PART 1 (MILITARY) Click here for Non-Military
Celeste: Century 21 Liberty Homes. This is "Sally", may I help you?
Client (Potential): Hi, my name is ______ and we recently relocated to Hawaii. I am stationed at Schofield Barracks (or Hickam AFB, or Pearl Harbor Navy Base or Kaneohe Marine Base) and we are looking for a rental or possibly buying while I'm stationed here.
Unlike anywhere in the United States you will find that Hawaii is unlike anywhere else in the world. (This is including their real estate transactions!)
The following tips will help you in your first steps with the home buying process.
1) You know that being in the military you have your BAH *housing allowance) which you can apply towards your monthly mortgage payment. With buying you have tax benefits at the end of the year whereas with renting you are just paying someone else's mortgage payment and get to claim nothing at the end of the year (concerning rent vs. buying) Click on the following link for Honolulu County BAH chart: Honolulu County BAH 2007
2) Have you talked with a local lender to see what you are qualified for? (I mean, anyone with outstanding credit can qualify for a half a million dollar home...but you need to let the lender know what kind of monthly payments you want to stay around and there's no sense looking at something that would be out of your budget/price range) We need to see what price range you qualify for so we can specifically look at property in that price range.
3) Since you're new to the islands I can give you a few referrals for loan officers whom I have worked with in the past. Just make sure that you only have your credit pulled once. (If you give out your info many times your credit score goes down) My suggestion (because you're military) is to check with the loan officers regarding your VA guaranteed loan. You will still go with a local lender but you can utilize your VA benefits. And make sure you let them know what you want to spend per month. (For condo/townhouses make sure you have the loan officer include maintenance and association fees, mo. payments for property taxes etc.) The good thing about VA loans is that it will be a fixed rate loan and there are no pre payment penalties. (CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK FOR: WHAT VA DOES FOR THE HOMEBUYING VETERAN) Click here for Non-Military
4) When we find out the price range you are qualified for we can start looking at listings in the areas you prefer to live. If you are unsure about the neighborhoods because you are brand new to the islands then we can look at a few properties in different areas. You may want to check out the areas schools for your children: Oahu Public Schools or Oahu Private Schools
And....an appointment time/date to meet.
Also, please click on the following link to get more info on: Suggestions (Rules) while attending Open Houses in Hawaii . So often buyer's do not know that the best representation through your purchase is if you have your own agent. (Buyer's agent) And the most likely you will pay nothing for representation as the seller's agent pays the commission. (split between seller/buyer brokerage firms) The seller's agent is the one hosting the Open House and is determined to get the best price for the seller....NOT YOU.
**If you have not arrived in Hawaii yet you may want to scale down on the furniture and don't expect to have loads of sq. ft. interior to accomodate all that "stuff" you've been accumulating for the past ten years. I've learned to do a sweep of my small townhouse every six months. If I haven't used it in 6 months it most likely should be on it's way to the shelter. So when packing up your "valuables" you may want to take a look at it that way.
Century 21 Liberty Homes
95-221 Kipapa Drive
Mililani, Hawaii 96789
Contact: (808) 375-1404
Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated
Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.
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Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.
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