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Have You Considered French Hill?

Four years after Jerusalem was unified in the Six Day War, the neighborhood of French Hill was established in northeastern Jerusalem. It connects western Jerusalem with Mount Scopus, the site of Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital, two prominent institutions whose campuses were created prior to Israel’s independence in 1948 and then lost until Israel regained control over the area in 1967. 

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2011-12-27 21:36:18
Five Steps to Make Your Israel Dream Home a Reality!

A reader who missed my home-buying workshops asked if I could write an article summarizing the program. Great idea; let’s jump right in:

Buying an apartment in Israel can be a thrilling and yet daunting experience, as you find yourself out of your “comfort zone,” confronted with many challenges stemming from language and cultural differences. To successfully navigate the process of purchasing a home in Israel, you must take it one step at a time:

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2011-12-13 17:18:17
Flourishing Jerusalem Architecture During the British Mandate Period

I recently decided to devote three articles to the history of architectural activity in Israel’s capital. The first article discussed architecture at the end of the Ottoman Empire. Today, we will focus on the British Mandate period.

 An early Talbieh mansion now used as the Belgian Consulate

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2011-11-26 23:10:25
Are Israel’s Buildings Prepared for Earthquakes?

In the aftermath of the tragic October 23rd earthquake that hit western Turkey killing over 600 people, injuring over 4,000 and destroying over 6,000 homes  – a mere 650 miles from Israel –  it’s an appropriate time to take a look at Israel’s efforts to protect its citizens from this potential catastrophe.  

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2011-11-13 18:44:49
Tax Implications of Owning a Home in Israel

My client, a United States citizen purchasing an apartment in Jerusalem, wanted to understand the tax implications of generating rental income from the apartment that he was buying. 

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2011-11-01 18:39:26
Gilo: An Expanding Community

Nowadays, whenever the Israeli government approves a new housing project in a community over the “Green Line” the event makes international headlines. The latest community placed in the spotlight is Gilo, one of Jerusalem’s seven ring neighborhoods that were developed after the Six Day War. With a population of almost 40,000 residents, the neighborhood has recently received approvals to build 1,100 housing units.

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2011-10-23 00:23:15
Jerusalem Architecture in the Late Ottoman Period

Part of what makes Jerusalem the mecca of Israeli tourism is its rich tapestry of architecture. In this article, we focus on architecture employed at the end of the Ottoman Period, an era covering the second half of the 1800s. 

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2011-10-03 23:09:54
Efrat: An Oasis for Olim

Nestled in the Judean Hills just eight miles south of Jerusalem, Efrat is a picturesque community and a popular destination for English-speaking Olim. 

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2011-09-21 00:39:32
Talpiot Mizrach: A Revitalized Community

In recent years Talpiot Mizrach became an aging community which is only now being revitalized due to its strong location and low prices. We believe that Talpiot Mizrach presents a long-term financial opportunity as it is one of the last attractively priced neighborhoods in Jerusalem. 

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2011-09-13 17:09:31
Before Signing on the Dotted Line . . .

Let me tell you some facts of life in Israel: do not sign anything – not even an informal letter of intent jotted down on the back of a napkin! – without your attorney’s approval. If a document has your signature, it can cause you serious problems.

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2011-08-31 21:54:59
Bibi’s Revolutionary Housing Initiative

While we have been witnessing the “Arab Spring” wave of revolutions in over a dozen Arab countries, Israel has been experiencing a “Summer of Discontent.” Starting with the Cottage Cheese Revolution, reflecting Israelis’ frustration with rising food prices, continuing with the doctors’ strike which has dragged on for months, and now the tent cities sprouting up across the country to demonstrate cost of living issues and particularly the lack of affordable housing, the common man is standing up to protest the sense of inequitable wealth distribution. . . .  

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2011-08-15 13:16:06
Ma’aleh Adumim: A Central Jerusalem Suburb

Ma’aleh Adumim is an attractive suburb of Jerusalem located just three miles east of Jerusalem’s city limits. It offers the benefits of a city – including a mall, strong intra-city public transportation, a sports complex, a large library with an extensive English book collection, a new art museum – and the advantages of a small town, with clean, palm tree-lined streets and panoramic desert views. . . .

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2011-07-27 23:28:38
Where is Gonen?

A reader asked me: “I see on the maps that Gonen is well located, so why have I never heard of this community?” The answer is that, despite the government’s new “Israeli” name, everyone still refers to the neighborhood by its original name Katamon. . . .

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2011-07-14 11:23:54
Kiryat Yovel: An Affordable Alternative

People often ask me, “what are the new ‘up and coming’ communities in which to buy an apartment?” To uncover investment opportunities, one need not always buy in new neighborhoods. Case in point: Kiryat Yovel in southwestern Jerusalem. . . .

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2011-06-29 22:29:05
Rechavia: Location, Location, Location!

When people approach me to discuss buying a second home in Jerusalem, Rechavia is invariably the most requested neighborhood. And for good reason. Rechavia is within walking distance to the Kotel, in close proximity to many shuls, a short stroll to the hustle and bustle of the city center and Emek Refaim, and near cultural centers, hotels and restaurants. . . .

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2011-06-16 13:23:08
Israel: Global Energy Giant?

In the spirit of “now I’ve seen it all,” Israel is poised to become a leading fuel exporter. Less well known than Israel's gas field discoveries but potentially more dramatic is Israel’s burgeoning oil shale industry, led by Israel Energy Initiatives (IEI), which is owned by the American telecom company IDT. . . .

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2011-05-19 23:52:01
Ir David: King David’s Real Home

Many people from overseas have bought luxurious Jerusalem residences in David’s Village, King David’s Court, King David’s Crown, and King David’s Residences, to name but a few David projects. Well, I must let you in on a little secret: King David never lived at any of these locations, although these beautiful projects are built to exacting specifications, fit for a king. Permit me to tell you about the real village of David. . . .

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2011-05-05 18:55:18
Ra'anana And Shalom Bayit

Ra’anana is a unique and beautiful city which has been blessed with communal Shalom Bayit - a mixed population of religious and secular Jews who live peacefully together and have created a tolerant and accepting environment. . . .

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2011-04-14 17:30:40
Real Estate and Estate Planning

A reader recently inquired how purchasers from overseas should – from an estate perspective – structure the purchase of a second home in Israel. As some of our readers will be in Israel during Pesach and might consider buying an apartment, let’s discuss this issue. . . .

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2011-04-08 12:56:27
Purim Fun: Beware of Realtors’ Puffery!

In the spirit of Purim, let’s have some fun defining some terms of art that Israeli realtors might use to put a positive spin on home features that are somewhat less than appealing. . .

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2011-03-13 20:17:33
Ramot – A Charming Jerusalem Suburb

I was recently challenged to find an apartment for a couple in their mid-fifties looking for a vacation home. Their requirements were: (1) within a short bus ride of central Jerusalem, in order to take advantage of its numerous religious and cultural opportunities; (2) a neighborhood in which their children, some Yeshivish and others Dati Leumi (National Religious), would feel comfortable visiting on Shabbos; . . .  

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2011-03-03 23:34:00
Modi’in Has Arrived

Modi’in is a beautiful young city that has become a popular destination for olim. Founded in 1993, Modi’inis well-planned, with large swaths of protected land for parks.  Designed to be Israel’s fourth-largest city, the population is currently 80,000 people – 20% of whom are English speakers (commonly called “Anglos”) – and is still in its infancy, as it is planned to grow to 240,000 residents. 

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2011-02-10 18:53:00
Real Estate By The Numbers

Buying a home in Israel is very different than in the United States. The language is different, the payment structure is usually different, the legal process is different, and the numbers are different.  Let’s focus on some of the numbers:

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2011-01-28 09:03:00
Modern Day Miracles

A reader recently asked me how Israel has been able to maintain its relatively high level of employment. I am going to focus on his seemingly non-real estate question for two reasons: (1) the strength of the overall economy greatly impacts on the real estate market; and (2) to demonstrate that hidden miracles are occurring daily in Israel.

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2011-01-14 01:49:00
What’s Happening in Bayit Vegan?

When I was learning in yeshiva in the early ‘80s, I remember visiting rebbeim and family friends in Bayit Vegan, and recall a lot of English being spoken in that quiet and scenic neighborhood. I recently was given an exclusive to sell two luxury apartments in a brand new building on Harav Frank Street, and obviously my interest was piqued: What is the status of this neighborhood today? And who is the most likely buyer of these apartments? 

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2011-01-04 21:27:00
Wolfson Towers – A Safe Haven for Overseas Buyers

I have fond memories from over twenty years ago walking in Jerusalem with my wife Fayge. We would head down King George Street, take a right turn on Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael, stroll through the neighborhood of Shaarei Chesed with its rich history and vibrant activity, and finally arrive at Wolfson Towers to visit our relatives. Now that I am helping overseas buyers purchase second homes, I am encountering a number of people who inquire about Wolfson Towers. Listening to my clients articulate their needs reminds me of why I was initially attracted to this five-tower complex which contains three hundred apartments and an additional fifty villas. 

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2011-01-04 21:26:00
Israel’s Response to the Real Estate Boom

In my last column we discussed the escalating prices for housing in Israel over the past few years, in marked contrast to the global real estate slump. I offered several explanations: (1) Israeli banks never participated in the discredited subprime lending practices; (2) the unemployment rate never rose as high as overseas; (3) the relatively small inventory of new homes; and (4) the availability of low interest mortgage rates.

Let’s now focus on how the Israeli government is trying to prevent pricing from escalating to the point of creating a housing bubble with all its attendant risks. 

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2011-01-04 21:23:00
My Israel Home

My name is Gedaliah Borvick and I am very enthusiastic about writing a column discussing the Israeli real estate market. I have been involved in real estate for the past two decades, primarily in the New York market. My wife and I made aliyah over seven years ago and we live in Bet Shemesh. After many years of helping friends find apartments in Israel (often vacation homes), I decided together with my brother-in-law Danny Rosenbluth – who has lived in Israel for over 40 years and has developed two Israeli communities – to create“My Israel Home,” a boutique real estate brokerage firm focused on helping people from abroad buy homes in Israel. Our aim is to provide step-by-step personal guidance through the entire purchase (and even post-purchase) process.Enough background; let’s jump right into my first column, entitled “The Israeli Real Estate Boom.” 

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2011-01-04 20:42:00

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