Buying a first-hand home in Israel can be an extremely rewarding experience, giving you the opportunity to inject your own personal style and flavor into your future home and shape it according to your individual preferences. But before you sign on the dotted line, it is vital that you first understand what is included in your mifrat techni. Read this three-part article to find out how you can save yourself considerable expense further down the line by making the most of your mifrat techni. Part One introduces you to the purpose and importance of your mifrat techni, and explains the different approaches of the kablanim; Part Two provides valuable advice on how you can improve your mifrat techni by negotiating additions and upgrades with your kablan; and finally, Part Three offers suggested additions and upgrades you can request of your kablan, as well as sample amendments in Hebrew with English translations that you can incorporate into your mifrat shinu'im. Part One - The purpose and importance of your mifrat techni The importance of your first-hand home's mifrat techni is second only to that of your contract. The mifrat techni details every material and item that will be included in your new home, from the type of cement blocks that will be used to construct your walls to the brand of faucets that will be installed in your kitchen and bathrooms. Like the price of your future home, the specs detailed in this document are negotiable. A mifrat techni that has been well negotiated can save you considerable expense on upgrades to your home. Different approaches Different kablanim have different approaches with regard to the value, quality and quantity of the items included in their mifrat techni. There are two distinct approaches that mark the two ends of the spectrum within which all kablanim fall. At one end of the spectrum are those kablanim who only provide the most basic specs in their mifrat techni. These kablanim will usually agree to negotiate changes to the mifrat techni, since the specs included in it are so basic and limited. At the other end of the spectrum are the kablanim who provide high quality materials and generous specs in their mifrat techni. With such a mifrat techni, you will not have to make many upgrades. These kablanim are usually less open to negotiating changes to the mifrat techni and adopt a take-it-or-leave-it attitude. Getting these kablanim to make major changes to your mifrat techni is an uphill battle you are unlikely to win. The specs provided for the kitchen in a mifrat techni are a good indicator of which type of kablan you are dealing with. A kitchen in a basic mifrat techni will include approximately four meters of bottom cabinetry, four meters of top cabinetry and four meters of shayish. The selection of cabinets in terms of aesthetics and quality will typically be limited to three or four basic colors of Formica. A kitchen in a high-end mifrat techni, however, will include approximately six meters of bottom cabinetry, six meters of top cabinetry and six meters of shayish. The cabinets are typically higher quality, with veneer covering or are entirely wood. In addition to the invaluable additional storage space, the high-end kitchen's cabinetry usually includes other amenities, such as built-in units and drawers for pots and bottles. The difference in retail value between these two kitchens could run as high as NIS 40,000. Making the most of your zikuim It is important to note that you are entitled to zikuim for every item in your mifrat techni that you either decide to replace or not to use. Typically, a basic mifrat techni will entitle you to many small zikuim whose total monetary value is very low, while a high-end mifrat techni will grant you fewer zikuim whose total monetary value could be very high. When calculating your budget for upgrades, remember that the zikuim you will receive for items on your mifrat techni usually don't come close to the items' retail value and that even after you have made full use of your zikuim, you will still have to invest money into upgrading a standard item. In conclusion Injecting your individual style into your property - whether it is a first-hand home that has already been built or a second-hand home - can involve a tremendous investment beyond the purchase price of the home itself. So before you finalize the purchase of your first-hand home, it is crucial that you understand what is included in your mifrat techni, and realize that the quantity and quality of such items are negotiable. By doing so, you have taken the first important step in the process of shaping your future home, and will ultimately save yourself considerable expense further down the line. Part Two of this three-part article will provide useful tips on how to successfully negotiate additions and upgrades with your kablan in order to improve your mifrat techni. Visit Israelhomeowner.com to view its full selection of articles. Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal or professional advice but rather a discussion of general issues. Readers are advised to receive professional advice before making any decisions or entering into transactions.