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A Fair for Serious Homebuyers

home0816-1Presented by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the third annual Hawaii Home-buyers Fair will be held Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Hawaii Convention Center.

The free event will feature a guided tour of Kakaako, focusing on residential and retail projects that are in progress or planned for the near future by the Howard Hughes Corp., Stanford Carr Development and Castle & Cooke.

“The Homebuyers Fair will provide attendees with the knowledge and tools they need to get serious about homebuying,” said Cyd Kamakea, Classifieds manager for Honolulu Star-Advertiser and event coordinator. “They can visit exhibits and meet one-on-one with professionals from real estate companies, new home developers and lenders. They can attend workshops on home financing and homebuying as well as renewable energy resources, then hop on the Kakaako tour bus. Tour guides, including several of the key developers, will provide information on the various residential options for homebuyers as the bus proceeds along the route, returning to the Convention Center at the conclusion of the approximately 45-minute tour. Departures will be scheduled at various times throughout the day.

“In this show, we will be reaching out to both buyers and sellers looking to take advantage of opportunities in today’s competitive marketplace and the historically low interest rates,” she continued. “One of the seminars will be geared to those potential first-time buyers who don’t realize that the dream of owning their own home can become a reality. All they need is a little education and the help of a professional to get started.”

Kamakea noted that one of the main concerns of buyers is financing their home purchase. To address that concern, lenders will be on hand at the show to provide on-the-spot pre-qualification for buyers and to conduct informational seminars.

“Attendees should bring along their last two years of W-2 forms, tax returns, pays stubs, regular monthly expenses and down payment source information,” said Carol Marx, Bank of Hawaii senior vice president. “With that data provided, we will be able to estimate your home-buying power based on the loan amount you can qualify for. With interest rates still relatively low and new condos coming on the market, this is a service we are happy to be able to provide to potential buyers. Bank of Hawaii will also be presenting home financing seminars throughout the day. We encourage anyone hoping to buy their first home to stop by our booth to learn more about Bank of Hawaii’s first-time home-buyer discount. Also, buyers planning to purchase in any of the new developments should ask about our special financing offers and rate protection lock-in program.”

Locations will host two sessions of their popular Future Homeowners Workshop at the fair. “Many people don’t realize that today’s still-low interest rates can make owning a home as affordable as renting,” said Realtor Carl Worthy, who leads the workshops. “So, we explain the nuts and bolts of owning a home in Hawaii and show how the tax benefits of homeownership can put dollars back into your pocket each month. Our goal is for people to come out of our workshops with a realistic game plan for how they can become homeowners whenever they are ready.”

At the Alternate Energy booth, showgoers can learn about the latest advances in energy-saving technology for the home and office. Displays will include photovoltaic systems, the innovative Home Energy Storage System (H.E.S.S.) that captures solar energy and stores it for future use, the popular Mitsubishi mini-split air conditioning systems and more. Sign up at the booth for free workshops presented three times during the fair and become eligible to win $20,000 in Mitsubishi cooling products. Alternate Energy Inc. marketing director Mike Ito noted, “This is your best opportunity to hear about these premium products direct from the experts from Mitsubishi Electric, who will be at our booth and conduct the workshop.”

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