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Homeownership…The Impossible Dream?

In Hawaii, where news headlines feature high median home prices and how difficult it is to buy a piece of paradise, first-time homebuyers can think that homeownership is an impossible dream. Although it can be a competitive market for buyers, purchasing a home – even for those considered low or moderate income – can be possible. The folks at Hawaii HomeOwnership Center (HHOC) know this to be true, since over half of the homeowners were considered to be in those income categories at enrollment.

Buying a home might not happen overnight, but with some understanding of the buying process and what’s affordable for you, perserverance and preparation, you could be HHOC’s next homeowner. HHOC has tried to dispel some home buying myths below to encourage those that have a dream of homeownership to move forward with their goal sooner than later.

You don’t need 20 percnt 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%. 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 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 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 3 years. Yes, you can be a first-time homebuyer more than once.

Feeling encouraged to take your first step toward homeowner-ship? Take a homebuyer education course to understand what it takes to buy a home from HHOC, a non-profit organization committed to preparing buyers for sustainable ownership through classes, individual coaching and post-purchase support. HHOC is one-stop shop to learn all you need to know about the purchase process. Contact them today: 523-9500 or info@hihomeownership.org. More information is also available at hihomeownership.org.

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