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What do I need to do before going to Turkey while preparing in Nevada?

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Hi there, since my current room rental lease won't expire until October of this year, I still have roughly 6 months of time to hang around here in Southern Nevada to get myself better prepared for the time spent in Turkey.

What do I need to do to get myself prepared better in these 6 months, or get as many things I can get done completed so I have less tasks or burdens in Turkey?

Several things I have done so far or am planning to do

1 Sold my car, sold as many items of mine that can be sold, throwing away a few items a day so I can go with a clean set of portable luggages

2 Went to my dental appointment earlier this month, have an annual physical appointment this May, and completed my 2nd Covid vaccine shot

3 Learn some Turkish when I can 

4 Save some money in a dedicated bank account so I can submit the statement for residence permit purposes. 

5 Booked the plane ticket to Newark NJ this October, will book the ticket to Antalya after I arrive in Newark and after obtaining a negative PCR test

Any other things uncles and aunts can suggest me doing besides these aforementioned tasks and errands among these 6 waiting months in Southern Nevada?

Any other things I can do to lessen my burden while physically in Turkey, any other things I should get done in the states before departing?

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I had been making a list of such things and just had a look at it.

One thing that helps is earplugs, for sleeping on the plane and if you end up in a hotel that's noisy. There's a brand called Mack's which you squeeze and insert into your ear, then they expand to block out most noise. I haven't seen them here and have had to get them when I was back in the States.

You should have at least one credit card besides your ATM card. If you lose your ATM card, it takes a long time to get one sent to you in Turkey.

Contact your bank and tell them that you'll be in Turkey and when. If you suddenly start using it in Turkey without letting them know, they'll probably block it, thinking it's been stolen.

Make sure any electronics you bring will also work on 220 volt electricity. Most electronic devices will. You'll need to get adaptors because the electrical plug is different. Here it's a two-pronged round European plug. You could get these on Amazon before you leave, or you can get them here at any electrical shop, which are abundant in Antalya. Here they call it an "American adaptor." 

When I go back to the States, the main thing I buy is clothing and shoes. Like Levi's jeans, which are more expensive here, and whatever styles I like since the styles are somewhat different here. I also get Haines underwear in the USA, I can't find it in Turkey. The type they have here isn't the same.

I can't think of anything else. Maybe someone else has some ideas.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Merhaba, I’ve been reading your posts and questions and would like to give some advice:

  • Do not buy an apartment without seeing it first.  Like in the US, the real estate ads only show the best features.  The price of apartments you mentioned are (by my experience) in a lower working class neighborhood.  This isn’t bad in itself, but the building could be poorly build/maintained due to lack of funds by the owners.  I’d rent first, then get to know the area you like.  Once you buy you are on the hook for all building expenses shared by all tenants including repairs and improvements agreed upon before you bought.  My apartment in Izmir is in a working class neighborhood and I’m very happy there.  Remember, look before you leap.
  • The noise issue; I must admit I’ve never had an issue with noise from the neighbors in all 7 apartments I’ve lived in and I’ve never lived on the top floor.  The noise you will have is street noise: i.e., cars/trucks/buses honking their horns, scooters without mufflers, street dogs, etc., for me it all became background noise in a couple of months.  Blocks of high rise apartments act like canyon walls and the noise echoes back and forth.
  • Don’t expect people to speak and understand English.  In tourist areas, it’s not an issue.  In most working class neighborhoods it may be hard to find an English speaker.  My closest friends don’t speak a word of English. The forms you sign in Turkey will be in Turkish, do not sign unless you have a trusted agent/friend tell you what is in it.  Once signed it’s legally binding.
  • Electricity; as Ken said the plugs are European and the voltage is 220.  Also the frequency is 50 Hz, we use 60 Hz in the US.  A transformer will not change this, only the voltage.  Your cell phone/tablet/laptop power supplies should work in Turkey with an adapter, but check the small print on them to ensure they work in 50/60 Hz; if not they will slowly overheat and stop working prematurely.
  • Lastly, you stated you don’t like getting ripped off. Well, to most Turks you are a rich American compared to them.  Unless the price is marked on the product, it will tend to be higher for you in my experience.  My wife of almost 40 years is Turkish, when we go shopping, she will almost always go back and buy the item without me being there as the price will be lower.
  •  Learn to bargain, don’t be in a hurry, drink the tea offered, be friendly and you will do well.
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Great advice dear sir! And indeed I was looking around at the Kepez district, which has lower housing prices in general compared to Konyaalti as well as Muratpasa, where a nice new large Daire can go way up into the 1 million lira range. 

How much in taxes and fees and commissions have you had to pay for each apartment on top of their listing price? Was it a significant portion such as 8-10% on top of the listing price?

Were you able to negotiate down the listing price by a meaningful margin such as 5000-10000 Liras?

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I’ve found most things in Turkey can be negotiated, real estate included.  It depends on how bad the seller wants/needs the money.  We bought most of our real estate in the 80s/90s; things were different then, inflation was running around 100% a year.  I have no idea about taxes, however, commissions/non-government fees could be negotiated.  But don’t forget my point about you being a rich American, even if you don’t feel you are.  Let me tell you a story:

                In 1988 we were going to buy a taxi plate and the car for $15,000.  The taxi was at the main bus station and the car was a 1976 Ford Tarsus diesel in very good shape.  My wife and our friend who was a taxi driver negotiated the deal.  Unfortunately my friend brought the seller to my house to close the deal instead of meeting at the bus station; he saw I was an American, wanted $20,000 and wouldn’t back down.  He needed the money and wanted dollars, but felt we were cheating him as I was a rich American (I was a Staff Sergeant in the Air Force).  So he walked and we never bought a taxi.

My friend, don’t be in a hurry, most Turks are not.  To get the best price, find a trusted agent (this may take time), have them negotiate a price.  Best of luck.

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