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Living in Bulgaria

Surprisingly low property prices and equally low wages are two prominent pros and cons when you consider living in Bulgaria. Let’s go trough both of those subjects.

Buying a house

In the early 21st century, property was cheap in Bulgaria and seen as a good investment. However, as the economy slumped, so did house prices, and it is at present difficult to sell houses. So, now you can buy a fine house, quite cheaply, if you intend to live in Bulgaria for at least some years. Whether you will be able to sell it when you are ready to, who can say? As a member of the EU you can buy houses with gardens and apartments with no legal restrictions. You are permitted to rent it out. You will need to employ a lawyer to look after your needs. Be sure you understand everything before you sign anything. You may need a translator. The process is usually as follows: Choose your Property – this may involve a viewing. Contact the estate agent – they should inform you about any issues relating to the property. Pay a deposit (1,000-2,000 euro) to reserve the property. Sign a preliminary agreement with the owner, within 30 days. This sets the terms and is the basis of the Notary Deed. The Notary Deed is drawn up by the notary in the presence of buyer and seller. The notary certifies the Deed and registers it with the Registry Office in the presence of the buyer and the seller. The lawyers enter you in the Bulgarian National Statistics Institute, you receive a card with your unique BULSTAT number. Within two weeks the property is registered by the lawyer and the tax office informed, you will have to start paying annual property tax and refuse collection tax, paid at the local government office. You can find several sites selling Bulgarian property, one that has good information is Bulgarian Properties but there are others.


Finding work can be difficult, especially for foreigners, as unemployment rates are high. Note that if you are unemployed, you may not qualify for Bulgarian social security benefits, but you may qualify for up to 2½ years’ UK help. Most local companies will give preference to native Bulgarians so your best chance of finding work is with a multinational company, especially if you already work for them in the UK, and they will deal with the administrative details for you. Without such opportunity you might struggle to make living in Bulgaria. You will need your continuous residency certificate – and a knowledge of Bulgarian is useful, although speaking a foreign language is an asset. The working week is 40 hours with 20+ days annual leave and 13 public holidays. You pay tax at 10%, deducted automatically from your pay. Don’t forget to check your UK tax and National Insurance position with HMRC to ensure that you are not losing any UK pension rights.

Articles about different aspects of Living in Bulgaria

Published By VanOne
Last updated on 12th August 2019

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