If you’re setting up your first home in Israel, here are a few helpful tips to guide you through the purchasing and furnishing process:
- Power supply
Be aware of the main differences between the power supply in North America vs. Israel. For more information, please see the Megavolt web site and Aliyah FAQ: click here
- Don’t be afraid of bargaining
Don’t feel bad asking for a discount or a special price. Mention that you are an Oleh Chadash and are thinking of purchasing other items with this company – you will probably get better rates than those advertised.
- No refund
When purchasing items in Israeli stores, there is no refund policy. Generally, if you return an item, you will receive a store credit which you will need to use within a certain time limit.
- Call them up
A lot of information is on the web, but speaking with a company’s representative is always better if you want to get the most updated rates and information.
- Tell them you’re an Oleh
Israelis generally like and appreciate new Olim. Therefore, don’t hesitate to introduce yourself as a new Oleh.
- Where are the utility meters?
When entering a new apartment, remember to ask the landlord or the previous tenant to show you the location of all meters – electricity, water and gas. Take a minute to write down, or snap a photo of, the current count on each meter. In addition, ask to see the exact location of your Dud Shemesh (solar-heated water tank).
- Shop around
Before signing up with any service provider, shop around and check online/social media recommendations, in order to get the best price and service available.
- Ask family and friends
Always ask your family and friends about their experiences and recommendations.
- Be assertive
Don’t hesitate to let your service provider know when you are dissatisfied. Occasionally, you may get better rates and compensation for the inconvenience.
Before moving in to a new apartment it is advisable to bring an exterminator and cleaning company. You may find them in the yellow pages, by calling 144 or visiting: click here
- Real Estate
Do not sign any legal document (rental or purchase) without consulting with a real estate lawyer.
- Vaad Bayit
If you live in an apartment building you will be asked to pay Va’ad Bayit fees, which cover all of the shared expenses to maintain the building (cleaning of the stairway, elevator maintenance, electricity in the hallway, gardener, central heating, etc.) Most buildings have a Va’ad Bayit (committee which manages these issues), and payments vary from 60 NIS to 1000 NIS per month. In the event of a conflict you may contact the Aguda Letarbut Hadiyur (Housing Culture Society) at 1-800-404-040.
For an English translation of Arnona, water, electricity, Bezeq, Cellcom and HOT bills, please click here.
Being in the Know
It’s the small things in life that make a difference! Here are some additional pointers to help you feel more at home whether you’re handling your bills, traveling throughout the city or making some necessary purchases.
Did you know that…?
- You can pay for most of your bills, like vehicle registration at the post office, but why bother when you can pay online?
- A special telephone ring helps identify when someone is on another line?
- Taxes are always included in the price- with no at the counter additions?
- Yellow traffic lights flash three times (generally) BEFORE they turn from green to red?
- Credit cards aren’t sent to you in the mail – you have to pick them up from the bank?
- Intracity signs are a different color than intercity signs?
- A 5 shekel piece (some other coins may work as well) is necessary to unlock a shopping cart?
- There is no need to tip cab drivers, but there is a small fee for ordering a cab, for extra luggage or for driving a 4th person?
- You can usually receive your medical results via the internet?
- Citric acid will clean the limestone in your Kumkum (kettle)?
* Last updated on July 8, 2022 *