Showing posts from March, 2012


Loans refinanced under the new HARP2 have an unlimited loan-to-value ratio. If you are interested in refinancing, and your loan is owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae and was originated before May 31, 2009, check Kurt Nielsen's presentation below to see how you might benefit! Call e-Mortgage Hawaii anytime to discuss your loan!

Don't Miss the Recall

Occasionally, you hear about an important recall on a product you have and you take care of it immediately. However, if you were to miss such a notice, it could put you or your family in jeopardy. You can subscribe to the U.S. government's service to notify the public when recalls are made on vehicles, tires and child restraints through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on their site called . You'll receive a notification by email when there is a new recall based on the type you selected. You can change your selections or unsubscribe at any time by going back to their website in the "Manage Your Notifications" section. We're committed to helping you be a better homeowner by providing information on items that can protect your home's value, reduce expenses, improve maintenance and increase the enjoyment of your home.

Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Stats

Every month, the Honolulu Board of Realtors publishes statistics that are broken down by neighborhood. The "Local Market Update" for both single family homes and for condominiums can be found in the attached link below. We are observing a general increase in activity in many price points and neighborhoods across Oahu. For example, single family home sales in the Hawaii Kai region were particular active compared to February last year, showing increases in the number of new listings, closed sales, and housing inventory. Check for the activity in your neighborhood by clicking the link below.

When Mortgage Debt is Cancelled

The Mortgage Forgiveness Relief Act of 2007 was passed by Congress to avoid additional financial hardship that some homeowners might experience due to a foreclosure or short sale. The law affects mortgage relief that occurs from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2012. Normally, IRS considers partial or total debt forgiven by a lender to be treated as ordinary income. This not only affects foreclosures but even short sales where only part of the debt is forgiven would trigger additional taxes for the homeowner. There are exceptions that apply such as bankruptcy and insolvency. The forgiveness is only applicable to taxpayers' principal residence and only acquisition debt used to buy, build or improve the home. The additional cash taken out when refinancing a home will not be eligible for the relief unless it is used for capital improvements. The lender is required to submit a 1099 form to IRS and provide the homeowner a copy who will file the forgiven amount on Form 982 as part of

Another Indication

The Housing Affordability Index was developed over thirty years ago to help consumers determine when it is a good time to buy a home. It's considered advantageous to the buyer when the index is over 100 because a median income family can qualify for a median price home. Recent figures released by the National Association of REALTORS' economic department show that the 2011 index of 184.5 is the highest annual average since it has been calculated. The most recent month released, December 2011, was 194.9. The index is also broken down into four regions of the country. The two major components that contribute to the index are home prices and mortgage interest rates which are lower than they've been in the last five years which account for the dramatic rise in the index since 2006. The Housing Affordability Index is another indication that this is a good time to buy a home for people who have good credit, a down payment and want a home. It may be the best time we'll see

Keiko Matsui, Jazz Pianist

March 11th was the one-year anniversary of the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Larry and I had the privilege of being invited to hear Keiko Matsui, Jazz Pianist, play at the Convention Center last night. Keiko's music is beautiful and strong, and her compositions so complete. She plays with a passion and energy that transform you. She spoke of Japan's 311 and reminded us of the devastation and subsequent outpouring of aid to help rebuild her country. Treat yourself and listen to her play this song that she wrote for her young daughter...

Landscaping and the Harmony of a Home

New Weekly Article - The Big Picture || Home By Design Weekly Article

Storm Leaves Messy Trail In East Honolulu

Storm Leaves Messy Trail In East Honolulu - Honolulu News Story - KITV Honolulu

Fix It Anyway

"If it isn't broke, don't fix it" is certainly popular advice, but if you've ever had a serious plumbing leak, you certainly wished you had taken care of the problem earlier. Washing machines, like all appliances, are supposed to work and when they don't, it's time to have them fixed or replaced. However, there is a critical connection from your water supply that may even be older than your washing machine itself. Ask someone whose hose broke while they were asleep or out of town and you'll hear stories of how quickly the water can damage walls, flooring and furniture. Almost anyone can replace the hoses with a pair of pliers for under $30.00 to avoid this potential catastrophe. As you're shopping for the replacement hoses, consider the braided stainless steel connectors. The advantage is that the stainless steel offers additional protection should a soft spot develop in the hose beneath. They'll cost a little more but offer considerably mor

Honolulu Board of Realtors February Housing Statistics

HBR February 2012 Stats

Building Green! Go Photovoltaic!


FHA Fees Increasing on April 1st

FHA Fees Going Up April 1st  -  3/5/2012 FHA has raised the annual Mortgage Insurance Premium to 1.25% beginning April 1st.  MIP is required on all FHA loans and used to fund losses by lenders for borrowers who default on their mortgages.  As of June 1st, FHA loans in excess of the standard maximum of $625,500, in high-cost areas, will have a premium of 1.5% of the loan amount. In addition to the increase in the annual MIP, FHA also announced it plans to raise the fee on the up-front MIP from 1.00% to 1.75%.  No date was reported for its implementation. The bottom line will result in a borrower’s payments going up.  However, it might not be restricted to the MIP.   Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey  showed that both 30 year and 15 year mortgages have gone up too. One way to avoid the increase is to have a completed sales contract and have your lender order the FHA commitment prior to April 1, 2012.  If you plan on buying a home this spring, there is a reaso