July 23, 2024
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July 23, 2024
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Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover

“Never judge a book by its cover” is a familiar saying that holds in various aspects of life. In the world of real estate, this adage is particularly relevant. Just like people, properties may not always appear as they truly are at first glance. In this blog post, we’ll explore the significance of considering properties beyond their initial impressions and why it’s crucial to be open-minded when searching for your dream home. Drawing from my decade-plus experience in Jerusalem Real Estate, we’ll delve into the common errors made by buyers who overlook valuable opportunities simply based on the first little bits of information they hear about the property.

In my experience, these are the two most common types of buyers: (1) those who actively seek out opportunities and succeed in a well-planned but not drawn-out process, and (2) those who are rigid in their beliefs and often miss out on what could have been a great purchasing opportunity. This does not mean you should buy something you don’t like, but it does mean that you must be open-minded and active in exploring the market if you are seriously looking. Let’s examine examples of points where people often dismiss exploring an opportunity without looking into it.

Square Meterage and Layout

Some buyers may have a strict requirement of purchasing properties larger than 100 square meters. However, dismissing a 95-square-meter apartment solely based on the numbers can be a mistake. Often, the layout of an apartment can make a significant difference in how spacious it feels. Without looking at the property in person, it’s challenging to discern the subtle distinctions between a 95-square-meter and a 100-square-meter unit. This example can be applied to 55 and 60 sqm or 185/200 properties.

Price and Budget

Respecting budget limitations is essential, as money indeed doesn’t grow on trees. However, when a buyer is offered a property listed at five million eight hundred thousand shekels and their budget is five and a half million, it’s worth exploring the opportunity. Serious buyers will investigate if there is room for negotiation or find a way to make it work within their means. While they may not end up paying more than they can afford, exploring the possibility of extending their budget is an integral part of the buying process.


Storage rooms are undeniably important, but it’s vital not to dismiss an apartment solely based on the absence of this feature. Buyers who truly desire a property in Jerusalem shouldn’t allow storage to become a deal-breaker before examining possible solutions. Renting storage space or finding creative storage solutions nearby can be viable ways to resolve this issue.


Minor renovations or improvements, such as repainting or changing tiles, should not deter serious buyers. These projects might be inconveniences but can lead to owning a property with great potential.

The Power of Keeping An Open Mind

To fully appreciate the significance of looking beyond initial impressions, it’s important to understand that ruling out properties without seeing them can limit one’s opportunities. Many people buy properties they never thought they would, or fall in love with homes they initially dismissed based on preconceived judgments. By refusing to see a property, buyers immediately limit their chances of finding the right one.


In a hot real estate market like Jerusalem, where demand in prime areas is high, flexibility is key. While it’s crucial not to settle for something you genuinely don’t want, being open-minded can uncover hidden gems and provide unexpected opportunities. From my experience, I like to emphasize the importance of exploring properties beyond their surface appearance, considering factors like layout, negotiation potential and the ability to make small improvements. By adopting this mindset, buyers can broaden their options and increase their chances of finding the perfect property.

Remember, just as you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, don’t judge a property solely based on its initial presentation in an email or WhatsApp. Take the time to delve deeper, explore the possibilities and seize the right opportunities that might come your way in an unexpected manner. The real estate market is constantly evolving, and being adaptable and open-minded is crucial in finding your dream home.

This article is based on the opinions of CapitIL Real Estate CEO and Co-Founder Ben Levene. Ben Levene is a Jerusalem real estate expert with over 10 years of experience, specializing in helping Anglos purchase real estate in Israel. To start your Israel property search, please contact Ben at +972-53-822-4336 or at [email protected]

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