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  • Nancy Jane Williams

Get pre-qualified (or pre-approved) before you come to Kauai to buy a condo or home.

Are you considering looking at vacation rental condos and homes when you’re visiting Kauai? If you’re hoping to see vacation rental homes or condos while you’re on Kauai, there are some important things you need to know.

  1. You must schedule your visits / showing requests well in advance. Understand that most condos and homes that are active vacation rentals will mostly likely be booked with vacation renters. Ideally, you’re here during a time where there is a break between renters that we (the selling agent and I) can schedule a showing. If not, we will have to make a special request to see the condo or home while renters are staying in the property. Often times, this is not an option.

  2. You may need to be flexible with your dates. If you are hoping to see multiple units, I will do my best to schedule them on the same day – but due to #1 above, it may take several days.

  3. You must already be pre-qualified by a lender before a selling agent will consider interrupting a vacation rental for a showing.

  4. A pre-qualification is NOT the same as a pre-approval. A pre-qualification gives you an estimate of how much you can borrow based on your income, employment, credit and bank account information. Results of the mortgage affordability estimate/pre-qualification are guidelines; the estimate isn't an application for credit and results don't guarantee loan approval or denial.

  5. In today’s real estate market, many sellers will not even consider an offer that is not accompanied by at least a pre-qualification letter. If you’re serious about purchasing a vacation home or condo on Kauai, be sure to have all this taken care of before you arrive on island. Then, when you find something you love, you’ve got everything to make a solid offer!

When your offer is accepted, one of the next steps is getting a pre-approval. What is a pre-approval? A pre-approval is different from a pre-qualification. As mentioned above, with a pre-qualification, the lender relies on information provided by the buyer to estimate how much the borrower could qualify for. With a pre-approval, the lender verifies the borrower's information and documentation to determine exactly how much it would be willing to lend to that borrower. A pre-approval is based on ACTUAL income, credit, and debt history, and will let you know what you can afford. You can take the step to be pre-approved before you make an offer. Check with your lender but most pre-approvals are good for 6 months. So if you don’t find something on your first trip you can make a return trip and still have everything in order. Getting pre-approved will help you identify what you really can afford, and will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. It is important to note, a pre-approval is not a loan commitment, but it helps speed up the underwriting and loan approval process - and puts you in top position when you are ready to make an offer on your perfect Kauai home! This means not losing a home you fall in love with because you were not pre-approved! If you would like a referral to some mortgage brokers that can help you find the best mortgage and lender for you, please let me know. Also, if you haven't already watched my Buying a Vacation Rental Webinar, click here!

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