Tips For Buying A House In Hawaii

Many people say that Hawaii is a paradise. Hawaii is a popular area, where a lot of people interested to build a life there. So buying a house here can be a difficult, expensive and competitive experience.

Hawaii attracts new residents from around the world with its amazing beaches, historic culture, and warm weather. However, purchasing a house in Hawaii has unique challenges.

Before making one of the biggest transactions, take some time to think thoroughly about home ownership. Your new house will give the financial responsibility and stability, so taking into account a few aspects before buying a house can ensure a happy home.

Such factors as financial situation, market conditions, and the Hawaiian economy can influence on how long it takes to find a home you've dreamed of.

If you want to save your researching time, here you can find everything you need to know before making the life-changing move.

Establish Your Financial Status

Choice to live in Hawaii is a huge financial decision and you should take it seriously. Think what property you can afford and be realistic with yourself. Your financial situation will affect your buying variants, especially in a state like Hawaii where houses are not cheap. You can find many awesome properties, but if these houses are out of your budget, it will lead to disaster.

What you need to consider in buying a home in Hawaii:

  • Payment History – Before buying a house in Hawaii, we recommend you to ensure that all your bills have been regularly paid off for at least twelve consecutive months.
  • Stable income – You need to present proof of income stability within the last two years. It means that you will be able to pay for most of the housing expenses connected with the purchase of a property.
  • Credit Score – The first thing the lenders look at to determine whether you are eligible for a loan or not is the credit score. You need to have a minimum credit score of 620 to get a mortgage.
  • Debt-to-Income Ratio – Your ability to make payments every month is another important factor for receiving a mortgage. Your DTI must be no more than 50%.
  • Down Payment – When buying a house in Hawaii you have to make a down payment (about 20%).
  • Closing Costs – You need to understand that to close a real estate transaction will cost a lot of money. It requires additional expenses such as property taxes, appraisal fees, government fees, and much more.
  • Expenses for Renovation and Maintenance – As a buyer, you need to set aside 1% of the house’s value for remodeling, upgrades, and maintenance. So, your property will be able to attract more potential guests and tenants.

Choose The Right Neighborhood For Your Investment Goals

Don't look only at the property's architecture or design but also look at its location. The neighborhood determines market value of the house and its marketability. In addition, we recommend you to pay your attention at:

  • Home Values.
  • Rental Income.
  • Occupancy Rate.
  • Cash-on-Cash Returns.
  • Number of Listings.
  • Price-to-Rent Ratio.
  • Tourism Potential.
  • Property Taxes.
  • Local Lifestyle.

Receive Pre-Qualified For A Mortgage

In the Hawaiian housing market the competition is stiff that means houses sell quickly and each home has a few buyers interested in purchasing them. If you want sellers to show their house, we recommend you to get a mortgage pre-approval. This document demonstrate that you have money to buy a home in Hawaii.

Find A Great Real Estate Agent

If you want to buy a house in Hawaii, you will need the help of a real estate professional. If you decided to do it alone, it could be challenging. It is important to hire a professional real estate agent who knows local market in Hawaii. Ask your friends who have recently bought a house to share contacts of a real professional with you. If you find an experienced real estate agent, you will have the best ally in this case.

They'll help you during the entire process, making offers, negotiating contracts, and navigating the closing process. Also, they will recommend you other services related to the transaction such as title companies and inspectors.

Start Making Offers

If you choose a house where you want to live in Hawaii, it's time to make an offer. Ask your real estate agent to help you write an offer that will convince the homeowner to sell this house to you.

Your offer can include such information:

  • Seller concessions.
  • Repair credits.
  • Inspection contingencies.
  • Letter to the seller.

Inspections and Appraisals

Inspection and appraisal allow the buyer and seller to see if they are really getting what they signed up for. If some unexpected situations occur during the inspection, you can still renegotiate with the seller.

In Hawaii, they require the typical inspection-and-appraisal process of the property but specific process requires inspecting the property for termite infestation.

Appraisals will help determine the value of the house you want to buy.

Closing process

When the inspection is done and your lender approves your financing, it is time to close the deal! You need to sign the necessary documents to seal the deal. Before closing the process, your real estate agent must explain and clarify each detail in the document.

Your documents can include such common forms as your final loan application, the deed and the mortgage promissory note.

Then you need to pay off your closing costs (about 3-5% of the purchase price).