Sunday, November 11, 2007

Apartment Hunting - UPDATE!

I've found an apartment! I hesitate to write about it now, because I haven't signed the contract for it, and in Israel, until one has signed the contract, the seller can pull out of the deal at will. So it's not a done deal. But we've been "in the process" for a while now . . . the seller has been a bit difficult and we had several obstacles to overcome in the negotiating process . . . I have a fantastic lawyer and a fantastic mortgage broker . . . and we're at the stage when the contract is almost finished, and I'm bringing in an engineer to look over the building structure, and I'm calling the neighbors to introduce myself (and see if any of them are crazy).

It's a very cute, renovated, 2-bedroom! It's the perfect size for one person living by herself who wants a home office as well as a bedroom, and the salon is just big enough that I can host Shabbat meals in the manner to which I was accustomed before making aliyah. (I've been living in a studio for the past four years!)

It's located in a very nice neighborhood called San Simon, down the street from a large synagogue and a 10-minute walk from a reasonably-priced supermarket and the post office. There is also a well-stocked grocery store across the street, and it is exactly a 25-minute walk to the corner of Emek Refaim Street and Rachel Imeinu. Yes, I timed it.

The only down side (other than having to walk an extra 15 minutes to my favorite hangouts, but I guess I'll live) is that it is a 4th-floor walkup. Between 4 flights of stairs and the extra 15 minutes in the walk to Emek, I'll be getting into really good shape.

Of course, the silver lining is that I have a nice view, and since I'm on the top floor I won't have to worry about who might be stomping around upstairs. Also, the Va'ad Bayit (building committee, which organizes care for common spaces) is arranging for everyone to build balconies onto their apartments, b'H within the next 2 years. It is an extra cost, but not a high one since the whole building is doing it, and I'll be able to have a succah! And a balcony with a nice view! Barbecue at my place!

And then, if the stars align correctly, perhaps they'll add an elevator.

Meanwhile, I'm so excited about the idea of having my very own place. With a salon. And an office. No more working and hosting in my bedroom!

There is, though, the issue of furniture. Once I pay for the apartment, and the broker, and the lawyer, and the mortgage broker, and the purchase tax, and the mover, and the painter (the only renovation I'm doing right now; I can't afford more and anyway the apartment, though not exactly the way I'd like it, is perfectly acceptable the way it is) . . . there's precious little left over for furnishings.

I'll need, immediately, a closet and a kitchen table, neither of which I currently own (my current place has a built-in closet, and my desk doubles as a table). And, to fully use all my new space, I'll need another closet, another bed, a sofa, coffee table, and a couple of chairs, a small dining table, and some sort of closet for coats and boots.

Did you realize that my birthday passed on August 18, and I neglected to post my annual birthday wish list? And, you know, chanukah is coming!

So I'm making a brazen request -- or, to put a more positive spin on it, giving you a chance to help with a mitzvah of yishuv ha'aretz? -- to please help me furnish my new apartment! See, on the right, I've created a "donate" button through PayPal. It's easy and fun, and of course I'll be using the new stuff to host lots of company, including visitors from abroad.

Please help me buy a couch!

Love, Sarah

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