First-time buyer enthusiasm high at Homebuyers Fair

agent1Bank of Hawaii loan officers who conducted seminars at the Hawaii Homebuyers Fair, presented by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser at the Convention Center last Saturday, report that hopeful homebuyers were eager for information on how to qualify for their first mortgage loan and many were ready to take the first big step.

“Our seminars were well attended and our booth was busy throughout the day,” said Bank of Hawaii Senior Vice President Carol Marx. “The strength of our local economy, continuing low interest rates, and the stability of Hawaii’s real estate market all contribute to a growing confidence among first-time buyers that homeowner-ship may indeed be within reach. They also know that low interest rates may not last forever, so it makes sense to make their move now.

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“However, we also emphasize that education about the process is essential. They need to understand what it takes to become eligible. We encourage those planning to attend Bank of Hawaii’s SmartMoney Seminars for first-time home-buyers (see box) to bring along their last two years of W-2 forms, tax returns, pays stubs, regular monthly expenses, and down payment source information. With that data provided, we are able to estimate your home-buying power based on the loan amount you can qualify for.

“For those who may have credit issues or concerns about coming up with a down payment, we urge them not to be discouraged. Our loan officers can offer advice on how to improve credit scores and how much they may need to save to make a down payment…it may not be as much as they think. Perhaps we can find a way to qualify them for a loan with only 5 percent down, instead of 20 percent. There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to qualifying for a mortgage loan…every case is different. In addition to getting educated at our seminars, there is also the option of making an appointment for a free consultation with a loan officer at a Bank of Hawaii Loan Center.”

Marx added that the pre-approval process can be started at Bank of Hawaii’s user-friendly website, BOH.com/mortgages, which includes a fillable form that can be submitted for a custom quote. A roster of loan officers at Bank of Hawaii Loan Centers statewide with phone numbers and email addresses is also provided.

“Whether you are ready to buy a home today or looking to the future, it’s never too early to start getting educated. If you don’t make the first step, you will never get on the road,” Marx said.

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Bank of Hawaii FREE SmartMoney Seminar for first-time homebuyers
Saturday September 20, 2014
Time: 1:30 2:30 pm
Kaneohe Branch 45-1001 Kamehameha Hwy.

For information call Cynthia Gawat 694-8574 or go to the website: boh.com/mortgages

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