“Are your parents American? How is your English so good?” These are questions that Adv. Yair Givati hears on most of his calls with Anglos looking to fulfill their lifelong dream of purchasing a home in Israel. Yair, an eighth-generation Israeli, has no other passport, and neither of his parents has any Anglo-Saxon heritage. But back in the 1990s, when he and his brother were in elementary school, his parents foresaw the importance of English and decided to relocate to Carmel College in England for a year so that their children could learn English. This was a bold move for an Israeli family that had been rooted in Israel for hundreds of years.
Fast forward 30 years, and the family’s linguistic investment has paid handsome dividends. Yair, who works alongside his father Haim, who founded Haim Givati & Co. in 1969, specializes in servicing the Anglo-Saxon market looking to buy and sell property in Israel.
Haim is a native of Tiberias, was a child messenger in the 1948 War of Independence, and paid his way through college, receiving his law and economics degree from Hebrew University. He established his law firm over 50 years ago, specializing in all matters related to real estate, from transactions such as buying and selling properties, rentals, all the way through to complicated business deals, development projects, corporate, nonprofit, and more recently, Tama 38 projects.
Yair joined the firm just over a decade ago, after completing his law degree at Hebrew University and spending a year as a Torah Mitzion Shaliach (emissary) in Silver Spring, Maryland. This, along with many summers spent at camps in North America, enabled Yair to “get” English speakers, be sensitive to their needs, and understand their expectations. Yair has worked with clients from the United States, England, Australia, Canada and Hong Kong, among others.
This father-son force of 60-plus years of experience, in-depth knowledge of Israeli bureaucracy and operations, along with a keen understanding of the needs of English-speaking clients, make Haim Givati & Co. a very attractive boutique law firm.
There are distinct advantages to working with a small law firm, said Yair. “Purchasing a home from afar or as a new immigrant can be quite daunting, with many unknowns. I take the time to explain how things work here in Israel and guide my clients through the process. I respect their concerns and always aim to provide a personal experience.” The firm positions itself as a one-stop shop for its clients’ needs. “We have built a trustworthy network locally so we can connect our clients with agents, mortgage brokers, financing, help to open a bank account, manage the apartment, and get a home inspection.”
Even during the COVID pandemic, which has prevented tourists from visiting Israel, the firm has continued to see clients purchasing from afar without ever seeing the property. This special trust and relationship that clients have with Yair is particularly important when handling significant real estate transactions from thousands of miles away. “We use Zoom and whatever other means necessary to make our clients feel comfortable with the situation,” explained Yair.
“We are also equipped to get all the necessary documents from abroad and guide our clients through all the important junctures, all the way through to taking possession of their property.”
Yair has given numerous lectures to those interested in aliyah, including an ongoing series for Nefesh B’Nefesh—both in person at the Mega Event (back when it took place!) and smaller roadshows across the country—and now through webinars. He also maintains a blog on his website (in English), continuing to educate clients about the process of buying and selling property in Israel and how it differs from transactions abroad.
Haim Givati & Co., with its innate understanding of the Israeli market and knowledge of the needs of English speakers, is uniquely positioned to handle the real estate needs of the discerning Anglo client.