​Whether you’re a homeowner, a landlord, a real estate investor, or running an Airbnb, managing a property can be a huge headache—especially if you’re located far away. There may be tenants to deal with or clean up after, emergency repairs to be done, or renovations to supervise. Yoel Kaufman, founder of SCRUBS Cleaning and Maintenance, noticed this need among his clients and decided to expand his services to include property management. We interviewed him about this recent development.  So, Yoel, what is SCRUBS Management?The goal of our new service is to make it possible for property owners to enjoy the benefits of their investment without any worry. We take over all the burdens of running a property, whether it’s a home, an Airbnb, or a business space—from day-to-day maintenance work to addressing electric or plumbing emergencies, doing the cleaning and the laundry, stocking the fridge, or even putting your home on the market. This means that your tenants or guests will have their needs met in a prompt and professional manner without you lifting a finger. What about SCRUBS are you most proud of and why is property management your next career move?I am most proud of the quality relationships that I have built with my clients and my reputation as an honest and trustworthy individual. We have specialized in building trust, honesty and strong relationships with clients and vendors and have learned exactly what our clients expect and how to go above and beyond. Numerous clients have asked me to manage their properties, which pushed me to explore property management and other ways that I could make their lives a little easier. What do you do as a property manager?  Our clients’ concerns are our constant concern. We work around the clock to make sure your investment or vacation property is running as safely and smoothly as possible. Some of the regular tasks we deal with include: checking on your apartment weekly; checking that the alarm system is active and following up ASAP when the alarm is triggered; scheduling and organizing service or maintenance personnel; receiving deliveries; performing cleaning services; pre-arrival prep and shopping; car services; and handling issues with plumbing, electricity, or renovations. We do whatever we can to take the stress of these issues off your shoulders. What does this include? Each management agreement is specifically tailored to the owner and the property. We find ways to improve the property and we oversee construction projects. We can advertise the property, screen tenants, negotiate professional leases and document the property’s condition as renters move in and out, and much more. A huge advantage in using our company is that your property will receive the proper maintenance and care it deserves. Reliable skilled technicians are surprisingly difficult to find in Israel, especially on erev chag. If you entrust us with managing your property, it will be efficiently maintained by our team of professionals, no matter the time of the year. With a network of friends and relatives in the area, why would someone need a property manager for their Israeli property?Like many things in life, there is a benefit to having a specialist do the job. Relying on friends and family may seem convenient at first, but it can get awkward. What if there is a problem that requires investing a significant amount of time to solve? What if it involves some knowledge or expertise they don’t have? Your friends’ potentially unprofessional decisions may harm your investment and place unnecessary strain on your relationship. Hiring us means that you will not have to rely on people to do you favors. Our job is to protect your investment and we’re here to serve you. What motivated you to open SCRUBS Management?We recognized a need for services that went beyond cleaning. We repeatedly saw people buying amazing homes for investment or vacation and then finding themselves unhappy with the mediocre management services available to them. SCRUBS Management was created to rectify that. We believe property management is a specialist profession. It demands attention to the most minute details, efficiency, in-depth understanding of the real estate market and its trends, local legal know-how, basic building knowledge, and the ability to resolve situations that may involve high-strung emotions. Why choose SCRUBS Management over other property management companies, some of which have been in business for longer than you?We are close and easily accessible. With SCRUBS Management, you get honesty, con-sistency, reliability, constant availability, and the knowledge and reassurance that you are working with a name you can trust. We have an impeccable reputation, particularly in the Anglo community, and are fully committed to our clients. Our quick turnaround time on all requests is a service that greatly benefits our clients.When you put your investment into our care, you can move forward with peace of mind, knowing that we will treat it like our own. Our referrals speak for themselves. Let us take the worry and work out of managing your property.  Jerusalem-based SCRUBS Management offers property management ser-vices, from electrical work and plumbing, laundry and cleaning to placing properties on the market. You can contact the company at 054-207-4969, +442037697387,  or visit them online at  

Property management with you best interest at heart

Managing your property in Israel can be a stressful task, requiring a degree in multitasking, an in-depth knowledge of the Israeli “system” and a bucketload of patience. When you are not used to the way things work here, or are not fluent in Hebrew, the job becomes exponentially more difficult. Even if you do hire a property manager, they may not share the expectations you have for professionalism, punctuality, and customer service.Yoel Kaufman, founder of SCRUBS Management, recognized the need for a hassle-free management solution for landlords in Israel. An oleh himself with five years’ experience in the service industry, Yoel is well aware of the challenges faced by property owners, especially those who are overseas. His mission is to provide landlords with peace of mind that their properties are being managed as best as possible. CUSTOMER SATISFACTIONSCRUBS motto is “You Don’t Have to Manage on Your Own.” For Yoel, this means an unwavering commitment to fulfilling the client’s expectations with minimum hassle. Too often, there is a disparity between how management is done in Israel and how it is done in chutz la’aretz. As a native of the UK, Yoel knows the importance of customer service and he works to meet the specific needs of each client. When you choose SCRUBS Management, you’re opting for unparalleled commitment to you and your property. TRUSTHonesty and integrity are the cornerstones of every successful business relationship, and when choosing a property manager this is even more crucial. SCRUBS has built up a reputation as an efficient and trustworthy service provider that adheres to the highest ethical practices. Yoel’s philosophy is rooted in honesty, integrity, and trust, and he is proud of the strong relationships he has formed with clients over the years. A ONE-STOP-SHOPA good manager needs to be an expert in everything to do with property. SCRUBS Management looks after every single aspect of the management, maintenance and letting of your investment. They are proud of the fact that they focus in on every detail, and aim to go above and beyond, offering a quick turnaround time with any issue that arises. You’ll even receive a monthly report detailing everything that’s been checked.When you’re away from your property for weeks at a time, it’s important to keep everything running smoothly, so SCRUBS will check the alarm system is working properly and sort out the mail. They will inspect the bathrooms, the balcony, and electricity to ensure that there are no problems. And if there is an issue, they’ll get it fixed promptly and professionally. Even pre-arrival preparations will be made so that after a long flight, you are greeted by a clean house, a fully stocked refrigerator and pantry, and a freshly made bed. NAVIGATING THE ISRAELI SYSTEMIn Israel, connections are everything. Without the right contacts, it can be surprisingly difficult to find trustworthy and skilled technicians to perform prompt repair work and renovations, especially when you’re abroad or don’t speak the same language. SCRUBS have a solid network of professionals for every scenario — whether it’s a handyman, plumber, or electrician — and all of them are English speakers, licensed and covered by a warranty. Of course, there will also be a representative from SCRUBS there to oversee and evaluate the work being done. SCRUBS will go to meetings on behalf of the client, whether it’s with lawyers, contractors, vaad ha-bayit, or anything else.The focus is always on getting the job done right the first time. One happy client agrees. “We had a problem with gas fumes in our apartment for a number of years,” he says. “No one we called could find the source of the problem. We called Yoel and within hours his guy found that the leak was coming from below where bad workmanship had damaged a sewer pipe. I just wish I’d called him earlier!” CHEAP IS EXPENSIVEClose attention to detail separates SCRUBS from other management companies. “Some companies will cut corners to lower costs in the short term,” Yoel explains. “But cheap always ends up expensive. Something goes wrong a little further down the line, or the finishing is not up to scratch, and then the landlord has to spend more money and time to fix the new problems.” Often, the initial cost works out cheaper too as SCRUBS can get better rates from vendors than had the landlord approached the vendor himself.Yoel relates a story from a tenant who experienced first-hand what can happen with cowboy managers. After eight days without hot water and multiple calls from the tenant, the manager of the property (owned by an absentee landlord) finally sent someone round—an unlicensed handyman!—to look at the boiler. Once the handyman arrived, it was clear he had no idea what he was doing. He insisted it was “fixed,” but lo and behold, there was still no hot water. The tenant then called a licensed electrician who immediately saw that the wires had burned out, and promptly fixed the problem. Needless to say, the manager was furious that the tenant had “gone behind his back,” and the landlord ended up paying a call-out fee for both the handyman and the professional. Jerusalem-based SCRUBS Management offers property management services, from electrical work and plumbing, laundry and cleaning to placing properties on the market. You can contact the company at 054-207-4969, +442037697387, or visit them online at  

Buying Real Estate In Israel? Not Before You Read This 

Whether you are making Aliyah, buying a vacation or investment apartment, or just want to fulfill a lifelong dream of owning a home here; this is what you need to consider: What are my additional costs aside from the price of the apartment? What is the right type of property for me?  How much will a bank lend me? How great is my risk regarding resale value and investment potential?  There are obviously other considerations as well, but asking yourself these questions is an excellent start. Purchase Costs:  Buying an apartment in Israel is not just about the price of the apartment itself; as there are considerable costs surrounding the purchase. The costs are: purchase tax, agents fee, lawyers fee, transferring fees and potentially other miscellaneous costs.  1) Purchase tax – The most substantial cost surrounding the purchase of a home especially for a foreign buyer or investor. Owning more than one property will increase this tax significantly.  Tax scale for Israeli residents purchasing their first home: (Note: If you are an Israeli resident purchasing a second property and intend to sell your first home within a year and a half of your purchase this applies to you as well) Up to NIS 1.623.320 there is no purchase tax, From NIS 1.623.320 to NIS 1.974.335 the purchase tax is 3.5% on the difference, From NIS 1.974.335 to NIS 5.093.535 the purchase tax goes up to 5% on that difference From NIS 4.967.445 to NIS 16.978.450 the purchase tax goes up to 8% Above NIS 16.978.450 its 10% on the difference.  Tax scale for investors and foreign buyers (Anyone that already owns a property and is purchasing an additional property) Up to NIS 5.095.570 – 8% From NIS 5.095.570 – 10% on the difference 2) Agent’s fee – In Israel, buyers and sellers customarily pay an agents fee of 2% plus VAT.  Most professional agents in Jerusalem cooperate with other agents, leading to a separate buyers and sellers agent, with each agent representing their parties interests.  However, at times an agent can represent both buyer and seller, receiving commission from both parties. 3) Attorney’s fee -An attorney fee structure in Israel is typically commission based.  There is no title insurance, so a competent attorney must inspect the property’s registration and legal status.  Attorney’s typically charge 1% plus VAT. 4) Conversion and other closing costs – Such costs include the money lost on bank fees, conversion rates, registration fees, etc.  This can add up to approximately 1% of the purchase price.  On first hand apartments purchased from developers / contractors; other fees such as interest rates based on the building index, and a fee for the attorney registering the property will apply. In other words, your costs on a second-hand apartment purchase price of $1,000,000, as a foreign buyer, will be another $120,000 or approximately 12% above the price of your property. What is the right property for me?The where and the what must coincide.  For example, if you are interested in purchasing a property in Mamilla that can fit your family of 10 comfortably; it simply won’t happen with a budget of $500,000.  Depending on what is more important i.e. location or having a place large enough for your family to use at the same time, will determine where you can begin your search.  Many buyers reduce their expectations, change their preferred location, or increase their budget in order to find the right property.  For example, we had a client that wanted a property that would comfortably fit their children and grandchildren for when they visit.  They realized that in order to do that in Rechavia, they would need to spend more than double their budget.  They decided that they prefer purchasing a two bedroom that fit their needs year-round. When their children would visit they would simply rent one of many short-term rental apartments in the area.  By doing so they would not compromise on location and instead compromised on space. The purpose of your purchase is very important in defining your search as well.  For example, if you are observant and plan on only using the apartment 3 times a year, and 1 of those times is Sukkoth, then having a Sukkah porch or garden is essential.  This becomes less significant to someone who will be living in the property full time. Some buyers are looking to rent out the apartment on a long or short-term basis as a source of income. Others are buying a primary residence for their married daughter and son in law.  All of these factors are obviously important. Location, location, location.  This goes without saying and should be the most significant parameter when choosing your next home.  This is true for both proximity to places and areas you want to walk or have accessible transportation to, as well as the physical location of the building (on a Main Street, near a school, across from the park). How much will a bank lend me?A foreign buyer may receive up to 50% financing from an Israeli bank.  An Israeli resident can take up to 70% financing.  Borrowing money from a foreign bank against an asset in Israel is virtually impossible.  While new banking regulations have made the process quite tedious, taking out a mortgage from an Israeli bank has become quite common for foreign buyers.  ***One must keep in mind that banks will not necessarily appraise the property you are purchasing for the full amount, so make sure to get a realistic appraisal estimate before signing a sales contract.  Your mortgage will not cover you purchase fees (purchase tax, agents and lawyer’s fees) so this too must be taken into account.  I always recommend working with a reputable mortgage broker to help you navigate through this process. How great is my risk regarding resale value and investment potential?As risky as any real estate investment in a major city with consistently high demand.  Obviously, there are fears unique to Jerusalem, such as security.  Since the last intifada, even during periods of war and terrorism, Jerusalem has enjoyed a steady increase in prices. Some say this price increase is a sign of a bubble about to burst.  Even with the increase in building, high per meter prices in comparison to other cities, and other factors – Jerusalem is Jerusalem with limited space to build, certainly within close proximity to the Old City. On the investment side if you are looking for a 10% (or even a 5%) return on investment you will be hard pressed to find anything in the central Jerusalem neighborhoods.  Simply put, the amount that you receive for rent per month on a typical Central Jerusalem apartment comes out to less than 3% of the property value per year.   This is not an exciting return.  Some foreign buyers want to buy an apartment and rent it on a short-term basis (per night, week, month etc.) in order to also be able to enjoy it when they come to Israel.  In many cases this can actually be more lucrative that renting out long-term (on an annual basis).  Of course, this requires more work and overhead such as utilities, municipality tax etc.  What has been more impressive than the annual ROI on both a long and short-term basis has been the resale value.   Prices in Israel over the last 10 years have increased by over 100%.  So aside from fulfilling the longtime dream of owning a piece of Jerusalem, buying a property here has proven to be a financially rewarding endeavor. At this point you might be confused or you might just be an expert. Either way at SCRUBS Management we help buyers, sellers and investors navigate through the process of purchasing or selling their home here in Jerusalem. For a free consultation and discussion in purchasing your dream home or selling at the right time and price you may contact Yaniv at

Has the purchase tax increase crippled the real estate market?

The single most significant issue for every Israeli politician other than security has been tackling the high cost of living, most notably “ The Housing Crisis” — or the ever increasing cost of real estate. Prices in Israel over the last 10 years have increased by over 100%, and until 2015 they weren’t showing signs of slowing down. But then something changed.   Since late 2015 the amount of real estate transactions has decreased in some areas by over 30%.  This significant drop in sales has especially been felt throughout Jerusalem.  According to The Marker Foreign buyers who have dominated the high-end market in the central Jerusalem neighborhoods, have purchased 40% less apartments in 2016.  Investors who once bought any apartment yielding over a 3% return in a “good” location, are now buying less expensive apartments yielding higher returns, in the US, eastern Europe, and Asia. As an example, Gabai Real Estate listed a 3 bedroom apartment in the popular Old Katamon neighborhood of Jerusalem in 2015.  We had an agreement on price for over NIS 2,600,000.  The seller got cold feet and then re-listed the property with our company just a year later and closed a deal with a buyer for NIS 200,000 LESS.  What happened?  The buyer in 2015 was an investor looking for his 3% plus ROI, and of course the seemingly ever-increasing re-sale value. However, the buyer in 2016 like many buyers was a couple simply looking for a place to live. Miriam’ from Haifa, who inherited her first apartment in Jerusalem’s city center more than 10 years ago, has since been purchasing apartments like they’re going out of style.  Mr. ‘Bernstein’ from Cedarhurst, already owns two apartments in Talbieh and was looking for a 3rd.  A nice, but not too nice 3 bedroom apartment for his second married daughter, that is within walking distance to the Kotel.  But Miriam won’t be making any new additions to her collection anytime soon, and now is ‘not the right time’ for Mr. Bernstein to buy anything. There are infinite potential causes for the tired, almost comatose market we are experiencing, from an increase in building, record high housing prices, the threat of additional taxation on investment properties, to the weakening foreign currency against the Shekel. But perhaps one of the most significant causes is the increase in purchase tax, and overall feeling, that as an investor or foreign buyer you have a target on your head. Right before July of 2015 the purchases tax increased, for both foreign buyers and investors (who are treated equally in the eyes of the tax authority) to 8% for purchases made up to NIS 4,800,000 and 10% on every Shekel above that figure. This increase in many cases almost doubles the amount of tax ‘Diana’ has to pay when purchasing her pied a terre in Netanya.  Add agents and lawyer fees, registration and conversion fees; and you are talking about 12-14% in purchase costs alone.  So, what’s another NIS 420,000 between friends when you have a cool million dollars to spend on a vacation apartment you ask? Simply stated when the Israeli banks are giving you a colonoscopy for the trouble of transferring money from abroad, and will only give you up to 50% financing, that’s a lot of trouble for a charming two-bedroom apartment in Tel Aviv.  This ultimately then leads to investors figuring this into their bottom line and the math doesn’t add up.  Rental returns are already minuscule and adding 8% to the mix is just plain unappealing. This all must be great news! It must be a sign that after 10 years the prices are finally going down; young couples and college students can now buy beach front property.  Well, I don’t know about that, government interference in the market has a history of having the opposite effect.  So, until then, while we all may agree the market has cooled down, the question really is will the purchase tax be the nail in the coffin that ultimately brings the market down on its knees?—At this point you might be confused or you might just be an expert.Either way at SCRUBS Management we help buyers, sellers and investors navigate through the process of purchasing or selling their home here in Jerusalem.For a free consultation and discussion in purchasing your dream home or selling at the right time and price you may contact Yaniv at  





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