Sunday, May 16, 2021

Real Estate

The Art of Negotiation

Thirty years ago I had the good fortune of spending two years learning in yeshiva in Jerusalem’s Old City. One day, while walking through the Arab shuk, I observed an older American couple who were considering buying a pair of shearling slippers. Responding to their price inquiry, the Arab shopkeeper answered, “for you, $25!” Thereupon the husband whispered to


Navigating the Manhattan Real Estate Market • Part 1 of 3

Have you been thinking of downsizing and moving to Manhattan? Or, is one of your children spending thousands of dollars a month renting and you’re of thinking of buying an apartment for him/her? Recently, I have been working with several Teaneck/Englewood area residents who are interested in buying property in Manhattan. So, you might ask, where do you


Your Credit Scores

Coca-Cola won’t reveal its secret ingredient, Colonel Sanders keeps his special combination of spices in a vault, and Moish the Morasha baker won’t tell anyone the secret recipe for his delicious cinnamon buns.

Likewise, no one seems to know exactly the formula for how the credit agencies determine people’s credit scores. Credit repair


Building Credit

“Having no credit history can be as detrimental, or worse, than having a bad credit history.”

There are five factors that make up your credit score:

1) Payment History: Your payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score. The goal is to establish a record of full, on-time payments. Recent history is given more weight.

2) Amounts Owed:


What’s “Hot” On the Financial Runway?

Each season, fashion designers present flashy, exaggerated womenswear and menswear designs that quickly translate into the latest retail trends to market to the masses. What finally hangs on the rack at the mall is often a dramatically tamed-down version of what first appeared on the runway, but fashionistas can see the connection.

A similar migration of


The Rich Tapestry of Jerusalem Architecture

When I lived in the United States, I enjoyed the variety of architecture found in my neighborhood. Typically, the homes were colonial houses with their symmetrical front facades and accented doorways, split level homes with staggered floors, one-story ranch houses, and enchanting Tudors with pitched roofs, herringbone brickwork and touches of


Ten FAQs about Mortgages—Part II

We’ve already explored some topics relating to mortgages, such as when to apply for a loan, credit scores, using gifts for a down payment, and interest rates. Here are four more frequently asked questions on mortgages that will help you gain clarity on this often confusing process.

How much money will I save by choosing a 15-year rather than a 30-year fixed


New Taxes on Ghost Apartments

In early December, the Knesset Finance Committee approved a new law to double the property taxes on “ghost apartments” or secondary residences that sit vacant for at least nine months a year. This law was enacted on a two-year temporary basis, to determine its effect on the housing market. The number of ghost apartments in Jerusalem varies greatly based


Settling For Fixity

“The Perfect is the enemy of the Good.” —Voltaire

Q. When it comes to your finances, should you be willing to settle for anything less than the very best?

A. Maybe. Especially if pursuing the “very best” delays or disrupts steady progress.

The recently released book, On Settling, by social theorist Robert Goodin presents an


10 of the Most Common Questions Asked About Getting Mortgages: Part I

Buying a home can be a scary prospect and one of the biggest decisions you and your spouse will make, so if you are in the market for a house, most likely you’re also in the market for a mortgage. As with all important decisions, the best way to approach the mortgage process is to be informed. Below are the first six of some of the most common questions


2013 Israel Real Estate Review

2013 has been a busy year for Israeli residential real estate. Let’s review the past twelve months’ activity and try to identify market trends going forward in 2014.

2013 Activity

In 2013, there was no slowdown in real estate sales activity despite efforts by the Israeli government to reduce demand by imposing new mortgage restrictions


The Forgotten Side of Beit Shemesh

Unless you have been asleep under a rock for the past few years, you are probably aware that a few bad apples, whose extremism and intolerance are against everything that Judaism stands for, have blemished Bet Shemesh’s reputation. Now that I got that unpleasant part out of the way, let’s discuss what a great town Beit Shemesh really is.