What You Need To Consider
(These are the thoughts of CapitIL Real Estate Agency Sales Director Ben Levene.)
Most people want to buy in a building with an elevator for obvious reasons.
There are some things you need to consider before your purchase that you may not have thought about.
Measurements & Accessibility
Even though you may be healthy today, you never know about cases where you may need to fit a wheelchair into the elevator. Whether it is an injury or old age, having an elevator that can fit a wheelchair may be something to think about.
Additionally, you may want to fit a stroller into the elevator for either your kids or your grandchildren. Make sure whether you are buying a second-hand apartment or buying off-plan to see the measurements and accessibility of the elevator to make sure it is a good size.
Does the elevator have stairs leading to it? Does it drop you off a few stairs below your apartment?
These are crucial questions when accessibility is a must. For some people, a few steps are okay, and for others, it can be a dealbreaker. Make sure to do your research and do not just take it at face value that there is an elevator in the building.
When someone buys an apartment from a developer or an existing apartment with only one elevator, it may not be a Shabbat elevator.
For people who want a Shabbat elevator it is a dealbreaker, make sure to research this beforehand. If you are not buying in a religious area or with religious people in your building, the elevator having its Shabbat mode turned on needs to be checked.
In buildings where there is only one elevator, generally, the majority rules. This means that A) it may run all Shabbat B) it may run certain hours or C) the elevator may not have it running on Shabbat mode at all.
If there are two elevators in the building, one is meant to have Shabbat mode on (but always do your research).
Additionally, not all elevators have a Shabbat mode (especially older buildings), so do not just assume that all elevators in Israel have it. Having two elevators may be something you would really like, but remember that it will cost you.
With a lot of older buildings, the elevators can sometimes be quite slow as they were installed over 30 years ago. It can sometimes be costly for maintenance if anything happens.
If you are planning to buy in a building without an elevator on the basis that they are planning to build an elevator, unless there is a written agreement with all the landlords and a building permit, do not expect that the elevator will be built in 1-2 years.
Even with the agreement and the permit, there is always a chance that the elevator will never be built. If you know you are going to rely on the elevator, buying on the basis that there will be an elevator built may not be for you. Make sure to do your due diligence properly.
Make sure you understand the risks and the questions that you need to ask regarding elevators in your purchase. Elevators may be something that seems black and white, but the answers to these questions can sometimes be crucial to your purchase.
Always do the proper research to make sure you purchase the right property for yourself. Even if the seller is telling you something, make sure it is properly confirmed by your lawyer. This is something to consider and be aware of during your property search.