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Loan Approval for First Time Buyers

What First-Time Buyers Need to Know About the Loan Approval Process

Your introduction to home buying is likely also your introduction to the world of mortgage loans, and the process is often intimidating. Do your research beforehand, becoming familiar with terms like points, fixed vs. adjustable-rate mortgages, mortgage insurance and other intricacies of home buying before starting your loan approval journey.

Preparing for Loan Approval

Get your finances in order well in advance of loan shopping. Avoid taking out new credit cards or other loans in the months before seeking mortgage loan approval. If you have existing credit card balances, try to pay them down so they are less than 30 percent of your credit limit. Make sure all of your bills, including rent and utilities, are paid on time.

Decide on how much of a down payment you can make on a property. Putting down more 20 percent or more of the purchase price means you do not have to pay costly mortgage insurance, but high home prices in Hawaii can result in substantial down payments. If putting down 20 percent on a home leaves you with little or no financial cushion, paying mortgage insurance is probably a better idea.

Pre-approval

First-time homebuyers should start by receiving pre-approval from a mortgage lender. Obtaining pre-approval requires submitting substantial documentation, including pay stubs, banks statements and pay stubs. You’ll also have to disclose any outstanding loans, such as automobile or student loan debt. When the lender pre-approves your mortgage for a specific amount, you can start your home search, since you know how much you can borrow.

Pre-approval is not the same as pre-qualified. The latter simply means the lender has done a fast estimate based on your income, assets and debts, based on the information provided with little or no verification. The bottom line is that a prequalification gives you an estimate of how much you might borrow. With a preapproval, you know how much you can borrow, and make a more informed decision during the home buying process.

Shop Around

Just as you would comparison shop for any other major purchase, it’s critical to do the same with a mortgage lender. For best results, consult at least three lenders, comparing interest rates, loan terms, and lender fees. You might also find that one lender is more efficient and responsive to your needs than others, and that can play a role in your decision when choosing a lender.

Consider Government Loans

For qualifying first-time buyers, government insured loan programs such as Federal Housing Administration (FHA), US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans may make more sense than conventional loans, especially for those with less than stellar credit. FHA loans require just a 3.5 percent minimum down payment, while there is no down payment required for active duty and veteran military members with a VA loan.

Contact Us

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home or find a rental property, you need a knowledgeable, experienced realtor familiar with all aspects of the Hawaiian real estate market. If you’re a first-time buyer, we can help you navigate the process. Contact Island Realty Group LLC at 808-689-7407 or IslandRealtyGroup@irghi.com.

 

August 23, 2019

Underwriting: What to Expect

What to Expect During Underwriting

Unless you are purchasing a property for cash, the mortgage underwriting process is part of the home-buying experience. In basic terms, underwriting is the process used by the lender for risk assessment, ensuring the borrower meets all loan requirements. How the underwriting process unfolds for individual borrowers may depend on their lender and the type of mortgage for which they are applying.

Document, Document, Document

The underwriting process requires lots of documentation. An underwriter is interested in the following information:

  • Credit score
  • Credit report
  • Income
  • Debts
  • Debt to income ratio
  • Financial assets

The property you intend to purchase is also part of the equation. An appraisal is necessary, because the underwriter must ensure it provides the lender with adequate collateral for the loan.

Keep in mind it is the underwriter’s job to ensure a loan is as risk-free as possible.  All that documentation protects both the underwriter and the bank or mortgage company.

Automatic vs. Manual Underwriting

In most cases, the mortgage application is fed through an automated system, which either approves or declines the application, or more often, refers it to a manual underwriter, also known as a human being. When a manual underwriter gets involved, expect further financial scrutiny, but also the opportunity to explain any discrepancies or issues the automated system flagged.

Underwriter Conditions

If you loan doesn’t pass the underwriting process the first time around, don’t despair. That’s not uncommon, but once you satisfy the conditions set out by the underwriter, it’s more likely you’ll receive loan approval. Conditions generally consist of more documents, including additional bank statements. An underwriter may also request that you pay off certain debts prior to conditional loan approval, or clarify why you missed or were late paying particular bills.

Self-Employed Borrowers

If you or your spouse are self-employed, expect to provide even more intensive documentation during the underwriting process. There are special underwriting guidelines for the self-employed, far more stringent than for salaried workers. In most situations, a borrower must be self-employed for at least two years before qualifying for a mortgage, but there are exceptions. If you have been self-employed for at least one year, but have prior experience in the field and make as much as a self-employed person as you did when working for another entity, you may qualify for a mortgage.

Lenders look for “stable and consistent” income. Business incomes often fluctuate for a variety of reasons, and if your self-employment income does experience significant ups and downs, you may need to supply the lender with several years of tax returns to prove there is a reason for this fluctuation.

The Turnaround Time

Turnaround time for mortgage underwriting also varies, but in most cases borrowers receive an initial decision within 72 hours to one week of submitting the application and all necessary documentation. If you must fulfill conditions, the turnaround time may depend on how quickly you can meet these conditions.

Contact Us

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home or find a rental property, you need a knowledgeable, experienced realtor familiar with all aspects of the Hawaiian real estate market. Contact Island Realty Group LLC at 808-689-7407 or IslandRealtyGroup@irghi.com.

 

Plantings for Privacy: Landscape Edition

Plantings for Privacy in Rentals

Nothing beats coming home from a hard day’s work and enjoying a cool drink on the lanai overlooking your garden. Unless, of course, you live in a rental with a low fence line, and privacy is at a premium. Since you don’t own the property, you don’t want to invest in expensive landscaping. Not to worry – there are affordable options for privacy plantings offering beauty as well as screening.

Native Plant Hedges

Various native Hawaiian plants grow relatively quickly for privacy hedging. Top choices include:

  • Alahee (Psydrax odorata) – Boasting shiny green foliage and fragrant white flowers, alahee can grow quite tall if not pruned regularly. It’s drought tolerant and does well in full sun to partial shade.
  • Kului (Nototrichium sandwicense) – Flowers of the kului are used for making leis. The plant can grow as high as 8 feet without regular trimming. It prefers full sun and well-drained soils.
  • Hinahina Ewa (Achyranthes splendens splendens) – The hinahina ewa sports silvery foliage and does well in full sun or partial shade. It grows between 4’ and 8’.

Privacy Vines

If your low fencing is made of concrete, wood or chain-link, planting privacy fines is another good – and faster – option. Vines also attract songbirds and geckos. For best results, plant flowering vines blooming at different times so your garden always has lovely flowers. Tropical privacy vines favorites include:

  • Bengal clock vine (Thunbergia grandiflora) – Also known as the Bengal trumpet, this evergreen vine produces stunning blue blooms. A naturalized vine found all over Hawaii, take care to prune it regularly so that it doesn’t overtake other plantings.
  • Garlic vine (Mansoa alliacea) – Use the leaves of the garlic vine in cooking or as condiments.
  • Perfumed passionflower Passiflora vitifolia – This fragrant perennial, with brilliant red flowers up to 6 inches across, attracts butterflies.

Barrier Plantings

If you’re concerned not only with privacy but security, consider barrier plantings. What various types of barrier plantings all have in common is thorns or sharp leaves and dense growth, which dissuade anyone from entering the back yard. Popular barrier plantings include:

  • Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spp., Nyctaginaceae) – Although bougainvillea displays beautiful flowers, it also has thorns. Bougainvillea requires regular pruning.
  • Heart of flame (Bromelia balansae) – This thick-growing, large plant has spiny leaves with sawtooth edges.
  • Lantana (Lantana camara) – Also known as lakana, this shrub grows fast and produces flowers nearly year-round. Best grown in full sun, lantana is wind, salt, heat and drought tolerant.

Tree Planting Project

The rapid development of the urban Honolulu area in recent years has led to significant tree loss. The city administration recently announced plans to plant 100,000 trees within the next six years. Depending on where you live, it is possible the Urban Forestry Division (UFD) will add trees that could increase your privacy. Get more information about the plan from the UFD.

Contact Us

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home or find a rental or investment property, you need a knowledgeable, experienced realtor familiar with all aspects of the Hawaiian real estate market. Contact Island Realty Group LLC at 808-689-7407 or IslandRealtyGroup@irghi.com.

 

July 24, 2019

Landscaping With No Water!

Landscaping for Minimal Water Use

If your new home requires landscaping, or you want to refresh your landscaping before putting your house on the market, you want plantings that are as environmentally friendly as possible. Xeriscaping is the art of landscaping with minimal water use. That means native plants that don’t require the huge amounts of water often necessary to allow non-native species to thrive. Not only are native plants attractive and often less thirsty than “foreign” plantings, but they usually do not need as much upkeep.

Know Your Zone

Oahu consists of nine climate zones, and its important to know your zone and its soil types and water resources before choosing landscaping plants. Zone 1 through 3 are dry zones, with average rainfall of 47 inches or less. These zones are located around the coastal perimeters of the island. Zones 4 through 6 are mesic, which refers to areas with a balanced moisture supply. These zones receive between 47 and 98 inches of annual rainfall, and are more prominent on the eastern side of the island, although they do exist elsewhere. Zones 7 through 9 are wet zones, with annual rainfall above 98 inches. These zones are not found on the western side of Oahu, but are concentrated in the eastern, northern and southern sections in rainforests.

Many plants can do well across various zones, but if you’re landscaping with minimal water needs in mind, paying attention to the water needs of plants is critical. For example, if you live in a dry zone, you don’t want to install native plants with substantial water requirements.

Native Shrubs

Some of the most suitable indigenous shrubs for landscaping include:

  • Kokio ke‘oke‘o, or Hibiscus arnottianus – native to mesic and wet zones, this shrub – which may grow to tree height – sports dark green leaves and fragrant white flowers. It is salt tolerant.
  • ‘Ilima, or Sida fallax – suitable for dry and mesic zones, the orange flowers of this shrub are used in lei creation. It is salt, wind and drought tolerant.
  • ‘Ūlei or Osteomeles anthyllidifolia – also suitable for dry and mesic zones, this shrub features white bloom and glossy green leaves. It is wind and drought tolerant.

Native Trees

When planting native landscape trees, take into consideration the tree’s eventual height. Here’s a sampling of small, medium and large indigenous tree choices:

  • Naio or Myoporum sandwicense – at maturity, this tree remains relatively small. Suitable for all zones, the naio boasts small pink blooms and glossy or hairy leaves. It is salt, wind and drought tolerant.
  • Lama or Diospyros sandwicensis – the lama may grow to medium height, and is suitable for all zones. It produces an edible orange fruit and is wind and drought tolerant.
  • Koa or Acacia koa – if you want a large tree, the koa fills the bill. Suitable for all zones, the koa produces cream-colored flowers. It is wind and drought tolerant once it is established, but keep a careful eye on it if in a dry area when it is newly planted.

Contact Us

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home or find a rental or investment property, you need a knowledgeable, experienced realtor familiar with all aspects of the Hawaiian real estate market. Contact Island Realty Group LLC at 808-689-7407 or IslandRealtyGroup@irghi.com.

Fixer-Upper: What To Know

What to Fix When Buying a Fixer-Upper

It’s the investor’s dream –find a house in poor condition in a good location, make some repairs and give it a fresh coat of paint inside and out, and sell it for substantially more money than was put in. While that dream comes true for many investors, there’s a lot of hard work involved. It’s also crucial to know what you can and can’t fix, at least as far as making a profit is concerned.

Structural Soundness

Before considering any fixer-upper, hire a professional to inspect it and determine whether the dwelling is structurally sound. If there are large cracks in the foundation, you don’t need an engineer to tell you the house isn’t worth the restoration cost. Stay away from any property with structural soundness issues, and that includes wooden homes with extensive termite damage.

Cosmetics

Your best bet is a house requiring only cosmetic repairs. Money spent on painting, wallpapering, refinishing or replacing flooring, installing new cabinetry, repairing or replacing broken windows and installing new doors and light fixtures is well-spent, since these relatively easy and inexpensive fixes should allow you to sell the house fairly quickly. Curb appeal is critical, so invest in decent landscaping, pavers and the like to make the house as attractive as possible at first sight.

The Roof

The roof’s condition is obvious even to the casual observer, and a leaky roof not only threatens the home’s soundness, but can cause mold and mildew issues. If you’re lucky, a roof might need just a few simple repairs. Perhaps a roofer can install a new roof on top of the current roof, which is costly but not astronomical. The most expensive proposition is tearing off the old roof and replacing it, and that may not make economic sense if your goal is selling for a quick profit.

HVAC

If the HVAC system isn’t working properly or needs serious upgrades, you’ll need to fix or replace it before putting the home on the market. If you’re installing a new HVAC system, look for the most energy efficient units possible. Not only are you helping the environment, it’s a good selling point for the house.

Kitchen and Baths

The kitchen and baths can really sell a home. A kitchen renovation, however, is expensive. Rather than a complete overhaul, paint the kitchen, let in as much light as possible, put in new cabinets and replace old appliances.

Bathroom renovations aren’t usually as involved as kitchen renovations and putting in new sinks, toilets and tub/shower units make an older home look newer and fresher.

Up to Code

Of course, everything in your fixer-upper must prove up-to-code before you can sell it or live in it. That means what you must fix depends on the individual home. Bringing  a house up to code might not cost that much, or it could end up a deal breaker as far as renovation and resale.  If you aren’t familiar with local zoning codes, your realtor can help point you in the right direction.

Contact Us

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home or find a rental or investment property, you need a knowledgeable, experienced realtor familiar with all aspects of the Hawaiian real estate market. Contact Island Realty Group LLC at 808-689-7407 or IslandRealtyGroup@irghi.com.

 

June 25, 2019

Leaseholds: What Are They?

What You Need to Know About Leaseholds

In Hawaii, there are two ways to own property – fee simple and leasehold. Most people are familiar with the fee simple form of ownership, which gives title to the property to the owner and includes the land. With fee simple condominium ownership, the person receives a share of the “land” on a pro-rata basis.

With a leasehold,  you own the home, but not the land. Lease rent is paid to the landowner. Many condos are leaseholds, and in this instance, the condo owner owns their unit, but leases a pro-rata percentage of the land rather than owning it. Homes listed for sale as leaseholds usually include “LH” in the listing.

The majority of Hawaiian leaseholds include a surrender clause, meaning the lands reverts to the owner at the end of the lease. There are many cases of landowners taking back the property when the lease is up. However, most leaseholds are renegotiated with the landowner at the expiration date. Some landowners may offer the land to the leaseholder in a fee arrangement.

Royal Beginnings

Leaseholds are seldom found in other states, and grew out of the large trusts created during the Kingdom of Hawaii, according to Hawaii Business magazine.  These trusts once owned most of Hawaii’s the privately held land. As real estate values soared after World War II, and lawsuits proliferated forcing properties to convert from leasehold to fee simple, most of single-family homes became fee simple by the 21st century.

Leasehold Advantages

Because leaseholds expire, they are often great deals for the right buyer. That’s especially true for older people who want to retire in Hawaii and appreciate the good value provided by a leasehold. Such leaseholds are less expensive than mortgages. Such buyers must have a plan in place in case they outlive their lease.

Parents with children going to college in Hawaii might want to rent a leasehold rather than spend a similar amount on campus housing. Once the kids graduate, the parents can continue renting the unit and generating income until the lease is up – and then just walk away.

Leasehold Risks

Leasehold properties are more likely to decline in value than fee simple properties, especially when the lease hits about 25 years pre-expiration. You cannot purchase a leasehold property and obtain a 30-year mortgage if the lease will expire before that time. That means the buyer must obtain a 15-year mortgage requiring a higher monthly payment. Overall, it’s harder to get financing for a leasehold than a fee simple property.

If the lease expires and the lease is renegotiated with the landowner, expect the lease rent to increase substantially. After all, prices rise significantly over 30 or more years.

Each Leasehold is Unique

Fee simple contracts are generally straightforward, but each leasehold is unique. That’s why it’s essential to have a real estate attorney look over any leasehold you consider purchasing. It’s also important that you understand the terms of the lease and what you can and cannot do.

Contact Us

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home or find a rental property, you need a knowledgeable, experienced realtor familiar with all aspects of the Hawaiian real estate market. Contact Island Realty Group LLC at 808-689-7407 or IslandRealtyGroup@irghi.com.

 

How to Make Your Small Hawaii Home Look Bigger

How to Make Your Small Hawaii Home Look Bigger

You can’t add square footage to your small Hawaiian home, but there are ways to make a modest dwelling seem much larger. If you are selling your house, you want to give potential buyers the idea that, for a small house, there’s a lot of space.

All About Staging

Proper staging makes a big difference in how quickly your home sells. Staging accentuates the positive and minimizes the negative aspects of any property. Your real estate agent can recommend a professional stager, but many people can perform these tasks themselves.

Any room benefits from as much light as possible. Hawaiian homes are usually light and airy, but you can make your home even lighter and airier – and larger looking – with the right staging and s little in the way of window treatments.

Painting Contrasts

It’s always a good idea to give your interior walls a coat of paint before putting the house on the market. In some rooms, such as the kitchen or bathrooms, create the illusion of a larger space by using a bright white paint contrasting with a darker paint. The resulting depth created by the white and dark contrast makes the space look bigger.

Furniture to Scale

Furniture out of proportion to the room dwarfs it. You probably know someone who put a large bed in a small bedroom, leaving little room to walk around. If that’s the case in your home, replace the bed with a smaller version until you find a buyer. Put the bed as far away from the door as possible to make the room feel larger.

Look around your own home and see if there is any large item making a room look even smaller than it is. For many people, a giant TV in a small space is their favorite choice for entertainment, but it’s wise to replace the screen with a smaller version until your house sells.

Decorating a small space to make it appear larger means making some adjustments. For example, rather than purchase a sofa for the living room, consider buying a love seat. Not only it a love seat less expensive, but its proportions fit a small room. When furniture shopping, look for other proportionate pieces. Another tip: Consider furniture fabrics the same color as your walls. This makes the furniture blend in, giving a sense of a larger space.

The Mirror Effect

The right use of mirrors makes any room look larger. Placing a mirror across from a window reflects light and provides visual depth. Another way to create depth is by choosing a focal point in the room and angling a mirror toward it. A large mirror over the sofa is often effective. For best results, use a large mirror or two rather than a lot of small mirrors.

Contact Us

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home or find a rental property, you need a knowledgeable, experienced realtor familiar with all aspects of the Hawaiian real estate market. Contact Island Realty Group LLC at 808-689-7407 or IslandRealtyGroup@irghi.com.

 

May 24, 2019

DIY Landscaping: Help Your Home Sell

DIY Landscaping Ideas to Boost the Value of Your Home

Good landscaping makes a huge difference in a home’s appearance, and plays a role in a buyer’s decision to make an offer on a house. Professional landscaping often proves expensive, but there’s no reason a homeowner with a bit of a green thumb can’t employ some effective DIY landscaping ideas.

Trimming and Pruning

Before getting started with landscaping, take a good look at your current situation and see if there are bushes or trees requiring removal. After getting rid of dead or dying plants, trim and prune any overgrown varieties. If you aren’t sure how to trim or prune a particular tree or bush, you can likely find a video with instructions on YouTube.

Choose Native Plants

Whatever your landscape plans, choose native Hawaiian plants to fulfil. Not only are native plants suitable for local soils, but they also provide food and shelter for native wildlife. The right native plants for your property are also easier to maintain than non-native species. Native landscaping favorites include:

  • Acacia koa
  • Beach vitex
  • Hawaiian soapberry
  • Hawaiian tree fern
  • Heliotropium anomalum (hina hina)
  • Hibiscus
  • Kou
  • Ohi’a
  • Pandanus

Make you decision on which plants to include in your landscape not only on aesthetics, but also on the right growing conditions for each species. For example, a shady area near your house won’t support plants requiring full-day sun, but plants enjoying full or partial shade should thrive.

Get Creative with Paving

Landscaping is about more than plants. Paving also plays a major role in landscaping. While you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars for paving when you are planning to sell your home, a few hundred dollars’ worth of pavers in a style you feel appropriate for the setting is a good DIY investment for an afternoon’s worth of work. While it’s fun to get create with paving, don’t overdo it. That’s because when you are selling your home, you want conservative landscaping appealing to every demographic.

The Back Yard

While curb appeal rests primarily on your front yard and the section of your house facing the street, don’t neglect the back yard landscaping. In Hawaii, the back yard so often become a home’s outdoor room that warm, welcoming landscaping is absolutely essential to entice buyers. If you have a pool, add containers full of flowering plants to add color and complement the blue water and green grass. Palms and banana trees in containers give the pool area a cool, relaxing feel.

Again, using native plants in the back yard can aid in creating a natural, low-maintenance landscape. For the DIYer, another advantage of native plants is that you don’t need to install an extensive – and expensive – hardscape with these plants, as you do with plantings requiring strict beds to look their best.

Contact Us

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home or find a rental property, you need a knowledgeable, experienced realtor familiar with all aspects of the Hawaiian real estate market. Contact Island Realty Group LLC at 808-689-7407 or IslandRealtyGroup@irghi.com.

 

Military Families: How To Purchase Your Dream Home

Buying Options for Military Families

When it comes to military assignments, being sent to Hawaii probably tops the list for preferred destinations. Who doesn’t want to live in paradise? There is a downside, though, as Hawaiian real estate is much pricier than that found near mainland assignments. Depending on your grade and Basic Housing Allowance (BHA), you can find a suitable dwelling to buy, not rent, and potentially make a sizable profit when you sell upon your next assignment.

BHA 2019

A military family with a member whose grade is at least E08 has a $3,465 monthly non-taxable BHA in Honolulu County for 2019. The current highest BHA for a military family is $4,202 for a O07, but the BHA rate for those whose grades are between an E08 and a O07 differs by just a few hundred dollars. You could spend that money renting a home during your assignment, but your BHA is put to much better use if you purchase a home. Once you pay rent, that money is gone. When you purchase a home, you build equity. For many military families, building equity isn’t a great consideration, since they may not stay in the home long enough to amass substantial equity. However, even if a family is here for just a few years, a rising market can mean they will sell their home for much more than they paid for it, and selling a condo in Hawaii can leave them with enough capital to buy a huge home and pay cash on their next assignment.

VA Mortgage

One of the perks of serving in the military is VA mortgage eligibility. In 2019, the VA loan limit for Hawaii is $726,525, an increase of nearly 7 percent over 2018. In many cases, such loans require no money down. You have plenty of comfortable single-family home options at this price. If you do have money to make a large down payment – approximately $70,000 – a VA loan allows you to purchase a million dollar property.

Where to Live

There are approximately 120,000 members of the various U.S. armed forces stationed in Hawaii, a number comprising about 10 percent of all residents. Those stationed at Tripler Army Medical Center are at a particular advantage, as the location allows them to live virtually anywhere on the island without a daunting commute. If stationed at Schofield Barracks, new development at Ewa Beach is 30 minutes away, and Miliani and Royal Kunia are also good choices. Navy personnel at Pearl Harbor often prefer Kaneohe for the easy commute, and that’s also true of Marine families assigned to Kaneohe Bay Marine Corp. Air Force personnel at Hickam Air Force Base are close to Honolulu, but the traffic is tough. For these families, Kaneohe is a top choice.

Contact Us

If you’re in the military and looking to buy or rent a home, you need a knowledgeable, experienced realtor familiar with all aspects of the Hawaiian real estate market. Contact Island Realty Group LLC at 808-689-7407 or IslandRealtyGroup@irghi.com.

 

April 24, 2019

Where Can You Maximize Your Budget?

Real Estate Per Square Foot –  Where Can You Maximize Your Money?

As of March 2019, the median list price per square foot of Hawaiian residential real estate is $525, and the median home sale price is $602,500. If you recall the term from math class, median is the middle value, meaning so that half of such values fall above this amount and half fall below it. Let’s examine the latter, to see where you can find the most amount of space for the least amount of money.

Residential Zones

Residential zoning in Hawaii often refers to minimum square footage. For example, the R5 zoning designation in the Land Use Ordinance means each lot requires at least 5,000 square feet for building a single-family house. However, if a particular lot is larger, say 7,500 square feet, it is possible to build a duplex. It’s important to take zoning into consideration when looking at properties to buy so you know the type of development you can expect around you.

Ewa Beach

In Ewa Beach, the median price per square foot is $457, considerably lower than the average for the Honolulu metropolitan area. The median home sale price as of March, 2019, is slightly higher than the island overall, at $647,700. However, that still means your dollar goes further, as you can purchase a larger home based on the square footage price. A three-bedroom, one bath home of 1,508 square feet was recently listed for $641,150, which breaks down to $406 per square foot. Another recent sale in Ewa Beach was a 1,174 square foot, three-bedroom, two bath home with a large yard which sold for $580,000, or $497 per square foot.

Kapolei

This planned community, known as Oahu’s Second City, also features more bang for the square footage buck. However, there are restrictions on some home sales, including a certain percentage of native Hawaiian blood. Recent non-restricted properties include a 1,481 square foot three-bedroom, three-bath home with a list price of $488,000 and a large lot. A four-bedroom, three-bath home consisting of 1,947 square feet is also on the market for $550,000, while a three-bedroom, two-bath townhouse at 1,346 square feet is listed for $440,000. These are just a few examples of the way you can stretch your housing dollar and buy a larger home if you are willing to make a longer commute. Of course, more and more people work remotely, so commuting is either not necessary or isn’t something you must do every day. If that’s the case, you can really save on housing costs if a less “convenient” neighborhood is perfectly convenient for your purposes.

 

Contact Us

If you’re in the market to buy or rent a home, you need a knowledgeable, experienced realtor familiar with all aspects of the Hawaiian real estate market. Contact Island Realty Group LLC at 808-689-7407 or IslandRealtyGroup@irghi.com.