lawyering up

Oh that sounds ominious but is so seriously not. I got a call back last week from a real estate agent while I was doing tutoring for a student in stats from BIU. After I got off the phone, I was like finding a place is so not happening, I have no idea what the implications are if a place is available but it doesn’t have a tabu.

He was like, you need to talk to a good real estate lawyer for some advice and I’ve got the perfect person for you — she is American and specialized in real estate. He was going to give me her number at the end of the tutoring session but about 20 minutes later –she called him! So after they talked, he handed the phone over to me and she started giving me some major advice. A) Don’t use a real estate agent — you not only get only a fraction of the listings because most sales do not go through agents but also agents won’t usually handle the cheaper properties because they don’t get a big kick-back off the sales, and it costs thousands of dollars to the agent if you buy something they showed. She was like, go to the area you are thinking about living, look for ‘for sale’ signs and call those that you like the look of from the outside, going direct via owner and use the sites like homeless etc for direct via owner listings. B) Sign nothing at all, no matter how innocuous it may seem, until she or another lawyer looks at it, and a host of other advice.

Then last night she called and was like, oh there are two articles in Ha’aretz you should take a look at — one is about some new places being built in Haifa that look like they would be affordable (for me) and the other was about the legal dangers involved with buying basement apartments. She saw them and thought about me. She also said I should check out Tiberias because there are single-family dwellings available there for under 100k but you have to make a tour to find them.


8 responses to “lawyering up”

  1. tddpirate says :

    My free advice to you:
    Use a lawyer you find by means independent of the real estate agent.

    On the fact of it, it looks like the lawyer is giving you good information. But it could be a trust building maneuver and in reality the lawyer could collude with the real estate agent to screw you.

    On the other hand, you should not automatically rule out basement apartments. A serious lawyer would perform the full due diligence: check the real estate ownership (tabu), relevant building permits, whatever. If all checks pass, you are as safe as someone who buys other types of apartments.

  2. Lynne says :

    Actually, I think that you should be extremely cautious about buying in Israel. Lawyer or not. I’d be even suspicious of this lawyer. I agree with Pirate on this.
    I don’t think that you are ready to commit to home ownership in Israel yet anyway. You are considering other options.
    Did the a/c get put in yet?

    • israeliminx says :

      No the a/c did not get put in but it is my fault because the hours the guy can come are hours that I am working and we’ve not managed to find a time we can both be here.

      Ema, I know you want me back close to you and you not close to me but I am working on both options and seeking the best medical option. I think it is here. So far, the medical care you’ve gotten has been piss poor and that is an understatement. Myself, so long as I am buried here, I can live anywhere in between if necessary.

  3. Nicole says :

    I didn’t realize you were thinking a out a place without tabu. Don’t go near it – it means that the land is not in your name, and then the apartment is worthless because what’s the point of owning an apartment if you can get kicked off the land at any time!!
    I thought it is common sense to look for apartments on your own ANC avoid agents fees – agents charge 2% plus VAT – why would you want to pay they?
    I’m sorry but I agree with your mother – I don’t think you sound like you know what you are doing enough to buy an apartment. There are fond really basic things that you need to learn first. Maybe you can meet with friends who bought recently and can help you?
    And on another note – you can get free cat food here:

    • israeliminx says :

      No, I’m definitely not thinking about a place without tabu! I’d never heard of a place being without tabu before the agent was like, oh I have a great place but it is without tabu and I was like what? As soon as I found out what it meant, I was like no thanks!! None of the places I looked at wow about 6 years ago now, in Tel Aviv had anything like that. They were just straight up normal listings.

      Oh free catfood, awesome! Thanks for the heads up!!

      • Lynne says :

        If you truly want a sanctuary, it is going to have to be in the US. As for my medical situation, I am getting great care through MD Anderson, which honestly is a world class cancer center. My insurance has paid 100% for my treatment and I have gotten grants to help with other expenses. My treatment must be in the US. There are clinical trials in other excellent places in the US, but for now, after doing research, the treatment I am getting seems to offer me the best chance of a remission. At least, I hope so.

  4. Nicole says :

    Sorry about all the typos. Hope it is still understandable…

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