Mrs G and I have been scratching our heads trying to figure out where we want to live upon our return to Israel. We've been somewhat spoiled - our beautiful Baka apartment has a private entrance and a garden which is great for entertaining and we renovated the place ourselves. It's also where I proposed so it has lots of sentimental connections. For the last 3 years we've been renting it out to lovely people and on visiting over Pesach we were pleased to see that it's looking great and that our lemon tree is bearing fruit for the first time.
The flip side is however, that a 2 bedroom place is too small and the different levels that it inhabits (it's an imaginatively renovated old Arab style apartment split into 3 levels) means that the monkey will climb on everything (and hence will also fall off everything too). Mrs G has finally conceded that we can't live there again so we've been looking for other possibilities.
We've made the call to stay in Jerusalem - although I'd be happy to find a Yishuv already, my better half is insistent and as I'll likely be working in Jerusalem I can concede on that without much difficulty. The expense of Jerusalem is a worry though and, recognising that finding a bigger place in Baka (ideally we'd love a 5 room - that is 4 bedroom place) might well break the bank, we've been looking at nearby areas which are not as popular.
Over Pesach we spent a day with a wonderful realtor, looking at apartments in Armon Hanatziv. As the community has moved southwards and Ulpan Etzion has relocated into this neighbourhood, I feel that it has become a more viable option and still within range of our old stomping grounds. We saw 7 places in 5 hours and were impressed by what's available at prices which I wouldn't have believed possible in Jerusalem (including a stunning house at a price similar to what is being paid in Buchman, Modi'in where prices are now through the roof). We're pretty happy with the idea of making the move and now just need to get our place on the market and figure out which of the properties most interests us. My main concern is selling our place in the current market and it may be that we will end up renting first in the neighbourhood or close by but fingers crossed we'll find a buyer!