Romance & Real Estate – A Heartwarming Story
“Forty days before the creation of an embryo, a Heavenly voice issues forth and proclaims, ‘the daughter of so-and-so is destined for so-and-so, this particular house is destined for so-and-so, and this particular field is destined for so-and-so’.” Tractate Sotah 2a.
This 1,500 year old text linking marriage and real estate is the perfect introduction to a wonderful story, in which my partner Eliezer and I had the great fortune to participate.
In February 2012, our client Sara (all names are fictitious - but the story is 100% true!) from New Jersey, whose daughter Rena had recently made aliyah, visited Israel with the goal to purchase a two-bedroom Jerusalem apartment which would be used at least initially by her daughter. Rena was living in Nachlaot and enjoyed the neighborhood’s charm and central location, and was partial to staying in that community.
We anticipated that it would be a challenge to find a spacious 2-bedroom Nachlaot apartment for sale that fit Sara’s particular requirements and budget. In preparation for our meeting with Sara, we reviewed material on literally hundreds of apartments for sale and distilled the list down to five apartments to show her. Regrettably, our expectations were correct: there wasn’t even one Nachlaot apartment on the market that fit within Sara’s buying parameters.
Lo and behold, on the afternoon before we were scheduled to meet Sara, my partner Eliezer was picking up his son from a play date and the host’s mother mentioned to him that they had a lovely 80 square meter 2-bedroom ground floor apartment in Nachlaot, and asked whether we might by chance have a client who would be interested in purchasing it.
The next day we showed Sara the Nachlaot apartment, in addition to apartments in Rechavia, Katamon, Baka and San Simon. All of the units were nice, but the Nachlaot apartment was the perfect fit. We negotiated the price and terms, and the contract of sale was signed soon thereafter.
We often witness “hashgacha pratis” - Divine Providence, seeing G-d’s hand in the world - in our line of business. This transaction was another prime example of Divine Providence: finding the perfect apartment for our client while picking up a child from a play date!
That was the end of a nice feel-good story . . . or so we thought. Imagine how shocked and delighted we were when we received the following email from Sara regarding Assaf, the technician whom Eliezer had recommended to repair an air conditioner in her newly purchased Nachlaot apartment: “The broken air conditioner led to something much more important in our lives. Assaf and my daughter Rena [met when he came to fix the broken air conditioner and] were married shortly before Pesach! They are living in the apartment in Nachlaot, for now at least. If you ever write that book about Hashgacha Pratis, my story just became even more of a likely entry!“
As real estate agents, we are essentially matchmakers, and my particular focus - helping clients from abroad buy homes in Israel - is extremely meaningful and gratifying. However, I never expected that our brokerage work would put us in a position to help create the holiest match: the union of a husband and wife.
Gedaliah Borvick is the founder of My Israel Home, a real estate agency focused on helping people from abroad buy and sell homes in Israel. To sign up for his monthly market updates, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.