10 Tips for Buying a home in Jerusalem
Relocating to Israel may sound exciting as you look forward to enjoying a new environment. Buying an apartment in Jerusalem, however, should be carefully planned so as not to waste paying for the property which may not be ideal for you. So below are 10 helpful tips on your search for the perfect place to live in.
1. Seek the services of local professionals
Whether you’re an expat or an immigrant planning to live in Israel, buying an apartment in Jerusalem is a breeze when helped by reputable local professionals such as mortgage advisers, realtors and real estate lawyers. Jerusalem is unlike any other city in the country or in the world, and thus, local expertise is important.
2. Know what you’re looking for
Identify how you want your new property in Jerusalem to be so you can make your searches quicker and easier. Will you be relocating the entire family, and thus, require an apartment with multiple bedrooms? What establishments do you want near or accessible from the property? What kind of neighborhood do you want to live in? How much is your budget?
3. Manage expectations with actual options available
Research is crucial before buying an apartment in Jerusalem and you can do it even in the comforts of home by searching online. Learn about the different neighborhoods in Jerusalem to determine the best place for you to live in. With online maps and street views available these days, you can concretely visualize how the neighborhood looks like without having to be there.
4. Explore the neighborhood, if possible
If you happen to be in Jerusalem before actually purchasing property, consider dropping by in your preferred neighborhoods to get the lay of the land. Many buyers are shocked to realize that they may have the perfect apartment but the neighborhood isn’t ideal for them.
5. Prepare to make the final decision
There is an excess demand and shortage of apartments in Jerusalem, and thus, you need to be able to make the purchase once you find the perfect place for you. You can prepare to pull the trigger by either being able to get on the plane to make that purchase or by giving a power of attorney to an attorney based in Jerusalem.
6. Save for additional acquisition-related expenses
Additional costs after the purchase are inevitable. You’ll also need to have extra money to pay for consultants. As a rule, your budget should include an additional 10-12% for closing costs. Furthermore, renovation costs also need to be considered especially when you’re buying apartments in old buildings.
7. Prepare for maintenance and living expenses
These include mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance and repairs, utility bills and other expenses which you need to pay for on a regular basis. Consult with a local realtor to help you determine the things you need to prepare for after the purchase.
8. Avoid living a walking distance to the Western Wall
Opting for apartments near the Western Wall is a major mistake for many non-Israeli residents, some of which are willing to pay for exorbitant prices for a small apartment. You will get much more value for your buck if you purchase a bit further away. When you live in Jerusalem, you can go to pray at the Western Wall all days of the week and do not have to live close enough to pray there on Shabbat. When choosing a neighborhood, pay more attention to the day to day life and amenities- the schools, synagogues, shopping, and restaurants, and less attention to the walking distance to the kotel.
9. Don’t make final decisions based on emotions
Buying an apartment in Jerusalem is an investment, and thus, don’t just make a purchase simply because you’re obsessed with the paint colors or the interior design. Instead, buy the place because you know it has good value and a good chance for appreciation.
10. Physically check the property
You won’t buy a car without checking it properly, will you? The same goes when buying an apartment. Consider hiring a real estate property inspector in Jerusalem who can provide you with detailed reports of any possible defect on the property you’re considering.
Let these 10 apartment buying tips guide you in making your move to Jerusalem more convenient.