30 Dec 2015
When you can pick up a lovely old Bulgarian village house for around 10,000 Euros, it is easy to get carried away. But you need to consider carefully just what renovations will be required, who and how you will get to do the work and most importantly, what the cost will likely be for renovating your new Bulgarian property.
When you purchase a cheap Bulgarian property there is usually no internal bathroom, no proper kitchen and the need for re-wiring, plumbing, plastering, new windows and doors and complete internal decoration. Very few cheap Bulgarian houses are habitable and many of the Bulgarian properties for sale have been empty for many years.
So first you need to consider the cost of renovating your Bulgarian property. You will need to install a septic tank and all the waste pipes and internal plumbing so you can have a toilet inside your Bulgarian house and not have to run down to the bottom of the garden to use the toilet. The wiring inside your new Bulgarian holiday home will probably be rather old and to be on the safe side (and to lower sockets from eye level to a more user friendly position) it would be best to get the Bulgarian property re-wired. New windows and doors are usually needed or at least some serious repair of the old wooden frames that most Bulgarian properties have.
Unless you are a builder yourself or a DIY expert then you are probably going to need some local assistance to source materials and do the renovations to your Bulgarian house. If you opt to use a Bulgarian builder to do some or all of the work, there are certain aspects you need to watch out for.
First you need to negotiate and put in writing a specific price for each job you want doing on your Bulgarian property, otherwise you will find the price suddenly doubles when it comes to paying. Then there is the actual work. When you get new windows put in your Bulgarian house, that is what you will get literally new plumbing PVC windows held in position with yellow expanding foam and no brick or plasterwork done around. And if you have the walls of your Bulgarian property re-plastered, you will simply have plasterboard nailed on top and no skimming layer of plaster put on before the paint is splashed on. Yes splashed on it never occurs to a Bulgarian worker to put masking tape around the edges of your nice new PVC windows or cover the glass to keep it clean. You will find you can hardly see out of the windows of your lovely new Bulgarian house as they are covered with paint and plaster!
And always keep in mind that there will be unforeseen costs in any renovation, unexpected complications, more work required than originally envisaged. You should always add at least 50% to any renovation quote for your Bulgarian property.
But all said and done, at the end of the day you can still buy a rural Bulgarian village house for 10,000 Euros, spend a further 15,000 Euros renovating it and finish with a lovely holiday home in Bulgaria or even a Bulgarian property for permanent living.