‘Home Sweet Home’ Housing Fair returns to Lihu‘e

LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i Board of Realtors is encouraging renters, homeowners and prospective homeowners to attend its second “Home Sweet Home” Housing Fair at the Civic Center on June 17.

“It’s more than just a housing fair,” said Karen Ono of KBR and one of the 13 organizers of the one-day event. “It’s for first-time home buyers, or anyone interested in buying, and people who own homes, landlords and tenants.”

The free fair, held every other year, will feature six informational workshops, 25 exhibits and an open house tour of the Kamamalu at Kaua‘i Lagoons development in Lihu‘e. 

“Kamamalu was originally built as affordable worker housing, and now it’s open to anybody,” said Michael Olsen, president of KBR. “The developer petitioned the county to remove the restrictions a couple months ago, and they agreed … The county even bought two units.”

The Kamamalu open house begins at 1:15 p.m. and concludes at 3 p.m. Unit prices range between $178,000 and $249,000. Ono said sales have been slow since the project’s completion a few years ago.

In the Pi‘ikoi Building of the Civic Center, vendor exhibits will be on display from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will represent various sectors of the real estate industry, including home building, escrow, finance, government-assisted housing programs, home-buyer education, insurance, law, realtors and county public safety divisions representatives.

Through vendors and workshops, visitors can obtain information about the numerous changes to the housing market since KBR’s last fair in 2009, such as lenders requirements for home loans and and the state’s new 14-month foreclosure moratorium.

“The foreclosure moratorium affects sellers, buyers and even renters,” Olsen said. “Plus, during the last two years, there has been such an explosion on the market of REO properties and short sales.

“ It’s important for people to learn what it means and to know what they’re in for as renters and buyers, he said. “ They can learn what the processes are that really apply to them.”

Aside from the focus on renters and landlords, which Olsen said is something last year’s fair did not fully address, Ono said this event will highlight various forms of insurance, from renters to homeowners and even pets.

“The stress on this event is renters insurance, especially after last weekend’s fire,” Ono said. “If those renters had had renters insurance, their losses would have been covered.” 

No registration is required for the fair or its workshops and parking is free.

“The parking lot between the county and state buildings will be available at no charge,” Ono said, so don’t plug the meters.

“Our goal is to give residents a feeling of hope. We want them to know that despite the economic times we’re in, there are people they can turn to for help with their housing needs,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. in a press statement.

“Our mission statement is very similar to the County Housing Agency,” Olsen said. “We felt that it makes perfect sense for KBR to collaborate with the county and assist the community with their housing needs.”

For more information, to request an auxiliary aid or additional support to attend the fair, contact Shelley Teraoka at 241-4418.

3 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

Preparing to Buy

A first-time home buyers presentation by Hawai‘i Home OwnershipCenter and Hawaiian Community Assets

Government Financial Programs & Loan Modifications

Presented by Kaua‘i Housing Agency and Hawai‘i Home OwnershipCenter

4:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. 

Beware of the Dangers of Trusts

Strategies to qualify for Medicaid long-term care coverage andprevent Medicaid liens, presented by attorney Michael Ratcliffe

5 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. 

Veterans Affairs Initiatives

Loan packages for current and former veterans, presented by TonyDias of VA Loans Hawai‘i

6 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. 

Property Management

Topics to include tenant rights during foreclosure,disabilities, renters’ insurance and pet insurance, presented byScott Sherley, NARPM

7 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. 

Insurance

Renters, hurricane, flood, etc., presented by Darrelyn Lemke ofState Farm Insurance

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