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Purchasing an apartment in Israel – what do you need to know ahead of time?

Meir Shua
Meir Shua

Tomer Hila Birnbach

I received a recommendation from friends about the firm, and indeed every word is correct, a service team, professional, welcoming, a fair price for the work I requested, I am satisfied

Matthias Oppliger

I have been receiving services from this Law Firm for several years now and I want to say THANK YOU to the team, especially Joshua Pex. They are doing outstanding work. The services I have received for both our Israeli non profit association but also our social business have helped us solve many issues at hand and provided solutions in complicated situations. Personally, I am grateful for support in visa issues as a foreigner living now in Israel for many years.

Halvor Ronning

Courteous, clear, efficient service.

Josh W-S

The firm had a quick response to my last-minute needs, they were helpful in communicating with me in English, and they fulfilled my needs in a timely fashion.


We had a pleasure of working with Irena Rosenberg who assisted in getting our two U.S. born children registered in Israel and supported visa process for my wife in 2021. During the pandemic, my wife and I decided to move to Israel where I am originally from after living in the U.S. for over 20 years, but we had no idea how to go about securing visas before and after arriving in Israel. Irena is knowledgeable, reliable and competent lawyer who always had answers to all our questions which made us feel confident that everything would be fine with her assistance. We are now happily living in Israel and are so grateful to have Irena who is a genuinely nice person as our lawyer.

Prima Lorenzo

I admire the Austrian citizenship team in Tel-Aviv branch! They deserve more then 5 stars!! They are very friendly and professional. I've got Austrian citizenship in 4 months for all family members which consists of 12 people! The entire team is very friendly and responsive. They are always answering questions and support during the process. I recommend to everyone. Was 100% satisfied.

Michael Soffer

I would like to recommend Attorney Yehuda Elcharar. He assisted both me and my company in a complex lawsuit. He handled negotiations that led to a favorable outcome much quicker than expected.

I am extremely pleased with choosing Attorney Elcharar. Many thanks also to the office team, Oz and Chaya, for their assistance throughout the entire process.

Thanks again ????

TarcisioePotira Freitas

I really recommend the law office's services. The service is very professional and efficient, the price is right. I am satisfied with the services I needed and happy to have known them.

Amir Abt

The best lawyer firm I’ve had dealt with. I would like to thank Anat Levi and Ariel Galili from the Jerusalem branch for all of their efforts and patience, we could not have been Able to reach to where we are now without them

Gáspár Erőss

If you need to solve any complicated legal issue in Israel, don't hesitate to contact them. Otherwise you will loose hours/days/weeks with things that they can solve in minutes. They helped me to obtain my expert working visa in Israel and even after that they responded further questions and gave me advices related to administrative issues in Israel which saved me a lot of time. Irena Rosenberg and Michael Decker worked on my case, they are very professional and helpful. They will not let you down, feel free to contact them.

Kfir Cohen

We were searching for a law firm that will be honest with us and really work hard for a satisfying result, it wasn't an easy task
We found them online; they were the only law firm from all of our searchings which were completely honest and NOT gave us just what we wanted to hear
Using them guaranteed honesty above all. A legal team that is friendly and cares for a superb result
They really care about helping their customers without any other interest
Nadia gave us service behind what we expected; she was professional which lead to fast and easy process with great result
We definitely recommend using them

Paul Prince

The team of lawyers and assistants are incredibly professional. Aiming to give their clients the advice possible regarding the normative and the law of Israel. With well trained and professional secretary at the front desk to the lawyers team, I could say that I had one of the most professional services possible. I'm super glad of choosing Joshua Pex of Law office for immigration solution, lawyers to advise in my case, to me, it is remarkable.

Dongdiet & Nellie

We are very happy with the services. Somehow they managed to translate the law lingo into language we actually understand 😉 and their outstanding YouTube videos helped us to have a better grasp of what process we had to go through. Their patience, clear explanation and experience are very valuable. It's also very nice to know that you will receive response promptly; it made us feel we can really trust their services. We recommend all those looking for immigration lawyers to get in touch.

Michael and Ariellah Waizman

For Advocate Joshua Pex.

We were in a devastating situation when my wife received an order from the immigration office to leave Israel within 30 days, without any explanation, after we have been married and in the process for six and a half years. We heard of Advocate Pex through a friend of a friend. We contacted Mr. Pex and he was ready to help us when he heard of our situation.

The service is amazing! Always ready to assist without regard to the time it takes. The advice Mr. Pex gave us was great, such as what to do, he gave useful links, and advice about which officials to contact. The price for the service was great!

The process until we received the extension for another year for my wife was not long (3 months). Things started moving once Mr. Pex came into the picture.

We highly recommend Advocate Joshua Pex! We achieved our goal and the fear of deportation has been lifted!

Genaan Abdelall

I cannot recommend Nechama enough! Her expertise, professionalism, and dedication to her clients is unparalleled. From the moment I reached out to her, she provided clear and concise communication, and helped me navigate through a complex legal issue with ease.

Throughout the entire process, Nechama went above and beyond to ensure that I was informed and comfortable with every decision. She demonstrated a deep knowledge of the law, and was able to offer sound advice that ultimately led to a positive outcome.

What sets Nechama apart is her compassionate and empathetic approach to her clients. She truly cares about the well-being of her clients, and it shows in the way she handles every case.

If you are in need of a lawyer, I highly recommend Nechama.

Alexander P Gutterman

EU PASSPORT ! Big news! Thanks to Michael Decker and the other good people at the law office, as well as to the virtue of my ancestors, the cruelty of the Inquisition, reparations issued in the Iberian Peninsula, and etc, I am delighted to be on track for Portuguese and European Union Citizenship! A truly incredible development and one which brings me deep joy.

Dumitrascu Cristina

Best lawyer house from Israel! I couldn’t dealt with my situation without their professionalism and effectiveness. Their dedication to every legal aspect and their drive it’s how a true lawyer house can be!
Working in European market and international now, I couldn’t dare to let myself wide my wings on countries unknown to me. Definitely they’ll be the lawyers representing me, my business at every international aspect and on personal development.
When you hear Decker,Pex,Ofir &Co, you hear 10+ class services, luxurious professionals, confidentiality and exclusive attention to your needs.

Shurouq Hajyassin

We were very satisfied with the consultation we had.
You were very straightforward with us , You tried to help us in every way you could . we really appreciate that.
And of course the fast reply we got from you on our emails and the appointment you gave us .
You deserve more than 5 stars????

Yossi Montrose

Very knowledgeable and professional

Marce Ruth St. Rey

Party time in the heart, my beloved husband received his residence after so much time of battles and faith. Gratitude, God has blessed us with wonderful beings who have accompanied us, including a "precious angel" who touched our hearts, our excellent and fantastic lawyer: Maria Chernin Dekel, sweet and wonderful human being, who has guided us and stayed On our side. side in this intense legal transit whom we bless on every occasion. God bless you dear Maria, you have exceeded your professional duty by containing us and collaborating with us in hard times, very hard, for that we want to thank you publicly, you are unique!!!
We bless and thank the entire team at Decker Pex Tal Ofir Law Firm.

lynn vonne

Excellent service, very friendly and helpful, fast responding and very patient. Highly recommend. I will choose them again next time if needed.


We were very pleased and content with the services of this law firm. They supported us 100% and solved our case successfully, we couldn't be happier.

Joshua Pex was both an amazing human being and an inspiring human rights attorney. I reported directly to him for various activities I performed as in intern. I was impressed with his incredibly solid character. He is trustworthy, fair, and goes above and beyond to advocate for the vulnerable. He is completely trustworthy and high caliber in his work. His partners and employees are very blessed to work with him. I am honored to know them.

Heather Lebrun

Sveta Vashkevich

We (myself and my husband) came to Mr. Joshua Pex – for his professional advice – and we received such human warmth and caring attitude, that our hearts melted …

His attention to our details and our situation peculiarities, combined with his professionalism and knowledge, helped us to map out what needs to be done on our part: we appreciate and recommend You, Mr. Joshua!

Eden Weiss

Extrmely friendly, professional and helpful. A big thank you to Irina especially from the Jerusalem office. Highly Recommended.

David De La Rosa

Very friendly, professional, and effective, highly recommended

Esty A

I had a consultation with Batya and she was very helpful. She made sure I understood all the information I needed, and was patient with me in gathering documents I needed.

Sergei m Vashkevich

We came to Mr. Joshua with so many questions (and most of all, with so many concerns and worries) …

When we explained our case to him, first of all, he calmed us down and helped us to see the big picture, which took away our fears;

Then he presented us with a detailed explanation and a few options to explore, and a timeline, how things work and necessary steps to undertake on our part,

We thank and highly recommend Mr. Joshua for showing us so much empathy, care and professionalism (!)

Andreas Kelling

We have been working with Decker, Pex & Co - Law Firm in Tel Aviv for many years very well. Because we appreciated their lawyers services, we recommended businesses and individuals again and again to go there as well.

Priscilla Moses

competent consulting, fast processing, reliable, warm & good team. highly recommended

Morgan Jones

The team at Decker, Pex & Co have been awesome to work with in helping our US company establish banking in Israel and in providing counsel for legal needs in Israel. I highly recommend!

Israel iluz

We were very satisfied with the service of Nehama. She was very professional in all her dealings and kept us informed all the way.
We highly recommend this law firm. They proved to be reliable, efficient and pleasant to work with.

Greg Olson

We highly recommend Adv. Mike Decker and have know him for many years. He has helped our family with many battles over the years. We recently received our permanent residency after 23 years in Israel. We so much appreciate Mike’s representation of us.

Michelle Long

Josh has been helping me on and off for a few years now. I have needed legal advice and assistance with immigration due to a complex situation of mine, and he has been extremely available and responsive, honest and clear about my route and how to proceed. Very much recommended!

Jacob Newberry

A really excellent firm. They knew exactly how to handle my situation effectively and efficiently, and we got the result I needed without much fuss. Adi Berger was a wonderful advocate for me and I am deeply grateful for her help!

Наталья Мажуга

Great lawyers Joshua Pex and Nechama and Michael Deker who really want to help you and I have very trustful relationships with them. All my cases they took they won. Thank you and let’s keep working together

Stuart Safft

I am delighted to report that my wife and I have just obtained our Israeli citizenship. We will be forever grateful for all of the help, guidance and support which Ariel Galili of Decker, Pex & Co. provided through this process.
I am a Jewish, 80-year-old American, and my wife is not Jewish. We had started the process on our own back in November 2020 via the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’Nefesh, but soon became entangled in the delays and often-changing regulations due to Covid-19. The pandemic also caused delays in obtaining the required apostilles for various documents from various state agencies and the US State Department.
We found Decker, Pex & Co. On the internet and began working with Ariel in late November 2021. Ariel did a superb job of leading us through the process, helping us to understand which documents were essential, which would most likely be required, and which, though included on the list of required documents, were rarely required. He helped us several times to understand what was likely and unlikely to occur as “the next step.” Helping us manage our expectations was extremely useful to us.
Besides his knowing the laws, regulations and procedures, Ariel also made us feel that he was truly interested in helping us to successfully work through this process in as smooth, timely, and frustration-free manner as possible.
My wife and I strongly recommend anyone planning to go through this process seriously consider hiring Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co. and, specifically, Ariel Galili.

Adi Katina

Great Team. With no doubt, this office is actually thee best-leading office in Israel. Simply put, if you want your case to win, just join them, hand in your documents, and celebrate the victory.

Kindest regards,
Adi k.

Sophie Cooperman

Oded Ger did an excellent job by reviewing a modeling contract I was offered. Explained the bad clauses in the contract, and their possible consequences. Thank you for your amazing job, your professionalism, your consultation and honesty. You showed me from your experience how it can be done differently. It was the best decision choosing you as my lawyer.
I highly recommend this firm, especially Oded Ger.

Lilian Granovsky

I can highly recommend these services!
Every time we turned to Joshua we always got a professional quick and helpful respond.

Arielle Bosch

Incredibly knowledgeable, approachable, accessible, and evident across the board that they truly care about the people they are helping. They are quick to respond, engaged, and obviously top-notch lawyers. I couldn't recommend them highly enough. Thank you, Joshua and Itamar for your help with our Joint Life Application. You were a calming energy during a storm - always breathed a sigh of relief after speaking with you. It is so difficult to get straight answers from the Misrad Hapnim, but you guys are straight shooters. I appreciate your candor and evident integrity. Hope to work with you in the future, and will send everyone I know in need of legal aid your way. Thank you for your guidance and support.

Shaltiel Devorah

Mr. Joshua Pex is knowledgeable and Professional. I really appreciate his courteous and direct approach.

Lauma Zariņa

This is definitely the best lawyer I know!!! very honest and super helpful he really helped me a lot dealing with immigration issues in Israel and it was very successful!
I highly recommend

The largest transaction that most people make in their lives is, without a doubt, purchasing an apartment. Real estate prices in Israel have been rising for decades and this trend is expected to continue, certainly in areas that are in demand. This means that buying an apartment in Israel (not to mention a house or piece of land) is expensive and complicated.

When faced with a transaction of this magnitude, it is important to conduct it responsibly and carefully. A mistake in one of the stages of the purchase could spell disaster for the buyer, who may find themselves without their money and without an apartment either.

Our office specializes in assisting sellers, renters, and buyers of real estate in Israel. In this article, an attorney from our office will detail the steps of purchasing an apartment in a professional manner, including choosing a lawyer with the knowledge needed to accompany the transaction from start to finish.

Buying an apartment in Israel

Step 1 – Identifying the seller and the property

You saw an ad in the newspaper for an apartment at a good price, you visited the property in the presence of the advertiser who introduced themselves as the property’s owner, and you are interested in moving forward with the purchase. Now you must check whether the advertiser is indeed the owner of the property.

It is important to know that the fact that the advertiser has a key to the apartment is not enough to prove their ownership of it.

That is why it is important to ask various questions relating to the apartment for sale, to ask for written proof of ownership of the apartment, and to follow up on any detail that may seem suspicious. Courts have heard hundreds and thousands of cases of con deals that succeeded as a result of a buyer’s carelessness.

In order to identify the property, a Land Registry extract (Tabu) must be issued which details its owners. The extract can be ordered on the website of the Ministry of Justice by entering the details of the property: block, plot, sub-plot. If you do not know these details, ask the property owner.

If you cannot ask the owner, go to the Israel Mapping Center website, enter the address of the property and get the block and plot numbers. After that, go back to the Ministry of Justice site to order the Land Registry extract, and order a consolidated statement for the property, where you will find the property owner’s details.

If you cannot find the property on the Ministry of Justice website, it is possible that it is owned by a mortgage company or the Israel Land Authority, which have separate registries.

Step 2 – Choosing an attorney

The most significant figure in a real estate transaction is undoubtedly your attorney. They understand the steps of the procedure, know the legal requirements, and know how to perform the evaluations in the best possible way. Not hiring an attorney to guide you through a real estate deal puts your money at risk in what is likely to be the largest transaction you will make in your lifetime.

Besides their basic duties in a real estate transaction, an attorney can also manage the negotiations for you since they have extensive experience in such transactions. That is why you should focus on an attorney’s qualities when making your selection. Check their professionalism, experience, and reliability and, just as importantly, their civility and patience.

purchasing real estate in israel

Step 3 – Checking the property’s status

After you obtain the Land Registry extract, you must ask the property owner for their ID card to make sure that their ID number matches the number that appears in the extract.

In the extract you received, you can find out whether there are foreclosures or debts on the property that may restrict the possibility of transferring ownership of it. You can see this information at the bottom of the extract in the section on debts or warning notes.

Also, check the blueprint of the apartment and the attachments belonging to it, and make sure that the apartment in its current state has a building permit. These details can be checked on the local authority website.

Step 4 – Checking the value of the property

The owner is asking two million for the apartment, but you don’t know whether that price is indeed the value of the property being sold or whether it is higher than the market price? Assuming that real estate is not your main field of expertise, you will not know how to estimate the property’s value.

For this, a real estate appraiser must be hired whose job it is to evaluate the value of the apartment, as well as to check whether there are any construction deviations in the property being sold. It is important to know that construction deviations may disqualify eligibility for a mortgage and even impose criminal liability on the buyer, even if they did not themselves execute the prohibited construction.

Step 5 – Getting approval for a mortgage

Most apartment buyers take out a mortgage in order to raise the amount required for the purchase. Even those with means may prefer to finance the purchase with a mortgage and pay the interest in order to maintain liquid assets.

Commonly in sales contracts in Israel, failure to receive a mortgage is not a condition that enables the automatic cancellation of the transaction. In some cases where a mortgage application is rejected, the buyer may be obligated to pay the seller compensation for the cancellation.

For this purpose, there is a document called “mortgage approval in principle” and it includes the amount of the mortgage and the terms that the bank offers. The approval is granted based on the financial details you provided to the bank and it is valid for a limited time.

To order an approval in principle, as well to obtain a mortgage under good conditions, we recommend contacting an expert mortgage consultant for assistance in the entire procedure.Buying an apartment in Israel

Step 6 – Calculating ancillary costs

The transaction of purchasing a real estate property is expensive, not merely because of the high value of the property that requires taking out a mortgage, but also because of the ancillary costs. Lack of planning may sometimes lead to significant financial pressures during the sensitive period of the property purchase.

The ancillary expenses include, among others: brokerage fees, attorney’s fees, mortgage consultant, real estate appraiser and other expenses explained in detail in the article on calculating the costs of buying an apartment.

Step 7 – Calculating the purchase tax

Anyone who buys real estate in Israel is obligated to pay a purchase tax of up to 10% of the value of the property. The tax is calculated using tax brackets based on the price of the property.

The law defines several situations in which the buyer is exempt from purchase tax, such as a single apartment with a value of up to 1,805,545 ILS.

Please note that the amount of the purchase tax and the details of the law may change from time to time, so it is important to consult with an attorney in the field of real estate taxation and get their opinion regarding the amount of the tax.

Step 8 – Capital gains tax and improvement levy

In a real estate transaction there are several types of taxes and levies. In the previous paragraph we talked about the purchase tax which the buyer must pay. In contrast, the seller pays the capital gains tax and the improvement levy, but it is still important for the buyer to understand how to deal with these taxes since a failure to pay them may delay processing of the transaction.

Capital gains tax is paid on the gains in the apartment’s value between the purchase of the apartment and its sale. The amount of the tax is 25% of this increase in value. That is, if the value of the apartment increased by one million shekels since its purchase, the seller of the apartment must pay 250,000 shekels in tax at the time of the sale.

An improvement levy is a tax paid to the local authority in the amount of 50% of the increase in the price of the property due to building plans approved next to it. For example, if the local authority approved the construction of a multi-story building on a lot, and the approval yielded a net profit of two million shekels to the developer, then the local authority would be entitled to a levy of one million shekels.

In order to carry out a real estate transaction and transfer the registration in the Land Registry extract to the buyer’s name, you must produce certificates from the authorities showing payment of these taxes, or produce a certificate of exemption from payment.purchasing an apartment in israel

Step 9 – Signing a sales contract and registering a warning note

This is the most important and exciting step in the whole arduous process you have gone through. Now after all the tests, calculations, advisors and documents that have passed through hands, you must go to the law office that you chose, where a signature session will take place in the presence of both sides.

At this stage, you will also need to transfer the first payment, as agreed upon by both sides. Usually, the first payment is the equity capital held by the buyer, or the greater part of the equity capital. It is accepted to pay between 10% and 20% of the apartment’s value at the time of signing.

After signing, and in order to ensure your rights to the property, a warning note is recorded in your name on the sold property. The note is a document signed by the seller confirming that there is a contractual obligation between them and the buyer.

Step 10 – Delivering possession and completing the transaction

Congratulations! After you have signed the sales contract, and according to the agreed-upon date of possession, you have entered the property and now want to finish the procedures related to moving.

So first of all, you must update your name at the local authority in order to update property tax debts (arnona) as well as at the electricity, water, and gas companies, and with the tenants’ committee. Note that regarding property tax debts, it is advisable to seek the services of a property tax attorney who is an expert in the field.

After that, you must make sure that you have all the documents required to complete the registration of the property in your name. This process may take time and will begin after the buyer’s payments to the seller are completed.


As you have seen, buying an apartment in Israel is a complex process that requires attention to detail, thorough inspection and a great deal of responsibility in order to avoid a misstep that may result in financial loss.

To go through the process safely, it is important to seek the services of a professional law firm that deals with both accompanying the transaction and calculating the various taxes.

If you wish to receive professional and comprehensive support throughout the transaction, contact our office in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv for an initial consultation at no cost.

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