The search for a new home: an unexpected twist

If you’ve been following Sarah and Fernando Pacheco with us on their hunt for their first home, you know it’s been a challenge to meet their budget, size, and location parameters—especially in this tight market. Last week, they finally relented and began searching in West Oahu, which yielded at least one promising option.

They were all set to start the process on a Waikele townhome, when they got a call: The Piikoi unit they originally wanted fell out of escrow, and the sellers want the Pachecos to speak to a lender that they have worked with to see if there is a way around an issue with owner occupancy. Confused? So was I, but it turns out the building is less than 50 percent owner-occupied, which was not in the original listing, and that technicality needed to be addressed through a different means than what the Pachecos were pre-approved for.

“The owner-occupancy is sometimes a factor in determining the loan program, whether it’s a conventional or FHA loan—more so with FHA,” explains a mortgage source. “Everything is subject to the buyer’s credit profile.”

The sellers asked Fernando to apply with Pacific Access Mortgage because they have more financing resources to accommodate this situation.

“They were actually the first lender I went to back in August. I have since switched lenders, according to the preference of our realtor,” Fernando says, as they then had to restart the financing application process to switch back. The Pachecos would really prefer to stay in town, so they were willing to go through the trouble of switching if it meant they could hold on to their “townie cards.”

Pacific Access then requested an employment verification form from Fernando, which takes his company's human resources department three to five business days to complete.

“The owners started to get antsy and they decided not to wait for us (after changing lenders just for them), so they put the unit back on the market and said if we end up getting approved for the loan we can try bidding on it along with everyone else,” Fernando says. “As it turned out, we got approved, but I was disappointed that they didn’t wait for us, so I’m not going to bother.”

The unit is now re-listed at $8,000 more than its original listing.

The house hunt continues. If you have any tips or leads for the Pachecos, leave them here!