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Customer Stories

Sarah and Esther's Story: Finding a Forever Home

Reynide Dubreus | 29 Sep 2021

After owning a condo for three years in Honolulu, HI, Sarah Post and Esther Widiasih were ready to upsize to a home that fit their growing family’s needs.

“We were pretty sick of living in a condo, just dealing with the Homeowner Association (HOA), going to fob people up and down,” Sarah told us. “We were just over it and ready to move into a bigger space that was also our own space.”

The couple began their homebuying journey after Sarah attended a Landed info session back in fall 2019. She was excited about the chance to put 20% down and the newfound possibility of owning a larger home: “I don’t think before learning about Landed that we had in our mind that we could purchase a house.”

Sarah and Esther, both math professors at the University of Hawaii, had initial hesitations about partnering with Landed. “I made myself a spreadsheet and did lots of assuming that house prices rise at this amount, and compared the mortgage interest which we were paying on our condo, versus how much Landed comes out at the end,” Sarah said.

Sarah and Esther posing next to Sonny who is on a bike

Sarah, Esther, and their son Sonny enjoying their new community playground.

After all of the research, calculations, and cost comparisons, the couple chose to partner with Landed and use our down payment funds. In Sarah's words, “it was definitely a good deal… financially it’s a win-win for both parties.”

Then came the fun part of the journey: looking for their forever home. The couple began by assembling their homebuying team, which included their own real estate agent, a Landed partner lender, and a Landed Homebuying Programs Lead (HPL). “The bank that Landed suggested was amazing! He was probably the most efficient part of the process."

Once their team was assembled, Sarah and Esther sold their condo in preparation for their home search. The couple  knew there were obstacles to purchasing a home in their target area of Waikiki, Hawaii, including low housing inventory and many competitive offers. “Houses are on the market for a week before they go into Escrow. So once we started looking, whatever was on the market that week were our choices,” Sarah mentioned.

The family outside their new home in Hawaii.

The family outside their new home in Waikiki, HI.

But even with those odds, Sarah and Esther were determined to find their perfect home.

“When we first saw the house, our son Sonny was running everywhere and he really just made himself at home."

To boost their offer, the couple wrote a letter to the owners sharing their knowledge of and love for the community, as well as their dream of owning a home there. “They saw we were Landed customers and the listing agent said it made a big difference.”

The couple is enjoying their new home while Sonny is enjoying getting to know the community. Sarah added, “one of the highlights of his week is trash day, where the sanitation workers know his name and they give him a little beep and say, ‘Hi Sonny!’”


Interested in partnering with Landed for your home purchase?

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Customer Stories Hawaii

About the Author

Reynide Dubreus

Reynide is a Seattle resident who enjoys tacos, nature, and traveling. Feedback is a passion of hers, and so is amplifying customer voices through content pieces. She joins Landed as a product marketer with experience in philanthropy, healthcare, and local government.

Looking for Landed's down payment program? Due to a temporary unavailability of DPP investment funds, all Landed metro areas are being put on a DPP waitlist effective September 8, 2022. You can read all the details (including FAQs) here if you would like to know more.