Four Things to Consider Before Buying a Home

A photo of a family decorating a Christmas tree in their new home.

Buying a home in Hawaii is a big investment. It involves a lot of time, research, and naturally, finances. Making sure that you and your family are prepared for a significant commitment such as this involves consideration of all of the potential impacts a large purchase can make in your life, not only financially, but emotionally as well. Here are four important things you can do to prepare before buying a home.

1) Have the right people in your corner.
Although it’s essential to have a good realtor to guide you through the homebuying process, it’s equally imperative to find a Mortgage Loan Originator that you trust. The mortgage loan process takes time and can sometimes be overwhelming, so you’ll want to find an experienced officer who will be able to answer your questions and be with you step by step from application to closing.

Hawaii State FCU’s Mortgage Loan Officer Team is always available to answer your questions about the homebuying process and financing options available. You can schedule an appointment to talk to one of our Mortgage Loan Officers online.

2) Know what you can afford.
While searching for your dream home may sound like a lot of fun, it’s a good idea to understand what you can afford first. Take into account that your current expenses – items such as groceries or utilities – may now be increased by a monthly mortgage payment. Consider different budget scenarios, to account for potential life changes in the future. Figuring out how much you can afford while still living within your means is key.

Things like your credit score and other debts, such as an auto or student loans, may also be factored in to how much a lender will let you borrow, which in turn may affect the type of home you’ll be able to afford. Often times, people set their hearts on a home that’s above their price range – resulting in disappointment. By talking to a mortgage loan officer and finding out what you might qualify for first, you can avoid that heartbreak by setting your home purchase expectations early.

3) Prepare yourself emotionally.
Buying a home, like any major life event, sometimes comes with emotional highs and lows. Maybe your dream home was a little out of your price range, or you’re discouraged by the number of other buyers you’re competing with in the market. You’re not alone – a lot of people experience this as they go through the homebuying process. But if you stay positive, remain flexible, and maintain a willingness to compromise, you’ll eventually find the right home for you.

And as exciting as owning your own home can be, it’s also a lot of work. Maintaining your home and addressing unexpected needs or repairs can sometimes seem daunting. But being prepared can help you stay calm when surprises occur. Creating an emergency fund to help cover unexpected expenses is a great start.

4) Start saving NOW.
Even if buying a home isn’t in your immediate future, if you think you’ll ever want to become a homeowner, start saving as soon as possible. There are a lot of costs that go into buying a home outside of the actual purchase price. And even with a mortgage loan, you may need to pay a percentage as a down payment on the home. Having some savings built up for this purpose will take some pressure off of you when you’re finally ready to take the plunge.

Hawaii State FCU offers a number of home financing and refinancing options to meet your unique needs. From first-time homebuyers, to veterans and seasoned buyers, our experienced team of Mortgage Loan Officers can help. For more information, schedule an appointment online.

Photo of Vim Balantac

About Vim Balantac

Vim is Vice President, Mortgage Loan Origination Manager for Hawaii State FCU. He has worked in the mortgage industry for more than 26 years. As a mortgage loan originator, he has a successful track record as a top producer for a number of mortgage loan companies. He has also held various positions in management as one of the elite sales managers for a start-up company, and as a principal broker for both a real estate firm and mortgage company. Vim is committed to connecting members with the right people and resources to purchase or refinance their homes. Vim is a graduate of the University of Hawaii, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in finance.

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