How much home can you afford?
Home prices in Honolulu is expensive and just that scares a lot of people from homeownership. However, you'll be surprise at what you can afford even with the expensive prices.
There are many cheaper neighborhoods to choose from for starter. And not to mention the many first-time homebuyer assistant program and mortgage loan options available.
Many new home buyers make the mistakes of not checking with the bank about their financial situation before start looking at properties.
In fact, many real estate agents now require a pre-qualification or pre-approval letter in the start before they start showing clients any properties. Some may even ask to see proof of funds.
So be prepared.
The reason why they start doing this is because many home buyers are not financially prepared. Most of us would overestimate what we could afford, specially with Honolulu real estate, who could blame us.
We frequently end up looking at properties that are out of our price range...that's okay if the property is overpriced or it's in a cold market.
Honolulu never has cold market.
Anyway, knowledge is power. Knowing how much you can afford saves you time and save your agent, escrow time. Can you imagine the disappointment if you put in an offer and was accepted, then find out during escrow that you don't qualify for the mortgage?
So, talk to a loan officer...in fact, talk to as many loan officers as you can. So you know what programs available. Every mortgage company is different. Some follow Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines, some don't.
Just talk to someone...it's free. They don't make money until you close on your property.
Related article: Mortgage Basics