If you are thinking of buying a house in Turkey, but unsure whether it is the right move to make, we can assure it is, and also give helpful advice for a smooth purchase. Proof of Turkey’s popularity as a destination for holiday homes or permanent dwellings is in the stats. In 2019, foreigners bought 45,000 apartments and villas. Now standing as a worthy contender to other countries for overseas living, expat communities dotted around towns, cities, and villages also thrive.
In our line of work, people often ask us if foreigners can buy property in Turkey. The answer is always a resounding, yes. Thousands of foreigners from many different nationalities legally hold the title deed to apartments, villas, land, and commercial real estate. Foreigners can buy property anywhere except in government-designated military zones, and own up to 30 hectares, or a maximum 10% of the district. So, bearing that in mind, let us look at how a first-time buyer can get started.
Buying a House in Turkey
1: Is it Safe?
It is if you follow the legal guidelines and practice due diligence when house-hunting. When looking at properties for sale, giving money to unofficially, licensed people with no credentials is one example where things go wrong, and homebuyers lose money. Use an official estate agent, employ a lawyer, and that is 90% of the work done.
The lawyer is responsible for making the title deeds application, and we check all our listings before advertising to ensure there are no outstanding debts on the home, and the deeds are in order. The law also states any foreigner when reviewing contractual obligations and signing for deeds must use an official translator.
2: Residency and Citizenship
To be clear, residency, citizenship and home buying are all three separate processes. You don’t have to buy a property to get a residency permit, but many people do, simply because of affordable prices and potential mid to long term capital growth. Additionally, some people who purchase real estate over 250,000 USD, and keep it for at least three years can apply for citizenship. (Read more about the citizenship by investment program.)
3: Who Buys Property in Turkey?
Official stats show many different nationalities have become second-home owners, and the country is famous for buy-to-let and overseas property investment. Certain areas attract a higher percentage of one nationality for owning family homes than others. For example, Didim on Turkey’s Aegean coast, is home to many British expats, hence the nickname “Little Britain.”
Germans and Russians tend to gravitate to the Antalya area. At the same time, Middle Eastern nationalities prefer the northern districts of Bursa and Trabzon because of similarities in family-home culture and traditions. Western nationalities tend to gravitate towards the south and west coasts, boasting of beach and coastal towns.
4: How to Buy a House
The process is quite simple, and if all finances are in place, and you buy a resale or key ready home, will take as little as six weeks to obtain the deeds and put your key in the door. The first step of the home-buying process is to browse our listings of houses on the market. Each listing shows photo, floorplans if applicable, price, map location, home buying features and contact details to find out more via email or to arrange a viewing.
Once you have decided which home to buy, your lawyer will draw up contracts, and make the application to the title deeds office. You will make a down-payment, obtain a tax number, and arrange to transfer finances. Once the deeds are ready for transferring ownership, you will sign for them, pay the stamp-duty, obtain the keys, transfer utilities, and officially become a home owner.
As real estate agents, we guide our customers through every step of buying a home. We can answer questions and give advice for a smooth purchase, and to invest, making your money work for you.
5: Where to buy in Turkey
Istanbul City: Official records show this city as the most popular destination for your average foreign homeowner. Separating into the European and Asian side, many home buyers choose outskirt European districts, which are now, a hub of residential real estate and infrastructure development. The city, Turkey’s largest and most prominent is also a tourism, education, art, food, culture, business, and economic hub, hence attracts those looking for mid to long term property investment.
Separating into 39 official districts, Bosphorus neighbourhoods are the most expensive, and old Yali mansions are some of the costliest houses in the world. Still, outskirt districts offer affordable property prices and many developers with off-plan projects provide a discount for cash payment, or long term, interest-free monthly fees of up to five years. (More about where to buy in Istanbul.)
Antalya Region: Heading across country to the Mediterranean coast, this area is the second most popular destination, and fast catching up with Istanbul, as a tourism hub. For buying a holiday home, Antalya delivers. Featuring Turkey’s best beaches, it breaks down into the city centre, and smaller coastal towns, all of which offer something unique. Belek is the golfing capital, Side is known for its historical ruins, Alanya is a bustling destination with the typical tourist ambience, and Kalkan on the outskirts of the region is famous for large, luxury villas boasting of incredible sea views. (About buying a property in Antalya.)
Fethiye Region: Still on the Mediterranean, this large district of the Mugla province, another popular tourist and expat hub, offers affordability and stunning landscape scenery, hence explaining its popularity. Separating into the districts of the city centre, Ovacik, Hisaronu, Oludeniz and Calis beach, it also boasts of gorgeous beaches, and unforgettable sunsets.
As a popular sailing hub of the Turkish riviera, its large marina accommodates yachts from all over the world. At the same time, it also does an excellent job of accommodating both budget and the luxury holiday home buyer. Expect to find a westernised ambience, an offshoot result of its tourism popularity. However, traditional Turkish vibes can still be found in specific neighbourhoods. Read about reasons to buy property in Fethiye.
Bodrum Peninsula: Heading across to the Aegean region, this peninsula was one of the first places to embrace tourism, hence its cosmopolitan ambience. Long known as a hangout destination for American celebrities and Saudi royalty, it also does an excellent job of accommodating budget tourists and the average foreign homebuyer. Choose from many different destinations.
House buyers’ favour Yalikavak for its large villas, incorporating the latest in modern architecture. Along with that, expect a glitzy lifestyle from the Palmarina that often hosts mega yachts from all over the world. Traditional and quaint Gumusluk commands fame for its seaside restaurants, while Golturkbuku is where buying houses will set you back six digits or more because they lead the property market. More about where to buy in Bodrum.
Traditional Bursa: Whereas the above places have a more westernised holiday feel to them, Bursa earns fame as the first capital ruling centre of the old Ottoman empire. Hence it is a Turkish holiday destination, with its roots firmly planted in traditions and culture. As home to some UNESCO World heritage sites, it also offers up Uludag mountain that in winter becomes one of Turkey’s top skiing destinations.
Nicknamed Green Bursa, because of the massive amounts of green scenery, Bursa offers a combination of urban, rural, coastline and mountain activities. It is an all-rounder and perfect for those who aren’t worried about beaches, boat trips and sunning it up. See a range of houses for sale in Bursa.
Also of Interest
Is Turkey a Good place to Live? Many people buy property in Turkey to eventually move out here. In this article, we look at surveys to find out the reasons why people choose the country as an overseas retirement destination, homeownership, and what they like most about living here.
Resale Property Guide: When buying real estate in Turkey, there are three types of housing. One is off-plan, the other is a key ready new home, and the third is resale properties from owners. We look at the current housing market; what buyers need to know and give some advice to ensure the house you buy is worth the money you pay.
About Us: As an international agent, our years of experience in the Turkish real estate market has helped thousands of foreign buyers to become apartment and villa owners. Internationally featured in many major publications, as credible sources, for more advice or help about buying a house in Turkey, contact us today.