaria. A citizen of Ukraine can purchase any type of property in Bulgaria. You can buy an apartment by the sea or in the mountains.
There are always spacious studio apartments, one- and two-bedroom flats available for sale.
The only property type the foreigners can’t buy in Bulgaria is land. However, this problem can be solved if your legal entity buys land (our agency assists in this matter) or if a buyer signs a really long-term lease agreement with the owner of the plot for a nominal fee.
A citizen of Ukraine (as well as other foreigners) can buy property in Bulgaria even without being personally present at the transaction, i.e. remotely (issuing a Letter of Attorney).
The list of documents necessary for a citizen of Ukraine to sign an apartment purchase transaction at a notary includes:
- Valid passport;
- Declaration of marital status;
- Completed declaration of origin of funds.
Where in Bulgaria citizens of Ukraine buy property most often
Our Ukrainian clients who have chosen Bulgaria to move for permanent residence are often interested in which city in Bulgaria is the best for living, and also where there are the most Ukrainians in Bulgaria.
Answering the first question, it should be mentioned that for many years, Burgas has held the title of the best city to live in Bulgaria.
The second question’s answer – citizens of Ukraine buy more and more property in Bulgaria. Recently, they became more interested in real estate located not only on the coast, but also in big cities. Apartments in Burgas, Nessebar, flats in good residential complexes in Sunny Beach, as well as cottages offered by the Apart Estate agency in the suburbs of Burgas, the villages of Kamenar, Medovo, and Marinka, townhouses in Pomorie and St. Vlas are perfect for permanent residence in Bulgaria.
Seeing a beautifully crafted ad for an apartment in Bulgaria is one thing. Another thing is to choose high-quality real estate and conclude a deal, taking into account all the hidden issues.
Apart Estate will help Ukrainians to deal with the peculiarities of acquiring real estate in Bulgaria.
Advantages of buying real estate in Bulgaria for a citizen of Ukraine
Citizens of Ukraine who have moved to Bulgaria and plan to live here permanently often face the question whether it is worth buying an apartment or house in this country.
There are at least two key reasons which can help avoid doubts.
Firstly, real estate is a great investment, especially if you are planning to buy an apartment or cottage by the sea. You can not only live in your new apartment, but also rent it out, and if necessary, quickly sell it.
Secondly, buying property creates a sense of security and security.
The acquisition of Bulgarian real estate by Ukrainians has a number of advantages over similar offers in other European countries:
- The ability to quickly adapt and live comfortably in a cozy country where people speak a language close to Ukrainian.
- Relatively low costs for living. Depending on living habits and needs, the average monthly expenses are about 500 euros per person, excluding rental fees.
- Low real estate prices in comparison with other European countries. The cost per square meter depends on the property location. In Ravda and Sunny Beach, you can buy an apartment at a price of 800 euros /sq. m. When purchasing a flat in St. Vlas, the square meter will cost 1000 euros and more. Prices for apartments in buildings under construction in Burgas start at 800 euros. A square meter of a finished flat with furniture costs over 1,300 euros per sq. m.
- Opportunity to obtain a residence permit. The right to live in Bulgaria is granted to students of Bulgarian universities, pensioners with a stable income, representatives of foreign companies, investors, people with Bulgarian origin, as well as family members of Bulgarian citizens and persons with a residence permit.
- Developed infrastructure. Each city in Bulgaria has schools, playgrounds, banks, legal services, shops, private firms, and state enterprises. Highways are being built between major cities, making it easier to live and work in different places.
- Accessible environment for people with disabilities. There are social services to help children and adults. Schools are equipped with elevators. Ramps are being built in pharmacies, apartment buildings, banks.
- Quality inexpensive products, especially fruits, vegetables, and fish.
In addition, Bulgaria has a wonderful climate. If you have chosen to live by the sea, you will be able to fully enjoy the sunny summer, warm winter, and clean and vivid air.
What to pay attention to when buying an apartment
At Apart Estate, we will be happy if you decide to buy an apartment or cottage in Bulgaria. From our side, we will help you choose the best option.
Usually, a long and difficult process of searching the property takes place before the moment of signing the sales deal. A potential buyer is looking at studios, apartments, and townhouses and at some time everything gets very confused. We would like to offer you a kind of buying real estate checklist. It will help you mark important moments.
- The difference between an apartment in a residential complex and an apartment in an ordinary city building. Owners of real estate in a closed complex can use everything that is available on its territory. These are swimming pools and water slides, sports grounds, barbecue areas, security and video surveillance, as well as apartment rental services. For living in such a complex, you need to pay a maintenance fee. The amount depends on the volume of services provided and averages 10 euros /sq. m per year. Thus, having bought a one-bedroom apartment of 60 sq. m, you will have to pay 600 euros per year in addition to taxes. It should be noted that the management companies of some complexes insist on including the obligation to pay the support fee in the notarial deed.
- There is no good infrastructure in city buildings compared to the residential complexes. There is only a playground or a sports ground nearby. Still, property owners pay a symbolic support fee for cleaning entrances, changing light bulbs, and maintaining the elevator. It is 60-120 euros per year.
- When finishing a residential building, the developer is required to obtain a special permit. In Bulgaria it is called Act 16. The document confirms that the apartments can be used by the owners, and the building is safe and suitable for living. However, developers do not always obtain Act 16. In this case, a residential building or complex remains with Act 15. Because of this, apartment owners are forced to pay for electricity at industrial rates (2-3 times higher than usual). They face difficulties when registering real estate in tax authorities and can’t quickly sell the property. Apartments and houses without Act 16 are usually much cheaper.
- An important point when choosing a property is the price. It's good when the owners want to sell the flat cheaply, because they decided so or are in a hurry to get money. But a low price can also be a sign of low quality, for example, the presence of leaks and cracks. When choosing an apartment, pay attention to a fresh finishing in one of the rooms, or humid air.
- Terms of payment and mortgage. Foreigners have almost no chance of getting a bank loan in Bulgaria. If you do not have a full amount for buying an apartment, consider options in buildings under construction. Typically, developers offer installments until they receive Act 16.
- There is almost no chance to get payment terms from the retail market property owners.
- The area of the apartment. If you are told about a two-bedroom apartment of 150 sq. m or a studio apartment of 40 sq. m, you surely imagine a huge flat. However, be prepared that in reality it will turn out to be much smaller. The documents usually indicate the total area. It includes a living area, as well as common parts, for example, a balcony, part of the walls, and a corridor in the entrance. In residential complexes, common areas are usually large.
- The presence of all documents by the seller. This is a certificate of the absence of tax debt, a notarial act and an extract from the cadastre. Additionally, a certificate of the absence of encumbrances is provided.
There are many other things to consider when choosing a property. For example, buying a southern apartment, you will save on heating costs in winter, but in summer you will suffer from heat. The first floor is convenient because it is easy to climb, and prices are usually lower. But in winter it will be cold in the apartment. Flats with central heating are warm, but you will have to pay for the service all year round.
Key issues of signing a real estate sales deal
By some time you certainly have chosen an apartment and are ready to buy it. The usual procedure includes signing a preliminary contract, paying a deposit, preparing documents for the transaction (it is the seller’s responsibility), drawing up a contract (notarial deed) at the notary's office and paying the price in full.
After the deal, the notarial deed must be registered with the Real Estate Registration Agency, Water Supply Authority (VIK) and Electricity Authority (EVN).
Note that concluding the deal, the buyer pays not only the full price of the purchased apartment. There are additional payments that increase the cost:
- Tax on the purchase of real estate – the amount is determined by the administration of each locality separately. On average, it is 2-3% of the apartment price.
- The notary fee is calculated by the notary depending on the price of the transaction.
- The fee for preparing a notarial act is approximately 15 euros.
- The fee for entering the owner in the register corresponds to 0.1% of the property price.
- When buying an apartment under construction, an additional fee for its registration is paid. It is also 0.1% of the price.
Debts on taxes, maintenance fee, water, and electricity are paid by the former owner, unless otherwise agreed by the parties.
Bulgaria is a wonderful country for living. Citizens of Ukraine can buy high-quality, inexpensive real estate by the sea, in the mountains, and in the countryside. To ensure the safety of the purchase, it is better to contact a real estate agency. Apart Estate will always help you buy a studio apartment or a flat for living and renting out.