Buying your dream property in Turkey

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Firstly, your dream home is freehold and buying in Turkey is straight forward and simple if you know how, with Turkish law being based on the Swiss constitution and law. Under a bi-lateral agreement between the UK and Turkey, recent changes in Turkish law allow British citizens to buy property in designated areas which we cover. The payments on your purchase contract usually fall into four sections, and although they can vary from builder to builder, we will help you whatever it is.

The initial non-refundable reservation deposit (usually 5.000 Euros)
First stage payment
Second stage payment depending on time scales
Final payment when you receive your Title Deeds (TAPU).

What Documents Do I Need To Purchase a Property?
Your passport details are required to purchase a property along with a local tax number. We will take you to the tax office to obtain a local tax number for you. Your tax number is also required to open your bank account in Turkey. You will also need two recent photographs (4cm x 6cm); you can get them in Turkey but it maybe useful to get two sets before you go.

Do I Need A Lawyer?
Although it is not compulsory to use a lawyer in Turkey, we strongly recommend you do. We have a panel of independent Turkish lawyers should you choose to use one based both in Turkey and the UK. Turkish Government purchase tax is payable on the calculated and declared value of your property. 1.5% is paid by the purchaser and 1.5% by the vendor. A lawyer will typically charge £500 for their services, to this you need to add the purchase tax, accommodation tax, water and electricity connections charges, notary fee and translation fees. Depending on the value of your property you should typically allow £1,500 for all these fees and costs. Ask for a quote from a lawyer before you use them. Should you choose not to use a lawyer the cost will be about £800.

Can I Pay For My Property From The UK?
Once you have signed the contract on the property you wish to buy, you can transfer the money into our HSBC clients account in the UK or transfer the money directly from your own bank. If you are going to transfer the money directly from your own bank we recommended you use a specialist commercial foreign exchange company for the best exchange rates. Banks in the UK do not generally give you the best commercial rates. Please contact us, we will be happy to give you details.

How Long Before I Can Move In?
Dependent upon the Turkish Government offices it currently takes up to 3 months to receive the final Freehold Title Deeds (Tapu). First your application goes to a regional Tapu office then to a Military Head office in Izmir to check the property is not in a restricted or Military Zone. This is normally a formality and if everything is approved then it takes just one day to complete. Once approval has been granted you go to the Tapu office with a translator to sign your freehold ownership documents. A new law for non-residents came into force on 7 January 2006 which is intended to speed up the process. Although the formalities take 8 to 12 weeks, once you have paid a significant part of the purchase price many of the builders will let you take possession.

Completing Your Purchase
Once your application has been approved by the Government and the military, the seller and the buyer have to be represented at the Land Registry Office for entry of the Title Deed into the Land Registry. Most purchasers prefer to go to Turkey to attend personally, although it is not necessary.

You can appoint a Power of Attorney to attend in your place. This can be your lawyer if you have used one, a husband/wife, partner, our office in Turkey, in fact anyone you trust. There are various forms that are required before completion, but they are quite straight forward and we will be pleased to help.

HouseHold Bills
You can pay all your household bills in Turkey by standing order, much the same as in the UK. However with the cost of living being about a quarter of the UK, typically £40 per week for a single person and £60 per week for a couple (for example council tax is about £80 per annum), you will not notice them so much!

Do I Have To Make A Will In Turkey?
Once the property is registered in your name, it is advisable to update your UK will referring to your new home, your UK will is legal in Turkey. If you want belt and braces you can also make a will in Turkey. Our office will be happy to help. It is not necessary but will help to avoid delays.

Do I Have To Pay Tax If I Sell My Property?
At present, if you sell your property within the first 4 years of your ownership there is a 15% sliding scale property capital gains tax due on any profit. After 4 years it is capital gains free. Any tax paid can be subject to the double taxation agreement between UK and Turkey and be offset.

What About Property And Household Insurance?
When you finally get your deeds it is advisable to insure your property preferably in Euros. Most of the big European insurers operate in Turkey - our Turkish office will be pleased to help you to arrange it.

Mortgages In Turkey
There are new laws being considered and passing through the Turkish Parliament and are expected to be enacted very soon. Once mortgages become available prices are expected to rise very quickly after their introduction due to more potential buyers.

UK Mortgages
If you need a mortgage, the easiest and simplest way is to raise the money against your own property in the UK. Most of our clients go back to their existing lenders who are normally happy to consider a loan against their UK property, especially if they have had a successful payment record with them. If you need independent advice we have a panel of authorised Independent Financial Advisers (IFA) who can usually help.

From our years of experience we know it is absolutely essential to have your finances in place before you go to Turkey to look at property. We have seen too many people return home unhappy, disappointed and frustrated having found their dream home and being unable to do anything about it because they have not got their finance in place before going on a buyer's viewing trip. Remember your home is at risk if you raise money against it.

What Income Should I Expect If I Decide To Rent Out My Dream Home?
The rental income will depend on many different factors:
Whether you have an apartment or a villa?
How many bedrooms do you have?
How close the property is to the beach?
How close to the town?
Do you want to rent your property out for self-catering?
Do you want to rent your property out on a fully serviced basis - for example, do you want to offer a daily maid service?
Do you want to promote the renting of your property yourself to family and friends?
Do you want to use the property yourself during the summer high season? Do you want to rent your property out long term to a tour operator, for example 6 months at a time or short term over just the summer months?
Taking all this into consideration, it is not unreasonable to expect a Euro rental yield of between 6% and 10% per annum.

How Would I Go About Renting My Dream Home In Turkey?
There are many letting agencies who will arrange to rent out your property. Beware, like all letting agents throughout the world, they are very expensive. Most of our clients use the web-based letting agencies which are very successful. In our opinion the most profitable way is to rent your property out to family, friends and work-mates - you will be surprised how many will want to know you. If that does not work, a simple advert in the local paper or a one page web site works well. Always get a large deposit and arrange a flight as part of the rental package. If you buy through Spot Blue we will help you arrange it.

Most European health insurances also apply in Turkey and are accepted. Most hospitals have very good interpreters and English is spoken in many doctor's surgeries, although you can get most common European medicines without a prescription at the pharmacy. If you need special medication you can check for availability at the pharmacy.

It is not essential to take out medical insurance but we do advise you to do so, it is relatively inexpensive and does give you peace of mind. The standard of medical and dental care is very high, and both regions have several new purpose built hospitals.

Residents Visa
You can stay for a maximum of three months in Turkey with your 90 day a multi entry tourist visa, however to replace this with a residents visa, you need to apply for this visa within 1 month of first entrance. A resident's visa can be for a period of one to five years.

Instead of applying for a resident's visa you can simply leave the country for 24 hours, and then return on another standard 3 months visa. (On the Med coast most people take advantage of a trip to Northern Cyprus, which is only a 3 hours ferry ride from Alanya, and on the Aegean coast a short ferry trip to one of the many Greek islands, for example Rhodes or Kos). You will require a residents' permit should you want to have a phone or buy a car. Ensure you have plenty of passport-sized photographs before you start.
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