For most of us, apartment-hunting is no light matter.
I have encountered many apartment-hunters over the years with many different ifs-and-buts and for some, the solution is quite simple.
Whether you intend to buy or renovate your first apartment, here are a list of suggestions which, I believe, will help you.
Yaniv Haas’s list of suggestions for apartment-hunters is universal and appropriate in fact, for any apartment-hunter. There are many topics, things to know, and should anything occur to you that does not appear here – please write to me – firstname.lastname@example.org
Explore as wide a geographical range ahead of time as possible; don’t get “locked” into a small area – your dream apartment might be right under your nose in an excellent area that for some reason didn’t occur to you.
It is important to get to know the characteristics of neighborhoods and streets by walking through them rather than surfing the Internet – there are plenty of pretty corners – don’t disqualify a property in advance because of its address. In sought-after streets you may find noise or stairs, while there may be quiet, well-lit apartments with a view that are situated right on a main traffic artery!
Dear apartment-hunters, don’t determine in advance the level of accessibility according to the floor of an apartment or the number of steps leading up to it. Yes, that does indeed sound revolutionary! However, believe me when I say that the 11 steps of an 80 year-old stone house (each step 21 cm in height), at the end of a sloping path 60 meters long leading from unregulated parking at the side of the street, will make your life infinitely harder than a second-floor apartment located at a height of 38 steps at the end of which is the comfort of your own private garage.
It is precisely because we all have odd and varied preferences that we must remember, when looking for an apartment, to ask as many questions as we can in advance, take care to get real answers but try not to rule anything out according to dry data.
Quick examples: Overlooking a fourth-floor apartment in Haifa (Sais in the ad…) is easy, but the reality is five steps from your parking place… The truth about living on Mount Carmel.
Managing and Navigating Professional Help
Before contacting a real estate office we recommend learning a little bit about yourself and what you really want. Chances are, you’ll find yourself considering an apartment you wouldn’t have dreamed of in the early stages of the search.
Apartment-hunters would very much enjoy a five-room apartment, 150 square meters – with a garden of 200 m² registered in the “Tabu” [land registry office] and with no neighbors in sight, in a quiet neighborhood at the city center, with a price tag of 1,500,000 NIS fluttering above it. Well, such an apartment exists, but it is at least three times that price.
The conclusion is that one must compromise.
Dear apartment-hunters: don’t indulge in intimate conversations about how you would like your dream-apartment to be – on the contrary (!) Make sure you know from the beginning of your search what you are willing to give up, where you are willing to compromise.
A great deal has been said and written about funding possibilities, about the relationship between available income and the required loan (mortgage). I would like to give you a small tip:
With any business deal, regardless of the price of the apartment, standard of finishing, legal fees, taxes, or of course, the realtor’s fee, set aside 7% for unexpected expenses.
Closing a Deal
You have finally found your apartment, and it even answers all of your needs! All that remains is to buy it.
Many deals do not close, not because of any unwillingness on either side, but due to careless management and negotiation relating to the various factors of the deal.
You should ensure three components regarding the cost proposal:
Price, availability date, conditions of payment, and the combination of them.
All three components are equally important. Also, make sure you determine in advance what is included in the apartment as part of the deal as well as the various linkage rates related to each payment.
The usual realtor’s fee in the market is two per cent + VAT of the sale price. Demand the highest level of service for your money: professionalism, reliability, courtesy, and a high level of negotiation skills. Demand to see the realtor’s license and professional training certificates.
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