Looking to upgrade your existing home?

You might consider one of Greenway's many renovation programs, but a cash-out refinance might be a better solution.

Renovation Loans are not the only option when it comes to home repair and upgrades. Longing for a new kitchen, an updated bathroom, or need an addition for a growing family. Everyone’s scenario is different and there are options -- Your Greenway Mortgage Loan Officer will help you determine how to best achieve your goals.

You can learn more about our Renovation Programs here.

But, how can a cash-out refinance work for me?

A cash-out refinance replaces 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. That cash can be used for home improvements, debt consolidation or other financial needs.

But your home must have equity for this to work. This is another reason to reach out to a Greenway Loan Officer, as they will review your current mortgage documents and help you figure out what your home is currently valued at.

Why Choose A Cash-Out Refinance for Home Improvements?

  • 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

Bottom Line

A cash-out refinance for home improvement may be just the answer you’re looking for if you’re ready to remodel, but are short on cash. Not only could you secure a low-interest rate with this option, but you could boost the equity you have in your home as well.

Try out our refinance interactive below and reach out to our loan consultants for a detailed review of your scenario.



Ready to Take the Next Step?

Reach out to a Greenway Mortgage Loan Officer today to discuss and compare which option would be best for your specific needs. 732.832.2967


For the Week Ending March 8, 2019


Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.



A U.S./China trade deal may be close, after months of trade disputes. If a deal is signed, it could put some pressure on rates, as stocks may rally on the news.
The ECB statement this week reinforced concerns about a global economic slowdown. Weak global economies have helped to keep rates low here at home.
Private payrolls were up 183,000 in February, according to ADP. Unemployment claims last week were down, pointing to strong labor market conditions. 


Construction spending unexpectedly fell in December, after an increase in November. Only part of the drop was for private residential projects though.
New home sales hit a 7-month high in December, the highest level since May 2018. Mortgage rates are hovering near a 12-month low.
A recent survey showed over 79% of Americans still believe that owning a home is a vital component to achieving the American Dream.

Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.

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

Bottom line:

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.

MortgageCast #10 | Benefits of a Renovation Loan

The Renovation Mortgage Process, Renovation Loan Consultant, What Can The Borrower Expect & More!

In this episode of MortgageCast, Erin the Expert discusses the many benefits of using a Renovation Loan to purchase a home in need of repair or to upgrade one you already own.

She starts off talking about renovation loans from the perspective of a purchase transaction and then throws in some info towards the end of the conversation about financing renovations on a property that you already own.

In both types of transactions you are able to borrow against the property’s future value after the improvements to the property are made, which creates immediate equity for the purposes of the loan application.

Primary residences, second homes and investment properties can all be financed with a renovation loan – but these are all meant for homes you are going to hang on to for a while and not for fix and flip projects.

And there's a big difference between renovation and construction loans. With a renovation loan, you are repairing or upgrading an existing home while a construction loan is meant for going ground up – taking an empty lot and building a new home on it.

There's also a common misconception that there is a loan to purchase the home and another for the renovations. A renovation mortgage is ONE loan finances both the purchase of the house, and the costs to renovate it.

The Renovation Mortgage Process

The first step, just like any normal purchase, the buyer and seller agree on the sales price and enter into a sales contract.

What differs is that the buyer obtains an estimate from a contractor for the work that needs to be done.  It is important to note that the borrower is not permitted to do the work themselves, and MUST hire a licensed and insured contractor.

In processing the loan application, we add the sales price and the cost of the renovations from the estimate to come up with a total acquisition cost of the home. The down payment is based on this figure. For example, let’s say the sales price is $200,000 and the renovation costs are $50,000. The down payment will be based on $250,000. So for a 10% down transaction, the down payment is $25,000.

The Loan Consultant

If the renovation costs exceed $35,000, a renovation consultant is required.  The consultant is an independent third party that works for and on behalf of the buyer. Essentially, they are a project manager and facilitates the process between the borrower, contractor and lender. The consultant will come out to the house to look for any possible defects in the property that aren’t addressed by the estimate and will make sure that what IS listed in the estimate will meet minimum property standards for loan approval.

What else can the borrower expect?

Basically, business as usual… not only does the lender need to approve the renovation project, but we do need to review the borrower’s income, assets and credit profile. Once both the credit and project approvals are issued, the borrower will be cleared for closing. It is important to note that given all the work involved with renovation mortgages, the turnaround time from start to finish is a bit longer.

What happens at and after closing?

The loan funds are disbursed at closing – the seller gets their contracted purchase price, and the remainder of the funds are placed into an escrow account that is managed by the lender. Payments called draws are made to the contractor as work is completed. The consultant or an appraiser will come out to the property to make sure the work has actually been done, then a draw check will be issued.

What if the contractor requires money to get started on the project?

The lender can disperse up to 50% of the cost of the materials  (NOT including labor) to get the project started. All other draws will be issued as work is completed.

How do renovation loans work if you already own your home?

There are a number of different ways we can look to tackle this. The easiest way is to take out some cash from the home’s equity to cover the costs of the renovation project. We would do a standard “cash out” refinance transaction and pay off your existing mortgage then hand you a check for the remaining proceeds at closing.

What if there is no equity in the house? Can someone still finance a renovation?

Yes, and it works similarly to the purchase. The homeowner will get an estimate from the contractor – we’ll send a consultant out if needed and the appraiser will inspect your home. The as-is value will be determined, and then the renovation costs will be taken into account to come up with the “end” value. We’ll lend off of that figure when determining the maximum available loan amount and cash that can be disbursed for renovations.

What is required of the contractor?

The estimate the contractor provides needs to be very detailed. It has to separate out the costs of the materials from the labor so we can determine how much money to disburse at closing. Aside from filling out a bunch of paperwork, the contractor will need to provide copies of their license and insurance policies.

Renovation Mortgage Programs

Additional Resources

Are you a first time home buyer?

Consider downloading our FREE homebuying guide specifically for those new to the process. It's packed with useful information, checklists and tip sheets to get you off on the right foot.

Are you ready to take the next step?

It's time to get pre-approved with Erin the Expert!


For the Week Ending March 1, 2019


Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.



Economic growth in the 4th quarter was better than anticipated. Gross domestic product increased 2.6%, much higher than the 2.2% expectation.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell gave semi-annual testimony to Congress this week. He said the economy was healthy but cautioned about conflicting signals.
Jobless claims rose last week more than expected. The 225,000 claims reached a 10-month high, suggesting some slowing in the labor market.


According to Case-Shiller, annual home price gains moderated in December to a 4.7% pace. This is still near the long-term historical average of about 5.5%.
Pending home sales rebounded 4.6% in January over December. It's likely that a return to lower rates has already helped and will continue to support increases. 
Housing starts fell to a 2-year low in December, as construction of both single- and multi-family housing declined. However, permits point to a coming rebound.

Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.

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