Updated: Apr 30, 2020
Our guide to settling into your first home in Israel
One of the major decisions people make when planning to make aliya is where to live. For some people this is an easy decision, because all their friends and family live in the same area, or they’ve always dreamed of living in a specific neighborhood. For others, figuring out where to relocate their whole family and their belongings is not a trivial matter. Many factors can help shape this decision, including religious considerations, communal preferences, work location, schools for children, budget, and much more. The more accurately you can answer the question “where”, the easier the rest of your housing process will be.
Once you have chosen a potential location and figured out your budget, the next decision to make is whether you want to buy or rent your first house or apartment. Here are a few questions to ask yourself or consider with your family in order to decide how to start:
1. Is this where you see yourself living in five-seven years from now?
There are many costs associated with buying and selling a home, so you want to be sure that you’re making a choice that you’re confident will pay off in the long-run.
2. What would my financial planner say?
In addition to the personal and emotional aspects of the decision, it is important that your choice is based on professional financial planning. There are many economic factors that will point towards the best time to buy, including the amount of free cash you have, expected sales of real estate outside of Israel, fluctuations in exchange rates, interest rates, and more.
3. What is your aliyah timeline?
Purchasing a home takes time, as you will want to shop around, have the potential property inspected, negotiate on price, process all the paperwork, and complete any needed renovations. These are not steps which you should rush through. If you are planning on making aliyah within 5 months from now, it is better to rent, at least temporarily, in order to properly work through the purchasing process.
4. What are the local markets like?
If the area you are looking to move to only has houses for sale, with little to no rentals, then the decision is pretty much made for you. Additionally, many markets are seasonal. If you want to move somewhere in the winter, but homes will only go up for sale closer to the summer, it may be better to rent first.