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Hashmonaim: Small-Town Values

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Hashmonaim, located on the outskirts of Modiin, is a popular community for English-speaking olim (immigrants). Its appeal emanates from the town’s warm, close-knit, “small town” environment and its excellent central location.

Also known as Ramat Modiin, Hashmonaim was established as a “yishuv”—or...

What You Can Do to Prepare for Your Mortgage Process

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There are common issues that create difficulties for prospective borrowers. Recognizing these issues can be the difference between getting approved for a mortgage or not. It can also be the difference between getting a better rate or having a wider choice of products, rather than being limited to more restrictive products and higher rates and fees. In no particular order, these are the major themes:

Having a strong credit score

Credit is one of the four components that are critical for underwriting analysis. The other three are: income, assets, and collateral (i.e. the property itself).

1. Having an established credit history is essential to qualifying for a mortgage.

If you don’t...

Tzur Hadassah: An Alternative for Young Jerusalemites

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Tzur Hadassah is one of Jerusalem’s suburbs and is undergoing a major expansion. Nestled in the Judean Hills within Israel’s “green line,” the community is just a short drive to Hadassah’s Ein Kerem medical center and eight miles from Jerusalem’s city limits. Interestingly, it is gaining the attention of many young Jerusalemites looking to raise their families in more pastoral settings.

Tzur Hadassah is 750 meters above sea level and is surrounded by half a dozen nature reserves, which helps the town maintain a decidedly rural feel. It also offers panoramic views and a relatively cool and crisp climate, similar to Jerusalem.

Established in 1960 and named in honor of...

It’s all about the deal bout the deal - Not rate

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Or, Why a mortgage is not just about a rate

There are many variables that go into each and every mortgage deal, and every deal is unique unto the borrower. The helpful guidelines below will help you better understand the components of a rate quote and the effects on pricing.

1. Mortgage rates fluctuate daily. Some lenders lag behind the market, and some lenders adjust immediately to the market. Important to note: credit score, LTV, occupancy, transaction, and loan amount must always be looked at together to arrive at the best rate estimate.

2. A conforming mortgage conforms to Fannie Mae and Freddie Macs’ (the biggest purchasers of mortgages) guidelines. They generally have the best...

Givat Shmuel Offers Vibrant Community

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Givat Shmuel is a city located in Israel’s “Mercaz”—or central district—and is the largest and fastest-growing community of English-speaking students, young professionals, and newly married olim. By studying its history, location, and dynamics, we can understand how Givat Shmuel has become a hub for this important demographic.

Founded in 1944, Givat Shmuel was named after Samuel Pineles, a Romanian Zionist leader who was influential in helping Romanian Jews emigrate and settle in Israel. The city is well-located, less than 20 kilometers from Tel Aviv, and is bordered by Bnai Brak and Ramat Gan to the west, Kiryat Ono to the south, and Petach Tikvah to the east and north. It...

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