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Updated on December 5, 2013
Wecome to Israel Real Estate Glossary
Wecome to Israel Real Estate Glossary

Israel Real Estate Glossary

Israel Real Estate Glossary is the English resource for terms to buy, sell & rent real estate in Israel. Find 140 definitions, photos of cities & resources.


Are you buying a home in Israel and confused by the process? This glossary will help you understand the terms used for buying and selling real estate in Israel.

If you are making aliyah, moving to Israel for an extended stay, purchasing a second home or vacation property, finding your home in the Homeland requires learning the real estate terminology used in Israel. Find over 140 definitions of Israel real estate terms in this online resource.


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Acre, Israel
Acre, Israel
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A is for the City of Acre

Absorption Committee
See Va'ad Klitah

Abstract of Title
See Title Extract.

The acknowledgment is the signature on a document and usually refers to the signing of a legal document.

An acre is a unit of land measure used in America. In Israel an acre is the equivalent of 4.5 dunams.
Convert acre to dunam calculator

Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM or VRM)
An adjustable rate mortgage (or variable or floating rate mortgage) is a mortgage without a fixed interest rate. The mortgage interest and payment will fluctuate based on the terms specified in the loan documents. ARMs are tied to a known index and your rate will be determined by a specific margin over this index. In Israel, LIBOR rates are often used as the index. ARMs should have a Cap, which is the maximum ceiling on the interest adjustment. The Hebrew term for adjustable interest rate is reebit mishtana.

An adrichal is an architect in Hebrew.

An ambatia is a bathtub or a room with a bathtub in Hebrew.

A feature of the home or property that benefits the buyer; it may be natural (such as a view, a nearby forest, nature trail) or man-made (such as a large mirpeset, community swimming poor or neighborhood park).

The repayment of a mortgage loan through monthly installments over a specific term of months or years, including payments of principal and interest; the monthly payment schedule systematically reduces the principal balance of the loan so that at the end of the term the mortgage is paid in full. A true amortization schedule can only be calculated on fixed-interest rate loans.

Amortization Schedule
An amortization schedule is a table showing the amounts of principal and interest due at monthly intervals on a loan, and the unpaid mortgage principal balance after each payment is made.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
An Annual Percentage Rate is used in America as a legal expression of the true interest rate of a loan, factoring all costs associated with the loan into the interest rate. The APR enables a borrower to more thoroughly evaluate and compare the interest rates offered by lenders. Use of an APR quote is not the custom in Israel, but the borrower may find the APR by using mortgage calculators available on the Internet.

An apartment is called a dira in Hebrew. In Israel, apartments are purchased as condominiums are in other countries. An apartment purchase will include the individual home unit and also common areas in the building. The owner will also share in the financial responsibility for maintenance and repair of the common areas.

An appraisal is an estimate of a property's fair market value prepared by a property evaluation expert. The appraisal will determine what a willing buyer will pay for a property in current market conditions. In Israel an appraisal is often called a 'survey' or an 'assessment.' A mortgage lender will require an appraisal and will base the maximum mortgage loan as a percentage of the appraised value of the property.

An appraiser is the qualified individual who prepares the appraisal report. In Israel the appraiser is also called a 'surveyor.'

Appreciation is the increase in value of a property over time, due to market conditions.

Arevut Bankait
This is the Hebrew term for 'bank guarantees.' If you are purchasing 'on paper', that is, from a builder's planned blueprints instead of a finished residence, bank guarantees are important to secure the completion and to secure your advanced funds toward the purchase

See Adjustable Rate Mortgage.

Arnona is the municipal tax paid by owners or renters of property in Israel. Arnona pays for city services such as the maintenance of water and sewer lines. Arnona is billed in an annual invoice, but may be paid in installments. Many discounts are offered (for new immigrants, senior citizens, widows, etc.) and people should always check with the Arnona office to ask about discounts for which they may qualify. This tax is very similar to a real estate tax in other countries.

In Israel an assessment is another term for appraisal.

The Hebrew term for attorney is orech din. Unlike in America, real estate purchases in Israel require the use of an attorney. Typically, attorneys charge a percentage of the value of the real estate and their fees can be quite high.

Beersheva, Israel
Beersheva, Israel

B is for the City of Beersheva

Balloon Mortgage
The periodic payments on a balloon mortgage do note fully amortize the loan payoff. The balance of the mortgage is due in a lump sun payment at the end of the loan term.

Bank Guarantees
In Israel, builders of home projects are required to obtain bank guarantees to protect buyers in the case of a builder's insolvency. The Hebrew term is Arevut Bankait.

Bank Mashkantaot
This is the Hebrew term for 'mortgage bank.' Unlike the U.S., there are no independent mortgage companies in Israel and all residential mortgages are made by Mortgage Banks affiliated with commercial banks.

Bne Beitcha
In Hebrew, this is a term meaning 'build your own home.' From time to time, Israel communities offer a program for people to build a single-family home on a private lot.

B'tuach Leumi
B'tuach Leumi is the National Insurance Institute of Israel. All Israel citizens receive health insurance from B'tuach Leumi. Homeowners also receive insurance from acts of war or terrorism for personal and property damage.

Building Codes
In Israel building codes are established by the government to ensure the quality and safety of new construction and home or building improvements. Building permits are required for all new construction and improvements. Homes and additions built without permits are subject to demolition.

Business Exemption
A business exemption is a reference to allowances in Jewish law for charging interest. For a mortgage in Israel, an allowance is made for the charging of interest with the use of a Heter Iska. Check with your Rabbi for a recommendation regarding the wording of a Heter Iska.

Carmel, Israel
Carmel, Israel

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C is for the Moshav of Carmel

A cap is a safeguard on an adjustable rate mortgage that limits the amount the payment can increase at each payment adjustment and over the term of the mortgage loan.

Capital Gains Tax
Mas Shevach is the capital gains tax paid by the seller of real estate.

Chalonot Bidut
Chalonot Bidut are 'double-glazed' windows in Israel. These provide extra comfort during hot and cold seasons and provide a real savings on a homeowner's utility costs.

Chamber of Real Estate Brokers (Lishkat Hametavchim)
This is the professional organization of Israel real estate brokers who adhere to the organization's standards of ethical practice and cooperation on the sale of properties.

Chashmela'i is the Hebrew word for 'electrician.'

Children's Clubs
Many apartment condominium buildings have rooms designated as children's clubs, Nechasim in Hebrew.

Cloud on the Title
A cloud on the title is an irregularity, possible claim, or encumbrance which, if valid, would adversely affect or impair the title to a property.

This is the combined-loan-to-value ratio of all mortgages against a property divided by the value of the property. For example, a borrower with a primary mortgage of $80,000 and a home improvement mortgage of $10,000 for a home worth $100,000 would have a CLTV of 90%.

Property pledged as security for a debt, for example, mortgaged real estate.

An amount, usually a percentage of the property sales price, that is the professional real estate agent fee for finding a property or a buyer for a property, and for negotiating the sale. A commission is also charged by the attorney for the real estate transaction.

See Apartment.

Consumer Price Index
The Israel Consumer Price Index indicates the status of inflation in the Israel economy.
Link for the Consumer Price Index in Israel

Cooperative ownership of property in Israel is a form of multiple ownership in which a corporate entity holds title to a property and grants occupancy rights to shareholders or members. A Moshav and a Kibbutz are types of cooperatives.

A cottage in Israel is a home sharing a common wall with another home. A cottage has more than one level or story, one of which is at the ground level providing a garden area. This is similar to the word 'duplex' in America.

Dimona, Israel
Dimona, Israel

D is for the City of Dimona

Debt-to-Income Ratio
The debt-to-income ratio is the relationship of a borrower's monthly payment obligation on long-term debts divided by gross monthly income and is expressed as a percentage. Mortgage banks will use this ratio to evaluate a potential borrower's ability to repay the mortgage loan. Usually a borrower's debt-to-income ration should not exceed 36%.

A deed is the legal instrument that conveys the interests in a property from one party to another, for instance, from the buyer to the seller of a home.

A dira is an apartment in Hebrew. 'Apartments' are dirot.

Dirat Gan
A dirat gan is a garden apartment in Hebrew, which means that the apartment has a walk-out to an attached garden that is also the private property of the apartment owner.

Dud Shemesh
This is the Hebrew term for a solar hot water heater. These are also used for heating radiators in the wintertime.

In Israel a Du-Mishpachti is a two-family property or a home sharing a common wall with another home. (In the United States this is called a 'duplex.' See duplex and cottage.)

In Israel a dunam is a unit of land measurement equivalent to 1,000 square meters. One dunam equals 0.22239 acre. Convert dunam to acre calculator

In many countries a duplex is a property joined by a common wall to one other housing unit. In Israel, however, a duplex is an apartment condominium unit which has two levels within the home, i.e., an upstairs and a downstairs. Compare to Du-Mishpachti and Cottage.

Eilat, Israel
Eilat, Israel

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E is for the City of Eilat

An easement is a right or interest to use of the land of another, such as the right granted to utilities to place utility lines on a property.

The equity in your home is the difference between what your home is worth now and what you owe on your present mortgage. Your equity in real estate is an asset on your financial statement.

EMI is a private company which provides insurance to a mortgage lender that the borrower's payment will be made and provides protection to the lender in case of the borrower's default. EMI provides what is called in other countries 'private mortgage insurance' or 'mortgage insurance.'This insurance is a cost to the borrower, but enables the purchase of a home with a smaller down payment.

An encumbrance is an obligation that attaches to real estate and is held by a party who is not the owner of the property. The real estate may be bought and sold even though there are encumbrances attached to the property. An encumbrance may take the form of a lien against the property, such as a mortgage or taxes, or may represent limitations of use such as utility poles or cable connections.

Eretz Yisrael
Eretz Yisrael means 'the land of Israel.'

Escrow is money on deposit with a third party to be delivered upon the fulfillment of a condition. For example, your Israel real estate attorney may hold some of your money for the purchase of a home in escrow, to be delivered to the seller upon the seller's payment of all property taxes and his transfer of title to you.

Examination of Title
An Israel real estate attorney will examine the title of a home you want to buy. This examination will reveal the true owner of the property, the structures being transferred, any liens or encumbrances, clouds on the title, and other vital information regarding the rights to the property.

Exchange Rate
The exchange rate (Sha'ar Yatzig) refers to the rate of the Israel Shekel (NIS) compared to other world currencies. The Bank of Israel announces changes in the exchange rate at 12:00 noon on business days. The official posting is found at: National Bank of Israel official exchange rates

Extract of Title
See Title Extract.

Giv'atayim, Israel
Giv'atayim, Israel

G is for the City of Giv'atayim

Fair Market Value
The price at which property is sold between a willing buyer and a willing seller, each of whom has a reasonable knowledge of all pertinent facts and neither being under any compulsion to buy or to sell. Appraisers are required to determine the fair market value in their appraisals.

Fixed-rate mortgage
A fixed-rate mortgage has an interest rate that remains the same for the life of the loan. The interest rate is determined at the origination of the mortgage. The Hebrew term for fixed interest rate is reebit kavua.

Full Disclosure
In Israel real estate transaction, the real estate agents and the seller are required to reveal all the known facts or defects in a property which may affect the decision of a buyer or tenant. Facts that are unknown may only be revealed in a property inspection by a licensed structural engineer.

Gemach is a free-loan society. Gemachs in Israel offer loans without interest which can be used for down payments when purchasing or for home improvements.

Geves means drywall in Hebrew.

Gina means garden in Hebrew and is the same as a 'yard' or 'backyard.' The plural is ginot.

Guarantors are individuals who guarantee the payment of another person's loan. Guarantors used to be required on all mortgage loans and tenant leases, but are being phased out in Israel real estate loans and leases.

The Gush refers to the section of land in which a property is located and is used in the legal description of real estate.

Haifa, Israel
Haifa, Israel

H Is for the City of Haifa

Heder Migun
A heder migun is a "sealed room" which is a room in a home that has been prepared for protection against a possible non-conventional war threat. It is also known by the Hebrew acronym "Mamak."

Heitel Hashbacha
The heitel hashbacha is a property betterment tax and is assessed when major home improvements are made, such as the addition of a room or enclosing a patio.

The helka is used in the legal description of real estate and is the plot number of a property within a section (gush).

Heter Iska
A Heter Iska is a business exemption under Jewish law allowing for the charging of interest. For a mortgage in Israel an allowance is made to charge interest with the use of a Heter Iska. Check with your Rabbi for a recommendation regarding the wording or a Heter Iska.

Hevra Mexhakeme
Hevra Mexhakeme is the land registry for buildings under construction. When the government of Israel issues land permits and permission to a building company to build, the land records are held in this registry. In the case of a large apartment building, property title records will not be transferred from this office until all apartments are sold. This could take years. If you are purchasing a home or apartment in a new construction project, it is important to check back every year with your real estate attorney regarding the registration of title to your property. There have been cases where property titles have remained in this registry long after all housing units have been sold.

Histradut Tzionit Haolamit
Histradut Tzionit Haolamit is a special Israel land registry office that holds the records for property that is classed as 'abandoned.'

Hitchivut Lerishom Maskanta
Hitchivut Lerishom Maskanta is a document that is the 'Permission to Register a Mortgage.'

Jerusalem, Israel
Jerusalem, Israel

J is for the City of Jerusalem

An instelator is a plumber.

Interest is the fee charged by the lender for the use of money. The word in Hebrew is reebit.

Interest Rate
Interest rate is the amount of interest charged on a loan and is usually expressed as a percentage of the principal balance. The interest rate is determined by risk to the lender and the time-value of money.

The irya is the office of the municipality of a city.

Ishur Ekroni
An ishur ekroni is literally a 'confirmation in principle.' This is issued to a potential borrower by a mortgage bank and serves as a pre-qualification for the applicant. An official mortgage approval is not given until a contract of purchase is signed by all parties.

Karmiel, Israel
Karmiel, Israel

K is for the City of Karmiel

A kablan is a builder or building company.

Keren Kayemet
Keren Kayemet, the Jewish National Fund (JNF), was created to carry on fundraising for the purpose of purchasing land to create the Jewish homeland in Eretz Yisrael. It has given its holdings to the Israel Land Authority to manage.

A kibbutz is collective farm or settlement, owned by its members.

Lod, Israel
Lod, Israel

L is for the City of Lod, Home of Ben Gurion Airport

Legal Description
In Israel, the legal description of a property includes the Gush Number (Section), the Helka Number (Plot) and aTat Helka Number, which is a subplot for individual apartments within a building. The legal description to a property may be found on the Arnona bill.

Many adjustable rate mortgages In Israel are based on LIBOR. LIBOR is the London Interbank Offered Rates, which is the average rate of interest that major London banks are willing to pay each other for U.S. dollar deposits for various terms. Check current LIBOR rates

A lien is legal hold or claim of a creditor on the property of another as security for a debt, such as a mortgage loan or property taxes. Liens may be against real or personal property.

Lishkat Hametavchim
Lishkat Hametavchim is the Chamber of Real Estate Brokers in Israel. This is the professional organization of Israel real estate brokers who adhere to the organization's standards of ethical practice and cooperation on the sale of properties.

The LTV is the loan-to-value ratio. This is the ratio of the amount of a mortgage loan to the appraised value or sales price of real property and is expressed as a percentage. For example, a $90,000 mortgage on a home valued at $100,000 is a mortgage with a 90% LTV ratio.

Modi'in, Israel
Modi'in, Israel

M is for the City of Modi'in

The machsan is an extra room for storage.

The mamad is the Hebrew acronym for the secure room in an apartment building. It is specially constructed of steel reinforced concrete and is made to withstand bombs and earthquakes. When sealed, the room is impermeable to toxic chemical and biological gases. It is also known as Heder Migun.

The mamak is the Hebrew acronym for a communal security shelter which is also known as amiklat tsibor.

The margin is an amount the lender adds to an index to determine the interest rate on an adjustable rate mortgage. For example, a mortgage interest rate might be quoted as the LIBOR index plus 2%. The 2% is the margin.

A martef is a basement.

Mas Rechisha
Mas Rechisha is the purchase tax on real estate paid by the buyer.

Mas Shevach
Mas Shevach is the capital gains tax paid by the seller of real estate.

A mashkanta is a mortgage.

A mehandes is an engineer.

Metavech is the Hebrew term for real estate broker.

Mifrat Shinu'im
The mifrat shinu'im is the document which lists the changes that a purchaser requests a building contractor to make to a home under construction.

Mifrat Techni
The mifrat techni are the building specifications outlined in the contract to purchase a home under construction.

A miklachat is a shower in Hebrew. A heder miklachat is a room with a shower.

A miklat tsibori is a secure room, specially built and reinforced to withstand bombing and earthquakes, and has been required in homes and buildings in Israel since 1992. It is also known by the Hebrew acronym Mamak.

Minhal Mekarkei Yisrael
Minhal Mekarkei Yisrael is the regional land registry office known as the Government Lands Authority. Property that is not registered in the Tabu Land Registry may be registered here. However, you must have the owner's permission to view the property records in this office.
A mitbach is a kitchen.

A mirpeset is a balcony.

A mortgage is a pledge of property as security for a debt. In Hebrew, a mortgage is a mashkanta.

Mortgage Bank
In Israel a mortgage bank is a bank mashkantaot and is the major source of residential mortgage funds. Commercial mortgages can also be made by insurance companies and private lenders.

Mortgage Insurance
Mortgage insurance protects a lender against a borrower's default on a mortgage and is offered by an insurance company. See EMI.

Mortgage Note
A mortgage note is the loan document, the repayment of which is secured by a mortgage.

A moshav is a village and a multi-purpose cooperative.

Netanya, Israel
Netanya, Israel

N is for the City of Natanya

In Israel, nadlan means real estate.

Nechasim are children's clubs which are found in many apartment condominium buildings.

Nesach Tabu
See Title Extract.

A note is the general term for a document signed by a borrower that is an acknowledgment of debt and a promise to pay. When a note is secured by a mortgage, it is called a mortgage note.

Or Yehuda, Israel
Or Yehuda, Israel

O is for the City of Or Yehuda

Orech Din
Orech Din is the Hebrew for attorney.

On Paper
'On Paper' is the expression for purchasing an apartment from a builder's blueprints before construction begins.

Optzia is a pre-approved option to expand a structure, meaning that all municipal building permits have been obtained.

Petah Tikva, Israel
Petah Tikva, Israel

P is for the City of Petah Tikva

A penthouse is an apartment on the top floor of a building and sometimes it comprises the entire top floor.

Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a document by which one person (called the 'principal') authorizes another person (called the 'attorney-in-fact' or 'attorney') to act for him in a specific manner in designated transactions. In Israel a power of attorney is often used by buyer and seller to facilitate the sales transaction and transfer of title.

Prepayment Penalty
Many Israel mortgages have a prepayment penalty. A prepayment penalty costs the borrower additional money if a mortgage loan is paid off before the scheduled due date. A prepayment clause on a mortgage can be negotiated with a lender before a mortgage is made.

Prime Index
The Israel Prime Index is the prime interest rate set periodically by the Bank of Israel. Some loans are linked to this index.

The principal is the payoff amount of a mortgage debt. In Israel, the use of the word 'capital' in relation to mortgages refers to the principal.

Purchase Tax
Mas Rechisha in Hebrew is the purchase tax on real estate and is paid by the buyer.


R is for the City of Ra'anana

Radon is a dangerous radioactive gas found in some homes and buildings. Radon can be detected by professional testing.

Reebit Kavua
Reebit Kavua is the Hebrew term for fixed interest rate.

Reebit Mishtana
Reebit Mishtana is the Hebrew term for an adjustable interest rate.

Real estate records in Israel are filed in various government land registries. The filing of these records is called 'recording' or 'registering', and refers to the fact that the documents are of record.

Safed, Israel
Safed, Israel

S is for the City of Safed

A salon is living room or a living room/dining room combination.

Savlanut is the Hebrew word for 'patience.' If you are moving to Israel, pack plenty of this in your suitcase. You'll need it at mortgage banks, real estate attorney offices, and especially at government offices.

Sha'ar Yatzig
The exchange rate, Sha'ar Yatzig, refers to the rate of the Israel Shekel (NIS) compared to other world currencies. The Bank of Israel announces changes in the exchange rate at 12:00 noon on business days. Immediate postings are made to the Globes Newspaper Web site, but the official posting is found at: Bank of Israel official exchange rates

Shiran is the Israel Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This professional organization allows cooperation among member real estate companies to show and sell properties listed by other members.

A survey of real property delineates the boundaries of a parcel of land. In Israel the word survey can also mean the appraisal, though in English these are different concepts.

Shiran is an organization of real estate companies in Israel that cooperate to provide what in America is known as Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and the Jerusalem Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This allows one real estate agency to show and sell property listed by another agency.

Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv, Israel

T is for the City of Tel Aviv

Tabu is the Israel Government Land Registry Office. Most property ownership records can be found in this office or on its Internet site. You must have the legal description to locate a property's records.

Tat Helka
The Tat Helka is the number for a subplot of an individual apartment within a building. The Tat Helka is part of a property's legal description.

Tiach is plaster and is mostly composed of cement in Israel.

The title to real estate is the right to use the property or actual ownership of the property. Title refers can also refer to the documents establishing the rights to use or own real estate.

Title Extract
The title extract or title abstract refers to an examination of public records, laws, and court decisions to ensure that no one except the seller has a valid claim to real property. The extract will also disclose past and current facts regarding ownership of the real estate and rights of use under registered leases. An extract from the Tabu land registry office is called a Tabu. If a property is registered in Minhal Mekarkei Yisrael the extract is called yesharof Minhal.

Tzamud L'dollar
Tzamud L'dollar means 'inked to the U.S. Dollar' and is used in mortgage loans and also in tenant rental leases.

Tzamud L'Madad
Tzamud L'Madad means 'linked to the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI).'

Vered Yeriho, Israel
Vered Yeriho, Israel

V is for the Village of Vered Yeriho

Underwriting is the process of analyzing a mortgage loan application to determine the amount of risk involved in making the loan; it includes a review of the potential borrower's credit history, ability to repay, and an assessment of the property value.

Va'ad Bayit
A va'ad bayit is the cooperative of homeowners which manages the maintenance, repairs and cleaning of common areas.

Va'ad Klitah
The Va'ad Klitah is the Absorption Committee in some communities, villages, moshavim and kibbutzim. Not everyone who applies will be accepted. The Absorption Committee is looking for like-minded members who will be comfortable in the community and contribute to its goals.

Variable Rate Mortgage
See Adjustable Rate Mortgage.

A villa in Israel is a freestanding home or a single-family, residential housing unit.

Yavne, Israel
Yavne, Israel

Y is for the City of Yavne

Yechidat Horim
Yechidat Horim is the Hebrew term for master bedroom.

Yeshar Minhal
See Title Extract.

Yeshuv / Yeshuvim
Yeshuvim are small community villages. Many have a Va'ad Klitah.

Zichron Ya'akov, Israel
Zichron Ya'akov, Israel

Z is for the City of Zichron Ya'akov

The zakaut is a person's eligibility to receive a mortgage subsidized by the Israel government.

Zichron Devarim
The zichron devarim is the contract to purchase real estate. It is binding upon buyer and seller.

Zikui (ziku'im)
Ziku'im are credits used to determine eligibility to qualify for Israel government subsidized mortgages. Credits are given for military service, immigrant status, number of family members, etc.

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ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)