Turkish Property Q & A

Turkish Property Questions and Answers:

Spot Blue is highly regarded within the UK property scene for its knowledge of property in Turkey and related subjects. So much so that our director Julian Walker has just been on the expert panel at the A Place in the Sun seminar on Turkey.

Can I make an offer on a Turkish property?
Yes. Making an offer for a property in Turkey works in the same way as in other property markets in the world, essentially it is ‘Willing buyer – Willing seller’ Spot Blue will put forward all sensible offers to the seller – whether a developer, builder or private seller.
The offer needs to be put in writing and forwarded by email to Spot Blue so it can be forwarded onto the seller. If the offer is being made without seeing the property, the condition/s of the offer must be considered – is it subject to viewing the property and if so what time frame will this viewing be made? Normally a deposit (refundable or non refundable) will be made to an independent lawyer who holds the deposit until the property is viewed.
Offers can only be considered if the buyer is in the position to complete the purchase. The longer dated the offer, the more unlikely it is to be considered because of the seller losing the sale to another buyer in the interim period.

Do Spot Blue arrange Turkish property viewing trips?
Yes, Spot Blue run Turkish property viewing trips all year round to the various regions of Turkey subject to flight availability. Please contact Spot Blue on +44 (0)20 8339 6036 now to arrange your trip.

What documents do I need to buy a property in Turkey?
To purchase a property in Turkey, you will need to take the following with you to Turkey:
1) 4 passport size photos for each buyer on the Title Deed
2) A utility bill to prove your address in the UK / country of residence to open a bank account
3) Access to funds of between £1,000 to £3,000 for the deposit (the amount is subject to the property sale terms)
4) Passport
5) A Turkish tax number to open the Turkish bank account (Spot Blue will assist all buyers with this process in Turkey)

Do you have other properties for sale, other than those shown on the Spot Blue website?
Yes we do. The Turkish property market changes on a daily basis.
There are always new sellers submitting their property details to Spot Blue, such as developers, private resellers, land owners and business owners, all of whom Spot Blue will vet carefully before adding them to our books and listing them on our website.
Properties continue to come on and off our list as situations change – for example, someone might make an offer on one of the properties in our current portfolio so we would take the property off the market, but if the offer is withdrawn, it will be available for sale again.
As time passes, situations change.  If a sale has been confirmed and the contract is signed, a property will be removed from our website.  If it comes back up for sale after a few years, you may see that property again.
Also, don’t forget that a property on our website may well have more than one agent selling it, so sometimes we won’t hear immediately if a property has been sold by another agent.  However, the Spot Blue portfolio and website is updated on a daily basis and we do try to ensure that all our property listings are as up to date as possible.
There are also times when the local agent will know of properties which are not currently on the market, such as the owners debating whether to rent or sell, and they may wish to meet people face to face before making a decision.
We try not to list too many of the same looking developments on our website, but make sure we have a good cross-section of options for our clients. So even though we may only have a picture of one property at your price range, do call us as we may have many more.
If you meet our Spot Blue representative face to face, he/she can talk to you about all your options and will work their hardest to find the right property for you.
Contact us any time to arrange a viewing, on +44 20 8339 6036

What are the property buying costs on Turkish properties?
Buying costs vary from region to region, and deal to deal, but these are the generally accepted minimum charges & costs involved (Please note that prices are FROM in each case)
-Independent Legal Fees from £500 (Turkey Based, more if UK based and subject to the work completed)
-Notary Costs (including Power of Attorney ) – from £200
-Property Purchase tax /stamp duty – 3% total of the declared & registered purchase price – the split of the purchase tax between seller and buyer is subject to agreement in each purchase. (Increased from 3.3% to 4% September 2012, decreased to 3% (from 4%) March 2017)
-Military approval cost – from £125 per purchaser.
-Land registry – £125.
-Utility transfer fees from £150 per utility.
If the property is a resale property there is a 3% agency fee on the purchase price.

What are the maintenance charges for a property in Turkey?
Maintenance fees depend on factors such as the type of property you purchase and the facilities which are offered for the residents.
For example, a studio apartment, which has one shared pool will have a lower maintenance fee than a detached villa with a private pool on a large communal complex which has many facilities such as 24 hour security, an indoor heated pool, a fitness centre etc.
Maintenance fees for Turkish properties are generally from about £30/month, with the average across all areas about £45-50/month. Please note that this yearly charge differs between properties & developments.
Our local Spot Blue representative in Turkey will make sure that you are provided with all of the details and extra costs involved for any property which you are considering to purchase when you meet them in Turkey.

What is the cost of living in Turkey?
Living costs in Turkey:
Once you make the move to Turkey, you will be amazed at how much money you can save on your overall household spend – there will be a huge difference in your weekly shopping bills for a start. Most people shop for fresh produce at the weekly markets which are found in every village, town and city across Turkey. There is always the fall back of the large supermarkets where you can buy other items, should you wish.
At the weekly market:
Here, you can buy fresh bread, fruit and vegetables, a wide selection of cheese and a variety of freshly caught fish.  A large sea bream, for example, which is more than enough for two people, is 25tl (£4.00).
The average weekly fruit and veg shop for two from the market will cost from 70tl (at today’s rate 6.24) which is around £11.22.
You can also buy clothes, shoes, costume jewellery, pots and pans at the market.
At the supermarket:
A weekly (essentials) shop including milk, tea bags, butter, chicken, pasta, sauces etc will cost from 150tl (£24.04) – obviously the amount you spend depends on what you buy. 
As a rule, most expats don’t buy convenience foods as it is more cost effective to buy fresh and make their own meals. During July and August, cooking usually goes out of the window as it’s too hot and therefore your appetite diminishes.
You can buy lots of well known brand names, such as Heinz, Hellman’s etc but for these there will be a premium.
Meat:
A pack of four large chicken breasts is around 13tl (£2.08)
500g of minced beef is 15tl (£2.40)
A large chicken to roast is 20tl (£3.21) although sometimes chickens can be on offer and if you spend more than 60tl in the supermarket, you can pick up a fresh chicken for just 2tl.
A good piece of beef steak is 17tl (£2.72)
Bottled drinking water:
In some parts of Turkey you cannot drink from the tap; however you can have a 19L bottle of water delivered to your door from only 8tl (£1.28) per bottle  – the same as the water you have for a cold water drinks dispenser. You keep the empties and give them back on your next water delivery.
Alcohol:
A nice bottle of white, rosé or red wine costs from 16tl (£2.56) but obviously you can buy more expensive options if you wish.
A bottle of Prosecco is 25tl (£4.00)
A nice bottle of champagne is 125tl (£20.00)
Four bottles of local beer is 30tl (£4.80)
A bottle of local vodka is 70tl (£11.22) and a bottle of local gin is around the same price. Again you can buy known brands but you will pay more for those.
Cigarettes:
A pack of 20 Turkish brand cigarettes costs from 10tl (£1.60) whereas branded cigarettes cost from 15tl (£2.40).
Cafés:
A Nescafé coffee costs from 6tl (96p) and English tea is from 3tl (48p)
A soft drink costs from 5tl (80p)
Snacks such as a toasted cheese sandwich served with chips will set you back around 13tl (£2.08)
Eating out:
Restaurants vary so it depends on what you want to eat:
For lunch, you can have a traditional Turkish meal for two (consisting of a free meze starter served with bread, pide (similar to pizza) and fresh salad with two beers) for just 50tl (£8.00).
An evening out for two at an upmarket restaurant with a couple of bottles of excellent wine and three courses will only cost you 200tl (£32.00). 
Bars:
If you just want a drink, local beers cost from 12tl (£1.92), a glass of house wine is from 12tl (£1.92), a gin and tonic or vodka and coke is from 14tl (£2.24). Cocktails start from 22tl (£3.53).  Obviously different areas have different prices so this is just a guide.
In conclusion, the beauty of living in Turkey is that the cost of living is so much lower than European countries, which in turn affords you a great lifestyle.
If you are lucky enough to live near the beach, in general the cafés there are inexpensive, so grabbing a spot of lunch in between catching the rays is easy. It means you can go out and meet up with friends several times a week without worrying about how much you are spending.
So the big question is, when are you moving to Turkey?

What are the running costs of living in Turkey?
Running costs of living in Turkey:
If you find yourself at that stage in life where you’re about to retire but you don’t want to stay in the UK, perhaps you should consider relocating to Turkey. Why? Because it’s much more affordable to live and there are 300 days of sunshine per year, not to mention stunning coastlines, friendly people and a feeling of wellbeing.
You will find your money will stretch further in Turkey as property prices offer excellent value for money.
Apartments can be bought in beautiful locations on a complex from less than £35,000 and semi detached villas start from just £64,950, with a shared pool.
The chances are if you sell your home in the UK, you can buy in Turkey AND have money left over. This money will give you a good interest rate and you can withdraw it monthly if you need to.
Once you have bought your property in Turkey your outgoings could look like this:
Maintenance Charges:
Electric Bills:
These will obviously differ depending on the season – two people in an apartment can expect to pay around 100tl (£16.00) per month in the summer. In the summer you don’t need to put the immersion on as the water is hot enough for a shower. If you use Air Con units you may have higher bills but ceiling fans and stand up fans are ideal and very cheap to run all through the day and night.
In the winter, it is more likely to be around 200tl (£32.00) per month (as you will be using heating and a boiler).
Generally, most properties have solar panels and immersion heaters if they don’t have a boiler and this costs considerably less.
Water Bills:
Most owners have water metres installed and the bills are from 35tl (£5.60) per month.
Gas:
Cooking gas is delivered in bottles which last around six to nine months (depending how often you cook), costing around 85tl (£13.62).
Health Insurance:
Any foreigner under the age of 65 who resides full time in Turkey must have private health insurance. This is not expensive but you will pay a higher premium if you smoke or drink heavily. Any pre existing conditions are not covered.
You can pay from 1000tl (£160) per year and if you don’t make a claim, there is a reduction each year. If you have a family, you can pay through the government health insurance called SGK which costs from 600tl (£96) per month for a married couple, and any children under the age of 18 are included. The SGK premium rises each year.
Internet:
The average WiFi provider costs from 40tl (£6.41) per month for unlimited internet service.
Mobile phone:
You can buy a decent Smartphone from around 800tl (£128.00) or less and monthly packages range from 50tl (£8.00) upwards.  However, you can bring a phone from the UK  but bear in mind it will have to be unlocked in Turkey and you have a minimum amount of time to do this.
Council Tax:
Expect to pay from 180tl (£28.85) per year for an apartment, and from 561tl for a villa.
Refuse Tax:
Expect to pay from 80tl (£12.82) per year for an apartment, and 160TL for a villa.
Building Insurance and contents:
Expect to pay from around 300tl (£48.07) per year.
Earthquake Insurance (Dask):
This insurance is compulsory and costs from 250tl (£40) per year for an apartment, and 400tl for a villa.
Cars:
Cars can be expensive to buy in Turkey but they do hold their value. If you are retired, you are allowed to bring a car in to Turkey from the EU. A foreigner will have a different number plate to distinguish them from Turks and Turks are not allowed to drive foreign plate cars.
Used cars (from two years old) start from around 50,000TL (£8,000).
Car Insurance is from 900tl (£145) per year – it is the car that is insured not the driver so it can be a lot cheaper than the UK.
Car Tax is from 1000tl (£160) per year.
Foreign number plates are a one off payment from 250tl (£40).
Petrol:
A litre of petrol costs from 6.33tl (£1.00).
A litre of diesel costs from 5.90tl (95p).
So, if you are thinking of moving abroad and want a cost effective option in idyllic surroundings, why not move to Turkey? What’s not to love?
(The rate used as of July 2018 is 6.24)

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