Sunday, March 18, 2007

Still trying to understand....

Ok, so we're on the HOUSE HUNT..........enough to make me pull my hair out dealing with this in English and back in the US, but now add the twist of being here in Israel, and mostly in Hebrew, and just for good measure, throw in a completely fackackta system of finding a new home..........

AARGH..........CALGON..........TAKE ME AWAY...........AGAIN!!!

Whew, that felt good. So, just some background. We live in an incredible area just outside of Jerusalem, on the road to Tel Aviv. Without traffic, it takes approx. 25 minutes (even less) to get to the center of Jerusalem. With traffic, sometimes 45, but that's not an everyday thing. What IS an everyday thing is my husband's commute..........sometimes up to a 2 hour drive in the mornings, bumper to bumper, "Pkakim" (traffic). So.......we are looking at a different area that is closer to Tel Aviv and come July will have a train that will take him from the town to his work in the Tel Aviv area in less than a half hour!!! no brainer, right?

I wish it was that easy. Right now we are looking for a place. We started off with the thought of renting, but it is next to impossible to find a rental property, not to mention the fact that renting really is throwing your money away. We are also in the position where we either find new renters for our house in the US or we sell the house there. So, we have decided to sell that one, buy one here, and just be done with it!

This is where the confusion comes least for me, that is. PLEASE...if there is someone out there who is able to shed some light on the situation, by all means..........

Ok, so in the US when you are LOOKING for a place to buy, you have a number of options. OF course you can look in the paper and on the internet for properties that are listed privately. OR< you could call an agent to ask to see a property that they are listing. OR< in the US you can hire an agent and ask him/her to find properties for you to see. They will look through the city's multi listing, and bring you to a number of places, even if they hadn't listed them and they were listed with another agency.

But here is the Israel, things go like this...........or at least this is how we think it seems to go here.............each agent will only show you the properties that HE/SHE has listed. There doesn't seem to be any such thing as a MULTI-LISTING where your for ex. ABC agent will take you to a property that is being listed by the XYZ agent. Instead, you need to be the one to contact all the different agents from AtoZ in order to see as many different properties as possible.

So we found this great guy, this agent, Motti. We've taken a few Fridays to meet with him; he's shown us some properties, nice ones, but not THE ONE yet. It took us a few times to realize that all of the properties that he is showing us on all of these Fridays are ones that HE HIMSELF seems to be listing with his agency. But then again, at one of the properties we saw, we were going in as another agent and possible buyer were leaving, so maybe people are LISTING WITH MORE THAN ONE AGENT??

So this past Friday we decided to go down to "the town" and check out some other properties. We went to the area where all of the offices are for the builders and the real estate agents. And we did it and we felt awful about it.............we betrayed Motti. We walked into another agency and met Roni. It felt like when you have been going to the same hair dresser for ages and you feel like the only way you're going to get a new 'do' is to go to another hair dresser on the other side of town (or like I did, I started calling for my appts. on Thursdays cuz I knew that was Leon's day off).

anyway.............I as usual, I digress.....................where was I? Oh yeah, Roni.

So we walked into Roni's office, (and put our sunglasses BACK on to help shade our eyes from the bling on the guy's hand and neck. ) And roni was looking up listings and calling places for us to see if the people were available for us to come over to see them. Suddenly, yup, you guessed it, Hubby's phone rang, and it was, yup, you guessed it, MOTTI!!! We were sitting in the office about 4 doors down from his cheating on him, and we didn't get caught!!! It was a trip.

And today, hubby spoke to yet another agent, and we are on the trail of some other places. So bottom line, if you're looking for a property to buy in this Holy land, be prepared to do alot of the work yourself. AND, if by chance you have ANY advice on working this system better than we have been.............PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE feel free to share!

I'll keep ya posted on the hunt as I'm still, trying to understand!