Searching for an apartment in Jerusalem can be a real nightmare. Today, greedy landlords are renting out cellars, bomb shelters and even places where the bathroom is on the balcony. Can you imagine taking a shower or going to the loo on your balcony? 🙂
A friend of mine is looking for an apartment. 2-3 rooms and rent shouldn’t be higher than 3500 Shekels. There are plenty of reasonable offers on various Israeli websites but when we finally get to the place in order to look at it, it may turn out to be a construction site. This happened to us in the Nachlaot neighbourhood last Friday. We were looking at a 2 room apartment inside a brand new building in the middle of Nachlaot. All apartments were supposed to cost 4600 Shekels and my friend looked at the cheapest for 3300 Shekels.
What can I say? The place turned out to be a hole in the wall without any windows. We were lucky that there was a door. 🙂 The bathroom consisted of cardboard walls and the bathroom door was right next to the kitchen counter.
We walked out after not even five minutes but the landlord didn’t care at all. He knows that someone will rent the place. Probably some foreign workers from the Philippines or illegal Africans.
The Nachlaot neighbourhood near the Machane Yehudah Market has turned into one of Jerusalem’s most popular areas. More than ten years ago, I used to live their with two flatmates. In those days it was cheap but no one wanted to live there. As soon as a flatmate moved out, we were facing serious problems in finding a replacement. Everyone just wanted to live in the German Colony, Old Katamon, on the French Hill or anything around HaPalmach Street.
Everything has changed and today, Nachlaot is among the most popular neighbourhoods in town. It all started with lots of American new immigrants (Olim) moving in. They came with money and turned the rundown houses into luxury objects. Thus the prices were going up. The same, by the way, is happening in the northern town of Zfat (Safed). Wherever Anglo Olim start moving in, prices are increasing.
Landlords are fully aware of the fact that they can rent out any dumb in Nachlaot and people will go for it. No matter how high the rent is and how much the roof is leaking.
Last night, my friend and I saw a 3-room apartment in Derech Hebron. The place was almost in Ramat Rachel, a Christian-like Kibbutz. When we saw shining xmas trees, my friend already had enough. 🙂
The apartment wasn’t that bad and a Russian lady was just moving out. Our guess was that the landlady had risen the rent drastically and thus the Russian had to move because she probably couldn’t afford paying rent anymore.
Tonight we are seeing a further apartment in Talpiyot / Baka. My friend also has an offer from Pisgat Ze’ev. A neighbourhood outside town but easy to reach by tram. The only problem is that the tram is going through the Arab neighbourhood of Shuafat and is getting stoned on a regular basis. By rioting Palestinians.
So, it is not only the rent you have to pay attention to but also to Palestinian terror. Otherwise you my find yourself on a battlefield, as I do. 🙂
To Be Continued …