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Rob Thomas, Ozsubasi Homes

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your company

My wife Carol and I came to live in Didim (on the Aegean coast of south west Turkey) in 2007, and we are both in our 50’s. I’ve been with Ozubasi Homes since then, although it wasn’t the plan when we arrived . We bought through them, I wanted something to do and it just fell into place. The company are primarily developers but also act as agents, and have been established since 1987.

My office only covers the Didim area but we also have offices in the regional city of Aydin. Carol is part owner of a bar near to our home, which is a two bedroom apartment close to the town centre.What has the property market been like this year?

It depends on which perspective you look at it from. Our core business is with Turkish people, and demand has been constant as the Turkish economy has been doing well compared to many others. But certainly from the point of view of business from the UK, it has dropped considerably and there have been more sellers than buyers. The main reasons are that for those who have holiday homes here, some have found that with the uncertainties in the UK they wanted or needed to cash their properties in, and for others who bought here when interest rates were around 30% and they relied on that for their lifestyle, now that they have dropped to around 8% they can no longer afford to stay. This in turn has led to a depression in resale prices as some have sold cheaply. Prices for new builds have risen but mainly in line with increased costs.

What do you expect to happen to the market in 2014? Are there any "hotspots" to look out for?

Property prices in Didim are already the lowest of any of the popular resorts in the region, and with the very favourable exchange rates that have been available over the last year, we would hope for more UK buyers but are not realistically expecting them to return in significant numbers until the UK recovery is more established and people have more confidence in spending. The prospects are looking brighter than for 2013 but we are cautiously optimistic.

What are the major challenges faced by expats looking to buy?

Knowing who to trust and finding someone who speaks fluent English. There are hundreds of estate agents and developers operating here, many are well established and reputable, others are not so.

Then there are waiters and barmen who just happen to have the ideal property for you, and they should definitely be avoided however friendly and nice they may seem.

What advice would you give to expats going through the buying process?

At the enquiry stage, ask lots of questions and see how quickly and fully they respond. If the service is poor at this stage, it is unlikely to get better. Buying in Turkey is quite a simple process but it is important for any buyer to understand fully what is going on at every stage. Do your research, there is plenty of information available on the internet. Get the feel of the price range for the type of property you are looking for, and learn about how the buying process works. Being well informed is probably your best protection.

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When viewing properties, don’t be too polite. If it isn’t what you asked to see or just isn’t right, then say so. It will save time for both you and the agent. The more you explain of what you want, the better able they will be to show you homes that are more likely to appeal to you.

Don’t pay in full upfront. If it is an off plan development, a builder should ask for a deposit followed by some part payment as the work progresses, but with a large portion to only be paid on completion when the tapu (title deed) is transferred to the buyer. For an already completed property, it should be a deposit and then the balance paid when the tapu is transferred.

Can you be contacted for further information?

Rob Thomas
Ozsubasi FMS Homes
0090 256 8134058

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