Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Real Estate

Financing a College Education

The student loan debt statistics cited by the Feder­al Reserve referred to 2011 graduates. It did not consid­er those who borrowed for college, but did not obtain a degree. However, a 2011 study by the Institute for Higher Education Policy found that “58 percent of the 1.8 million borrowers whose student loans began to be due in 2005 hadn’t received a


Seaside Living

Although most of my clients enjoy the hustle and bustle of Jerusalem life, others prefer beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea, and the slower pace and charm of a coastal town. For many of these clients, Netanya is a good fit.


Netanya, which literally means “Given by God,” was established 85 years ago and named in honor


Not All Square Meters Are Created Equal

A few years ago, my client wanted to purchase a three-bedroom apartment in a new development project. We first viewed a 150-square-meter (“sqm”), three-bedroom unit [1 sqm equals 10.76 square feet] in a brand new complex. We then visited a different project and looked at a 110 sqm, three-bedroom unit, which surprisingly felt just as spacious as


Baka: A Great Family-Centric Neighborhood

Baka is a lovely upscale community located in southern Jerusalem. Baka is Arabic for “valley,” which alludes to Emek (or Valley of) Refaim, which runs along the western border of the neighborhood.

Situated between the German Colony to the north and Talpiot to the south, Baka was established in 1892 when the railroad line from


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