Buying a home on the Big Island of Hawaii can be a wonderful process, even in this crazy competitive market. In my opinion, you need a few things to make it a great experience.
1. Have Your Finances in Order
Whether you’re making an all-cash offer or getting a loan with a banker/broker. Having a recent asset statement and/or a Pre Qualification Letter from a Lender will allow you to know what your budget is, how much of a down payment you can afford, and know what the monthly payment will possibly look like. Shopping within your budget from the beginning is key. 😉
2. Find a Realtor You Can Trust Who Knows the Island
The Big Island is a large and diverse place. Different coasts offer a variety of uniqueness. Find someone, like me, who will ask the questions and find out what your dream home in Hawaii looks like. Are you looking for an investment property or vacation rental in the Mauna Lani Resort area? A second home on the Kohala Coast? Are you relocating to place your children in a private school in Waimea? Or do you want to find acreage and start a farm to live sustainably in Hamakua? All of these goals will take you to a different area of the island. It is important to have a local expert on your team!
3. Identify a Property
When you have your budget and your trusted Realtor, who is a local expert, you are ready to start your search! Although the market is tight right now there are still good deals to be had! And having steps #1 & 2 done puts you in the perfect position to act quickly (which is what the current market is commanding). Once you have identified the property that fits all of your needs and have asked all the questions, you are ready to make an offer!
4. Get Creative & Communicate Well
Making an offer in a competitive market calls for a little creativity and lots of communication. Have your Verification of Funds, or VOD as well as your Pre Qualification letter from your Loan Officer in hand and ready to submit with your offer. I always like to do a quick intro to the Seller of the property from the Buyer saying what this home would mean to you. We can’t go too much into detail as we need to be mindful of the Fair Housing Laws but a little something to hopefully make a connection.
And then there’s the offer! There are all sorts of Contingencies that the Buyer will request of the seller and vice versa during escrow and this is where those will be laid out. For example — a closing timeline. Will your lender need 35 days to close or 60? If you were a Seller you would obviously want to close sooner than later, right?! That will make your offer more attractive! (Psst! Find a good lender that is familiar with Big Island Real Estate!)
There is also a Termite Inspection Report. These generally cost less than $400. YOU can opt to pay that instead of asking the Seller to pay it…again, the less they have to do and the quicker they can close…the more likely you are to win the offer. The list goes on and on!
5. An Accepted Offer!!
This is where communication comes into play. Before I write an offer I always call the listing agent and ask questions! How motivated is the seller? What sort of activity has the seller gotten on the listing? And I tell the agent a bit about my Buyers as well. Once your trusted Realtor has submitted the offer, know there is a deadline for the Seller to respond. Your Realtor will let you know when that date is and as soon as they hear anything back you will be the first to know.
Want to Know More?
There are many factors that will help you when buying your perfect Hawaii home. Having the right agent can make all the difference. Contact me today to see how I can help you.
Many thanks and always with aloha, Noelani