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8 Steps to Homeownership

Owning your first home can be intimidating, but when you partner with a knowledgeable REALTOR®, you'll be well informed every step of the way.

Our Locations experts outline the path to homeownership in Hawaii - in nine simple steps.

1. Identify your needs

 Your REALTOR® will meet with you to discuss your needs, preferences, finances and longterm goals. Together, you’ll make a plan to find the home that will best meet your criteria.

2. Find the right loan

Your REALTOR® will guide you through the home-loan process— from lender selection and pre-approval, to your final loan approval.

Your loan officer will advise you on your loan options, and help you to determine a monthly payment that you can comfortably afford. Your loan officer will evaluate your financial situation and provide you with a prequalification letter. As a prequalified buyer, you’ll be taken more seriously by sellers and their representatives, giving you more power in the marketplace.

Tip: Use our mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly housing payment at various purchase prices.

3. Begin your home search 

Now the fun begins! Your REALTOR® will introduce you to properties—both on and off the market—that meet your criteria.

Your REALTOR® will also equip you with the tools you need to participate in the home-search process. Create a LocationsHawaii.com account to set up automated searches of properties coming on the market and conduct your own research. Download the Locations mobile app. You’ll have access to the most up-to-date listings— wherever you are.

4. Prepare and present your offer 

Presenting a quality offer package is key to landing the home of your dreams. Your REALTOR® will help you to prepare an offer that expresses your desired outcome. Then, your REALTOR® will package your offer with a personalized cover letter and present it to the seller’s representative.

Keep your expectations reasonable during the negotiation phase. The seller may accept, reject or counter your offer. Expect some compromise: Remember, being flexible can help to reduce your stress.

5. Reach an agreement with the seller

Once the seller has accepted your offer, you enter the Due Diligence Phase. A neutral third party called “Escrow” will handle all details of the exchange of money and title transfer. During this process, your REALTOR® will work with you to ensure that you are aware of your home’s condition and are satisfied with your purchase.

Refrain from applying for new credit or making large purchases during this time, as they could could derail your final financing approval. Be sure to talk to your loan officer if you have questions.

  • Enter the escrow
  • Process deposit
  • Earnest money
  • Complete due diligence
    • Title report/title insurance
    • Inspections Reports
    • Sellers disclosures
    • Obtaining insurance
  • Finalize financing
    • Complete loan application
    • Submit requested documentation
    • Appraisal Underwriting Approval
  • Satisfy conditions and contingencies
  • Submit remaining funds to escrow

6. Conduct final walk through 

You’re almost to the finish line! Together with your REALTOR®, you will take a final “walk through” of the home to make sure it is in the same condition and that any agreed upon repairs have been made.

Tip: Your agent can provide you with a Locations Move-In Checklist. Be sure to review the items on the checklist.

7. Sign closing papers

This is the final step in the homebuying process. Be sure to bring your government-issued ID and your payment for the remaining funds due. You’ll sign and receive copies of all required documents, including the mortgage note, estimated closing

8. Get your keys

Congratulations! you are now a homeowner in Hawaii. Nothing quite compares to knowing that you have invested in your future.

Tip: Get exclusive discounts on products and services for your new home with our Locations Home Partner program. Ask your REALTOR® for details.