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General questions

Where is Bulgaria?

Bulgaria is located on the Balkan Peninsula and covers an area of approximately 42,800 square miles. The country is surrounded by the Black Sea to the east, Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west and Greece and Turkey to the south. The resort of Obzor is situated on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria.


Which airlines fly to Bulgaria?

Six airlines operate regular flights from major UK airports to Bulgaria: British Airways, Air Bulgaria, Austrian Airways, Wizz, Alitalia and Lufthansa. During the summer months, major tour operators such as Thomson, Airtours and First Choice offer holidays to Bulgaria.


 

What is the climate in Bulgaria?

Bulgaria is a year-round destination, enjoying hot summers from May to October, with temperatures often reaching into the mid thirties. On the Black Sea coast, during the summer months average air and sea temperatures are usually 25ºC and 22ºC respectively. There are more than 1,700 hours of sunshine between May and October. Rainfall is low and the beaches are clean with eight EU blue flags. Bulgaria's mountains and lakes offer endless outdoor pursuits and some fantastic landscapes.


What is the population of Bulgaria?

Bulgaria has an approximate population of 8.5 million. (Source: Bulgarian Embassy in London 04.06.)


What is the political climate of Bulgaria?

Part of the Ottoman empire for around 500 years and then a satellite of the former Soviet Union for nearly half a century, Bulgaria succeeded in integrating into western alliances when it became a NATO member in March 2004. November 10, 1989 marked the beginning of the democratic changes in Bulgaria. In 1990 Zhelyu Zhelev became the first democratically elected President of Bulgaria. In 1991 a new constitution was adopted, the political parties were restored, and privatisation and restitution of the land started. Bulgaria joined the EU on January 1, 2007.


How has the Bulgarian property market performed?

Wage inflation, growing prosperity and increased access to less constrained mortgage finance, with a combination of catch-up, investment activity, second- home interest, and slow but sustained economic growth have all helped to underpin very strong price growth in Bulgaria*. The numbers of construction permits issued in Varna and Burgas increased by 50% and 57% from 2004 to 2005**.

(*Source: Knight Frank Prime International Residential Index.)
(**Source: Colliers International report.)


When is the yooBulgaria>Obzor development expected to be complete?

Phase 1 of yooBulgaria>Obzor is now complete and ready for occupation
Phase 2 of yooBulgaria>Obzor is due to start in Q1 2011 and is scheduled to be completed in Q3 2012.


How big is the development?

There will be 257 units in Phase 1 at yooBulgaria>Obzor with provisions for commercial space.
Phase 2 consists of 82 units.


What types of apartments are available?

Studios and one, two and three-bedroom units are available plus limited premium apartments. Most benefit from large terraces, all have sea views, and garden apartments are also available.
Units available in Phase2 are 1,2,3 bedroom and premium 2-storey penthouses.


Do the apartments come furnished?

A standard finish is part of the base build. Furniture collections are available as an option with a choice of two styles, Glow or Dusk.


Who is behind yooBulgaria?

The three companies behind the yooBulgaria brand are:

YOO
YOO Having co-founded the Manhattan Loft Corporation, which transformed London urban living in the 1990s with its regenerated loft spaces, property developer John Hitchcox formed YOO in 2000 with the world's most celebrated designer, Philippe Starck. Since then YOO has continually raised the bar for contemporary design and electrifyingly redefined the simple word 'home' in award-winning schemes around the world.

Unique Developments
The talents behind the yooBulgaria scheme are brought together by Unique Developments. Combining an invaluable wealth of experience operating in Bulgaria and being one of its most important future investors, Unique Developments was quick to foresee that Bulgaria's prospects would surge ahead. The company is also committed to continuing investment in the country and to adding something special to the unique context of the Black Sea coast.
www.unique-developments.co.uk

Diamond Schmitt Architects
Diamond Schmitt Architects, established in 1975, is considered one of the finest international architectural firms, with over 100 worldwide design awards. Based in Toronto, Canada, the practice has a global reach with services provided in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and throughout North America. Their diverse range of building types includes performing arts, academic, healthcare, research, athletics, recreation and residential developments. Annual volume of projects designed exceeds $1billion. www.dsai.ca


Finance

What is the currency in Bulgaria?

Bulgaria's national currency is the Lev (BGN). 1 Lev = 100 stotinki. The current exchange rate is approximately £1 sterling = 1.00 GBP = 2.62303 BGN Lev. Notes are in denominations of BGN50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are in denominations of 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 stotinki. (Source: XE.com 28.04 and World Travel Guide 06.06)


Is the Bulgarian currency tied to the Euro?

The Lev is tied to the Euro at a fixed rate: 1 Euro = BGN1.964. (Source: OANDA.com 09.06.)


What currency must payment be made in?

All property purchases are made in Euros. Deposits can be taken in Pounds Sterling.


Do purchasers need a Bulgarian bank account?

A Bulgarian bank account is not required to purchase a property. The developer must receive the funds, for example by bank transfer from the UK in Euros, to enable the purchase to be properly notarised.
For Phase 2 a Bulgarian bank account is not required for completion but the purchaser will find that if they open an account it will make utility bill payment a lot easier.


What is the payment structure?

Phase 1: The payment structure is as follows: Only 2.5% deposit, 27.5% on Exchange, and 70% on completion (28 days after exchange).

Phase 2: The Preliminary Contract is entered into by the vendor and the purchaser and in doing so the requisite unit or apartment shall be reserved. On the signing of the Preliminary Contract 27.5% of the purchase price is payable to the vendor. Once the Act 14 Certificate has been issued a further payment of 30% will be made by the purchaser to the vendor. The remaining 40% will be paid, 20% on the issuing of the Act 15 Certificate and the final 20% once the development has been granted the Act 16 Certificate.


Is it possible to buy more than one unit?

Yes, there are no restrictions to the number of units you can purchase.


Can the property be rented out once it has been purchased?

Yes.




What are the facilities available?

Facilities available at yooBulgaria>Obzor will include 4 pools in Phase 1 with an additional 2 pools in Phase 2 once completed and a fitness centre plus provision for a range of shops, bars and restaurants.




Is there a management charge?

Yes there is a management charge which is at present just under 12EUR per m2. The management charge is reviewed on an annual basis, this review takes place in January


Is is possible to obtain a mortgage?

You can apply for a Bulgarian mortgage, which may cover up to 70% of the purchase price subject to status. The outstanding 30% will have to be provided by the purchaser.


Can the unit be sold at any given time?

Once completion has taken place, you can sell your apartment at any time.


How are bills paid in one's absence?

Bills can be paid by bank transfer.


How does membership of the EU affects one's finances in bulgaria?

Now Bulgaria has joined the EU it should be easier to arrange your finance, as you should be able to borrow from many of the EU banks against your property in Bulgaria.


Taxation


What is the taxation position for a UK purchaser in Bulgaria?

The owner is liable to pay tax on all income they receive from the property. There is a taxation treaty between the two countries so any tax paid in Bulgaria will be taken into account. Purchasers are advised to seek independent tax advice.


Do any countries have taxation treaties with Bulgaria?

Yes, a large number of European Countries have double taxation agreements with Bulgaria including the UK, France, Germany, Russia, Bulgaria, Portugal and The Netherlands.


What is the rate of tax on income derived from the rental of one's property and is it deducted at source?

If you are not a Bulgarian resident you pay a flat rate of 15% tax on the taxable profit. You must also consider any additional tax payable in your country of residence based on your worldwide income.


What is the rate of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) in bulgaria for UK investors?

If you are not a Bulgarian resident the rate of CGT is 15% paid on the difference between the purchase and selling prices of the property.


Is there an annual property tax?

All property owners pay an annual fee of 0.15% of the property's capital value in Bulgaria. Any profits are taxed at a flat rate of 15% (CGT).


Do you have to make an alternative will?

Yes, your solicitor may recommend you making a Bulgarian Will. A Will in England may be valid but it may not override legislation that exists in Bulgaria for the distribution of assets in a deceased estate.


Legal

Are the units sold freehold?

All units are commonhold, as the Bulgarian Government does not recognise leasehold at the present time.


Are there any guarantees for late delivery of the unit?

Yes, the preliminary contract has a clause that will compensate a buyer for late completion of a unit.


Is there a warranty available on the units?

Warranty Period for Obzor Phase 2.
Please find below a description of the warranty periods that will cover Phase 2 of our development in Obzor.

Building: The building will be covered by a 10 year warranty this cover will start from the time that the Act 16 Certificate has been issued by the Municipality.

Hydro and Thermal Works: These will be covered for a period of 5 years, which will start from the time that the development has been granted the Act 16 Certificate by the Municipality.

Finishing Works: These items will be covered for a period of between 3 and 5 years and include floors, wall coverings, windows, and carpentry, the cover will start once the development has been issued with the Act 16 Certificate from the Municipality.

Kitchen and White Goods: These will be covered for a period of 2 years, which will start once the final payment has been made to the developer by the purchaser. The term White Goods covers the following (oven, hob, extractor, washing machine, fridge/ fridge- freezer, and any additional electrical items purchased from the developer).


What are the costs and processes associated with land cost and registry?

Please see the buyer's guide on the company website or contact your solicitor for legal advice.


Is there an independent law firm that specialises in Bulgarian Real Estate and can be suggested?

Yes: Young & Lee Solicitors, The Wharf, Bridge Street, Birmingham B1 2JS. Tel: 0121 633 3233


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