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.