Gefilte Fish Out of Water

The Big, Bad Apartment Hunt
May 8, 2010, 9:47 am
Filed under: Infrastructure | Tags:


So, besides the shiz I can’t really talk about, there are some other reasons why I’ve decided to move out of my current apartment.   

  1. There is a problem with the roof of this building (I am the top apartment).  In the rainy season (Oct-March) it doesn’t leak, but there is a horrific mold problem.  Once a month I would have to stand on a stool and mop the ceiling w/ bleach.  Apparently this has been going on for three years already.  The va’ad beit who upkeeps the building (basically the Super, in US-terms) has been refusing to fix it, saying the problem is with the ceiling and not the roof (he’s not yet been introduced to the concept of gravity), and the landlord has been threatening a lawsuit, and that’s all I’m gonna say.   Except that it’s probably not gonna be fixed this summer, so who needs more of that shiz come Oct.
  2. But the main reason is probably that the landlord is also, ahem, my ex-boyfriend.  It’s something I haven’t mentioned before on G-Fish, b/c he’s also, ahem, my boss.  Anyway, thank God for him – he gave me a great place to live and meaningful, good employment my first year here, and helped me get established as a new immigrant here in Israel.  But now, it is time to move on, and begin the next phase of my life here.  And, Wahoo!  for that.

So, I started looking.  There are four websites with apartment classifieds in Israel – all them are in Hebrew.  But, Google Translate extensions have really evolved to the point that w/o even asking, they will translate whole pages for you.  Look what I’m talking about:  



Here is one of the most popular apartment listings sites - "Homeless" - *before* Google Translate


And this is after! Can you read it - all the listenings are in English - street names, neighborhoods, descriptions. It really is a miracle.


So, pretty much my first day looking, I found an amazing apartment.  I live in a neighborhood called the Old North, and I liken it to the Upper East Side of the NYC.  It’s a little quieter, a little more posh.  Very me.  It’s also adjacent to the biggest park in Tel Aviv – which also has the biggest dog park.  


But to stay here, I’d have to downgrade from a 1-bedroom to a studio, and I was fine w/ that.  And I got super lucky, because I loved the very first apartment I found.  Just around the corner from my current place, this one was even closer to the park!  A renovated studio, about 37 sq meters.  It wasn’t furnished, which is what I want, b/c I have furniture, including a full size fridge and a washing machine.  Ground floor, just inside the entrance.  Totes perf.  


But the owner jerked me around sideways.  First he wanted the entire year’s rent up front, y’know, b/c I’m an immigrant w/ no family in Israel.  Never mind two friends of mine here were willing to cosign, and so was my physician father back in America.  But I was able to talk them into giving me another chance, but then they bailed when I said I had a dog.  No dogs.  


So, that place didn’t work out.  Then, I found another studio in a very nice area, on a street called Yehuda Macabbi.  But it was just too tiny – only 20 sq meters.  Renovated and a yard out back I could use, but not even enough room for all my furniture, plus Pete, plus me working from home?  


So I wound up finding this place in a great location – a little street off Ben Yehuda, in between Arlozorov & Jabotinsky.  A little further south, but still in the neighborhood I like.  Further from the dog park, but still walkable there.  Plus, super close to the dog beach (which is also the gay beach).  Plus it’s HUGE !!!!  and dirt cheap.  The reason is b/c it’s very old.  And I prefer renovated, b/c I am a posh princess.  The building is old and will probably be sold and torn down in a few years.  

But everyone said the layout is great, and with lighting changes and painting it could be great.  Plus, the location can’t be beat, and neither can the price.  And so my Hebrew speaking friends, Danny & Ariel came back the next day w/ me and told me I should definitely take it.  


So, I did.   

We came back the next day and signed the lease.  I’m paying on 2500 shekels a month, which is $675 – a total steal.  The place has huge ceilings, two porches and a separate kitchen.  I had to pay only the first 3 months in advance, so I won’t pay rent again until July (and no real security deposit, just the first three months up front).  

Here’s me signing the lease.  That’s my va’ad beit (the equivalent in the US would be “the super”), who also acted as the managing agent in the pic w/ me.  Now, he is actually really cute.  But I swear I don’t have that expression on my face b/c I’m thinking of eating himi alive.  I was more really excited to be signing the contract.  In Israel, all paperwork is ridiculous amounts, so there were like 10 pages to sign, and he would hand me them one by one, in a little bit of a disorganized fashion when he found the next right page.  So, that’s what my look of anticipation is about, lol.  


Here’s a few more pics from the day I signed, and then next I’ll do a couple more posts about the apartment. 




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