Do you agree that it is important to see things from the perspective of others? According to Dr. Brene Brown, “Perspective taking refers to being willing and able to see and feel the world through the eyes of the other, walking in their shoes as the saying goes. This requires putting aside our own stuff and really just listening to what they are going through.”
We couldn’t agree more, so today, we want to share with you the perspectives of a few top lenders. As Realtors, we know that behind every successful real estate transaction there is a lender working diligently to deliver. Their processes are challenging and their days are long. They juggle many balls and are required to meet many demands, including demands from us. So, let’s hear about today’s fast-paced real estate market from their perspective. Doing so might help you (and us) to understand the process, their role, and more importantly their value, a little better.
Perspective From Hawaii Home Lenders
According to Alan Fentriss, Director of Home Loans at American Savings Bank, the rapid surge in housing prices is at the top of his list of challenges. Understandably so. Alan and his team are constantly looking for ways to help Hawaii’s homebuyers. Alan said, “There is no magic bullet, but we will keep trying.” We love Alan’s emphasis on helping. Part of his strategy to help Buyers include special programs, promotions, and homebuyer education. Alan also encourages Buyers to explore ideas such as family gifts, home equity loans on existing property, draws from the stock market or retirement funds, or down payment assistance programs. Great strategies, Alan!
Nicky Cruz, Mortgage Consultant with Element Mortgage, finds that paper chasing is the most challenging aspect of her job. Nicky understands that the home buying process can be an exciting time, but just as equally as daunting. We agree and often hear from Buyers how overwhelming the process can be. Fortunately, Nicky has some great tips for you and for us. Her tips begin with setting proper expectations upfront, making simple and straightforward lists of what is required from you, and providing easy instructions for how to upload or send documentation. We like easy and we bet you do, too. Thank you, Nicky!
We also spoke with Tim O’Leary, VP of Mortgage Lending at Guaranteed Rate. Tim emphasized the importance of taking the necessary steps to be pre-approved. Tim said, “Buyers need to listen to their agents and become pre-approved by a lender to avoid drama, frustration, and missed opportunity.” We are in wholehearted agreement! As Realtors, we want you to avoid drama, too. And, we want you to be prepared to seize good opportunities. Tim used the analogy of going to the doctor’s which we thought was good. When you are ill, you go to the doctor to find out what’s wrong. When you want to buy a home, it’s wise to seek professional advice by a trusted advisor/loan Officer. It takes 15 minutes for you to connect with a lender. A lender who can guide you and set you up to win. Thanks Tim. We like to win!
The Future for Potential Hawaii Real Estate Buyers
We also asked our lenders what they think about rising rates and the future of real estate in Hawaii. Alan said, “One thing the pandemic proved, as if we needed any additional evidence, is just how resilient the Hawaii housing market is. Our largest economic driver, tourism, literally came to a halt and yet Hawaii real estate remained a sound investment. In fact, it continued to appreciate.” Demand is so strong that Alan thinks it’s a safe bet that prices will continue to rise over the long term. It remains to be seen, but based on what we are still experiencing in today’s market, we think he is pretty spot on.
Tim made a great point, too. “With recent interest rate hikes hitting 4%, Buyers think that it’s the end of opportunity. That is not the case! The difference in payment for every $100,000 is $50 to $70/month. Tim believes (and we concur), that with proper guidance and planning, most buyers can overcome these changes and remain qualified.” Nicky also reminded us that today’s rates are historically low and that Buyers will be in a better equity position if they buy now (especially as rates rise), because Hawaii home values tend to trend upward.
We really appreciate Alan, Nicky, and Tim for sharing their insights with us and with you. Lenders play an integral and valuable role in the real estate process. Their jobs are not easy, but good lenders make it look easy, and Alan, Nicky, and Tim, all make it look easy. Thank you.