After nearly 3 years and 5 apartments, we have navigated the unknown waters of the local real estate market and found our home here in Zichron Yaakov, Israeli wine country. On Thursday we completed the process (don’t ask) and received the keys. So now the fun really begins.
Earlier this year I wrote about our adventures in Israel’s Sellers Market. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased domestic demand and prices continue to rise beyond expectations, and prices of houses with any green space are increasing most of all. Our past experience in Washington DC’s overheated real estate market proved to be good training; just like in DC, the velocity of the housing market here has led to multiple offers and bidding wars. So when we finally found the right place, we moved quickly.
Our house does have a small (now empty) space for a garden in front and modest backyard wrapping around the house currently covered in synthetic grass (as one does here in semi-arid Israel), along with a long, wrap-around balcony above that should make a good home for plants in pots. The house is located half a block from Zichron’s Gan Tiyul (Strolling Garden) in the center of town and across from a protected green space called Langa Grove.
Now the time has come to roll up our sleeves, metaphorically, and pack our boxes just one more time.
It has been taking me longer than usual to embrace the process. Our last move in mid-February to our 5th apartment since arriving in Israel in October 2018 came on the heels of our son’s transition to his new program at Kibbutz Heftziba and we were frankly exhausted.
Then there was the fact that this 5th apartment was intended as a way-station – a way to get our foot in the door here in Zichron Yaakov make house-hunting easier.
In past moves, I had followed the dictum for good moves of trying to settle in as quickly and thoroughly as possible, getting things up on the walls, and trying to feel at home wherever we landed, for however long that would be.
This time with the understanding that our focus was on using this apartment as a stop on the way to our permanent home, we never really fully unpacked. I did succeed, though, in repacking our hastily packed boxes from Jerusalem , and to rationalize, downsize and reorganize our worldly goods. That should make the next unpacking easier, I hope.
Over the years I also have made notes on moving and am now reviewing them to do a better job this time. And we have also benefitted from amazing support of a good friend who both gave us her own moving boxes and even came up by train for a day from Yafo to help me make a start on packing family china and other fragile items.
Let’s hope that well begun is half done.