The Housing Lottery: Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be


This past summer, my niece and nephew – along with a few thousand other families – entered a lottery to purchase an apartment “on paper” in a new project being developed through Israel’s Mechir Le’mishtaken program. When they won the right to purchase an apartment at a subsidized price, they asked me whether they should buy.

2017-12-27 13:20:57
The State of Jerusalem Real Estate

 Talbieh, Jerusalem (Credit: Gedaliah Borvick)

Over the past few months, numerous articles have been written analyzing recent Jerusalem real estate sales data. Curiously, there has been a lack of agreement regarding how to interpret the statistics. 

2017-11-30 15:45:08
Pedestrian Scramble

 Opening Day of King George Street, Dec 1924 (Credit: Public Domain)

King George Street, located in the heart of downtown Jerusalem, was created in 1924 during the British Mandate period, and named in honor of Britain’s then-reigning King George V. 

King George Street is famous for a lot of firsts. 

2017-11-30 10:23:28
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

We recently marketed an apartment in Jerusalem’s Greek Colony. After three families made similar initial proposals, one buyer raised his bid and the owner accepted his revised offer. While the lawyers were revising the contract and the buyer was completing his due diligence, another potential purchaser showed up at the seller’s door and submitted an offer that was 500,000 NIS higher than the accepted price. The owner, in an impressive show of menshlichkeit, refused to accept the offer, explaining that he already had a handshake on the deal. 

2017-10-03 14:30:53
Inspiration in a Garage

On Tu B’Av – the holiday of love –  I was in a small Talpiot, Jerusalem alley lined with automobile repair shops, when I was invited to join a Mincha (afternoon prayer) service. The prayers took place in a tiny office behind one of the garages, filled with a quorum of mechanics, replete with oil-stained hands and grime under their fingernails. 

2017-09-01 00:16:59
Park Hamesila: An Urban Oasis

 Park Hamesila (Photo: Annette Gendler -

In 2008, residents of the neighborhoods that bordered the abandoned tracks, together with newly-elected mayor Nir Barkat, presented a vision to create an easily accessible green oasis within the capital’s urban fabric. The residents’ resolve and solidarity helped them emerge victorious, and Park Hamesila – or Train Track Park – was completed in 2013.

2017-08-06 11:06:06
Investing in Israel Real Estate

 Jerusalem project under construction (Photo: Gedaliah Borvick)

Two clients recently asked us to help them purchase investment properties in Israel. Liat lives in Israel and wanted to buy a small Jerusalem apartment for her children, which they could flip in a few years to acquire a larger home in a less expensive community. Jonathan wanted to get a “piece of the rock” which he could sell in a decade and use the profits to purchase a larger apartment for his family’s use. 

2017-07-03 20:08:50
Meet You at the Garden!

 Celebrating in the streets of Tel Aviv on November 29, 1947 (Credit: AP)

A few months ago, my friend and I agreed to meet at the garden where 29th meets 35th. Sounds like we were meeting in Manhattan to catch a sporting event at Madison Square Garden. Better than that, we were getting together in the center of Jerusalem.

2017-04-26 13:15:04
All Roads Lead To . . .

 Jaffa Road, circa 1950 (Photo: Fritz Cohen, public domain)

One of the most famous – and longest – streets of Jerusalem is Rechov Yaffo, or Jaffa Street. It runs from the entrance of the city all the way to the Old City walls. Why is this main thoroughfare in Jerusalem named after a city located adjacent to Tel Aviv?

2017-03-24 01:28:27
With All Due Diligence Respect

We recently were involved in a very small deal in Jerusalem, and I mean tiny. We sold a 15 square meter (sqm), or approximately 160 square foot, studio in Rechavia for 500,000 NIS, or $130,000.

Everything about the unit appeared to be kosher, despite its diminutive size: the building drawings were recorded in the municipality and the unit was registered in TABU (land registry). Accordingly, and against our advice, the purchaser did not apply for a mortgage prior to signing the contract, as he had good credit and was only planning to borrow a relatively small portion of the purchase price.

That was a mistake.

2017-02-26 18:02:41
Jerusalem Real Estate: Intrigue and Irony

 7 Chovevei Tzion in Talbieh ( Photo: Josh Gold of Serio Films

After the establishment of the State of Israel, many architecturally distinctive homes got chopped up into small apartments and were populated by displaced families and immigrant families. By the 1960s, these formerly majestic buildings became rundown, due to the heavy wear and tear that they endured, and many of these structures were abandoned.

2017-02-09 22:40:49
Jerusalem’s Streets: Neighborhood Themes

Throughout the world, many neighborhoods have groups of streets with names related to a specific theme. For example, growing up in Long Beach, New York, I lived on Walnut Street and my friends lived on Olive, Pine, Maple and Beech. Similarly, most of Jerusalem’s neighborhoods have street name themes. 

2017-01-17 16:13:07
Mitzpe Ramon: Not Just a Resort Town

 The Ramon Crater  (Photo: CC-BY-SA Avi Yotham, Wikipedia)

In addition to its wonderful tourist attractions - the Ramon Crater (Machtesh) and the luxurious Bresheet Spa - Mitzpe Ramon is gaining a reputation as an affordable neighborhood which offers its residents a wonderful quality of life.

2017-01-11 17:33:19

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