Before arriving in Israel you need a place to land and preferably at least a semi-permanent address. But the question that often begs asking is, “how do I find an apartment or house while living all the way over here?!” Essentially there are 4 answers to this question. In this article will we give you an overview and then follow up with more details one by one in the series to come.
1)Absorption Center or Mircaz Klita (מרבז קליטה): These efficiency style apartments are designed especially for new immigrants. Living here gives you the advantage of having knowledgeable staff that can help with everything from signing up for health care to getting you started in Hebrew classes. You will also find useful tools such as free legal advice and instant internet so you can contact your family the minute you arrive. Perhaps the nicest advantage to living in the absorption center though is being surrounded by people who understand exactly what you are going through and are willing lend a helping hand or listening ear.
2)Locate a Temporary Apartment: You can do this by signing up for list serves in the community of your choice and advertising that you need accommodations or asking friends and family to keep their eyes and ears open. If you want to get to know local communities in Israel go to Yahoo groups and type in the name of the community you are interested in. Most communities have a forum there and will be quite helpful in helping you find somewhere to live ahead of time. Temporary housing gives you time to make sure you are in a community you like; as well time to find suitable accommodations for the long term.
3) Rent a long term apartment before arriving: This can be accomplished by using the use of a rental agency. Many of these places advertise on line so it shouldn’t be too hard to get connected. Again recommendations from locals on community list serves can help with this as well. One important tip here is that real estate agents get one month’s rent as commission for finding you an apartment so this can be quite an expensive way to go. But many people use them to ensure that the apartment is in good order and they are not renting a dump.
4) Purchase a House or Apartment Before Arriving: If you are planning to sell your home and purchase a home here in Israel, meeting with your realtor and lawyer to find a suitable home might be something to consider. The advantage to this is that you can plan ahead for what you will need because you already know what your new home looks like. It can also be comforting to know that while you are adjusting to your new homeland at least you have a space to call your own.
Having a roof over your head even temporarily is the first step to feeling at home in your new country. So consider carefully your options and then stay tuned as we bring you more information about how to go about choosing your place in Israel.