Many new buyers are attracted to buying property ‘off-plan’ – literally buying a property before it’s built. But in the current property market is this the best plan? In this article we look at resale property as a viable alternative.

Glossy sales brochures, apparent discounts, pushy estate agents and the appeal of a ‘new’ property are a very big influence on would be purchasers.  Developers love it because it’s great business – doubling their money is a frequent boast of many builders/developers. And up until about 2 years ago buying off plan was good value and made financial and practical sense. The market was new, property prices were rising quickly due to demand, so it made sense to get in early to protect against prices rises. But the property market in 2006 is now very different and with good quality resale property on the market potential buyers now have a realistic choice.

The property market in Fethiye is now maturing and the quality and quantity of property has increased to the level where second hand property is now a good purchase. Almost anything built in the last three to four years, subject to it being built legally, will be structurally better and should have a better standard of finish than a comparable older property.  There are even some very well restored old houses in the town and around (maybe not the one on the right though!).

So where are the benefits for the property resale buyer over the off plan buyer? Well here are a few:

Less Risk – Off plan buying is inherently risky unless you can offset these risks with some form of insurance be that stage payments, contracts or bonds. Many don’t so are reliant on good luck, a solvent developer, a good relationship between developer and land owner (many properties are built with the land owner retaining rights over a certain number of properties) and that everything is done legally. Buying a resale property means the property exists and you can do all the checks you need without undocumented joint ownership arrangements.

Deeds – When you buy new there is always the common problem of getting the deeds sorted out. When you buy new the deeds show land and not your property so you have to wait for the changes to happen and to do this a number of complicated permissions need to be obtained. When you buy second hand you can see the deeds, check them and quickly determine their authenticity. More information about Turkish deeds (Tapu) and what the entries on the document mean can be found at the link here.


Fitting Out – Lights, curtain tracks, air conditioning, boliers, bathrooms, security bars, shutters and a stocked garden etc. Many fittings don’t come as standard on new builds (but things are improving). In a resale property you can see them in place and probably save the money on buying them new.

Building Faults – When you buy off plan you don’t know if the building is a good one or not. There isn’t tight building control as such in Turkey. What if the foundations are weak or not deep enough? Have piles been driven and used? Much of the area is boggy land so subsidence is possible – will your new property sink or swim? When you buy second hand you can see if it has subsided (and some do – take a look at the flats by the Cultural Centre and the new Fethiye Hospital for such examples).

Flood and Water – Again you don’t know until a place has been built how prone it is to flooding or water damage. Many new builds are being built on land that until now no one in their right mind would have built on such bog and marsh. Its already wet and will probably then get wetter in the Winter. If it’s been up a few years you will probably be able to see the effects of rising damp and flooding and make your buying decision accordingly.

Other – Are you buying on a complex? If buying second hand you can find out the real service charges paid, ask to see bills for the running costs and confirm the actual level of services offered. When buying new all of this is really an unknown.

Hassle – But the main benefit, in our opinion, is the sheer hard work that is required when moving in to a brand new property. Snagging, cleaning, getting the builders to turn up, trying to get them not to put paint and dirty foot prints all over your new furniture, waiting around, more waiting….it goes on. Talk to anyone who has bought new and they’ll tell you of countless holidays wasted waiting, waiting, waiting.

Bargains – And, if you are lucky, you may even be able to find a bargain from someone who is moving away and buy a property with all the furniture and fixtures included. Then you really can just move in right away.

So where can you find out about what’s for sale? You can try one of the many estate agents based around the town, look in the local English language press or try the web, including Fethiyetimes. Fethiye Times accepts adverts from independent Brits selling their own properties.  We accept no percentage fees, and often this means you can talk to the person who owns it to find out why they’re selling and the full SP on the property and local area.

Don’t forget to read our buyers guide for more information and guidance. See the ‘Property’ menu above.