HELOCs in Hawaii

The following downloadable cheat sheet was made for Hawaii residents but the concepts discussed are typical as it is a confusing game.

What is a HELOC (Home equity line of credit)?
A line of credit where the collateral is the existing equity in your home. Think of a credit card where your max limit is a portion of your equity in your home with some actually good rates.

Pros:
It’s a line of credit where if you don’t use it there is no interest being accrued.
Low-interest rate because it is seen as a low risk loan from the banks perspective
A good way to get access to liquidity in a pinch. Especially when starting a new investing strategy and need proof of concept.

Cons:
There is a possibility of the bank calling a loan due or changing the terms as the economy changes
Its not the best way of using equity because you should just sell the asset and be deleveraging into more fixed debt (very counter-intuitive I know but most things are)

What is LTV?
Loan to value. So if your home is worth $100,000 and you have $50,000 left on your mortgage then your LTV is 50%.

I’m confused… this all sounds great but just tell me what to do
Option 1: Initiate a HELOC with Aloha Pacific CU for 1yr @ 0.5%. Then either go with ASB or CPB. They both will cover up to $500 for early termination with Aloha Pacific (which would be some of the closing costs that were waived) and no annual fee. For ASB, as long as you have $2500/month in direct deposits then there are no other fees – setup an automatic transaction from another bank recurring every month to take care of that, extra credit if you send that same $2,000 right back a few days later (that’s almost like money laundering). At the time of origination, can check rates to see if you go with another 1 yr (with ASB) or 2yr (with CPB). If you need to do a third time – a few years out, then go with whichever one you didn’t go with for the second HELOC. These rates change and so do the fee structures so try to learn this stuff and connect with other investors. A good way to do that is come to have a beer with other sophisticated investors at ReiAloha. Notice CPB is put in the 2nd order because they will waive the cancellation fees from the host bank prior. Yes, we thought this out like the Sunday arm chair quarterback strategies-out the running back rotation of the Denver Broncos.
Option 2 (for the lazy): Although this is not optimizing the rates this method is a little simpler if your time is so valuable like you are coming up with the cure to some rare form of cancer. Take the lowest of the 2-3 year HELOCs and just go with them. This minimizes movement and makes your life simpler. Perhaps it makes your life so simpler that you free up time and mental bandwidth to invest in real assets such as rental real estate or passive syndications?

I’m still confused… walk me through a real-life example
Someone who just did this with a credit union… for a $200k loan, the closing cost was about $1200 (which were covered by the cu) and he paid $700 for an appraisal. He intends to hold for 3 yrs, so he didn’t get much details on how much of the closing costs he would have to pay back…. for this scenario, we estimate that all $1200 and would have to be paid (which $500 of that would be covered by the new lender).

Thoughts about appraisals
In order to cut costs some banks will do a desk review to determine the value of your property. This usually is more conservative figure and hurts you because you want your home to appraise for the most that it can in order to qualify for the biggest loan. These desk reviews utilize the tax assessed value which usually lower than if you paid $500 for a real appraisal or a cheaper “drive-by” appraisal. Sometimes it might be worth it to pay the extra fees to get a real appraisal instead of the lazy man method. It might be obvious but have a conversation on which appraisal is being used or be disappointed like when Coke switched your C&H sugar for corn syrup.

What about for a high leverage option (above 80%+) and low leverage option or will all of them not touch higher than 80%?
Higher leverage HELOC are available but not openly published. The author of this guide did not want to waste their time finding such fringe data since it changes so much and did not want to wait of a consultation from another bank employee. The collaborator did note that Hawaii State FCU was one of the few Credit Unions that openly published a higher LTV (up to 95%). Note – Hawaii banks are much more conservative on appraisals and terms than on the mainland. You may want to have a bank on the mainland if they will give a HELOC out of state. Typically anyone can get into most Credit Union after all they just want your money to sit in their bank paying you 0.01%. Sometimes you just have to donate $10 to some friends of the library account to gain membership.

Thoughts about fees
Be cognizant of closing costs are. The credit unions don’t have an early termination fee, however, you got to pay back closing costs. For the banks, there is a $500 termination fee and rates are higher, but maybe a better route if you got to pay back waived closing costs with the credit unions… especially since ASB and CPB will cover up to $500 early termination.

Why are you doing this?
Equity in your home is lazy money. It is not yielding a return and in fact it is a liability for lawsuits. The wealthy try to control everything and own nothing (encumber their assets with debt). In addition, typical investment yields range from 12-25% for stable, cashflowing assets, that hold their value even if the economy weakens.

Fine tuning:
“At some point you are going to ask the following: Assuming the delta between the one and two year helot is 1% and we are talking about a 200k loan… That’s 2k. Is it worth it to run around one afternoon and move stuff around online???

Are you going with the one year one first then get the two year from the next one? At this point it may make sense to get on a coaching call for 30 minutes to get an expert opinion.

Also it is possible to get a HELOC on a non-owner occupied home (rental property) but if you are considering so read this… simplepassivecashflow.com/roe”

Conclusion
Overall the process is pretty painless. You might have to run around looking for your mortgage files, HOA documents, or insurance but once setup it works just like another checking account.

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