Today we hope to share this ex-pat guide to choosing the right area to live in Turkey. We have listed the top 10 tips to consider before choosing the right area to buy your new home in Turkey.
There are many very different areas in Turkey and they can all look and feel very different. So, how do you know which area in Turkey you should look into when considering buying a new home for yourself and your family to live in?
Our Top 10 Tips to Choosing The Right Area To Live In Turkey
Well, we all know that truthfully, it’s not realistic to find ‘perfect‘. What we can hope to find for sure though is ‘agreeable‘ and to find the perfectly agreeable place to live in Turkey, you have to find the perfectly agreeable area, and this can be very difficult and time-consuming, especially if you’re moving to a completely new country and can’t distinguish one area from another.
Here is a list of things to look out for in your search process while choosing the right area to live in Turkey:
1. Climbing Property Value
Rising home prices is one of the main characteristics of a great area and the current crush on the Turkish Lira has constituted a good growth rate in almost all areas of Turkey. So keep this in mind, try to find out the average benchmark of the area and consider a place where home values are increasing at a faster rate than the national average.
A good example of this in Turkey are areas where there are confirmed planned projects. These major projects will add a significant value to your property price on successful completion. For instance, these 3+1 Family duplex Apartments in Bahçeşehir Istanbul have almost already sold out because of their guaranteed high investment. On completion of the new major canal project set to be established in the area, all the property projects in the area are expected to see a good return.
A good tip on how foreign investors can research new projects in the area is to google search the Turkish area name followed by Belediyesi (meaning council).
For example, if you are looking at properties in Basaksahir in Istanbul, type in Basaksahir Belediyesi. This will hopefully bring up the official council website of the area. It will appear in the Turkish language by default, however, it has an English translation option. Here you can view any future planned projects in the local area.
Also, when you spot an increase of residential projects in a particular area, it’s a good sign of a popular location. The growing demand among homebuyers also typically leads to an increase in property prices, which is always a good thing to see when you’re searching for the right area to live in Turkey.
2. High Household Incomes
There are some good advantages to living in an area with generous household incomes. This is because, generally, when homeowners earn more money, they can afford to maintain, improve and renovate their homes more frequently. This, in turn, beautifies the neighborhood and increases the home value in the area as a whole.
3. Good Schools
Even if you don’t have kids, schools significantly affect a home’s resale value. Over 90% of prospective homebuyers have stated that school areas were important in their search.
To get more information about school areas in Turkey, we recommend doing a google search on schools in the area. If you have children in either primary or secondary school and need to be within a reasonable distance from it, you may find it easier to search via google maps.
Also, check school websites for recent stats, exam results, admission rates, enrollment requirements and curriculum used, etc. Most international schools or private schools will have websites however there may be a few that don’t, in this case, a simple google search should give you some basic results and if not, it’s best to avoid that school altogether.
Then, when you feel like you have found an area with good schools or public education, go to see the schools in person. You will come out much more confident in your decision based on the real-life impression the school will give you.
If you are coming to Turkey from the UK, maybe the British Council can help. Many people also find themselves looking into homeschooling or in a dilemma of trying to choose between a private Turkish School or an International school, if this is the case with you too, maybe this article can help.
4. Diversity & Safety
You can check online resources to get an overview of an area’s demographics and a simple Google search within the postal code of an area can help you assess whether there’s a significant presence of a particular community. However, this by itself will not be sufficient to prepare you for what you will really find or how you are predicted to feel when actually there in real life.
That is why we would highly recommend that you prepare to visit the areas you have shortlisted to see how it actually feels like, roam around the streets yourself to see what kind of vibe it portrays. Ideally, this should be done at different hours of the day and night for a more reliable and realistic impression.
There tends to be a heavier police presence in more secular areas of Turkey where there might be more nightlife and alcohol presence. However, in general, Turkey can be seen as quite safe in most areas and hours of the day and night without any room for concern.
5. A Good Ratio of Owner-Occupied Homes to Rentals
Why should you need to find an area in Turkey where there are significantly more owner-occupied homes?
Homeowners generally take more pride in their home’s appearance than a person renting would, and this is important for resale value.
Rented homes can often get weathered down and depreciated. Believe it or not, things like paint peelings and un-cut grass in the area can affect how prospective homebuyers see your property.
In Turkey, there is a maintenance fee also known as Aidat in Turkish, this is a small monthly cost that covers the cleaning and gardening costs of the building or site. In this case, you wouldn’t be likely to run into this sort of problem. However, there is a noticeable presence of random, unoccupied, or abandoned buildings, that are seemingly unsafe and often may have some sort of court case behind it or something, and these can really kill the look and feel of the whole street or neighborhood.
According to some recent estimates, you want to ideally buy in an area where more than 75% of homes are owned.
6. Job Opportunities
The future price of your home can be heavily affected by the strength of the local job market. So it’s advised to buy in an area with a low unemployment rate.
In Turkey, this would mean buying in main cities such as Istanbul where there is an above-average business and employment growth. The many large employers that are setting up in the cities bring in much-needed employment opportunities and sustainability.
Always look out for future business projects in the area and think about the employment opportunities the area has to offer.
8. Good Walkability
In general, busy cities become more expensive over time and neighborhoods here will have larger metro areas. Access to public transportation is important, but so is finding a neighborhood that’s within walking distance to shops, schools, libraries, and parks.
In addition to checking out google maps or similar apps to assess walkability based on proximity to restaurants, coffee shops, local stores, public transport & leisure centers, we would recommend strolling around the area yourself to affirm your research.
9. Earthquake Safety
Considering the geographical location of Turkey, and by virtue of its falling into a rift in which tectonic plates meet with Eurasian plates, this has led to many earthquakes.
Earthquakes in Turkey are undoubtedly a cause of concern for home buyers and real estate investors as a whole. This cause for concern may even affect a future buyers’ decision on buying your home. However, we shouldn’t forget that natural disasters such as hurricanes, tsunamis, fires, and floods that repeatedly hit scattered countries around the world are also potential threats to various investments. Natural disasters in general are all cause for concern and are just as serious as an earthquake threat.
The most important piece of advice we can offer in regards to this aspect is to view the most recently updated earthquake-prone zones in Turkey, this is usually colour-coded and numbered based on the level of risk. Then, when you have decided on the best area of Turkey you would prefer to be in, you should ideally, look to buy a property built after 2007. Projects and buildings built after this date are according to modern high technological earthquake standards.
10. Earthquake Insurance
The Turkish government municipalities are continuously improving their natural emergency disaster management. Through good planning prior to the disaster and by developing new precautionary laws such as allowing projects to only be built according to new earthquake regulations, certain conditions have been put in place based on scenarios that are expected to occur.
One of which is the height limitation that will affect the number of floors a building is allowed to have and another is the new compulsory earthquake insurance that was put in place in 2007.
Earthquake insurance is called Dask doğal afet sigorta Kurumu in Turkish, which is insurance that covers natural disasters that have been caused due to earthquakes. This insurance is administered by private companies accredited by the Government. Specific sums of money are paid to these companies annually, and they determine the amount paid by taking into account the age of construction and the size of the apartment. In the event of an earthquake, the payment of 200,000 TL is paid out to the person affected by an earthquake. The amount may be higher if the insured building is completely demolished. So the amount can be more than 200,000 TL, if this is mentioned in the insurance contract. (So always ask or check)
Construction companies are now legally required to build earthquake-resistant buildings in Turkey and are therefore bound by law. It’s also worth noting to look out for the specifications of the building materials used in the construction in which many developers mention in their sales contracts. Check and ask to the extent to which they are resistant to earthquakes.
Most of the residential buildings are built to be earthquake-resistant at grade 8 on the Richter scale, huge buildings, vital projects of airports, bridges, and metro stations are built to resist a magnitude 9 earthquake on the Richter scale.
As for investing in a cheaper old building, it is recommended that it be purchased only after viewing its construction status. These details can be found in the municipal registers but only certified agents are now allowed to do this. It’s the only way to find out its resistance to earthquakes and its continued habitability.
Here at Turkey Property Beys, we are always willing to help and provide the necessary guidance to our clients. We also only select the best earthquake-resistant buildings in Turkey to feature on our portfolio.
We hope you enjoyed this article and that it was of benefit to you. If you should have any further questions please ask them in the comments section below. And if you should need any assistance in finding your new home or property investment in Turkey, please feel free to contact us on +90 552 3137 483 or via our website and social media platforms.