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Buying Property

Turkey - Buying Property


The rules for buying property in Turkey as a foreigner are relatively relaxed compared to other countries globally. This explains the annual influx of foreign investors rushing to buy land or residential units in Turkey. Statistically, foreign-owned property rose by 66% in 2013, and the numbers are still rising. As an expat, there are a number of factors to consider when buying property in Turkey.

Fortunately, the Turkish government has few regulations on property ownership as a foreigner. You can buy studio apartments and luxurious condominiums in some of Turkey’s posh suburbs. However, it is important that you present all the required documents and register with respective authorities for full transfer of ownership. In addition, always remember that Turkish property laws favor the locals more than they do expats.

Long-term vs. short-term property ownership

Purchasing property in Turkey can be done either on a short-term or long-term agreement. For the expat who is a permanent resident in Turkey, long-term ownership is a preferable option. Many long-term foreign property owners either work or do business in Turkey.

On the other hand, short-term property ownership may apply to the expat running a real estate business from their country of origin. These are commonly the foreigners who run vacation rentals or resorts in Turkey. Compared to other property owners, they have fewer responsibilities to worry about because their business is seasonal.

Which are the best Turkish towns to buy property in?

Price is a major determinant of the type of properties that expats invest in. Geographical location affects the pricing of a Turkish home. A two-bedroom house in a busy commercial town can cost twice as much as a similar property in a quiet rustic town. Turkey has several towns where buying property for rental or ownership can be quite profitable.

Istanbul is the largest and the busiest Turkish city. Several global organizations and franchises have branches in the city, which explains why many expats find it favorable to live in. Residential units in Istanbul are close to the city’s amenities including art centers, shopping malls, hotels, and nightclubs.

Didim is a Turkish town that is the complete contrast of Istanbul. It is smaller and quieter, but surprisingly attracts a good number of expats. Didim is an ideal town to buy property in if you are starting out in the Turkish real estate market. Housing prices here are quite low and, in fact, the cheapest compared to other towns. Didim's infrastructure may not be like that of Istanbul but it is reasonably developed. Because the town is still developing, there is plenty of land to buy and either lease or build property on.

Bodrum comes second to Istanbul in terms of ethnic diversity. It is a hub for many Polish Turks and other expats who either move here to work or start a new life. Bodrum has its own airport and is lined with luxurious villas, condominiums, and luxury apartments for holiday vacation.

Towns like Fethiye and Antalya are also tourist towns with lots of vacation houses and villas. Antalya has its own airport and the largest golf courses in Turkey. Fethiye is robust with traditional village life and is known to house a major attraction known as the Blue Lagoon.

The process of buying property in Turkey

It is important to have all the required documents before making a purchase decision. Both Turkish people and expats are allowed to buy and own property in Turkey. However, the rules are slightly different for foreigners.

As a non-Turkish property investor, you can only acquire a maximum of 30 hectares of land. If you are buying residential units, then you cannot purchase any property located around military zones; the same applies to land. Thirdly, expats can only own properties in areas with less than 10 percent foreign property ownership.

Once you meet all the requirements, you can proceed to acquire a title deed, or Tapu. If possible, be present to witness the signing of your title deed and checking of all necessary documents. You can also hire a property management company to oversee the whole title deed application process on your behalf if you will be away from Turkey.

Every non-Turkish property owner must present a Dask insurance certificate during the processing of their title deed. The Dask insurance is a mandatory property cover against natural calamities like earthquakes. This cover is renewed annually by the landowner or through the property management office representing them.

If you are relocating to Turkey permanently, it is okay to handle the property buying process on your own. However, there are various advantages of hiring an agent to manage your property.

Property agents will go through the title deed application process on your behalf. They also help manage the land or housing units bought while you are away. In addition, agents help in property searches, which can be quite difficult for expats due to language barriers.

Property agents in Turkey request a 3 percent standard fee of the value of your property. This rate is capped by the Turkish government so you should never pay anything higher than 3 percent. However, agency fees can vary depending on the rental agents you work with.

Expats are required to pay a property tax duty of 4.4 percent of the total asset value. This duty should be cleared while applying for a title deed. Real estate attorneys will charge around $1200 for legal consultation or handling of any property related document. However, some real estate lawyers may charge higher consultation fees depending on the complexity of the transaction.

There are other miscellaneous fees involved in a property purchase in Turkey, including retainers for booking the property on sale. Nevertheless, you will never spend above $500 on additional charges. Properties for sale in Turkey are some of the most affordable in Europe.


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