Zero-Percent Down Payment Loans Available to Oahu Families

Seal_of_Honolulu,_HawaiiPress Release
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Mayor Caldwell’s Press Office

Zero-percent down payment loans available to low-income and moderate-income families for home purchase

Honolulu – Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced today that qualified low-income and moderate-income families can receive interest-free loans for the down payment on home purchases. The city is now accepting applications for loans of up to $40,000, which will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to qualified households. The loans are provided through $250,000 in Federal HOME funds administered by the Department of Community Services (DCS).

“These loans can be the difference between renting and ownership for families across O‘ahu,” said Mayor Caldwell. “With today’s mortgage rates at historic lows, a zero-interest down payment loan through the city can be help families make their dream of homeownership a reality.”

Interested families must apply through a mortgage lender after being approved for a first mortgage. To qualify, applicants must provide five-percent of the purchase price as down payment and complete an approved homeownership course. A home inspection is also required. There is no cost to apply. For more information, please call the DCS Loan Branch at 768-7076.

Hawaii Home Possible Programs Now Available

Hawaii Home Advantage Loans

Lenders in Hawaii are now offering conventional Freddie Mac mortgages with down payments as low as 3 percent and reduced mortgage insurance requirements. These new programs are called Home Possible© and Home Possible Advantage(SM) and offer outstanding flexibility and options towards purchasing a primary residence. With mortgage rates still at record lows, these offer a good opportunity to stop paying rent and beging enjoying a stable, affordable mortgage for your own home. Call us today at (808) 625-5057 for more information.

Key Highlights of Hawaii Home Possible Programs

  • New down payment as low as 3 percent
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio of 97 percent for 1 unit (Home Possible Advantage)
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio of 95 percent for 2 to 4 units (Home Possible)
  • Lower mortgage insurance coverage requirement, reducing monthly payments
  • Both first-time buyers and other borrowers with limited down payment savings can qualify (1 qualifying buyer must participate in a homeownership education class)
  • No reserves required for 1-unit properties
  • Down payment, closing costs and escrow impounds can be made entirely by gift funds (Home Possible Advantage)
  • Lender-paid mortgage insurance permitted
  • Flexible underwriting requirements including use of rental income from occupying roommates

Restrictions of Hawaii Home Possible Programs

The borrower(s) may not have any individual or joint ownership in any other residential property as of the note date. Income eligibility will be determined by automatic underwriting criteria. Other restrictions may apply.

Call us today at 625-5057 for more info or for referrals of exceptional local loan officers that offer these loans!

Military Relocation to Hawaii? Some Things you Should Know!

Oahu Military Relocations
You are in the Military; you have your orders and will be relocating to Hawaii.  What are some of the things you may want to know about Hawaii military relocations?

Housing is quite expensive here. 

  • Fortunately you will receive a higher BAH than you probably are used to getting.  Here is a chart with the 2015 Basic Housing Allowance for Honolulu County (BAH).
  • VA mortgages are usually the best deal for you and the VA cap here for 100% financing is $721,050.  You can go higher if you add some down payment.  If you speak to a loan officer and they say they have a better deal than a VA loan, be careful.  That usually means they either can not do VA or have something they make more money on.  My best recommendation is to use a local loan officer and a primary lender; this will help you avoid many of the problems that come up when dealing with middleman and those who do not know the local market or laws. I can easily provide you a list of quality loan officers and lenders who specialize in Military/ VA.  You can do a pre-approval with the lender before arriving in Hawaii.  This will take a lot of stress off you and speed up the process.  It will also help you set a budget.  If you are already in Hawaii, attend one of the free Oahu VA Loan Seminars to find out more.  To find out the date and location of the next VA Seminar on Oahu, click here.
  • The government has and is building a large amount of base housing.  Some of it is new and much of it is not so new and not so nice.  If you take base housing, you will not receive BAH.
  • Most rental inventory here are either single family homes (a small percentage) or individually owned condominiums (the large majority of the inventory).
  • If you are planning or considering buying a home.  I have the ability start your search through the internet to allow you to be informed a ready to hit the ground running when you arrive.

Military Relocation to Hawaii – Picking a community to reside in.

Oahu Military Relocations

  • Some basic rules about pricing.  If you are planning to live close to KBAY (Kaneohe or Kailua).  You will find residential housing higher priced than many parts of the island.  If you are looking to cut costs areas a little further out will be less expensive.  You may also consider a drive over the H-3 freeway to some of the areas across the mountain.  One tip before I forget, there are some properties in some areas that are leasehold.  Leasehold is where you buy the home and lease the land.  These may appear as less expensive, but may not be and may.  A good professional real estate agent can help you with this situation.
  • If you are stationed at Pearl Harbor areas closer to Honolulu usually cost more for less.  If you go west (Leeward) there are several planned communities with newer and more cost effective housing.  The trade off is a little further drive.
  • If you are looking into schools in the area, you can find information about Hawaii Schools on the following sites.

Hawaiian Humane SocietyIf you are moving here with a pet, there are a few things you need to know.

  • Be sure to get shots and medical records in advance per Hawaii State requirements.  If you do not follow the procedure carefully your pet will be quarantined for an extended period of time.  We have no rabies in Hawaii and the State is very care to keep it that way.
  • Some pets and animals are strictly forbidden.  For example we have no snakes in Hawaii and want to keep it that way.
  • The Hawaii Humane Society has additional information about pets in housing, including a good list of pet friendly buildings.
  • Some of the forbidden animals:
      • Alligators
      • Bearded dragon lizards
      • Bees (alive or dead)
      • Bulbuls
      • Coconut crabs
      • Electric catfishes
      • Ferrets
      • Gerbils
      • Geckos
      • Hamsters
      • Hermit crabs
      • Land snails
      • Lion fishes
      • Lories
      • Monk parakeets
      • Piranhas
      • Snakes
      • Snapping turtles
      • Toucans

Similar restrictions apply to plants.  We live in a fragile environment here in the islands and we try to keep invasive species of not only animals from getting in, but also plants.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or otherwise contact us.  We are  passionate about helping those who serve relocate to and get the most out of their time in Hawaii and pride ourselves on helping a large number of happy military buyers purchase property on Oahu.

Hula Mae Loan Program – A Unique Opportunity for Hawaii Residents

Hula Mae Loan

The Hula Mae Loan – Not this kind of hula!

Have you heard of the Hula Mae loan?  The  program is unique to the State of Hawaii and is intended for low- to mid-income families.

This program seems to be a great opportunity for prospective homeowners. For your convenience, we’ve put together a quick summary of the program, as well as some of the advantages and disadvantages.

Summary of the Hula Mae Loan Program:

  • Must be a Hawaii resident and US citizen
  • On Oahu, must have a combined household income of $97,920 or less if a family of two. If a family of three, you must have a combined income less than $114, 120. Income limits are lower on the neighbor islands.
  • 30-year fixed rate mortgage as low as 3.65 percent
  • On Oahu, the price of the home being purchased cannot exceed $723, 417


  • Great for first-time buyers intending to be long-term owner-occupants
  • Only a 3% down-payment on a home purchase is required. If you cannot come up with 3%, there is down payment assistance available (however at a 4% APR and 1.25% is charged as a point).


  • This loan program is not for investors. You must intend to live in the home and cannot rent it out.
  • If you owned any real estate in the past three years, you are not eligible
  • If you sell the home within the first nine years, you might owe more in taxes. (Basically, the difference between the savings you received and what the loan would have cost if you took a normal loan. They really want you to be in the home for the LONG term.)
  • Cannot be used to refinance existing mortgages or lease-to-fee conversions

Check out this brochure from the HHFDC for more info, including a list of local lenders who are offering these loans.