BUYERS INFO -  Select your topic!

The following are some good questions to discuss with your lender when applying for a home loan:

  • Are both fixed-rate and adjustable mortgage loans available?

  • What is the interest rate?

  • How long can I "lock-in" the financing at the current interest rate?

  • Is a float down lock available in case rates drop after I have locked in?

  • What are the other fees a lender may charge me in conjunction with my loan?

  • Are funds for a second mortgage available?

  • On adjustable loans, how often will the interest rate be adjusted?

  • Is there a maximum limit on each rate change?

  • How often will the monthly payment be adjusted?

  • Is there a ceiling on payment adjustments?

  • Can the term of the loan be extended?

  • What is the maximum rate that can be charged over the life of the loan?

  • Is there any potential for negative amortization?

  • Is there a pre-payment penalty clause? This involves extra charges for paying off the loan before maturity. About 80% of all loans in the United States are paid off early.

  • What is the "grace" period?

  • How late can a monthly payment be made before a late charge is assessed?

  • What will happen if a payment is missed?

  • If you sell your house, will the new buyer (if he/she qualifies) be able to assume your mortgage at the same interest rate?

  • Do you have to pay "points" to get your new mortgage?

  • Usually lenders charge points for the cost of giving you a mortgage loan. A "point" is 1% of the loan.

  • Will the lender require mortgage insurance?

  • Is the loan serviced locally or is the servicing sold? Ask for a written "good faith deposit".

It is of great importance that you position yourself to have the best chance to get your offer accepted.

Enhance your chance of getting the home of your choice by doing the following:

First, get pre-approved for the purchase.

This takes very little time and is of great value. At this time, identify the price range for which you qualify and which fits your lifestyle. Submit a strong competitive offer. Submit the offer as if there will be multiple offers.

Include substantial earnest money deposit. Acceptance of an offer is sometimes determined by the amount of the deposit. A larger amount may signify a bigger commitment to the seller.

Minimize or eliminate contingencies; the fewer contingencies, the stronger the offer.

Make a buyer profile available. Include time on the job, flexibility, and reason for purchasing seller's home.

Be prepared to make decisions quickly and be accessible to change the terms instantly. Buyer and agent need to have instant communication access via office phone, voice mail, fax, or cellular phone.

The following are some items you should have with you when applying for a mortgage:

  • Copy of your Purchase & Sale Agreement.

  • Your present mortgage information.

  • Two-year history of employment and verification of all income sources.

  • If self-employed, copies of past two years Federal Income Tax Returns.

  • Information about your checking, savings and credit card accounts.

  • Name, account number and outstanding balance of each of your debts.

  • Application deposits.

  • Information about any assets, including information regarding any other assets that will be used as funds to close.

  • If FHA - Copy of Social Security card and photo ID.

  • If VA - Certificate of Eligibility or DD214If Employee Relocation Client.

  • Include relocation information and copy of offer, promissory note and copy of check on bridge loan.

There are many times of financing options available to homebuyers.

Here are some of the most common:

Fixed Rate Mortgage

The interest rate on a fixed rate mortgage stays the same throughout the term of the loan, usually 15 or 30 years. This means the principal interest portion of your payment remains the same. Payments are stable but initial rates tend to be higher than adjustable rate loans and often cannot be assumed by a subsequent buyer.

Balloon Mortgage

A balloon mortgage is a loan that must be paid off after a certain period. The advantage they offer is an interest rate that is lower than a mortgage that is made for 30 years.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)

This interest rate is linked to a financial index, such as a Treasury security or a cost of funds, so your monthly payments can vary up or down over the life of the loan, usually 25 to 30 years. Interest rates can change monthly, annually, or every 3 or 5 years. Some ARM's have a cap on the interest rate increase, to protect the borrower.

Other terms relating to adjustable-rate mortgages:

  • Adjustment period: The length of time between interest rate changes. An example would be one year ARM-interest changes annually.

  • Cap: The limit on how much an interest rate or monthly payment can change at each adjustment or over the life of the loan.

  • Conversion clause: A provision in some loans that enables you to change an ARM to a fixed rate loan, usually after the first adjustment period. This may require additional fees.

  • Index: A measure of interest rate changes used to determine changes in the loan's interest rate over the term of the loan.

  • Margin: The number of percentage points a lender adds to the index rate to calculate the ARM's interest rate at each adjustment.

VA Loan

The VA does not lend money; it guarantees a portion of the loan so that lenders who originate the loan feel comfortable with their risk. Qualified veterans can obtain loans up to $203,000 with no down payment. VA-guaranteed loans can be combined with second mortgages and are assumable upon qualifying by any future buyer.

FHA Loan

FHA does not lend money or make a loan; rather, it insures loans. The down payment can be as low as 2.25%. Either buyer or seller may pay discount points. FHA charges a 2.25% up front Mortgage Insurance Premium (or as little as 2% for a first time home buyer) that can be financed in the mortgage amount or paid in cash (no premium is required for condominiums). The borrower must also pay an annual Mortgage Insurance Premium or .5%, which is collected monthly.

Seller Assisted Second Mortgage

The seller of the house lends the buyer enough to make up the difference between the purchase price and the down payment plus first-mortgage balance (a commercial lender may also make this kind of loan). The terms including the interest rate are based on buyer/seller agreement. It is often a short-term (5 to 15 year) loan; sometimes "interest only" payments until the term date when the balance is due in full. A buyer can then refinance the home.

Assumable Mortgage

Buyer "takes over" or assumes the mortgage obligation of the seller (with concurrence of the lender). The interest rate doesn't change and is sometimes lower than current rates. Often the loan fees are less as well.


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SELLER TIPS - Select your topic!

The most important decision you will make in the sale of your home is the REALTOR® you choose. Be sure to find someone you feel comfortable with. If you don't feel you can ask questions or go to your REALTOR®, you have the wrong person. Your REALTOR® should show you research to back up any recommendations. This includes information about recent sales, current listings, and recently expired listings in your neighborhood.

Choose a local REALTOR®. He or she will know your area better than an outsider, will be seen as a source for people looking to relocate in your neighborhood, and will get better co-operation from other agents. It is likely that any amount you might save by having a friend or relative from outside the area serve as your REALTOR® will be lost in their lack of knowledge about your specific local market.

Don't forget to ask for references from the REALTOR®. He or she should be willing to give you names of previous clients. Ask your friends and acquaintances for recommendations, but make your final choice based on your needs. Ask the REALTOR® to show you what will be done to market your home. Consider the office and company support available to him or her as well as the initiative and professionalism shown by the individual.

Look for a REALTOR® who tells you what he or she knows from experience in the market, and not what they think you want to hear. Flattery may sometimes get the listing, but it doesn't sell the home!

In today's age of consumerism, every buyer is comparative shopping. Make a small investment in time, money and effort to give your home a solid advantage over competing properties.

Pay attention to detail now because first impressions count with buyers. You only have one chance and it starts with what often referred to as "curb appeal".  Some tips to create a better curb appeal are:

Create A Buying Mood

  1. Turn on lights.

  2. Turn on air conditioner/heater.

  3. Open the drapes.

  4. Light the fireplace.

Exterior Appearance

  1. Keep lawns cut.

  2. Trim hedges and shrubs.

  3. Weed and edge gardens.

  4. Clear driveway and clean up oil spills.

  5. Clean out garage.

  6. Touch up paint.

  7. Make repairs where needed Create Space.

  8. Clear halls and stairs of clutter.

  9. Store surplus furniture.

  10. Clear kitchen counter and stovetop.

  11. Clear closets of unnecessary clothing.

  12. Remove empty boxes and containers.


  1. Repair leaking taps and toilets.

  2. Clean furnace and filters.

  3. Tighten doorknobs and latches.

  4. Repair cracked plaster.

  5. Touch up paint.

  6. Clean and repair windows.

  7. Repair seals around tubs and basins.

  8. Replace defective light bulbs.

  9. Oil squeaking doors.

  10. Repair squeaking floorboards.

Squeaky Clean

  1. Clean and freshen bathrooms.

  2. Clean fridge and stove (in and out).

  3. Clean around heating vents.

  4. Clean washer and dryer.

  5. Clean carpets, drapes and window blinds.

At The Front Door

  1. Clean porch and foyer.

  2. Ensure doorbell works.

  3. Repair screen on door.

  4. Fresh paint or varnish front door.

  5. Repair door locks and key access

When your home sells faster, you save carrying costs, mortgage payments and other ownership costs. A quicker sale creates less inconvenience for you. If you've moved before, you know the energy it takes to prepare for showings: keeping the home clean, making childcare arrangements, and altering your lifestyle. Proper pricing reduces these demands on you, by helping your home sell faster. At market value your home will gain exposure to more prospects that can afford the price.

Sellers who list at a high price are looking for that one buyer who will pay it, often not realizing that they have discouraged many potential buyers who could have afforded the home. The final sales price is probably one that will be affordable by more purchasers. This is because sellers many times accept a much lower price at a much later date since that one buyer willing to pay the higher price never comes.

When salespeople are excited about a home and its price, they make special efforts to contact all of their potential buyers. Knowing that it is priced properly for its market, they expect it to sell soon and encourage their prospects to act quickly. Their excitement is contagious!

Ad calls and sign calls to REALTORS® turn into showings when price is not a deterrent. Most serious prospects are well educated about asking prices in the areas they are seeking. They will not waste their time on a home they consider overpriced.

Buyers fear they might lose out on a good home when it is priced right. They are less likely to make "low ball offers." Better pricing attracts multiple offers! 

Bottom line, if a home is priced right, the excitement of the market produces higher sale prices. You net more both in terms of actual sale price and in less carrying costs.

  1. Send change of address to: Post Office, Charge Accounts, and Credit Card Accounts, Friends & Relatives, and Subscriptions.  Remember that your notice requires several weeks for magazines.

  2. Notify your bank. Transfer funds, arrange check cashing in new city.

  3. Insurance: Notify new location for insurance coverage (life, health, fire, auto, homeowner's.)

  4. Automobile: Transfer car title, car registration, car tags, driver's license, state windshield sticker, and motor club membership.

  5. Utilities: Gas, light, cable TV, water, telephone get refund of any deposits made. Arrange for immediate service in new town. Arrange final reading and change of name for billing.

  6. Delivery People: Cancel laundry, newspaper and milk.

  7. School: Ask for copies or transfer of children's records.
    Ask For: Medical records of family and pets.

  8. Drug and Eye Contact or Glasses Prescriptions to be transferred. Doctor and Pharmacist recommendations.

  9. Letters of Introduction to transfer memberships.

  10. Pet requirements in new city.

  11. Empty freezer; plan use of foods. Defrost freezer-refrigerator. (Place charcoal to dispel odors.)

  12. Have appliances serviced for moving.

  13. Clean rugs or clothing, before moving; have them "moving-wrapped."

  14. Check with your moving counselor: insurance coverage, packing and unpacking labor, arrival day, various shipping papers, method and time of expected payment.

  15. Plan for special care needs of infants.

  16. Plan garage sale.

  17. On your moving day: Carry currency, jewelry, documents yourself; or use registered mail.

  18. Plan for transporting pets. (They are poor traveling companions if unhappy.) Make sure you can be found if they become lost.

  19. Carry traveler's checks for quick available funds. Tell close friends or relatives your route and schedule (including overnight stops). Use them as "message headquarters."

  20. Double check closets, drawers, and shelves (to be sure they are empty).

  21. Arrange to leave keys with new tenant, owner or agent.



Are you thinking about selling your property?

Are you unsure about the correct market price?

Are you aware the first 30 days your home is on the market is the key time to sell and pricing your home correctly is the most important step in putting your home on the market for sale.

Visit What's My Home Worth and learn the market value of your home by filling out the short questionnaire.

An estimate of your home's value will be sent to you by email.

Contact Info

Kauai Majestic Properties
Ann Marie Hamilton
REALTOR® Owner/Broker 

License: RB-20352

4560 Emmalani Drive
Princeville, HI 96722

Cell: 808-652-3511

Fax: 808-440-7274

Contact Ann Marie





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