For half the cost of a 3-room apartment in Tel Aviv, you can buy or build an entire house in other parts of the country.
"…All that may sound straightforward enough but conversations with builders and families show that building economically is challenging, especially because people suddenly want to add this or that to their new house, and wind up breaking the budget. This usually starts with the size of the house itself. Most people want to take full advantage of building rights on a given lot, irrespective of how big a house they actually need and of their economic constraints.
“Ultimately, a house in the periphery is a substitute for a little apartment in the center,” says architect Yossi Gafni. “In Tel Aviv for instance that same money will get you a 2-3 room apartment in a dilapidated building. So for the same amount you can get a house in the periphery, but it doesn’t have to be a palace.”
Hate the idea of a small house? Plan options for its growth in the future, when you have the means, he advises, adding that a house 100 to 120 square meters in size is perfectly comfortable.
As for the kitchen, Gafni blames cooking shows on television for raising people’s expectations. The living room, dining nook and kitchen should be in proportion, he advises. “The problem is that because of all the food shows on television, people want me to plan the kitchen bigger than the living room. I understand what they’re after but it isn’t practical.”
Regarding the size of bedrooms and the living room, again people tend to go nuts, says Gafni. “People ask me for a 50-square meter living room, and then when you put in the couch and television corner you find a huge space.” The Housing Ministry standard for bedrooms is 8 square meters, while families tend to want larger ones of say 12 square meters and up. “The parents’ bedroom shouldn’t be bigger than 10 to 12 square meters, including the shower and walk-in closet, but people are asking me for bedrooms with 40 or 50 square meters. That’s their dream,” Gafni says…"