Three Important Questions
Before you look at color palettes, flooring materials, and Pinterest pictures, here are three things you should ask yourself:
1. How are you going to hold title?
In Hawaii, there are four common ways to hold title. Do you know what they are? Tenancy can vary if you are purchasing a home on your own or if you are purchasing with another person.
Each form of tenancy has it's own legal and tax ramifications. It's important you seek advice from a professional, such as an attorney, to determine what tenancy is best for you.
In addition, it might be in your best interest to hold tenancy in trust. Properties that are held in a trust are usually not subject to probate. An estate attorney can provide you clarification on this subject.
2. How are you going to make your mortgage, association, and or maintenance fee payments?
It's important you always make your payments on time! You should make a repeating note in your calendar to alert you when your mortgage, association, and or maintenance fee payments are due.
In Hawaii, I was informed that some association management companies only take payment via check. If so, it's important to ensure you that your payments are sent securely and sent on time.
Lastly, if you are purchasing a home with a mortgage, it's likely that your mortgage will be sold on the open market. This means that you will make your mortgage payments to the company that owns your loan. It's easy to be get confused by this. Should you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact your mortgage lender and your real estate agent.
3. Did you file your home exemption paperwork?
At your escrow signing, it's not uncommon for your real estate agent, your mortgage lender, and your escrow officer to remind you to file your home exemption paperwork.
If you are an owner occupant, filing a home exemption should lower your tax assessed value. This means you will pay less taxes (in property tax). If the government is rewarding you for being a homeowner, why not claim that reward?
It's important you file your home exemption immediately after your closing. Did you know that you can file your home exemption online?
If you have any questions about your home exemption, you should speak with an accountant and or a financial advisor.