Living in Hawaii can be quite an adventure — and the same can be said about buying a house.
The process of investing in real estate anywhere in Hawaii can be an educational one, as some aspects of it are markedly different from what newcomers to the islands may be used to. It’s worth noting that a significant percentage of land on the Big Island and elsewhere are held by a handful of different trusts, and these are rarely sold.
Fee Simple vs Leasehold
Because land is such a rare commodity in the state, this has resulted in two different kinds of property ownership – fee simple and leasehold. The former, also known as fee simple absolute, means that you own the property outright – the land, whatever structures and improvements are on it, and so on. This form of ownership is the one most of us are familiar with.
As for leasehold ownership, it involves purchasing the rights to make use of the land, build improvements on it, etc., for a set amount of time. In other words, you own the home, but you lease the land that it’s on.
When you’re shopping around for a home on the Big Island, make sure that you know what kind of property it is. If it’s fee simple, then you’re likely not going to run into any additional issues. If it’s a leasehold, then you’ll want to find out the remaining length of the lease, what the terms are, whether or not you can renew it, etc.
Here are some other questions you must answer when you’re thinking about buying a home:
How much house can I afford?
As a buyer, the first thing you need to do is come up with a sound estimate about what you can spend on a house. Size up your finances. Do research on all loan options available, in order to secure the mortgage that’s perfectly suited to your needs. For best results, meet with a licensed Hawaii mortgage broker who can help you crunch the numbers.
Should I get pre-approved?
Definitely. A pre-approval letter from your lender tells sellers that you’re a serious buyer. It also gives you a good idea of what your price range is.
Should I work with Rick and his team?
You can certainly go this alone, but why would you want to? Simply hire Rick so that you can have confidence in and who will have your best interests at heart. Unlike other states, Hawaii attends to have a limited supply of homes for sale. It is a market with extraordinarily high demand and you want to make sure you’re getting advice from a seasoned pro like Rick.
Home prices in Hawaii have been steadily rising, and Hawaii is still largely defined by several characteristics that have labeled it as a seller’s market. It has limited available land for sale, relatively high construction costs, and properties here are in high demand. In some cases this scenario has led to sellers receiving multiple offers.
This doesn’t mean you should be complacent, however. Whether or not it’s a seller’s market, buyers will want to make sure that they’re getting their money’s worth. If you are looking to sell your home in Hawaii, here are some tips for a quick, efficient and profitable sale:
Secure a good real estate agent like Rick.
Rick is efficient, well-connected, and a detail-oriented Realtor making which significantly increases your chances of making the best sale possible.You and Rick should set clear goals for your partnership. This includes agreeing on how your home is going to be marketed. You should also define roles and scope of responsibilities for each other’s involvement in the selling process.
Make necessary repairs and improvements before listing your home.
Take a step back and view your home through the eyes of a potential buyer. Ensure that the basics such as the flooring, plumbing, lighting, heat, and ventilation systems have no major issues. Ensure that they are maintained well enough to suit the reasonable expectations of a prospective buyer.Is your house not looking its best? Sometimes all you need to do is to add small cosmetic touches like improved lighting, a new paint job, new plants, etc. If you think your house needs major updates, crunch the numbers and consult with your Realtor – some improvements have better returns than others.
Price your house to sell.
It’s important to get a professional appraisal in order to ensure that your asking price is both fair and reasonable to all parties. Pricing too high immediately puts off potential buyers, while pricing too low might seem as though you’re too eager to sell, which often makes buyers think that there’s something wrong with your property. One of the best ways to gauge the correct market price is to see how much the other homes in your area have sold for. Rick and his team are happy to provide a complete market analysis. Which compares sales prices of comparable properties to your own. You may also want to hire a professional appraiser to assess the value of your home.