Tips and FAQs for first-time home buyers in Hawaii.
Buying a home is a complex transaction with many moving parts – and hopefully, many great people to make the process seamless.
From the first step to move-in day, a professional and reliable team supporting your home purchase can mean the difference between a stress-free, efficient, and profitable home-buying experience or a huge headache.
Here are ten people you need on your team when buying a home.
Real Estate Salesperson or Broker
A buyer’s agent will assist you in every step of the home-buying process. It is important to find an agent that fits your needs and will vibe well with your goals and personality.
The buyer’s agent is essential in helping you find a home, including counseling on neighborhoods, schools, and home prices. They also will help you secure the home. An agent should be able to negotiate to help you get the biggest bang for your buck; exceptional agents will analyze the value of homes and negotiate with the seller’s agent.
They also will help with all the tricky, detailed paperwork and contracts – from the initial Purchase Contract to mortgage, title, and insurance paperwork.
A great real estate agent also recommends professionals in the real estate world to ease your transaction, like a lender or mortgage broker, a home inspector, and others. The best buyer’s agents will even attend the home inspection and negotiate repair requests before giving you the keys on the final closing day.
Mortgage brokers work with many lenders to find the best loan program for your specific situation. They can help you through the paperwork process and even teach you about the different types of mortgages. Mortgage brokers are experts in home loans and can assist in getting you pre-approved to closing the final mortgage.
Unless you are buying a home with cash, you will need someone to lend you money. There are many loan programs with different interest rates and even different repayment periods and fees, so it’s important to shop around for the best lender. Or the mortgage broker can assist you in finding the best lender for your situation. Keep in mind that a local lender will know the unique Hawaii market best.
These ‘numbers people’ will help you structure your finances, so that you are making a smart financial decision. Tax deductions, documentation, interest rates – an accountant can crunch these numbers and offer advice for your home-buying purchase.
Termites swarming around the Hawaii air is not uncommon. They can wreak havoc on homes, so most Hawaii home lenders require a copy of a satisfactory termite inspection report (TIR) prior to lending.
The termite inspection is customarily paid for by the seller, but the buyer usually can choose their preferred inspector. The inspection is done in the last weeks before the sale is finalized with the inspector flashing light onto all the wood inside and outside the home. On the Hawaiian Islands, termites are fairly common, but identification and prevention of termite infestations can save you big bucks and preserve your home.
After your offer has been accepted, you have an inspection period to look through the nooks and crannies to make sure the house is in the tip-top condition you expected. While an inspection is often optional, hiring a home inspector could save you big money in the end. They will examine the grounds, structure, roof, exterior, windows, doors, trim, interior rooms, kitchen, bathrooms, plumbing, electrical systems, and more. The inspector can show you the exact issues with your house, helping to advise your next steps in the home-buying journey.
A residential real estate attorney can assist in clarifying title issues, paperwork mistakes, and uncooperative sellers. However, for a straight-forward home transaction with a qualified real estate agent, an attorney may not be necessary.
A local independent insurance agent can let you know the cost of insuring your house in Hawaii. The neighborhood, zoning, size of the home, and other factors can impact the home insurance premium. They can also offer you additional coverage besides the required basic homeowner's insurance.
While an escrow agent or officer is not really a part of your team since they are a third party, you will work closely with them during the closing process. An escrow officer manages the money between the buyer, seller, and lender while also assuring paperwork and title examinations are complete.
Bonus: Your Family
The support of your family and friends is important in life – and especially while buying a home. Perhaps your purchase is fueled by family growth. Or maybe you are buying a home from a family member or with a partner. Whatever the reason you are buying the home, it is important to have people around that support you socially and emotionally.
Surround yourself with educated and experienced professionals during your home-buying process. With a committed team, you can peacefully navigate the complex web of buying a home in Hawaii.
Tips and FAQs for first-time home buyers in Hawaii.
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