Yes. Foreigners, non-citizens, and non-Jews can buy and own property in Israel. Generally speaking, foreigners can own only real estate built on private land, which is about 7% of Israel’s land. Still, there are always exceptions and ways to overcome these obstacles.
Complete Guide on How to Buy Property in Israel
Owning a house in Israel is a dream of many, whether they are Jewish or have an affinity for Israel. And here the question arises – can I buy a property in Israel, and if so – how?
First of all, can you own a property in Israel?
Indeed you can! If you are Jewish or eligible for the Law of Return, the land is open before you, and you can settle wherever suits you.
For those who are not, the general answer is still yes! However, in most cases, you can purchase only properties built on private land, which is about 7% of the total land of Israel. Don’t worry; there are many beautiful projects and properties on private land. In addition, if you insist on buying a property that is not on private land, there still might be a solution.
Steps in order to buy property in Israel
a) Calculate your budget
Unfortunately, real estate in Israel is not among the cheapest. Before choosing a location, it is essential to calculate your overall budget and see what monthly expenses are convenient for you.
b) Consider financing the deal
If your budget is not enough, you can always apply for a mortgage in Israel. Non-Israelis can borrow up to 50% of the property value, and sometimes even more. Keep in mind that if you get pre-approved, the offer is valid for a limited time, and so you must not delay; otherwise, you will have to start the process over again.
We strongly recommend hiring a mortgage broker who can negotiate the terms and rates of your mortgage and save you tens or even hundreds of thousands of shekels.
c) Think of preferred areas, cities, or moshavim
Each area and city has its own uniqueness, as well as advantages and disadvantages, such as traffic, entertainment places, noise, density, and community. You may want to be around people from your country of origin.
d) Consider the weather
Israel is a hot country, sometimes even scorching. If you can’t stand the burning sun or the humidity, there are places you should definitely avoid. You might prefer the North or the mountains.
e) Other things to consider
Schools for kids, distance from work, proximity to your friends and relatives.
You can start with browsing the internet or our website for some options; however, you will be exposed to a meager amount of options online, a few percent of the whole real estate market, which offers over 100,000 different options. Not every apartment is a good fit for you. You may find what seems to be a fantastic apartment, but you won’t agree on the price or the terms. Chances that you can find your dream home only manually, therefore we strongly recommend that you let the professionals find you the perfect home for you.
a) Calculate the final costs
Include the final fees and taxes, such as brokerage and lawyer fees, purchase tax, mortgage expenses and so on. Check with your real estate agent or your lawyer for approximate final costs.
b) Monthly expenses
Take into account land tax (arnona) and maintenance fee (va’ad habayit). The monthly cost of these too can be 500 – 1,500 NIS and go higher for luxury properties.
a) Find a lawyer
If you still don’t have a lawyer, you better get one. You need a real estate lawyer on your side. Don’t hire any lawyer, but a real estate specialist, experienced with foreign clients.
b) Payment Schedule
Make sure you understand and agree to the payment schedule, especially if you haven’t transferred the entire amount to Israel, or if you are applying for a mortgage.
If you purchase a new apartment from the developer, keep in mind that the contractor is allowed to delay the rendering by two months.
After agreeing on the terms and adjusting the contract to your needs, you are ready to sign and transfer the first payment. Your lawyer will take care of the registration.
5. Finalizing the Mortgage
If you applied for a mortgage, you need your contract to open a file in the bank. The bank will transfer the rest of the sum according to the payment schedule mentioned in the contract. According to the property type, the bank might ask for additional documents; make sure you don’t delay the requests.
6. Final Registration and Tax Payment
Your lawyer will handle the final registration and transfer the property under your name. Meanwhile, if you are not entitled to an exemption, you have 60 days to pay the purchase tax. If you are about to make Aliyah or return to Israel, you may be eligible for a purchase tax refund. Make sure your lawyer is aware of your plans so he knows how to act accordingly.
Congratulations, you are an official owner of a property in Israel!
7. Moving in
While the most challenging part is over, you are not done yet. Before meeting the seller for the rendering, make sure the whole sum is transferred. You might not get the keys even if a small sum is missing.
We highly recommend not to schedule the moving for the rendering day. You better check the property and maybe get some small things fixed before moving in.
b) Checking the property
Inspect the property and its content, so everything is as is described in the contract. Check with the seller on anything that seems not right, and if the problem is not solved, contact your lawyer.
c) Monthly expenses
The electricity, water, gas, arnona (land tax), and va’ad habayit (management fee) need to be transferred in your name.
a) New property
Purchasing a new property from a developer gives you a several years warranty and is divided into 2 periods:
i. Test period. During the test period, the developer must repair the defect unless he has proven that the owner of the apartment caused the defect. The duration of the warranty is between one and seven years, depending on the defect.
ii. Warranty period. During the warranty period, the buyer must prove that the defect is due to the design, the work, or the materials. The warranty period begins with the end of the test period and lasts 3 years.
b) Used property
In most contracts, there is a clause stating that you are purchasing the apartment as it is. Allegedly, this clause allows sellers to absolve themselves of liability if the buyer discovers the defects after the sale. However, if defects were discovered that the seller hid, or did not know about, and should have known, the responsibility is on the seller. In any case, you should consult your lawyer.
At first, glance, buying a property in Israel seems complicated and challenging, but in practice, if you have the right people – brokers and lawyers by your side, it is not hard at all. All you have to do is find an excellent real estate agency, and they will lead you through the whole process.
If you have any other questions regarding buying property in Israel or about investing in the real estate of Israel, please feel free to contact us, and we will be glad to help you out.
BHII – Where your dreams become home.
You can see some listings on our website and on the internet in general, but these are only a few percent of the whole real estate market that offers over 100,000 of different listings.
Let us do the work for you. We are here to provide you with the best options out of the current market.
Prices of real estate in Israel vary greatly, mainly depending on the location.The average price of a property in Israel is about 1.5 – 1.6 million NIS (450-500k$).
The best way to save money is to have a professional real estate agent you trust. He will not only save you time and money but also provide you with anything you need.
Ready to save some shekels? Contact us here!
Yes, you can buy a property in Israel remotely, and it is not complicated at all.
If you buy a new project under construction, all you get is illustrations and floor planning. There is no difference where you check them.
For constructed properties, we offer VR (virtual reality) tours and video calls, so that you can check every option on your PC or tablet.
We will help you to find the property, and our lawyer will take care of the legal part, including the payments via the trust account.
Do you have to hire a real estate broker? No. Should you? Absolutely!
A good real estate agent will help you save time, effort and money, and help you get through every step.
You don’t want to go through all this alone; one little mistake might cost you lots of time and tens of thousands of dollars.
Read “About Us” or contact us here to see how you can benefit from our service.