My Ebook – reviews and info

My Bulgarian Property Nightmare

A Cautionary Tale for Would-be Investors (eBook Version)

Bulgarian Property Nightmare

I decided to write the above ebook to warn others about the perils of investing in off plan property and more importantly, how to avoid falling for all the hype that surrounds Bulgarian property investment, particularly areas like the Black Sea Coast and the ski resorts.

My intention with the ebook is to take you through my experiences, pointing out where I went wrong, what I should have done that I didn’t, how you can avoid the same problems and steps you can take to try and ensure a smooth purchase if you do decide to pursue an off-plan investment.

I also take you on a journey across Bulgaria and tell you about the places we visits, the spots we stayed in and sights we visited. At the end you will find a large selection of useful resources and links to hotels, forums, car hire, websites and more.

The eBook was written back in 2006 so is now out of date, thus why I am no longer selling the ebook, but if you would like a copy please let me know and I will send you a copy by email. You can use the email address on the right to drop me a line.

Much of the information is still relevant with regard to considering an off-plan purchase and what to do if you find yourself in difficulties with agents and developers.

A review in the New York Times.



There’s A Lot of Hype About Property In Bulgaria But How Much of It Can You Trust?

Full of useful tips straight from a Brit whose first Bulgarian property experience turned into a nightmare, “A Brit’s Scrapbook: My Bulgarian Property Nightmare”, allows you to see what can go wrong and avoid the pitfalls as Rachel shares the benefit of her experience.

Although Rachel lost a lot of money (not to mention time and energy sorting things out) on her first attempt to buy a ski resort apartment – she has no regrets…

In fact, Rachel has since bought 12 more properties and has moved to live in Bulgaria.

In this true account you’ll learn what can go wrong, what to do if it does and why Bulgaria is still a great choice for people keen to invest, holiday or live there.

Inside this book:

Guard Against Your Own Nightmare With Candid Tips, Hints and Lessons Learned
Essential Pointers For Avoiding Trouble
What To Do & Who You Can Call When Things Go Wrong
Rural Properties vs Off-plan Apartments – which is best for you?
The Buying Process Explained In Full
Sensible Advice on Planning Your First Viewing Trip
Essential Links, Resources and Forums

I have now read ALL your ebook. I must say it was an easy read, fair, full of good information and advice, well planned and flowed well. Thank you for putting me in and saying some nice things about me. I wish you well with it. I enjoyed reading it and I am impressed, but I wouldn’t expect anything less of you!


Travel companion mentioned in book


I first got in touch with Rachel a few months ago, whilst reading a copy of Hot Property Alert. I had for sometime been contemplating investing in property in Bulgaria, however, despite all my research, I still had numerous questions to be answered.

Similarly I was interested in a luxury off-plan apartment in Bansko. I enquired about this but felt that I was being pressurised to put down a deposit over the internet. I did not want to do this, as my husband and I wanted to visit Bulgaria first to see for ourselves. I contacted Rachel via e-mail and also by telephone, and I found her to be very friendly, helpful and informative. Although I have not met Rachel in person (hopefully in a few weeks time in August) I got the feeling that she was genuine and truthful. I have since contacted Rachel numerous times for her advice which she has given freely.

After reading Rachel’s book, I feel that she has given a good representation and explanation of her experiences with regards to property investing in Bulgaria. She appears to be very open and honest, in particular with regards to her disappointing experience of trying to buy an off-plan ski apartment in Bansko. I think it is very good of her to let other people benefit from her experience in the hope that they do not make the same mistake. I really enjoyed reading the book as it is not only full of good advice, but also has humour and lots of descriptions about various places in Bulgaria. Rachel is not afraid to discuss some of the negative aspects about Bulgaria as well as lots of positive information. Rachel states the facts as she knows them and then lets the reader make up his/her own mind. The book is written in an easy to read style and makes the reader feel like they are on the journey with her. I personally feel more confident and inspired to follow my dream of buying property in Bulgaria since conversing with Rachel, and having the book to refer to whenever I need to is an added bonus.

There are now lots of people who are interested in buying property in Bulgaria, and even more people (not always honest) willing to part people from their well earned money. I feel that this book is an invaluable guide to anybody who wants honest unbiased advice about the process from someone who has been there and learnt the hard way, but who has had a more positive outcome as a result of that experience. I fully recommend the book and suggest that the few pounds that people will pay for it, will be repaid many times over. I wish Rachel good luck with the book and her ventures in Bulgaria.

Best Wishes

Denise Gray (future property investor in Bulgaria)

20th July 2006


Rachel’s book is absolutely fascinating to read and I would recommend anyone who is planning on purchasing property in Bulgaria to read it first.

Although she begins by giving an account of her nightmare first venture into buying a property in Bulgaria, she does it factually and with a sense of under-lying humour. She not only explains in detail the problems she had, but for each problem she clearly explains the steps she had to take to counteract them and eventually, through perseverance, get her money back. She took on the big boys and she won!

The rest of the book shows her love of the country shine through and there is lots of interesting information on the various regions of Bulgaria that will help give time strapped potential purchasers of property an overview of each area if they don’t have time to visit all of Bulgaria themselves.

She gives a great synopsis of the requirements overseas investors have to complete to purchase a property in Bulgaria – and she should know. She’s bought 6!

A really informative read that ends with lots of links to various websites that will prove very useful to all those about to take the plunge and purchase their first overseas property in Bulgaria.

Kay Milne, Caledoughnia Crafts, Coldstream, Scotland


I enjoyed the book; very interesting and informative

Roger Dentith


Rachel Gawith is to be congratulated on “baring her soul” with her misfortunes in her first foray into the Bulgarian property market. Thankfully, these times are behind her and she can now look forward to capitalizing on her many positive experiences. It is a very courageous decision to lay bare the mistakes one has made in life, but through this catharsis develops a new stronger self confidence.

There is much to be gleaned in “My Bulgarian Property Nightmare” for anyone thinking about foreign property investment, and particularly with regard to investment in Bulgaria. As with any publication dealing with a rapidly changing environment viz. property investment in Bulgaria, the information contained therein inevitably becomes superseded. Consequently, whilst much of the information, rules and regulations referred to in “My Bulgarian Property Nightmare” remain highly relevant they should be treated with some caution. Armed with the information contained in this book the future investor should obtain the most up to date information available. Bulgaria is expected to be a full member of the European Union in January 2007 and will have a seven year accession period during which it must adopt a plethora of existing, and probably as much again “yet to be written”, EU legislation. Consequently, much has, is, and will continue to change in all walks of life in Bulgaria, not least the Legal and Tax systems as impacting on property investment.

Rachel’s negative experiences are not isolated, but neither are they the common rule. There are many thousands of investors in Bulgaria who have positive investment experiences.

My wife and I had been frequent visitors to Bulgaria from 1987, and our first experience when attempting to purchase a property could equally have ended in disaster. We were in a Notary’s office in Sofia about to sign the property purchase documents when I humorously asked Stoyan, our long time friend and Solicitor, that if he were me would he sign the documents. To my utter disbelief he looked me straight in the eye and said emphatically “No”! When asked why, he whispered ”I do like the look in his (the property owner) eyes”. Needless to say we did not sign, and several months later we were to learn that the owner had not disclosed a 5% share in the property belonging to a family member. An off-hand question saved us from probably years going through the Bulgarian court system. Shortly after this “experience”, as with Rachel, we bought our dream property in Banya village next to Bansko, were immediately accepted by the local community, and our 4 years of permanent residence in Bulgaria is simply explained by the short Bulgarian word rai (paradise).

This first experience pandered to my “scientific” mind, as I had been a professional scientist for 32 years. During the last few years I have researched the Bulgarian property market, in particular the legal side of land and property transactions, and particularly contractual agreements. Also, having bought and renovated a house, and built our Aparthotel from new, I had to rapidly learn about architecture and the building process, which had been a life long hobby, building regulations, and Tax and VAT rules and regulations. Concurrent with all of this was to discover how things are done in what initially was a very foreign environment.

It has been a revelation to meet Rachel and to witness her embark on a similar path to that of June and I. We well remember the day standing outside the building site containing Rachel’s “finished” apartment in Bansko being told by the Estate Agent that we could not accompany Rachel to view HER apartment. The alarm bells immediately rang, and we still do not understand how an Estate Agent could dictate to an apartment owner who they might invite to view their investment. But, the Estate Agent knew who we were, and more pertinently what I did with regards property investment!

As with Rachel, I would like everyone visiting and investing in Bulgaria to have a wonderful and positive experience. Bulgaria and especially the Bulgarian people are very special and the vast majority wants to promote only a positive image of the country. Rachel, in writing “My Bulgarian Property Nightmare” has contributed to this positive image of Bulgaria. The reader whilst perhaps being somewhat despondent at the negative side of things with property investment will hopefully realize that it is a journey with a wonderfully happy ending. Rachel provides real insight into not just property investment, both negative and positive, but of what has become a passionate new “love affair” for her with Bulgaria and its people.

Frequently I am asked to recommend a good English speaking Solicitor to check a property contract and my response is always “that is the wrong question to ask, as there are many good English speaking Bulgarian Solicitors. The question you should be asking is: What are the questions I should ask the good English speaking Solicitor about my contract?”. You now have many of these questions available in Rachel’s book and applied intelligently your experience of property investment in Bulgaria should be a positive experience