Turkey is a country with a European perspective and a welcoming atmosphere for the Muslim and Arab worlds. The closest European shore to Arab tourists, and the closest Muslim coast to European tourists. A center point of convergence between East and West, North and South. A promising country with a high curve of progress at a remarkable pace and new startups opening almost every day. What are the chances of owning a property there? and how? What are the most important tips to protect you from getting into trouble and ensure you get the best return?
Can foreigners buy property in Turkey?
Yes, foreigners can buy real estate units in Turkey. Moreover, the Turkish government has enacted laws to attract small real estate investors that allow them to obtain a Turkish passport by owning a property worth at least 400,000 Dollars. On the condition of transferring the full amount to the seller’s account, plus buying the property from a Turkish seller, not a foreign one. Then, after keeping the property for 3 years, you can get a Turkish passport and Turkish citizenship.
Why buy a property in Turkey?
- Real estate in Turkey is less expensive than its peers in both Western and Arab countries.
- Property in Turkey has a high ROI due to low real estate prices, and annual maintenance services for each property, due to these.
- factors, the property’s value rises in the long run and yields a significant ROI.
- The cost of living in Turkey is affordable compared to peers from European countries that give you the same standard of living.
- Acquisition of Turkish Citizenship, where the Turkish Government established incentives for foreigners to obtain a Turkish passport, one of which was to own a property.
- The lands available in Turkey for foreigners vary (agricultural, residential, commercial, residential + commercial), which enables you to farm, raise livestock, build, or invest in lands. And if you are interested in investing in particular, you will find nothing better than the new city of yenişehir in Arnavutkoy. Its investment returns reach 50%.
Turkey after the earthquake
Prior to the earthquake, the rising curve in property prices in Turkey was noticed and even crazy, then the February 2023 earthquake in Turkey was a real catastrophe for people and for buildings, prompting the government to put in place strict laws that are taken into account when building, and to place provisions on real estate that are not of good standards or that are about to fall or that were severely affected by the earthquake. It needs major maintenance. This is to protect buildings from the threat of earthquakes and preserve the lives that inhabit them. Starting from the minimum requirement of observing certain criteria in the construction of buildings at an affordable cost, to the placement of expensive earthquake insulators in important buildings.
The earthquake also prompted Turkey’s property prices to rise further, especially in the popular cities, the property units that were not affected by the earthquake, and the ones that follow building safety requirements.
Tips for buying property in Turkey as a foreigner
- There must be an independent lawyer separate from the real estate agency, the developer, and the real estate representative. The lawyer’s job is to give you clear advice on real estate projects, legal gaps you don’t know about, and tricks that some turn to in selling and buying. This is to avoid fraud. The lawyer should also be aware of which buildings are unfit for accommodation, which have legal provisions, and which are already sold to another buyer.
- You should know that the projects that fulfill the building criteria and legal documentation are often built in fully serviced areas. However, Arabs often follow the concept of buying real estate properties away from serviced areas, hoping for a high ROI in the long run. But this is not the best way to find a property in Turkey because the real estate market in Turkey is different; on the contrary, it may make you get involved in fake real estate deals.
- In order to avoid fraud, know that Turkish citizens do not sell property to foreigners with installment plans, not even to local buyers; real estate installment plans are only available through real estate agencies, whether they’re governmental agencies or private real estate agencies. For the lack of guarantees that can be offered by both individual parties, if you’re about buying
- property in Turkey as a foreigner with an installment plan, it’s advised to buy it from a real estate agency.
- Getting a TAPU (an authentication document for owning a property in Turkey) is the biggest guarantee for owning this property, but it is only delivered to the buyer after payment of the property value in full, so if you can pay the entire property value without installment, it is preferable to get your TAPU immediately without any delay. Taking into account to investigate the credibility of the real estate agent or the seller, with the presence of a lawyer in the country.
Steps for buying a property in Turkey as a foreigner
- Start by knowing the objective of purchasing this property: is it just an investment in order to earn an investment return, for the purpose of housing and accommodation, or for the purpose of starting a business? Hence, the required budget, city, and specifications for this property will be determined.
- Choose a real estate agent. Have a look at its platforms and websites to verify its reputation, read its history, contact them by phone, and ask them about the guarantees they offer the buyer and the guarantees the agency requires from the buyer.
- Visit Turkey to take a tour of the property units offered, determine the property units that apply to your requirements, and compare the prices.
- Assign an independent lawyer who is not affiliated with the real estate agent or representative in order to tell you about those details that you’re not aware of as a foreigner. The lawyer can also know whether there are legal provisions on the selected property and whether or not it meets the legal requirements.
- Hold the property price steady by paying a deposit. This is a very important step to avoid rising property prices, changes in the Dollar’s value or in the Turkish Lira’s value during the completion of the purchase process.
- Preparing the required documents, translating them, documenting them, and supplementing the required paperwork by obtaining a tax number and a bank account in Turkey. Sign the final contract agreed upon by the parties and register the property as soon as the legal authentication is issued.
- Finally, you can receive the (TAPU) document, which is proof of ownership of a property in Turkey and coincides with paying the final payment of the property’s value in the case of purchasing fully in cash. Then comes the phase of opening bills (for such things as electricity, gas, and the Internet), moving on to the property, and furnishing it.
What kind of taxes and fees will I need to pay?
Costs can vary between the different regions of Turkey, but here’s a rough idea of the main taxes and fees involved:
- Notary fees – from £200
- Property Purchase Tax (similar to stamp duty) – 4.% of purchase price
- Land Registry fee – £125
- Estate agent fees – approximately 3% Legal fees – at least £500.
Turkey is making steady strides towards development at all levels, and without turning a blind eye to the caps that occur from time to time in the Turkish economy, the whole state of Turkey remains promising, rising, and fertile soil for investments, both for small and large investors. The best investment with the least risk is buying real estate.