Overseas property

Purchasing a lucrative apartment and moving to Alanya: a Tranio client’s story

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On 8 September, Tranio’s client Svetlana and her family bought a two-storey four-bedroom apartment on the secondary market of Alanya for 150,000 euro — the money Svetlana got after selling a two-bedroom apartment in the centre of Samara. Svetlana’s attitude towards the remote real estate selection in a foreign country has changed from complete distrust and readiness to lose the deposit to gratitude and the intention to recommend. Svetlana liked her new apartment so much that she decided to live there. Svetlana recounts her story in our article.

Apartments for sale in Alanya 1,222 listings on Tranio
Apartment – Oba, Antalya, Turkey for $218,000 $218,000
Apartment – Oba, Antalya, Turkey

Total area 100 m² 2 bedrooms

Apartment – Alanya, Antalya, Turkey for $129,000 $129,000
Apartment – Alanya, Antalya, Turkey

Total area 70 m² 1 bedroom

New home – Alanya, Antalya, Turkey for $78,000 $78,000
New home – Alanya, Antalya, Turkey

Total area 60 m² 1 bedroom

The first goal is to invest in overseas real estate with high liquidity

Our family originates from Samara, a city in Russia. I used to work as a financier in an international pharmaceutical company, but for the past few years I had been taking care of children on maternity leave. When February 2022 events broke out and sanctions were imposed, everything became uncertain. My husband and I decided to diversify the risks and transfer part of our property to another country. At that time, we had two apartments: we lived in the larger one, while the other — a brand new two-bedroom apartment with a good finish, located in the city centre — stood empty. It was unprofitable to rent it out, however it was possible to profitably sell it. We converted the proceeds into euro when the exchange rate was still gainful and got a little over 150,000 euro out of it. After that we began looking for properties in Turkey.

Of course, it had to be Turkey. In fact, the only safe choices at the time were Turkey and Dubai. Turkey is a secular country close to Europe, with a good climate and diverse natural habitats, where the UAE is a desert with +50°C temperatures in August. In addition, we thought that property prices in Turkey were about 30% lower than in Dubai. All that being said, I think it is impossible to compare Turkey with Dubai. There are too many differences between those countries. Still, for my family and I at least the choice was quite clear.

Our goal was to buy an apartment in a good area and with decent neighbours, where we could live with our children — for example, in Alanya. But above all, our future apartment had to have high liquidity, so that it could be quickly and profitably sold if it came to it.

You need to book lucrative projects fast

Buying in a foreign jurisdiction, and remotely at that, was scary. It was not clear for us how we could check our counterparties and the projects they had to offer. After scrolling through what felt like a thousand projects on the Internet and reading dozens of reviews about various companies, we came to realise, that:

a) we needed a trusted person as we could not possibly hope to make a purchase on our own;

b) if we were not ready to take risks, then our only option was to stay where we were and forget about foreign real estate.

We chose Tranio because we liked the website as well as several projects from their listings. The worst review we could find about the company on the Internet read: «Some of the projects are out of stock.» By that time, we had already realised that during rush demand, such things were inevitable. We thought to ourselves: «That’s a good company, let’s do it.»

We started working with the manager Inna Schukina. We discussed in great detail both our search criteria and our actions. When we finally decided on Alanya, Inna connected us with two local partner managers Gulnara and Vyacheslav and suddenly everything was set in motion. We no longer leisurely flipped through the listings of new developments. Instead we were sent the hottest offers, which never even had the chance to get listed, because they were sold so quickly. We were especially interested in secondary market projects, because they were cheaper. Later we narrowed down our search criteria even more and requested already populated houses no older than 10 years and located in good habitable areas. Such options often do not even reach listings; they can only be selected in real time with local realtors. Back then we still lacked understanding that it was necessary to make the decision quickly when it came to advantageous offers. Thus, two options were snapped up literally at the stage of signing the contract. Gulnara began to rush us: «Drop everything and fly over here.» This approach surprised us; you would not normally find anything like that in Russia, where they usually tiptoed around clients. I already expected some kind of a trick. I was afraid that they would slip us an ill-suited project remotely and we would then have to part with the deposit. All that pressure only added to my fears and I had less and less trust each day. At that moment, it was not possible for me to visit the country with my children.

Gulnara eventually sent us another offer with a photograph. She stressed: «Urgent sale, great four-bedroom apartment in a good location at a reasonable price, the house is 10 years old. I won’t be able to find you anything like this again. You need to decide quickly.» That day we decided to turn a blind eye to our fears and, while mentally preparing to lose the deposit, agreed on the project. Ironically, we could not send the deposit of 5,000 euro quickly enough due to bank delays, so Gulnara’s company paid for the booking from its own funds. Apparently, they understood that even if we changed our minds, they would be able to quickly find another buyer for that apartment. From that moment on, we trusted the company completely. I packed my things as quickly as possible, took the cash and flew to Alanya with my children to close the deal.

How I became the owner of a huge apartment by the sea and decided to stay and live in it with my children

We met at the Antalya airport and got help on every step of the way from finding a hotel in Alanya to unloading our things. Not only did we save about 100 euro on the transfer, we were also treated to a lunch at the restaurant. An employee of the company even paid for our hotel accommodation with his card, since Russian VISA could not be used for Airbnb.

Later we were brought to the office to close the deal. The company’s employees made notarised translations of all the documents and provided deal support without any hassle. I paid 5,000 euro in cash for the booking and another 150,000 euro by a SWIFT transfer.

They also saved me about 500–1,000 euro on conversion. In Turkey, there is a rule for foreigners: when buying real estate, the currency must be converted into Turkish liras, but since the property is denominated in currency, the liras then need to be changed back to the corresponding currency. I did not have to do a reverse conversion myself, I just gave the liras to the company, and they deposited the currency from their account to the seller’s. They needed Turkish liras to pay salaries anyway. These are the benefits of working with a large company.

In general, what happened to us from the day of our arrival could be described in a nutshell as a «good life» — everything was fine and just the way I wanted. Let me just throw in some facts. When it came to moving in, the company helped us with household tasks: the agency ordered a cleaning service and we moved into a perfectly clean apartment. The apartment is two-storey and has a protective child screen installed on the stairs. No one has lived in the apartment for 2 years since the start of the pandemic and the seals on the toilet bowl have dried up, so they have replaced the entire toilet bowl! We did not have to invest extra money in the apartment. The furniture is good; the walls are even; the apartment has spacious balconies and marble floor. Our house is located in the Oba area, near the sea, various shops and a good infrastructure. At first we planned to use this apartment as a summer cottage by the sea, but after two weeks spent in the apartment I decided to live there permanently while I was on maternity leave. Moreover, my eldest daughter was able to get into a local Russian school immediately. They have a transfer service there: a bus arrives at the apartment’s building, picks up the child, and after school returns the child to the entrance. The school costs about 750 US dollars per month, transfer and two meals a day included.

A photograph of our building and courtyard
A photograph of our building and courtyard

Our building has 12 apartments total and comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a small garden. I guess you can call it an international house: only 2 or 3 families living in other apartments are Turkish, the rest are foreigners, many of them Russians. The manager of the building is also the manager of the Russian diaspora. She is my intermediary in my interactions with the Turkish world and an indispensable assistant in everyday affairs. While I am settling in and getting used to it, her help is invaluable. So far I communicate in English everywhere, but I plan to start learning Turkish soon.

There are no restrictions on residence permits in Oba district. We were immediately given a list of documents that needed to be collected in Russia in order to obtain a residence permit here. My husband is currently collecting those documents. When he arrives in Turkey, we will submit them. By the way, the company’s employees help with applying for a residence permit as well.

The view on Oba district in Alanya
The view on Oba district in Alanya

More than a profitable investment

On 20 July, when they made a booking for the apartment, the price was fixed at 150,000 euro. Now, in September, the similar apartment in our building is up for sale for 180,000 euro. My husband and I compared the apartment we sold in Samara to the one we bought in Alanya. All in all, I think we have got very lucky with our investment, with this apartment and with the quality of service.

I feel like we are in good hands and that is the most important thing. Gulnara and Inna not only provided us with top-level services, they also helped us a lot in some small ways. All this greatly outweighs the value of money. In Alanya, I constantly kept in touch with Inna and consulted with her. Everything is different in a foreign country, which has its own rules in terms of deals, laws and regulations. Gulnara was a local; all this was familiar to her, so she could not understand my doubts sometimes. Whereas Inna I could ask about literally anything.

I understand that they have been rushing me for a reason. Now the market itself is rushing everyone. They were just trying to make me see it. This may scare someone away, but you need to understand: if they say so, you must hurry. I will recommend them to everyone.

Yes, our website receives dozens of new applications every day, but over the past few years, the bulk of my clients have been people who have already invested with us or people who came through recommendations.

This may sound trite, but I think the best sales strategy lies not with the sale itself but with solving the problems the client may have in the best possible way. It is far more beneficial for everyone: for the client, for me as a manager and for the company. People are not looking for a good website or seller; they are looking for someone they can trust.

Inna Schukina Inna Schukina Tranio’s real estate consultant

The article was written by Tranio’s editorial team based on Svetlana’s words during an interview.

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