Covid-19 has created a lot of issues and problems on many levels. One of the unintended consequences was a full military PCS stop to and from Hawaii in the early days of the pandemic. This affected both buyers and sellers that had plans of moving. Many were simply stuck in limbo with very limited direction or information. If your household goods were already picked up and in transit, some were offered waivers to continue forward. This is also affecting DOD civilian jobs that were scheduled to start both here in Hawaii and on the mainland. If you were in the middle of buying or selling a house, some grace and patience were needed to work through the challenges.
PCS Starting June 30
As of June 30, 2020, the military has given the all-clear and is resuming PCS moves in phases. The first group of active-duty families began moving in July, and more rollouts are planned. There is also a quarantine waiver for active-duty members and their families coming to Hawaii. Most other arrivals to Hawaii are still required to shelter in place for a 14-day self-quarantine period before they receive the all-clear to move about freely. This is not true for the incoming military who are considered essential and hence not required to quarantine. I have had a few military clients free from quarantine, but their new COs, out of an abundance of caution, asked them to stay home for two weeks before reporting to work.
In years past, a VA buyer was sometimes wrongly considered a higher risk buyer, who might present a more complicated purchasing transaction. This simply has never been true. The rules for appraisals have become more relaxed over the years. One of the worries has been the VA escape clause, which allows a buyer to cancel should the appraised value of the home not reach the sales price. If the property is priced correctly, this is not at all an issue. Most Oahu homes are selling and continue to close within 2%-3% of the asking price. As a result, many homes are appraised with no issues at all. As of now, we have not seen any dip in home prices, and the market continues to be brisk here on O‘ahu.
Now that the lending rules are tighter and more people are losing their jobs as a casualty of Covid-19, the military homebuyer is in a very strong position. Military employment is obviously not an issue, and the fear of a military buyer losing their job is not a typical possibility. Job reliability and consistent income make a VA buyer very safe bet for sellers looking to sell their home. VA homebuyers are quite likely to be able to close the deal.
The lending rates continue to fluctuate, though they have gone down considerably. We are seeing some of the lowest rates in history for a VA buyer. With no buying cap and the low rates, a VA buyer is clearly the preferred client to choose for any Hawaii home seller right now. This, in turn, has made a very competitive market place. A buyer must be ready to go and a pre-approval from their preferred lender is a must.
Want to Know More?
If you need any information on moving to Hawaii, buying, or selling on Oahu, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Please feel free to call, text, or email at any time. Visit my webpage for all my contact information and listings.