Renting Out Your Seaside Home

While Turkey is growing in popularity as a warm-weather warm-culture retirement destination, it’s also an incredibly popular vacation locale.  And if you happen to own an apartment or home by the sea, in a major city, or in any other unique location, you have the option or ‘letting out’ your home while away.  This is a great option for those who vacation in Turkey at a favorite locale and don’t want the trouble of booking hotels, or overseas retirees who wish to spend large chunks of the year either in their home country with family or traveling around Europe.  In short, if you are considering purchasing property, but don’t plan to spend all your time in Turkey, this is a viable path. 

Show Me The Money How much your apartment brings in depends on a great number of things: Where is it located? How many rooms does it have? Is it new or old? Is it a unique property? Is it located in an area with high demand for accommodation during peak seasons? Is there a pool? What amenities will you include? Will you rent by the day or by the week?

In past years typical incomes for a modern and pleasantly furnished two bedroom flat in a resort town by the sea (like Didim) have hovered around 60€/day and 300/week.   3BR villas around Fethiye run around $500/week.  Stone villas by Ephesus can run upwards of $1000/wk.  Again, the price all depends on the factors above.

Some retirees we’ve come across rent out their property during peak season in summer and then are able to live off that rental income for the remainder of the year.  Other people rent out for just a few weeks a year and use the income to pay for home maintenance, or put towards their own travel expenses.

Why Would I Want to Do This? Letting out your property while you’re away is actually quite common in Turkey (and many parts of Europe).  There are accepted norms of behavior from tenants as well as expectations for property owners.  The extra income will allow you to do…whatever you want.  Travel in Greece.  Take a gulet trip.  Stay with family in the states over the school holidays.  Explore the rest of Europe. Cover your winter budget.

Other Options: Rent Out a Room:If you don’t feel comfortable handing your house over to strangers, or you prefer to reside in Turkey year-round, another option is letting out a spare room through sites like Air BnB.  Both you and the potential renter set up profiles so you can screen every applicant, and you are able to choose how much of your house you want to share.  This is also an interesting option for people who have a spare bedroom and love having company.

Pragmatics: How Do I let Out My Property? You have basically three choices if you decide to let out your property.  If you find a good agent, the most hassle-free option is to use a real estate agent (like Milan Estate Agents).  Milan, for example, offers free property letting services including arranging of cleaning, checking inventory and arranging paying of utility bills for the first year post-sales.   The second option is to go through a vetted online service that requires both renter and owner to create full profiles and agree to certain terms and conditions, such as Air BnB. You will still need to arrange for the pre-arrival cleaning and post-departure inventory check, but you can also be sure that you are renting to people you trust your home with.   The third option is to use one (or multiple) online forums or listing services, such as:

Keep in mind that different services have different terms of use; make sure to familiarize yourself with site regulations, fees, owner/renter/site obligations, and expectations before listing your property.

Is It Safe? Is My Home Safe? As we mentioned above, seasonally letting out your property is quite common in Turkey.  However, there are still certain precautions you should take.  If you are using a Real Estate Agent or travel agent to do your booking, make sure you talk to people who have previously used their services to ensure that they are trustworthy and reliable.

If you are renting out your property yourself, there are also a few precautions you can take to ensure your home is safe:

  • Ask potential renters to send you a brief introduction of themselves and their vacation style to see if they would be compatible
  • Write up a list of expectations or rules and send to potential renters, making sure this is acceptable to them before sealing the deal.  Make sure that you are clear about responsibilities for any potential damages
  • Schedule a short Skype call with interested parties to discuss your expectations and theirs, as well as any additional needs they might have.  Build a relationship with the people who rent your property.
  • Install a simple CCTV system by the entrance, and let renters know that this system is there.
  • Ask neighbors you know and trust to drop in from time to time
  • Hire a good cleaner who you trust to tidy up the property after renter’s departure.

 

What You Will Need to List You Property: A good listing is complete: it leaves the renter with no doubt as to where they will be staying and the owner’s expectations for their property. To attract good renters you also need to create a unique listing that appeals to the right audience and shows off what’s special about your place.

First, write down the practicalities: how many bedrooms and bathrooms does it have? Is there a garden or a pool? How far is it from town? The Beach? Other attractions? Is there a free shuttle service? Will renters need to hire a car?  Write an introduction.  Include amenities available, and your expectations. Be honest. People should understand what they are expecting; inflating your property or hiding flaws will result in negative reviews.

Decide what services you will provide, and what will be included in the cost (housekeeping, welcome basket, internet, etc…). Have a clear policy of extra expenses and responsibilities for if something is broken or damaged.

Second, sit down and brainstorm what makes your property special.  What do you  like best about it?  What are some of the things you most enjoy doing at your property or in the surrounding community? What do other people in your community seem to enjoy? Is there a beautiful beach? A restaurant with great authentic Turkish breakfast? A colorful market bursting with fresh fruits? A secluded cove? A great marina? Write a compelling paragraph detailing the things you love, the things that will excite someone.  Or include pictures with descriptive captions.

Third, make sure your listing has plenty of pictures.  You should have pictures of inside the residence (of each room), outside the residence (including the building and grounds) and the surrounding area or community. -You want potential renters to feel like they know what they are getting and be excited about their trip; having just one or two pictures looks spammy.  A great example of using pictures to convey a complete concept of the home and community can be found in this listing.

When setting your price, research average costs for the area and adjust for the amenities you are providing, property location, and size.

Last Minute Details: Make your renters feel welcome when they arrive! Leave them helpful phone numbers and a small guidebook, your favorite restaurant reviews, useful bus routes and interesting stops, or a local event calendar and a map. Little details leave a big impression.

Properties to Consider: If you are thinking of purchasing a residence that you will let out for at least part of the year, here are some things you should consider when looking for the perfect property:

  • Is it conveniently located? Can you walk to the beach, to town, to restaurants, cafes, shops and banks?  If it isn’t in town, is there a free shuttle bus provided by the apartment complex management?
  • Access: What is the main draw of this location? Is it close to the beach, by a historical site, on a direct route to the airport, in a quiet and secluded location?
  • Is the building secure? Does it have an on-site security guard, card-entrance gate, or CCTV?
  • How is the management of the building or complex? Do they have on-site repairmen?
  • Does the residence have access to a private or public pool? While you might not use it, this is a key drawpoint for vacationers.
  • How easy is the residence to maintain? You might prefer the quirky character of an older building, but a well-built newer building will usually require far less maintenance.
  • Are there people around who you know and trust, and who can check in on your apartment once in a while?
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Filed under Finance, Practicalities, Real Estate, Retiring Abroad

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