airport_transferbarbathtubbusiness_facilitieschild_activitieschildcareconnecting_roomcribsfree_wifigymhot_tubinternetkitchennon_smokingpetpoolresturantski_in_outski_shuttleski_storagesmoking_areaspastar
Sign In
Heybeliada House | © Dan/Flickr
Heybeliada House | © Dan/Flickr
Save to wishlist

6 Things You Need to Know Before Buying an Apartment in Istanbul

Picture of Feride Yalav-Heckeroth
Updated: 2 April 2017
So you want to buy an apartment in Istanbul? But what’s the best way to go about it and what are some things you need to look out for? We put together some essential tips before you make a major investment in the Turkish city.

Getting Started

Most foreign citizens are allowed to buy property in Istanbul, however, it’s wise to first check with your consulate before you make your decision. Once you’ve really decided what kind of apartment you’re looking for make sure to contact a local real estate agent in the neighborhood where you are looking to buy. There are a vast amount of places for sale, but a real estate agent will help you sift through to find a good match.

House at the Bosphorus| © alex.ch/Flickr
House at the Bosphorus | © alex.ch/Flickr

Which Real Estate Agent?

If you don’t speak any Turkish, you can check out trustworthy websites such as Property Turkey, Spot Blue, and Buy Property Istanbul to work with people who are used to helping expats. The companies will also set up a viewing trip with one of their advisors so you can really get a sense of the city and the kind of property you’re looking for. If you do speak Turkish, websites such as Sahibinden and Hürriyet Emlak are the most popular listings for properties on sale in Istanbul according to specific filters.

When Choosing a Property

When you’re inspecting a potential property, make sure that the house has a title deed and that the water, natural gas, phone, and electricity bills have been paid by the previous owner. You should also ask whether the structure is resistant against earthquakes, since Istanbul does harbor risk in that area. It’s also important to note that everything about the property, as well as the area around it, should be to your liking, and you should really ask yourself questions regarding how it would feel living there for a long time.

Istanbul Houses | © Kim Ahlström/Flickr
Istanbul Houses | © Kim Ahlström/Flickr

Choosing the Right Neighborhood

Istanbul’s neighborhoods are all different from one another and the price range also changes drastically according to the area. It’s best to take a tour of the city in order to decide where you want to live, whether it’s something modest like an older apartment on the Asian side, or a gorgeous house in Arnavutköy overlooking the Bosphorus. Remember that the Princes’ Islands are also part of Istanbul and can offer a very idyllic lifestyle away from the city (if that’s something you’re looking for). Also remember that the more affordable properties are always located on the outskirts of the city and that things get more expensive in popular neighborhoods and by the Bosphorus.

The Bureaucratic Side of Things

Once you’ve chosen your property it’s time to face the bureaucratic side of things, which can sometimes get a little difficult. Make sure to check out this guidance page by The Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to get an idea. However, it’s advised to seek out professional legal advice before you move forward so that you don’t run into any messy situations.

Büyükada House | © Joseph Kranak/Flickr
Büyükada House | © Joseph Kranak/Flickr

Relocation

Once you’ve succeeded in finding and purchasing your lovely property, it may be time to consider what it means to live in Turkey. If you think you may need help with matters such as language, work, or legal matters, then a relocation company such as Turkey Relocation Management Services is a great place to get some real guidance.