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Want to create a home office to call your own? Before getting started you’ll want to take into consideration functionality as well as aesthetics. We’ve got some design tips to help you get started!

Location Is Key

No Spare Room? No problem. Find a small nook in your home to make into your work from your home office. All you need is a desk and a chair. 
 
Don’t forget that natural light is your best friend! Make sure the area you pick has enough natural light flowing in. You’ll want to avoid any glare on your device screens as well. This way you can continue to be productive without straining your eyes.

Storage

Be sure to figure out how much storage you’ll need before you start planning. Instead of adding filing cabinets, maybe you could add shelves for a more stylish approach.

Furniture

If you sit for long periods during the workday, then you’ll want a comfortable chair. Your desk should also have enough room for the devices you need such as your computer and printer.

Pick The Perfect Color 

This is the fun part! Pick a color that will get in a productive mindset for work. Research shows that orange stimulates concentration and boosts creativity! The colors white and purple tend to improve motivation. What color would you choose?

Personalize Your Work from Home Office 

Make the office space your own- add a touch of you! Here are a few ideas:

·        Add photos of your family, friends, or pets

·        Add shelving around your work area

·        Add a chalkboard or a whiteboard for ideas or a vision board with your goals

·        Put up posters

·        Buy a plant for your desk

·        Add a clock

Tips for Funding Your Home Office

Wondering how you’ll be able to pay for this new home office? The cost of your home office will depend on many factors. For instance, will you be building a new office or renovating an existing space?

In our recent blog, you’ll find tips on how to fund your home office from using your savings to refinancing to using Greenway’s Home Renovation Loan. Click here for all the details.


Helpful Resources

·        Tips for Funding Your Work from Home Office

·        Create Your Work From home Office with a Renovation Loan

·        Greenway’s Home Renovation Loans

·        Home Refinance

·        A Cash-Out Refinance May be the Solution You Need for Your Renovation Needs

·        Contact Greenway Mortgage

·        Get a Free Pre-Approval


The Giving Pot

Dec 8
11:39
AM
Category | General

 

It’s a joyous, festive time of the year, holiday lights, cozy fireplaces, gift-giving, family/friend gatherings, outdoor activities, and never-ending cups of hot chocolate!! The holidays bring out the best in us by sharing, caring, and spreading joy to everyone. Even doing something small like volunteering your time or donating a gift can make a difference, but also transform the world into a better, happier place. We could all agree that everyone can use some of that right now.

Greenway Gives Back This Holiday Season:

Here at Greenway Mortgage, our passion for home and community extends to our charitable giving. Throughout each year, we strive to make a difference in the communities we serve, by giving back to local organizations and supporting local charities. In fact, giving back has been a core value and key pillar of our mission.

The importance of giving back, especially during the holiday seasons is important to the Greenway Family. Spreading cheer and helping those in need is our mission.

After a year of chaos, anxiety and stress, many families could use a Christmas filled with joy. Some parents simply cannot afford to buy their children presents, while some children don’t have a family at all. With small acts of kindness, you can improve someone’s day.

Cue the Giving Pot…

The Giving Pot:

This year, the Greenway Family came together to donate to a small company who was also on a mission to help families in need this holiday season.

A female owned and operated business called the Ivy Mane had a great gift giving idea they named the Giving Pot. The idea behind it? 100% of the sales produced from the Giving Pot are used to purchase gifts for children in need this holiday season. Greenway Team Members personally purchased a Giving Pot on Tuesday, December 7th for this incredible cause and to help lift the spirits of those who need it most this year.

Together the Greenway Family collectively raised $700 for the Ivy Mane through purchases with the Giving Pot platform. In addition to the Greenway Team's support, some good friend of ours, contributed to the Giving Pot cause which brought our grand total to over $2K in wrapped presents for children in need this holiday season. Thanks to all who have supported! Your donations will help many children have a great holiday, this season!

How can you help?

We hope that you will consider purchasing a Giving pot among your gifts this year. You will be giving in more ways than one!

Let’s make a difference together. Spread the word of giving. Wishing you Happy Holidays from your friends at Greenway Mortgage.


 

The holiday season is officially here. Why not tap into your home equity with a Cash-Out Refinance? A Cash-Out Refinance can be a good way to pay for those home improvements you’ve been longing to get done.

recent report from data firm Black Knight found that the average U.S. homeowner has $153,000 in “tappable” home equity — an all-time high. How do you take equity out of your home? And when is it a good idea to do so? We’ll cover all this and more in today’s blog.

What Does It Mean to Have Equity In Your Home?

Basically, having equity means that you have cash value build up in your home. It is the difference between what you own on your mortgage and what your home is currently worth. Take for instance if you owe $150,000 on your mortgage and your home is worth $200,000, you have $50,000 in equity in your home.
 
Equity grows year by year as you pay down your mortgage and as your home increases in value.
 

However, don’t think of equity as liquid cash. Instead, to put the money to work, you need to convert home equity into liquid cash. Que the cash-out refinance loan.

What is a cash-out refinance?

A Cash-Out Refi is designed for homeowners who have an existing mortgage and want to refinance to get cash in-hand at the time of closing. This is achieved using the equity in your home that we talked about before.

A cash-out refi will replace your existing mortgage with a new home loan for more than you owe on your home. The difference goes to you in cash, and you can spend it on things such as home improvements, to pay off debts or other financial needs.

Is it a good time to get a cash-out refinance?

Most homeowners nowadays will find that they have a significant amount of equity built up. If that’s the case, why not put it to good use? Contact the loan experts at Greenway Mortgage to discuss your options so we can help you get the loan that meets your needs.

With a cash-out refi, you can tap into your hard-earned equity. Here are a few benefits a Cash-Out Refinance has to offer:

  • Consolidate high-interest debts into a single, low-interest loan

  • Invest in home improvements that will increase your home’s value

  • Build the perfect work from home office

  • Buy your dream vacation home

  • Invest in your future – pay for education

  • Pay off your wedding

  • So much more!

Bottom Line:

With rates currently still low, now might be a uniquely good time to tap into your homes’ equity. Reach out to the experts at Greenway Mortgage to discuss your options.  


 

The holidays are quickly approaching. ‘Tis the season for giving!

If you or someone you know is looking to purchase a home this holiday season, what better gift to give than a gift to last a lifetime in the form of a down payment for a close family member?

If you’re considering giving the gift of homeownership to someone this year, there are some things you need to know as gift funds must meet certain requirements. We’ll cover the different loan programs that allow borrowers to use gift funds towards their down payment.

FHA Loan Gift Fund Guidelines

Who Can & Can’t Give FHA Gift Funds:

  • If you apply for an FHA loan, your gift funds must be from family or another eligible donor.
  • A close friend with a clearly defined and documented interest in the borrower.
  • The FHA allows gifts from your employer, a labor union or from charitable organizations.
  • You can use funds from government agencies or public entities that help low-to-moderate income or first-time home buyers.
  • Cousins, nieces, and nephews are not able to offer gift money under standard family guidelines.

What Can FHA Gift Funds Be Used For?

  • Gift funds can be used to cover things such as the down payment, FHA closing costs, or even the reserves needed for approval. In addition, if the gift is large enough, it could cover everything mentioned above.
  • Your down payment can come from gift funds if your credit score is above a certain amount. However, the down payment used for an FHA loan cannot come from another loan or source where the down payment needs to be repaid (i.e., another loan or credit card advance)
  • Finally, FHA Gift Funds can be used on primary residences only.

Conventional Loan Gift Fund Guidelines

Most conventional mortgage loans allow homebuyers to use gift money for their down payment and closing costs if it's a gift from an acceptable source, such as from family members.

Approved Sources of Conventional Loan Gift Funds:

  • Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac define family as:
    • Parent
    • Children (including adopted, step and foster children)
    • Sibling (including step-sibling, foster and adopted siblings)
    • Grandparent (including great-grandparents, step and foster grandparents)
    • Aunt and uncle (including great, step and foster aunt or uncle)
    • Niece or nephew (including step-niece or nephew)
    • Cousins (including adopted and step-cousins)
    • In-laws (including parents and grandparents, aunt, uncle brother- and sister-in-law)
    • Domestic partner
    • Fiancé

What Can Conventional Loan Gift Funds Be Used For?

  • Gift money can only be used on primary residence and second homes.

VA / USDA Loan Gift Fund Guidelines

VA Home Loans & USDA  Home Loans do not have many restrictions when using gifts for a down payment.

Who Can & Can’t Give VA/USDA Loan Gift Funds:

  • Must come from a family member.
  • The gift cannot be from someone who is an interested party. An interested party would be someone who has a role in your transaction, such as a builder or developer, another broker, a real estate agent or the seller.

What Can VA/USDA Loan Gift Funds Be Used For?

  • You can use gift money for your down payment with a VA/USDA Loan.
  • Because they are 100% financing, there is no limit on the amount of the gift.

Can a Mortgage Gift be Repaid?

It’s called a gift for a reason, right? The answer is no. Therefore, the gift giver provides funds to a home buyer with no expectation of being repaid.

Will I Need to Provide a Gift Letter?

Yes, before you use the gift funds, you will need to submit a gift letter to your lender. This proves your relationship with the gift giver and that the funds are a gift and repayment is not expected. Some things to include inside your letter are:

  • Dollar amount of gift
  • Date funds were transferred
  • Gift Giver’s signed statement that no repayment is expected
  • Gift Giver’s name, address, and phone number along with the relationship to the borrower & buyer
  • The address of the property being purchased

Check with your loan officer to see what information is required in your gift letter.

Keep in mind, gift funds in all cases will need to be documented. If you know you are about to receive a holiday infusion of cash, doing so by check is the easiest and often most convenient way to satisfy the lender.

Happy Holidays from Greenway Mortgage!


 

Is working from home becoming more permanent? Is your living room suddenly becoming your living office? Perhaps you’re running out of space? Whatever the reason, it’s more important than ever to have a functional and productive home office.

A recent Pew study showed that as of December 2020, an estimated 71% of Americans now work from home. Only 20% of working adults did so before the pandemic. In addition, a 2021 Houzz & Home Study showed that overall, home reno projects were up in 2020. Much of the work was focused on kitchens, home offices and outdoor spaces. These trends look likely to continue in 2021!

While working on the couch or at the kitchen table is an option, doing that long-term isn't productive or comfortable, especially if you have roommates, pets, or kids. It’s time to level up and consider repurposing an existing room or building a completely new area inside your home.

Cue the Home Renovation Loan.

We’ll go over our Renovation Loans and tips for funding your home office in just a moment. But first, let’s dive into what you can do to make a workplace that works for YOU so you can concentrate and do your best work in the comfort of your own home.

Ways To Make a Workplace That Works

1. Repurpose an Existing Room

First, look around your home. You’ll need to create a space that is conducive to your work style. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you need more peace and quiet?

  • Do you need a separate room with fewer distractions?

  • Do you need a table with chairs for meetings?

  • Do you need a room with good lighting?

  • Do you need room for storage?

  • Do I have an extra room that can convert easily into an office?

You might be lucky enough to have a room you can convert into an office that checks off all your needs. However, if you don’t want to convert an entire room into an office, find a room in your home that has extra space to add a desk and some shelves. Have fun with it! Create your own special WTH nook.

2. Convert an Attic, Basement, or Garage

Do you have an unused attic or basement? Maybe you have a garage that’s collecting too much junk. Consider one of these areas in your home as an ideal spot for your new work office. You can even build half or full walls to divide the area if needed.

3. Build a Work from Home Office

A big undertaking, but something to consider if work from home is your new norm, is to add to your home. Consider building a new office or add a new master suite or great room and take an existing bedroom or part of a dining room and turn that into your new workspace.

If you decide to build a new home office, you’ll want to reach out to the pros. According to a NerdWallet report, homeowners hired professionals for about 63% of home improvement projects between 2017-2019. While there may be some things you can DIY, hiring a professional may be in your best interest especially for those bigger projects!

Tips For Funding Your Home Office

1. Use Your Savings

If you have money set aside to fund your home office this may be the best option for you. Keep in mind, you'll want to set a budget to avoid overspending. If you're tight on funds, a home renovation loan may be the next best option. Keep reading…

2. Home Renovation Loan

Tight on funds? You have options. Why not let your home pay for your new office. There are many home loans designed specifically for home renovations projects like this! In fact, our Home Renovation Loan Program is one of them.

What is a Home Renovation Loan?

Home renovation loans are the smartest way for homeowners to finance their entire renovation project. This type of loan gives homeowners the funds to make necessary or desirable renovations to a home or access to the credit to make those changes. In turn, these upgrades may enhance the livability and usability of the house and for sellers, plus they could increase the value of the home. Click to learn more about our Home Renovation Mortgage Programs.

What are some Renovation Loan Options?

There are several different types of home renovation loans. For instance, the FHA 203K Loan, Streamline 203K, the HomeStyle Renovation Loan and more.

Click here to learn more about these loans to figure out which option is right for you based on your financial situation and home improvement needs.

2. Home Refinance

You can also consider refinancing. It's no myth, home values have been on the rise, creating more equity for homeowners. Equity is the difference between your home value and your home loan balance. A home refinance allows you to tap into your home’s equity so you can pay for home improvements.

A cash-out-refi is another great source of funds for creating your new office space. But what exactly is a Cash-out Refinance? This type of mortgage allows you to replace your existing mortgage with a new loan that draws on the equity in your home. The equity you draw with the new mortgage goes to you in cash. The cash can then be used for your home improvement project which in turn may increase your home's value.

How Much Can an Office Renovation Cost?

The cost of your home office depends on two things: whether you want to build a new home office or renovate an existing space into a home office.

If you’re converting a bedroom to a home office, the average cost is around $3,500 according to Fixr. On the other hand, building an entirely new office space can be more costly. HomeAdvisor estimates that a home office renovation costs around $15,000, or roughly $100 per square foot, assuming that most home offices are around 100-200 square feet. This considers things such as:

Since costs vary depending on contractor, market, office size and project it’s generally a good idea to get quotes from 2-4 contractors.

Want to save even more money? Look on websites like eBay and Facebook Marketplace, where people are reselling office furniture in bulk at low prices to save you some money!

Don’t forget, If you’re self-employed, you can even use your home office space to qualify for a tax deduction (consult with your accountant).

Bottom Line:

Big project or small changes, renovation or refinance, speak with one of our loan experts about your loan options. Get started today and create a workspace that allows you to be productive while you’re at home. After all, you deserve it!


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