homepage logo

The reasons why now is a good time to purchase a home

By Staff | Aug 6, 2009

Pohailani 308 features beautiful ocean views.

Perhaps you have noticed that there is a large media campaign sponsored by the Realtors Association of Maui (RAM) aimed at inspiring first-time buyers to become home owners.

There are several reasons why this is a good time to purchase a home:

1) There is a first-time buyer (not owned a home for the past three years) tax credit of up to $8,000. Every dollar of a tax credit reduces your federal income taxes by one dollar.  

2) Inventory is plentiful. There are currently over 75 single-family homes priced at or below $425,000 with at least two bedrooms and one bath available in West, Central and South Maui. That is a considerable amount of affordable inventory compared to a year ago.

3) Interest rates remain low. At this point in time, interest on your primary residence is tax-deductible. (Always check with your CPA on any tax-related items.)

Talk to a Maui lender to discover programs that you will qualify for and the amount you may spend on your new home. Using a Maui lender ensures that you will avoid pitfalls seen with Mainland lenders, such as, “Loan approval based on proof of central heating system,” or “Loan approval based upon proof of full basement.” Local lenders work closely with their mortgage providers to guard against impossible terms at time of closing.Work with a Realtor, who knows the market where you are purchasing. The Realtor will help you navigate the process of becoming a home owner.

What is a short sale? Numerous properties are currently “short sales.” If you are not in a hurry and can wait, that could work for you. In a short sale, the seller owns the property and agrees to the terms of the purchase contract. The seller then submits the accepted offer to purchase to his/her lender. This becomes a short sale when the lender agrees to be “shorted” the on sale — the lender is not going to receive what is actually owed on the seller’s mortgage. It will take a bank from 2-6 months to agree to a short sale. Once a bank agrees to a short sale, escrow is opened. The buyer is on a tight time frame to complete his/her due diligence and secure a loan. Upon final written loan approval, the buyer proceeds to closing. The most frustrating part is waiting for the bank to accept the short sale, and the fact they will not be paid in full on the outstanding mortgage.

Another common type of sale is a bank-owned property, or REO. The bank has already foreclosed on the previous owner, lists the property for sale and makes a contract directly with a new buyer. The bank gives no guarantees and basically will not pay for any of the standard inspections a normal seller would pay for during the escrow process. A bank would also provide no disclosure or termite inspections or survey, which would occur in a standard purchase of real property.

Exciting new listing: Napili Shores H-267 a one-bedroom/one-bath upstairs unit with easy access to pools, restaurants, Napili Beach, golf courses and much more. Listed at $515,000, this unit is priced to sell. I also have recently listed two upgraded studio oceanfront units at Pohailani. Please call Laurie Lowson at (808) 276-8001 to arrange for a showing, visit www.Lowson.com or e-mail Laurie@Lowson.com.