Tuesday, February 16, 2010

house hunting

This last month I have learned a lot about house hunting here in Israel... and I think the market says something about Israelis and their mindsets. We are not looking to buy right now, but we are looking to rent again. As the daughter of two engineers, I am always interested in houses... it never hurts to go to an open house!

But here in Israel the process is so different than from in the states. First is the obvious part- here in Israel when they list a house, they count the living room as a "room". So in the US one might have a 3 bedroom house... here in Israel it would be a four room house. Here in the south there are very few places with more than 3 or 4 bedrooms. The size of the rooms and the living spaces are also, in general, much smaller than one would expect in the states.

I also learned something new. Here in Israel, when they give you the size of the house (in square meters of course) they include all area that one would pay tax for... which includes anything covered by the roof. That means that although the house we currently rent is called 80 square meters... there is really only about 60-63 square meters of livable space. This can be hugely decieving, although that big of a difference is unusual.

Living in the south, both rental prices and buying prices are anywhere from half to a third of places in the center... though there tends to be very little new building outside of the moshavim. I am getting used to the sizes of places... though im still hoping to find a hidden american gem somewhere....

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