Monday, June 22, 2009

The Price of Greed

The last few years living in Toronto killed any sense of bitachon that I may have once had. The decision to move to Israel has restored it as I can clearly see how things work out, even if it is not the way we planned. The events surrounding our apartment are a perfect illustration of this point.

For those who have not been following here is the brief summary. When we took the apartment we wanted to stay long term so we had a an option for a 2nd year. With our time constraints we ended up agreeing to a double lose clause where we would be on the losing end of a fluctuating dollar whether it went up or down. At the time the negotiations started the dollar was hovering between 4.1 - 4.2 when it had been under 3.5 when we negotiated and signed the lease. Sticking to the lease put the rent at significantly above market value. Everytime we tried to negotiate the response was a new condition to staying. We made what we consider a generous offer. When he turned it down we starting looking around. He assured us that he was not worried about renting the apartment and had cousins scheduled to see the apartment the day after our renewal option expired.

We have found something a block away better suited to our needs and cheaper. Moving is a pain but it is still better than having to deal with renegotiated again next year.

We got an e-mail over the weekend. The cousins (who live two streets away) have decided not to move to Bet Shemesh. He offered us exactly what he was offering before in dollars (before he wanted that dollar amount converted to shekel at the rate on Sept. 1), which is what the apartment will be listed at. Thanks to events in North Korea, on the day he made the offer the exchange rate was only 110 NIS above what we had previously offered. Based on what we have seen there is a good chance that he will be stuck with an empty apartment. If it sits empty for just one month, the Vaad Bayit (building fees) and Arnona (property tax) will take at least over a year to recover.