Celebrating National Homeownership Month

On June 1, the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Dr. Ben Carson, held a Housing Forum in Washington D.C. to kick off National Homeownership Month. “Each year, this brings an opportunity for the nation to focus on the benefits of homeownership,” said Carol Marx, senior vice president and residential lending sales manager at Bank of Hawaii.

“As a board member on the Hawaii HomeOwnership Center of Hawaii (HHOC), I have been active in the mortgage lending community for many years, and it is easy for me to identify what homeownership means to families and communities,” Marx commented. “Some of the obvious benefits include shelter, good schools to help children get a solid education, a warm and safe place to enjoy family meals, neighborhood friends and a sense of belonging to a community.”

As noted from the HUD website, this year’s Housing Forum theme is Finding Your Place in a New Era of Homeownership. The event reflected on the impact that owning a home has on household wealth, neighborhood stability and the nation’s broader economic health.

What is not often known about homeownership is that because homeowners move less than renters, the children of homeowners tend to have higher test scores, better psychological and physical health, higher graduation rates and lower teen pregnancy rates.

Carol Marx

Bank of Hawaii helps island residents on their path to homeownership by remaining a supportive community lender and working internally to create programs and engage with local and national agencies to be a leader in home lending.

The bank offers educational seminars to aid prospective homeowners, including first-time home-buyer seminars throughout the state at the bank’s branches during evenings and weekends. Additionally, for the past few years Bank of Hawaii has been a lead sponsor at the Hawaii Homebuyer Fair presented by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser each August at Hawaii Convention Center.

“It starts with education, then you add in determination and discipline to get saving for a down payment, improving credit profiles and being ready to make that monthly mortgage payment that will help make a difference to ensure a great future for individuals and their families for generations to come,” said Marx.

“Growing up, my parents rented a small two-bedroom house, which was home for me and my two brothers,” she continued. “When my oldest brother began working and could partner with my parents to buy their first home, it was a very proud moment for all of us.

“Many years later, and over 22 years in my own Kailua home, I can bravely say that my husband and our two daughters are truly healthier, happier and are better community contributors because of the place we call home,” Marx added.

She stated that at Bank of Hawaii, first-time homebuyers may qualify to receive lender discounts and engage in programs that could save tax dollars by utilizing the Mortgage Credit Certificate program offered by the State of Hawaii.

To contact a loan officer and to receive more information on seminars, visit boh.com/mortgages.

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