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Housing in Turkey

Housing in Turkey

Housing is one of the key elements of making your accommodation in İstanbul a sustaining happy life away from your homeland. Considering the fact that different things make different people happy, you should be clear about what kind of home you will prefer for housing.

Housing, First Rule: Choose Your Continent!

İstanbul is one of the two cities on Earth that combines two continents: Europe and Asia. Considering the fact that the other one is beautiful Çanakkale, which has carved its name two history in all ages from Troy to Gallipoli, importance of such a feature can be better appreciated. Both sides of beautiful İstanbul have beautiful living environments offering different features. Since housing is a key element determining the quality of your life, the first thing that you need to decide is the continent that you want to live in.

European Side of İstanbul offers a wider scale of habitancy, easier access to traditional housing & business centres and Bosporus Lane. Modern housing centres, developments and mix-use projects are common in this side of the city and could be what you may prefer if you want to live in a more vivid area.

Whereas Asian Side offers a slower lifestyle, greener streets and access to not only Bosporus but also Marmara Sea in urban life. You can enjoy riding your bike easier than European Side and make a simple picnic with your friends and family with your simple portable chairs over the weekends and evenings. Considering the social distancing precautions for COVID 19 pandemic, this feature alone is a golden token.

Housing, Proximity and Daily Travel

Traffic is a traditional problem in İstanbul. Less time your family and you spend on the road will mean more time you will save for each other and yourself. Therefore proximity to your work, kids’ school or the living centres you may prefer to spend time in will not only make you save time and energy, but also make you live in a neighbourhood with people share your life style. Housing choice in European Side will not cause a huge difficulty in reaching to your office in Asian Side of İstanbul but the counter choice will mean many extra hours in traffic.

Housing Choice of Type of Home

Type of home and neighbourhood could be considered as the next step for housing.

You might prefer a villa, stand-alone building or attached house if you enjoy spending time in a private garden. İstanbul is also full of people traditional historical buildings and mansions; some even with private docks to Bosporus. The preference of type of home to live in will totally depend on your lifestyle and affordability.

Standard apartments in traditional high-end neighbourhoods is also a major option for housing. Most of the apartments that you can find in such neighbourhoods are 3 bedrooms apartments, but 2 or 4 + ones are also available. 1 bedroom apartments usually happen to be found in newly built buildings in humbler neighbourhoods.

There are also residential compounds with facilities such as swimming pool, security, gym, etc… that may be considered as an option for housing. Most of those exist in the traditional high-end neighbourhoods mentioned above; such as Maslak, Ayazağa, Levent, Akatlar, Ulus or Etiler but there are also much affordable options in the outskirts of the city; all the way through Bahçeşehir or Beylikdüzü. You should keep in mind the fact that those extra facilities will inevitably not only increase the price or rent amount, but also monthly service charge to be paid to the professional management of the compound.

As last but not the least; “rezidans” type of housing, which are sometimes also named as “residences” as in English, which mean usually highrise modern residential buildings. Those are actually residential units within (most usually) mix-use developments which offer high-end housing. They do not only offer a modern and prestigious living but also view of a skyscraper and most or all of what traditional compounds do. There are 2 cons of “rezidans” units which are; most of those types of buildings do not have openable windows and inhabitants need to depend on the automated air ventilation, and monthly service charges are usually the highest comparing to other types of housing.

Housing Options, Furnished or Not Furnished?

We have good news and bad news for this housing options. Let’s begin with the good ones;

  • There are both type of units in all types of homes and market is always vivid.
  • There are various options with various qualities. A variety of furbished apartments depending on location, budgeting and quality of furniture can be found.
  • Most of expats prefer the furbished option, which will bring you closer to people from your own geography and culture.
  • If you prefer to furbish your home according to your own taste; furniture sector in İstanbul is also very flexible. This will also make you sure to be able to decorate your home according to your taste and budget.

Here comes the bad news.

  • Deposit amount being asked for furbished apartments are usually twice as more than not furbished ones and every single damage you might give to the furniture unwillingly will be deducted out of it. This deduction is most usually done by the valuation of the landlord.
  • Rent amount of furnished apartments are usually 20 – 30% higher than their neighbours. Therefore, one should better make his or her assessment according your estimation of staying in İstanbul

Corporate or Personal Leasing?

This would be mutual concern and decision for you and your company. Most of the residential units; furnished or not; belong to private individuals, which will bring a 25% withholding tax on top of the net rent amount if you choose to do corporate leasing. On the other hand, this is not an issue for private leasing.

Nevertheless, some furnished apartments may be operated by a company, which means an extra 18% VAT, whether you do corporate or personal leasing. In such case doing corporate leasing will enable to deduct this 18% from your own tax dept; which will change the disadvantage to an advantage.

To conclude, your housing could be a nightmare or a blessing all according to various factors as given above. Always keep in mind to clear your priorities in your mind first, and make sure you work with the right property consultant who will understand your needs and perform the viewing of the best options according to your standards; not give you a city tour just to show you what he or she has in the portfolio in order to conclude your housing search fast and efficient.