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 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

Other Useful

Hickam Lodging


Marine Corps Base Hawaii

Hawaii Marine Newspaper


Animal Quarantine Station Rabies
Information Brochure


Hawaii Military Base Guides

Mililani Real Estate | Mililani Condo Market Report YTD

Mililani Condo Statistics for YTD 2009: There are 93 Active condos/townhouses on the market, 45 in contract and 130 sold for the period January to June of 2009. Looks like our Mililani Condo/Townhouse market is picking up with more units condos and accepted contracts. Sales Prices ranged from $160,000 (1 bedroom condo) to $495,00 (2 bdrm luxury townhouse).