Bargains to Be Found As Bulgarian Property Prices Fall

A part of the EU since 2007, Bulgaria balances old and new in an environment where ornate medieval churches, beautiful mosques and villages that have changed little over the centuries co-exist with the contemporary infrastructure of its cities and impressive sea and mountain resorts.

From the snowy peaks of the Balkans and popular hiking trails to the inviting white sands on the Black Sea coast, this small country has a lot to offer. Health conscious and ecologically aware visitors are drawn to the country’s well known therapeutic resorts, mineral springs and organic farms.

From rural farmhouses and cottages in picturesque hills and valleys to modern apartments in historically resonant Sofia and condos and villas in the Black Sea beach resorts, there’s an interesting variety of residential real estate to be found across Bulgaria.

The good thing is that modern properties in Sofia and other cities, in the glitzy Black Sea resorts and the popular ski resorts of Pomporova, Bansko and Borovets in the Balkans as well as charming, old houses in the countryside are generally significantly cheaper than in other countries in the EU.

Attracted by Bulgaria’s unique mix of natural splendor, historical richness and rustic charm as well as the potential for high returns on real estate investments consequent to Bulgaria’s induction into the EU, foreign buyers, particularly from Russia and Britain, flocked to buy properties in the ski resorts and on the coast. Robust economic growth and the easy availability of credit led to an increase in the number of domestic buyers as well. From 2003 to the third quarter of 2008, Bulgaria experienced a real estate boom with prices rising steadily in response to increasing demand. The average price of residential property in Q3 2008 was 1418 euros per sq. m.

Then came the recession and with it a change in market dynamics and sentiment. Demand, both domestic and foreign, dried up and property prices began to fall in the last quarter of 2008 and have been falling ever since. Within the country today, unemployment is high, credit is harder to come by, investment is low as is consumption and government spending has been reduced. With less money to spend and unsure of the future, Bulgarians are reluctant to invest in property. The poor performance of property markets in other countries, the credit crunch and uncertain economic prospects in general have led to a sharp reduction in the number of foreign buyers as well.

On an average, property prices have fallen by a third from their highs; in some locations prices are down by as much as 50%. According to market sources, prices declined by roughly 10% in 2010. The number of transactions, however, was higher in 2010 than in 2009. Analysts expect prices to fall further in 2011, though prices in Sofia and other big cities are likely to stabilise and for the country as a whole, the price regression is expected to slow down. The luxury home segment has not suffered as much and is more impervious to short-term trends.

Sofia is faring better than other parts of the country because unemployment is relatively low and demand for apartments, especially in the south and east of the city, is picking up. In Sofia, the average prices range from 35,000 to 90,000 euros for apartments that measure 50 – 100 sq. m. Domestic buyer interest in other cities has also increased to some extent. In the countryside, demand has not revived and prices continue to fall.

Demand is beginning to improve in some coastal areas and more beach property deals were concluded in 2010 than in 2009. In 2010, the vacation home segment performed better than in 2009 with more foreign buyers, particularly Russians, buying properties along the coast. The number of beach property deals increased by roughly 20% in 2010 as compared with 2009. Buyers are showing interest in buying holiday homes at bargain prices along the northern and southern coasts of the Black Sea.

Revival of the real estate market hinges on positive economic performance. A reduction in unemployment, wage increases and improved credit supply can revitalize demand for real estate. According to analysts, real estate is still a sound long-term investment in Bulgaria. However, potential buyers should survey the market for properties of their choice and consider buying when prices reach a fairly stable level. Many properties in the cities as well as elsewhere are currently available at discounted prices.

What you need to know about property transactions in Bulgaria:

• In Bulgaria, foreign non-residents can buy an apartment, condo or any structure, but not freehold land directly.
• In 2006, the law was amended to permit foreigners to buy and inherit landed property, but the law will come into effect only in 2014.
• EU residents, however, can currently buy land if they have been residing permanently in Bulgaria for several years or if they are self-employed with a permanent residence in Bulgaria and are engaged in some sort of agricultural activity.
• It is possible to acquire land by registering a company in Bulgaria with the potential buyer as sole owner and director.
• Once buyer and seller decide on the price and other particulars, a preliminary agreement is signed and buyer deposits 10% of the property price.
• A title search is conducted.
• Formalities pertaining to company registration are initiated.
• After the property is found to have a clear title and the company has been registered, a “contract of purchase” is signed by the vendor and buyer.
• Buyer pays the balance and receives the keys to the house.

The Changing Face of SEO in 2014

Many Search Engine Optimization professionals have been asking whether SEO as a tool to rank websites is dead and for those working in the SEO industry this is a little scary not knowing if our jobs are in jeopardy. In 2013, Google started taking major steps in fighting SPAM, and thus shifted the playing field for all SEO professionals and their clients.

So in 2014, trying to beat your competitors for your keywords and still trying to rank your website high, may be challenging. One this hasn’t changed; you still need quality authority backlinks from existing sites back to yours, as well as quality content with anchor text.

Most SEO experts know that you have to build a solid SEO performance in 2014 with white-hat techniques to continue to built on what we learned in 2013, as well as what these changes mean strategically for SEO.

Content Marketing is Key!

Content marketing will be the key to SEO and professional internet marketing in 2014. From an SEO expert’s perspective, Google will be focusing on companies that have made robust SEO / content marketing efforts in the hopes that this is sign that they are the kind of business Google wants to support.

Advantages to good content strategy:

  1. Regular content targeted to your audience.
  2. Social signals from regular posting and sharing with your audience.
  3. Measurable activity and or signs that your website is growing.
  4. Increasing authority and website page rank connected to your body of work.

If you have specific questions or are looking for help with SEO contact an SEO services expert in your area on anywhere on the web. To help with your search, you should look for terms like “SEO expert” or ” SEO services” or something to that effect.

Get a Google+ Presence!

In addition to strengthening your overall SEO and social media marketing position, it’s going to be absolutely critical that you strongly invest in your Google+ presence.

Establishing Google Authorship of your article content and linking it to your Google+account is a major factor in determining who the major players will be in 2014 as far as SEO goes. Authorship connects your content with Google+ and plays an important role in the SERPs (search engine results pages). In the end you will have strengthened your overall Author Rank.

Those Google+ Ones add up with regular posting of solid original content. It is becoming clearer just exactly how much Google+1′s will directly contribute to the overall ranking of our authorship and page-rank in general. It is actually going to be a major factor in the “social signals” component of Google’s algorithm in 2014. Expect Google+, authorship and quality content to play a major factor in your websites scorecard in 2014.

Summary:

Stay the course with white hat tactics and pay attention to quality content, quality backlinks (links back to your website), guest blogging, in order to improve your organic search engine visibility in 2014.

Daft Punk Members: The Men Behind the Helmets

It’s hard not to love the French electro-house duo known as Daft Punk. Their career has gone on for years now, with 2014 being their best year so far. Their latest, and best album Random Access Memories hit the streets in 2013, and in 2014 the album helped them net five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, and Record of the Year for the single “Get Lucky.”

The duo is considered one of the most successful bands of today, as far as electronic music is concerned. Not to mention, their huge album sales, a rarity for the modern music industry. It can be said that their music is a harmonious blend of different musical genres. Songs are compounds of disco, electronic and house music, with the addition of live instruments.

But with all the hype is very easy to forget that Daft Punk is not just a music machine, there are real people behind those masks, making that awesome music. Those two are French musicians Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter.

A musical connection

The musical duo formed in Paris back in 1993. The two members met in school for the first time when they were only 12 years old. They both had a deep love for music, that love connected them. They started to record demo tracks with their other friends from the school, and in 1992 they decided to form the guitar-based group named Darlin’.

However, the trio Darlin’ did not survive. After a negative review in Melody Maker, when their music was called “a bunch of daft punk”, Darlin’ was disbanded, and the two formed duo that we know and love named “Daft Punk.”

Daft Punk’s priority is to the music above all else. Their trademark is the helmets that they wear when performing or appearing in public. These helmets enable their anonymity, and allow them to live normal life. Daft Punk does not believe in the “star system” and popularity is not the goal, but rather the music they perform.

Thomas Bangalter

Thomas Bangalter was born on January 3rd 1975 in Paris. He is best known for his work in Daft Punk. But he has also been a member of the musical trio “Stardust” and the duo “Together.” He has also proved himself as a solo artist with compositions for the film Irréversible.

Besides music, he had success as a film director and cinematographer. Thomas is a versatile artist whose occupations are numerous: musician, bassist, keyboardist, composer, film director. Instruments used in his music are also numerous: bass guitar, synthesizer, keyboards, vocals, guitar, drum machine, programming, talk box. Thomas Bangalter has his own music label called Roulé.

Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo

He is also best known as a member of the duo Daft Punk. De Homem-Christo was born 8 February 1974 in Paris. His record label is called Crydamoure. He is also known as a member of musical duo Le Knight Club. Music genres that he performs are: house, disco and nu-disco.

Why The 2014 Mazda3 Should Be Your First New Car Purchase

Over the past several years, the entry level automotive market has undergone a massive evolution. New car buyers are expecting more from their vehicles. Simplistic “base” models are on their way out. Today’s drivers want more.

Much of this change is driven by the nature of the entry-level market. Most first car buyers looking at “small” entry-level vehicles have grown up having it all. They are part of a new generation-a generation raised with access to everything at their fingertips; an entire group of tech savvy consumers who expect do-everything features even in the most budget conscious and compact vehicles.

Are you in the market for your first new car? If you are a tech-savvy car buyer who is unwilling to make any sacrifices, the 2014 Mazda3 is should be your first new car purchase. Mazda understands that the automotive industry is changing. The new 2014 Mazda3 offers everything that modern drivers expect at a price that is right for everyone. Compact, fuel efficient and affordable no longer means that you have to have a cheap feeling, uninspiring vehicle.

The first thing you’ll notice about the 2014 Mazda3 is that it stands out from the crowd. The long hood and cab-style back end is a breath of creative fresh air that you don’t see in other compact cars. The look is sporty. Gentle curves sweep up to the back, giving a sports car inspired look that screams speed. For many buyers, the styling is everything you can ask for in a price-conscious four door “economy” car. It’s anything but unassuming. The look “says” fast and expensive-and that’s a good thing; you can’t find anything that looks better in this price range.

The 2014 Mazda3 is built around a SKYACTIV four-cylinder engine that’s been around since 2012. The base model comes with a 2.0L engine that develops 155 horsepower with exceptional efficiency. Mazda rates performance of the base model at 4.7 litres/100km on the highway. The more powerful 2.5L is also available. It is slightly more powerful, developing 184 horsepower while maintaining an impressive 5.0 litres/100km highway efficiency rating.

Mazda redesigned almost every component of the 2014 Mazda3. Extensive revisions to the suspension system, shocks, and anti-roll bars promise improved stability, performance cornering capability, and overall ride comfort. All models come with disk brakes on all four wheels, creating impressive stopping distances that best most compact cars. The steering system is also revamped. Older Mazda3 models used an electrohydraulic steering system, the 2014 Mazda3 uses a new electric power steering mechanism.

Inside, the 2014 Mazda3 is not as spacious as it could be. The cabin is compact. The long hood and sweep-back design that creates smooth sporty curves on the outside sacrifice interior space. The front seats are adequately spacious and equipped with contoured seats with comfortably designed back and lateral support. Sleek styling steals space from rear passengers. The Mazda3 is tighter that other compact cars in this class. Headroom is inadequate in the rear for taller passengers-a problem created when Mazda decided to increase rear seat height to improve comfort. Overall, the Mazda3 has acceptable rear room for a compact-it is adequate for children but not comfortable for adults.

If safety is a primary concern, the 2014 Mazda3 has you covered. Each model includes multiple airbags-both front and side systems for the front seats and side-curtain airbags that expand over the entire cabin length. Mazda has consistently scored high in all crash test ratings with each generation of Mazda3-the 2014 model is no different. It is one of the safest compact cars on the road.

The 2014 Mazda3 GT includes a system called I-Activesense that incorporates adaptive front lighting, a lane departure warning, and blind spot monitoring. Mazda’s “Smart City Brake Support” system is an interesting addition on the GT model that monitors vehicle distances and pre-adjusts brakes automatically for optimum collision response time in city traffic. The car can alert drivers to imminent collisions at city driving speeds and automatically brake to a stop if there is no driver response to an upcoming obstacle.

It’s clear that drivers don’t want to sacrifice electronic features, even in compact affordable vehicles. The 2014 Mazda3 has “Mazda Connect” in all models-a touch-screen display on top of the dashboard that controls a variety of functions. The system includes a radio, CD player, a USB input, and an auxiliary audio jack. The GT model includes an upgraded Bose audio system and an SD card slot.

The 2014 Mazda3 ranges in price from an MSRP of $15,995 to $26,855. At the base price, there are no compact cars that can come close to matching the 2014 Mazda3’s styling and features. If you are looking for a new car in 2014, you can’t get much better than this.

The only major drawback to this impressive car is the cramped interior. Creating a compact car with sport-influenced style resulted in a cramped rear passenger area. Four tall adults cannot fit comfortably in the 2014 Mazda3. Rear seats are adequate for children. Aside from this drawback, the 2014 Mazda3 is a very impressive offering that matches performance, style, advanced technology, and full-features with affordability. Few compact cars can get this formula right.

Mazda has recognized the demands of modern first-time car buyers in the compact car market. Many young people are looking for cars that don’t skimp on style or technology. The 2014 Mazda3 represents the beginning of a new era in compact car design, function, and pricing. You no longer have to sacrifice style for price and “economy” compacts no longer have to represent pure function over form. The Mazda3 is a real-world driver’s car-it’s fun, sporty, affordable, and capable enough to fit the family. It’s a vehicle that demands serious consideration if you are looking for a new car.