Having finally found a house we all loved (me in particular and those of you with a keen eye for detail will note that this is very similar to the house I fell in love with in Geshanovo and hoped to renovate!) and agreed on a purchase price, we met with Mariana from Homes Direct at what was to be our future home and drew up a preliminary contract in which both parties agreed to the sale and timescales. We also drew up a contents list of what items of furniture would or would not be included in the sale.
We would have preferred to complete sooner as we were concerned that the pound would suffer once the date for the referendum was announced, however our sellers still had to find their new home so we reluctantly agreed to a date in April. As Sod’s law would have it, the date for EU referendum was announced the next day and our worst fears were confirmed, the pound began a downward spiral and the house ended up costing us an extra £4000. 😢. As we watched it fall and fall, we took the decision to transfer sterling into our Bulgarian account as we might get a better deal. On the day we were thinking of transferring the money, we were in our Bulgarian bank arranging for a debit card and online banking and the exchange rate went up from 2.39 to 2.40. Taking this as a good sign and with the opinion that every little helps and we went home and transferred the money. The money hit our Bulgarian account 3 days later and the pound was at 2.42. Yay 🤗 good news we thought but then realised the bank had only given us 2.39…grrrrr. Typically it flipping rallied again after we transferred the money to 2.46 before dropping back and stabilising at 2.42 for the next few days. Today, only 12 days later it is at 2.51 😪 Ah well, that’s life and we do own a beautiful house 😍
On the day of the purchase we needed to transfer the funds to our sellers account and to obtain proof of transfer from the bank to show the notary. (Be warned the Bulgarians do like paperwork to be completed in triplicate and officially stamped!). Then it was of to the notary for signing of the final contract. With us were Mariana, Danual the solicitor, our seller and her translater. In we all trooped, passports were handed over, along with proof of transfer and our seller confirmed that the funds had reached her account. We both completed a form showing our marital status and had to give dates of any previous marriages, not entirely sure why but hey this is Bulgaria 😜 The notary searched the council records to confirm the taxes had been paid and there were no other claimants to the house and the seller showed proof that the electricity etc was paid up and up to date. Then we signed four copies of the final contract, which Mariana , bless her had to translate word for word for me, under the watchful eye of the notary! One copy for the notary, one copy for the courts and one each for us. By the time we had finished signing my signature had changed and when the notary held up a page which both Mariana had signed, I knew she was on about the signatures and my heart sang, however it was Mariana’s signature she was unhappy with and made her re sign every copy! I was also given a copy of the sellers title deed and a copy of the old skitsa (plan showing the property and buildings). The notary then congratulated us on our purchase 😊 We left our solicitor to pay the notary fees and court fees, typically 10% of the declared sale price 😉 and
arranged to meet Mariana again two days later to obtain our title deeds and receipts from the notary and to register the property with the local tax office, which we did. You have to register the sale (although you can give your estate agent power of attorney to do this for you) with the local tax office within two months or you can face fines! At the tax office Mariana completed two complicated looking forms, then we went into see the council tax official who entered the details onto her computer and registered the property in my name. This took a little while has I only have two names, my Christian name and my family name, most Bulgarians apparently have at least 3 names and the computer was confused by my lack of a middle name!?! Eventually the lady behind the computer got it to say yes and there we are, job done! We are now the official owners of our new home🤗🍾🎉
I cannot thank Mariana enough for all her support and advice not only with the buying process but obtaining long term residency and importing our car, so thank you Mariana We appreciate everything you have done and continue to do for us. 😊