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28 January 2022 / Properties

Guide to Buying an Apartment in Turkey

So, you are thinking of buying an apartment in Turkey. Congratulations. Whether you want a seaside location, beautiful mountain backdrop, retreat from city life or luxury, or penthouse living, we have many places and apartments to choose from. Including the southern Turkish riviera, Aegean western coast or Istanbul city, the process for buying an apartment is the same. Firstly, know precisely why you are buying in Turkey, whether this is an investment, lifestyle, or buy-to-let, so you can easily spot ideal homes rather than get side-tracked. There are also several other factors to consider, so let us discuss them.

Buying an Apartment in Turkey

1: Prepare Finances

Some people find their ideal dream house first and then look at finances. However, they often overstretch themselves or face disappointment because their dream home is too costly for them. Before looking at properties in Turkey, know your budget, including house price, purchasing taxes and fees, utility set up and furnishings if buying new plan or off build homes.

To start, list finance sources and income streams. These are wages, savings, and bank mortgages. Make sure financing is readily available because property purchases happen quickly in Turkey. Regarding Turkish bank mortgages, check interest rates because these are historically higher than other countries. Also, remember that apartment prices in Turkey are set in Turkish lira, so foreigners need to convert currency. Rather than use banks, use foreign exchange companies because these offer better exchange rates and transfer fees. Good examples are Wise or Money Corp.

2: Extra Purchasing Costs of Apartments

We give apartment buyers in Turkey complete payment plans of additional costs and when to pay them. However, remember additional fees and taxes like purchase tax, VAT, commission if applicable, solicitors, translators, utility renaming, and notaries. These costs usually range between 8.5 to 10% of the property value. In addition, buyers of new build and off-plan apartments also pay for electric and water meters and connections.


3: Annual Running Costs of Apartments

Annual running costs of apartments differ according to lifestyle, and location but expect to pay the following

  • Electricity: Monthly electric bills are cheaper than in western countries, yet household amenities like air-conditioning or winter fires substantially increase costs.
  • Water: This is billed monthly, or apartment owners have water meters installed to top up when needed. Water costs in Turkey are cheap.
  • Gas: Most apartment owners use gas for their cookers and turn to other methods to heat their homes.
  • Internet: Holiday homeowners generally sign up to network providers to switch the service on or off depending on if you are in Turkey. Otherwise, for ex-pats looking to live here all year round, shop around for good deals usually
  • Council and Rubbish Tax: This bill, payable twice a year, varies depending on title deeds holders and property prices. Apartment owners can apply to their local council to receive notifications when bills are ready and how much to pay.
  • DASK Insurance: Compulsory earthquake insurance costs vary depending on the square meter, and apartment buyers need it to sign for title deeds and renew every year.

4: About Complex Maintenance and Service charges

Turkey's condominium law says buildings with eight apartments or more must form or appoint a management committee to handle upkeep and maintenance of communal areas like swimming pools, hallway electricity, water, games room and security. Apartment owners in Turkey must contribute monthly fees towards this. Apartment owners can visit local Land Registry Offices to request their complex's current and previous management plans.

Apartment owners are bound by Turkey's condominium management plan and cannot back out. If you don't pay your annual fee, management committees can charge interest and take you to court to recoup charges. Owners also get input into what happens with their complex through AGMs known as annual general meetings. They discuss budgets and maintenance work and appoint committee members.

Each apartment gets one vote and 15 days' notice of meeting dates and times. If any apartment owner cannot attend, they can appoint a power of attorney in Turkey to act on their behalf. Meeting minutes are notarized, and for foreign apartment owners, the committee must use official translators. In addition, apartment owners can visit the accountant in Turkey to see the complex's financial records.


: Where to Buy an Apartment

Istanbul: As a business, financial, education and tourism hub, Turkey's biggest city, Istanbul attracts real estate investors and working ex-pats. For international investors, Istanbul stands out, especially for Middle Eastern buyers. Innovative luxury complexes cater for families and individuals alike. These branded projects often include swimming pools, on-site gyms, spas, shopping centres and restaurants. They boost districts like Bahcesehir and Beylikduzu, which transformed into modern urban neighbourhoods, with regeneration programmes sponsored by Turkey's government.

Bodrum Peninsula: This cosmopolitan destination of Aegean Turkey known for non-conformity promotes an exclusive lifestyle, especially in places in Yalikavak. Ex-pats also love other resorts like Turgutreis, Gumbet and Torba. Serviced by its airport, Bodrum's offers plenty of apartments within budget or luxury price budgets. No matter where you buy an apartment, think exclusivity, stunning beaches, nightlife, culture, history, and modern amenities.

Fethiye: Ex-pats and holiday homeowners choose apartments in places like Calis Beach, Hisaronu, Ovacik, Oludeniz and the main city centre. Fethiye is the Mediterranean Turkey's poster child, home to natural beauty landmarks and walking distance from Turkey's best landscapes and attractions. This stunning Mediterranean region, surrounded by pine-clad mountains, hidden coves, secluded beaches, and historical attractions, easily attracts buyers from near and far. In addition, Fethiye enjoys 300 days of glorious sunshine every year and mild winters.

Antalya: As Turkey's second most visited tourist destination, Antalya easily fulfils lifestyle and investment needs simultaneously. The region breaks down into smaller holiday resorts, like golfing Belek and historical Side. Additionally, the city centre offers the best nightlife and shopping scenes in Mediterranean Turkey. Konyaalti, an up-market marina district on the city centre outskirts, offers quick accessibility to the beach, marina, and city centre. Meanwhile, Lara beach, another highly desirable area, is Turkey's answer to Bel-Air, where penthouse apartments offer fantastic sea views to wake up to.

Dalyan: Famous for Lycian rock tombs, mud baths and Caretta turtles, Dalyan attracts budget apartment buyers, thanks to infrastructure investment but with promises to keep the rustic, authentic vibes. Apartment buyers choose Dalyan not only because of its natural and peaceful settings but because of its proximity to Dalaman airport and short transfer times of 30 minutes. Dalyan's low key nightlife scene centres around relaxing bars and fine restaurants making the area perfect for retirees and lovers of the great outdoors of Turkey.

6: Property Purchasing Process in Turkey

Stage 1: The buyer and seller sign contracts detailing agreed terms and conditions, payment amounts and dates. The buyer then attends the notary office in Turkey with a translator to get the contract and passports notarized.

Stage 2: Although Turkey Homes carries out due diligence on all properties for sale, many apartment buyers use a lawyer. This isn't requested by Turkish law, but foreign buyers like to do so. They oversee title deeds applications, check for a habitation licence, and ensure no existing debts or problems with building, pool, and construction licences.

Stage 3: Buyers in Turkey need a valuation report that includes title deeds details, property co-ordinates, location, photos, neighbouring property prices, current debt condition, and confirmed acceptance by the land registry and cadastre general directorate.

Stage 4: Once applications and paperwork are completed, attend the local title deeds office to pay taxes and sign for deeds. Afterwards, we help get utilities renamed for resale apartments or connected for newly built homes.

7: Renting Out Apartments

Some owners rent out their homes in Turkey to make a second income or recoup running costs. This can be done through a management team to handle bookings, cleaning, and deposit, while others in Turkey all year round manage it. However, there are strict laws regarding becoming a landlord. Firstly, get a licence, officially register tenants, and pay 15% tax on income above a certain level.

To rent out your apartment, research local markets because some places in Turkey are flooded with rental properties, therefore lowering rates, while others have high demand and low supply, thus boosting rental yields. For marketing, look to local advertising through family, friends and community groups, companies like Owners Direct, and Holiday Lettings. Also, make a website and Facebook Page.

8: More about Apartments in Turkey

We are Turkey Homes, and we have helped many buyers purchase an apartment in various areas of Turkey, including Bodrum, Istanbul, Fethiye and Antalya. Founded by Tolga Ertukel, who has more than 20 years of experience selling Turkish property to global audiences, we offer independent, impartial, and expert knowledge about properties and Turkey. If you are thinking of buying an apartment in Turkey, browse our portfolio of listings. Each one talks about price, location, features, and arranging viewings. Alternatively, call and speak with a local agent about becoming an apartment owner in Turkey.

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