Sunday, May 30, 2010

Day 5, 7, 8 (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday) apartment hunting

We met Mazi again Tuesday at 10am and saw 11 more places.  Then on Thursday, we met with one of the agents of a husband/wife team (Carolina and Ron) and saw another 5.  Tuesday wasn't much better than Sunday, but Thursday delivered 2 great options. 

One was downtown - an addition on the top of a building.  The elevator to the top floor opens into the main room.  The trouble was that the downstairs rooms were cramped.  Also, new construction means buying appliances (places don't come with them), blinds, closets (also not built in), etc.

The second was at Gosh Gadol with a view of the ocean, just over the local airport.  It had a great layout, except the landlord wants to move the kitchen to the area in the far part of the room shown, instead of the space behind the camera.  This wouldn't be awful, except that then you couldn't put a glass door over that room and turn it into an office.  Apparently the lady who owns it owns most of the building, and is stubborn, so it didn't sound negotiable.  Quite a view of the municipal airport though, over the sea.

The third was an architectural masterpiece, but the farthest out of the city of anything we've seen.  And while the lobby was breath-taking (designed for a natural breeze throughout, large waterfall, fish pond, pool, and what you see here), the apartment was a slightly strange layout with an indoor courtyard.

The last one was a great location just south of the shuk ha karmel (big outdoor daily market), in a historic district, and the place has been renovated, but the kitchen and baths are still outdated, and the rooms are small.  It was cute, but the value for the money wasn't there on the inside. 

Thursday we finally saw two places that got us excited.  The first is a little northeast, but in central Tel-Aviv, on the 6th floor on Dubnov street, by a cute park, with a view of Rabin Square. It's quieter, but not completed yet, so it will require more purchases (fridge, blinds, etc). It has more main living space, but the bunker/stairs are an odd situation, as you have a key to your neighbor's apartment for emergencies (otherwise the only access is via elevator).

The second is between Ben-Gurion and Bograshov streets on Shalom Aleichem, with a 6th floor view of the ocean, and a great layout; all new about a year ago.  It's slightly smaller, but that's what you get for one of the hottest locations in town. It's a 5-10 minute walk to the shuk ha karmel (outdoor market full of fresh veggies, fruits, spices, meats, cheap housewares, etc).  You can see the beach, just a 3 minute walk away.  And it's just a couple blocks from some of the main areas for restaurants, cafes, and general downtown shopping.  Because it's the 6th floor, it's taller than surrounding buildings (except the skyscrapers), so it has a great view over the top of the city as well.  The main living space is all upstairs with the porch, and downstairs there's a master bed and bath, 2 spare rooms (one to be used as our office, the other for guests), and a bunker which is either a really small bedroom or large closet. 

We met both owners on Friday with Mazi, our relo specialist, and Carolina/Ron, the wife/husband real estate team.  Each owner had plenty of questions about how they would get paid (in shekels or dollars - they prefer shekels because the dollar has been so weak), who Dan works for and why, and generally where we're from, what we both do, what kind of people we are, etc. 

The negotiation process was quite something for an outsider to observe.  The asking price was 16% over our budget, starting.  At Dubnov Street, it became clear that the owner wasn't that interested in negotiating.  He was more focused on the amount than three years of guaranteed income.  The couple at Shalom Aleichem were more reasonable.  We got pretty close to our budget there, so we're sorting out final details, and we may just have found our home for the next three years!


  1. Great photos - however, which ones are the place on Shalom Aleichem?

  2. The last set of pictures on this post (the large group) is Shalom Aleichem. What do you think?

  3. This is Annette-I wrote the comment above under Dan, as Yahoo isn't listed below for a comment profile....Thanks for your reply - the apartment looks lovely and bright!