Telling us their rental story this month are Kent couple Sarah Holton-Smith and partner Phil, who recently started letting their apartment in the colourful Turkish resort of Alanya...
Sarah and Phil from Bexleyheath. Phil is a building services consulting engineer, and I (Sarah) am a marketing executive for a large architectural, engineering and design practice.
Oba Tepe, a spacious two-bedroom apartment in Alanya, on Turkey's Mediterranean coast. We visited Turkey for the first time in 2010, just to “have a look” at properties, but the minute we saw our apartment, we both knew we'd be making an offer on it! The apartment's elevated position means panoramic views of the sea, mountains and Alanya town. We really have the best of both worlds, peace and privacy, coupled with easy access to great beaches, restaurants and nightlife and the countryside.
The apartment sleeps up to six people comfortably and has a private balcony, as well as access to a shared pool, sun terrace and garden. We've installed quality fixtures and fittings throughout, including a sofa bed. When we viewed the apartment we were really impressed with the amount of space it has, and found the pool area and walled garden really special.
Since purchasing the property we've found that our neighbours say the same thing – they saw the place and simply fell in love with it. We've also found the Turkish people to be friendly and helpful, and the service we received when furnishing our apartment really does put UK stores to shame.
This is our first overseas property purchase and actually our first property purchase together since we met four years ago. Along with letting the apartment, we hope to visit it ourselves as much as possible, even spending our honeymoon there later this year.
Alanya because of its broad appeal, from restaurants, bars and night life to amazing countryside, and of course, the miles of great beaches. We love how we can step away from the hustle and bustle and find a hint of real Turkey, but also appreciate that our guests may want convenience and easy access to fun and adventure, something our location offers.
There are numerous historic sites in and around Alanya, including its ancient castle, dockyards and Roman ruins in nearby Side. But a short trip into the countryside also reveals riverside restaurants and stunning scenery. We've loved putting together comprehensive information for the apartment, which highlights what this fantastic area has to offer. Turkey is an amazing country with great food and charming people – on a recent trip my Mum was completely won over, even though she had never considered visiting Turkey before.
We rent out:
Our apartment all year round. We let it for between £245 and £375 per week, depending on the season. We take a 20 per cent deposit and the balance is paid eight weeks before arrival.
We also ask for a refundable security deposit to cover damages/breakages. We offer discounts for longer term stays and are flexible with changeover days/lengths of stay. Our building's caretaker is always ready and waiting with the keys – and a big smile – when our guests arrive.
Anita, our property manager and estate agent, has been brilliant throughout the process of buying the property and now renting it out. She is English and speaks fluent Turkish and if she can't immediately help, she always seems to know someone who can. She also helps with car hire/airport
transfers for our guests, and is on hand during their stay.
We have our own website, as well as advertising on Holiday Lettings and Trip Advisor. We hope that once we are established the apartment will pay for itself, with maybe a little left over for us.
We have a mortgage on the property through a Dutch bank, costing around £6,000 a year. There is a maintenance fee of approximately €30 (£27) a month, which pays for the upkeep of the gardens and swimming pool by the fulltime caretaker (who is only too happy to help out with jobs around the apartment too). We also pay property management fees of £150 a year and cleaning/laundry of approximately €30 (£27) a time. Insurances cost approximately £125 a year.
For more information email obatepe@ hotmail.co.uk or visit www.wix.com/turkeyholiday/apartment