As any seasoned local visitor or resident will tell you, it’s more than easy to be wrapped by the immediate curb appeal Turkey offers – the sparkling coasts and ‘all year’ climate, the pine and olive clad mountains, bustling harbour fronts and the plethora of affordable properties dappled in sunlight and draped in bougainvillea; it’s hard not to stumble across your dream home from home.
But a little bit of homework is essential to help you and your agent ensure that your viewings realistically cover all your practical and long-term needs.
Here are our top viewing tips we always put to clients before we open up the keys cupboard:
Choose your locations before you choose your properties
Most buyers and renters will understandably be enticed by property images but as in the UK, knowing the difference between what Blackpool and Bournemouth offers counts as much here when framing your prime property and, for buyers, the capital appreciation you may hope to achieve.
Research areas physically
Ask your agent to guide you through the local area so you can do some physical research and check proximity to local amenities. We recommend booking viewings at different times of the day, and for longer-term movers, in different seasons, so you are able to check noise levels and all year amenities access.
Check on area and property classifications
Ask your agent to check if any of the properties you view are protected buildings (koruma nitelikli evler), historic buildings (tarihi ozellikli), or in forestry (orman) or conservation (yeşil alan) areas as this may impact on your habitation rights and/or limit the changes you can make in the future.
If your desired property is a listed building and you wish to renovate or develop it, you would need to apply to the ‘Anitlar yüksek kurulu’, a local government department who oversee planning and listed building consent, similar to National Heritage and your local authority in the UK. They are usually based in the provincial rather than municipal administration departments, eg for Fethiye you would need to contact the department in Muğla.
Additionally, for sea-front properties in ‘tourism’ areas (tourizm tesis alanı) buyers should ask about the property classification on the title deed (TAPU) as this may affect the type of lease you can get. If your property is in a military zone (askeri bölge), as a foreign national you are not entitled to buy, but you may be able rent with military permission.
Seek a demonstration of facilities
Ask to see a demonstration of the heating/air conditioning and plumbing, and for information on recent electrical checks. Many properties on Turkey’s South West Coast are not gas mains supplied and power hot water through solar panels, so for renters and movers planning to be here in winter you will need to consider costs and needs to install additional heat sources.
Bring along a camera and tape measure to the viewing so you can take pictures to jog your memory later and check the fit for any furniture you would want.
Check your estate agent is licensed and qualified
It goes without saying that with many house hunters and vendors relying on the expertise of estate agents and developers it is important to check that they are a registered and well-regulated company.
In Turkey, agents are required to have an estate agency qualification which gives them the operating licence: ‘Emlak Musavirligi (Danismanligi)’.
The licence is issued by the Turkish Association of Real Estate Agents (Emlakcilar Esnaf Odası) and licence numbers can be requested and checked by contacting the regional issuing body detailed on the certificate.
The UK’s leading professional body for estate agents, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), lists accredited overseas agents who abide and are regulated by its code of conduct. You wouldn’t book with an unlicensed travel agent, so why would you buy from from an unlicensed property agent? Take the right first steps: access the NAEA agent directory here