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How to Get Started in Buying Your First Home in Wailuku

Buying a home for the first time can be a tricky process. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by everything you don’t know when you’re first beginning to shop. Thankfully, buying your home in Wailuku won’t be a task that you have to complete alone. There are plenty of people and resources that you can use to help you during the process, but knowing where to start is half the battle. This article will outline some tips for beginning your home-buying journey.

1. Understand the timeline

Buying a home isn’t something that happens overnight. It usually takes several weeks or months before you can officially sign the papers and start moving in. You’ll first spend a few weeks getting your finances in order and finding a realtor to work with. Once you begin looking at houses, it may take some time to find a home you like. Depending on the state of the market, your first offer may not be accepted, or you may have to negotiate with the seller on certain specifics in the contract. Once you have a deal to purchase a home, you’ll schedule a closing date for four to six weeks in the future. You’ll need this time to order an inspection, schedule an appraisal, and work with a title company to ensure that the property can be sold to you legally. Altogether, buying a home will take you anywhere from three to six months on average, although it varies from person to person and depends on the climate of the market.

2. Contact a lender early

Unless you plan to buy a home with cash, you’ll need to work with a lender in order to facilitate the sale. It’s a good idea to make your first contact with a lender early on in the process. Your lender will want to know about your current employment, your credit score, and your debt-to-income ratio. Keep in mind that different lenders offer different interest rates, so it’s wise to speak with multiple banks or groups before settling on a specific company. Once a lender runs your numbers and completes your financial background check, they will provide you with a pre-approval letter. This letter will state the largest amount that you could qualify for in a loan. You’ll use this letter when you begin shopping for homes. Some realtors might want to see it before they begin working with you, and sellers often want proof that you can qualify for a loan before agreeing to a deal to sell you their home.

3. Decide what type of home you want to buy

This is the fun part for many buyers. Take some time to look at home listings online and get a feel for what sort of property you can buy with the loan you qualified for. The more homes you see online, the more you’ll get a feel for what amenities and qualities homeowners are featuring in their listings. It’s also helpful to think about what type of neighborhood you want to live in. There are many things about a home that you can change after you move in, but the location isn’t one of them. Make sure you’re comfortable with the services and amenities in close proximity to the home. If you get a chance to ask the neighbors what they like about living in the community, you can learn quite a bit.

4. Make an offer to buy the home

Right now, the Wailuku market isn’t as competitive as it has been previously. Homes usually spend multiple months on the market before going under contract, and it’s rare for a home to receive multiple offers or sell above the listing price. This means that you may have some extra negotiating power once you find a home that you like. A good way to determine whether or not you should make an initial offer below the listing price is to learn how long the home has been on the market. Usually, sellers will be less motivated to accept a lower offer if their home has just recently been listed. They would rather see if anyone can meet their asking price. If the home has been on the market for several weeks already, the seller may be growing impatient and could consider accepting an offer that is more favorable for you as the buyer. Your realtor will advise you on how to proceed in these situations.

5. Prepare for closing

Once you have a deal with a seller, you’ll have somewhere between 30 to 45 days to get ready for closing. There are several important tasks to complete during this time. The first thing you’ll want to do is order an inspection of the home. The inspector will visit the property and thoroughly look over the entire residence. They will provide you with a report detailing the home's structural and mechanical condition. If there are any significant concerns, you may have an opportunity to renegotiate the price with the seller or even walk away from the deal if you’re concerned about the home’s condition. During this time, you’ll also work with an appraiser to confirm that the home is selling for a fair market price. This is an important step towards getting the necessary funding from your lender.

6. Work with a great realtor

The talented realtors with the Ohana Real Estate Team can be incredibly helpful when you’re buying your home in Wailuku. They take great pride in developing authentic relationships with their clients and providing a phenomenal experience during each real estate transaction. Reach out to them when you’re ready to take the next step toward buying or selling a home.

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We pride ourselves in being able to provide a high level of service to all types of sellers and buyers. We are here to help you achieve all your real estate goals here in Hawaii.