Mortgage News

If you are looking for a mortgage in Hawaii, you have come to the right place! As a trusted mortgage professional who is familiar with the local area, you can trust me to help you find an affordable financing option for the purchase of your dream home!

The mortgage process and local real estate market both influence each other which is what makes it so important for me to continuously update my knowledge on local market news and trends. I can use this information to help my clients get the most competitive rates available and to help them find a home in the perfect location!


Over the last year, the median sales price of homes in Hilo rose 8%, or close to $25,000, from $315,000 in the third quarter of 2016 to $340,000 in the third quarter of 2017. While this increase does show that prices are up as a total of all property types, there are property types that have seen decreases in median prices on a year to year basis.


One bedroom and four bedroom homes both saw prices drop as we compare the median sales price from the months of May – August for 2016 and 2017.


In 2016, one bedroom homes were selling for a median price of $133,000. These homes are now selling for a median price of $130,000. Similarly, in 2016, four bedroom homes were selling for a median price of $472,500 but are now selling for a median price of $457,500. 


On the other hand, median sales prices for both two and three bedroom homes did rise on a year to year basis.


At the end of August, according to, there were still about 114 single-family homes and 29 condos or townhomes available for sale in the Hilo area. 


Give me a call today at (808) 494-5789 to take advantage of these lower prices on one and four bedroom homes or to find out more about what mortgage is right for you!


Posted by Heidi Lawler on September 18th, 2017 5:19 AM

As you search for the perfect San Diego mortgage, there may be a few common terms or questions that arise.

Throughout my years of experience in the mortgage industry I have learned that many of my clients often have the same questions when it comes to some of the common terms they are unfamiliar with. These normally include questions about down payments and rate locks.

Below you will find the explanations to a few of these common questions. It is my hope that these explanations help you better understand the mortgage process and help you feel more comfortable as we work together to find the right mortgage for you!


Are there any mortgages that don’t require a down payment?

VA and USDA loans are the true zero down payment mortgage options that you can obtain in the United States. We also offer several loans that provide down payment assistance. The down payment assistance programs allows a zero down as well, without requiring you to be a veteran or live in a rural area.  Whether or not these mortgages would be viable options for you will depend on your qualifications.

If you do not qualify for a 100% financed mortgage like a VA, USDA loan or down payment assistance, a Conventional loan could still be a great option for you as it only usually requires 3% as a down payment.


What is a rate lock?

A rate lock is an agreement between you and your lender that is made prior to the closing of your mortgage which allows you to set, or lock in, a certain interest rate. This rate lock is agreed to prior to closing in order to give your lender time to prepare your loan documentation with the set interest rate.

In some cases, borrowers may want to lock in their interest rate well in advance of closing, and in other cases they will wait until the last possible minute. This will vary based on the type of mortgage you are obtaining and the current rates in your area.

Did any of the above information leave you with more questions? Don’t hesitate to ask!

If you are looking for a San Diego mortgage and would like more information, give me a call today at (619) 249-3220! I can’t wait to help you find the perfect mortgage!



Posted by Heidi Lawler on August 18th, 2017 1:50 AM

As a Hilo Mortgage expert, I am determined to help my clients succeed with their dreams of home ownership.

Throughout my experience in the mortgage industry I have learned that there are quite a lot of aspects involved in the process of obtaining a mortgage and purchasing a home. Over the years I have learned that information is key when it comes to making such large financial decision.

In an effort to make the process as comfortable and stress-free as possible, I strive to provide my clients with as much useful and relevant information as possible. This is not limited to the current interest rates and mortgage information that can be found throughout this website. This information includes things like local market statistics because these statistics can have a large impact on the homes my clients end up purchasing.

Hawaii Realtors has recently released the market report for May of this year, which shows that the current market for single-family homes in Hawai’i County is remaining stable which is great news for buyers, especially those who are concerned with how their homes can be priced in the future. Purchasing in a stable market can bring a great sense of security.

In May of 2016, there were a total of 218 single-family homes sold, which increased this year to 239, an increase of 9.63%. in the condominium market, total sales rose an astounding 40.91% from 66 in May of 2016 to 93 in May of 2017.

The median sales price of Hilo single-family homes sold this May was recorded at $320,000, which is only a 1.91% percent increase over the median sales price of $314,000 that was recorded for May last year. The condominium market, on the other hand, showed another significant change year over year, with median sales prices dropping well over 19% from $339,500 in May of 2016 to $273,000 in May of 2017.

If you are interested in purchasing a Hilo home, now is the time – especially if you are in the market for a condominium!

Regardless of your current financial situation or the type of home you are searching for, I am here to help you every step of the way! Give me a call to setup your first consultation and to get started on your mortgage process today!


Posted by Heidi Lawler on July 24th, 2017 6:06 AM
There is a new program available for the Big Island that allows a 1% down payment without any income restrictions.  This is great news because it will allow more borrowers to qualify. The program requires a minimum credit score of 700.  Please give me a call for more details. Heidi Lawler, Capital Loan Associates, #808-494-5789
Posted by Heidi Lawler on January 16th, 2017 8:53 AM

It's staggering when you think about the cost of living, especially if you're a renter and not a home owner. If you are currently paying $1,000 a month for rented housing, then over the next three years, your property management company will effectively have reaped $36,000 of your hard earned cash! You're paying their mortgage when you could be building equity in your own property.

What if I don't have the money to buy a home right now?

There are loan programs available that offer low and no down payment options. Some programs permit gift money as a down payment, and often sellers are willing to make a contribution to your purchase if they want to sell the home quickly.

There are many benefits of home ownership to consider, most of all, tax deductions. Let's take a look at how advantageous this can be as a homeowner:

How much is tax deductible?

Tax deductions vary, but the IRS has laid out solid rules. They also have several tax publications full of helpful information worth taking the time to read. Publication 530, Tax Information for First-Time Homeowners, is very thorough, as is Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction. For quick reference, you can refer to Tax Topics 505, Interest Expense, and 504, Home Mortgage Points.

These publications often refer to local and state guidelines, so you may want to consult a CPA to answer all the questions that arise from reading these materials. Here are a few tips you should know up front:

Real Estate taxes are deductible on a primary residence. Real Estate taxes are paid at settlement or closing, or through an escrow account.

Mortgage interest is deductible on a loan to purchase, build or improve your home. Your lender will provide you with a Mortgage Interest Statement (Form 1098) to list the total interest paid during the year. This should include any deductible points paid for that year.

Pre-paid interest is deductible in the year it is paid. At the close of a real estate transaction, borrowers usually pay for the interest on their loan that falls between the closing period and the first of the next month. Mortgage payments are made "in arrears" so when a loan is closed mid-month, there is interest due to the new lender which must be paid in advance.

If you are building a home, the interest on the construction loan is deductible. The construction period cannot exceed 24 months prior to the date that you move in if you claim this as your primary residence.

Call me to discuss your specific needs and we'll find the program that's right for you.
We have a variety of low down payment and no down payment programs available.

 Heidi Lawler
NMLS #:229167
Loan Officer
Capital Loan Associates
Phone: 808-494-5789
Fax 858-764-2835
Posted by Heidi Lawler on October 17th, 2016 2:09 PM

While it might be tempting to borrow whatever amount of money your lender is willing to give you, it's important to think carefully about how much you'll actually need to borrow in order to purchase a new home. From the down payment to taxes to insurance and interest rates, there are many factors to consider when making this important, life-changing decision.

Contrary to popular sentiment, there is no standard formula for accurately calculating the specific dollar amount you should borrow when purchasing a new home. Many websites do offer special borrower calculators that claim to factor in important variables, and yet final results vary vastly from one site to the next. Other websites offer general rules of thumb, suggesting that you should never borrow more than 2 1/2 to 3 times your gross annual income, or that 28%, 32%, or even 40% is the maximum amount of debt you should ever take on.

And, while these insights may be helpful as you begin thinking about the overall borrowing process, meeting with a reputable loan professional and getting yourself pre-approved (not pre-qualified) is really the only way to know the exact amount of money you can and should borrow. By getting pre-approved, you not only increase the chance of finding the perfect house for your needs, you also become a "cash buyer", instantly increasing your bargaining power.

As a mortgage professional, I see my role differently than a traditional loan officer. While my job is to match you with the best mortgage available for your specific needs, I feel that it's also my duty to make sure it's the most responsible product as well. After all, what if something unforeseen or unexpected were to occur? What if you have an accident or you lose your job?

Whether you choose to work with me or not, be aware. A lender will often offer you the maximum amount of money that you qualify for, whether you actually need the full amount or not. Because of this, it's vital to sit down with a professional you can trust to figure out your complete financial picture.

If you or someone you know could benefit from this type of free consultation, give me a call. I would be happy to assist you!

Heidi Lawler
NMLS #:229167
Loan Officer
Capital Loan Associates
Phone: 808-494-5789
Fax 858-764-2835

Posted by Heidi Lawler on October 17th, 2016 1:24 PM
Trigger Leads: Protect Your Personal Data

Did you know that the major credit bureaus sell your personal information? It's true! Known as "trigger leads", the files of borrowers applying for a home loan are immediately flagged, packaged, and sold by the credit bureaus to the highest bidders. 

For about $25 to $100 or more, your name and certain specifics about your credit report, including your address, phone number, mortgage history, and even your FICO score range, are sold to unscrupulous mortgage companies which then blindly solicit your business. This results in numerous unwanted phone calls and junk mail offers which are in no way associated with your real estate agent or loan professional.

Unfortunately, no legislation presently exists to prevent the credit bureaus from profiting at your expense. As a trigger lead, you are simply at the mercy of any number of too-good-to-be-true offers designed specifically to try and discredit the mortgage professionals you know and trust. 

Don't be fooled! Ultimately, there are only a limited number of sources where lenders may turn to obtain mortgage money, and it's unlikely that you will find an unbelievably low rate without an unbelievably high cost. That's why, prior to taking an application for any loan program, I always encourage my clients to opt-out of credit bureau solicitations by visiting For new home buyers, this is the simplest way to avoid the problem altogether. 

As you embark on what could be the largest financial transaction of your life, it's important to have a professional mortgage specialist on your team who has your best interests at heart.

If you'd like more information on trigger leads, credit reports, or the various mortgage products available to help you reach your financial goals and needs, call me today.

Heidi Lawler
NMLS #:229167
Loan Officer
Capital Loan Associates
Phone: 808-494-5789
Fax 858-764-2835

Posted by Heidi Lawler on March 23rd, 2016 3:35 PM

Your credit score is very important when you purchase a home.  Since most people only purchase a home once or twice in their lifetime it is a good idea to improve your credit score as much as possible.  Here are some tips on how to raise your credit score:

  1. Payoff collections but not charge-offs: An account that is in collection status can bring your score down 10-20 points. Make sure all collection accounts are paid to achieve the highest score.
  2. Paying Charge-offs can lower your score. Avoid doing this. The charge-offs should fall off your report within 7 to 10 years automatically.
  3. Make sure your revolving debt (credit cards) has a balance of less than 50% owed. If you have the ability, payoff the revolving debt completely. This can increase your credit score about 10 points per account.
  4. Be very careful about paying everything on time. If a 30 day late payment is reported on one of your accounts within the last 12 months, this can really drop the credit score.
  5. If you pay off your credit card balances every month, make sure you pay off the balance before your next billing statement comes out. This is when the account information is reported. If you have a balance when the credit card statement is issued, then it will show a balance due on the credit report.


Give me a call if you have any questions.


Heidi Lawler
NMLS #:229167
Loan Officer
Capital Loan Associates
Phone: 808-494-5789
Fax 858-764-2835

Posted by Heidi Lawler on March 9th, 2016 5:01 PM

Buying a house is the biggest investment a person makes in their lifetime.

The 30 to 45 days in escrow are probably the most stressful days because there are so many active parts in the transaction that all lead to the dream of homeownership.

A Loan Officer’s job is to help families get to the finish line, but we need a commitment from the buyers as well.

Here is my list of the most important Do’s and Don’ts when applying for a home mortgage:

1. Do not change jobs, become self-employed or quit your job.

2. Do not buy a car, truck, refrigerator or any other large purchases.

3. Do not use charge cards excessively or let your accounts fall behind.

4. Do not spend money you have set aside for closing.

5. Do not change bank accounts or move money around between accounts.

6. Do not stop making your mortgage payments while waiting for your refinance to go through.

7. Do not make large deposits (or Cash Deposits) without checking with your Loan Officer.

8. Do not let any other entity pull your credit until our loan closes.

9. Do ensure that the application is completed fully, accurately and honestly.

10. Do make sure that you live in the home at least 12 months from the closing date if you are applying for a primary residence loan.

If you follow the rules listed above, you will be a homeowner in no time, and the road to get there will be a lot less bumpy.

Heidi Lawler

Posted in:Home Loan Advice and tagged: Home Loan Tips
Posted by Heidi Lawler on February 20th, 2016 3:38 PM

There is a new program available that allows borrower’s put as little as 3% down in Hawaii.  It is a Conventional loan, has lower monthly mortgage insurance payments and allows a credit score down to 620.  Another great benefit of this program is there is no maximum income limit for specific areas in Hawaii. Most of the Hilo, Hawaii area has no income limit/maximum.  A borrower can purchase a home up to $644,846 purchase price with as little as 3% down.  There is no First Home Buyer requirement either. The only requirement is that the borrower can not own any other properties at the time of closing and obtain approval through the automated underwriting system.  This program has special pricing also. The interest rate is usually the same as putting 10% down. This is an excellent program and should help many buyers’ purchase homes.  Contact me for more information.

Heidi Lawler:


Posted by Heidi Lawler on February 5th, 2016 11:55 AM