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Since the pandemic, the meaning of home has certainly changed for many Americans.

For renters, the feelings of security and stability have become more important. The financial benefits that come with rising home equity when owning your own home have become clearer.  

Many homeowners have decided that their home no longer meets some of their needs as finding spaces for a home office or a home gym has become an obstacle. The need for a home with more space inside and out is now significant as our homes have been operating 24/7.

There are still two main obstacles some homebuyers face when it comes to buying a new home and which include: the ability to save for a down payment and the ability to qualify for a mortgage at the current lending standards. However, there’s good news for borrowers in 2022 as the FHFA announced that they will be raising its conforming loan limits for prospective purchasers in 2022.

THE FHFA Increases its Conforming Loan Limits for 2022

The FHFA has significantly increased its Conforming Loan Limits for 2022. Sandra L. Thompson, FHFA Acting Director, explains in the press release that:

“Compared to previous years, the 2022 Conforming Loan Limits represent a significant increase due to the historic house price appreciation over the last year. While 95 percent of U.S. countie​s will be subject to the new baseline limit of $647,200, approximately 100 counties will have conforming loan limits approaching $1 million.”

What does this mean for borrowers?

This means that more homes qualify for a conforming loan with lower down payment requirements and easier lending standards – the two major challenges that hold many buyers back from buying a home.

This is great news for buyers and owners alike:

  1. Buyers may be able to borrow more money through a conventional, typically lower-rate loan.

  2. Owners may be able to refinance their "jumbo" loan to a lower rate conforming loan and possibly drop mortgage insurance, too.

  3. Combining (or avoiding) smaller 1st and 2nd mortgages may now be an option.

  4. The increase reaffirms the health of the housing market and your decision to invest in a home.

For all the specifics about the FHFA Conforming Loan Limit increase, click here.

 

The FHA also Increases Loan Limits for 2022

In addition, the FHA also announced they are increasing loan limits for 2022. This also means an easier path to homeownership for home buyers. For those who don’t have much saved up to buy a home or if their credit score could use some work, this new increase is beneficial.

 

The increases will allow more borrowers to take advantage of FHA’s benefits:

  1. Low down payment options

  2. Lower total cash-to-close requirements with gift or seller contributions

  3. More lenient and streamlined refinancing

  4. Ability to combine purchase and rehab financing

  5. In some high-cost areas, higher loan limits than conventional mortgages

For more specifics on FHA’s Loan Increase for 2022, click here.

Bottom Line:

Buying a home in 2022 has just become easier for you! Reach out to the experts at Greenway Mortgage to learn about your home buying options.


Are you getting gift money to use for the down payment of your new home? If so, here are a few things you must know before funds start changing hands.

The Donor:

The donor of the gift must be a family member, fiancé or domestic partner. They must prove  the ability to provide the gift. This proof can be a copy of their bank statement, a copy of the canceled gift check or a signed letter from their bank evidencing the availability of funds. The underwriter’s discretion is always at play here, so more than one of these items may be required.

The Gift Letter:

We will provide a form for the donor to complete and sign. It will include items such as the donor’s name, address and relationship to you; the donor's account information; the property being purchased; the dollar amount of the gift; and the date or approximate date of transfer, along with a statement that the funds are a gift with no expectation of repayment.

The Transfer:

Documenting the transfer is vitally important. The donor should give the gift in the form of a check or wire. If by check, make a copy then deposit it in the account that is already being used for verification of funds to close. DO NOT combine this deposit with any other incidental deposits. You should provide a copy of the deposit slip or confirmation and either an online update or the next account statement to evidence that the deposit cleared into the account.

Mortgage Programs You can Use Gift Money With: 

Some programs allow for the entire down payment to be in the form of a gift. Others may require that you have at least 5% of the purchase price from your own funds unless the total down is 20% or more. As these rules can vary or change at any time, never hesitate to consult with us for the specifics as they relate to your transaction.

Click here to learn about the different loan programs that allow borrowers to use gift funds towards their down payment. 

While documentation requirements may seem excessive at times, please remember that underwriters are simply following the rules to assure that your down payment is not borrowed and that any allowable gift funds are coming from acceptable sources.

Questions? Reach out to our team today! We are happy to help.

Helpful Resources:

 


 

The Fed kept policy rates unchanged at this week's meeting and announced a faster reduction of its bond buying program, to finish in March.

The Fed is expected to fight inflation by beginning to raise policy rates after concluding the bond buying program early next year.

Wholesale prices rose 9.6% from a year ago, the highest level since November 2010. The pace was faster than the 9.3% estimate.

 

Strong demand buoyed homebuilder confidence, which ended the year healthy despite rising costs and labor shortages.

November housing starts rose more than expected to an 8-month high. Builders are making headway on backlogs even with challenges.

Homeowners are sitting on a record amount of home equity due to soaring demand and skyrocketing prices over the last year and a half.

 


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


November job growth numbers came in at a disappointing 210K, below the expected 573K. Despite the big hiring miss, unemployment fell to 4.2%.

Jobless claims dropped last week to 184K, the lowest level since 1969. A strong labor market could influence the Fed at next week's meeting.

A recent survey shows individuals plan to spend an average of $1,004 on gifts this holiday season, the highest in 3 years, despite inflation worries.

 

 

A brief drop in mortgage rates from Omicron concerns caused a sudden surge in refinancing last week. Refi applications jumped 9% for the week.

Purchase apps, which are less sensitive to weekly rate moves, fell for the first time in 4 weeks, down 5% for the week and 8% year over year.

The FHFA announced 2022 loan limits. Conforming limits start at $647,200, and FHA limits start at $420,680, with high-cost areas nearing $1 million.

 


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