When the monetary crisis hit Lebanon back in late 2019, many depositors realized quickly that it will be very difficult to retrieve their money from Lebanese banks. The deposits were trapped inside the Lebanese banks and depositors had to find ways to limit their losses.
Many depositors acted really fast and started using their deposits to buy real estate in Lebanon. As a matter of fact, the period that recorded the highest number of real estate transactions was from November 2019 until mid 2021. Beyond that period, checks were rarely accepted as a form of payment for real estate transactions and fresh dollars or cash dollars were used instead.
But was the decision to buy real estate using the banker's check a good decision? We asked some of JSK Real Estate clients from that period and below are their answers.
Client 1: Mira
I took the decision really fast and I bought a brand-new apartment in Achrafieh using banker's check. My deposit was in US dollars and while the apartment was fully finished, the legal documents were not yet ready. It was still in the phase of ifraz and yet I decided to take the risk and buy the apartment. I am very happy to have taken the decision so fast as prices started going up quickly after that whenever one wanted to purchase via banker's check - as the check was loosing its value month after month. Today, I have an apartment with a legal sanad fully in my name and the apartment is rented out and giving me monthly income in fresh dollars. I am very happy with my decision to buy real estate using banker's check. I dread thinking that my money could have still been trapped until now in an account in USD at a bank. Thank you JSK Real Estate for finding me the perfect property match for my monetary situation at that time.
Client 2: Samira
My deposit was in LBP. I was lucky enough that it was in a saving account with a maturity date of November 2019. I used the money to buy a villa with the most amazing view 10 minutes away from Jbeil. The exchange rate started deteriorating at that time but was still around 2,000 LBP/$1. The villa was still under construction - which was a big risk but I knew that the risk of keeping my LBP money in bank was even bigger. Today my villa is finished and fully furnished and I count my blessings daily to have reacted so quickly at that point in time. I still have money trapped in Lebanese banks and I truly wish I used all of it to buy real estate in Lebanon. JSK Real Estate was able to find me a real estate deal in LBP - a very rare thing even back when the monetary crisis was in its beginning. I am truly forever grateful for their services.
Client 3: Jay
I was a bit late in taking the decision because I did not have enough money in the bank to fully cover a real estate transaction. But during 2020, my business was bringing me money in form of "lollars" and by mid 2021 I had a sizeable amount of money in my deposit. My agent at JSK Real Estate suggested an office for sale at a very reputable address. I ended up buying 2 adjacent offices and it is now the address of the HQ of my business. Needless to say I am extremely happy with that decision. Prices were higher using bankers check in mid 2021 - but it was still a good deal for me. Happy to have listened to my real estate agent in JSK Real Estate.
All the clients we have interviewed were happy for taking the decision to buy real estate by using their deposits in Lebanese banks. The faster that decision was taken, the better deal they were able to secure.
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