Homeownership: The Impossible Dream?
In Hawaii, where news headlines feature high median home prices and the difficulty in buying a piece of paradise, first-time home-buyers can think that home-ownership is an impossible dream. Although it can be a competitive market for buyers, purchasing a home can be possible — even for those considered to have low or moderate incomes. We know this to be true since over half of the Hawaii HomeOwnership Center’s (HHOC) homeowners were considered to be in those income categories at enrollment.
Buying a home might not happen overnight, but with some preparation, perseverance, understanding the buying process and what’s affordable, you could be HHOC’s next homeowner.
The following are some dispelled myths for prospective homebuyers, compiled by HHOC to encourage those that have a dream of homeownership to move forward with their goal sooner rather than later.
You don’t need a 20 percent down payment to buy a home
There are loan products that allow you to buy a home with no down payment or a low amount like 3 percent. Find out the details of each option to make a selection that’s right for you.
You can buy a home even if you don’t have perfect credit
There is normally a minimum credit score to qualify for a mortgage. The higher your score is above that minimum, it will lower your costs associated with getting a home loan. If your score is lower than the minimum allowed, you can take measures to improve upon it.
Tips to have your best credit score include paying your credit accounts on time (at least the minimum payment), keeping your credit card balances as low as possible and getting educated about what affects your score. Free credit reports can be accessed at annualcreditreport.com every 12 months. Reviewing your report and correcting errors is another good habit.
Only low-income buyers have programs to assist them to purchase a home
Most programs that assist first-time homebuyers have qualification criteria based on income and household size, but those guidelines vary. Some first-time buyer programs only require that you haven’t owned a home for the last three years. Yes, you can be a first-time homebuyer more than once.
Feeling encouraged to take your first step toward home-ownership? Take a homebuyer education course to understand what it takes to buy a home from Hawaii Home-Ownership Center, a nonprofit organization committed to preparing buyers for sustainable ownership through classes, individual coaching and post-purchase support. It’s a one-stop shop to learn all you need to know about the purchase process. Contact the company today at 523-9500 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information also is available at hihomeownership.org.