Having already lived in Istanbul, Fethiye, Çanakkale and Bodrum, I am well on my way to conquering all of Turkey’s most popular towns among the expat community. Now, I get to add the beautiful area of Marmaris to the mix as I have recently made the move from Bodrum to its neighboring expat hub to the east. I must admit, I have had a tumultuous love affair with Bodrum but finally have decided to call it quits. With the pandemic continuing to rear its ugly head and jobs increasingly switching to remote, Bodrum has understandably become a destination in high demand for Turkey’s big-city dwellers. The fact that it offers everything you could ever ask for of a city and has a variety of characteristic destinations an hour’s drive away in practically every direction, means that even an urbanite would not want for greater attractions. This is especially true; during these trying times when being able to take part in outdoor activities has become a real virtue.
Therefore, Bodrum has become the epicenter of reverse migration as flocks and flocks of newcomers are taking up all of the housing, never mind the roads, and are driving prices up sky-high for the local residents of this once sleepy fishing town. The balances have admittedly changed throughout the world, however, it truly hit home when I was literally driven out of mine and so it is with a heavy heart that I made the decision to seek a slower lifestyle and greener pastures. Luckily, as any expat in Turkey will know, this country offers a lot of different residential options. Thus, alas, I have decided to try my luck in a village near Marmaris, one of the remaining expat hubs I had yet to discover.
While Bodrum may be buzzing, Marmaris and pretty much every town along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts are experiencing an influx of urbanites and thus these days finding available housing is admittedly challenging. I wasn’t the only person with the idea of moving in mind, however, if I do say so myself, I was the most successful one in the house hunt. Therefore, I want to share my tricks of the trade on finding a home in Turkey for expats and foreigners alike during the time of coronavirus.
My number one tip would have to be to try to use the method of word of mouth for finding your forever home in Turkey. While there are extremely helpful and informative websites that have housing ads, such as sahibinden.com and Turkish newspaper Sabah’s Sarı Sayfalar, I must admit that none, not a single one, of the 10 fabulous homes I have rented thus far have been the result of a classified ad. I do realize that for some it is easier than others, but in Turkey talking to people in the neighborhood you want to live in can go a long way. I literally stop a person on the streets sometimes, that is if they seem nice and as if they would understand my plea. Otherwise, head straight for the local “kahve” (coffeeshop) and market to ask if they know of anything available. The next step would be to head for real estate agents’ offices and tell them exactly what you are looking for. People try to skate around employing an agent, but let me tell you, even on the website sahibinden.com, which literally means “from the owner,” the vast majority of ads have been placed by real estate agents. Furthermore, finding a property is their job and thus they will be able to answer your questions and ensure the whole rental transaction transpires without a hitch. You may have to pay the equivalent of one month’s rent for their services, but when warranted it is well worth the fee.
As someone who is extremely paranoid about catching the dreaded coronavirus, the actual act of looking for a new home was daunting. Turks tend to act spontaneously, for example, if I asked a cafe owner if he knew of a home, in just five minutes I had his friend arriving in a car to take me to one. These are the awkward moments of the pandemic, when suddenly one has to put the brakes on a wide variety of practical practices. However, I diligently and apologetically declined to share a ride and offered to walk to the homes he wanted to show me and we would set up a time later in the day to meet. As my house hunting dragged into a week, I ended up getting a bike to be able to meet those showing me houses even quicker. Thus, stick to your guns and keep your mask on during the perils of looking for property. No one was ever offended by my actions and my cautious approach garnered the respect for the contagiousness of the disease that is warranted. As a result, eventually, everyone involved in my house hunt would take extra care to protect themselves and me, and all involved were thankful for it.
The same rule applies for the actual moving day, when the utmost of safety measures are necessitated as the physical act of moving itself could be catastrophic in terms of being a breeding ground for the virus. Suddenly, there are multiple movers in your home that are carrying heavy furniture and huffing and puffing and needing air themselves and can occasionally slip out of their masks. I took extra care to ensure there was no reason for me to be indoors, adding to the danger of everyone’s contagion. In other words, one must be extremely prepared and finish with all packing and indoor organization prior to the movers’ arrival in order to lessen the number of people in an enclosed space. Furthermore, it is important to dress warm, because the best practice one can do when forced to share enclosed spaces, is to open all of the windows and ensure there is a constant circulation of air in play.
Remember how when the pandemic was first announced, we were all taking extreme care to wash everything handled by others down, including our groceries? Do you also recall the time figures presented that the virus could last on various surfaces? Well, when it comes to moving it is important to recall these realities and to remain vigilant to not touch your face and to wash your hands whenever you may have come into contact with a contagion. Be prepared to have gloves, soap and cream on hand as the ample saran wrap, containers and even cardboard boxes could be a harborer of COVID-19. You will also definitely need the hand cream as all of the transient materials involved in moving can make your skin dry, as well as the constant hand washing while unpacking, so do yourself a favor and indulge in a strong moisturizing cream and make sure you keep it on hand!
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.