We bought a house in Bulgaria. You can too!

After a decade out of the UK, four years in Australia, two years in France and four years travelling the globe nomadically, we bought a house. The last thing nomadic people do is buy a house, right? We decided that with all the Brexit uncertainty, the time was right to have a European base. If you’re wanting to look for a house, buy a house in Bulgaria or renovate a house in Bulgaria, we’ve written loads of posts to help you out.

Bulgaria

Getting the keys to our new house in Bulgaria

Which countries did we consider buying in?

In 2016, we started considering moving to the Canary Isles and buying a Finca but we decided it would be too restrictive and isolating and so a plan to buy something was cast aside.

In the back of our minds when we travelled to a new country was the question ‘Can we live here?‘ and at various points, over the last years, we discussed whether we should buy or just carry on travelling.

Some of the countries we considered were: Portugal, Romania, Guatemala, Mexico, Spain, The Philippines, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Montenegro and Croatia.

Why those countries? Well, they needed to be warm, cheap, have lax planning conditions and possibly have a double taxation agreement with the UK or a very easy tax system to navigate.

Bulgaria

One of the barns

The nightmare that is Brexit

I won’t go into too many details about Brexit but I think it’s a really stupid idea. The EU is in no way perfect but it is definitely in the UK’s best interests to remain part of it.

Now, because of our inept government and their complete inability to negotiate over the years, we (as British passport holders) have faced an enormous quandary. Do we risk everything on the hope that Brexit will die a painful death  or do we have a back-up plan to protect us if the UK leaves the EU with no deal?

A no-deal Brexit has been a serious possibility and with that in mind, we started to really think about our kids’ futures and try and wangle some sort of EU residency permit & plan.

Bulgaria

Our Bulgarian house

Why are you buying a house in Bulgaria?

A little while ago our youngest daughter said ‘I don’t want to travel anymore.  It transpired, much to my relief, that she actually LOVES travelling and she ADORES what we’re doing but she hates the flying and not spending long enough in places to make friends!

So, why Bulgaria? Very simply, bang for buck we can get much more land than any other country and it’s pretty cheap to live there too. Our yearly council tax is roughly £15.

Bulgaria

One of the barns

We purchased a house in Bulgaria with a lot of land

We have plans to grow fruit and veggies, have a fruit tree orchard, install a pool, build a yoga pod and see if we can get back to nature and find some of our roots.

We managed to buy a small two-bedroom house with four barns and outbuildings and roughly 3,000 sq/m of land.  This will be the fourth house that we’ve renovated and we could see immediately that it had a huge amount of potential. However, that potential is personal and you should never buy a house in Bulgaria purely for financial investment as you will more than likely lose a lot of money.

Bulgaria

Our Bulgarian Dream

The house needs a lot of renovation

The house needs a lot of work. There isn’t anything that doesn’t need doing. Oh except the windows but every room needs total renovation.

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The house

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The first barn

So, the big question. How much did a house in Bulgaria cost?

So far we’ve paid less than £11,000 for the house + land, agent, translator and the notary fees and taxes.

We estimate over time there’ll be about £30,000 worth of renovations. You should allow somewhere between £20-50,000 depending on the size of the house.

These renovations include; a total re-wire; a septic tank installation; a wood-fired furnace for water and heating; an internal staircase; new bathroom and kitchen; new floors and tiling; radiators… You name it and it probably needs doing.

At some point next year we’ll start renovating the barns into a large living space, a study and home-school room and the fourth barn will probably be a storage area.

A well is somewhere to be found in the garden and will probably need a pump and housing to make it safe. There’s lots of work.

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Our youngest in the courtyard

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We made a start on the weeding!

What does a house in Bulgaria get you?

A house gets us a European residency card, we remain EU citizens, another bank account (you can never have too many), a proper address and somewhere we can crash and chill in between travels.

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Starting on the garden

Want to know how we did it?

Read our other relevant posts on this:

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Burning weeds


Fancy buying a house in Bulgaria?

If you fancy staying in Bulgaria and looking for your own house, have a look at where you could stay.


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