There’s more to buying a home in Israel than just finding a place that suits your needs, style and budget. For most people, there is the all-important issue of obtaining a mortgage.
At Tivuch Shelly, the veteran real estate company headed by Shelly Levine, the process of selling a home to a client also involves early assistance in obtaining the optimal financing solution with the least fuss.
Since a large percentage of Levine’s many clients are olim, immigrants from English speaking countries, she is well acquainted with the nuances of mortgage approval. It is a crucial part of the process, as there are vast differences with the mortgage procedure in Israel when compared to the Anglo purchasers’ home countries.
For instance, there is no mortgage contingency on an Israeli purchase contract, which is why having a firm approval from a lender in place is important. Additionally, mortgage loans are also available in different currencies than the Israeli shekel, which can impact the interest rates as well as the foreign currency risk consideration.
Another example is that Israeli banks also generally require life insurance coverage equal to the loan amount or the duration of the loan, which can impact the monthly expenses for the buyer. Sometimes, there is a possibility for an existing US policy to be assigned to the bank, while other banks will allow for a waiver on this requirement.
One question that often arises when considering a purchase is what percent of the price can be financed. Israeli residents purchasing their own property can finance up to 75% of the purchase, while non-residents are maxed at 50% financing. For (future) olim, the timing of the purchase and their aliyah, and their residency classification, is of utmost importance and should be planned in advance.
Bottom line: As a mainstay in the Israeli real estate market for decades, and after selling thousands of homes to Anglo olim over the past 30 years, Shelly Levine has built a company and has the knowledge, and the relationships, to help guide olim to their home in Israel.
Shelly Levine is conducting private meetings in New York through December 13. For more information, email Shelly at [email protected], or Aliza at [email protected] Visit the website at www.tivuchshelly.com
For mortgage information contact Daniel Schecter, First Israel Mortgages, at [email protected]
By Jerry Barach and Daniel Schecter