Turkey offers various housing options, and the most fitting for you will depend on your chosen area of living, the expected duration of your stay, the size of your household and, of course, your budget.
Here is an outline of the most common ways to make yourself at home.
Renting a room in a flat-share is a very popular option for new-comers. Cheap, procedure- and commitment-free, it can provide you a temporary home for your first days in the country while you look for a more permanent housing solution, or can represent a long-term accommodation plan in itself.
Flat-sharing is quite widespread among expats in Turkey — students but also young (and less young) professionals. Indeed, another benefit of flat-sharing is the opportunity to share in the lives of local flatmates and to learn from their experience and insights.
There is no official channel to find a flat-share, but you can find ample listings on classified ad platforms and dedicated Facebook groups.
Good to know:
One thing to check before joining a flat-share is whether the apartment has a 24h hot water supply, which is not always the case in Turkey.
Renting your own flat
When you have singled out the neighbourhood you are most comfortable in and feel ready to settle down more permanently, or if you are moving in with your family, it may make more sense to rent your own house or apartment.
The process should not raise any unexpected difficulty. As in many other countries, you will simply have to look around, visit a few places, and, once your dream house found, sign a rental contract (which you may want to have translated in order to avert unpleasant surprises).
Specialised websites list flat vacancies, and here again specialised Facebook groups or simple word of mouth can help you in your search.
Optionally an emlak (real estate) agent can, for a fee, help you find a house and walk you through the rental process.
The country is somewhat energy-strapped and has to import a good share of its gas and electricity. Accordingly, electricity and heating bills can climb in the winter (to over 200 Turkish liras a month for a three-bedroom apartment).
Hiring a real estate agent may prove more indispensable when you are ready to go ahead and buy a property of your own, as the regulation is a bit more formal.
Land acquisition is not limited to Turkish citizens. In fact, the real estate market is open to the nationals of 129 foreign countries (those that allow Turkish citizens to own property on their territory), with a couple of restrictions:
- the property should not be located within a military zone or an area restricted for homeland security reasons;
- the total surface area of the property should not exceed 30 hectares and 10% of the size of the region.
To perform the transaction, you will have to file a purchasing license request with the local Land Registry, which will ask you to submit your identity documents, a tax identification number, a proof of insurance against seismic risks and a proof of payment of the property tax (0.2 % of property’s purchasing price, plus a registry fee of 200-300 liras).
The Turkish word 'apartman' sounds quite similar to the English word apartment, but actually refers to an apartment building, not to an individual flat (which is called a 'daire').
Gabino Home: turkey.gabinohome.com
Home Away: www.homeaway.co.uk
9 Flats: www.9flats.com
Sahibinden (classifieds website): https://www.sahibinden.com/kiralik
Ilan (classifieds website): http://ilan.com.tr