Mobile Header Banner

Blog

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.

Ewa VS Kapolei – Where Should You Live?

Ewa Beach vs. Kapolei – Where Should Someone New Live and Why?

Aloha! You’ve decided to live in Hawaii’s paradise, but aren’t sure exactly what part of Oahu best suits your needs. While Ewa Beach and Kapolei are close together, they offer different lifestyle options for residents.

Ewa Beach

While Ewa Beach has long been a bedroom community of Honolulu, its robust growth means that shopping and commercial opportunities are increasing exponentially. According to the 2010 U.S. census, of Ewa Beach’s nearly 3,300 households, half had children under age 18 living there.  Along with an excellent school system, home buyers have a wide choice of residences, which range from the more affordable Ewa Gentry’s Laulani to luxury golf course communities and gated communities. Overall, Ewa Beach has a more neighborhood feel than nearby Kapolei, and because it wasn’t a planned community per se, there is more architectural variety.

If you have school-age children, Ewa Beach may prove a better choice than nearby Kapolei. You’ll find larger living spaces available for families. Restaurants and stores are part of the neighborhood, in easy walking or biking distance. Parts of Ewa Beach have Kapolei beat on the affordability index, although the difference isn’t dramatic. If commuting is part of your daily ritual, though, keep in mind you’ll spend a lot of time battling traffic. Although Ewa Beach is just 22 miles from downtown Honolulu, it is often a one-hour commute during rush hour.

Kapolei

Kapolei is an Oahu planned community, named after a volcanic cone and situated on former sugarcane and pineapple fields.  It is now becoming Oahu’s second urban center, after Honolulu, and the area is growing fast. Approximately 100,000 people call Kapolei home. There’s easy access to the beach, miles of hiking trails, parks and golf enthusiasts can choose from various world-class courses. Kapolei offers plenty of community activities, which is a great way to meet new neighbors.

In Kapolei, entertainment and shopping options abound, and draw visitors from all over the island.  That includes Hawaii’s third largest shopping center, Ka Makana Alli, which boasts more than 100 stores and restaurants. There are also plenty of big box retail stores for all your necessities. Unlike Ewa Beach, however, you’ll need to drive to get to most of these large and small retail destinations.

Kapolei is a cooler place to live than Ewa Beach – in the sense of temperatures, not hipness. It’s something to consider if you aren’t fond of summer heat. Another benefit of Kapolei vs. Ewa Beach is an easier commute to Honolulu, as Kapolei contains more access points to the highway than its neighbor. Those seeking condo or townhome living may prefer Kapolei, because while Ewa Beach has plenty of those residential choices its focus is on the single-family home.

Contact Us

If you’re new to Hawaii 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.

 

March 29, 2019

Selling During Spring

Spring Cleaning – Tips to Sell Your Home During Spring

Spring is here, and that means the start of the busiest season of the year in the real estate business. A thorough spring cleaning is a tradition with many homeowners, but if you’re planning to put your home on the market, more effort than usual is required.

Outdoor Cleaning

Take an objective look at your home’s exterior and see what needs freshening. You want the house to make a good first impression on potential buyers. If the outside needs painting, have it done. At the least, paint the trim and give the front door a fresh coat of paint. Clean all the windows, inside and out. Purchase a new welcome mat and place colorful container plants on both sides of the door to make your home even more inviting. Don’t neglect the light fixtures, both outdoors and indoors. Aside from cleaning them, you want to ensure the light fixtures aren’t a dead bug graveyard.

The Yard

Trim all vegetation so that it appears neat and tidy. Make sure you don’t have landscaping blocking sunlight into the house or hanging over your entranceway. For best results, mow your lawn on the diagonal, as this makes your property look larger. Keep the edge along your driveway and walkway well-trimmed. If your mailbox is in less than stellar condition, replace it.

In the backyard, power wash the lanai, deck or patio, and replace worn-out patio furniture with a new and attractive table and chair set. Again, set out colorful plants in containers to add to the atmosphere.

Indoor Cleaning

Steam clean any carpets and polish wooden floors. Along with cleaning the interior windows, polish mirrors and any mirrored surfaces until they shine. If your older light switch plates don’t clean up well, replace them. Wash or paint interior walls. Wash or dry clean curtains and draperies, and give blinds a good clean. You want to make the inside of your home as light and bright as possible. Re-caulk the shower and tubs in your bathrooms, and clean grout between tiles. If necessary, hire a professional for tile or marble cleaning.

This year’s spring cleaning should involve a complete decluttering. While you can throw away or donate items you aren’t using, you’ll also want to put family photos and other personal materials in storage. Buyers want to imagine themselves living in the house, and that’s harder to do when someone else’s family photos and artifacts take pride of place. If your rooms are full of furniture, remove some pieces so that there’s a good flow between rooms. Decluttering also involves cleaning out your closets, because buyers want to know how much storage space is available.

While you want every room looking shipshape, the condition of the kitchen is crucial. Clean everything, especially the oven interior. Paint the walls if necessary, and consider adding new knobs or handles to the drawers and cupboards. It’s an inexpensive way to spruce up your kitchen’s appearance.

Contact Us

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home this spring or any other time of year, 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.

 

Best Islands for Purchasing A Vacation Home

Investors may find value in their stocks and bonds, but these aren’t investment they can “enjoy” per se. That’s not the case with purchasing a Hawaiian vacation home, which you can use part of the year and rent out during the top tourist season. If you’re in the market for a vacation/rental property, explore each of the Hawaiian Islands before making your decision. Location, location, location is the real estate mantra, and much depends on proximity to beaches and other attractions.

Hawaii

On the Big Island, tourists tend to prefer smaller vacation rentals. Studio rentals have an average occupancy rate of 77 percent, with one-bedrooms averaging a 68 percent occupancy rate.  A larger property may not have the highest occupancy rate, but that may not matter as far as cash flow goes as you will charge more for the larger rental. Of course, if you plan to use the home as your own vacation site, you’ll want a property that suits your needs. For a single person or a couple who want the most bang for their investment buck, a studio or one-bedroom is the way to go.

Kauai

On Kauai, the most popular type of vacation rental is the studio apartment, with a 79 percent average occupancy rate. That’s compared to a one-bedroom average occupancy rate of 69 percent and a three-bedroom rate of 63 percent. Of course, if you plan to use the home as your own vacation site, you’ll want a property that suits your needs. For a single person or a couple who want the most bang for their investment buck, the studio is the way to go.

Lanai

The demand for vacation homes on quiet, little Lanai is not as great as on the larger islands. Large rental homes near the two major resorts do well, but the smaller vacation properties in the countryside attract a different type of tourist. You love Lanai for its solitude and slow pace, and so do those who choose to vacation here instead of an island with more formal activities.

Maui

Vacation condo rentals are popular in Maui, but keep in mind that not all condo associations permit rentals. A Maui vacation rental benefits from the relatively long length of bookings, with an average of nine days in 2018.

Molokai

Molokai’s small population is not the only reason it isn’t a favorite tourist destination. It beaches are lovely, but many lack facilities or have accessibility issues or aren’t safe for swimming or snorkeling. Vacation rental rates on Molokai are quite affordable, so while that’s good for vacationers, it won’t bring landlords a stellar ROI.

Oahu

Oahu is the most expensive of the Hawaiian Islands, and while you’ll pay more for your vacation/rental property, you can expect to charge more for rent. In Honolulu, studios are the best investment, while those vacationing on the North Shore prefer larger rentals.

Contact Us

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home or find a vacation or 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.

 

February 14, 2019

Discovering Each Hawaiian Island

If you’re considering moving to Hawaii, you have a lot of decisions to make. One of the most critical is which island to call your new home. Perhaps you’re currently considering just one island because it’s the island with which you’re most familiar, but each island sports its own desirable features. Before making a definite decision, explore what each island has to offer.

Hawaii

Although the Big Island is the largest in area, with under 200,000 residents it feels underpopulated. The Kona side is frequented by tourists, while the Hilo side is green and very wet. If you love nature and don’t mind rain, laid-back Hilo is an excellent choice. It’s also the place native Hawaiian prefer. If you love sunshine, beaches and water sports, Kona is the better choice. Hawaii is the least expensive of the larger islands in which to buy a home. As of 2018, the average single family home price on Hawaii was $330,400.

Kauai

Tourism is the main industry on this lovely, lush isle. If you want to live among unspoiled nature, Kauai is the place to go. Jobs are relatively scarce outside of tourism, and the approximately 67,000 residents are spread out over Kauai. If you seek a simple lifestyle, head for Kauai. The 2018 single family median home price was $625,500.

Lanai

Residents of this small island are primarily descendants of pineapple plantation workers. If you like a small town island feel, you might fall in love with Lanai. Even though there are few people, the island has great beaches and historic sites. Most people live in Lanai City, referred to as “The Village.” Most of Lanai’s businesses and commercial establishments are located in the Village. In Lanai City, the average median home price is $551,600.

Maui

Gorgeous Maui has some drawbacks, as it doesn’t have the shopping and nightlife some residents crave. The upside is that there are plenty of relatively cheap flights to Oahu available to indulge yourself, and you can then return home to quiet Maui. Besides tourism, jobs in the healthcare and construction industries are plentiful. The 2018 single family median home price was $620,000.

Molokai

If you like solitude, consider this least populated isle. If you need to work, it’s not the best choice, as there are relatively few jobs. There is, however, abundant beauty, and it’s the ideal site for someone who truly wants to get away from it all. The average median home price ranges from $200,000  to $400,000, as there are relatively few houses on the market at one time.

Oahu

Those who like nightlife will feel at home on Oahu. This most populated island is also the best place to find a job outside of the tourism industry in the state. Oahu also holds the dubious distinction of being the most expensive of the Hawaiian Islands. The 2018 single family median home price was $735,500. World-class shopping, dining, beaches and entertainment make this one of the best places to live in the U.S.

 

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.

 

Rental Rules on Oahu

Short-term Rental Rules on Oahu

Hawaii is both a vacation paradise, and one of the most expensive places to live in the country. It makes sense that many homeowners try to make some money by renting their properties out to tourists, but most of them aren’t following Oahu’s rental rules.  Last fall, the Honolulu Planning Commission passed a proposal by Mayor Kirk Caldwell to regulate Oahu’s short-term rentals. Under the proposed law, short-term rentals – units rented out for less than 30 days – are capped at 1 percent of the housing stock in every planning district. Now it’s up to the Honolulu City Council to refine and pass a bill, which Caldwell hopes will be ready for him to sign this summer.

Thousands of Illegal Short-term Rentals Operating

According to Hawaii Business, there are an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 vacation rentals in operation on Oahu at any time. Many of them are illegal, since no new permits for such short-term rentals have been issued since the 1980s, but shutting them down isn’t an easy task for law enforcement. Although all you need to do is go online and check ads for short-term vacation rentals, that doesn’t mean that what the property owner is advertising is legal. Since just placing an ad isn’t against the law, inspectors generally respond to neighbors’ complaints when investigating a short-term rental.

Vacation Destination Area

In order to rent out a home short-term, the property must be located in a Vacation Destination Area (VDA). Areas outside the VDA permit long-term rentals, those exceeding six months.

Short-Term Rental Taxes

If you rent out your home on a short-term basis, you must collect and pay the appropriate taxes. You may owe federal taxes on the income, but you must also charge your visitor the Transient Accommodation Tax (TAT) for any rental of less than 180 days. If the guest stays longer than six months, you must charge the General Excise Tax (GET). In addition, you’ll need to acquire a permit and a business license registration. Violate the rules, and penalties are steep – they start at $10,000 per day. Mayor Caldwell admits that’s draconian, but it is a strong incentive for preventing illegal short-term rentals.

Other Rules Affecting Short-Term Rentals

While Oahu’s short-term rentals laws are important, they aren’t the only regulations to take into consideration if you considering renting out your property. Your homeowner’s association may not permit such rentals, even if your property is located in a VDA,  and even more critically, neither may your mortgage company. The contract with your lender may contain language regarding renters vs. an owner-occupied property, and violating the terms of the contract could change your payment schedule and insurance coverage. Before going any further down the short-term rental route, contact your insurance agent. They will explain what you need to do to ensure you are covered if you rent out your property.

Contact Us

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home or find a rental property, you need a knowledgeable, experienced realtor. We’ll help you find the right home at the right price for you, or the right short-term or long-term vacation rental. Contact Island Realty Group LLC at 808-689-7407 or IslandRealtyGroup@irghi.com.

 

January 24, 2019

Short Term VS Long Term – Which Rental Is Right For You?

Short-Term Vacation Rental vs. Long-Term Vacation Rental

Given the sheer number of short-term vacation rentals on Oahu, it’s surprising to learn that only 816 of these short-term rentals are currently legal. New short-term rentals outside of specific areas have been banned since 1989. Legislation may soon change that, but don’t expect the Honolulu City Council to approve or the mayor to sign any new law until at least this summer. If you’re considering renting out your property, doing so via the long-term vacation rental route comes with fewer obstacles from a zoning perspective, but it may also hinder your ability to enjoy the property when you want to.

Short-term Rentals

In Honolulu, there are two types of short-term rentals, both of which are rented for less than 30 days by the guests. A “transient vacation unit” consists of properties where the owner is not present, and the entire house, apartment or condo is rented to the guest. The other type of short-term rental is the traditional bed and breakfast, also known as a hosted rental, with owners living on the property and renting out extra bedrooms or cottages.  However, those are not the regulations for most of Oahu, which does not permit rentals for less than 30 days, the classic “short-term rental.” Much also depends on homeowner and condo association rules, which may not allow any type of short-term rental, even if the rental exceeds 30 days.

Long-term Vacation Rental

Long-term vacation rentals are identified as those in which visitors stay for six months or more. They don’t have the same sort of restrictions found with short-term rentals. Some homeowners buy property in Hawaii with the intention of renting it out, but before doing so, perform your due diligence. While short-term rentals are only permitted in Oahu in a Vacation Destination Area (VDA), long-term rentals are allowed outside of VDA areas.

While long-term vacation rentals do not generate the type of controversy given short-term rentals, it’s important for the homeowner to do their research. They must check with their homeowner’s association to see if such rentals are permitted, since many HOAs allow only owner-occupied units. The same holds true for their homeowner’s insurance company and mortgage lender. The homeowner must pay the fee for a General Excise Tax (GET) business license registration, collect the tax on long-term rentals and pay these funds to the state.

One argument against long-term vacation rentals is that they deplete the amount of housing stock available for rent for those living in the area. There’s a severe housing shortage on Oahu, and the practice of long-term vacation rentals is exacerbating the problem. One reason the VDA law was enacted was for preventing outside investors from  dominating the local housing market. That may have helped when it comes to short-term rentals, but does nothing for the long-term vacation rental that could otherwise provide year-round resident housing.

Contact Us

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home or find a rental property, you need a knowledgeable, experienced realtor. We’ll help you find the right home at the right price for you, or the right short-term or long-term vacation rental. Contact Island Realty Group LLC at 808-689-7407 or IslandRealtyGroup@irghi.com.

 

Things to Do on Oahu During Christmas and New Year’s

Things to Do on Oahu During Christmas and New Year’s

There’s no need to worry about snow and ice dampening holiday activities on Oahu, and that’s why locals and tourists alike find so much to enjoy here in this festive season. Even better, many of the activities are free or low-cost. Here’s just a sampling of what’s available for your entertainment pleasure:

The Month-Long Luau

Every day in December, Paradise Cove on Ewa Beach offers a special luau complete with live music and dance, traditional Hawaiian games and other cultural festivities. Tickets range from $85 to $170 and gates open at 5 p.m.

Chinatown Winter Walk

Also available throughout the month of December, the Chinatown Winter Walk features dazzling holiday decorations. The walk is free, and maps are posted in the area.

Downtown Honolulu City Lights

Bring the family to the 34th annual Honolulu Hale, also known as Honolulu City Lights. From December 1 to January 1, the downtown is lit up in a spectacular display. The kids will love the food booths, games and rides.

Christmas in Polynesia

From December 9 to 22, enjoy Christmas in Polynesia at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The $5 per person Christmas Lagoon Ride takes you along a path to view reenactments of the Christmas story. Holiday train rides and free scavenger hunts for kids are part of the fun. From December 17 to 22, catch Christmas at the Hukilau Marketplace at the PCC, with entertainment for the whole family, fabulous lights and decorations and “snow” on Sunday.

Whale Watching Tour

The holidays coincide with whale migration season, and that allows you a great opportunity to book a Whale Watching Tour from December 16 to 31. Small group tours in catamarans or monohull boats leave from Waikiki or Ko Olina.

Seven Days ‘Til Christmas With Island Music and Hula

Visit Waikiki Beach Walk at sunset from December 19 to Christmas Day and see a one-hour hula show with different Hawaiian music groups performing each night.

 

New Year’s Eve

Welcome in 2019 with fireworks and fine dining options at various sites. Head to Waikiki Beach for its spectacular annual fireworks display beginning just before midnight. Starting at 11 p.m., Hilton Hawaiian Village hosts a fireworks show over their lagoon. On the North Shore, Turtle Bay Resort hosts a private fireworks show, in conjunction with numerous parties and dining options.

Other fireworks displays include the Barge off Kahala Avenue, starting at 10:30 p.m.; the Aloha Tower Marketplace, at 9, 10 and 11 p.m. and midnight, and the Kahala Hotel and Resort at midnight.

If you’re looking for a New Year’ Eve party, consider Aloha Tower, with over 30 live bands on seven stages. There are lots of food trucks, and if you purchase a VIP pass, you’ll have access to exclusive food tastings and a great spot for watching fireworks.

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.

 

December 19, 2018

Should You Decorate if You’re Trying to Sell?

Christmas /Holiday Decorations – Should You Decorate if You’re Trying to Sell?

When your home is on the market during the holidays, you have a decision to make. Do you decorate your dwelling as usual, or skip the trimmings this year? There are pros and cons to putting up holiday decorations when you’re trying to make a sale, but you don’t have to give up seasonal decorations entirely.

Don’t Make It Personal

Just as your real estate agent advises you to pack away most of the family photos and other personal items when you’re getting ready to show your house, the same holds true when it comes to decorations. When potential buyers who celebrate Christmas come to your home, they should imagine it as their next home, and that’s hard when you have stockings hung with family members’ names on them, holidays cards on display, your kid’s handmade ornaments on the tree, and the like. Instead, display attractive but generic decorations.

 

Moderation is Key

If you usually put on a holiday lighting extravaganza, this is definitely not the year to do it. Over the top decorations prevent buyers from really seeing your house as it is, and such ornamentation is very much geared to personal taste. That doesn’t mean you can’t decorate outside and inside, but stick with the classics and keep decorations to a minimum. That means a wreath on the door, perhaps candles in the window and maybe some simple white lights on a tree or around a doorframe. Inside, keep it simple. While some realtors advise against putting up a tree, that’s a real sacrifice for your family, especially if you have kids. If the tree is normally the centerpiece of a room, opt this year for a moderate size tree that doesn’t overwhelm the space. Poinsettias and Christmas cactuses provide nice touches, but avoid anything kitschy. This year, less is more.

Stay Away from the Overtly Religious

People of all faith traditions, or no faith traditions, are possible buyers. Christmas and Hanukkah are both religious holidays, but there are more secular aspects to both. For Christmas, go with wreaths rather than displays of the Holy Family. For Hanukkah, some blue and white themes, such as individual candles, may work better than a menorah. Again, the point is not to downplay the importance of religious traditions during the holidays, but to make your home as appealing to buyers as possible. No matter the faith or lack of faith of a buyer, a lack of religious holiday symbols is not going to affect them emotionally. Overt religious symbolism may have that effect, either positively or negatively. Since you don’t know who your potential buyers are, don’t do anything that may turn a buyer off.

Don’t Hide Home Features

 When decorating, take care not to hide any of your home’s features. Keep decorations away from windows, staircases, fireplace mantels and other visual points of interest, and never place a holiday banner on a wall. A few small decorations displayed on a table are fine.

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.