Buying Real Estate in Istanbul: A House Hunting Guide

If you are looking for a property for sale in Istanbul, in this article you will find valuable recommendations on choosing a house or apartment in this vibrant city. No matter if you are interested in a modern or historical property, you will be spoilt for choice.


If you want to purchase property in Turkey, consider investing in a house or apartment in Istanbul. In this city, you will discover an exciting mix of colourful Asian traditions and modern Western infrastructure.

Some neighbourhoods clearly preserve their historical heritage while others look as if they were transferred here from Europe or the U.S. The airport is located just 22 miles away from the center of the city, in its European part — and it was opened in 2018, so its facilities are still brand new. In this article, you will find valuable recommendations on choosing a worthy house in Istanbul for rent, resale or for your own use.

What Type of Property Can You Buy in Istanbul

Foreign investors most often look for two types of real estate in this city. The first is apartments in recently built neighbourhoods with state-of-the-art infrastructure. There, you will have all kinds of venues at your disposal: shops, offices, fitness centres, beauty salons and so on. Such properties can boast of an excellent level of comfort.

The second most coveted type are premium houses in older neighbourhoods. There, you distinctly realize that you are in the largest Turkish city and not anywhere else in the world (yes, Istanbul is bigger than Ankara).

Besides, in certain areas of the city, you can still find old shanty houses. Sometimes they occupy premium locations but the quality of the construction leaves too much to be desired. To get rid of this type of housing and replace it with modern, safe and comfortable premises, the authorities launched the Urban Transformation initiative in 2005.

Thanks to this program, shanty houses are demolished and new stylish buildings are constructed in their place. The transformation is not yet finished, so in the next few years, we will hardly be able to recognize certain parts of the city.

One of the most meaningful merits of Istanbul consists in the fact that it allows its inhabitants to choose a lifestyle that suits them best. If you like to have a cup of coffee in a restaurant downstairs every evening, feel free to buy an apartment in a buoyant district where you can easily integrate into the community.

You will be able to contemplate the hustle and bustle of Turkish urban life from your window and enjoy an amazing sense of belonging to this cosmopolitan melting pot of cultures. Those who prefer solitude can opt for a nice apartment overlooking a calm park and enjoy a secluded life.

Tourists sometimes fail to realize it — but Istanbul is a wonderful place for relaxation and meditation.

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The Primary Factors You Should Consider When Choosing a Home to Buy

When picking a property for sale in Istanbul, you should pay attention first and foremost to the following factors.

Construction Quality

The construction market in the country is rapidly evolving. The builders consistently master new technologies. New eco-friendly, long-lasting and cost-efficient materials enter the market every year. In some other countries, you might need to purchase a premise that does not fully correspond to modern construction standards simply because the choice is limited — but not in Turkey. Here, the assortment of houses is vast and diverse.

Mind that your property will be located in the zone of seismic instability. Without the relevant expertise, you will hardly be able to assess the structure of the building — so you might consider hiring an independent architect to issue a conclusion regarding the durability of the house.

The Reputation of the Building Company

The competition in the building market is rather fierce — so be ready to invest some time into selecting the most reliable developer. If you are planning to buy a new house, most likely it will be put into operation on time. Thanks to the warm climate, building projects are often finished ahead of the schedule. To play safe, you can buy insurance at a local bank to make up for any potential delays — just as a mortgage, this insurance is available to foreign buyers too.

Age of the Premise

New housing might produce a favourable impression on foreign investors thanks to modern planning, energy-saving technologies and the presence of smart home systems. However, older buildings can often boast of a better location in the historical part of the city.

If compared to them, the recently built blocks of apartments might lack character.

When buying an old property, you should get to know about all the renovations that it has already undergone and the opportunity of organizing new ones. It is possible to turn a historical premise into a comfortably modernized one — but you need to plan your budget in advance and get to know about any potential limitations.

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The Planning and the View

The planning of houses and apartments in Istanbul is remarkably diverse. If you need a large kitchen, or a bathroom with a window, or a bedroom with a walk-in closet, you will be able to find it rather effortlessly.

As it was said above, certain parts of the city are undergoing a major reconstruction. So before paying for your house or apartment, ask its previous owner or your real estate agent whether the view from the window might change soon and what are the plans for the neighbourhood development.


Buying a property in Istanbul is a smart investment that should quickly pay off. If you are thinking of relocating to Turkey, you will enjoy living in this vibrant city with picturesque views, a unique character and a developed infrastructure.

Those who visit their property only on holidays, equally enjoy hot summers when the streets are bursting with tourists and calm winters with mild temperatures.

If you are planning to rent your house or apartment, you can be sure that there will always be enough demand. And if you consider reselling it, its value is likely to increase over time since the interest of Turkish and foreign investors in the Istanbul real estate market is steadily growing.