Relocating to Smolyan province

I'm considering relocating to Smolyan province (or elsewhere in Rhodope) on a full-time basis. I've spent about a month in Buglaria in 2016 driving around nearly the entire country so at least I know generally how things are, and I've searched through some of the posts here but it looks like some of the information is outdated by now.

1.) I read here that you should plan on offering 30-40% less than the asking price on real estate. Is that still the case? Coming from a country where you usually end up paying *more* than the asking price, this is still hard to wrap my head around ;)

2) Are there any agents I should specifically try to use/avoid in this region?

3) How is the internet availability? An agent sent me links to some ISPs and when I input the village (in this case, Povdis), I'm getting offers for speeds up to 100Mbs.

Hi there,

Good choice .... if you happen to like mountain areas. And directly to your questions:

1. Re: "I read here that you should plan on offering 30-40% less than the asking price on real estate. "
You can bargain as much as the situation allows it. But I would adwise on hiring a good real estate agent and relying on that. Otherwise you can never know if the price has been increased by 30 % right before announcing it to you or not, which can ruin the deal for a good property.

2. Re: " Are there any agents I should specifically try to use/avoid in this region? "  probably YES. But you cannot find a list of these. Better write the name of the agent you have selected and ask if anyone has had experience. Besides, you are definately not tied to an agent/agency from that region ..... almost all big agencies offer properties throughout the country.

3. Re: Internet - well there will be mobile internet by at least trhee companies - A1, Vivacom and Telenor. In addition probably MaxxTelecom, and quite possible some cable operators. Better check it for yourself and see if the speed is o.k. for you. That can be arranged from a distance too.

In smolyan region outside the cities only properties close to  main roads have access to fiber but you can pay for adsl connections installations in more developped villages. Wide spread is very cheap home 4G LTE with wifi router. If you are looking for rural there are few satellite internet solutions awailable.

About the house prices all boils down to who is advertising them. In Smolyan region real estate agencies are mostly focused on  ski properties. In those case or foreign owned properties you will end paying the price they are asking or 5/10% max less.
Outside that the asking price is usually 30 to 50% higher. Not to say that when a foreigner is the one asking, the price increase 10 folds. That's why is not always a good solution to deal yourself with owners and agencies.
You really need to know the value of properties in the area to navigate trough offers.

I live in Turyan and will be there in march. let me know if your around.

Looks like we're really going to be moving forward with this!!! After looking at possibly ever listing in the oblast, it seems asking prices are quite similar on different websites (English vs Bulgarian) and most properties are priced predictably, with just a few (apparently) great deals and also some deluded prices on the high end... ;)

To refine my earlier questions a little bit:

1. Does anyone have experience with INPRO 2002 LTD (http://stara-planina.com) or GEOS IMOTI Ltd?
2. Any recommendations for a decent lawyer in the region?
3. If I have the option to work with the seller directly, is there any real benefit to using an agency?

and 4. Does anyone have experience getting a Bulgarian mortgage? Looking at the neighborhood of 50k.

Looking for an estate agent? I can recommend 'OK Bulgaria'. speak to Val or Stanimir. We have bought property through them and the service and follow up are  brilliant. They will organize all the paperwork, help you with bank accounts. We assigned power of attorney to them when we finalising the purchases.
Good luck its a beautiful place to live.
John

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