“A Local Lender For Local People”
Over the past three years, Aloha Happy Mortgage has helped approximately 1,250 Hawaii families purchase and refinance homes.
Recently, the company announced that it is offering 21 to 30 day closings. Since it was established, Aloha Happy Mortgage has offered some of the lowest rates available, currently 3.25 percent for 30 and 20 year fixed rate mortgages, with 15 year and adjustable rate mortgages as low as 2.375 percent.
“A Local Lender for Local People” is the slogan of the company, which has its main offices at 733 Bishop Street, Suite 1590. Top producing mortgage broker Valeria Affinito stresses the importance of getting the right loan to suit your personal financial profile and real estate goals, which she points out requires an understanding of the local market.
“Once you have found your dream home, choose wisely between a variable interest rate and a fixed interest rate,” she cautions. “Make sure you shop around on your own and ask these questions: ‘What are your current interest rates? Can you calculate my monthly payment based on the loan amount I’m seeking? What are the total closing costs?’
“Also, ask about the APR, or annual percentage rates. The APR is supposed to help you compare loans on equal terms by combining the fees and points with a year of interest charges to give you a loan’s true annual cost. The problem is, every lender’s APR policies differ. Some include their application fees in the APR, some don’t. So two loans from different banks may have different APRs even though they have identical rates and points. To complicate things even more, APRs also vary depending on the size of the loan, whether it is adjustable or fixed, and on the lenders’ requirements for mortgage and title insurance. As you continue shopping around, you will understand how the APR is fairly meaningless. When you deal with Mortgage Brokers, not to confused with Mortgage Bankers, you will find a higher APR but lower interest rates and points.
“Be ruthless when examining the costs on your mortgage documents. Lenders are required by RESPA, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, to give you a good-faith estimate of your closing costs when you hand in your application. Extra charges are a violation of the law. Ask for a detailed, itemized list of your closing costs and when you close look carefully at the figure called ‘amount financed’ on your settlement papers. If it does not equal the principal you are borrowing, minus any points or interest paid up-front, ask your loan officer to explain.
“You should also ask your lender to explain mortgage insurance, which you will need if you can’t come up the required down payment. It can be expensive. With a mortgage of $200,000 and 15 percent down, a buyer’s mortgage insurance will cost about $43 a month, or $516 a year. With just 5 percent down, the cost goes up to $120 a month. The key is to understand the terms of your mortgage insurance obligations before you close your loan.”
Affinito noted that some lenders will prequalify a borrower based on written or verbal statements that are not backed up by documentation. “When it comes to getting a mortgage, you will need to verify your income, assets, and property qualifications. We encourage potential borrowers to contact us as soon as they are ready to start the process of buying a home so we can give them detailed advice on what they will need and what kind of time frame they may be looking at. Being well informed is the best way to ensure a successful transaction. We are always available to provide advice and information, whether you are refinancing or buying, now or in the future.”