April is Earth Month and we're excited to share with you 12 ways you can green up your bathroom!
Easy, everyday opportunities to reduce, reuse, and recycle are hiding in plain sight in one of the most popular rooms in your home - the bathroom!
Your bathroom is your sanctuary, your oasis. It’s the place where your day really gets started and the place where you wind down at day’s end. Your bathroom is one of the most important rooms in your house, and it’s also one of the largest energy users. From water use to electrical output, usage happens here in great volume, and waste does as well. And it’s that combination that makes your bathroom the perfect place to target if you’re trying to improve your green lifestyle.
Take a look at our inforgraphic for some easy changes you can make for a greener bathroom routine.
When mortgage rates drop, homeowners typically wonder: Should I refinance my mortgage? Since the start of the year, mortgage rates have been on a slow, steady decline. We may even be experiencing a mini-refi boom! This is great news for those who are looking to refinance their mortgage.
Latest Breaking News
On March 19, 2019 the Fed did not raise policy rates. And, based on Fed projections, we likely won’t see another Fed rate hike until 2020. So, now is the PERFECT time to refinance your mortgage.
With mortgage rates today, there are refinance opportunities for all types of homeowners. The typical refinancing household will be able to save more than 30% annually on their mortgage. For some, you may be able to save even more.
Is it time for you to consider a home refinance?
In general, you should consider a refinance if a refinance will save you money. Like we said before, a home refinance could save you thousands of dollars per year! (Think about those savings and what you could do with that extra money).
Current mortgage rates are holding low. And today’s mortgage rates are lower than they’ve been in months. There are refinance opportunities everywhere!
For the last several years, home values have been rising, which means homeowners have been building equity. Now is a great opportunity to leverage that equity to avoid or eliminate high interest debt.
Recently, the 2018 Houzz & Home Study revealed:
“Homeowners with mortgages have seen their home equity more than double since 2011, increasing to a record-setting $8.3 trillion in 2017.”
The average homeowner gained $16,200 in home equity between Q2 2017 and Q2 2018 according to the latest release of CoreLogic’s Home Equity Report.
Since 2011 home values have increased significantly throughout the country, with prices rising by 5.1% in 2018 alone. When surveyed, homeowners revealed the top four reasons why they felt their homes had increased in value.
Improved National Economy
Improved Local Economy
Low Home Inventory in My Area
How are Homeowners Taking Advantage of this Opportunity?
Many homeowners are considering cash-out refinances as a way to access the value that accumulated in their homes. A cash-out refinance replaces your current loan with a new term, interest rate and monthly payment. Read more about Cash-out Refinances in our latest blog.
Buying a home is like having a “forced savings account.” Making a monthly payment on the loan, along with any property appreciation, builds value in the home.
You cannot access that value (equity), without selling. Instead, you have to borrow the equity, which a Cash-out Refinance allows you to do. Of course, it’s important to have a bit of home equity first.
Wondering How Much Home Equity You Have?
To figure out how much home equity you have, you’ll want to find out what your home’s value is and how much you owe on your mortgage. If the difference between the two is a positive number, that’s the equity you have in the home. However, if you owe more than your home is worth you may not be a candidate for a cash-out refinance.
Speak with a Greenway Loan Officer today to see what your options are. One of the perks of having worked hard to build equity in your home is that the equity is available to you when you need it.
What can the money can be used for?
Home Remodeling or Repairs – most popular!
Starting a Business
Paying off College Tuition
Purchase a Second Home
Benefits of a Cash-Out Refinance
Potentially secure a lower rate and monthly payment
Mortgage rates are typically lower than credit cards or personal loans
With improvements, you could increase your home’s value
2019 is a great year for homeowners who want to take advantage of their home equity. In fact, CoreLogic forecasts that home prices will increase by 4.8% by the end of the year.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
Reach out to a Greenway Loan Officer for a consultation today to discuss and compare which option would be best for your specific needs. 732.832.2967.
During tax season, refunds help many become homeowners! If you’re planning to buy a home in the near future, consider using your tax refund as a down payment option.
We know that saving for a down payment can be a big challenge and even one of the biggest barriers to homeownership. Many people sometimes overestimate the size of the down payment they need.
Often times, a tax refund may cover the entire down payment. Exactly how much of the down payment you can cover will depend on the amount you want to borrow and the percentage you’re required to put down.
Depending on your credit history and other factors, there are financing options with much lower down payment requirements besides the typical 20% down. For instance, depending on the program, borrowers can make down payments between 3.5%-10%. Down payment assistance programs can also help you bridge the cash gap. Contact Greenway to find out which programs you could qualify for! Visit our website to learn more about our loan programs.
Mortgage products available for First-time Buyers Offering Low to No Down Payments
During tax season, many tax payers have more funds than any other time of the year, so there is no better time to qualify for a new home. This is a great opportunity – low rates, stable job market, and affordable homes. Why not buy a home now?
Ready to Take the Next Step?
Greenway Mortgage is here to help. Contact us today to discuss your options. 908-489-4658.
One of the questions our clients have been asking lately is whether or not they are responsible for paying their Realtor a commission. Good news, if you’re buying a home, you’re off the hook. Many buyers are surprised to learn that real estate commissions come from the “sell side” of a transaction.
Let us explain how real estate commission works.
First, let’s take a look at the difference between a Real Estate Agent and a Real Estate Broker.
Real Estate Agents are self-employed and work under the license of their particular brokers.
Real Estate Brokers are licensed to own and run a real estate brokerage and can hire and mange other real estate agents. They represent clients who are buying or selling real estate. All fees paid to a Real Estate Agent must first pass through the broker.
How much is Real Estate Commission?
The commission owed on a particular real estate transaction is sometimes a flat fee, but is usually the percentage of a sale price and is typically no more that 6%.
For example, say a home sells for $300,000 and the seller’s listing agreement indicates a 6% commission, then the total amount owed is $18,000.
So, who pays that money and to whom?
When someone sells their home using a Realtor, they are responsible for paying the commission out of the proceeds of the transaction. The buyer does not pay. Instead, the buyer’s Realtor is compensated by the listing agent’s broker by splitting up the commission paid by the seller.
There are some exceptions, but all fees usually come out of the sellers’ proceeds while buyers generally pay nothing to the agent who represents them.
Who’s Involved in the Deal?
Listing agent (represents seller and lists the home on the market)
Buyer’s agent (represents the buyer, gets paid from the listing broker’s commission split)
Take a look at this example here to get a better idea of how commission fees are split:
Note: Actual commission amounts and agency/agent splits will vary by transaction
Still have questions on how commission fees work? Contact us today!
We are happy to answer all of your questions!
Fill out the quick form below and one of our Loan Officers will get back to you shortly.
Are you a first-time homebuyer? Download our FREE “Guide To Buying Your First Home". Inside you’ll find everything you need to know about the mortgage process, how to get your house in order, first-time homebuyer programs, handy checklists and so much more!