Purchasing a property without visiting in person seems unheard of, and definitely not recommended. However, there is one specific case where it is, in my opinion, a bit less important to fly in.
When purchasing an off-plan apartment in Israel, there is actually not much difference whether you are in Israel or abroad. When it comes to purchasing off-plan apartments, there is nothing to see whether you live in Israel or not.
Let’s examine why buying off-plan apartments from abroad is easier than you may have thought.
Location, Location, Location
It is much easier to buy off-plan apartments from abroad, as the due diligence process is nearly identical to what it would be for a local buyer. The only element that requires you to be physically in the country is seeing the location and what the building looks like before it undergoes construction.
I highly suggest to all of my clients looking to purchase from abroad that even if they are a few years away from buying, they should walk around Jerusalem on one of their visits to get a feel for each neighborhood and become familiar with the streets. Therefore, when an amazing project opportunity arises while you are abroad, you are already familiar with the area and will not be purchasing blind.
Of course, you will receive pictures and videos of the location from your realtor, but being there personally will give you a connection that you cannot feel through a video. For this reason, being familiar with different locations around Jerusalem puts you at a massive advantage to feel comfortable buying a project when not in Jerusalem.
When purchasing an off-plan property, the due diligence process does not rely on you being in the country. All questions and due diligence are answered and completed remotely whether you are a local or a foreigner.
Personal Experience With Clients
I am working with quite a few clients who are currently purchasing apartments from abroad. Some of these clients have not been to the country during the entire process, but the crucial part is that they have visited the area previously, have friends who live in surrounding areas, and are familiar with the location.
Familiarity with the location helps my clients become comfortable moving forward in the purchasing process and completing the necessary due diligence. Now they can make an offer, shake hands in good faith, possibly sign a reservation form and complete their due diligence, all from the comfort of their own homes abroad.
When purchasing a second-hand apartment, I highly recommend coming and seeing it in person because the feeling you get walking around an apartment is a significant factor when deciding to purchase.
With floor plans, whether you are in Jerusalem, Florida, New York or London, your location does not make a difference in terms of your understanding of the plans and asking the right questions.
If you are not planning to come to Jerusalem, but want to buy an off-plan apartment, it can be done. Obviously, I encourage my clients in any situation to personally come to Israel, however, in the event that you cannot fly here, buying in a project is definitely an option.
Ben Levene is a Jerusalem real estate expert with over 10 years of experience. He is the co-founder and CEO of CapitIL Real Estate, an agency specializing in helping Anglos purchase real estate in Israel. To start your Israel property search, please contact Ben at +972-53-822-4336 or [email protected]