buying property in turkey

FAQs : BUYING PROPERTY IN TURKEY

If you are thinking of buying a property in Turkey, start your research on the right foot with our quick-start home buyers guide and list of frequently asked questions (FAQs). Simply click on the question of interest to see the answer revealed below it, click again to minimize. Here we cover a wide range of common questions from who can buy a property in Turkey and the legalities involved, to arranging mortgages and more. Don’t see what you are looking for? No problem, CONTACT US.

Can I Buy a Property in Turkey?

Fantastically priced property, a beautiful expanse of coastline and steady value growth makes Turkey the choice destination for a home overseas. But before you put down your money, make sure you are eligible to buy; as both a foreign national and against the designation of the property.
  • Foreign Nationals
    Citizens of countries who have a reciprocity agreement with Turkey can purchase a property, which includes all countries within the EU. In 2012, the Turkish government reviewed title deed laws opening property ownership rights to further countries, including Russia and the UAE, meaning foreign nationals from 183 countries can now buy in Turkey. Please keep in mind that Turkish laws do change frequently so some limitations may apply.
  • Companies Established by Foreign Nationals
    Companies established in Turkey by foreign nationals are able to buy property in Turkey as long as they operate as per the company’s Article of Association.

Limitations on Buying a Property in Turkey

Foreign nationals are able to buy in their own name if the property falls outside of military zones or zones deemed of national significance, such as for reasons of agriculture, culture, historical, environmental or energy importance. These are deemed ‘forbidden zones’.
When you come to apply to purchase a property in Turkey, the Land Registry Office (TAPU Office) will check if the property falls within such a zone.
Foreign nationals are able to purchase 30 hectares (300,000 msq) of land. However, this can be increased to 60 hectares with Cabinet approval. The maximum area a foreign national can own cannot exceed 10 per cent of the total area in the town or city’s Local Development Plan or Implementary Development Plan. However, dependent on the town’s infrastructure etc, the Council of Ministers are able to set a lower ratio.

Tenure of Property in Turkey

Almost all property in Turkey is freehold; meaning that you own the property outright as opposed to leasehold where you own the rights to occupy a property for a specified period of time. It is, however, wise to check this is the case, particularly for properties close to the beachfront.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Buy a Property in Turkey?

While it is not a requirement to use a Lawyer or Solicitor to oversee your property purchase in Turkey, we strongly advise that you do. At your request, we can refer you to a selection of independent lawyers based both in Turkey and the UK who are expert in Turkish Property law. Legal fees and charges vary depending on the work requirement, but typically range between £500-£1000. Be sure to request a quotation before you solicit services.

The Buying Process in Turkey

The process to buy property in Turkey is straightforward, and is completed through the following steps:

  • Agreed Terms and Deposit
    Once your sale terms are agreed, you will put down a deposit or reservation fee so that the property can be taken off the market. This usually equates to around 10 per cent of the property price.
  • Sales Contract
    A contract between the buyer and seller is drawn up with all agreed terms and conditions. This should be done by an independent solicitor. The contractual agreement is binding in Turkish Law and should be written in both Turkish and English.
  • Legal Documents and Military Clearance
    A copy of your passport together with the property title deed (TAPU) and a scaled map showing the location of the property is then submitted to the local Land Registry (TAPU) Office and regional military authority who run a background check to verify you are able to purchase the property. This usually takes around 6 weeks, and is a formality to ensure the property does not lie in a restricted or ‘forbidden’ zone, such as a military area. However, since 2014 the clearance rules have been relaxed. Parcels of property that have already received military clearance since May 2011 no longer need to undergo this process. In addition, if a property on the same complex (e.g. an apartment) has received clearance, other properties on the same site are now covered. This allows for a far quicker completion of sale.
  • Completion
    The purchase can proceed once cleared. This is conducted in the TAPU office, where both the buyer and seller enter the details in the Land Registry. You can assign power of attorney to your solicitor to act on your behalf if you cannot be present, though many of our clients prefer to be there – it’s an exciting moment! The property title deed is then made out in your name, and the property is deemed legally yours.

 

 

Documents Required When Buying Property in Turkey

When buying property in Turkey, you will need:
  • Your passport or National ID Card
  • Four passport sized colour photographs (4cm x 6cm)
  • A Foreign Identity Number and tax number (Yabanci Kimlic Numarasi)
  • Evidence of having a Turkish bank account (eg a statement or account book)
If using an agent to act on your behalf, you will also need your agent’s passport or ID Card, four passport sized colour photographs (4cm x 6cm) of the agent and your power of attorney.
As part of our sales service we will take you to register for a Yabanci Kimlic Number (Foreign Identity number) should you not already be a Turkish resident. We will also arrange for you to obtain a tax number at the local tax office should your Turkish bank of choice require one in order to open a Turkish bank account.
It may be possible to open a Turkish bank account in your native country, but in most cases clients tend to wait until they come to Turkey and open an account locally with our assistance if so requested. The procedure is often completed in a few hours and simply requires filling in the bank’s account application form, two forms of ID (eg driving licence, passport, utility bill to prove your address in your of country of residence) and your local tax office number. Alternatively, you can appoint someone you trust with power of attorney to carry out the procedure for you.

Why Do I Need a Turkish Bank Account?

Turkish legislation states that all transactions exceeding 8000 Turkish Lira must be made through a bank or post office in Turkey. The requirement makes for a sound formalized log in tracking your funds through the purchase process.

The Tapu (Property Title Deed in Turkey)

The TAPU is the legal document that details ownership of a property in Turkey. Without a TAPU you are not legally considered to own a property in Turkey  – even if you have signed a contract with the vendor.

Visa Requirements in Turkey

It is perfectly permissible to buy property in Turkey while on a tourist visa. On 1 February 2012, new tourist visa rules began bringing stay entitlements to 90 days in every 180 days. Those wanting longer stays to enjoy their home in Turkey will need to consider obtaining a residency permit.

Finance and Mortgages in Turkey

Oceanwide Properties strongly recommend that before booking an appointment to view property with us, you ensure you have the finances in place to make a purchase. We don’t want to see you miss out on your dream home.

If you require a mortgage to purchase your property, we are able to refer you to qualified independent mortgage advisors who specialise in overseas mortgages for Turkey and who can supply you with applicable information and guidance.

As a rough guide, fixed and variable rate mortgages are available at 70 per cent loan to value, with a typical rate of five per cent. To be put in touch with an advisor, please contact us below or click our mortgage rates tool.

Buying Costs in Turkey

The approximate buying costs in Turkey when purchasing a home are as follows:

  • Solicitor Fees: typically range £500 to £1200
  • Buyer’s Fee (similar to Stamp Duty) 4 % of declared price of property.
  • Estate Agency Fee**: 3%
  • Translations: £40*
  • Notary Fees: £200*
  • Military Clearance Application***: 320 TL
  • Other Minor Taxes: £60
  • Utility Connections: £150-£250
  • Furnishings: 3-5% of Purchase Cost
*Subject to change. **Estate agency fees are standardised in Turkey. ***Military Clearance is not required if the property, or one on the same site, has already been cleared since May 11th 2011
KDV (VAT) on New Build and Off-Plan Developments
On 1 January 2013 new KDV rates came into effect in Turkey on new build and corporate developer builds. Rates are now defined by the value and size of a new property. For properties less than 150msq with a value of between 500-1000TL per msq, tax is set at 8%. If the value per msq is in excess of this, 18% is payable. KDV charges only apply to new build projects licensed after 1 January 2013 and not to older resale properties bought from an individual.

Ongoing Expenses in Turkey

Ongoing Expenses

  • Property Taxes (similar to UK council tax): from £60 per annum approx, depending on location
  • Electricity: from £70 per month (average for three bed apartment) – based on permanent residence in property.
  • Gas: from £25. Most hobs work with bottled gas, lasting on average three-five months if used daily.
  • Water: from £20 per month – based on permanent residence in property.
  • Telephone/Internet: from £12 monthly
  • Contents/Fire/Flood, etc Insurance*: Approx £150 per annum

*This insurance not compulsory, though advisable. Depending on your provider, you may be able to add your property to the existing insurance policy in your native country.

Maintenance and Communal Charges in Turkey

When living on a complex, the payment of communal charges is usually compulsory. Charges will vary according to the size and value of the property, but usually cover:

  • Pool Maintenance
  • Garden Maintenance
  • Communal electricity/water charges
As a guide, the average maintenance fee for an apartment averages £300-500 per annum, and for a private villa £1100-£1,700 per annum.

 

Some costs may be subject to 18 per cent KD (The Turkish equivalent of VAT). All the above amounts can only be used as a guideline as actual costs will vary depending on property size and usage.

Viewing Property in Turkey

Before you sign any dotted line, Oceanwide Properties strongly recommend you book an appointment to enable you to further explore your desired location(s) and view a selection of properties.

*Disclaimer: Legalities and processes in Turkey are constantly on the change. Although Oceanwide Properties do their best to ensure that all information on our site is correct, we are not financial or legal advisers. If you have any concerns, it is always best to check with an official adviser or authority.