Need to Know

Buying a Property in Istanbul: Insider Tips, Places

One of the world’s most exciting cities, Istanbul is also a really dynamic one. It’s also a city with some of Europe’s highest property prices, making it unappealing to first-time buyers. However, if you take your time and do your research, you can find fantastic deals on apartments in central Istanbul. Considering you are wondering about how to buy a property in Istanbul and plan to relocate to Istanbul soon or have always wanted to live there, now could be an excellent time to purchase property, also to search for how to buy a property in Istanbul, here are some tips!

P.S: Don’t miss our blog cost of living in Istanbul and things to know before you arrive in Istanbul to learn how locals live in Istanbul!

1. Required Documents for Purchasing Real Estate in Istanbul


You must have a valid residence permit if you are a foreigner looking to buy property in Istanbul. In Türkiye, there are three types of residence permits available to foreign residents: Long-term, short-term and family residence permits.

Here are the documents you will need when buying property in Istanbul:

  • Property title deed
  • Identification documents
  • Property value statement document
  • Earthquake insurance policy
  • Photos of the seller and buyer
  • Payment proof for title deed fee and other taxes, if applicable

2. Is it necessary to have Turkish citizenship to buy property in Istanbul?


When it comes to how to buy a house in Istanbul, holding a Turkish passport has no advantage over a non-Turkish citizen. There are no significant differences between the two groups of people in terms of taxes and other administrative regulations. The only significant difference between these two categories is that non-Turkish citizens are required to pay a deposit.

3. Do you get Turkish citizenship after purchasing a home in Istanbul?


There is no law that states that purchasing property in Turkey automatically grants you Turkish citizenship. This is a common misconception and practice in some areas of Istanbul, where you will be asked to pay an additional fee to the seller for the “grant of Turkish citizenship.” If you want to become a Turkish citizen, you must go through the same application process as everyone else. There are no shortcuts and no such thing as a quick pass. It is not as simple as purchasing a home and waiting for your new nationality.

There is a visa called Turkey Investment Visa, also known as Golden Visa, that lets you make an investment for a property. If you want to be a Turkish citizen, you will need to invest a minimum of  USD 400,000 in a property. Once you make the investment, you can apply for citizenship. The process takes around 3-4 months from the start of the citizenship application.

4. Legal Advice for Purchasing Real Estate in Istanbul


What about how to rent apartment in Istanbul? Let’s come to the how to buy property in Istanbul question first. As a foreigner, there is a chance that your prospective landlord will reject your application, or that the property you want will be unavailable. As a precaution, you can look into “civility law” to see if Turkish or local laws are applicable in the area where you want to buy a home. This can help you avoid becoming involved in a legal dispute between two parties who may be beyond your level of comprehension. Finding an attorney will help to alleviate any concerns you may have as a foreigner in Türkiye. For an hour of legal advice, you should spare a budget that might differ within the firm. You should also seek advice from your country’s consulate in Istanbul. A consulate’s staff can assist you with everything from locating a reputable attorney to navigating the complexities of the Turkish legal system. You can also be assisted with visa applications.

5. Choosing the Right Istanbul Neighborhood


It is quite important to choose the right neighborhood. Some neighborhoods are on the rise, with new developments and an influx of people, which will raise prices and make it more difficult to find a good deal. Alternatively, some districts have been overlooked and are not receiving the same level of investment. This makes them ideal for astute investor. Here are some of the best neighborhoods in Istanbul to look for real estate:

  • City Center (Besiktas, Sisli): The obvious choice. Although prices are high, you are more likely to find bargains here than anywhere else in Istanbul.
  • Asian Side: The Asian side of Istanbul is less expensive than the European side while remaining very accessible, with both sides easily accessible via the Bosphorus or ferry.
  • Kilyos: This was one of the hardest hit areas during the 2008 economic downturn. Prices have steadily risen since then, but they are still a fraction of what they are in the City Centre.
  • Buyukcekmece: This is a developing neighborhood with a lot of new infrastructures. It’s only an hour of distance by car from the city center and has stunning views of both the Bosphorus and the Black Sea.

6. How Can I Find a Property for Sale Online in Istanbul?

After deciding the locations you would like to check the property opportunities, you can search the properties online. Although consulting a broker or a real estate agent, we would advise you to check the listings online beforehand. While checking the online property sale prices, you can also check out the real estate agencies. Even though it is up to you to decide, it would be better for you to choose an English-speaker agent rather than the ones who only know Turkish. In this way, it would be much easier for you to tell about your needs and requests, so the agent can suggest you the most suitable listings.

In case you are searching for “how to buy a home in Istanbul”, you will see that this can be a daunting experience, especially for non-Turkish citizens. You can make this a positive experience by doing your research and choosing the right neighborhood. Istanbul has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a short-term investment opportunity or a place to settle down for the long haul.

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Başak Dağıstan

I am a long-life learner, a coffee addict who wants to be a star of a Disney movie someday. I like discovering new places, watching tv series, and fangirling about them. Having been a psychologist, I am still trying to find ways for my cat to let me pet him.
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