1. WHAT INVESTMENT POTENTIAL DO THE HOUSES HAVE ?
When we chose this particular location this is the process we went through……
Our research showed us that in order to ensure a good return on investment it was important to have a Wow factor. Not low prices, but something else which would stimulate the property prices to rise. A lot of people have bought properties at rock bottom prices in the middle of the country, and these are great for people who just want to retire peacefully and have their pensions stretch a long way, but they aren't so good for people who are still needing to make money, for their investments to grow. So we were aware that we needed to be in or close to a Hot Spot……one of the ski resorts or the coast.
On researching the country as a whole we realized that the coast has become extremely over developed with resorts such as Golden Sands and Sunny Beach in particular beginning to resemble Benidorm and fears that the supply of apartments offered exceeds demand with some investors anxiously selling up already. Other concerns include infrastructure and low quality construction. Along the coast resort developments are far removed from the real Bulgaria and its beauty they initially set out to accentuate. Resort restaurants often lack individuality, providing poor quality food on a mass scale, and prices are tremendously inflated compared to those in the rest of the country. For example just one course for one person in an average resort restaurant will cost ?5, whereas 2 people can eat out with all courses and drinks included for ?7 in the rest of the country. It is just not the price, but the quality of the food that improves outside the resorts in the real Bulgaria.
We looked into the ski resorts and one of the biggest factors we considered initially was the distance from the main airports. Bansko is almost 3 hours from the airport, and Pamporovo further still. For Pamporovo, one may fly into Plovdiv which is a minor airport and will not facilitate all year round use and rental easily at all. All the top investment advice is that nobody wants more than an hours transfer time from the airport to the resort.
If we were going to develop in a long term sustainable growth area we realized that Borovets with a 45 minute transfer time from Sofia was the strongest contender. We then looked into things further. We looked in what would affect development in this area. The one factor which will send prices into orbit overnight in the area will be the commencement of the Super Borovets project. This is far and away the most ambitious project ever undertaken in the country. After numerous consultations the plans for the project have had their final revision and been passed through the government. 300 million euros is earmarked for the project which will include the development of a tremendous amount of world class ski runs, hotels, entertainment complexes, infrastructure, etc. The Super Borovets project will be backing the Bulgarian bid to host the 2014 winter Olympics. Its vital characteristic is that it has strict environmental controls as much of this area is stunning national park. Therefore, the development will be extremely sensitive, the beauty preserved, and environmental factors considered. The aim is to promote the year round attractions of the area and as such the Super Borovets project will also include the development of walking trails, maintenance of lakes and rivers, etc…
We looked at Borovets as it is now. The year on year 30% growth in tourism. The very limited area of Borovets itself, and how the surrounding towns and villages are experiencing a huge demand for the relatively few properties for sale as the economy and the property market grows. We realized that although there are substantial gains to be realized in the short term, that this has tremendous appeal in the long term also. Already the affluent from Sofia are rushing to buy up holiday homes here, in this their major resort. No other resort has such superb growth potential from the domestic market as well as form the overseas market. Neither has any other resort got a massive project lined up ready to go for it.
There is a rapidly increasing foreign demand in Bulgaria for investment properties where one can also live and raise family.
We went across the mountain from Borovets both sides. We far preferred the side of Madjare with its great open views to the more commercial and mountainous side of Kostenets. Just the sheer beauty of it. This is something you will appreciate when you come over on a viewing trip and we show you around. So, over on this side of the mountain, again, we drove around and wanted the very best spot for the project. You will see the views to the site on the pictures and hopefully to will give you some idea of the scale of things.
It quickly became clear that this was the place to be, but ,it was nearly impossible to buy land at all as the local people are aware of the huge future gains that there are for them with EU accession, and the Super Borovets project, and the rising tourist market overall.
We were very lucky to secure this beautiful spot. We couldn't have hoped for anything more beautiful or more suitable. And we wanted to keep it this way. Life isn't always about cramming as many apartments into an area as possible. We wanted to provide something that would look sensational, fit in with the surroundings, and be a marvelous place to be. Something a bit special, a bit different.
There is just one secret that we forgot to mention…..just 10 minutes up the road, the village of Govedartsi has its own ski piste, if you want to join the locals for an quiet early morning ski before breakfast…. and if you want a larger local resort that is a Bulgarian secret, just carry along the road for 20 minutes to Malyovitsa which is a good sized Bulgarian resort offering the lowest prices for skiing ( 3 of us went for a day, bought ski passes, hired boots and skis, and our own private ski instructor….total cost ? ?20 !!!).
2. HOW DO I FINANCE MY INVESTMENT?
It is possible to re mortgage either in the UK or to raise a mortgage in Bulgaria. Bulgarian mortgages are now quick and simple (please see our section on mortgages). For the deposit many people are simply taking a loan (as low as 5.5% ) , or doing a life of balance transfer with their credit cards (as low as 4.9%) to free up funds. For more financial information please visit www.moneysavingexpert.com
where Martin Lewis of television and radio fame will keep you regularly updated on the very best ways to manage money.
Both the capital growth of your property and rental potential will be ways in which you will offset any mortgage payments. Please see our Rental Return section also.
3. RENTAL RETURNS
This development is unusual in that it offers all year round rental potential, rather than solely being limited to the ski season.
Our primary focus not only as developers but as an investment company is on capital return overall. Above all things we have looked to maximize capital growth on the property. Whilst concentrating on this criteria we also took into account the strong rental demand in the area overall, the continued increase in tourists to the resort of Borovets, and the large number of summer tourists both from Sofia and overseas.
Many companies offer guaranteed rental returns for periods ranging between 1 and 3 years. Of course, the problem with this is that the rental guarantee is generally factored into the inflated selling price, and the investor is left to wonder what will happen when the guarantee expires.
We looked for the area in the country where we could genuinely maximize rental returns. The advantages of the position of this development are:
This is an area with all year round rental opportunity. This is the most important factor. Of course all ski resorts have a longer rental season than the coastal areas because of the nature of the season. This is one advantage, but moreover, this development lies in the heart of an area given over to national park. There are extensive forests, rivers, lakes, mountains and trails to keep everyone occupied through the summer. The 7 Rila lakes on the top of the mountain are a good day's expedition (with the possibility of staying overnight in a mountain hut also) and are just one of the great attractions on your doorstep here.
All year round weekenders drive up from Sofia to ski, horse ride, swim, cycle, fish, walk,
rock climb, etc……
or just curl up in front of a log fire or sunbathe in the garden.
We designed the houses specifically with rentals in mind. There is a great deal of privacy within the houses. Every room has its own terrace or balcony. The houses are designed so that 2 parties can comfortably share the living space with 2 bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs, including the large master bedroom/ lounge. Downstairs there is a separate bedroom, a lounge and another toilet/ shower room. Only the kitchen and entrance are shared affording space and privacy.
We are currently working with a specialized rental company in order that you might have the widest audience for rentals. We are also in negotiations with tour operators regarding future partnerships.