Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Art of Hawaii Relocations

Relocating to Hawaii? With our warm climate and breathtaking scenery it's no wonder why everyone (including locals) call it "Paradise"! Hawaii is the choice of many people who prefer a tropical setting to live out their retirement years. It also becomes everyones favorite Hawaii Relocations spot when transferring to the military bases in Hawaii including the Schofield Army Base, Wheeler Army Air Field, Pearl Harbor Navy Base, Hickam AFB, or Kaneohe Marine Corp Air Station.

Education, Information and a Good Realtor® is The Art of Hawaii Relocations.

Do your homework if you are contemplating a Hawaii Relocation. Check out employment options, schools, plan a trip (if you are not familiar with our islands) and do your budget! We are (by far) different than elsewhere in the world and our homes are one of the highest priced in the nation. Why?

Inventory/Demand: Very little buildable land is available on these small islands and with their steep mountains and canyons the prime land has already been developed. Much is owned by the Federal Government, the State of Hawaii, and private landowners and no place to build out into the outlying areas. This will be true whether you rent or purchase a home.

Neighborhood: Get to know your neighborhoods. Take into consideration the price ranges and how they are determined. Convenience to business districts, schools, quality of homes, character and street/curb appeal. Your island Realtor® will know the neighborhoods and give you alternatives to your criteria for neighborhoods.

Expensive areas (luxury estates): Diamond Head, Kahala, and East Honolulu towards Hawaii Kai. (Truly level land is in short supply so many homes are located on the steep hillsides)
Affordable areas: The Leeward area (Waipahu, Ewa, Waianae) are the more affordable neighborhoods on flat land and some newly developed areas and homes offer some of the best values. If you work downtown traffic may be an issue for you though.
Mid Range Areas: Central Oahu (including, Mililani, Waipio Gentry, Waikele, Wahiawa) and the Windward area offer a variety of "suburban" communities and homes.

Value and Price: Most of the value is in our land, Expect SMALLER and compare to other Hawaii homes...not other areas. Additional features and upgrades are not always what you may expect for a higher priced home. Be realistic and ask your Realtor® to make appointments in your price range. It's like going shopping for food without eating first. Wants vs. Needs!
Home Styles: As stated above Hawaii has JUST SO MUCH buildable land, therefore the percentage of condo/townhouse ownership is one of the highest in the nation so don't disregard the possibilities of owning a condo or townhouse. As far as heating and cooling go we don't have central heat (we have year round climate) and air conditioning is not mandatory with our trade winds cooling our air. Most homes here include most appliances so you may want to save on shipping costs of your appliances. Same goes for your auto; unless it's a collectible or you have an employer paid move.
Living Area: Most of our homes have less than 1500 sq. ft . roofed living area and very few have more than 2400 sq. ft. even in the higher priced ranges. Take into consideration the amount of furniture you have that may not coincide with the size of our island style homes.
Market on Oahu: Of course you will want a Realtor® to guide you through your home purchase and let you know what the current market is like. Your Realtor® will also be able to give you knowledge (pick an island wide knowledgeable agent) to help you find that right home.
As of October 2007 the inventory is higher than usual although the prices are holding in many of the neighborhoods. Just know that interest rates are still low and prices are not dropping drastically. Also, the rental market is very high so you might as well get those tax breaks on owning your own home.
Rentals on Oahu for a 3bdrm house will range anywhere from $2,000 to $3500 plus per month so regardless if you are renting or buying the town areas will be priced higher and the more distant (Central and Leeward area) will be lower. Just be aware that if you are working in Honolulu and live further away you will have to consider the rush hour traffic.

Oahu Single Family Homes Prices overall went down 2.3% for the third quarter of this year ending with a median sales price average of $649,000. Condos/townhouses went up 0.6% topping off at a median sales price average of $330,000 on our island of Oahu.

Be Part of the Solution For Your Market; Because "Shift" Always Happens is another article discussing the market shift and what the market looks like this year. If you are planning on moving to paradise please contact me for a Hawaii Relocations packet so you can get started!

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