How to buy Real Estate in Israel

How to buy real estate in Israel

When you buy property in Israel, you must be aware of certain basic legalities, terminology and norms. Firstly, let me clarify that Real estate in Israel is divided into two categories. Privately owned Israel property and State owned Israel property. In this article, I will be discussing Privately owned Israel property only.

Privately owned property includes all Israel real estate that is owned by private individuals, private or public corporations or any other legal entity that is recognized by the state of Israel. Privately owned Israel real estate, be it residential or commercial, can purchased and sold by a foreign citizen, resident or legal entity (such as a company or public corporation). Israel real estate can even be purchased by non-Jews.

Many Jews living abroad will visit for the sole purpose of shopping for homes in Israel. A common assumption is that buying a home in Israel is not so different than buying a home in their country of origin. But, in fact, there are several basic Israeli real estate laws that are unique to the country. Firstly, when you buy a home in Israel, whether it’s a home in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, you must be aware that you are buying a home according to the specifications in the contract. If you buy a home in Israel and you move in to find that the bathroom fixtures are missing, the spot lights are gone and even the entire kitchen has been removed, don’t be surprised. It’s normal for people to take, literally, everything with them when they move out. This is why it’s important to hire an experienced Israel real estate attorney that will guide you through the specifications on the bill of sale, check important matters such as betterment tax, as well as help you understand, in simplified terms, the complex procedure involved in buying property in Israel.

An Israel real estate attorney will also go through the process of investigating the Property Tabu (Title/Deed). There have been countless cases where Jews from abroad have purchased a home in Israel without attorney’s only to find that the property they purchased didn’t belong to the seller in the first place. A thorough Tabu investigation will reveal property ownership, but also other important details such as whether the property has any outstanding mortgages or liens. Once the property status has been clarified, your real estate attorney will be able to inform you of any possible issues which may prevent you from following through on the transaction.

Most new apartments in Israel are sold before construction begins or before it is complete. This is common in Israel, nothing to be concerned about.

Israel property size

It’s well known that in Israel, property owners or contractors who’ve built new homes, may make the square meter number of the property seem greater than what it actually is. They will include a weighted proportion of common space, such as a common area of land you share with a neighbor, the common staircase or unusable space, such as walls. The actual square meter number should be carefully analysed when buying property in Israel.

The Vad

Apartments or houses in Israel are usually part of a multi unit building. These multi unit buildings have, what’s known, as a Vad. The Vad is the building council made up, usually, of neighbors or apartment owners. The Vad is responsible for collecting money for building maintenance fees, gardening fees, property repairs, etc. In many cases, such as in Jerusalem, the Vad is also responsible for the building heating systems. Most newer apartments have solar heating, but for those that do not, you must be prepared to heat your apartment with electric or kerosene heaters, particularly if the Vad has decided to cut down on heating cost. They may and will shut down the communal heating systems with prior notice of course.

Israel Real Estate Tax

Arnona is a real estate tax collected by the city which is calculated by the square meters of your property and neighborhood rate. The Arnona for expensive apartments in Israel can add up to thousands of shekels per year. It’s crucial to check the arnona on the property in order for you to gain an accurate estimate of your property purchase.

If you are considering buying an apartments or villa and would like to view your options during Passover, contact me – yoram@indik.net – Give me information on the type of property you are seeking to buy and I will forward you a complete list of exclusive properties within your chosen price range. I will arrange for private tours of prospective properties.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: