Finding the right lender is an important part of securing your home loan and purchasing your home here in Hawaii. I always recommend using a local lender for several reasons. They are familiar with the way things work here on the Big Island. We have things that most of the mainland doesn’t such as lava zones, water catchment, and tsunami zones. Local lenders also tend to be familiar with what needs to be completed to close the loan. Not saying it can’t be done by mainland lenders, but make sure you tell them which lava zone your home is in and if it has water catchment. Tell them everything upfront so there aren’t any surprises a week from closing causing you to start the entire process over.
Your lender is going to be a great source of knowledge and is someone you should get to know and become comfortable with. Many lenders don’t get paid if your loan doesn’t go through and this is great incentive to help you make it work. They are going to ask you for documents that will make you scratch your head and there will be sometime throughout the process where you want to shake them and make them stop. Their goal is to take your information and put it in a tidy bundle to give to the underwriters. The underwriter is the one who will give you the thumbs up on the loan and that is why your lender will be hounding you for all of the information they think the underwriter will ask for. It can become frustrating, but remember, the lender is trying to make it work for you as much as you are. Their paycheck depends on it.
Always spend a little time talking with your lender to make sure they understand where you are coming from and what you expect from them. Find one that you feel comfortable with and one you feel understands you. This will help your loan process run smoothly and help ensure you are able to purchase your home here on the Big Island. If you have questions on finding a good quality lender, ask your Realtor. They watch the lender throughout their escrows and can usually recommend the lenders who can close loans for their clients. And remember, finding a good lender should be done at the beginning of your journey as you start to become serious about your home hunt on the Big Island. Talk to them and get pre-qualified for a loan. That way you can jump on the home of your dreams when you see it.
Aloha! Ron Teichman