Volcano Affecting Hawaii Island Escrows

When the first signs of lava appeared in Leilani Estates subdivision on May 3rd, it wasn’t just the residents of that area that were affected. Insurance companies that write Homeowner’s policies in Lava Zones 1 & 2 immediately put in place a moratorium on writing any new policies. The moratorium is also in effect for… [Read More]

Funds Placed in Escrow

There’s a lot of confusion these days on how to get your required funds to escrow, and what form of funds they will require. Here’s a quick guide to help make your transaction flow without any issues. Initial Deposit on Sales Contracts: These funds can be in the form of a personal check. They must… [Read More]

Property Tax Lag – Why?

Most people are aware that the counties either charge different rates or offer credits if you live in your home versus owning it as an investment. What surprises almost everyone is how long it takes for the county to implement those changes when you purchase a home. In most other states, when you purchase a… [Read More]

Learn from Other’s Past Failures

A very common situation being seen more today in our every tight housing market, are offers being accepted in a backup position. Talk to any real estate agent, and they will tell you of the transaction that fell out of escrow – meaning the deal didn’t go through. This makes sense in a tight market… [Read More]

Ruin the Home Buying Experience

This situation has crossed my desk more than once, and it seems to be happening more and more. Those interested in buying a home start house hunting before they get pre-approved for their financing. If you noticed, I did not include the term “pre-qualification”. To me, a pre-qualification means absolutely nothing. More on that distinction… [Read More]

Buying a Property that needs Work

Sales of previously owned homes has slowed some, mostly due to a lack of inventory. In Hawaii, the bulk of sales are previously owned homes, as we don’t have large amounts of new development. After a long stretch of a seller’s market, a good portion of the inventory that’s available could be considered “not ideal”…. [Read More]

The Sky is not Falling

Rate Trends

Since the beginning of the year, interest rates have risen about 0.500%. But if you look at where rates were exactly a year ago, they are only up 0.250%. For most people, the 30-Year Fixed rate is still below 4.500%. For many who are now just getting to that stage in their life where they… [Read More]

Credit Scoring Models

What is a credit score, and how is your score calculated? There is so much misinformation and confusion, so let’s shine some light in the dark matter of credit scores. The first important step to understand is that the 3 big credit reporting agencies do exactly that. They report your credit payment history. Ever since… [Read More]

Have an FHA Loan? Say Aloha!

With the rise in Hawaii’s home values, those with an FHA loan may now have the ability to refinance out of an FHA loan and lower their monthly payment. FHA loans allow those with little down, or insufficient income, or credit issues, or all three, to buy their slice of the American dream – owning… [Read More]

Dump Your Home Equity Loan

The once cherished Home Equity Loan, referred to in the mortgage industry as a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit), suffered a major blow with passage of the tax reform act last month. For tax year 2018 and beyond, interest paid on these loans is no longer tax deductible. To make matters worse, virtually all… [Read More]