Why understanding the "Mifrat" before buying a property is so important
I have lost track of how often I have written something like this. So why am I writing about this again? The reason is that every time I see somebody buying an apartment “on paper” (an Israeli practice where a property can be sold before it is actually built) without carefully understanding the pro
perty’s Specification Sheet, known in Hebrew as the Mifrat, I feel so angry and upset for them.
Here is the thing: The Mifrat is a 30-35 page document in which the seller describes the apartment, including what materials will be used, the finishings you can choose from, the value and the quality of the finishings, the shops where you can select them, the refund you will receive if you pr
efer to make upgrades, and so on.
From the Mifrat, you will understand not only the quality of the apartment but also whether the firm is serious and reliable.
It's not about understanding Hebrew; it's about understanding what is hidden under every single paragraph and reading between the lines.
I’ll give you an example. I recently started to work for a lovely client. She lives in NY, and she bought an apartment on paper in Israel. She speaks Hebrew fluently, so she thought she could understand the Mifrat easily. Unfortunately, there were many things that she had no idea she was supposed to check. For example, she likes mosaics, and she wants to upgrade the tiles offered by the builder.
When I saw the style she liked for the bathrooms, I immediately checked with the builder whether they allowed selecting mosaics for the bathroom walls. I also asked if there was a limitation regarding the tile dimensions she could choose. They answered that:
- They don't allow mosaic tiles at all - There are limitations to the dimensions of the tiles she can select - They charge a hefty extra fee for the work if she chooses nonstandard tiles. This information was not encouraging to say the least.
From my experience, I know that in some projects, the builder won’t allow the buyer to select the grout color, so I decided to check what the story was on this project.
I discovered that they only work with three grout colors - white, grey, and beige - and that there would not be any way for me to see them in person. I would have no way of knowing whether the grey ot beige were darker or lighter shades, and I would have to choose them without seeing them.
This can be a serious issue. The wrong grout can damage an entire design. Think about it, you will be spending a lot of money on upgrading the tiles. You would want to make sure that the tiles are surrounded by the right grout. Otherwise, the whole effect could be damaged! And this is aside from the fact that, in this case, the mosaic tile that my client wanted wasn’t even an option.
My client was shocked to hear this unpleasant news. What I suggest doing in such
cases is to take the apartment with the standard tiles offered by the builder and redo the bathrooms once you take possession of the property. It might be a bit more expensive than paying the additional fees to the original builder but not necessarily. It will take a bit more time to get the apartment ready, and it’s not the best option from an environmental point of view.
What would have been different if the buyer had known these things before signing the contract? First, it would have prevented t
he shock and the unpleasant feelings she now has. Second, she could have negotiated the price of the apartment or tried to have a grout-selection option added to the agreement.
This is just one of the countless examples showing how important it is for a buyer to review the Mifrat before buying a property. There are many things to look for in the Mifrat and to ask the builder about before you decide to buy an apartment on paper.
If this is the first time you are considering buying a property off-plan, and the building field is not your area of expertise, you would have no way of knowing what to check for.
For this reason, I have created a downloadable workbook with all the information you need b
efore you decide to buy any property and sign any contract.
The workbook includes a checklist of all the items you must check for in the Mifrat. You will find a list of questions to ask the builder about the property, the surroundings, the neighborhood’s future planning, and the project’s timetable. You will also find space to organize all the information that you will collect from the Mifrat,
so that it will be easy for you to see the whole picture.
If you follow all the steps, you will have a deep knowledge of the property, and you will be able to make an educated decision about whether it’s the right property for you to buy.
Grab your copy now! Once you download it, you can print it as many times as you wish and use it to compare different apartments you may be interested in.