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Closing on your Home in Jerusalem

At this stage you are towards the end of your thorough search for your ideal home in Jerusalem. It’s time to narrow it down to a few realistic candidates – and sometimes that’s not easy to do. We hope the tips below help make the final decision and simplify the closure process:

Setting the cost – It is very important to establish the final price in shekels and take into account taxes, fees and other expenses. In cases where the price negotiations are done in dollars, make sure to consider fluctuation in the dollar– shekel exchange rate.

Verify the entrance date – When closing on a property it is crucial to establish the specific date on which the apartment can be occupied.

Define the Size – In Israel, apartments can be measured according to the usable floor space only (neto) or more commonly including the exterior walls and often public areas (bruto). Recently a law has been passed (chok hamecher) that requires all new construction to be presented in a uniform manner based on interior space only. Make sure you know the real size of the apartment in square meters and translate back into feet if necessary.

Know the exact amount of municipal tax (Arnona) – Arnona is a municipal tax which is based on the legal size of the property. For large properties, this amount can be significant and should be considered prior to purchase.

Maintenance Fee (Vad Bayit) – The maintenance fee for Jerusalem apartments varies from building to building. It normally ranges from 40-400 shekels every month notwithstanding luxury apartments. The fee generally covers cleaning public areas, gardening and maintenance. For some properties it also accounts for central heating (hasaka) during the winter months. For luxury residences, the fee may be significantly higher to cover the cost of doormen, gym, pool, etc.

Once you’ve covered the points above, you should be able to narrow down your list to a few candidates and make an offer. Good luck and best wishes for a pleasant buying experience.

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