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So what do you really need to know?
There have been a few negative stories floating around in press and on TV, but as with all things most of these issues could have been easily curtailed with a little good advice and lots of homework. It is important to remember that you are dealing with an emerging market; by it's very nature not as predictable as currently stagnating Costa-del-everyman. Having said this it seems that these warning signs pertain to properties on Black Sea Coast rather than ski resorts. The ski season in Bansko is considerably longer than coastal season and mayor of Bansko is attempting to restrict Bansko to just 8000 beds, ensuring that region does not become overdeveloped and saturated.
Regardless of what you chose to do, it is very important to seek independent legal advice. No matter how seductive sales patter, you need to know that planning permission has been granted, land title ratified, and that there is no outstanding mortgage on land and so on.
Always be wary of developers who want you to agree to a different price on notary deed. This can adversely affect your capital gains tax when you come to sell.
Always enquire about added costs such as maintenance charges you might be expected to pay above and beyond purchase price and be aware that not all agents provide refundable deposits.
So is Bansko a good bet for future?
Yes. A long ski season is great for buy-to-let investors and it is already a proven, popular destination for skiers. Lots of money is being spent on improving infrastructure and facilities and with accession into EU for Bulgaria in 2007, significant capital growth can be expected. One of most important factors will be access and with several budget airlines currently looking to add Bulgaria to their list of destinations, property in Bulgaria, specifically Bansko, should enjoy a huge increase in demand.
If you're reading this then you're already using internet to research Bulgarian property investment issues. Another great way to figure out what's going on is to seek opinions of those who have already bought: Check out www.talkbansko.com
Emerging property markets are exciting and potentially very profitable. Just go in with your eyes open and armed with as much independent information as you can.
James Wittering is the marketing manager for Exclusive Properties International who help their clients to build investment property portfolios from all corners of the globe. They also have property for sale in Bulgaria.