Oksana moved to Israel back in 2000, but she did not have her own real estate in the country. Therefore, when she decided to buy an apartment in Haifa as an investment, she had no more buying experience than a foreign investor. What difficulties she faced when choosing and what useful tips she learned from communicating with a realtor, read our material.

Region: Israel, Haifa

Object: two bedroom apartment, about 80 square meters. m

Price: € 205,000

Deal: purchase in the secondary market in 2015.

  • For Haifa, a € 200,000 apartment is far from the cheapest option.
  • As it turned out, it is good to deal with Russian tenants.
  • Annual rental income is 4.5-5%.

– Oksana, why did you choose real estate in Israel for the purchase?

– Because I live here for many years. I still had some financial assets in Moscow, and I decided to transfer them to Israel. Investments in real estate seemed the most attractive.

– That is, real estate bought not for their own use?

– That’s right, this is an investment to save capital and get a stable income. I immediately picked up a rental apartment .

– What are the requirements for real estate when choosing?

– Very simple. This was supposed to be liquid demanded real estate in good condition. I had no desire, and no opportunity to invest in serious repairs. And naturally, it was necessary to meet the planned budget – about € 200,000. It is because of such restrictions on the budget, I chose to buy Haifa. Here, for the same amount, you can find a suitable option. But I live to Kfar Sava, and with this money there is nothing to do here.

For Haifa, an apartment for € 200,000 is far from the cheapest option, so you can safely count on decent paying tenants. Yes, and a quick resale of the apartment, if such a need arises.

– At the time of purchase, you have already lived in the country not for the first year, which means that you could easily pick up the object yourself …

– In principle, yes, but I chose to immediately turn to professionals. As I have already said, I live in another city, and constantly traveling to watch the options in Haifa is inconvenient, but for one photo there is no adequate impression. Besides, my girlfriend works as a realtor, I trust her, so I calmly relied on her in this matter.

For each of my visits to the views, she picked up about 10 decent options, which we went around for a day. I must say that it was very difficult for me to choose. Firstly, it was my first experience of buying an apartment in Israel, and secondly, it was necessary to completely “rebuild my head”, because there is a big difference between the apartments in Haifa and Kfar Sava.

For example, in my town the terrain is quite flat and houses with additional ascents on the steps and without an elevator are rare, and no one especially considers them what to buy, what to rent. In Haifa, the terrain is hilly, and in my price category only such proposals were met. For example, among those options that I looked at, and there were about 40, there was not a single house with an elevator.

– How much time did you need to make a decision?

– The process took me about four months. But this is my fault, since I came to the city for viewing with long breaks. Although pure time, everything took four or five days.

– How did you understand that the object that you eventually bought is exactly what you need?

– Despite the fact that I did not intend to use the apartment, I, first of all, evaluated all the options from the point of view of whether I would live there or not. And the apartment that I bought was the only one about which I could firmly say that it was a good home, I like it and I would rent it.

The apartment with two bedrooms and a storage room was in good condition. An elderly couple who had to move for family reasons lived there for many years, and they would have lived there as well. That is, the attitude to the apartment was like to own a home. Therefore, I needed to make only minimal cosmetic repairs and buy furniture. Now I don’t remember exactly how much it cost me, but the amount was quite small. Kitchen set and plumbing in the bathroom and toilet rooms remained from the former owners.

Yes, there is no elevator, despite the fact that the apartment is on the fourth floor of an ordinary detached house, which was built 40 years ago. But from the windows there is a good view and the place is very good. Around the developed infrastructure – near schools, kindergartens, shops, bus stops, generally good transport accessibility. And for Haifa is a great success. This area is very fond of Russian. And, as it turned out, it is good to deal with Russian tenants.

– Why?

– The fact is that the Israelis are not tied to the place. It is completely normal to not have your own housing and move from place to place, to other cities of the country, renting housing. And we are more tied to the place and are not inclined to quickly get together and move to another city or even another area, for example, for work.

Therefore, Russians in Israel are good long-term tenants who carefully pay rent. In addition, our men themselves can safely make the necessary repairs. For example, fix a tap or door. I will only have to pay for the materials I had to buy.

But with the local in this you can not be sure. Someone will fix, and someone will call the owner and demand that they immediately arrange a repair. And I am inconvenient to do this from another city, plus I will have to pay not only for the materials, but also for the call of the master. By the way, an agent told me about such national tenants.

– Have you received any useful tips from a realtor?

– Of course, for example, about the successful / unsuccessful area, how comfortable it is to walk, to get from one point to another. I don’t really know Haifa, so I wouldn’t have figured it out myself.

Also, the realtor advised wherever we looked at the options, to find out who lives in the house. After all, on how happy neighbors, depends on a successful lease and possible resale. Plus, the assessment of the technical condition of the apartment was completely on the agent, I would not be able to do it properly, even under the guidance of it.

– How much did your assistant cost you?

– If we are talking only about the selection and purchase of real estate, then 2% of the transaction amount, plus 1-2%, I paid a lawyer who, by law, must be present when signing the contract.

Selection of tenants and furnishing an apartment (I bought it, but delivery was made after I left) was also dealt with by my realtor. For this, I paid, if I’m not mistaken, 1000 shekels (about $ 260).

I was exempted from the purchase tax, since it was my first property.

Looking ahead, I will say that the municipal property tax is different everywhere and depends on many parameters; it amounts to about 100 shekels ($ 25) per month for my apartment.

My annual income is 4.5-5%. These are standard numbers for Israel.

A utility payments – on tenants. By the way, about the tenants. I received the official document on the transfer of the right to property only 8 months after the conclusion of the transaction. But renting an apartment is completely officially possible after signing the contract and receiving the keys. True, in my case, tenants moved in only three months. I hadn’t thought in advance that it was not customary in Israel to move into an apartment “the next day” after signing the lease agreement. Usually, tenants start searching in advance, so they move into housing in 1-3 months. That’s how I got it.

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