It is a long time since I made an entry here on the blog but, I have just returned from Bulgaria and I'll start on a simple Blog with some info for people wishing to drive Sofia/Burgas or visa versa.
Just some idea of driving time.
I left centre of Burgas at 2.00PM last week and drove all the way to Nova Zagora where we stopped at ''Happy'' for a late lunch at 3.30PM. So, 1 and 1/2 hour drive so far. Left at 4.45PM.
We then got to the next extension of the motorway around Stara Zagora at approx 5.15PM and drove all the way to Sofia at the 120Km per hour and got to Sofia Airport at approx 7.00PM.
So, driving time has improved dramatically and really now the only holdup is the section of road between Karnovat to Stara Zagora.
It is a lovely drive and especially from Stara Zarogra down to Burgas. The EU money is starting to roll in and you can see new vineyards; peach trees and miles and miles or wheat fields.
It was a pleasure to see and it is only a matter of time before large farmers from all over Europe start to buy farms in Bulgaria. ( we sell farms BTW!!!).
The drive is a bit tiring but nothing that will take you more than a good night sleep to recover. No fear in the driving as the roads are good and the signposting has also improved dramatically. Lots of filling stations with coffee shops along the way and, at this time of year, many many fruit sellers on the road with produce direct from their fruit farms.
Just writing this up as sometimes people seem to fear the drive from Sofia to Burgas and back.
Just leave plenty of time and take 1 long and 1 short break on the journey.
I have just this week come back from a trip to Sunny Beach, Burgas, Chernmorets, Sozopol and further south to Primorsoko.
As our office is in Sunny Beach I spent most of my time there. People had told me that Sunny Beach was runied and was just turning into a concrete jungle and so, I was interested in finding out with my own eyes what the status was there.
My conclusions were as follows:
Sunny Beach is indeed turning into a developed resort and there are poor developments there.
My trip there consilidated our belief/strategy only to sell apartments as close to the beach as possible.
I personally cannot see value in apartments across the main Varna/Burgas road or close to it on the Sunny Beach side.
There is substantial work underway from the Nessebar/ Sunny Beach authorities to improve the look of the area. This is restricted now to the area either side of the road ( the inner road) that goes between Nessebar and Sunny Beach. Lots of tree/shrub planting with major improvements to footpaths.
Thankfully, the developments we are selling are looking well. I was impressed with Graneda with it's quirky style and also, Royal Dreams, as good a development you are likely to see.
In general then, development - yes; infrastructure improvement - yes; poor development - yes but, thankfully mainly away from this inner road.
I see prices on the increase as well and you would be well advised to avoid taxis altogether with som enow charging 3Lv and 4Lv a Km.
Food/beer prices also on the up but mainly along the seafront in Nessebar. The area is still great value and will continue to be so for many years.
We started life selling only in Sunny Beach and Sofia. I suppose you could say we were there at the beginning of the Sunny Beach development explosion. When we started only Bravo and Sunny Fort complexs were in development.
The situation has really changed and many people now consider Sunny Beach to be over developed.
Here are my views on the subject.
Sunny Beach has always been the most developed of all beach resorts in Bulgaria. It is the best piece of natural sweep of bay in Bulgaria and has always been popular.
The quesiton today is really, should a client buy there and where should the client buy.
Well, if you like the most developed beach resort in Bulgaria and the one with most amenities, and the one that attracts the largest number of tourists ( think rental), then, of course, yes is the answer. If you want a quiet resort that is not yet developed and can wait a number of years for rental return, then , also consider other resorts along the coast.
The problem you have is - prices in the less developed resorts may, in many cases, be the same price as Sunny Beach. Also, amenities and facilities in the up an coming resorts will take 5-7 years before they get to the same level, or even close to Sunny Beach.
Sunny Beach continues to be the best ''Beach Holiday'' resort in Bulgaria. Development is ongoing but, not as bad as people think. Look up around Elinite, for example on the problems of buying in an up and coming area and the lack of restautants/bars and general infrastructure in the area
Where to buy in Sunny Beach? Be careful and be very careful in your selection. In my own view, avoid anything more than 500 meters from the beach, unless you are buying just because it is a cheap apartment.
Apartments close to beach will, in the nxt couple of years have good resale potential. Why, I hear you ask?. Simply because to purchase apartment 100m or less from the beach in 2 years you will simply have to buy a resale apartment. All stock of new apartments in this crucial area will be dried up.
Our advice is - buy as close to the beach as you can. We always map the location of the development on the website so clients can see EXACTLY where the development will be. If the agent/developer you are looking at does not do this, then, ask for exact location map or go on inspection trip AND WALK to the beach from the development.
Buying in Sunny Beach is not rocket science. Know where the development is - how far from the beach- and map it. Then make a decision in light of the amenities/developer/location and your budget. Remember, do the basic research and only believe what you see in black and white. Please remember, apartments 1Km from the beach have almost no rental potenital as long as there are apartments to rent within 100m to the beach.
We still believe Sunny Beach will remain the top destination for Summer tourists over the coming years. Maybe not as important for owner occupiers but, certainly important for people with even half an eye to the rental market.
My name is Tom Fingleton and I am part of a wonderful team of people collectively known as ''buyinbulgaria''. We established buyinbulgaria in 2002, well before it was popular to sell Bulgarian property. I originally had a business interest in a small design company in Bulgaria and this got us started in Bulgaria. Buyinbulgaria came about as a direct result of the early business.
I cannot say, back in 2002, that it was success right off the bat. We work extremely hard on the few developments we had to offer and gradually, over time, built up our core team of developers and staff.
Thankfully, we still deal with most of the early developers and we have picked up some additional excellent forward looking developers over the subsequent few years.
Today, we are in the happy position of being at the forefront of offering top quality financially sound developments, mainly for investment, to our clients.
Early to market also offered the company the advantage of building a name in the market. We are known for our straight talking and opinionated advice. We make no apologies for this. We will advice clients and tell the client all the negatives of a development/ area in addition to the positives.
This has allowed us to build up a name, with developers and clients, as people who are knowledgeable and to still have the human touch. We still know all our clients and hope it continues this way.
I supposed we would consider ourselves to be more specialised - this is normally used by companies who never grow and stay small. Yes, we are small by comparison to other companies selling Bulgaria. However, we feel we offer more personal care and can spend more time with clients to ensure they make the right choice for them in the confusing world of buying property in the wide and varied Bulgarian market.