8 need-to-know Tips for buying a property in Istanbul
Back in May 2012, in accordance with the Article 35 of the Land Registry Law No. 2644, amended by Law No. 6302, which came into force on 18 May 2012, the condition of reciprocity for foreigners who wish to buy property in Turkey was abolished. Following this in 2018, with the citizenship by property investment programme, buying an apartment in Istanbul became attractive to foreigners who are considering to buy property abroad.
Buying a home in Istanbul as a foreigner might not be as straightforward as buying in your home country. Aside from the Bureaucratic side of the process, the alternatives should be carefully inspected based on the profitability. Istanbul offers hundreds of thousands of property choices and not all of them are smart to invest in.
1. You need a clear decision
First of all, you need clear objectives. Are you looking to buy in Istanbul to live in the property - or wishing to rent it out? Will it be an investment or is it for getting a Turkish passport? The answers will determine which property and which part of Istanbul is right for you as not every property is a good investment and not all properties are ideal rental apartments.
2. Have multiple options
View each property individually. Reality often might be different than how the property is being advertised and a viewing can do property justice. View as much properties as possible.
3. Avoid last-minute problems
Some of the properties in Istanbul real estate market might lack the correct paperwork for their owners. Such paperwork might include the zoning and planning permissions, condominium rights which in the end, which would avoid you to get a TAPU (title deed) and make the whole process a waste of time.
4. Be aware of the booming market and the excessive number of agents
Turkish property market is booming with excessive supply in real estate development. This is not always a very good news as the excessive supply in real estate development market would have the prices decrease to market equilibrium. This means that a wrong step in Istabul property market might have your investment diminished. The excessive amount of supply in real estate in Istanbul also brings an excessive number of real estate agents. It is also vital to find the correct agency that knows the market and understands your needs.
5. You don't have to find a lawyer - but you should!
A lawyer will help confirm if your future home is legally built, has all the necessary documents and that no debt is owing on the property. Appliying for the military clearance, and keeping you up to speed on the buying procees is another plus.
6. Always negotiate on the price and terms
Turkish people love to bargain for everything, and buying a real estate is no exception. You have to make sure that your agent negotiate and help you get a better deal. This is not solely about the price, but also for the added extras, guarantees and the payment schedule.
7. You'll need a translator
Regardless of having an English-speaking lawyer, you'll need to find a translator who is familiar with property purchases. A translator will be helpful in translating and preparing your personal documents.
8. Spending 400.000 USD will get you a Turkish passport
From the year of 2018, the Turkish goverment is allowing foreigners to acquire Turkish citizenship by real estate investment that is worth a minimum of 400.000 US dollars. Learn more about the Turkish citizenship programme here.
The criterias to obtain Turkish citizenship in accordance to the law are as follow:
- The real estate investment must worth at least 400.000 USD whether for a single property or multiple real estate.
- The purchased real estate must have title deeds (TAPU) completed and ready.
- Application for the citizenship must be done via a lawyer.
- A surveyor would be sent by the government for valuation of the purchased real estate - the investment amount that is spended and the amount on the title deed is to be checked and verified by these officals.
- Following the acceptance of the application, Turkish goverment to place a charge over the title deed making the property unsellable for 3 years. After 3 years, the property will be free again to be sold.
- The whole application process takes from 3 to 6 months all together.
- Once all done, Turkish citizenship will be granted to the buyer, as well as their wife/husband and kinds who are under the age of 18.