Sunday, June 24, 2012

Buying a Home in Israel: Step 2 - Find a Lawyer

In a previous post I mentioned that we bought a home, thank God. Just as in the States, it's really not advisable to try and do it yourself. Especially in Israel, you need someone who will guide you through the many, many hoops that you need to pass through to buy a home.
Just as an example, depending on where you live in the country, you either buy the land in your home outright, or you rent it from the State of Israel for 99 years. I cannot tell you which kind of home I've got. (Ask me in 99 years.)
Lawyers here charge by percentage of the home. Personally, I don't really understand why the value of the home should have any influence on the fee of the lawyer. Does she work more hours for a more valuable home? But there's really no point in complaining, because that's how the lawyers charge, and simply tell you that they're no different than real estate agents (who also charge by the value of the home). True enough.
In any case, you should not pay more than one-half percent of the house. If your lawyer asks for more than that, find another lawyer. Maybe use my lawyer. We were quite happy with his work.


  1. The process of buying a house really differs depending on its location. If you are not thoroughly familiar with the procedures and the place, you’re planning to buy a house in; you’ll really need a lawyer. They are in charge of counseling you on what steps to take during a real estate transaction. They will be of assistance in the complexity of the deal involving legal jargon and intricate procedures until every detail is set to its rightful place.

    Clinton Larocque

  2. Rabbi Spolter, Just wanted to let you know that Yehuda said to tell you what new lawyers are taught today: The Israel Bar Association guidelines say that lawyers should charge NO LESS than 1% on residential real estate deals like this. And under no circumstances- this is their wording, should an attorney charge less than 3/4%. I think 1/2% is more than fair and many reliable attorneys, like yours, charge 1/2%, but many, not sure if most, but many, many lawyers in Israel do charge 1% and it's not that they are overcharging-this is what they are told to charge.

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  4. Actually, reading over my post, I need to make a significant correction: 20,000 shekel is much more than a month's salary for most people. Why any lawyer should earn that much for a single closing is simply beyond my comprehension.

  5. Rabbi Spolter, I agree with everything that you are saying. My point was just to say that just b/c a lawyer charges 1% doesn't mean that he is scamming a person b/c this is what is actually what's often charged and what they are taught to charge. 1/2% is a good rate and if one can find a good lawyer with a good rate then of course that is the best way to go as you did. FYI, new lawyers in Israel have an average starting salary of 5,000 shekel. Yes, 5,000. It takes years to build up as a lawyer. It's only corporate lawyers who work 70+ hours a week- and they aren't making that much more than 5,000 either.


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