How to buy a property in Turkey
When buying property in Turkey, it helps to be knowledgeable. Knowing what to expect, your obligations, the seller’s obligations and how the property buying process will look, can calm even the most nervous buyers. As an established real estate agent in Turkey, we understand that many foreign buyers are apprehensive. In addition, they are buying property in a country where the laws and procedures are different, and in most cases, they do not know Turkish, which adds another level of nerves to the process.
Here at Turkey Homes, though, we fully commit to transparency and communication. We understand that the more knowledgeable our clients are, the more peace of mind they have. So, with that in mind, let us look at key factors that every buyer should know before they sign on the dotted line to buy an apartment or villa in Turkey.
What to Know Before Buying Property in Turkey
1: The Property Closing Costs
By far, the most common factor that people forget is the closing and purchasing costs. These include lawyers, translators, notary fees, land registry, taxes, and valuation reports. In addition, mortgage buyers will incur additional fees. Purchasing costs vary but generally, factor in 8 to 10% of your budget to cover this. Whenever someone decides to purchase a house through us, we also give a complete payment plan that outlines what property buyers must pay and when, so there are no hidden surprises.
2: Residency and Property are Two Different Fields
Home buyers sometimes ask if they get residency when they purchase a property. However, these are two separate procedures in Turkey. First, foreigners need not buy property to qualify for a residency permit. They just need financial means to support themselves and, if under 65, have healthcare coverage. In many expat communities around Turkey, quite a few renters have residency permits. Secondly, if you are buying property to live in Turkey, check with us when purchasing because some districts stopped issuing residency permits because the foreign population went over 20%.
3: Get Money Savvy
Many buyers consider the cost of living and ask about household bills. But one area they neglect is getting the best rate when transferring their money from their home currency to the Turkish lira. Never exchange money in your home country, either at the bank, airport, or high street travel agents. One option is to exchange money at specialist exchange shops in Turkey. However, foreign exchange companies like Wise always give the best exchange rate and transfer fees. When buying property, open a Turkish bank account, and from this point on, constantly watch exchange rates to get more for your foreign currency.
4: The Iskan and Ipotek
In Turkey, an iskan is a habitation certificate. Any property without one can drastically reduce in value by up to 20%. Therefore, avoid properties without one, no matter how much of a good bargain they seem. Additionally, if a property has an ipotek attached, there is a debt, and the sale will not go ahead.
5: Always Use a Lawyer in Turkey
In some cases, if finances and paperwork are in place, the property sale happens quickly. In other cases, the deal is prolonged for checks or, in the case of off-plan property, relevant certificates. Regardless, we always advise using a lawyer. The lawyer will perform certain checks that will safeguard your investment.
6: Legal Translators in Turkey
Two apprehensive times for foreign home buyers are signing the contracts and title deeds. However, Turkish law says that foreigners who do not know Turkish must employ an official and legally qualified translator to explain processes and precisely what is on legal documents at the time of signing. All Turkish translators charge by the hour.
7: Blue Versus Red Title Deeds for Property
In Turkey, property title deeds have borders that are two different colours. A blue border is issued for detached properties, like a stand-alone villa. Red frames are for properties that belong to a complex, like apartments.
8: Apartment Maintenance Fees in Turkey
When you buy an apartment in a complex with more than eight dwellings, Turkish law says the site must have a management committee to manage communal areas like pools, hallway electricity, water, and other facilities. For this, each apartment pays a monthly maintenance fee. It is important to note that you must pay this by law. The management committee can take anyone withholding fees to the court. There are two annual general meetings to discuss issues and determine payments and prices for the next year.
9: Capital Gains Tax in Turkey
In Turkey, if you own a property for five years or more and then decide to sell, you do not pay capital gains tax.
10: Turkish Citizenship by Investment Scheme
If your budget to buy property is $400,000, and you plan to keep it for at least three years or more, then you might be interested in the Turkish citizenship by real estate investment scheme. This entitles you, your spouse, and your dependents to gain Turkish citizenship and the rights to live, work and study in Turkey permanently. Once you have purchased the property, apply for residency. Then most applicants employ a specialist lawyer to handle their citizenship application. The whole process takes roughly 3 to 6 months to complete. Please note that only specific government-approved properties are eligible for the scheme because the Turkish government introduced the strategy to boost the building industry, not regional housing markets. The majority of the Turkish Citizenship Via Investment Scheme properties are located in Istanbul for this purpose. Since this is a commonly asked question by clients, please contact our advisors for further information.
11: What Do You Need to Buy Property
Besides the apparent funds, buying property in Turkey is easy because buyers just need a passport, bank account and tax number. We help all clients obtain the last two and walk you through the procedure from start to finish.
12: Buy DASK Insurance for Your Property
DASK Insurance in Turkey is a government-run earthquake insurance policy that covers householders in the event of an earthquake. Large earthquakes in Turkey are rare, but the government established this policy after the 1999 Marmara earthquake. The DASK policy covers house owners for damages caused by earthquakes and any landslides, fires, or tsunamis that also cause damage because of them. In addition, when you buy a property in Turkey, everybody must get DASK insurance to sign the title deeds.
13: Paying Council Tax in Turkey
Council tax bills are typically issued twice a year, in May and November. The rate varies depending on where you buy, the property size and the number of people on the title deeds. Foreign homeowners enjoy small council tax bills ranging from 0.1 to 0.6%.
Also, About Property in Turkey
Our Property Portfolio: We hope we have given you a wealth of information in this article and proved our expertise and dedication to helping our clients through a stress-free buying process. Please see our portfolio of apartments and villas for sale if you want to buy property in Turkey and want us to act as your agent. Each listing contains everything to know, including price, location, home features and contact details to find out more via telephone or email or to arrange property viewings. Alternatively, call us today to chat with an agent about the Turkish property market.
Is It Safe To Buy Property in Turkey? When looking at what to know before buying property in Turkey, you might be asking how to ensure a safe investment. When Turkey first opened the regional housing market to foreign nationalities, there were many horror stories of people losing their life savings because the system did not protect the buyer. However, the Turkish government changed the buying process for foreigners and now offers a super-tight way to protect your investment with recommended guidelines.