Real estate experts: Refinancing property

Vol XXXIX: We own a property in Israel. Is it possible to refinance? And if it is, what will be an easy way to do it?

tel aviv real estate 88  (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
tel aviv real estate 88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
For Housing resources click here. Our Experts For Jerusalem and the surrounding areas including Modi'in, Bet Shemesh and Ma'aleh Adumim: A native New Yorker, Shelly Levine is owner and manager of Tivuch Shelly Ltd., a leading real estate company that services all of Jerusalem and its surrounding areas and specializes in English-speaking clients. For Ra'anana and the surrounding areas, including Kfar Saba and Hod Hasharon: Re/max Ra'anana - with over 15 years experience in the greater Ra'anana region and extensive knowledge of the surrounding areas - provides top real estate advice and services, and specializes in clients from English and French speaking countries. * * * Click here to send us your questions and please leave your comments on the Q&A below. * * * Volumes I-XV Volumes XVI-XIX Volumes XX-XXIV Volumes XXV-XXVII Volumes XXVII-XXX Volumes XXXI-XXXII Volumes XXXIII-XXXIV Volumes XXXV-XXXVI Volumes XXXVII-XXXVIII * * * XXXIX Q: Hi, my father, an Israeli citizen living abroad is planning to use his funds to buy an apartment for myself and my sisters in or around Tel Aviv. My status in Israel is ezrach oleh as I made aliyah in January 08. Would purchasing an apartment under his name, or mine name have any difference as to what discounts the government give. Also, can you suggest any suitable affordable neighborhood in/around Tel Aviv for young [21-24] working people. A: If your dad has NEVER owned any home in Israel, he might have some small rights as a first time buyer. You on the other hand, have MORE rights as an olah chadasha. You are entitled to a small subsidized olah mortgage, plus a significant discount on the one-time purchase tax called mas Rechisha. It sounds to me like it would be best to be under your name. Probably, the ownership should be in one of your names, not in multiple names, in case it is ever resold. There are many nice areas that attract singles--south Tel Aviv, Florentine, Jaffa, etc. Looking forward to when you have families, I would suggest you look into Modi'in for future purposes. Also, Ramat Aviv near the University might be an option. Good luck. Q: Approximately, what are the rental prices for Apts: 2 Bedrooms,1 and 1/2 bathrooms, living room, reasonable size kitchen in Ra'anana, Kfar Saba, Natanya and surrounding areas. Any other suggestion? We are approved "Toshavim Hozrim", Seniors over 70, Spanish (South American) and English Speaking-USA due to return by the end of August 2009. We have 2 children living in Jerusalem but we rather live in less strict areas. Thank you. A: Unless you have your hearts set on the sea, why not consider something closer and suitable to your needs near Jerusalem: Ma'aleh Adumim, Modi'in for example--good quality of life and for mixed populations, not only religious. And closer to your kids. A 2-bedroom in Kfar Saba would probably run under NIS. 4000, depending on how old, location, etc. Good luck. Q: Hi, I have noticed that Bat Yam is right next to TLV but we need to know more about the demographics there. it used to have a very bad reputation, what is it like currently? A: It is somewhat improving with several new projects on the beach front. If that doesn't work out for you, you might consider nearby Rishon l'Zion, a beautiful developed city in the same vicinity. Q: We own a property in Israel. Is it possible to refinance? And If it is, what will be the easy way to do it? A: You need to evaluate the existing mortgage and determine what the linkage and terms are. There might be a significant penalty if you want to refinance. Each mortgage has its own differences and time span, government subsidy, etc. must be examined. In Israel, mortgages can be "pulled" to later purchases, without a need to pay it off at that time. This, too, is a difference from the US system, for example. You can even put the mortgage into a bank account and continue paying it out not attached to a specific property--until you find something else you wish to buy. Refinancing in Israel is not very typical. Most people keep them intact for the 20 or 25 years duration- unless there is a compelling reason to change it. Was your mortgage a tourist mortgage to be repaid in foreign currency? If yes, that is different, and they are more similar to the terms and conditions of Western mortgages. Q: When purchasing a newly built house, who has to pay for the electrical inspection, by the electricity company: a) the contractor who built the house b) the purchaser? A: It depends on what your contract says! It might be either way. * * * Cafe Oleh experts have been chosen for their knowledge and reputation. Cafe Oleh does not take responsibility for any advice they offer. Click here to send us your questions for Shelly, please include your name, city and country.
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