The Benn Pacific Blog

Sort by Month: August 2015

Thursday, August 27, 2015

5 Easy Money Hacks to Help you to Save for a Down Payment

5 Easy Money Hacks to Help you to Save for a Down Payment
By Holly Hino-Agustin (NMLS#325967) and Ryan Oda (RA), MAT

1. Start early. Saving and investing is largely impacted by compounding interest over time. The sooner you start, the longer time your investments can grow.

2. Live below your means. Just like the formula for losing weight appears to be simple (burn more calories than you consume), so does the formula for building wealth (keep more than spend).  Yet, so many struggle with both.  Ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” Make a list and write down all your monthly expenses. If purchasing a home is on top of your priority list, you will eventually find things to cut out. Here are few saving tips:

a. Do you really need cable television? Have you examined the on-demand alternatives, like Netflix?

b. Rather than eating out, eat in. Don’t forget to support your farmers market too. Compared to retail supermarkets, your savings will extend if you purchase your groceries from local vendors. 

c. Rather than driving, catch the bus, walk, or ride your bike. Hawaii has been recognized to have some the best public transportation in the nation.

d. Compare rates. Many reoccurring fees are often neglected and overlooked since you have been paying them for so long. You might actually think you are getting a good deal, but you could be possibly overpaying. When was the last time you compared insurance rates, cell phone plans, or credit cards? Some credit cards have cashback rewards. If you pay off your credit card debt ever month, the cashback program is a great way to “earn” while you spend.

e. If go out, spend wisely. When you are going to spend money, find out if there is a sale or discount. For example, you can watch a matinee movie and save on the ticket cost. Cutting coupons can be tedious, but it is worth your time. Over a period of time, the few dollars you save on each purchase will add up.

3. Think about after-tax consequences when spending.  Remember… a penny saved is not a penny earn.  A penny saved is 1.5 pennies earned!  That $10 plate lunch is really $15 when you realize you had to earn $15, pay Uncle Sam $5 to get your $10.  If you looked at each purchase as being 50% more expensive, you would certainly think twice about it.

4. Get a second “job.” If you have a hobby, consider turning that into money making opportunity. If you like photography, you could offer your services to businesses for marketing.

5. Invest wisely.  For example, some companies, like Vanguard Funds, offer low-fee entry investment products to consumers. Examine your risk tolerance and speak to a professional.


Posted by Trevor Benn on August 27, 2015 at 02:26 PM
Real Estate News • (3) CommentsPermalink

Monday, August 10, 2015

How to Get a Mortgage.

How to Get a Mortgage
By Ryan Oda (RA), MAT

Getting prequalified with a lender is one of the first things you need to do in the home purchasing process. The prequalification process will determine how much you can afford.

1. Your Realtor is your lifeline. Before you shop around on your own, ask your Realtor if they have any recommendations. Most experienced Realtors have an established relationship with a handful of lenders. Often times, many brokerage firms, like Benn Pacific Group, have an in-house lender. As the consumer, you have the right to use any lender you want. Like choosing a Realtor, make sure the lender pick meets all your needs.

2. Have all your documents organized and ready. When you get prequalified, the lender will require you to provide your personal information, your residence history, employment history income, debt history, asset balances, and anything else deemed necessary.  The more information you provide the more accurate your pre-qualification will be.  They will also need to pull your credit report so it’s best that you do not obtain any new credit during your home buying process.

3. Choose a loan type and down payment amount.  The type of loan you chose is correlated to how much cash you are putting down. A well versed loan officer will look at your situation uniquely. 20% down is the ideal number. However, if you have less than 20% down there is still hope.  There are multiple products that your lender can discuss with you that don’t require the ideal down payment.

4. Start shopping for a home. Now that you got prequalified, your Realtor will pull listings that you can afford and arrange for you to view properties you are most interested in. 

5. Once you have an accepted contract your lender will submit your loan application and send you a copy of the Good Faith Estimate.  As this time you can choose to lock in your rate. Like the stock market, mortgage rates fluctuate daily too. Your lender will advise you what the market is doing daily so you can decide on what’s the best interest rate and points to lock in at. 

6. Once you’ve accepted the lenders disclosures the lender will typically request for a deposit.  The deposit is used to order the appraisal.  The appraisal is then ordered and turned around within 5 business days.

7. The file is now ready for Underwriting!  This is where the loan gets approved or denied.  If you have a good loan officer who knows their guidelines inside and out, your loan should have no problem getting approved.  When you receive your Conditional Loan Approval it’s now time to shop for Homeowners/Hurricane Insurance and go to closing.

8. Closing, this is the best part!  Your Loan Officer and Realtor will meet you to sign your loan closing docs and the deed to your new home.  It’s just days before you get the keys! 

Benn Pacific Group’s in-house lender is Holly Hino at Sandalwood HomeLoans.  Feel free to contact her for more information and a loan qualification today.

Holly A. Hino-Agustin
NMLS #325967
Vice President/Loan Manager
Sandalwood HomeLoans, LLC.  (NMLS #332037)
1585 Kapiolani Blvd. Suite #1040
Honolulu, HI 96814
Phone:  808-599-0503
Efax:  808-675-5467
Email:  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted by Trevor Benn on August 10, 2015 at 08:39 PM
Real Estate News • (0) CommentsPermalink
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