Mortgage Industry News and Events

Why Use a Hawaii Private Mortgage Lender?

This is for you non-traditional borrowers. If you’re a real estate developer, house flipper, general contractor or otherwise have special financing needs, you should develop a relationship with a direct lender for those projects that traditional lenders just don’t get. If you’re having trouble getting financed through the banks, give Pacific Home Loans a call. As a direct lender on the ground here in Hawaii, we can offer borrowers much more streamlined, hassle-free underwriting, and we can line up fast closings – in as little as two weeks. “Po na maka i ka noe, i [...]

The High Cost of Not Buying

Buying a home in Hawaii is expensive. But not buying is even more expensive. Why? Because when you own a home, over a long period of time your mortgage payments are generally more than offset by two factors: 1.) Appreciating home values 2.) Steadily increasing rents 20 years ago, the average rent was around $450. Now it costs $1,000 to rent a dwelling*. Meanwhile, the monthly mortgage payments of landlords who decided to buy in 1998 or earlier has stayed the same, or even declined, thanks to the effects of refinancing. And the amount of equity they're able to [...]

You Don’t Need Perfect Credit to Buy a Home in Hawaii

Don’t wait til your credit score is perfect. There’s an old proverb that goes “the best is the mortal enemy of the good enough.” This means that waiting for conditions to be absolutely perfect can be costlier and more counterproductive than acting boldly in the moment when conditions are merely favorable. Why? Because you will potentially wait a long time – and if you’re renting, you’re probably spending the whole time paying rent to your landlord who bought the house when interest rates were even higher than they are now! This applies to homebuying as [...]

Alternative Financing Options for Hawaii Real Estate Investors

Real estate is a time-tested long-term wealth generator. Few other investments offer the same qualities in combination as real estate does: • Current rental income/cash flow • Potential for price appreciation • Tangible value • Built-in hedge against inflation • Ready availability of leverage • Tax deductions for depreciation Further, land in Hawaii is naturally scarce. There’s always been more demand for Hawaii homes than supply, and that’s not likely to change any time soon. If you are a real estate investor, or if you are thinking of buying your very first rental property, chances are [...]

Hawaii Alternative Document Mortgages

For many years, buying a home has been difficult for small business owners, contractors, and the self-employed. If you own a small business or you're one of the millions of self-employed and gig economy workers in Hawaii and the mainland U.S., take heart: we know you’re out there—and we offer the alternative document mortgage programs for people just like you. We look beyond tax returns. Look, we get it. Lots of small businesses owners, independent contractors and self-employed professionals don’t quite fit in the box for conventional home mortgage underwriting criteria. Self-Employed, Independent Contractors, and [...]

Hawaii Home Insurance Tips

For most families, their home is the single biggest financial asset. That’s especially true here in Hawaii, where the average home value now exceeds $800,000. That means that unless you insure it properly, a disaster that affects your home could be a financial catastrophe from which you and your family may never recover. Here are some things you should keep in mind. Hawaiian Proverb ‘A‘ohe mālama, pau i ka ‘iole. “If you do not care for your possessions, they will be stolen by rats.” Homeowner’s Insurance Doesn’t Protect Rental Properties. Regular homeowner’s insurance will not [...]

How to Get a HomeReady Loan in Hawaii

As Island residents know, extended family living arrangements are routine here. Hawaii’s deep traditions of ohana and the high cost of housing here combine to make it very common for multiple generations of families to live on the same plot and under the same roof. Many kama'aina have good jobs, but family budgets are strapped by Hawaii’s high cost of living. As most of our readers know, it’s common for Hawaii residents to have solid income histories but high debt-to-income ratios, and not much cash on hand to meet a high down payment requirement on [...]

How To Improve Your Debt-To-Income Ratio (DTI)

Your debt-to-income ratio is a measure of how big your monthly debt service obligations are as a percentage of your income. It’s one of the most important things lenders consider when assessing your application for a mortgage: The higher your monthly debt payments and the lower your income, the higher your DTI will be, and the more difficult it will be to qualify for a mortgage. Note: Hawaii residents have the highest debt-to-income ratios in the country. Broadly speaking, there are two ways to improve your DTI ratio: Reduce your monthly debt payments, and [...]

Getting a Mortgage When the Fed is Raising Rates

Many people become worried or discouraged about getting a mortgage when the Federal Reserve is in the news raising interest rates. Mortgage rates have been increasing gradually over the last year: The 30-year mortgage rate climbed from 3.99% on Jan. 11 to 4.63% on Dec. 13th, according to Freddie Mac. But rates are quite low compared to 10 years and 20 years ago: In December 1998, the 30-year fixed rate was at 6.69%, and in December 1988, it was at 10.46%. Neither were bad times to be a home buyer (you were certainly better off buying a home in [...]

Improving Credit Scores Pays Off for Hawaii Homebuyers

Yes, you can get a mortgage even with less-than-stellar credit. But it does cost more. Indeed, it costs quite a bit more, over the life of a 30-year loan. A recent study estimates that mediocre or bad credit can cost borrowers anywhere from $50,000 to $130,000 more over the span of a 30-year mortgage. But that was using nationwide numbers, assuming a mortgage of $250,000. Here in Hawaii, where the average single-family home is now selling for around $800,000, the cost is even higher. It’s therefore even more important for Hawaii residents to pay attention to their credit histories and [...]

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