If you are renting out a house or apartment in Israel, one of the most important features to potential tenants will be the kitchen. Shaun Isaacson of Creative Estates Israel explains how to add value to your Israeli property by renovating the kitchen.
As in many other cultures, the kitchen is often the center of a Jewish home. Family life and social life in Israel tends to focus around eating, so your tenants may expect a fully-equipped modern kitchen in their rental apartment. So here are some helpful points to consider before you start to renovate:
Not everybody in Israel is religious, but a 2016 poll revealed that even one-third of secular Israelis said they keep a kosher home. This usually involves keeping dairy and meat dishes in separate cupboards, washing them in separate sinks, and sometimes – at the more religious end of the spectrum – even having two separate ovens. You may have to consider the size of the kitchen and practicality of installing multiple sinks and appliances, but there is no doubt that advertising a kosher kitchen will add to the rental value of your property in most areas of Israel.
Depending on the age of the building in which your kitchen is located, you may encounter practical challenges when trying to upgrade the plumbing. Installing a second sink, for example, may involve adding additional water and waste pipes. It is not recommended to throw food waste down the sinks in Israel because the pipes are often narrow and can become blocked easily. Unblocking pipes will usually be the landlord’s responsibility, so you may want to install filters in the kitchen sinks that can be easily cleared. For the same reason, sinks with food disposal systems are not common in Israeli kitchens. You will save yourself money in the long term if you help your tenants to avoid kitchen sink disasters and pipe blockages.
Chilling in Israel
Refrigerators and freezers are an essential feature of any Israeli kitchen. Because of the hot weather during most of the year, some Israeli cooks will keep almost all their ingredients in the refrigerator. It is considered good practice to keep flour, rice, sugar, and many dried herbs and spices refrigerated to avoid possible infestation and to conserve their flavor. When planning your kitchen renovation in Israel, we recommend leaving large gaps for your tenants’ to install their refrigerator and freezer. Some tenants may also want to install a cold water dispensing machine, which requires a thin pipe from the main cold water feed.
What is Shayesh?
When potential tenants walk into your new kitchen, they may ask about the ‘shayesh’. This is a catch-all Hebrew term that describes the kitchen surfaces that are usually made from stone. When renovating your Israeli kitchen you may want to choose natural granite or marble, but we recommend installing counter-tops made from caesarstone or other engineered stone materials. The advantage of these part-synthetic stone surfaces is that they are heat-treated and less likely to crack or show scratches. They are cheaper to install and maintain and will keep your kitchen looking good!
Creative Kitchens in Israel
Creative Estates Israel has renovated numerous kitchens in our clients’ rental properties. We have a team of contractors who have extensive experience in the various tasks involved in removing the old kitchen and installing a new one. We recommend that our clients talk to us before bringing in an expensive kitchen company, because we can always beat their prices and install a great-looking kitchen for less. Talk to us today about your rental property and any renovations that you require.
A typical Israeli kitchen renovation – taking it back to the basics!