Following up on my last blog, “Can We Help Young Adults Buy Their Hawaii Dream Home by Improving the Economy?” here is some helpful advice on how to start young and accomplish buying your own home or piece of real estate.
In a recent survey by PNC bank, only 23% of twenty somethings feel they are financially independent. On Oahu, that figure may be even less for the youth of Hawaii. The blows dealt to recent college graduates have been severe and more so for high school graduates – most of us know at least a few who have. The new normal can be tough for young Americans starting out.
Tips for Young Adults
Here are some simple tips to start young, so hopefully this last downturn isn’t so bad next time. Decide on what small place might work for you taking into consideration price, location, and proximity to your work, parking situation, and most importantly, affordability. Talk to a mortgage broker about what monthly payment will work best for you long term and talk to a Realtor about choosing a condo that fits your life, then get to work.
1. Talk about it. Talking about money and finances is no longer taboo. In fact, it is an absolute necessity to start as soon as possible. Figuring out a plan to get that first small condo will give you a starting point. Find out where you are at and where you want to go. Then, you can fill in the steps that will get you from point A to point Z.
2. Run the numbers. If you are living below your means, you can find some money to save for that first house. If saving has been difficult or you are living paycheck to paycheck, try to trim small things here and there to get into the habit of saving a little. Skip the Starbucks and make coffee at home. Many little things can add up to big numbers.
3. Have a cushion. Put aside a safety net in case of emergencies, job loss, or car trouble. You name it, some random event can derail you and it helps to have some money put aside to contribute to those pesky inconveniences.
4. Set a plan and stick to it. Whatever you can put aside for a down-payment and closing costs will be a step in the right direction. Put it on auto pilot, so that money consistently goes into the reserve fund. You will get there and once you do, start all over with your next property – maybe a bigger condo or house with a yard. Step by step.
The economy has been rough on everyone and pretending that it will just get better won’t cut it. Sometimes times are are tough, but you too can achieve the dream of owning your own home. You can make it better for yourself and those around you. Getting ahead isn’t always easy and there is nothing wrong with faltering, just keep trying and you will get there.
Honolulu Starter Homes Under $200,000
1. This first starter home is listed at $190,000 (MLS# 1207665) and is a cute little studio nestled conveniently just blocks from literally everything you could hope to have nearby: Wal-Mart, Ala Moana Shopping Center, Waikiki nightlife, banks, grocery stores, hospitals, transportation, the freeway, and a short bike ride from the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus.
The complex has a community laundry, BBQ, pool, and a parking space. It’s not fancy, but definitely a nice little place with wonderful nearby necessities.
2. This starter home is listed at $195,000 and is a cute studio in Queen Emma Gardens near downtown Honolulu (MLS# 1207657) blocks from shopping, restaurants, grocery stores, downtown nightlife, the freeway, and transportation.
The grounds have lovely gardens with walking paths and mature trees, a pool, BBQ, and community provide great space for entertaining even while living in a small space. It is Hawaii after all, and we do most of our living outside – you just need a place to store your stuff and sleep. This is another great buy at an affordable price.
Hawaii’s real estate market may be tough when you look at median price ranges for single family homes being in the $600,000 range and the condos in the $300,000 range, and it can seem overwhelming for our youth, but if you start small and work your way up, you will get to that dream…even in Hawaii.