GUIDE FOR FIRST-TIME PROPERTY BUYERS IN TURKEY
How to Buy a Property in Turkey as a Foreigner?
Real estate buying procedures for both foreigners and Turkish citizens are totally the same. The whole buying process can be completed in 1 day once you give your buying decision between the properties that you will see.
When you want to buy an off-plan property from a developer; you will need to pay a refundable reservation fee which is 1% of the total sales price. This will give you two weeks reservation period for you to sign the sales contract and make the down payment. Usually, a payment plan will be offered. The down payment will be minimum 25% and instalment payments can be paid 24 to 60 months depending on the real estate project you choose. The title deed for the property will be given when you complete all your payments. If the agreement is cash payment (a remarkable discount can be taken), directly the application can be made for the title deed if the title deeds for the real estate project are ready at that stage.
When you want to buy a completed property from a developer; cash payment will be requested in most cases, but still payment plan options can be possible. If the payment is cash, directly the application can be made for the title deed. If there will be a payment plan, 1% reservation fee will be requested again and a sales contract will be signed between the two parties. Once the payment is completed, the title deed will be taken.
When you want to buy a completed property from an individual; the payment will be always cash. The reservation fee will be decided between the two parties depending on the time requested by the buyer to make the final decision and prepare the payment. This fee might be non-refundable. For that reason, the conditions should be cleared between the buyer and seller at the beginning. Unlike buying through a developer, a commission should be paid for resale properties as a service fee which is 2% + VAT. When the payment is ready to be made, the same day the title deed procedures can be done within one day.
What are the Steps to Buy a Property in Turkey?
1- Contact Us and Discuss Your Requirements with a Property Consultant
When you fill a contact form with your contact details, one of our experienced property consultants will get in touch with you within 24 hours by phone. We will first listen to your requirements and expectations. Initially, we need answers for the following questions from you in this call:
– What is the purpose of your purchase?
We need to know whether you are buying for investment or personal use as a vacation house maybe or for citizenship/residency application.
– In which location are you planning to buy a property?
We will need to know in which city you have plans to buy a property. If it is in Istanbul, we will ask you if you have any preferred district.
– What is your estimated budget?
It is important for us to know how much you are planning to invest in order to narrow down the property options that we will offer you.
– Do you have any other specific requirements that we need to know?
Our consultant will ask for your requirements for your desired property such as number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, closed or open kitchen, balcony, sea or forest view, compound, facilities etc.
– When are you planning to visit Turkey?
For us to arrange ourselves, it is essential for us to know when you plan to visit Turkey. Accordingly, we can set an appointment with you in advance and be prepared the time you visit our country.
Following these discussions, our property consultant will be in touch with you until you visit Turkey. We will send you all the property offers that matches your needs by email or WhatsApp as you wish.
2- View the Properties You are Interested in
Before your visit to Turkey, we will have already set an appointment with you in order to view the properties you are interested in seeing. Our property consultant can pick you up from your hotel and visit with you all the projects that you would like to see. In each project you will visit, a detailed presentation will be given to you regarding the project, properties and the location in case you wish to. During the tour, you can ask any questions regarding the real estate sector in Turkey to our property consultant in order not to have any question marks remaining.
Usually, in one or two days, we will be able to visit all the properties that you would like to see.
3- Reserve the Property and Sign the Sales Contract
Once you decide to buy a property, a reservation fee which is 1% of the sales price in most cases should be paid. This fee can be paid also by credit card and it is refundable for two weeks. Normally, you have two weeks time to make your final decision. You need to sign the sales contract and transfer the down payment within these two weeks.
Considering most of our clients’ visits are less than a week, they usually reserve a property and sign its sales contract in this one week before leaving. Following, they transfer the down payment by bank transfer from their country.
Normally, the process for reservation and signing the sales contract will finish in one day. In case a notary contract will be signed, a tax number should be taken for the buyer and the notary should be available (in some cases an appointment is taken in advance). If needed, the procedures can be completed the next day.
4- Complete Your Payments and Receive Your Title Deed
If cash payment is agreed, the payment will be made cash. If a payment plan is set, the down payment will be paid initially. You can continue making your payments as agreed in the payment plan monthly or quarterly. The title deed application will be made once all the payments are completed.
You have the option to give a Power of Attorney (POA) to our company before leaving the country for all the title deed procedures to be followed up on your behalf. You can also prepare the POA in the Turkish embassy in your country and send it to our address by post. Your title deed will be prepared on your behalf and either handed to you or sent to your address by post as you wish.
In case a resale property or completed property is purchased and the full payment is made during your stay, directly your title deed transfer can be made in one day.
What are the Advantages of Buying a Property in Turkey?
- Residency: 1 year renewable residence permit will be given when you buy a property in Turkey
- Citizenship: Citizenship application can be made when you buy a property worth at least 250.000 USD.
- Low Taxes: Taxes to be paid are much lower in Turkey compared to many other countries. Incentives are given for foreign investors such as being exempted from VAT.
- Full Ownership: All properties are freehold in Turkey. When you buy a property in Turkey, will you have full ownership rights on it and your family has the right of inheritance after your death.
- High ROI: Yearly 6% to 8% rental yield and 10% to 20% capital appreciation on the property price can be expected.
- Strategic Location: Turkey is located between Europe and Asia. Istanbul is a hub for the whole region. Istanbul has the biggest airport in the world and Turkish Airlines flies to more than 120 countries in the world which makes it the leading company in this category.
- Cost of Living: Prices in general in Turkey are very affordable. Cost of living in Istanbul is way cheaper compared to many other metropolitan cities like London and Dubai.
- Climate: You can enjoy the four seasons in Turkey during the year. Summers are not very hot and it is possible to see snowy weather in winter whereas it is not very cold neither.
- Nature and Sea: Turkey is one of the greenest countries in the world with a great nature. The country is covered with the beautiful sea in north, west and south.
- Food: Simply you will enjoy the rich diversity and beauty of Turkish cuisine. Everyone loves Turkish food.
- Health Sector: Healthcare is highly accessible all around the country with very affordable prices.
Useful Information to Check Before Buying a Property in Turkey
While purchasing a property in Turkey, there are taxes and some expenses to be made for the government before receiving the title deed.
Purchasing tax: 2% – 4%
When a sale occurs between two parties, 4% of the sales price should be paid to the government. Usually, this is divided as 2% for the buyer and 2% for the seller.
VAT (Value Added Tax): 1% – 18%
For commercial units and properties over 150 m2 net area, VAT to be paid is %18. For properties under 150 m2 net area, %1 VAT will be paid.
Utilities: ≈ 500 USD
Registration fees for electricity, water, gas connections to your apartment will cost approximately 500USD.
In most cases, VAT will be included in the sales price when you buy a property from a developer. Utility expenses and notary expenses are not high relatively. When you are buying a resale property from an individual, purchasing tax can be requested from you which is 4%. Considering the commission to be paid for the service fee, the total cost will be 6% for resale properties. For brand new properties, your closing cost will be only 2%.
In order to avoid fast buying and selling moves in the market, the Turkish government do not charge any capital-gains tax when you do not sell your property for the first 5 years after buying your property. In other words, the appreciation of the price will be your net profit after 5 years.
When you sell your property within five years, the capital-gains tax to be paid will be calculated depending on your accumulated profit taking into account the inflation for each year. The tax to be paid changes with progressive increases from 15% to 35% from the profit.
Rental Income Tax
Rental income tax is a bit complicated subject in Turkey and might need professional guidance in order to reduce the taxes to be paid in legal ways. The regulations are changing while renting a residential unit or a commercial unit. Most of the tax is paid by the tenant when a commercial property is rented. In addition, there are two ways to calculate the tax as you will be choosing the one which is more beneficial for you. The tax rate to be paid is changing with progressive increases between 15% and 40% as shown below. However, there will be deductions in many cases and with the chosen calculation system, the percentages will be less in reality.
Taxes to be paid:
Up to 22.000 TL : 15%
For 22.000 TL the tax is 3.300 TL, from 22.000 TL to 49.000 TL : 20%
For 49.000 TL the tax is 8.700 TL, from 49.000 TL to 120.000 TL : 27%
For 120.000 TL the tax is 27.870 TL, from 120.000 TL to 600.000 TL : 35%
For 600.000 TL the tax is 195.870 TL, over 600.000 TL : 40%
Example: In one calculation system, 6.600 TL income + 15% of the remaining income will be exempted from tax calculation. For example, if your yearly rental income is 100.000 TL; you will not pay tax for 6.600 TL + 14.010 TL part. From the remaining 79.390 TL, rental income tax will be calculated.
Up to 49.000, it is 8700 TL
49.000 to 79.390, it is (79.390-49.000) x 0.27 = 8205 TL
Total rental income tax for 100.000 TL income is 16.900 TL.
Yearly Property Tax
In Turkey cities are categorized in two parts. 30 cities over 750.000 population are considered to be big cities / first category. Other cities are considered in the second category. Property tax to be paid will change depending on the city and property type. (Higher rates given below are for the first category cities)
For residential properties: 0.2% – 0,1%
For commercial properties: 0,4% – 0,2%
For farms: 0,2% – 0,1%
For lands: 0,6% – 0,3%
Example: For a house in Istanbul with 1.000.000 TL value, property tax will be 0.2% of its value which is 2000 TL / yearly.
Residency Permit Applications
Once you receive your title deed, you have the option to apply for a residence permit in Turkey. All foreigners are allowed to get one-year residence permit automatically when they buy a property in borders of Turkey. Foreigners should apply to Foreigners Section of the Provinces’ Police Headquarters of the city they want to live in with their title deed copy and DASK (earthquake insurance) document.
DASK (Compulsory Earthquake Insurance)
Having earthquake insurance for your apartment is obligatory in Turkey and it should be renewed yearly. The cost of the insurance will mainly depend on the total m2 of the property, its location and the age of the building. The amount to be paid will be approximately 50-100 USD yearly in Istanbul.
Contact Us for Free Consultancy
If you are interested in buying a property in Turkey, contact us now filling the form below to get free consultancy. Our experienced team will contact you as soon as possible to help you find the best property that matches your requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions About Buying Process
Yes. Price lists are same for both Turkish and international buyers. You can be sure that for all the projects we are marketing, conditions are the same for all buyers.
Yes. The taxation system is same for Turkish citizens and foreigner. Even sometimes goverment can have incentives for foreign investors. For the time being, VAT exemption is applied when foreigner buys a property.
Usually in sales contracts, there is an article related to termination penalty. This might change around 10-20% of the sales price. If at any stage the buyer decides to terminate the contract, this penalty will be deducted and the remaining amount will be paid to the buyer by the developer.
Given by the law, an extension period of 6 months will be granted to developers for the delivery of the project. After these 6 months, if the developer still does not deliver the property, the developer will pay a penalty monthly to the buyer which is stated in the contract.
As the initial investment you have to make is very high in old city centers, the rental returns will be around 6%. However, in developing new areas of Istanbul this percentage can go up to 8%. In addition to this, surely there will be appreciation for the sales price of your property which is around 15% yearly. Considering both, we can say ROI can be expected more than 20% yearly in Istanbul.
If you would like to make the maximum possible profit in a project, you have to buy at the launching phase of it. Almost always, there is regular increase in sales prices from the beginning stages of a project until its completion.
You need to bring your passport with you when we go for viewing the projects. %1 of the sales price should be paid as reservation either cash or by credit card. This will reserve the apartment on your name, freeze the price for you and give you two weeks’ time for you to make the down payment. Surely this amount will be deducted from the down payment.
All the reservation fees you will be paying are fully refundable during the reservation period which is two weeks. For any reason, you have the option to cancel.
There is usually an instalment payment plan offer that ends with the completion of the projects. Down payments will be changing between %20 and %40 depending on the project. In some cases, there might a payment plan that continues even after the completion. Sometimes, there can be payment plans for completed projects as well.
Depending on the project you have buy, you can sell your property during the construction stage. There might be 2% or 3% commissions to be paid to the developer if stated in the sales contract in some cases.
In order to get mortgage through banks for buying property in Turkey, you need to have regular income here. As this is usually not possible, it is not possible to get bank credits for foreigners in Turkey for their property purhcases. Still we will support you in this issue as there can be privileges for some projects.
Depending on the project, the maintenance fees will differ surely. When there are more facilities, maintenance fees will be higher. However, compared to other cities like Dubai, maintenance fees in Istanbul are very reasonable. Usually, monthly it will be around 1 USD/m2. For instance, for a two bedroom apartment which is 100 m2, you will be paying 100 USD per month for the maintenance fee to the management in centrally located project in Istanbul.
- Maintenance fee which is around 1 USD/m2 monthly
- Property tax which is %0,2 of the property value yearly.
- DASK (Compulsory Earthquake insurance) which is around 50-100 USD yearly.
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