Wednesday 19 October 2016

Why Turkey is a safe heaven for retirees


Turkey can be an awesome place for retirees.

Turkey's tranquil and scenic coast is proving a magnet for retirees seeking a home and lifestyle for an unbeatable price

Marion Adams, 57, is originally from Banff in Scotland but has lived in Yalikavak, a smart enclave near the popular resort of Bodrum since 2004.

She and her husband Laurence bought a beautiful stone house with five bedrooms, a swimming pool, spacious kitchen, sitting room and rooftop balcony with stunning views over the hills and out towards the Greek island of Kos in the glistening Aegean Sea. The house cost just £300,000.

They settled into their delightful hillside community of five detached properties, each with their own private swimming pools and shared the cost of building a separate house for a local couple who would work as cleaners and gardeners for them all.

Marion and Laurence had been to Turkey many times before they decided to live there and even lived in Istanbul for a while where Marion learned to speak fluent Turkish. But tragically six years ago Laurence died aged just 76.

Marion now lives on her own in the beautiful villa they bought together but would never dream of moving back to the UK.

"All my memories are in this house," she says. "I just love it here. My neighbours look after me and I have a great circle of friends as there are lots of Brits who have retired here."

Marion, a former financier in the City of London chose Yalikavak as she didn't want to live too far from an international airport (Bodrum is close by and offers EasyJet flights to Gatwick), a good hospital, shops and somewhere that doesn't close down during the winter months.

Yalikavak ticked all her boxes and has proved to be a good investment. Her house has been estimated to be worth over £800,000 by Yalikavak property specialist Darren Edwards, the founder of Luxury Property Turkey.

Manchester-born Darren is a 13-year veteran of the Bodrum property market and has seen it weather many storms in recent years including recession and unrest. However he points out that in key locations prices have risen due to 90 per cent of sales stemming from domestic demand.

"I think prices will continue to rise also because of the growing infrastructure and the arrival of top International hotel brands such as the Mandarin Oriental and signature residential developments on the Bodrum peninsula," he says.

"The region also attracts a global mix of interested buyers from Scandinavia, the Middle East, America and Europe so is thankfully not dominated by one foreign nationality giving it a local yet real International mix.

"Yalikavak is a particularly popular area for Brits as there is so much going on," he adds. Indeed Marion is plugged into a community of musicians and artists and a mixture of nationalities including Italians, Americans, Scandinavians, Dutch and Swedes.

There is also a smattering of celebrities and retired politicians who have homes in Yalikavak including the former German Chancellor Gerard Schroder, and 74 year old Eastenders actor Billy Murray.

"There's a good ex-pat community here," adds Marion. "And we have a great lifestyle - I love walking on the beaches and the hillsides and cycling. There are lots of local organisations and even a slow food club."

Yalikavak combines the chi-chi ambience of St Tropez with the charm of a traditional fishing village.

There's a cluster of sophisticated restaurants at the top end of the new marina including newly-opened Zuma, famed for its Japanese cuisine, and a mall of designer boutiques.

But at the other a string of cafes and restaurants jostle for space along the waterfront next to a necklace of stalls selling local crafts, jewellery and clothes.

Marion's house is on a hillside so benefits from a cooling breeze in summer; temperatures can hit the high 30s in summer. She has an outdoor Tandoor oven and pergola for parties, and a garden overflowing with bougainvillea, banana plants and fruit trees.

She is not concerned about getting old in her home. "I have a downstairs bedroom and bathroom and it would be very easy to get help locally if I needed care and support," she explains.

"I am set up to stay. I would be lonelier in London."

She is not deterred by recent events in Turkey either.

"My friends in the UK are more worried than I am," she declares. "I am aware of what is going on but not affected. The Turks are lovely people and love Europeans; I was even invited to my Turkish neighbour's daughter's wedding recently. The only thing I miss about the UK is Cheddar cheese!"

For investors property on the Bodrum peninsular still rents well and is very affordable compared to Europe.

A centrally-located two-bed apartment with two bathrooms, and shared pool costs just £110,000 resale; and four-bed detached villas with pool are priced from £350,000.

"The market has been strong until earlier this year," Darren adds. "People who know Turkey are not deterred. In fact the lack of certainty in Europe should give people confidence to buy here.

"There is also a new law pending offering indefinite residency if you spend US$500,000 on a property – which means you can buy a car and enjoy increased purchasing power.

"The climate is comparable to southern Spain but properties here are better value."

*** Based on Retire Move. Retire Move is dedicated to helping people who are planning to buy their overseas retirement properties.



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