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Top 10 Tips for Hawaii Homebuyers

Owning a home in Hawaii doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are 10 tips from Locations to help you get into your new home!

  1. Find a REALTOR® who you can trust. An experienced REALTOR® can walk you through the home-buying process step by step—helping you to avoid common pitfalls and suggesting locations or properties that you may not have considered. Your REALTOR® can also recommend a loan officer to assist with home financing.
  2. Consult with a loan officer and get pre-approved. You won’t know what your home purchase price range will be until you talk to home loan officer.
  3. Set your budget. Many first-time homebuyers are surprised to learn that a 20 percent down payment isn’t necessary—in fact, waiting until you’re able to save for 20 percent could delay your entry into the housing market. In some cases, you can put down as little as three percent or even zero percent, if you qualify.
  4. Get your finances in order. If your credit score is less than ideal or you have outstanding debt, now’s the time to tighten your belt and put off any big purchases, like a new car.
  5. Prioritize your needs and wants. Consider your lifestyle and priorities: Are you handy, or would you prefer to let someone else handle repairs and yardwork? If you have children, which school would you like to be near? Your REALTOR® will help you to identify your must-haves.
  6. Think beyond the purchase price. If you’re looking at a condo or townhome, be sure to check out the maintenance fees. Depending on the property’s age, location and amenities, fees can vary quite a bit. Many newer buildings offer state-of-the-art fitness centers, pools and outdoor gathering spaces, which add value to your investment. If you’re considering a single-family home, especially an older home, be sure that you’re financially prepared should your home need a major repair or new appliance.
  7. Get a home inspection. While you may be tempted to skip this step—particularly if the home appears to be in good condition—you should always have a professional evaluate the property before you buy to avoid costly repairs later.
  8. It doesn’t have to be your “forever” home. Your first home doesn’t have to be your forever home— it’s a steppingstone to building wealth and equity so you can have your dream home down the road.
  9. Don’t forget about resale value. Since your first home doesn’t have to be your forever home, be sure to consider its resale value. Your REALTOR® can advise you on which properties will offer you the best Return on Investment, or ROI.
  10. Attend a Locations Future Homeowners Seminar. Get free expert home-buying advice from a Locations real estate professional—you’ll have a leg up on your competition when you’re armed with a sound strategy. Visit LocationsHawaii.com/seminar to sign up.