Whether you are a first time Buyer or a seasoned Buyer it is always good to know the steps involved with purchasing real estate in Hawaii. It is as easy as 1-2-3...
We highly recommend finding out what you qualify for prior to beginning the search. This will enable you to set your price range of what you are comfortable paying on a monthly bases. For some, you may qualify for more than you are comfortable with paying monthly this is okay. Ask your lender to work backwards with your mortgage payment you would like.
It can be a scary step to take but one that must be taken. The first phone call to the lender will most likely be a 20 to 30 minute conversation regarding your financial situation. Questions that will need to be answered in this case will be what is your earnings, what are your monthly expenses, the lender may ask for your social security number to run your credit report, and based on this verbal information the lender will be able to let you know what price range you will fall into. What your interest rate will be, costs to obtain the loan, mortgage payment (P & I = Principal and Interest) and possibly the type of loan you will qualify for.
Once this call is made you will want to start putting together the documents the lender needs in order to verify what you verbally shared. This will allow the lender to write a PRE-APPROVAL letter which has more weight in negotiations than a PRE QUAL letter.
Start asking yourself questions and exploring what is truly your top three most important things in a home that you MUST have. If you are buying this home with a loved one be sure to explore this with that person and come to an agreement on the top three.
For example, Neighborhood or Area might be more important than size of the lot. Or, you might feel that two bathrooms are more important then the a carport vs. a garage. Make this list and explore.
Then get on line and get a feel for the neighborhoods and the price ranges. With the many available websites out there this is easily done. Go to https://www.BuyorSellinHawaii.com.
Our property search engine is great because you can set up alerts for properties that you like or areas you want to watch. If you would like Mike or I to set this up for you let us know by emailing us at Gayle@GreatHawaiianHomes.com or Mike@GreatHawaiianHomes.com. We are here to make this easy for you and fun.
The next important step is to select ONE or in our case TWO Realtors that work as a TEAM to be your expert and guide in purchasing real estate in Hawaii. All Realtors have access to the same information so what it comes down to is how well your Realtor communicates with you and others, are they Full Time and committed to their clients, are they Technologically Savvy in this day and age so that they can move quick enough to get the home you want? These are a few things you want to ask yourself when selecting an Agent.
Have your Realtor arrange showings for properties that fit your price range and needs as discussed in Steps One and Two. View the homes and eliminate the ones that don't work for you.
Once you have selected the home you wish to place an offer on your Realtor will write up an offer with necessary addendum's. You will sign and initial the documents and your Realtor will present it to the Listing Agent.
A counter offer may be returned, the offer may be rejected, or the Seller may accept the offer.
If a counter offer is returned your Realtor will review it and discuss it with you and possible you will accept it or you may counter the counter until an agreement is made of some kind.
If it is rejected you have two choices, accept the rejection and continue searching for the home you want or you can increase your offer. In most cases, offers that are rejected are because the Seller perceives it as a LOW BALL offer and won't even waste their time to counter.
Offer is accepted and Escrow is open. The Escrow Company is a neutral third party involved that makes sure that everyone performs according to the contract. During the escrow process the contingencies in the contract will be completed and cleared by both parties.
Closing and Recordation are two different things even though real estate professionals often use it interchangeably. Closing often means that you will be going into the Escrow Company and possibly your bank or lender office and sign documents. As the Buyer you will also need at this time to present any funds that are required such as closing costs and balance of your down payment. It is good to check with your Realtor or Escrow Agent to find out what method of payment is accepted. Also, make sure you have a valid Federal or State issued PICTURE ID.
Depending on the day that you sign documents and when your bank funds your mortgage will depend on when recordation will occur. However, when it does record your Realtor will call and let you know that you are now the proud owner of a home. At which time arrangements will be made to transfer keys to you.