If you think you’re ready to buy a Kakaako condo and you’re simply waiting for that perfect unit to hit the market, keep reading because this article is for you. Often I’m contacted by homebuyers who find a house they love on sites like Trulia and Zillow and they want to put in an offer, but it’s sold before I can even say “prequalified.” So if you have your heart set on buying in Kakaako, here are three steps you can take right now to make sure that as soon as your dream home is for sale, your offer is on the table.

1. Talk to a Lender

Unless you plan to pay all cash, your first step is always to talk to a lender—a bank, mortgage broker, credit union or direct lender—to get qualified for a loan. They’ll run the numbers and see what you can afford before you start your home search. Your lender will also pull a credit report to see if you have any credit issues—if you do, this will give you time to start improving your score before it comes time to lock in your mortgage rate and terms.

2. Find the Right Realtor

Your real estate agent acts as your representative, provides you with up-to-date market information and sifts through all the active listings procuring only the ones they think would be a great fit. It’s so important to find someone you can not only trust, but get along with too—you’ll be spending a lot of time with them. Especially in the context of Kakaako’s new development, where lines are known to wrap around the block, it’s key to work with a well-connected realtor—camping outside of a sales office is no fun for anyone.

3. Do Your Homework

When looking for the perfect condo, be sure to keep an open mind. Consider all of the units that fall in your price range, not just the building you’ve been lusting over. Take a drive through Kakaako, stop by open houses in various buildings, get to know their amenities and location, then weigh your options. Whether you’re buying your first place or your fifth, purchasing real estate is always a big decision.

If you’re not currently working with a realtor but you’re interested in buying a home, please feel free to contact me. Or, to learn more about Hawaii’s real estate market, visit my blog at www.hiresidential.net.

P.s. I wait in lines so you don’t have to