Real estate terminology in Bulgaria: what BDS means

When buying an apartment in a new building in Bulgaria, you can often see a description that it complies with BDS. This is an abbreviation that means Bulgarian State Standard. In this article, Apart Estate experts will try to give a detailed description of what BDS is, and why it is important to pay attention to this notion.

The state of Bulgaria has been the main regulator of the local construction market for a long time. It means that as a monopolist, it was responsible for types of real estate constructed, as well as for developing certain construction standards. All new buildings should have complied with these standards. To be more specific, we are talking about the Bulgarian state standard or BDS.

The availability of such a standard in legal documents determines the responsibility of developers for the quality of residential buildings. On the other hand, it gives buyers the right to demand that their property must be sold in a certain state without any faults and defects.

Today, however, more and more often you can hear that the Bulgarian state standard, or BDS, no longer exists.

It is not mentioned in current regulations. According to the Bulgarian Institute for Standardization, which, by the way, is a public organization, this standard became voluntary. The obligatory observance has become a thing of the past along with state regulation of the economy. Instead, now it is the market laws that regulate the real estate business and they open the door to competition and the opportunity to use new technologies originating from other countries which just can’t strictly comply with Bulgarian standards.

Still, buying an apartment from a developer in Bulgaria today, you can see that the construction documentation indicates that the property complies with the BDS. Not only that, developers mention it purposefully and successfully a s they want to indicate that their buildings are of really high quality and that they meet the reasonable requirements and expectations of buyers.

What does BDS include

If the documentation for the apartment indicates that it complies with the BDS, then in regular practice this means the following:

The common parts and the facade of the building are completely ready.

  • Plastic windows are installed. Usually there are no specific requirements for them, however, reliable developers indicate the main technical characteristics and follow them. Moreover, specific types of windows are installed in accordance with climatic features.
  • Entrance doors are installed. Typically, the developer does not install interior doors, as they are considered an element of the interior. It is better if the buyer chooses them according to his/ her taste afterwards. In addition, at the stage of transfer of apartments to buyers it is unknown which flooring will be used, and therefore it is difficult to predict its height.
  • Water supply and sewerage pipes are driven to the apartment.
  • Switches, sockets for electrical appliances, telephone, and internet, as well as base for lighting devices are mounted.
  • Walls of bathrooms made of moisture-resistant gypsum board are covered with cement putty, while brick walls are plastered.
  • Walls in all living premises are plastered and/or prepared for wallpaper or painting.
  • Floor covering is concrete screed.
  • The floor in balconies is covered with porcelain stoneware tiles.

In fact, the BDS corresponds to the concept of a rough finish. Together with Act 16, the buyer receives a flat or a studio apartment in Bulgaria, which requires final work and fine finishing.

This gives buyers a huge advantage – they can come up with some good ideas and implement an individual design, choose their own wallpaper, flooring, tiles, plumbing, and create an apartment of their dreams.

Another advantage of buying a BDS compliant apartment is the lower price. It may be more profitable as you can complete the repair yourself or delay it for some time.

For those who are not satisfied with the purchase of an apartment with a rough finish, developers are always ready to provide additional services, so you will get new property on a turnkey basis. This is an advantageous offer for investors who buy real estate to rent it out or for resale, as well as for those who want to quickly move into their new apartment.

Additional costs when buying an apartment complying to the BDS

So, you have received the long-awaited keys to an apartment in a new residential building. You open the doors and, as expected, you see an apartment that you still need to work on. If you haven't budgeted for finishing your flat, now is the time to do so.

In the near future, you will have to pay for the following works:

  • Floor leveling, preparation and laying laminate, parquet, linoleum, or porcelain stoneware tiles.
  • Additional alignment of walls and ceilings, painting, wallpapering, and mounting suspended ceilings.
  • Putting tiles in bathrooms and kitchen.
  • Installation of plumbing, boiler, and if desired – radiators and a fireplace.
  • Connecting chandeliers, switches, and changing the location of sockets.
  • Installation of interior doors.

The minimum cost for all these works in a one-bedroom apartment in Bulgaria today is 5 thousand euros. The maximum is limited only by your imagination. Additionally, you need to buy furniture, household appliances and interior items.
Apart Estate offers to buy apartments in new buildings in Bulgaria that meet the Bulgarian state standard (BDS), new flats and studio apartments, and resale properties. You can find the best offers in our catalog or get them by contacting us by phone, messenger or email.

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