Real Estate Properties
If you are looking to acquire your own piece of the mystic and tranquil city of Safed, then this is the place to be. In discussions with many residents of Safed, you will discover that many, perhaps like yourself, were one time visitors to the city who upon arrival knew they had found their home. However, buying real estate in Safed is not always as straight forward as it is in other locations around the world.
Finding The Right Property
For this reason, we have created this property section to help you find your perfect home in the city of Safed.
Buying Property in Safed
Buying property in Safed is quite different than buying in other regions of the world, or even than in buying in other areas of Israel.
Old Jewish Quarter and Artists Quarter
Safed's Old City forms the core of the town. The citadel, the center of the Old City, is surrounded by two neighborhoods, the Old Jewish Quarter and the Artist Quarter. These neighborhoods, with homes that date back 500 years and more, are desired areas and the properties are more expensive.
In addition to the cost, buyers who want to purchase a home in the Old City should remember that:
1. The Old Jewish Quarter's "tabu" -- ownership documents -- often go back hundreds of years. This causes difficulties with seeing the purchase through because a piece of property can be owned by dozens of descendants of the original owner. The situation is better than it was several years ago but it can still be complicated to complete a purchase.
2. Due to the age of the homes, many need extensive repairs in order to ensure that they are livable. It's always a good idea to get an engineer to look at a home before buying, but this is especially true in Safed where the beauty and enchantment of the old arches and stoned walls can hide serious roof, plumbing and electrical problems.
Even with the difficulties and expenses of buying in the Old City, the area has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially for English-speakers and observant singles and families. Hundreds of properties that were in ruin 20 years ago have been renovated and turned into modern homes, giving residents all the amenities of 21st century living against the backdrop of Safed history.
Canaan and Darom Neighborhoods
The Canaan and the Darom neighborhoods were the first neighborhoods built in Tzfat after the War of Independence of 1948. The influx of tens of thousands of refugees from Eastern Europe and North Africa reached Safed and the government built apartment buildings into "Har Canaan" -- the mountain of Canaan -- and south of the Old City to accommodate the new residents. Today these neighborhoods are mixed and include religious/secular, young/old, Ashkanazi/Separadi and every other possible blend of Jews. English-speakers are scattered throughout these areas and prices vary widely, from apartments costing $30,000 to duplexes, single units and apartments that can cost up to $80,000 or more. Many of these neighboods are within easy walking distance of the Old City.
When the Russian aliyah began in the 1990s, Safed took steps to develop new northern neighborhoods. These neighborhoods, Menachem Begin, Ramat Razim and Nof Kinneret, have expanded significantly over the past 20 years and today they are self-contained with supermarkets, synagogues and schools. It's approximately a 10-minute drive from these neighborhoods into the Old City/City Center. Housing prices range, from $60,000 to $120,000, depending on the size of the house and whether it's an attached house or a single unit. In addition, the small settlement of Biriya has become a neighborhood of Tzfat and combines the rustic atmosphere of a rural community with the convenience of being located right next to the city.
Most of Safed is a "mixed" city, with secular, traditional and religious people living right next to each other.
In various locations throughout the city there are neighborhoods which were specifically established for religious residents. Some of those are:
*Kiryat Chabad in Canaan
*Meor Chaim in the Darom
*Kiryat Breslev, below the Old Jewish Quarter, just above the cemetery.
In general, you don't have to be a member of any specific group (Chabad, Breslev, etc) to live in the neighborhood, but a certain code of dress and behavior is expected of people who choose to live in such a neighborhood. These neighborhoods are known as "Haredi" (Ultra-Orthodox) neighborhoods and the expectations mirror the outlooks of adherents of Orthodoxy.
Safed English-Speaking Real Estate Agents
Yaron Jackson 050-874-4275
Rina Avitan 058-415-6810 (English and French)
Joy Strauss 054-776-4877
Amir Haim 052-760-5618