Expat Exchange

Real Estate in Turkey

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By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: People living in Turkey offer advice about real estate. How do you find a home in Turkey? Should you buy or rent? What is the cost of housing?

How do I find a place to live in Turkey?

Live in Turkey? Answer this Question

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"I recently married a lovely Turkish man and he already has his own home in a very nice neighborhood of Karsiyaka. It's a 10 min. walk to the seaside and parks and there are ample corner markets, bakeries, pharmacies and grocery stores nearby. The post office isn't far away either, so we are in a good location," said another person in Izmir.

"We narrowed down the area we wanted to live in and went to a local real estate agent and gave him the list of what we wanted in an apartment," remarked another foreigner who made the move to Istanbul.

"We were recommended to contact a local Real Estate agent, who specialize in ex-patriates and what we need," explained one person living in Istanbul, Turkey.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Turkey?

Live in Turkey? Answer this Question

"We live in an apartment ('daire' as they say in Turkish) which is of a good size for us (open kitchen and a decent size living room, one bathroom, two bedrooms and a balcony). I have met a few expats and they all have similar housing," explained one expat living in Izmir, Turkey.

"Typical for expats.. It is a villa in a compound. Most of the people around this area are expats," said another person in Istanbul.

"We live in a middle-class Turkish neighborhood. It's mostly apartments in our area. There are very, very few expats in this part of town," added another expat who made the move to Istanbul.

"3 bed modern Apartment, centrally located on a compound. Most expats go for compound living as all the facilities are there (swimming pools, shops, tennis etc.) and also because it is an easier enviornment to make friends. There are many compounds that have villas also with the same facilities," explained one foreigner living in Istanbul, Turkey.

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What is the average cost of housing in Turkey?

Live in Turkey? Answer this Question

If you are thinking about moving to Turkey, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"Lower--because in the States I paid rent. My husband had his own home so there's no rent. Yay! However, even if we did pay rent it would be cheaper than back in the US. A person can find a nice apt. for anywhere between 450 to 600 Turkish lira. But 500 TL seems to be more of the average in our neighborhood," said another person in Izmir.

"Much higher. Turkey is very expensive. Don't find a house for less that $5000 a month," added another expat who made the move to Istanbul.

"Housing costs vary widely here. We don't live in a compound, so we pay much less in rent. Our rent for a 3 bedroom 1-1/2 bath flat with a Bosphorus view and within walking distance of shopping and the ferryboat is $400 US," explained one foreigner living in Istanbul, Turkey.

"Housing costs in Istanbul are expensive compared to the UK - even compared to London. The average cost of, for example, a 3 bed apartment on a compound would probably be approx. US$ 3,000 per month. Villas on similar compounds can be rented for anything between US$ 4,500 - 10,000 per month," said another in Istanbul.

Should I buy or rent a home in Turkey?

Live in Turkey? Answer this Question

If you have not spent a lot of time in Turkey, you should rent before even thinking about buying. We asked expats there about the buy vs. rent decision:

"I had a house built after buying a plot of land with a Turkish friend. It is not difficult to buy property here, but despite what UK and Turkish real estate agencies that you do not need to use a Avukat (lawyer) i recommend you use one. It is best to ask other expats which lawyer they used, as like anywhere, some are better than others. Renting is quite straightforward, although in some cases you are required to pay upfront a payment for anything from one month to one year in advance," remarked another member in Antalya.

What appliances are typically included in a rental?

Live in Turkey? Answer this Question

We asked foreigners in Turkey what appliances are typically included in a rental, and, if there is anything else included or not included that a newcomer would not expect. Replies included:

"In general, I would say that rentals in this area come with some basics as there are many foreigners with second homes here that they rent out either short or long term. One appliance that is very rare to find is a dryer--most people use drying racks or balcony railings for drying their clothes. Ovens/hobs are powered by propane tanks that you will probably have to purchase yourself. Homes are not insulated, so can be very cold in the winter. Central heating is very different than what it is in the States. It's really more like radiators, which require both electricity AND large propane tanks to power, very expensive. Most Turkish homes use soba stoves instead. And many of the more modern villas have a system of heating that uses the fireplace to distribute heat via pipes throughout the house. You can also buy portable heaters, of which many types are widely available," added another expat who made the move to Fethiye.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

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Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Turkey GuideTurkey Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in Turkey.

Turkey Forum Turkey Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Turkey on our Turkey forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Turkey Index Turkey Index
An index of all of our site's Turkey information.

Contribute to Turkey Network Contribute
Help others in Turkey by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Turkey.

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