Mortgages in Turkey

By: Des Smith

With its wonderful landscapes, inviting climate and historical background, Turkey has long been a popular tourist hotspot. So popular, in fact, that many visitors have enquired about buying property there. Until recently, though, if you were a non-resident then you could only buy a property in Turkey if you paid cash. However, with recent changes in legislation due to the rise in inflation, you can now take out a Turkish mortgage and make your dream of living in the sun a reality.

However, since this is such a new introduction to this part of the world, there are still some changes to the mortgage system that are happening frequently, therefore it's wise to check with your financial adviser or mortgage broker before committing yourself to this venture.

For instance, when the mortgages first came into effect, you could only take out a fixed rate mortgage, with the same pros and cons that kind of mortgage entails. In February of this year, however, a new law was passed that allowed Turkish mortgages to be variable, or floating, as well.

The responsibility of any problems after the property handover has changed as well. Before the new legislation came in, if there were any defects or problems with the home, there was no limit on the amount of time a new owner could claim against the bank or mortgage provider for any problems. Now, however, this has been limited to just one year.

The area of tax relief has also changed on Turkish mortgages. Previously, to encourage potential buyers, the Turkish government allowed people to claim tax relief on their mortgage or property. Now, however, due to a rise in interest rates, this has been withdrawn. Although lower rates over a longer loan period are available, this has put some possible house buyers off, especially those on a lower wage or income.

However, as long as you're aware of some of these changes and are willing to work with them, then Turkey offers a fantastic opportunity for both those wishing to buy a home there for themselves, and those looking to use it more as an investment. With the cost of living relatively inexpensive, a Turkish mortgage can allow you far more opportunities than in a more expansive part of the world, like the US or UK.

If you're looking to use property as an investment such as a holiday home or villa, especially with the high tourism rate in Turkey, then one of the areas you might want to look at is Didim, especially the towns of Altinkum and Akbuk. Located on the east coast, Didim is a wonderful mix of both historic and new Turkey and is very popular with today's tourist trade.

Altinkum offers the more modern version of Turkey, although that's not to say it doesn't enjoy its own part of history; but with the expansive beaches and new jetty's ideal for sun-seekers, as well as plenty of restaurants and the nightlife available, it's a livelier spot.

Akbuk offers a more relaxing alternative, and is extremely popular for its sea bass fishing trips. With a wonderful old chapel that is opened to the public, Akbuk attracts the holidaymaker who simply wishes to unwind and relax, and offers summer houses and villas as buying opportunities.

The prices for property itself is highly attractive - in Akbuk, for instance, a two-bedroom apartment costs as little as 38,000 GBP and this includes scenic views over the surrounding hills. Even four-bedroom apartments in Altinkum are as little as 130,000 GBP, often with their own private pool included.

With these types of prices and the new legislation making it easier to buy, you can see why Turkish mortgages are becoming more than just a possible idea. Add in the climate, friendly locals and history of this country, and it really is a wonderful opportunity.

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