Buyer's house is for rent for short-term
Claire James - Owner of the house
Jimmy and I had always sworn never to buy a property abroad; but then, we had a yacht to live on. A month previously I had (as usual) been watching the BBC program "A Place in the Sun" when they did Turkey, and I had been staggered at the cheapness of property there - the couple got a nice 3-bedroomed place with a pool for £30,000, whereas it would have cost at least £200,000 in any of the other resorts featured in the programs (Mediterranean, Caribbean etc). Turkey is a beautiful country, with very friendly people, and Jimmy and I had adored it when we went there in the yacht. And Bob and Karen loved it so much they'd
even thought of retiring there. But prices had been rising steadily and they knew they'd never be able to afford it by the time Bob retired. But it occurred to me that now that the yacht had sold, they would inherit some money; and with that plus some from me, between us we could afford to buy a holiday home - if we bought now, before prices rose too much further.
On their return, I suggested this, and they jumped at the idea. So we rang "A Place in the Sun"; but they were looking for people who wanted places in Australia and other long-haul countries. We left our number and waited in hopes but no call, and we knew prices were rising all the time. So the 3 of us booked to go out for the second fortnight in March. We had decided to go to the Antalya area (on the South coast) because although it lacks the interesting coastline and islands of the west coast, the winter weather is warmer and drier than further west and north, which makes it an all year round holiday resort - although there is quite a bit of rain in winter, there is also a lot of sun. Also (probably because of the better weather), Antalya is the only southern airport that remains open in winter.
Our Search for a House
Wow! What an exhausting fortnight! Before we left, Karen had looked on the Internet at places where we might want to view property, and had arranged to meet up with 3 local agents during our first few days. We arrived at our hotel in Belek (just half an hour east of Antalya) on the afternoon of Tuesday March 15th, and they took us off house hunting on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, in 3 different areas. Oh how different from England. No printed sheets of details; they took us around to only about three places each day, and we wasted so much time, like sitting in offices waiting while they rushed off to say their prayers, or looked up prices for us, or gave us cups of tea. Often we didn't know the prices until the evening, and after three days we hadn't found anything that fitted our bill. What was certain was that prices had increased a lot, and this area was more expensive than the west coast where the program had been. We needed 3 bedrooms if the whole family was to be able to come out at once, and our budget was £50,000 (plus 10 for expenses and furniture). But all the properties they'd shown us were either far too small, or over 50 or both, and it became clear that we were going to have to pay more or give up. So we decided to up our budget by about £10 thousand. In fact, even so, we only liked one of the properties shown by the agents we had booked with.
We looked in Alanya 2 hours to the east of Antalya, which was meant to be attractive, but it was too High Rise. We saw Side and Belek, between the two, with lots of facilities but a very dull area. We much preferred the area of Kemer, half an hour to the west of Antalya, ecause of its wonderful mountain scenery; but prices there were in general even higher. So we were beginning to get quite despondent! However, then our luck changed. I have friends who had spent time in Kemer having bought a boat there, and we met with friends of theirs, Aydin and his mother Nuket, who'd just started up an estate agency. They managed to find us just what we were looking for, a lovely 3-bedroomed duplex (i.e. 2-story flat) near Kemer, on a small complex with a shared pool, stunning mountain views, and 4 balconies; 2 miles from Kemer and the beach, with a bus passing the door. This cost £62,000 (for comparison, that is about what Karen's daughter Sarah had just got for her VERY small studio flat (i.e. sleep in the lounge) in Plymouth!!!
So after looking around a bit more we closed with this on the Tuesday. It was brand new (indeed just being finished); I paid the deposit with 50 £100 travellers cheques each of which had to be signed at the bank -- my arm nearly fell off!! Then the next day we, the agent and the builder visited an English speaking lawyer who was registered with the British consulate. Unbelievably, she was able to do the searches that afternoon, and we went back and signed the Contract the next day, would you believe it! A super contract too, the easiest-to-understand legal document I've ever seen! We should get the deeds to the property within a few months, and at this point we will make our final payment for the property; though there is a longer than usual delay because the government is changing the regulations regarding foreigners buying property.
Then over the next few days Aydin (our agent) took us round the shops (agents do a lot more in Turkey than England), and we bought all our furniture, air-conditioning, curtains, fridge, washing machine, bedding, crockery, cutlery, etc. Again, we paid more than expected (about £7,000) - but we got some lovely stuff. On the Monday morning all the furniture was delivered to our house, the air conditioning was installed, and we were there with Aydin to receive it all - what a chaotic day that was, with cleaners working like mad to get rid of the building-site dirt; lorries arriving with furniture before they'd finished the floors; things not arriving; the insurance man wanting to be paid in cash when I'd only got enough to pay ydin his fee; and problems like the fittings for the air conditioning unit in one bedroom, being on the only wall suitable for a wardrobe. But we got everything sorted eventually.
We flew home to England on the Tuesday, having completed what we had set out to do in a fortnight, though utterly exhausted by doing all the work involved in such a short time (we often only got back to the hotel for dinner just before the restaurant closed at 9 p.m.). But who would have thought it would be possible to get everything done in such a short time? Before we started, we had been very worried about how to get a trustworthy agent and solicitor. In the event, we were very lucky; and we can't wait to go and enjoy time in our new home. I would have liked to spend most of May there, but had to wait for the Council to grant the Habitation Certificate. This was granted on Tuesday, and I'm going out for a fortnight's holiday on Sunday - I can't stay longer because I'm going to France for a few days at the end of May with our local Twinners.
Bob and Karen and the boys are going out for the last fortnight in July, and all three of us have to go back some time to sign the deeds -- that won't be until Turkish parliament have completed their new law. But after that we'll be letting the flat out, to try to make some income. Aydin will organize someone to come in and clean the place between lets, and will do transfers to and from the airport (about three quarters of an hour). So if anyone is interested, please let me know. Equally, if anyone wants to follow our example and buy out there, let us know and we can introduce you to agents.
A week after we got home, "A Place in the Sun" rang! Would you believe it! So infuriating -- it would have been such fun to do it with them. But who knows, it might not have worked out so well!
Karen James, April 2005 HOW WE BOUGHT A HOUSE IN TURKEY?
WHY BUY IN TURKEY.
Turkey is a beautiful country, with very friendly people Turkey also seemed a good place to invest money in property, as prices are going up fast, but are at present still far, far lower than most other holiday resorts abroad.
WHY ANTALYA AREA
Having looked at various areas in Turkey, Antalya area seemed the best for us:-
Firstly, since one can fly to Antalya all year round, unlike many other parts of Turkey (Bodrum and Dalaman airports are closed in winter).
Secondly, the weather is warmer and drier in this area, which makes it an all year round holiday resort - although there is quite a bit of rain in winter, there is also a lot of sun.
OUR SEARCH FOR A HOUSE
Together with my husband and my mother in law, we booked a 2-week holiday and stayed in a hotel in Belek, just half an hour east of Antalya. Before we left, we had looked on the Internet at places where we might want to view property, and had arranged to meet up with 3 local agents during our first few days. We arrived on Tuesday, and they took us off house hunting on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Going from East to West, we looked at property in Alanya, Side, Belek, Antalya, and Kemer. We had a budget of £60,000 to spend, £50,000 being for a property and £10,000 for buying expenses and furniture. We needed a 3-bed-roomed property, so that we could fit all 8 of the family in at times (using a sofa-bed in the lounge for the last 2).
However prices had gone up more than we thought, and we found we could not get a property big enough that we liked for this price, so we had to up our budget. In fact, even so, we only liked one of the properties shown by the agents we had booked with.
We really liked the area of Kemer, because of the mountain views; and on Saturday Aydin, another agent we had found, showed us a lovely property there, on a small complex with a large pool. A couple of days later we decided this was the property for us; so on the Tuesday, exactly a week after we arrived, we said yes to this property, agreed a price of £62,000 and paid a 10% deposit.
We had been advised of a good English-speaking solicitor in Antalya, who is registered with the British consulate. The following morning we met with our solicitor at 10.30 a.m., along with our agent Aydin and the builder of the property. That day our solicitor had our searches done and the contract drawn up (translated into very clear English). We went back to our solicitor the following day (Thursday) to sign contracts, and arrange to pay stage payments. We will get the deeds to the property within a few months, and at this point we will make our final payment for the property.
We spent the rest of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with our agent buying our furniture, air-conditioning, curtains, fridge, washing machine, bedding, crockery, cutlery, etc. and managed to get everything we needed for our home, though again, paying more than we had expected (about £7,000 - but we got some lovely stuff, and still a lot cheaper than England!).
On the Monday morning all the furniture was delivered to our house, the air conditioning was installed, and we were there with our agent to receive it all.
We flow home to England on the Tuesday, having completed what we had set out to do in a fortnight, though utterly exhausted by doing all the work involved in such a short time. But who would have thought things could be so easy, the help we received was the very best, with Aydin giving our purchase his full attention. Before we started, we had been very worried about how to get a trustworthy agent and solicitor. In the event, we feel we have left our property in safe hands while the last few jobs are completed; and we can't wait to go and enjoy time in our new home in a couple of months.
Karen James, April 2005
Buyer's house is for rent for short-term