The Israeli home front

BUYING, BUILDING, AND OWNING A HOME IN ISRAEL

You found the place to get up-to-date information, tools, and advice for helping you make sound decisions throughout the process of buying, building and maintaining a home in Israel. All this is brought to you by our editor, professional in-house staff and selected experts in their respective fields.

mechir lemishtaken new homes in israel

Mechir LeMishtaken: What does it mean for Foreign Buyers?

Considering the high cost of housing in Israel and the difficulty for many people – mostly young couples – to buy a home, Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, together with the Ministry of Construction & Housing, introduced the “Mechir Lemishtaken” (Buyer’s Price) scheme in 2016, to generate affordable housing and to slow down the escalation... Read more
Mas Rechisha

Purchase tax in Israel: New thresholds in 2017

Israel Tax Authority has published new thresholds for Mas Rechisha according to the Central Bureau of Statistics Prices of Dwellings Index for 2015. Mas Rechisha is an acquisition tax, or purchase tax, that a buyer is obligated to pay upon purchasing real estate in Israel. Once a contract is signed, a self-assessment must be filed with the Israel tax authorities, and paid in full, within 60 days. Read more
mortgages in Israel

Mortgage rates in Israel — understanding the options available

In Israel, there are a large number of different mortgage options, rates and tracks available to home-buyers.  Rates can be variable, fixed or semi-fixed; loans may be linked to an index; and banks can lend in various different currencies. These choices  can be confusing especially to foreigners who are familiar with completely different mortgage offerings in their... Read more
Madad index Israel

Madad, Housing Index and Building Index in Israel

The Madad, which is the Hebrew for Consumer Price Index (CPI) or rate of inflation, is followed very closely by Israelis since movements in the monthly index affect nearly every aspect in life from salaries, mortgages, housing, transportation costs or prices of fruit and vegetables, and other expenses. In brief, a number of very important income and other expense items of every household are linked fully or partially to monthly or quarterly inflation. Read more
New towers in Israel

Living the high life— Residential towers in Israel

Historically, apartments in Israel were small, damp and crowded. “Luxury” was a light fixture instead of a bare light bulb. Today, Israelis are working harder than ever throughout the day and into the night. They want their homes to be comfortable spaces to live and work, to reflect their success. Owners can customize apartments to... Read more
drections of exposure

Kivunei Avir: Which Way is the Wind Blowing?

When buying a home in Israel, one of the first items to consider is the direction of exposures (kivunei avir). As with most issues in Israel, everyone has a strong opinion about which exposures are preferable. But before we talk about opinions, let’s look at some facts: The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Presuming there is nothing blocking your window, you will get morning sun in the east and afternoon sun in the west.... Read more

Mechir Lemishtaken — good news for first-time home buyers in Israel

In light of the high cost of housing in Israel and the near impossibility for many people – mostly young couples – to buy their own homes, Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, together with the Ministry of Construction & Housing, has introduced a new formula for the affordable housing program “Mechir Lemishtaken” (Buyer’s Price). Within... Read more
Shabbat elevators

Shabbat elevators – a necessity in high-rise buildings

With the operation of a Shabbat control mode, an elevator will stop automatically on a certain floor and its doors will open, hence allowing users to step in and out without having to press any buttons. Otherwise it would be prohibited to use an elevator on Shabbat because pressing the button to operate the elevator closes a circuit, which violates the prohibition of building on Shabbat, which is considered a form of labor. Read more
building maintenance in Israel

Building maintenance and property management costs in Israel

When buying or renting a property in Israel it is important to find out if and how the building is maintained and the magnitude of the fees involved, before signing a contract. In Israel the maintenance or management of an apartment building is determined by a committee of homeowner representatives called Vaad Bayit or building committee. Read more
New Homes in Israel

New homes in Israel: Making sense of the builder’s plans

The builder (‘kablan’) is showing me plans of new homes in Israel that I’m considering buying. The plans look great.  But does that mean that this home is right for me? The location is good; the price is within budget, and from what I can understand of his color brochure, the layout is practical.  It looks... Read more