TV shows make finding a profitable fixer-upper seem easy. But in the real world, there are real challenges and decisions to be made.
Whether you’re buying an investment property or a starter home for your family, there are dozens of factors to consider. How much will it cost to renovate? Are home values rising or falling in the neighborhood? How in-demand is the area?
Want to make sure your purchase isn’t a money pit? Ask yourself these four questions:
1. Does it have good bones?
We want to avoid expensive repairs that would eat into your bottom line. It’s vital to have structural elements like the roof, foundation, plumbing, electrical and HVAC system inspected.
2. Is the price comparable to the area?
The property may come at a fixer-upper price, but how does it compare to others in the area? Let’s also take a look at new developments or zoning laws that could influence future home values.
3. Does it need special inspections?
Fixer-uppers need to go beyond standard inspections. Things like sewer lines, septic systems and pools age with the property, so it’s important to have each evaluated.
4. What does your contractor think?
Bringing a contractor on board early is essential when creating your renovation budget. We need to estimate the cost of any aesthetic changes or upgrades to avoid overimproving the home.
Remember, it’s not just the sticker price you want to consider when buying a fixer-upper, but the cost of the entire project.
Do you need help finding the fixer-upper of your dreams?
Together, we can evaluate the purchase price, factor in repair costs and determine the future resale value of the home.
If you’ve already got your eye on a fixer-upper, or want help finding a contractor in our area, get in touch today.
Who doesn’t love getting a tax refund?
It’s exciting to know that your bank balance will get a boost. But remember, a refund isn’t a bonus -- it’s your hard-earned money, which is why you should make the most of it.
If you’re thinking of buying a new home this year -- whether it's your first home or the one you plan to retire in -- financial planning is critical.
Expecting a refund? Make a bigger impact on your home purchase with these tips:
1. Lower Your Mortgage Rate: Did you know you can pay “points” up front to lower the interest rate of your mortgage? If you plan to stay in your home for a long time, this could result in significant savings over the life of your loan.
2. Pay Closing Costs: Closing costs average about 2 to 5 percent of the purchase price. Many buyers roll it into their mortgage and pay it off over the life of the loan. But you could use your refund to pay it up front and avoid paying interest.
3. Save for a Down Payment: In some cases, your refund could cover your entire down payment. Some loans only require 3 percent down, so this is more realistic than you might think.
4. Boost Your Credit Score: Paying down your debts can have a significant impact on your credit score and the mortgage rate you’ll qualify for.
5. Renovate or Update Appliances: Many buyers are tempted to open a line of credit to pay for these purchases, but that could negatively impact your mortgage loan. Using your refund is the smarter move.
Remember, a tax refund is only one factor to consider in your homebuying budget. Get in touch today for a referral to a financial planner or mortgage lender if you need help preparing your budget. Let’s work together to plan your path to homeownership.
Buying a home is a big undertaking. From finding the right property and negotiating to sorting out the legal details and moving in, there are dozens of important steps along the way. And for many first-time buyers, it can seem overwhelming.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make the process easier, even if you’re still in the planning phase. If you know buying a home is on the horizon, you’ll want to tackle these tasks before you get too far into your search:
1. Get preapproved for your mortgage.
Research lenders, choose your mortgage company and apply for preapproval. This will give you an idea of what you can afford so we can point you toward homes in the right price range.
2. Give your budget a test run.
Once you have a rough estimate of what your monthly payment will be, give that budget a trial run. Are you still able to afford all your monthly bills and expenses? If not, let’s have a chat with your lender to see what the monthly payment could look like if we target a lower price point.
3. Start saving.
It’s never too early to start saving up for your down payment and closing costs. Cutting out unnecessary spending and setting up automatic deductions from your paychecks are two easy ways to give your savings a boost.
4. Create a wish list.
What do you want in your future home? Jot down your must-haves concerning size, location and features. You can also include some deal breakers to help guide you in your search.
Are you looking to buy your first home soon? With the right help, the process will be less overwhelming. Reach out today for step-by-step guidance or a referral to a trusted lender in our area.
What if you want to keep the seller's furniture?
When you buy a pre-owned home, do you know what will come with the house? Do you get to keep all the appliances, the art on the walls or the outdoor pizza oven on the patio?
Determining what will stay with the home and what will go with the previous owner will vary by seller and contract. Here’s how to determine what conveys with the home you’re considering, as well as tips to safeguard yourself when negotiating those extra items.
1. Check the listing. Start at square one and look at the original listing. Hopefully the seller specified the items included in their home’s asking price.
2. Know the screwdriver rule. For the most part, if it takes a screwdriver to remove, it’s considered a part of the home. This includes shelves, light fixtures and even curtain rods. But, if it’s hung on a nail, it’s removable and likely not included in the sale.
3. Negotiate with the seller. If there’s something you’re interested in that isn’t part of the listing, we can negotiate with the seller.
4. Talk to your lender. If the seller agrees to include big-ticket items, you’ll want to tell your mortgage lender. Depending on the type of loan you have, it could affect the appraisal or change the value of the property.
So, unless the seller specified the washer and dryer in the listing, you should assume they’re not included. As for the pizza oven? If it’s built into the patio, it’s probably already built into the listing price.
Have more questions about what’s included with a home? Get in touch today.
5 Tips for Competing With Cash Buyers
In today’s hot market, bidding wars have become the norm. With many out-of-state buyers and property investors looking for a great deal, all-cash offers are also becoming common.
A cash offer can seem tempting for sellers since it offers the possibility of a faster closing. But despite this perk, cash buyers don’t always win. Many times, they make low offers or demand costly extras, both of which will mean lost cash for the seller.
Want to boost your chances of getting the home you want when competing with cash buyers? Here are some things to consider:
Did you know you can buy your dream home while paying off student loan debt?
It’s true and even quite common. While student loans are factored into your debt-to-income ratio, they shouldn’t prevent you from becoming a homeowner.
And fortunately, there are many programs and options available to prospective buyers, some you may not be familiar with. Here are four ways people with student loans achieve their homeownership goals:
1. Co-buying With Friends or Family
Purchasing a home with a roommate, significant other or sibling allows you to combine multiple incomes to qualify for a better mortgage rate. This can help lower your monthly payment and make home maintenance more affordable.
2. Receiving Financial Gifts From Family
You can also accept gift money from your parents, grandparents or other family members to put toward your home purchase. Some loan programs have a cap on how much gift money can be used, so make sure you know the limits first.
3. Choosing Low (or No) Down Payment Loans
There are many low down payment options, including FHA, HomeReady and Home Possible loans. For loans with no down payment, VA loans may be available to veterans and military members as well as USDA loans for those purchasing in rural areas.
4. Using Assistance Programs
Down payment assistance programs can cover some or all of your down payment costs if you qualify. These programs vary by location, so talk with a lender to learn about potential options.
Working on your credit can also help you buy a home. Pay your credit card bills on time every month, aim to pay down your debts and never let an account go into collections. It also helps to get preapproved for a mortgage so you know how much you qualify for.
If you’re ready to make homeownership a reality or would like a referral to a trusted lender, get in touch today.
One house you’re looking at has the wraparound porch you’ve fantasized about, but it’s on a high-traffic street. The condo you like has a doorman in the lobby (you can order online now!), but it has no dedicated parking. What to choose?
It’s not every day that you buy a home and make decisions about the next three, five, or 10 years of your life. Since you can’t exactly take a home on a test drive, how do you decide? That got us to thinking about real estate pros. When they’ve seen practically everything on the market, how do they choose?
Four pros who’ve seen it all share their advice and their stories of hunting for just the right home.. See full article by HouseLogic here
Interested in learning more? Here's an article on Open House Etiquette
For the past several months I have been busy establishing myself in my new office. Over the last 5 years, I had managed a busy, Hilo real estate office with 30 agents, so it was time.
I have taken that big step and opened my own real estate brokerage firm under my own name, Arabel L Camblor REALTY (this is so you can still find me easily, on the worldwide web).
It’s been 16 years since I first decided to transition out of my husband’s office and enter the world of real estate sales. With my husband’s full support, what began as a “let’s see where this gets me” decision, has turned into a lifelong passion that I find myself continuously searching for ways to share this joy.
Many of you have seen posts of my adventures on Facebook over the years. I remain involved in the real estate industry in various roles: 2006-REALTOR® of the Year for the Hawaii Island REALTORS®, 2009 President of Hawaii Island REALTORS®, 2015 President of Hawaii Association of REALTORS®. Along the way, I have chaired state committees and been a member of several committees at the National Association of REALTORS®. The connections I have made at the local,, state and national level have enriched my professional career.
Now it’s time to savor the road ahead of me. I like to think of it as a new opportunity because I can reach out to all my old and new friends and share the news and hopefully we can re-connect if we have lost touch.
I am looking forward to continuing my participation in various community organizations, as well as to maintain my volunteer efforts within the real estate community. I firmly believe that this will only help me to serve my clients better!
My office is located in the Hilo Lagoon Center, on the lobby level. If you have a few minutes, stop by and enjoy a freshly brewed cup of coffee. You know I’ll always have a snack or two ready for you!
I look forward to this new adventure with much enthusiasm and would love to catch up with you again.
May you all continue to be blessed with much happiness and good health.
East Hawaii Cultural Center presents ...
Begin the month with their annual Fall, all-Hawaii, juried exhibition on Nov. 4th through the Dec. 16. Don’t forget the EHCC’s Annual Holiday Art and Crafts Fair on Saturday, Nov. 27, 9am to 6pm. For more info, call EHCC 961-5711.
After Dark in the Park in November
The program’s venue is the Kilauea Visitor Center auditorium every Tuesday, at 7pm. Everyone is welcome.
Nov. 9 - Navigating Change: Voyage to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The voyages of Hokule’a this year is presented by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources.
Nov. 16 - The Amazing Sandy Beaches of Hawai’s Island. Geologist Chuck Blay discusses our vast sandy beaches and their relationship to Hawaii’s geological origins.
Nov. 30 - Tracking the Origins of Hawaiian Stone Tools. Discussion of geological sources of many stone artifacts found in the islands and the use of the newly acquired X-Ray Flourescence equipment at the UHH Dept. of Anthropology.
Hawaii Organic Farmers 12th Annual Membership Meeting
Is scheduled on Saturday, Nov. 20 at the Komohana Agriculture Complex in Hilo. Focused group discussions to cover topics such as the future of HOFA, GMO papaya issues, bookkeeping for the farmer, and putting together a group fertilizer purchase. Pau Hana dinner planned at 5pm with slack key guitarist, John Keawe. For info on ticket purchases, call HOFA, 969-7789, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Palace Theatre Events
The Palace Theatre EventsNovember 20 at 7:30pm. The Olliephonic Horns have become a familiar fixture on the Big Island music scene. They have four CD’s and have performed with the likes of Michael McDonald and Joe Cocker. November 29 at 7:30pm. The Honokaa Music Festival and The Palace Theatre sponsors a piano recital by van Cliburn winner, Stanislav Ioudenitch.
Tickets available at the door or at Basically Books, CD Wizard and the Palace Theatre.The Hawaii Concert Society’s second presentation this season will be 7:30pm, November 17 at UHH Theatre. Award-winning pianist Jon Nakamatsu as been critically acclaimed as “brilliant, poetic, heroic and spontaneous” (Los Angeles Times). Mr. Nakamatsu will perform a variety of musical works by Scarlatti, Rachmaninoff, Chopin and Brahms. Nakamatsu’s concert is a homecoming of sorts. His parents were born in Hawaii and most of his relatives live here. For ticket info, call the UHH Theatre Box Office.
Volcano Village News
The 18th Annual Volcano Village Art Studio and Sale will be Friday through Sunday, November 26 – 28, 10AM – 4PM. Art collectors flock to this annual event that has become well known around East Hawaii. Participating artists include Lisa Louise Adams, Mag Barnaby, Pam Barton, Cynee Gillete-Wenner, Ron Hanatani, Zeke Israel, Dina Kageler, Hans Ladislaus, Chiu Leong, Mike & Misato Mortara, Ira Ono, Elizabeth Paine and Eric Wold. Items to be purchased range from jewelry, prints, pottery, fiber arts, sculpture, masks and paintings.
A tour map can be obtained at the following locations: Kilauea General Store, Volcano Store, True Value Hardware (in the Village), or the VAC Gallery. Get your map card stamped by every artist and you will be entered to win a special artistic prize donated by one of the artists. Parking may be limited to carpooling is encouraged. For more information, call Pam Barton at 967-7247
Hawaii Island Realtor® Broker,