If you are thinking of buying an apartment in Turkey, then welcome to one of the most popular real estate markets in the world. Since 2018, Turkey has welcomed thousands of foreigners who are eager to put their feet on the Turkish housing ladder. Investing in regions such as Istanbul, Antalya, Bodrum, Bursa, Kusadasi and Fethiye, the purchase of real estate by foreigners has been at an all-time high.
As with any real estate investment, buyers are eager to maximize their appreciation of capital, but entering a market that is foreign to you is daunting. So, in this article, we'll summarize the market, answer common questions, highlight areas where foreigners buy, outline the process and provide some hints, and tips to make this real estate investment work for you.
Why as a foreigner should I buy an apartment in Turkey?
The reasons are many, but the driving force is the profitable exchange rate. Compared to what it was three years ago, whether they are buying in US dollars, euros, sterling or other currencies, foreigners who vacation in Turkey or buy a property are getting more Turkish lira for their money than ever before.
The market also made a big leap in 2018 when the Turkish government changed regulations and lowered the minimum entry for citizenship by real estate investment from $1 million to just $250,000. Thousands of people suddenly got the right to live and work in Turkey.
What is the buying process?
The first step is to find an apartment, pay a deposit and agree on a payment schedule. You will also need a tax number and open a bank account. Turkish law does not require the assistance of a lawyer but we recommend you to do so, to prepare a contract and carry out some legal checks and documentation to protect the investments.
What are the apartment complex fees?
In Turkey, if the building has less than six apartments, there is no need for a management team. However, talk with neighbors about arrangements for cleaning communal corridors and paying for communal electricity.
If there are more than six apartments, the Turkish condominium law states that the complex must have a management team to handle the maintenance of all common areas. These venues vary but include swimming pools, landscaped gardens, gyms, saunas and security staff.
The apartment pays a fee for these utilities. If you or your neighbors do not pay this fee, you can be sued. Fees vary and will increase with the annual rise in the cost of living. Remember to factor this cost into expenses.
How much do apartments cost?
This varies from one area to another and the apartment you want to buy. Other factors also affect the price. For example, the higher the apartment in a building, the more expensive it is because it is classified as a duplex and has a better view. Ground floor and basement apartments are the least expensive in the building.
Can I rent out my house?
If you are thinking of renting out your apartment in Turkey, there are two ways to do so.
The first is to hire a management team that handles everything from marketing, reservations, cleaning, welcome packages, and maintenance. The second is to do it yourself. For both methods, if you are looking for short-term vacation rentals, which generate higher income than long-term renters, you need to abide by the Turkish Identity Declaration Law.
This states that all owners must announce who will reside on their property, and when and for how long. You will need to enter this information into the official GIYKIMBIL system. The other important aspect to consider is tax payments, which are a legal obligation.
How can I find a home?
Since there are thousands of apartments for sale in Turkey, if you are hesitant, the way to narrow your search is to decide whether to buy off-plan, ready-made or for sale homes. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages.
Off-plan homes are available on the market at discounted rates but you can't see for yourself until finished. If you choose on the plan, ask to see the floor plans that also list the area of each room. A big advantage is that you can make minor tweaks to the decor and design so that it's more like designing your own home.
If you choose a property ready to move in right away. Resale apartments offer good opportunities, but likewise, have the home inspected because small bits of damage and repair soon accumulate. If you choose a home to be resale, the current owner will need to make sure all debt including council tax has been paid up to date before the title deeds will approve applications.
Where to buy in Turkey?
Turkey ranks 37th among the largest countries in the world, so there are hundreds of destinations to choose from when buying. Current trends of foreigners show that they are moving east as these are landlocked and less western regions. Most foreign home sales occur on the Aegean, Mediterranean and Istanbul coasts. There are options as:
Istanbul: As the most popular destination for foreign home buyers in Turkey, the real estate market in Istanbul is undergoing a transformation due to new developments in European suburbs.
Antalya: As the second most popular destination, the Antalya region includes downtown and smaller coastal resorts such as golf in Belek, its historical side, bustling Alanya, and beachy Kemer.
Bodrum: On the Aegean coast, the Bodrum peninsula dominates the foreign real estate market. Popular places include Glitzy Yalikavak, upscale Turkbuku, Gumbet, and the city center.
What should I beware of?
- take your time. It is a buyers' market.
- Think of it as a long-term investment because the market has a lot of properties for sale
-Always seek the assistance of an independent lawyer and follow their advice.
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