The Journey: “Clear to Close”


You’ve hoped. You wished. You even dreamt of buying a home and turning into your own. But what did it take to get there? You read a lot of ads. You looked through numerous magazines and articles, and you asked yourself, when will it be my turn? How many perakim of Tehillim? How many requests did you make when you lit your candles? You prayed your tefillot, and whispered to Hakodosh Baruch Hu, we need more space for our growing family. We need more bedrooms, bathrooms, play space, a space to eat at the table, etc. 

Finally, the moment arrives, you found a home with a mortgage that’s within your budget, and you place your whole trust in Hashem, that it will come into fruition. The paperwork is daunting. Take a deep breath, put your faith in the One Above, make lists and sub-lists, and become super-organized. 

Underwriting Requirements 

Below are a list of documents that you should be prepared to provide: 

Income Documentation –  such as paystubs, W-2s, and tax returns. 

Asset Documents – to show enough funds for closing plus any reserves the bank may require.  

Bank Deposits – information about large deposits (more than 50 percent of your monthly income per day) and any cash deposits. Anything that can’t be explained will be omitted from your balance. 

Credit Score – make sure you make all of your payments on time so that your score stays high and pay down any high balances on cards (over 30 percent of high credit limit). Remember, let your loan officer run your credit as credit karma is usually not accurate. If he or she can increase your score by a few points it may save you tens of thousands of dollars over 30 years.  

Gift Letter – a written statement that declares that funds you received as a gift were not given as a loan (note, all gifts must come from relatives, and the relative’s relationship to you must be explained).

Additional Requirements 

Aside from standard funding conditions, other requirements may be added after an underwriter reviews your loan and application. 

Don’t let any of these things stand in your way. Everyone else did it, and you will do it too! Respond punctually to your lender. Provide the documents they request in a timely manner. They may ask for the same documents multiple times. And some requests may seem irrelevant. Just keep your cool. Give only what they ask for. Don’t disclose any extra information. Don’t change jobs or quit your job. If you still have the same job you had when you applied for a mortgage get a proof of employment document. That makes you a safe bet. Communicate with your settlement agent, title company, or attorney. Ask if they need anything else from you, so the process can move along quicker. When in doubt ask the lender for advice, find out what info they require. 

You’ve done everything you possibly could. So, what happens next? Once you are clear to close, you’ve entered the final stretch. Can you smell the wet paint of your new home drying? It shouldn’t take that much longer. Once cleared, the attorneys schedule a closing date. 

You made it! It has been some journey. There were high roads and low roads. There were lots of hopes and wishes. May this be the beginning to building your final home in Jerusalem! 

Brick Is Best 

Brick homes are fire-resistant and will often have lower homeowner’s insurance premiums. Brick is unaffected by moisture because it naturally absorbs and then releases moisture without damage. The clay used is one of the most abundant natural materials on the planet, making brick environmentally friendly. Brick helps insulate a home, resulting in more consistent indoor temperature, keeping heating and cooling bills down.

FuN FaCtS 

You know the holes on the bottom of your brick house aren’t foundation problems, they are called “weep holes.” Between the exterior brick and the plywood there is an air gap that functions as a rain screen. Any moisture that gets behind the brick drains down to the bottom of the wall and out through the weep holes.