Watching the Chickens Coming Home to Roost

We call Easter week in Kusadasi “Chickens Coming Home to Roost Week”.  It’s the week when all the people that paid money to dodgy real estate agents last summer have their first opportunity to return and ask pertinent questions like “What happened to my money???” and “What do you mean I haven’t got a house!”.

Real Estate agents in Kusadasi wriggle like maggots.  Problems with purchase are common here and will remain common until such time as people stop believing agents with no practical experience of building, no idea about the real estate laws of Turkey and no commitment to building quality buildings that are designed to last.

Living here all year round we see the most dreadful things.  We see new build villas with no earthquake frame that are nothing more than death traps.  We see inferior construction hastily being rendered over prior to the season starting to hide the flaws. 

We see estate agents wandering around our village quoting renovation costs for properties at a quarter of the real cost.  On that note, if we had believed the renovation costs quoted to us by the agent we bought our first property from we would have gone bankrupt – fortunately we didn’t believe them.  

We see people sold agricultural buildings that cannot have mains services connected.  We see flurries of activity on projects that have stood silent all winter and recognise this as a sure sign that owners are coming out and minimum progress needs to be shown in conjunction with a sob story as to why it isn’t further advanced. 

We see Emlak’s advertise agricultural land as building land, saying planning permission is easily obtained when they know for a fact that new laws make new build permission expensive and time consuming and land splitting illegal to anyone but the original owner. 

Right now every man who can walk, crawl or limp towards a building site is being employed on the construction sites in Kusadasi.  A building ban comes into force at the end of May for the coastal areas for the duration of the tourist season and so buildings are being thrown up with unseemly haste and many forced errors.  “Just get it done” is currently the mantra sung as often as the call to prayer in Kusadasi this April.

The good news is 120 Real Estate agencies have closed in Kusadasi this year.  The bad news is 57 have opened!

Do we give advice to people thinking about buying in Kusadasi and Kirazli? Sure we do if people ask nicely.  But, we have developed a Cassandra complex after building homes on three continents.  We are really bored of providing advice to people who then prefer to believe the waiter/taxi driver/super little Turkish friend they just made, because they are saying what they want to hear! We maybe won’t tell you what you want to hear but we will tell you what you need to know – and that includes the names of the Emlaks to avoid!
posted 18-04-2007