– by Eddie Underwood, Realtor Broker
In the last few years the Kona and West Hawaii housing rental market has become increasingly expensive, and it has become very hard for folks to find a place to rent. It certainly is a landlords market now. With the ever increasing rents, the cost of renting may be the same, or close to, the same amount you would be paying for a home mortgage here in Hawaii. Many renters assume that they would not qualify for a mortgage. There have been some changes over the last year that could benefit renters and help them become first time home owners.
Did you know that that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac now allow a down payment as low as 3%? They have also lowered their minimum credit score requirements to 620.
Did you also know that on FHA loans, the mortgage insurance premiums have been reduced to 0.85% of the loan amount? That is down from 1.35%. In addition to this, FHA credit standards have been lowered and some banks are accepting minimum credit scores of 600.
If you are a member of the military, a veteran, or the spouse of a veteran or military member, you can apply for loans with a zero down payment and no mortgage insurance premiums. There are also many state and local programs designed to help first time home buyers. The federal government’s definition of a first time home buyer is someone who has not owned a home in the last 3 years.
Buying a home in Kona and Hawaii’s Big Island might be easier that you think. If you are interested in learning more about the home buying process here in Hawaii and how it relates to a first time buyer, please feel free to call or email us anytime 808-345-9797 or firstname.lastname@example.org We are free to talk to and are happy to offer our assistance and share our experience with you.