Real Estate FAQs
Every country defines properties a little differently. Here are a few real estate tips and faqs for entering new real estate markets around the world.
Who Pays Agent Fees ?
In some countries buyers pay commission to the agent as-well as the sellers. In other just the sellers and some countries have restrictions for taking agent fees form the tenant when listing the property online vs being hired by the tenant for his services such as full service, negotiation, market search, research and more. Its good to check with a few agents in the market beforehand if you are planing to buy or rent.
“Leaseholder” vs “Freeholder”
(Buying complete ownership)
can you buy “real” property as a foreigner or even as a local? If so can you own it forever or are you buying the rights to hold this property for a specific amount of time, lets say 40-999 years? Leaseholds sometimes have death clauses and other rules. It is extremely recommended to check with a professional before purchasing any property, to check that the property is titled correctly, If its a small apartment make sure its not titled in as storage unit or anything other then residential apartment. This has happened to many people in the past.
Bedrooms vs Rooms
In North America and more, residential properties are usually defined as having one or more bedrooms. Sometimes properties do not clearly define a space’s designation. As such, properties are usually listed as having one or more ROOMS. Therefore, if you are looking to rent an apartment which has both a bedroom and a living room, you are technically looking for a “2 room apartment” 1BD = 2 rooms.
Floor 1 vs 0
- 1st floor sometimes ground floor
- Floor 0 is also ground floor and if floor zero is present, usually 1st floor becomes 2nd or is skipped. If the property has an elevator it will show either [0, 2], [1,2,3] or [0,1,2] ( usually when 1 is not the ground floor)
- The basement can be -1 and sometimes as far as -20.
Property Tax and Fees
An unfortunate reality of renting is sometimes the tenant shares a responsibility in paying the certain taxes on the property. If not then the owners have this luxury of making these payments on a regular basis. The city property tax (in Israel called Arnona), is paid by the tenant. Another tax might be added as well, is building maintenance. This is to pay for maintenance, cleanliness, and general upkeep of a building.
Water and Heating
Check water heating system as some countries can have electric, gas, or solar or and more. Solar is is good for the environment, and free (except to install and maintain) Gas is cheep and electric is the most expensive but may be the most common water heating system in the world.