Debbie Bain of Bain Realtors has been selling homes in Ra’anana since making aliyah with her family nearly a decade ago. Originally from Los Angeles, Bain believes Ra’anana is an ideal place for olim chadashim because it allows for what she calls a “soft landing.”
Founded in 1922 as an American-Jewish settlement, Ra’anana boasts a large population of Anglo olim, many of whom identify with the Modern Orthodox movement. With a multitude of resources including an English library, English theatre, ulpan programs, extracurricular options for school kids and a high-tech area in its industrial zone, the city provides a level of support that helps English speakers smoothly transition to life in Israel.
As an olah herself, Bain shares a common background with many of her clients, and understands that Americans are often looking for specific features that Israeli realtors might not be accustomed to. She describes herself as a good listener who truly gets to know you and what you want in a home.
“I consider myself a shadchan when it comes to selling homes,” said Bain, and like a successful shadchan, she aims to find the right match for each customer. Whether it be a certain number of bedrooms or an American-style kitchen with double appliances, she takes that information and works hard to provide options that fit your criteria.
As your realtor, she signs on from start to finish and is there every step of the way. “Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions a person makes,” said Bain, who understands that doing so in a foreign country, in another language and with a different set of rules is even more daunting. Often clients require a bit of hand-holding, a service she says she is happy to provide.
Real estate transactions work differently in Israel, so Bain works closely with an Anglo-Israeli lawyer who is familiar with the process in the States, making the experience as seamless as possible. She also maintains service providers such as bankers, mortgage brokers and home inspectors who are fluent in English and have experience working with American buyers. These resources, she says, help minimize the challenges many people confront when buying overseas.
Before COVID, perspective buyers would take pilot trips to visit the city and explore options for sale. The pandemic eliminated that opportunity, forcing Bain to pivot her approach to sales by relying on FaceTime and other virtual media to introduce homes to her clients. Nonetheless, she says demand is high and the market is strong.
Bain tries to be more than just a realtor to her clients. Not long ago she stood in their shoes, so she remembers what it felt like to be an olah chadasha. She is available to help with recommendations for everyday issues like home repairs, educational inquiries, shopping options and medical referrals, or just to offer support when needed.
“Ra’anana is a beautiful place to live with a very warm community of olim waiting to welcome newcomers,” she said.
For more information, please contact Debbie Bain at [email protected] or call 323-521-5340 (USA)/
054 264 0116 (Israel).
By Andrea Nissel