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Have you considered moving to Israel from your home country full-time or even just for part of the year? How can you buy land in Israel as a foreigner? It’s easier than most people imagine, especially with a knowledgeable attorney and some personal connections in Israel.

Buying Israeli Real Estate is Similar to Buying a Property in Other Countries

Israel has made buying property much more straightforward than other countries. As a prospective buyer, you can sign over power of attorney to an attorney, friend, or family member. The agent with power of attorney can complete the transaction in Israel without you having to stay in Israel for the process. You can sign any documents that require an in-person signature at an Israeli consulate office.

You will need an Israeli bank account to purchase property in Israel. You will also need to hold funds in escrow and possibly take out a mortgage.

Paying a Purchase Tax

You must pay a purchase tax based on the value of the property you purchase. The tax increases in higher brackets for non-residents, with homes valued between 1.29-3.88 million NIS paying a 6% tax, up to the 10% tax for homes valued over 17.83 million NIS.

However, suppose you don’t already own any property and can demonstrate that Israel is your “center of life” with family, friends, and employment. In that case, you may qualify for a reduction in the purchase tax with a higher tax threshold beginning at 1.74 million NIS.

Opening an Israeli Bank Account

To open an account at an Israeli bank, you will need:

  • A photo ID
  • A valid passport
  • Various financial forms, such as a W-9 form as a U.S. citizen

When you transfer money into your new Israeli bank account, you must explain your relationship to the account where the money is transferred. The bank will require documentation to verify your relationship to the deposited funds.

For example, if you are approved for a mortgage or other loan in your home country, your bank will need a copy of the loan agreement. You may want to take out a mortgage at home, as it can take longer to take out a mortgage from an Israeli lender successfully.

The Israeli real estate market is beautiful to foreigners. Now that you know the answer to “How can you buy land in Israel as a foreigner?” contact an attorney experienced in Israeli real estate law. Call us at Aharoni Law Firm at 888-923-0022 (United States) or 972-3-9055478 (Israel), or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

Rahav D. Aharoni, Adv

My expertise lies in assisting heirs and clients in the identification and acquisition of inherited assets in Israel, resolving estate and real estate conflicts, and facilitating transactions involving Israeli real estate, investments, and businesses. I am dedicated to helping my clients build equity and achieve their goals.