(I wrote this back in 2012, but it may still be useful – so I am republishing it now)
If you are like me…when you come to Turkey you are going to want to stay here. While there are plenty of things that make life in Turkey challenging for foreigner (Yabanci prounounced yabangee) buying property isn’t one of them.
Buying property in Turkey is actually a very straight forward process. In fact, it’s actually easier than many other countries both in Europe and the Americas. First of all:
Find the property you want to buy and at this point you will need to pay the deposit on it. You can do this with cash or credit card. You can’t pay it with a personal check but a bank transfer will work. Usually, the deposit is 10-20% of the total price. When you pay this to the property owner, you get a receipt and the amount is written into the contract.
You will need your passport and 4-8 passport size photos. At this point a Turkish attorney will prepare a contract for the purchase – you are paying them and they are actually there to help you, not the seller, make sure that the attorney isn’t also representing the seller and preferably doesn’t know them. Next you go to the notary public and if you aren’t going to be in Turkey during the purchase, you give your agent the power of attorney so they can obtain the title deeds in your absence. If you are in Turkey, not necessary. Back to the attorney and you and the seller will sign the sales contract with the address,payment details, etc.
Your papers will be forwarded to the Land Registry office for all documentation relating to the purchase is then forwarded to the Land Registration office in Izmir. Here everything is checked and then the title deeds ( TAPU ) are re-issued in the new owners name and forwarded back to the local Land Registration office who, in turn contact your agent. This process usually takes 6-8 weeks. Your agent will advise you of this when it happens. At this time you will need to pay the final balance plus the 3% property tax.
The extras that you will pay on top of the purchase price are:
• A 3% of the property value tax. This is a once off payment and it is due for payment once the TAPU is received.
• The lawyer’s fee. Prices start from about $400 U.S. and will vary depending on which lawyer you choose to use.
• An approximate $200 Notaries Charge for giving us the Power of Attorney to handle the documents relating to the property in your absence (if you are out of country)
• A 3% agency fee that covers all agents commision and charges. This is usually payable at the time that the contract is made, together with the initial deposit payment on the property but may be able to be negotiated in certain circumstances.
• It is compulsory to have earthquake insurance and we recommend you take out Full insurance home and contents cover as soon as the house is registered in your name.(the cost of this varies depending on the value of the property, it’s contents for the number of months it will be occupied.) Approximately$300
• The connection of Water and Electricity into your name so the bills will come directly to your house. Does not apply to some properties.
This is an idea of costs for the purchase of a property of $100,000
Property price $100 K
Tax @ 3% $3000
Notary’s fee $200
Agency Fee @ 3% $3000
(incl. earthquake cover) $300
Once you have received your TAPU there are some other charges, which need to be paid. Estimated annual costs per property to be as follows:
Water / Sewage $100
Site maintenance $400
DigiTurk Satelite TV $300
Council tax $30
It is not necessary to pay anyone to pay bills. Electric can be paid by automatic standing order once you have a bank account. Water bills are intermittent and likewise your council tax can be paid when you visit annually. And be aware that you may still need online tax software if you are a legal resident of North America.