Monthly Archives: February 2012

Do Not Buy a Vehicle When you are Buying a Home

Many purchasers of property seem to be unaware, and I sometimes forget to mention, that it is not a good idea to make a large purchase, such as the purchase of a car, truck or other vehicle, or expensive appliances, while trying to buy a property with a loan. The reason is this will change your credit picture.

Your lender will usually check your credit when you first apply for a loan. Be aware that your lender may again check your credit closer to the end of your escrow period to make sure everything is as it was when you first applied for the loan. A large purchase could negatively impact your debt to income ratio, to the point where a loan you qualifed for when you first applied for a loan, is no longer a loan for which you qualify.

This is not always the case. Depending on your situation, you might still qualify for that loan. However, isn’t it better to be safe rather than sorry? I would suggest buyers be very cautious before making a larger purchase in addition to the property you are trying to buy. You want your loan process to go as smoothly as possible without unexpected surprises or problems, especially since you have a lot invested into the purchase, such as cost of appraisal, inspection, deposits and your emotional attachment and time invested in the process.

Make things easy on yourself and wait until your home purchase closes before making that large purchase of a car, or appliances or other large purchase that could affect your credit score and debt to income ratio.

 

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Maui Real Estate Sales Statistics for January 2012

The January 2012 statistical report by the Realtors Association of Maui for real estate sales on the island showed the the median price of a home declined to $408,000, down 18% compared to January 2011, based on 49 homes sold in January 2012. The condo median price rose to $339,000, based on 89 units sold, up 15% compared to January a year ago. Land median price for January 2012 was $330,000.

Overall, inventories have declined 15-20% over the past year in Residential and Condo properties.

Some median prices of homes sold in some sample districts January 2012 on the island are as follows:

  • Central (Kahului & Wailuku) $367,000
  • Kihei $510,000
  • Wailea/Makena $1,500,000
  • Lahaina $372,500
  • Kula $565,000
  • Makawao $305,000

Some median prices of condos sold in some of Maui’s districts in January 2012 are as follows:

  • Central $130,000
  • Kaanapali $429,900
  • Kihei $201,750
  • Napili/Kahana/Honokowai $290,000
  • Wailea/Makena $600,000
  • Kapalua $575,000

 

 

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Shopping for Baby Goods on Maui

As an expectant mother for the first time, I have finally started paying attention to baby goods. Strollers that just rolled by without me batting a second glance are captivating my attention. I have been thorougly researching many baby goods and now try to avoid staring at what carrier or brand of stroller a passing mother and child are using.

Since we do not have a Babies R Us on Maui, found in many larger metropolitan areas, I had to figure out some of the places to shop for baby goods. This is a huge industry with gadgets for every baby’s need and things I could never even have imagined. Here are some of the places one should check out when you are going to have or have a baby and you live on Maui.

All of the stores below are located in Kahului. I’d be interested in knowing about other stores on the island worth exploring.

1) Keiki Time, located on Hana Hwy, is a boutique that carries a lot of the best brands in baby necesseties. They sell the coveted Bob strollers, Chicco and Graco crash tested baby car seats, and baby carriers such as Baby Bjorn. I found their prices to be a little steep, but they do have pretty much the best of what is out there. So, you can be pretty assured of a selection of high quality items if you shop there. The sales staff here is excellent and very helpful in demonstrating use of their products (such as folding a stroller).

2) Cute and Cuddly, located in the Maui Mall, is a competitor boutique to Keiki Time. Cute and Cuddly also seems to carry a lot of the “best” brands as well, but seems to offer different, competing brands such as Phil & Teds and Mountain Buggy strollers. They also have some of the Graco products, which seems to be a baby industry biggy.

3) Sears in Queen Kaahumanu Shopping Center has prices that seem a bit more reasonable. Some of their brands include Eddie Bauer strollers and Safety First. However, I was disappointed when recently they ran a huge ad in the Maui News for some sale/discontinued items, such as a Graco playyard, but on the first day the ad ran, it was already not in stock.

4) Walmart offers options that are again more affordable than the boutiques. However, it seems that the offering in our Maui store may not be as complete for certain things as others in the mainland or their website. I was interested in seeing Baby Trend strollers, which I read about on the internet in person, and which Baby Trend’s website says is sold at Walmart. However, none were in stock when I visited Walmart.

5) K-Mart also has options that are more affordable than the boutiques for baby gear. Frankly, I think getting in and out of K-Mart during busy times is somewhat better than going to Walmart, as long as you avoid driving on Dairy Road to get there.

6) Finally, there is the internet. I have spent hours and hours researching this and that and have found Amazon.com to be a huge resource with great pricing. However, I do feel that tug of guilt when perusing their site, where maybe I should give local businesses such as the boutiques, or at least the big stores that carry merchandise in person some of my business. It is a bit of a challenge when pricing on the internet is so competitive.

I would suggest that these are some of the resources to consider and decide for yourself what budget/products will be useful for you if you are in the market for baby goods.

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Obama’s Latest Proposal to Help Underwater Homeowner’s Refinance

Details of President Obama’s proposed plans to allow homeowner’s who are underwater to refinance have emerged. First mentioned at his Jan 24, 2012 State of the Union address, this plan is still subject to the approval of Congress. The propsed plan, with similarities to HARP, which we have previously blogged about, does have a  major difference with the HARP plan in that, if approved, it would be available to homeowner’s whose loans are not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Read on for more details of the proposal.

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