You have successfully completed the purchase of your home and investment in Turkey. Put a big tick there and applaud yourself for your lifestyle and investment choice, well done. No doubt you shall create many great memories and may even decide to move over there lock stock and barrel one day.
Now that you have it successfully under your belt, how do you go about managing and maintaining your new home in Turkey? How do you make sure that your nest-egg overseas is kept in sound condition for you and your family to enjoy year in year out and that its return on investment is maximised via rentals and/or a future profitable sale. You know one thing for sure – if you look after your property well, it will appreciate in value and if you let it go un-cared, it will lose its value before you know it. There is nothing like walking into a well presented and loved house that’s well looked after and diligently maintained.
What aspects of your Turkish property should you maintain?
The following is by no means an exhaustive list, yet some of the main points of maintenance and management that your new home in Turkey will require.
Most of us buy holiday homes in the coastal parts of Turkey and we pride ourselves that our home in Fethiye, Kalkan, Antalya or Bodrum has excellent sea views, you can almost smell the sea water, can’t you? Well, so can your property. And guess what, your property does not like it anywhere as much as you do. For you, the sea nearby is a must have and for your property it is a wear & tear. Nothing washes the paint off your property and causes humidity internally as much as sea weather. So, first things first, you need your property properly aerated at least once every other week if not once a week when you are not there.
You have a lovely private pool, of course you do, it’s your holiday home after all, your dream place in the sun, no expense barred. Well, guess what, in the Mediterranean heat, your pool in Turkey will need maintaining almost everyday. Someone will need to place it with the necessary chemicals and brush off the leaves and stems that fly into it as well as the occasional bee that loses his poor little way. You will probably change the water once a year, if that, so the pool needs to be properly managed and maintained so it stays fresh and clean.
Have you noticed how quickly grass and bushes (mostly unwanted) grow in Turkey. It is a fertile soil and just like you, they love the weather. So, someone needs to trim those unsightly edges that before you know it will cross the border into your home. You might put a door-mat saying ‘unwanted unwelcome’ but I doubt it will help. They can’t read.
Most of us put our holiday homes overseas to good use when not in use by ourselves, we rent them out as holiday lets. You might want to ask your guests to kindly clean before and after themselves, however, that probably will not help your rental balances. So, you need to provide for before and after rental maintenance, cleaning, welcome baskets, may be even some guidance as to how to use the utilities, the air-con, the sky TV to name a few. So, you will need some help there for sure.
No matter what you do and how well you manage your property, some amount of natural wear and tear is unavoidable. There will be things breaking, door knobs not working, window seals leaking and the list goes on. Mostly small little things, yet enough to spoil your fun if not fixed timely. So, you will need a fixer-doer at hand.
Now the good news about managing and maintaining a property in Turkey
You have guessed right – property maintenance fees in Turkey are not expensive. You can get good value for money if you appoint the right company or individuals to take care of your property. Make sure you give the job to a company or individual(s) with proven track record in property management and maintenance. Do not just appoint someone because they seem friendly enough. Make sure they have credentials and the right experience.
Here are some of the most common and effective ways of managing your home remotely from overseas
If your property is located in a managed complex, then you also have shared facilities and possibly shared pools with shared gardens, may be even a restaurant and fitness centre. All these cost and the costs are borne by the property owners, that’s YOU. The estate (the complex in which you are a shareholder and owner) generally appoints a management team to oversee management of the complex. The management team in the early years (first couple of years after completion of the complex – not a rule but a general trend) comprises of the development company and their services. The development company generally extends their services to property management and maintenance in the initial years of complex completion. They are not necessarily doing this for the love of you or out of charity but because they also know that the better presented the complex, the more chances they will have of selling all remaining units speedily. So, it sort of works for both parties, the developer and the buyers.
Such management and maintenance fees will generally be recorded in the purchase contract and is a share of total expected costs divided by the number/size of unit you own. That’s to say if you own say a 2 bedroom apartment within a complex you pay a proportionate amount in comparison to other types of units in the same complex. If you own say a 3 bedroom villa in the same complex, then expect to pay a little higher. The management company will generally extend their services to provide individual management and maintenance to individual properties on the site upon agreement with the owners. So, you will be covered for shared facilities and private sections such as the points 1-5 above. What sort of fees should you expect to pay? As a general guidance the following are averages you can expect
For a 2 bedroom apartment in a complex around Euro 800 per year
For a 3 bedroom villa in a complex around Euro 1,200 per year
Once the development company washes their hands off the project, then it is up to the owners to appoint a third party management company. A management company is hence appointed, in which you have a say as to which company to go with, and a contract is put in place for management and maintenance. These contracts are generally reviewed every other year. Fees are determined and agreed in advance so there are no surprises. The management company comes on board to manage the shared facilities of the complex and not your individual property. Having said that most property owners then take out a private contract with the same management company to maintain their own properties as well. It only makes sense. Fees are similar to indicated above. If you rent out your property and require cleaning before and after, fees are generally in the region of Euro 30 for each cleaning. Say you achieve 20 blocks of rentals in a year and need to clean before and after, this is 40 cleans, so you are looking at around Euro 1,200 for running your rental cleaning and maintenance.
What if your property is a private stand-alone villa? This will naturally mean your maintenance and management fees will be somewhat higher because you are contracting someone specifically to look after your property. Cleaning before and after rentals will be the same of course, that is if you rent your property, however, private management and maintenance of villas tend to be slightly higher, in the region of Euro 1500 – 1700 per annum.
Houses with on-site caretaker quarters
Here we are referring to some very exclusive homes in Turkey with large private grounds and spacious living areas. Some of these homes come with separate maid’s houses to accommodate caretakers. This may seem like a far fetched idea, however, in reality it is more than feasible. Some of these very private mansions in places like Bodrum, limited numbers of homes in Kalkan and Kas have gardens that are so large and living spaces that are so spacious that you need constant attention. A live in caretaker is the perfect solution for this. Not only will they care for the house but they will also help with cooking and other house duties. Live in caretakers are usually local husband & wife teams. You provide accommodation and a reasonable salary (Euro 6,000 per annum for the pair) in return for full home care, management, maintenance and security.