There are probably more than five things you need to know about buying property in Turkey – but we hope this is a start…
Plenty of holidaymakers who have visited for summer breaks and will admit to dreaming about one day buying a home somewhere in the sun – perhaps not far from their favourite haunts so they can visit whenever they like.
But, as you might expect, making the dream a reality presents quite a few challenges – not least with the language, currency and customs but for a buyer’s expectations. Many of us will have moved house before but a new home across a sea or two is a different proposition altogether.
We asked a few of our more recent movers about their experiences after purchasing both new and used homes in Turkey and here are five cautionary notes relevant to each:
If you’ve done any real digging on buying property in Turkey you’ll be aware of the Tapu – the document which proves your ownership of the house. It’s a Holy Grail for many after a few months of due process which can seem to drag on.
However, be sure your team – including your estate agents and solicitor – are truly on the ball. Details in the small print relating to things like access to land can come back to bite the new owners on the bum. Our advice would be to check – and then check again.
Of course selling homes is the estate agents’ job but, just like anywhere else, there is a natural inclination to emphasise the positives and play down the negatives.
Bear in mind though that advertising standards can vary from country to country. In the UK, for example, if it’s not strictly true you can’t put it in the particulars. That even goes for small stuff like saying a house is “within a stone’s throw of the nearest bus stop”. If you can’t actually throw a stone that far then you can’t say it.
Other countries may be a little more relaxed so it may be prudent to some well-worn phrases with a pinch of salt. For example, to a UK buyer, “key-ready” implies a fully-furnished, well-maintained property only waiting for an owner to stamp their identity on it. Elsewhere, it may mean something else.
If you’re UK-based or even a northern European, you’d probably expect a house to have some form of heating. That’s not necessarily so in warmer countries.
In the popular coastal areas of western Turkey, for example, you can certainly expect solar panels to provide hot water. However central heating or air-conditioning are not usually “as standard”. If you’d like some additional warmth for the cooler winter months, you may need to add the cost to your budget.
Also – although many brand-new homes will include modern, fitted bathrooms and kitchens – if you’re buying a resale property, they may not be part of the package. It’s not unusual to find gaps where the hob, washing machine and dishwasher used to be. When you’re working out your budget, it may be wise to include a little wriggle room just in case you need it.
If you asked “What have the Romans ever done for us?” in the UK, the beginnings of an effective sewerage system would be one answer. But Britain is fortunate in that it doesn’t present too many topological challenges so it’s been easy enough to add to the underground infrastructure over the years – particularly during the Industrial Revolution.
However, in Turkey – although many major cities benefit from an underground network of sewers – some smaller towns and villages don’t. Instead, each home is connected to its own septic tank.
It’s not a huge problem and there are firms which specialise in emptying them every three to five years – but it’s a cost which needs adding to your calculations.
One of the joys of resale property in Turkey is its individualism. Some of the inventive and creative uses of available space are hard to find anywhere else and then, of course, there’s the Turkish love for carpentry and decorative and intricate woodwork.
But the craftsmen who created such bespoke home interiors – perhaps during the Ottoman era – weren’t necessarily working with modern appliances in mind and, as such, you may not be able to find gaps for everything to slot into.
But, don’t despair! Another aspect of the Turk psyche is adaptability. There’s a saying in Yorkshire that “it’ll be reet” and many Turks subscribe to much the same can do mentality. After a little time for contemplation, there’s usually a solution to be found – and not necessarily a costly one either.
In Turkey, a glass of çay and a little encouragement can go a long way. After all, there’s a Turkish proverb which states: “It is not disgraceful to ask; it is disgraceful not to,” which is worth bearing in mind when it comes to making a house a home.
If you’d like a heads-up on how to plan or even just a no-obligation chat about the pros and cons of investing in property in Turkey, why not give as a call or drop us a line?
We’re happy to help with the logistics, paperwork and advice before, during and after your move so feel free to get in touch. We’d love to help if we can.
Alternatively, feel free to browse our blog for previous posts you may find useful or, if you’d like to check out our portfolio, you can find details of properties currently on our books right here. You can also keep up to date with our Facebook page here.