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real story about buying real estate in istanbul

real story about buying real estate in istanbul

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This is a story inspired by a true reality faced by every foreigner who wants to buy a property in Istanbul, whether for living or investment purposes .


Yasser is a computer engineer from Pakistan who has been working and living with his family in Dubai for more than 7 years. In the last year, work began to turn into a downward curve, and the shares of international companies began to decline in light of the Covid-19 pandemic that the entire planet suffered from.


Life in Dubai began to become more difficult with lower income and higher prices, with a simple calculation by Engineer Yasser, he discovered that having an alternative plan has become a very important matter, but the most important question in the alternative plan is which country Yasser can go to with his family and live there with freedom and enjoy his full rights?


The search trip did not take long on the Internet, especially for a computer engineer like Yasser, as he found that Turkey was an ideal country for him and his family for several reasons, including:

1. Turkey is a developed country and Istanbul is an incubator city for foreigners.

2. The climate in which 4 seasons of the whole year can be distinguished.

3. There are international schools to educate his children in almost every region of Istanbul.

4. The ease of establishing his own company and practicing his work online.

5. A two-room house and a hall can be obtained at prices starting from 50 thousand dollars, thus obtaining real estate residence permit for him and his family.

6. Turkish citizenship can be obtained by purchasing real estate worth 250.000 $ and thus his children will grow up enjoying all the rights as Turkish citizens.


Given the fact that Yasser spent several years in Dubai working with high income, the amount of $ 250.000 was available to him and he found that the option to obtain citizenship is better for him and his family in the future, especially that the Turkish passport in 2020 allows its holder to enter more than 110 countries around the world without a visa or with an electronic visa that is easy to obtain.


Yasser contacted several friends who took this step before him to benefit from their advice in buying a property in Turkey, especially since Turkey is a foreign country for Yasser, a country that only adopts the Turkish language as a primary language and there are fewer people who speak English not as in Yasser's country.


Yasser got the first advice and it was as the following:

Do not communicate with many real estate brokers at the same time, this is harmful and not beneficial, choose two or three brokers. If they do not help you, you can move to other brokers.


This advice was strange for Yasser, as he thought that communicating with a large number of real estate brokers at the same time could make him get more offers and better prices, but the response of his friend who gave this advice was as the following:

After I contacted with many brokers at the same time, first, I felt confused and no longer realized which property would be the most suitable for me, knowing that in Istanbul hundreds of new projects and thousands of old projects, and most importantly, I made sure late that real estate prices are chosen by the real estate developer not by real estate consulting companies.

Also, I discovered that a good real estate consultant has everything I want to see from real estate. There is no longer any benefit from communicating with dozens of brokers, on the contrary, it is a waste of my time and their time.


Here Yasser felt that this advice was useful and began the search process to find 3 brokers to start with, and in light of what the events are progressing with, he can choose one of them over the other or choose others in case of incompetence.

Yasser began searching on Google for the best real estate brokerage company in Istanbul. Here, he was surprised that the search results include hundreds of brokerage companies, whether in the ads that appear at the beginning of each page or in the search results under the ads.


After visiting several real estate websites, ads from these sites began to appear to Yasser on social media, websites, and YouTube, and this made the matter more difficult, so how do I choose the three brokers with whom I will start the journey?


After a friend asked, the second advice came:

To facilitate the process of choosing a real estate broker, there are several points that you can take into consideration:

1. With an easy-to-navigate website that includes a real number of real estate projects. If he says we have 500 projects, you must find the same number in real terms on his site without repeating or exceeding some numbers.

2. Has a real estate blog, which new content is added periodically and includes all the updates of laws and auxiliary factors to facilitate understanding of the Turkish real estate market in order to buy a residential or investment property.

3. The better high rank website in Google’s results (after ads), this indicates that this website is more reliable in Google perspective at least.

4. The speed of response that the consulting team gives you is an important criterion in evaluating the company.

5. Do not be deceived by social media in terms of the number of followers, as it is a criterion by which it is not possible to judge the level of professionalism in the company.


These points do not guarantee, if fully available, that the real estate broker is a professional, but they are important signals that can be relied upon in principle to choose the first 3 brokers and start a conversation with them.


Yasser selected 3 real estate brokers, one of them from the first results in Google, the second from Google ads, and the third from Facebook ads, and began communicating with them, and the initial results were as follows:

The consultant that Yasser reached through social media ads asked Yasser about his request, and as soon as he answered that he intended to buy real estate with the aim of obtaining Turkish citizenship, he was bombarded with offers that seemed to someone like Yasser really attractive, such as getting 3 apartments at the price of Turkish nationality in the modern center of Istanbul Basin Express or get 10 investment apartments in the Esenyurt area suitable for Turkish nationality or get 3 apartments near Basaksehir Square, which is considered the modern Taksim Square.


As for the broker who applied to Google ads, he contacted Yasser directly and forced him to talk at an inappropriate time about his request, and as soon as Yasser indicated that the purchase plan would be after six months, the tone of this broker differed and he told Yasser that he would contact him later when the date of his arrival approaches.

As for the last consultant, he initially sent a welcoming email to Yasser to inform him that he had received his request and inquire from him about the appropriate time for communication and about the most appropriate method of communication, is it through e-mail, direct contact, or whatsapp messenger?

Yasser here felt comfortable and chose a suitable time for him to contact. Based on that, he responded to the e-mail.


Before continuing, we review here the third advice:

Pay attention to what the real estate consultant offers you and ask yourself whether they are really what suits me or are they the offers that suit this consultant.

Also, Yasser is a person far from Turkey and does not know the regions in it or the prices, so presenting the offers directly made him feel lost.

It is best to deal with the counsellor who is keen to present a suitable offer for you, and he who hears you at the beginning and then presents you with the available possibilities.

Also, it does not matter from which source you got the consultant , whether ads on social media or Google ads. The important thing is that the broker is a professional, but if you got the broker through the first results from Google after ads, you often got a professional broker.


When the real estate consultant contacted Yasser at the specified time and knew that he did not have enough information about Turkey in general and Istanbul in particular, he wanted to benefit from the time period that separates Yasser coming to Istanbul in explaining the areas of Istanbul and how to invest and obtain Turkish citizenship and what Yasser liked the most were the presence of detailed articles on the company’s website about all of the above and thus he is now able to read the information he wants at a time that suits him.


While introducing Yasser about the real estate market in Istanbul by the third consultant, he concluded the following:

1. The rental return in Istanbul ranges between 1% to 7%, as it decreases in areas far from the center of Istanbul and rises as we approach the center, and it is not a fixed rule, but rather represents the vast majority of projects and supply.

2. The increase in the value of capital for projects under construction has reached 20% annually, and thus the profitable investment in general is through buying a property under construction and waiting for the completion of its construction and then selling it at a large profit.

3. There are a large number of new projects as we move away from the center of Istanbul, and this means that the increase in prices during the coming years will not be high (as long as the available options are many, the demand is few). There are few new projects as we head towards the real center of Istanbul, which are Sisli, Maslak, Beyoglu, Uskudar and Kadikoy districts. This means that the prices here are generally maintained at their high values ​​and also real estate in these areas can be resold easily.

4. Real estate prices in the center of Istanbul for a bedroom and a hall start from 160.000 $ up to 350.000 $ and therefore it is possible, almost through the Turkish citizenship budget, to obtain one property in the center of Istanbul.


This in itself seemed difficult for Yasser to accept, as he had never lived in Istanbul before, so how can one property be at the price of Turkish citizenship in the center of Istanbul while 10 properties can be collected with the same amount away from the center!!

Of course at the beginning it was difficult to accept, but the fact that the real estate consultant provided Yasser all the options, whether in the center of Istanbul or far from the center, in addition to sharing articles about investment with accounts and clarifying all the details of the importance of each region here. Yasser felt that this counsellor is really professional and he would take his advice.


Days passed, and Yasser’s travel date approached, and he is still following up on the latest developments with the third advisor, who provided him with all the information Yasser needed to build a correct perception about the Turkish real estate market.


The human being by nature is curious and always loves to know additional things and despite the fact that the third real estate consultant provided Yasser everything he wants to know about the regions of Istanbul and its projects and prices, Yasser has been attracted to Facebook ads for projects in Istanbul with exclusive offers (according to the advertisement) and as soon as Yasser contacted with them until offers poured down on him at prices much lower than the third real estate consultant shared with him, here Yasser thought that he was deceived and that the prices are in fact lower than what he was getting, but Yasser is a rational person who wanted to consult his friend who recently bought real estate in Istanbul before making any decision. The advice from his friend was the following:

1. The offers that are shared with you at prices much lower than the original offers are fake, aiming to attract your attention and when you come you find that these properties are not available at these prices, so save the specifications of the offered property well and when you come, ask to buy the same property with the same specifications and watch the reaction.

2. When you first come, meet the real estate consultant who spent a long time detailing everything for you, because this is part of returning the favour to what was presented to you, and of course you do not have to buy through his company as you can then meet new companies and see the offers they have (if you are not convinced with the idea that a good real estate consultant has everything you want to watch).

3. If your goal is to obtain Turkish citizenship, make sure that this company has a lawyer who is able to complete it in the required time and correctly. The laws regarding Turkish citizenship, the required papers and how to apply are matters that are not easy and a novice lawyer cannot succeed in them directly, so you must make sure that the real estate mediator you are going to buy with has a lawyer who has already succeeded in completing the citizenship transaction for dozens of buyers before you.

4. Reception from the airport to the hotel is a service that reflects the respect of the real estate consultant for you, but you should not consider it a standard by which companies can be evaluated.

5. As the professional company may be on the day of your arrival in the evening it has many clients other than you, and a start-up company can be available all the time, so whether this service is provided to you or not I advise you not to evaluate on its basis.


After this advice, Yasser met the third real estate consultant company, and the sales team was at the highest level of experience and knowledge, and they provided Yasser everything he wanted to know about the purchase mechanism and taxes for the state.


The suitable property was found for Yasser within 3 days, and it is no wonder that Yasser found all the information provided by the real estate consultant, real and tangible, and the purchase process was carried out quite smoothly and he was assisted in collecting the nationality papers for him and his family. A maximum of 90 days for Turkish citizenship.