Aloha Paradise Realty
Tiffany DuBose, R PB
You want to buy your
first home or upgrade to a larger home for your family. Financing your purchase
is the key to a wise real estate purchase. It can be difficult to know how and
where to begin. Here are some mortgage tips, with market comments and a list of
tips on how to getting the best home loan.
First, It's Not Too
Many recent news
headlines feature the bad news that sells papers. Rising interest rates, home
sales down, and the threat of a bursting real estate bubble! The reality is that
while interest rates have crept up a bit over the past several years, rates are
still historically low if you look at the big picture. Anyone who thinks that
6.5% - 7% is a high interest rate has not been in the business for very long!
And as to The Bubble, if you read past the headlines, the local experts predict
a continuation of rising prices with more and better opportunities for buyers
right now. There are more choices, and motivated sellers are setting their
asking prices closer to reality.
Fantastic home buys are
waiting for you right now right now. If you have the motivation, vision, and are
willing to plan for your future, it's not too late to buy your Hawaii home. And
now more than ever, there is a mortgage for just about everyone. Special
programs exist for small or no down payment, good and bad credit, and
self-employed people with flimsy financial records. There is almost always a way
to do it.
For some people, it will
take patience, restraint and careful planning to get there. If you just bought a
big shiny new truck or have a stack of credit card bills on the kitchen counter
you will have to rethink your priorities.. You can still buy a home if you are
motivated and focused. Follow the guidelines below and you can get a good
mortgage and achieve your real estate dreams.
Everybody comes into the
real estate market with a different perspective and level of experience, so
there is no "one size fits all" advice. These general rules apply to almost
everyone when it comes to getting the money to buy a home. So here are some of
the do's and don'ts that you should consider.
1. Get Pre-Approved
Before House Hunting!
pre-qualified, you give a mortgage specialist information on your income, debts,
and perhaps a quick credit check. That means the resulting estimate of the
maximum mortgage you can obtain is exactly that - an estimate. Pre-approval
is different: you must authorize your lender to obtain detailed credit
reports, verify your income and debts, obtain employment history, and determine
your income-to-debt ratio along with other underwriting steps. This puts you
much closer to obtaining a loan and locking in a rate and term. You'll enjoy an
advantage over other prospective buyers if you've gotten yourself pre-approved
for a loan before you even start your home search. Pre-approval generally means
that you are good to go, subject to your chosen house being approved as security
for the loan. The appraisal of the property you want to purchase is one of the
last crucial steps.
2. Be Realistic.
Don't try shooting for that five-bedroom house if it's going to be too much of a
stretch in your current budget. Lenders consider what's known in the industry as
"payment shock" when approving loans. Somebody who goes from a relatively small
monthly housing cost (rental or mortgage) to a huge one may not qualify easily
for a mortgage or may end up having to cover too much loan with too little
money. To get into the market, plan to make a compromise of what you want vs.
what you can afford. You are in good company, as the $ 500,000 buyers want what
costs $ 1,000,000, and even the million-dollar buyers dream about the
two-million dollar homes!
3. Forget Paris.
Forget that new car, and the big screen TV, too. Don't make any big purchases
over the next couple of months. Any purchases you make in the 3 - 6 months
before buying a home will leave less money available for the down payment as
well as mortgage payments. A significant debt such as a $15,000 auto loan will
look bad to the mortgage lender's computerized credit scoring systems. Plus, the
underwriter won't want to see you adding a couple of hundred dollars per month
to your monthly expenses. Ideally, your total debt should be no more than 36 -
40% percent of your gross monthly income. If you have great credit this number
4. Save, save, save!
Increase the size of the down payment you're able to make by saving as much as
possible, as often as possible. Don't put the savings into something volatile,
such as an individual stock. Keep it invested in accounts that offer reasonable
rates of return and don't tie your funds up too long. If your lender says you
need more cash down, put yourself on a regular savings plan and watch it grow.
Anything worth doing takes planning and commitment, so financing your home
purchase is no exception.
5. Don't Be Late!
Make loan and other debt payments on time, especially over the months leading up
to the filing of your mortgage application. It sounds simple, but every 30-, 60-
or 90-day delinquency on a loan or credit card is going to reduce the credit
score the lender ends up considering as part of the loan file. That score, in
turn, will determine how good a loan you get - if you get one at all. It also
directly determines your interest rate. Many of the "teaser" rates you see
advertised as well as the no and low down payment plans require a high credit
6. Pay Off Loans.
Ask your lender if you should consider paying off more debts even if it means
putting down a smaller amount at closing. This will leave you with a larger
mortgage, but it will allow you to replace non tax-deductible, high-interest
rate debt with lower-rate mortgage debt that features deductible interest. Ask
your tax specialist what will work best for you. If you don't have a tax
advisor, it is well worth consulting with one.
7. No New Debts.
Get the mortgage first. Numerous credit inquiries, such as new applications for
credit cards or auto loans, can hurt your credit score big-time, especially if
they pop up in the months before you want to buy a home. Car purchases made by
novice home buyers are notorious deal-killers if made shortly before trying to
get a mortgage.
8. Know Your Financial
Don't forget what kind of money personality you have when getting a mortgage so
you can choose wisely from the many mortgage choices. If you are a risk taker,
be very cautions of the creative financing options that are widely advertised.
These products may tempt you to make foolish choices that can endanger your
financial future. A good mortgage broker will explain the pros and cons of the
conservative 30 year mortgages, and the creative options now available, and
whether the riskier adjustable mortgages are wise for you.
9. Tough Choices.
If times get hard and you can't make all your payments, pay your mortgage first,
followed by any installment loans such as auto loans, and credit card payments
last. That's because credit scoring systems look at the performance of similar
loans first when deciding what type of score to assign. It will give the most
weight to the performance of another mortgage, for example, then the performance
of something like an auto loan, which features fixed payments and a fixed rate
the way many mortgages do. Lastly, it would evaluate the payment performance of
so-called "revolving" loans, like credit cards, which feature variable payments
that fluctuate with the outstanding balance.
10. Too Good To Be
There are local banks, mortgage companies, credit unions, and savings and loans.
Everyone wants to give you a mortgage because the profits are astronomical, and
so are the fees they may charge. Don't believe everything you see and hear!
There are clever TV lenders, internet loans, and ads in magazines and the
newspaper with outrageous and impossible claims. Many unscrupulous loan
companies have cropped up whose practices are unethical or illegal. Their goal
is to get your loan fees into their pockets, not to help you finance your home
the best way for your purposes. If it sounds too good to be true, it is provably
A reputable lender
operating with a physical presence in your home state can't run and hide. Ask
family, friends, or your real estate professional to guide you to the best
sources of financing your home. Your Realtor has already assisted hundreds of
homebuyers through this process and worked with dozens of lenders. It is crucial
that you select someone with the experience, credentials, and attitude that you
need to be successful in this complex financial transaction.
Good luck with your home
financing, and remember that in this market, like all markets, there are great
opportunities waiting those who set their goals, are motivated, and take the
time to plan and prepare.
Bud Pearce, Envoy Mtg
Jimmy Pae, Wells
Fargo Home Mtg
Michael Miller, First Hawaiian Bank Home Mtg
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