TOP 10 Priorities to Consider When Selling Your Hawaii Home

The Hawaii Home Seller will need to be aware that there are TOP PRIORITIES for selling your home and  getting the best representation for that job!  It’s not just about marketing your home, selling your home at market value or expecting that everyone else has the same sentiments that you do with your home.

A Home Seller HAS to have an open mind with an abundance of concerns that need to be considered and addressed in the process of Selling Your Hawaii Home. Another thing to consider is that there is just only so much buildable land on Oahu.  The home located on a nice piece of land (say 5,000-10,000 sq/ft) in say Mililani, is worth more than the home itself!

  1. The interior/ land square footage is important. You may have an excellent condition home but 700 sq/ft interior vs. 2,500 interior sq/ft interior is a HUGE difference in under the roof size and will HAVE to be priced right. Same with the land sq/ft. Listen to your Realtor® when they are presenting comparable properties on the market.
  2. The Year Built is important. The year your home was built is a huge difference if it were built in 1920 vs. 2015! Some older homes in Hawaii are single wall construction, have aluminum wiring and the plumbing (if not done previously) will need serious updating. Single wall construction may be harder to get homeowners insurance.
  3. Selling Your Hawaii Home in “As Is” Condition Will Raise Eyebrows. If you have a home that has structural, electrical, plumbing or hazardous issues; not to mention termites.  You’d be better off getting an independent home inspection and making the necessary repairs.
  4. Market Value of Your Home Does Matter! I keep hearing many who insist that appraisers do not use short sales  and foreclosures for comps in their appraisals. Gee, wonder how prices went down in certain neighborhoods compared to others? Then why do appraisers give a summary of “this neighborhood is in a declining market” in their report?
  5. Neighborhoods Do Matter! There are some Oahu neighborhoods that were in severely declining markets with MANY short sales and foreclosures.  Your Realtor® should know your neighborhood and give you sound advice on the housing market in your neighborhood.
  6. Loan programs available do matter!  Most loans may not approve a loan if your home has unpermitted bedrooms, baths or additions. VA loans will not approve a loan for a home that is in disrepair as well.  Just because your home is in a high priced neighborhood does not automatically mean that you can sell it and a loan will be approved if you have serious conditions going on.
  7. Lower inventory may not matter if: You have your home so overpriced that it will not appraise. Our inventory is seriously low in Mililani,  but it does not mean you can overprice by 100k and people will grab it!  You need to be realistic and listen to your Realtor®.
  8. Marketing Your Home Does Matter!  Approximately 90% of all home buying/selling consumers are online looking at the values of Hawaii Homes. Your Realtor® should have an extensive marketing plan geared online for selling your Hawaii Home and also do Open Houses (which by the way do work here) to expose your home to many advertising possibilities.
  9. Allowing for Showings of Your Home DO Matter! If you demand to be there for all showings or only allow showings during certain times you will definitely cut the amount of exposure for your home. Make sure your agent uses electronic lockboxes that register all agents who are showing their clients.
  10. It Does Matters Which Realtor® Represents You!  You may want to interview a few Realtors® to make sure that you will be represented well.  Experience, knowledge, personality, detailed, organized, prompt, keeps you informed, marketing techniques, laws/contracts are just a few of the traits to look for.

You may be relocating, upgrading to a larger home or downgrading because of personal reasons. Whatever your reasons are for Selling Your Hawaii Home these points above are REALLY something to consider. You do want to be a happy and successful Hawaii Home Seller, right?

Advertisements

Hawaii VA Loans and the Real Estate Process

The following are some of the steps that are followed for the Hawaii VA Loan and Real Estate Process to Owning Your Hawaii Home. There are definitely more than a few steps but you will at least have a guideline to follow for your Hawaii Military Relocation, your Hawaii VA Loan Process and owning your Hawaii Home. Read more here>>>http://actvra.in/dpl

Speak to a Local Hawaii Lender to submit your information and get preapproved for a loan. (if you do not have a loan officer in mind, I can refer you to a few who are well qualified and licensed in the State of Hawaii) While talking to the Loan Officer make sure and let him/her know what kind of monthy mortgage payments you are comfortable with. After getting preapproved for your loan … ….your Realtor® will now know what price range to search for properties for you.

•Let your agent know what specifics and criteria you are interested in for properties. Giving your agent the specifics, location, # bedrooms/ # of baths, sq. ft. interior/land, parking, single family or condo/townhouse will make it easier to fine tune your property search. YOU CAN ALSO GET A HEAD START HERE>> HAWAII HOME SEARCH

Make sure you have all your financial paperwork together to bring wiht you to Hawaii.(You carry on bags should have your bank statements, W-2’s, LES’s and important documents you will need to submit for your loan!) Your loan officer will give you a list of documents you will need. •Certificate of Eligibility can be obtained from the Veterans of Affairs office but our lenders order them online once you start your loan process. If anything is held up we have a VA office centrally located on Oahu for your convenience and it takes just minutes.

Starting your loan process before you arrive so you will have everything at hand when you submit an offer for a property. The loan process is the lengthy and important part of the transaction so it is better to be proactive in your process. Your funding fee can be included with your loan but you will have some closing costs to close with. NOTE: If you are a Disabled Veteran make sure and let your loan officer know as you could be eligible to have the funding fee waived. You arrive on the island of Oahu! After getting rested you are ready to meet your Realtor®!

Appointments were made prior to your arrival and we are ready to search for your new home! When you decide that you would like to put in an offer we will go through the whole 12 page (plus addendum’s) contract and submit it to the sellers agent to present to the seller. •After the offer is accepted the loan process begins. You will meet with your Loan Officer to submit your complete application and submit all documentation needed for your VA Loan process packet. Then it goes to Underwriting to process the initial packet and order the appraisal with their VA approved appraisers.

The Home Inspection is the next step of the process. You definitely will want to have a professional home inspection done. You need to know the condition of the property and request for repairs from the seller if needed. •The Condominium and/or Subdivision Association Documents should be ordered immediately after acceptance of the offer and in the buyer’s hands within 10-14 days after acceptance. This agent will make copies of the Budget, last three Association minutes and the Property Information form (RR105C) and submit it to the lender. They need this for the VA Loan Guidelines and process for your loan. (these documents will show how the Association budgets their money in reserve. % of owner occupants, any pending concerns or litigation going on and so forth.

Provided your loan process goes smoothly you should have a Conditional Loan Commitment Letter within the first three weeks in contract. This is an approval of your loan with Conditions. Maybe you need to submit a couple of more documents or the appraisal is not in yet or the survey and termite inspection are not done yet. These are the types of conditions that will be listed on this letter. •Within two weeks after the Conditional Loan Commitment letter is issued all the conditions should be complete and you will have your final loan approval. You and your Realtor® will attend the signing of escrow and loan documents. Not to worry! I attend all signings with you.

After the signing, the loan officer takes the notarized and signed documents to go through processing and within 2.5 days the Lender should have funded the money for your loan to the escrow company.

When escrow receives all monies then they will take the documents to the Bureau of Conveyances in Honolulu. From that time it takes two business days and it will be recorded. At this time, the home is legally yours. Congratulations! Here are the keys to your new home! It’s not easy moving across the Pacific Ocean let alone to a totally different “world” of people… …. but you can do it with a little effort, motivation and a great Realtor!

 

The following are some of the steps that are followed for the Hawaii VA Loan and Real Estate Process to Owning Your Hawaii Home. There are definitely more than a few steps but you will at least have a guideline to follow for your Hawaii Military Relocation, your Hawaii VA Loan Process and owning your Hawaii Home.
Read more here>>>
http://actvra.in/dpl

  • Speak to a Local Hawaii Lender to submit your information and get preapproved for a loan. (if you do not have a loan officer in mind,  I can refer you to a few who are well qualified and licensed in the State of Hawaii) While talking to the Loan Officer make sure and let him/her know what kind of monthy mortgage payments you are comfortable with.

After getting preapproved for your loan …

….your Realtor® will now know what price range to search for properties for you.

  • Let your agent know what specifics and criteria you are interested in for properties. Giving your agent the specifics, location, # bedrooms/ # of baths, sq. ft. interior/land, parking, single family or condo/townhouse will make it easier to fine tune your property search. YOU CAN ALSO GET A HEAD START HERE>>  HAWAII HOME SEARCH
  • Make sure you have all your financial paperwork together to bring wiht you to Hawaii.(You carry on bags should have your bank statements, W-2’s, LES’s and important documents you will need to submit for your loan!) Your loan officer will give you a list of documents you will need.
  • Certificate of Eligibility can be obtained from the Veterans of Affairs office but our lenders order them online once you start your loan process. If anything is held up we have a VA office centrally located on Oahu for your convenience and it takes just minutes.
  • Starting your loan process before you arrive so you will have everything at hand when you submit an offer for a property. The loan process is the lengthy and important part of the transaction so it is better to be proactive in your process. Your funding fee can be included with your loan but you will have some closing costs to close with. NOTE:  If you are a Disabled Veteran make sure and let your loan officer know as you could be eligible to have the funding fee waived.

You arrive on the island of Oahu!  After getting rested you are ready to meet your Realtor®! 

  • Appointments were made prior to your arrival and we are ready to search for your new home!  When you decide that you would like to put in an offer we will go through the whole 12 page (plus addendum’s) contract and submit it to the sellers agent to present to the seller.
  • After the offer is accepted the loan process begins. You will meet with your Loan Officer to submit your complete application and submit all documentation needed for your VA Loan process packet. Then it goes to Underwriting to process the initial packet and order the appraisal with their VA approved appraisers.
  • The Home Inspection is the next step of the process. You definitely will want to have a professional home inspection done. You need to know the condition of the property and request for repairs from the seller if needed.
  • The Condominium and/or Subdivision Association Documents should be ordered immediately after acceptance of the offer and in the buyer’s hands within 10-14 days after acceptance. This agent will make copies of the Budget, last three Association minutes and the Property Information form (RR105C) and submit it to the lender. They need this for the VA Loan Guidelines and process for your loan.  (these documents will show how the Association budgets their money in reserve. % of owner occupants, any pending concerns or litigation going on and so forth.
  • Provided your loan process goes smoothly you should have a Conditional Loan Commitment Letter within the first three weeks in contract. This is an approval of your loan with Conditions. Maybe you need to submit a couple of more documents or the appraisal is not in yet or the survey and termite inspection are not done yet. These are the types of conditions that will be listed on this letter.
  • Within two weeks after the Conditional  Loan Commitment letter is issued all the conditions should be complete and you will have your final loan approval. You and your Realtor® will attend the  signing of escrow and loan documents. Not to worry! I attend all signings with you.
  • After the signing, the loan officer takes the notarized and signed documents to go through processing and within 2.5 days the Lender should have funded the money for your loan to the escrow company.
  • When escrow receives all monies then they will take the documents to the Bureau of Conveyances in Honolulu. From that time it takes two business days and it will be recorded.  At this time, the home is legally yours.

Congratulations!  Here are the keys to your new home!

It’s not easy moving across the Pacific Ocean let alone to a totally different “world” of people…

…. but you can do it with a little effort, motivation and a great Realtor

Hawaii Military & the VA Loan

Honolulu County IS of the whole island of Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands. With 50+ Hawaii Military Bases and Installations on our island alone, you can guaranty that the VA Guaranteed Loan is the way to go for the Hawaii Military Veteran purchasing their piece of Hawaii and paradise with a place they can call home.

(picture to left is the model of the USS Arizona Memorial depicting the ship under water and the memorial above at Pearl Harbor Hawaii)
Remember, VA Guarantees a percentage of the loan and you still have to go through a Lender that actually does do VA Loans and it is for your OWN PERSONAL USE. (not all banks, credit unions and loan companies do VA Loans). The Veterans Administration Guaranteed Loan is one of just a couple of loan programs that allow the Veteran to finance the funding fee as well as come in with no down payment. (100% financing)
In my experience, the Hawaii Based Military personnel have purchased homes or condos totalling 1/3 of my total sales with their VA loan benefits. I have learned the process very well and you may as well consider me a Seasoned Real Estate Agent for VA Transations and the Hawaii Military Relocation.
I take pride in my relationships with the Military Stationed in Hawaii and pay particular attention to their needs when they Relocate to Hawaii. Military Transfers & Relocations to Hawaii: A Geographical Shock tells my story and travels as a Military Dependent but also that the Hawaii Military Veteran makes up 10% of our population on Oahu & the Active Duty Military Personnel make up about 3.5 % of our population on Oahu.
 
The following guidelines will help you in preparing for your Hawaii Relocation (or even if you already live here and are purchasing a home) and learning about the transaction process using your VA Guaranteed Loan:

  1. Your Realtor® needs to know what price range you qualify for in order to search through the MLS system for properties in your criteria that you provide (i.e. #bedrooms, baths, etc). If you do not know a LOCAL lender Your Realtor® can refer you to a couple who are well qualified and know the State Laws In Hawaii. Local lenders also will be walking along side you step by step as well as being face to face at time of signing loan docs.
  2. When the Loan Officer lets both you and Your Realtor® know what price range you are qualified for the Oahu and Surrounding Neighborhood Search: Relocations Hawaii gives you information on how Your Realtor® will set you up with a detailed web page according to your criteria for property listings.
  3. Get your financial documents together (and make sure you don’t let the movers pack them!) such as LES’s for a whole month prior (you can also get this on MyPay online so not to worry), last two years of W-2’s, last two months bank statements, any documents relating to your VA disability (if you are a disabled vet) and whatever the Loan Officer tells you that you will need.
  4. Your VA Certificate of Eligibility will be ordered by the Loan Officer online once you go through the loan application process and it saves you the trip to Tripler Army Medical Center -VA Office- so, not to worry. VA guarantees approximately 25% of your loan to the lender.
  5. Your Credit (FICO) Score and Income make a difference if you are to be qualified for a VA Loan. Remember, just because you have VA Benefits does not mean you don’t have to have decent or some credit. There is a criteria that the Lenders follow according to VA guidelines. (i.e. if you have NO credit you cannot obtain a loan. Get a gas card and credit card to establish credit. You DO have to show a history of payments). Your debt to loan ratio is also taken into consideration and part of the criteria.
  6. This Realtor® makes showing appointments according to the criteria you have specified. You will know which home to put an offer in on and it’ll be when you walk in a home and you say, “This feels like the right home for me!”
  7. Then the contract is drawn up and this Realtor® explains each contingency throughout the contract while signing. The offer is submitted to the Seller’s Agent and when it is accepted by the seller the Transaction and Loan Process begins!
  8. This Realtor® sends the accepted contract to the Loan Officer and Opens Escrow. All documents and you initial deposit check will be submitted to escrow during the transaction and you will make an appointment immediately to submit all documentation and go through the VA application/signing with the loan officer. From there the loan officer orders the appraisal.
  9. This Realtor® will set a time & date coinciding with your schedule to do your home inspection and will also give you a list of professional home inspectors to choose from. The home inspection will show you if there is anything to be repaired or remedied,
  10. The Condominium and/or Subdivision Association Documents should be ordered immediately after acceptance of the offer and in the buyer’s hands within 10-14 days after acceptance. This agent will make copies of the Budget, last three Association minutes and the Property Information form (RR105C) and submit it to the lender. They need this for the VA Loan Guidelines and process for your loan. (these documents will show how the Association budgets their money in reserve. % of owner occupants, any pending concerns or litigation going on and so forth.
  11. Provided your loan process goes smoothly you should have a Conditional Loan Commitment Letter within the first three weeks in contract. This is an approval of your loan with Conditions. Maybe you need to submit a couple of more documents or the appraisal is not in yet or the survey and termite inspection are not done yet. These are the types of conditions that will be listed on this letter.
  12. Within two weeks after the Conditional Loan Commitment letter is issued all the conditions should be complete for signing documents with escrow and the loan officer. Not to worry! I attend all signings with you. Approximately two to three days after signing the lender will wire all monies to escrow (funding) and when escrow receives all monies they will take the documents to the Bureau of Conveyances to record. One day later the Bureau gives clearance of recording and in turn escrow notifies all parties, and….
At this time, I call you and say, Congratulations! You now own your home!

How Can I Obtain More Information About VA Home Loans?

Call VA at 1-800-827-1000 or contact a local lender or real estate professional. Pamphlets available from VA include: 26-4 VA Guaranteed Loans for Veterans

Honolulu County Hawaii Military Bases & Installations- Oahu Neighborhoods
LIVE on VIDEO: A Hawaii Military Relocation Story Comes to Life
*Across the Ocean to Paradise: Military Relocations Hawaii*
The Art of Hawaii Relocations
The Cost of Living Factor in Considering A Hawaii Relocation
Oahu and Surrounding Neighborhood Search: Relocations Hawaii
Aiea, Pearl City Neighborhoods- Hawaii Military Relocation

~~~~~
It’s not easy moving across the Pacific Ocean and purchasing your Hawaii Home;
let alone to a totally different “world” of people.
But you can do it with a little effort, motivation and a great Realtor®!

If you’re Relocating to Hawaii (regardless if it’s near future or just wanting to be proactive for the future) contact me to get started with your search for Hawaii Homes for Sale.

Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman, RA, e-PRO / Century 21 Liberty Homes, Mililani, Hawaii
© Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman, All rights reserved.

Hawaii Military Relocation | Part II of YOUR Military Move to Hawaii

Hawaii Military Relocation

Part II of YOUR Military Move to Hawaii

In Hawaii Military Relocation YOUR Military Move to Hawaii PART I, I gave you information on the being proactive in YOUR Military Move to Hawaii and Hawaii Military Relocations. You now know that there is quite a bit of difference living on an island out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and that the environment and culture are mysterious and diverse and that the homes and land sq/ft are definitely smaller than the Continental United States (the ‘mainland’ we call it) so scale down on the household goods!
You also learned that the main Hawaii Military Bases are on the island of Oahu; which is Honolulu County and that you will have to get your pets ready with shots and checkups way before you leave lest they be put in quarantine for a lengthy stay.

Now we have Part II of the Series on YOUR Military Move to Hawaii.

RENTING vs. BUYING your Hawaii Home

Everyone needs a place to live in YOUR Hawaii Relocation to an island paradise. You are still wondering if you’d like to live on base, rent off base or buy a home in Hawaii. Regardless, what you decide you want to be proactive in your search for homes, condos or townhouses or contact your base Community Housing.

Renting a Hawaii Home: You can peruse the listings for rentals on http://www.ahrn.com which is a great place to get the criteria picked out for what you want to spend. Most likely you want to stay in your BAH range and you can check out Honolulu County 2009 BAH for your criteria. Don’t forget to do a budget including your utilities and make sure that if you have a big dog that the complex (if condo/townhouse) allows for or has limitations on the size or kinds of pets. That is one big factor to consider when doing your search. Look for pet friendly buildings and rentals.
Buying a Hawaii Home: You have been Searching for Hawaii Homes and contact me to get more information on how to get started with the real estate transaction process. You have read all about the First-Time Homebuyer Credit Expands and that you will get the regular tax breaks throughout the years you are paying a mortgage and that this year you will be getting an $8,000 tax credit when you file your taxes…..as long as you close on the property BEFORE December 1, 2009. (meaning, Nov. 30 or before!) And just think….that BAH is extra money for housing and yours to invest in your own property.
No matter if you are planning on Renting or Buying a Hawaii Home during your tour of duty here you know that you will not be able to have us hold a rental or a property for sale until you get here. It’s just known that with rentals it’ll be first come, first served. In home buying it’s the same.

In any case, you will need to see the property before making a decision.

So, Searching for Hawaii Homes for sale and searching for rentals on http://www.ahrn.com is the best thing to do right about now to get started. You’ll get an idea on the sq/ft, the neighborhoods and the properties closest to your Hawaii Military Duty Station when you make that Hawaii Military Relocation in the near future. At least you’ll be getting prepared with learning about the different neighborhoods, schools, that will be closer to your duty station and more appealing to your idea of the neighborhood you’d love to reside in.

Honolulu County Mililtary Base Housing: The following links provide you with your Base Community Housing contacts and websites to get more info on getting on the list should you decide you just want to live in base housing.

•Hickam AFB Community Housing http://www.hickamch.com/ and their number is 808-423-4650. Other information on Honolulu County here>> Air Force Communities.

Fort Shafter Housing Office, (808) 275-3800. Report to the housing office within 3 working days of your arrival to have your name placed on a housing list or to be able to get authorization for off-base housing. Be warned that housing lists are sometimes six months or more of waiting. More on TLA here>> NEW ARRIVALS- Housing

•Kaneohe Marine Corp Base- Building 455, at the corner of Lawrence and Pancoast Street. Hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 0730-1530, Wednesday from 0730-1400.Toll free: 1-866-224-7942 or 808-257-1257. BASE HOUSING INFO

•Army Hawaii Base Family Housing- Go here for info on>>Our communities
Army Hawaii Community Homes available for Aliamanu & Rim/Red Hill Housing Communities, Fort Shafter Community, Tripler Community, Wheeler AAF Community and Canby, Porter, Hamilton, Sante Fe and Kalakaua Communities on Schofield Barracks.

•Pearl Harbor and Navy Housing- The Navy Aloha Center (Family Housing Office) is located at 4825 Bougainville Drive, Bldg 2652, Honolulu, Hawaii 96818. Call 808-474-1800. You can also apply here>> for a Welcome Aboard Packet

Regardless of where you decide to reside in Honolulu County you have to admit one thing.




What a life to be living and working in paradise!

Hawaii VA Loans & Real Estate Transaction Process

About the Hawaii VA Loan Process- Your Realtor® can refer you to seasoned loan officers who know the Hawaii VA Loan Process. Beware of the loan officer that is advertising as if they are part of the Veterans Administration. They are part of a loan company but NOT part of the Veterans Administration based at Tripler Army Hospital.
Having experienced and straightforward professionals rather than ones who claim to be ‘experts’ or advertise as if they are part of the Veterans Administration is a better choice.

Hawaii VA Home Loan | Hawaii VA Transaction Specialist | The Scoop

ALOHA!
Back in the day, there were Realtors® and Loan Officers that did not want to deal with VA Loans. Why? Because they’re strict with their guidelines and criteria. When overpricing and overbidding were running rampant in all cities, VA remained the ever conservative loan for the Veteran of the Armed Forces.
I say Woohoo! Yeah! Great! It is with this criteria that has kept the VA Guaranteed Loan going and the only 100% financing loan in Hawaii that remains a good loan for the military and vet of the US Armed Forces. Remember, the VA Guaranteed Loan means that VA guarantees the lender a portion of your loan; they do not fund the loan.
Now a days you’ll have everyone trying to solicit your business with advertising that they are the “VA Expert” or like me I say, “VA Home Loan Transaction Specialist”. There are many pertinent parts to a VA Home Loan and Purchasing a Property in Hawaii so be sure your Realtor® and Loan Officer know their stuff!

  • The Realtor® HAS to know the VA Transaction Process. Right now, they are so back logged with appraisal reports and so forth (because it is the one loan that is running rampant here due to our high volume of military presence) so we structure our contracts to accommodate the timeline. This agent keeps on top of all involved in the process.
  • The Realtor® HAS to know which lenders and loan officers KNOW their VA Loans. Chances are the incoming member does not know a good loan officer and it is up to us to refer them to one that KNOWS THEIR VA LOAN. Just because someone has signs all over the place displaying their expertise in the field, does not mean it is so. The seasoned Realtor® has worked alongside experts in the field and will refer you to a couple who know their stuff.
  • The Loan Officer HAS to be punctual and keep on top of the lender to get all parts of the transaction together. Ordering the appraisal quickly so they can get notice of a VA appraiser being assigned to the case is a start. For incoming personnel there are loads of other documents to retrieve as they are just arriving and their Honolulu County BAH will not automatically be in their LES (pay statement).
  • The Escrow Officer has to know the process as well in case other parties need something from the other. We do not communicate with the buyer if representing the seller and do not sign documents all together. It’s a conflict of interest and everything should be complete before signing anyway.
  • The VA Buyer has to be realistic in their part of the process. If you are serious about buying your Hawaii Home, then keep an open mind. If the sq/ft is smaller than you’d hoped but you are able to buy at that lower price then it may be something to consider. Waiting for a later time and the interest rates may go up, the prices may start going back up or circumstances may not allow purchasing in ‘hopes’ something will pop up. We don’t have crystal balls but if you are seriously ready then hop off that fence.
  • The Seller (or bank) has to be realistic in their part of the process as well. Prices are not going up! Sales numbers are down. Overpricing or being stubborn on the price may just lose a serious buyer. Your home may be the same floor plan as the another but your property is definitely not nicer….what do you do? You aggressively price your property to meet the needs of the market and get that home sold! And remember….VA loans are one of the best 100% financing loans out there!

Times have changed in the housing market nationwide. The VA Loan is now the most popular 100% financing loan for incoming military personnel to Hawaii and by far the most secure for lenders. Remember though, you still have to have money for closing costs (escrow & title fees, lender fees, prorated property taxes and so forth) but you may be able to have those covered by a seller credit if they are open to negotiating and getting off the fence too!

Let’s all work together as a team to make each VA Loan Transaction go through smoothly for the Military Member and Veteran Relocating to Hawaii!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
More Information for the Armed Forces Member or Veteran:
*Across the Ocean to Paradise: Military Relocations Hawaii* Don’t be shocked when you arrive…get the scoop on the environment, jobs, house hunting, BAH current rates and more!
A Honolulu Hawaii Relocation: Getting Ready With Your “To Do” List Be proactive in getting ready for the big move. A great simple list with to do’s to get started!
The Art of Hawaii Relocations Expect smaller, different and of course paradise.
VA Loans & Hawaii Military Relocations: This Realtors® Process Know the process for your VA benefits and the VA loan process.
Honolulu-Hawaii Pet Quarantine: Prepare For Your Hawaii Move! Hawaii is Rabies Free so our laws are strict with incoming pets.
Oahu and Surrounding Neighborhood Search: Relocations Hawaii A look into how I set you up to receive automatic listings with your own personal webpage to fine tune your criteria for your home purchase
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
© 2007-2009 Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman’s Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog. All rights reserved.

Putting Up Barriers versus Selling Your Home

 

100_2487

No matter where you are our United States of America…. it IS a BUYER’S market. That means buyers can negotiate for a better price, maybe a credit to go towards closing costs. Maybe they just transferred to Hawaii with the military and are staying in a hotel and need to close quickly.

It is NOT a seller’s market like it used to be. If sellers need to sell their home  or condo they need to change with the market in their local area. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it.

It IS a BUYER’S market.

The following points listed should give sellers a clue that it is more of a buyer’s market when listing their home for sale:

  • You are getting fewer showings than you would have two to three years ago.  In fact, it is REAL slow today.  (one showing every couple of days is a far cry from 5-10 a day and four contracts overbidding) As time goes on the showings decrease even more.
  • Your Realtor® showed you comps from six months ago up to the present and the prices have declined a little in that timeframe. (3% for Hawaii)
  • The number of sales declined drastically over the past year because the financial institutions cracked down big time on lending criteria. GOOD!  (had to throw that in) Buyer’s are also being very cautious.
  • Buyers have a BIG inventory of homes and condos to choose from. It’s literally Christmas every day for them!  They can have their pick and most certainly will choose one they do not have to upgrade and all they have to do is…..MOVE IN.

Healthy Boundaries are good for any individual to have but when a seller tries to protect themselves by putting up big barriers (conditions and demands) and burns bridges along the way it becomes a losing battle for not just the seller; but the Realtor® who has invested a lot of time, hard work and effort to market a property. 

This Realtor® spends countless hours to prepare your home for marketing:

  • Research and pull up tax records, building permits and documents pertaining to the property.
  • Prepare the listing agreement & profile sheet and go through all of the contract with you before signing.
  • Prepare the Sellers Real Property Disclosure Statement and answer any questions you may have while you fill it out. (we have a four page detailed itemized questionnaire and it does take time to go through the whole thing and then answer any yes questions in detail on the last page)
  • Creating a specialized flyer and property portfolio to display in your home for potential buyers during regular showings (with their Buyer’s Agent) or during Open Houses. This is no couple of minute job because it can take me up to an hour to get the flyer “just right” and the portfolio up to three hours!
  • Take pictures of your home for the listing sites.
  • Advise you on what you can do to get your home ready for showing (so please don’t take it personal like I’m criticizing your home…I’m doing my job!)
  • Enter the listing into our MLS system and Century 21 site and add photos and make slide shows. (Lots of time)
  • Creating specialized Real Estate Shows and burn them to printable cover cd’s. (this take some time!)
  • Entering your listing on countless sites that I subscribe to and post your photos. (this takes LOTS of time) and enhance your listing on Realtor.com (this takes some more time) 

And this is JUST THE BEGINNING! I set up showing appointments, do Open Houses, refresh and update all the listings I submitted to sites as time goes by, I present all offers to you and advise you on your options. I give you sound advice and remind you of the market conditions and the current comps.  I go through the whole transaction with you, order condo docs, surveys and termite inspections. I accompany you to signing and help you with anything to do with the sale of your home.

The only thing I am unable to do is MAKE someone to buy your home.

There are contingencies in our contract that protect the buyer if they need to back out of the contract. It could be that the buyer lost their job. (they are NO LONGER qualified for a loan) Maybe they didn’t like something they saw in the home inspection. There are contingencies to protect the buyer to NOT buy your home. There are also contingencies to protect the seller but the bottom line is that if the buyer has a valid reason it does not automatically entitle you to their deposit. 

Remember, when you signed that Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement? It specifically states that the “Seller agrees to consider all offers presented by the Brokerage Firm and to act in good faith to sell the property”.

If you REALLY want to sell your home:

  • You make your home appealing to the buyer who is coming in to view your home
  • You allow your Realtor® to do their job and give you their expert advice. You don’t take their suggestions as a personal attack on you but letting the Realtor® do what they are trained to do.
  • You realize that when a Realtor® is working for you it involves giving you advice. Working for you does not mean you are telling the Realtor® to do it YOUR way even though the market, circumstances and comps say otherwise.
  • You don’t assume your home is the best on the market and therefore should be priced as high as the others…… if you did NOT upgrade anything at all.
  • You keep an open mind and allow your Realtor® to go through the CURRENT market conditions and current comparables in your immediate area and trust that they are NOT lying to you.
  • Be willing to negotiate with the buyer to sell your home when it IS a buyer’s market. Maybe you could make demands a couple of years ago but the market has changed in favor of the buyer. There are MANY other homes and condos on the market to choose from.  (this does not mean give it away by all means. But fighting over a couple thousand will cost you more when months down the line your home is still sitting on the market.)
  • That you, the seller, do not hold a Real Estate license and it is advisable to LISTEN to the direction, advice and opinions of your Realtor®.  A seasoned agent KNOWS what they’re talking about and is thinking in your best interests to get you a fair market price and get your home SOLD.

This Realtor® is going to tell you the truth and will NOT tell you just what YOU want to hear.

If you choose not to listen to your  Realtor® it could cost you the sale of your home.

  

 

© 2009 Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman, All rights reserved 

      

HAWAII VA LOANS | Hawaii Military Relocations |This Realtors® Process

Active Duty or Veterans of the Armed Forces have VA Home Loan benefits for their home purchase that have proven beneficial for when it comes to little or no money down loan program. (provided their credit is satisfactory) VA guarantees the Local Lender that they will reimburse the lender a percentage should the veteran default on their loan. The following brochure What VA Does For the Home Buying Veteran should be very useful guidelines and loads of information.
*Across the Ocean to Paradise: Military Relocations Hawaii* has loads of information for your Military Relocation to Hawaii so you will have pertinent information on what to expect in your relocation to our island paradise.
Currently, I have one VA Loan client in contract and the other one has already been prequalified and coming to Honolulu Hawaii next month specifically to put in an offer during their 5 day house hunting trip so they can return back to the mainland and pack for their Hawaii Relocation in February. VA Loans are abundant here due to our high volume of military personnel and presence on Oahu, Hawaii.
The following steps are what this Real Estate Professional does in order to make your Relocation to Hawaii as smooth as possible concerning your real estate transaction and VA Loan Process.

Speak to a Local Hawaii Lender (if you do not have one I can refer you to a few who are well qualified in the State of Hawaii) to submit your information and get prequalified.

  • While talking to the Loan Officer make sure and let him/her know what you are comfortable with for monthly mortgage payments. After getting prequalified your Realtor® will now know in what price range to search for properties for you.
  • Let your agent know what other criteria you are looking for as far as # bedrooms/ # of baths, sq. ft. interior/land, parking, single family or condo/townhouse. Just remember to go over the *Across the Ocean to Paradise: Military Relocations Hawaii* because this gives pertinent information on what to expect in your Hawaii Relocation.
  • Get all your financial paperwork together so you will have it with you when you arrive.(Do not pack your bank statements, W-2’s, LES’s and important documents you will need to submit for your loan!)
  • If you have a couple of months to spare you may order your Certificate of Eligibility from the Veterans of Affairs office. It is not necessary to do so though, because our lenders order them online once you start your loan process and if anything is held up we have a VA office centrally located on Oahu for your convenience and it takes just minutes.
  • Start your loan process before you get here so you will have everything in place when you submit an offer for a loan. The loan process is the lengthy and of course an important part of the transaction so it is better to be proactive in your process. Your closing costs can be included with your loan so you will have minimal costs to come in with and to close with.
  • Appointments are made and off we go in search of your new home! When you decide that you would like to put in an offer we will go through the whole 12 page (plus addendum’s) contract and submit it to the sellers agent to present to the seller.
  • After the offer is accepted the loan process begins. You will meet with your Loan Officer to submit your complete application and submit all documentation needed for your VA Loan process packet. Then it goes to Underwriting to process the initial packet and order the appraisal with their VA approved appraisers.
  • The Condominium and/or Subdivision Association Documents should be ordered immediately after acceptance of the offer and in the buyer’s hands within 10-14 days after acceptance. This agent will make copies of the Budget, last three Association minutes and the Property Information form (RR105C) and submit it to the lender. They need this for the VA Loan Guidelines and process for your loan. (these documents will show how the Association budgets their money in reserve. % of owner occupants, any pending concerns or litigation going on and so forth.
  • Provided your loan process goes smoothly you should have a Conditional Loan Commitment Letter within the first three weeks in contract. This is an approval of your loan with Conditions. Maybe you need to submit a couple of more documents or the appraisal is not in yet or the survey and termite inspection are not done yet. These are the types of conditions that will be listed on this letter.
  • Within two weeks after the Conditional Loan Commitment letter is issued all the conditions should be complete for signing documents with escrow and the loan officer. Not to worry! I attend all signings with you.
  • In Hawaii, we do not sign at the same time as the Seller due to conflict of interest and we sign approximately four days before recording. After the signing, the loan officer takes the notarized and signed documents to go through processing and within 2.5 days the Lender should have funded the money for your loan to the escrow company. When escrow receives all monies then they will take the documents to the Bureau of Conveyances in Honolulu to record. By the next business day it will record and we usually get word between 8-10am. At that time, the home is legally yours and I will have already made arrangements and have your keys in hand to open the doors to your new home.
    Congratulations!
    It’s not easy moving across the Pacific Ocean let alone to a totally different “world” of people but you can do it with effort, motivation and a great Realtor®!
    Call me for a Relocation Packet and more info!
    Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman, Realtor Associate ®
    Century 21 Liberty Homes
    95-221 Kipapa Drive, Mililani, HI * (808) 375-1404
    http://www.hawaiihomesmarket.com/
    http://woohoosally.blogspot.com/

     

    Mililani Real Estate | Mililani Market Report for September 2010

    You can’t just go by the statistics on national news. Each neighborhood will determine the housing market for your local area. For Oahu Real Estate, we can pretty much gather that from neighborhood to neighborhood that the sales prices will vary and so will the median and average prices and the number of sold properties.

    Mililani Town and Mililani Mauka Homes, Condos and Townhouses

    To better determine particulars for your market (with criteria including your sq/ft interior, land, condition and year built), contact this Realtor Associate® for a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis).

    Mililani Single Family Homes Market Report September 2010: We have 60 Active Listings for September 2010 (33 for Mililani Town and 27 Mililani Mauka), with 35 in contract (16 for Mililani Town and 19 for Mililani Mauka) and 20 sold properties (13 for Mililani Town and 7 for Mililani Mauka) Mililani Single Family Home activity remains comparable with previous months for 2010 with multiple contracts submitted and accepted due to the lower inventory. Average Sales Prices were a bit higher than the previous month of $570,952; up to $598,970 and down considerably from $675,500 a year ago. Average days on market…DOM was 43 days.

    Mililani Single Family Home Resales for Mililani and Mililani Mauka for September 2010

    Mililani Condo Statistics for September 2010: We have 108 Active condos/townhouses on the market from September 2010 (78 for Mililani Town and 29 for Mililani Mauka), 38 Pending (26 for Mililani Town and 12 for Mililani Mauka),  and 21 sold (13 for Mililani Town and 6 for Mililani Mauka) . Looks like our Mililani Condo/Townhouse market slowed down for the month of September from the previous month. Average sales price of $288,342 a slight increase from August 2010 of $271,882 and comparable to a year ago at $287,209.. Average days on market for September 2010 –DOM was 87 days.

    Mililani Condos and Townhouse Resales for Mililani Town and Mililani Mauka for September 2010

    We are in an up and down market and though we have a bit of inventory with short sales and foreclosures left to go through, we are getting multiple offers on properties as the inventory has gone down and prices are reasonable. Interest rates are low so it is still a good time to take advantage of buying your Hawaii Home.

     Stay tuned for more neighborhood market statistics or contact me at sally@hawaiihomesmarket.com for more information!

    ************************** 

    Hawaii Home Buyer | SOME Military Qualify for Extended Tax Credit 

    Yup, the Home Buyer Tax Credit ended on April 30, 2010 but there are some “Qualified service members” (which means a member of the uniformed services of the U.S military, a member of the Foreign Service of the U.S., or an employee of the intelligence community) that may still qualify for the extension of this Home Buyer Tax Credit. Qualified service members who are ordered on a period of official extended duty are extended for one year. For these home buyers, the tax credit applies to sales with a binding sales contract in place on or before April 30, 2011 and closed by June 30, 2011.

     READ THE DETAILS HERE: Hawaii Home Buyer | SOME Military Qualify for Extended Tax Credit

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     

     

    Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman is a Realtor-Associate with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client’s needs she serves all Hawaii Home Buyers and Sellers on the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) including all Hawaii Military Relocating to Hawaii, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents.

     

    Website: www.hawaiihomesmarket.com

      

    Hawaii Honolulu Military Relocation | Part I of the Series on YOUR Military Move to Hawaii

    Your Hawaii Military Relocation and Move is only PART of making that transition across the Pacific Ocean. There are many other factors to consider such as local area neighborhoods, schools, commute to your Hawaii Military Base and more. Maybe you want to know a little more on the History of the Hawaiian Islands or Hawaii Points of Interest for things to do. You may also considering Buying a Hawaii Home while you are stationed here on the islands and you need more information.

    We’ll cover all of this – and more -in YOUR Military Move to Hawaii series.

    Part I- Six Months Prior to “Moving Across the Pacific Ocean”

    Across the Pacific Ocean to Paradise. You are moving to a tropical island in the middle of the Pacific. You already know to expect a smaller land area but that means you’ll be living in smaller homes with smaller sq/ft. as well. You’ll be living on Oahu with its dense communities and neighborhoods that will appear one after another. The island of Oahu IS Honolulu County with a population of almost a million people and you can read more here>> What You Didn’t Know About the Hawaiian Islands

    Expect a Totally Different Environment! Keep an open mind for an experience unlike any other you will have in your lifetime. With a wide variety of ethnicities and cultures from all over the world, you will certainly get to experience different foods as well as each culture and their way of living all in one place. From Historic Honolulu to Chinatown to the tourist scene in Waikiki you definitely won’t be bored!

    Weather and Clothing Wear! Tropical island weather means sun, rain, cooler, warmer, tropical breezes and no snow (except during extreme conditions on the top of Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii (aka Big Island). Wait until you get here to go shopping at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet where they have t-shirts, swim suits, swim shorts, sarongs, shorts, tank tops and everything you need to start your tropical island ‘wardrobe’.

    SCALE DOWN on your Household Goods! If you haven’t used it for at least six months and it’s doesn’t have the sentimental value you used to believe then put aside everything you need to have a garage sale or put in storage. Stuff is just stuff and you WILL NOT be able to fit all that ‘stuff’ in a smaller home. Prices of homes go according to interior or land sq/ft regardless if it’s a rental or you are going to Buy a Hawaii Home.

    Getting Your Pets Ready! Hawaii is a rabies free state and our Quarantine laws are strict. You can avoid putting your pet through a long quarantine if you start the process on immunizations and checkups NOW. You can find more information in the Animal Quarantine’s Hawaii Rabies Quarantine Brochure (info about pre and post arrival requirements, quarantine station procedures, policies, rules, operations and fees) and the Checklist for Hawaii Resident Pets will give you a

    Hawaii Home Buying Means Being Proactive! Start by Searching for Hawaii Homes and take a look around the different neighborhoods and their price ranges. When you’re ready to have me set you up with your own personal webpage with specific criteria and getting you prequalified with loan officer who is seasoned with Hawaii VA Home Loan Transactions. Also, the Current Hawaii Market Report will give you an update on our current market statistics.

    The majority of Hawaii Military Bases are right on this island with Schofield Barracks (Army), Wheeler Army Air Field, Hickam Air Force Base, Pearl Harbor Navy Base, Honolulu Harbor Coast Guard and Kaneohe Marine Corp Air Station being the main bases for each branch of the military.

    Honolulu County Military Bases Military Lodging Hawaii Other Useful Links:

    Honolulu County
    Military Bases

    Military Lodging
    Hawaii


    Other Useful
    Links:


    Hickam Lodging

    Kaneohe

    Marine Corps Base Hawaii
    and


    Hawaii Marine Newspaper

     “Virtual
    Tour”


    Animal Quarantine Station Rabies
    Information Brochure


     HALE KOA
    HOTEL IN WAIKIKI



    Hawaii Military Base Guides