If you’re considering buying property – either as a holiday home or a permanent residence – have you got as far as considering preparations for the winter in Turkey?
It’s likely that those who dream of a place in the sun imagine their new life during the summer. It’s natural to associate a fresh start with long days on sandy beaches or by the pool, perhaps with a cold drink within easy reach.
Of course, all those things can be part of your new reality. So can a healthy Mediterranean diet, a slower pace of life and a lower cost of living.
But, just like anywhere else in the world, Turkey has more than just one season. Right now, as summer enters its final few weeks, those who are staying on will begin to make their preparations for winter.
If you’re a regular visitor already or perhaps if you arrived on Turkey’s Aegean or Mediterranean coastline earlier this year, you’ll have enjoyed little rain since June and temperatures since have hovered around the mid to high 30s.
However, it’s all a little different in December and now is a good time to buy the wood you may need for heating.
More modern homes may have underfloor or central heating of course – but not all. That may mean buying a couple of tonnes of firewood for the soba – and September is a good time to tick the box as it’ll still be dry and in plentiful supply.
Later in the year, stocks held in reserve by suppliers won’t necessarily be under cover so may be damp and harder to get going. Also, as demand increases, stocks are depleted and prices can rise.
Facebook forums are a good source of information if you’re on the hunt for recommendations for suppliers. Be sure to check who does what though. Some will simply deliver, leaving you to stack piles of logs on your own, which is a skill in itself. Others will do it for you – and not necessarily at additional cost.
There are different schools of thought over what to do with the pool over the winter months. Away from the coast where temperatures tend to be a little higher, some will avoid the risks of freezing by either partially or completely draining the water. Others, concerned out leaving tiles and grouting exposed to the elements, prefer to keep the water in, reducing treatment but nonetheless adopting a winter maintenance regime.
Whichever you decide, it might be best to consider the options around this time of year and to acquire the necessary kit in advance. That may even include installing devices to allow inadvertently trapped wildlife to escape.
We tend to think of air-conditioning as a summer thing but, when homes are not always fitted with central heating, convector units can be a big part of staying warm.
With the fiercest summer months now over and with winter yet to bite, September is a good time to have your air conditioning serviced in time for the months of peak demand.
It’s a good idea to switch the controls from “cool” to “heat” and to run them for a few minutes to see if your units still respond appropriately. The air filters in many units can also be easily accessed and cleaned without the need to call in a specialist technician.
However, if you want to be confident of avoiding days – or even weeks – without a primary source of warmth in winter, a service is probably a cheap and relatively inexpensive option to consider.
Similarly, being without hot water in winter can be equally problematic and, as most homes in Turkey include solar panels for heating their tanks, regular maintenance is important.
If possible, if you’re preparing for winter in Turkey, it’s not a bad idea to check for leaks as the summer comes to an end. But, as a minimum, we’d recommend topping up the anti-freeze to keep the panels working through the colder weeks of December and January.
Again, it’s not a difficult job for those used to home maintenance but, if the roof is difficult or risky to reach or if you’re not confident about quantities or antifreeze ratios, calling in an expert is not going to break the bank.
Again, you can usually find reliable tradesmen via the Facebook forums or personal recommendations. Prices may vary, but peace of mind as winter approaches is generally worth the investment.
What to do
Finally, something which takes a little getting used to in areas reliant on tourism is that many of the businesses are based on The Season. They may be open just about every day from April through to October but then close for the winter.
Handy small-scale convenience stores, bars and restaurants in particular are prone to winter closures – but not necessarily the same ones every year. It seems to be reliant on how the summer has gone.
As a result, it’s not a bad idea to ask your favourites around this time of year if they have made any decisions. They won’t mind; an inquiry implies an interest which may help them make up their minds on way or another. It can also help with your own plans, particularly if your home isn’t in an area blessed with plenty of choice.
How can we help?
If you would like more information on buying property in Turkey please drop us a line of give us a call. We can also help with the administration and logistics or relocation.
Alternatively, feel free to browse our blog for previous posts you may find useful. If you’d like to check out our full portfolio, you can find details of properties currently on our books right here. You can also keep up to date with our Facebook page here.