UPDATED | July 21, 2020:
When it comes to the coronavirus, Hawaii currently has one of the lowest mortality rates in the nation and continues to make substantial efforts to flatten the curve, with the lowest number of total cases among all 50 states (as of July 21, 2020).
Are You A Non-Resident Looking to Buy A Home in Hawaii?
We recently reported on Hawaii’s Covid-19 testing program for incoming visitors, noting that it has been pushed back to September 1, 2020. News of the state’s gradual reopening plan shows some promise for Hawaii’s eventual economic recovery. Broker-in-Charge (BIC) at Hawaii Life Beth Robinson recently noted, “the biggest damper on activity for the past two months has been the inability of buyers to travel to the islands.”
According to Hawaii Governor Ige’s 10th emergency proclamation, new arrivals to the state are still required to adhere to a state-mandated 14-day quarantine. Under the proclamation, travelers arriving in Hawai‘i will continue to undergo a mandatory screening process at the airport.
For non-residents looking to purchase a home in Hawaii in the coming months, there’s still no date set for a lift on these travel restrictions. But for residents, Governor Ige’s methodical approach has so far proved relatively effective.
Despite travel restrictions, some of our agents, like the Big Island’s Jake Chancer, have seen buyers purchase properties sight unseen. (Read more…). You can read more about the state’s four-phase plan for recovery here.
Unrestricted Interisland Travel for Hawaii Residents
When Hawaii Governor David Ige issued his ninth supplementary proclamation a few weeks ago, he effectively lifted the required quarantine period for inter-island travelers, allowing Hawaii residents to freely visit other parts of the state.
For Hawaii residents looking to buy a home, this has meant being able to view homes in person, with appropriate social distancing measures and PPE in place. We are not conducting open house events, but rather, property viewings are generally done by appointment only. Contact your Hawaii Life agent for specific procedures by listing.
Military Moves & VA Buyers
On June 11, 2020 (or 11-06-2020 for military folks!), the U.S. Department of Defense lifted travel restrictions to Hawaii for military personnel and their families, who can now resume such travel. One of many “green locations” on a list released on June 8, Hawaii joins 37 states and the District of Columbia to “meet the conditions to lift travel restrictions, subject to the assessment of conditions at individual military installations within these areas,” the defense department said.
PCS moves are scheduled to resume on July 1, 2020. However, Hawaii News Now reported on June 11, 2020, that our state has already seen an uptick in arrivals of military personnel. “There were 1,125 military personnel arrivals in Hawaii during the first week of June. Another 1,191 traveled to the state in the last two weeks of May,” according to the report, which noted that the transition of service members to Hawaii is normally much greater during spring and summer.
If you’re an active-duty family PCSing to Oahu this summer, you can lean on the expertise of our Military Specialized Team to help you navigate the path to buying versus renting a home in Hawaii. Our team is made up of former active-duty service members, their families, and those who have been serving the military community for years.
We recently highlighted one of them. You can read about Monica Schaefer’s real estate career and her transition to life in Hawaii as the wife of a Commanding Officer in our recent blog. She shares how and why she made it a point to purchase a home in every station along her military journey, creating an investment nest egg for her later years.
Defining Home During Covid-19
As we move through these strange times together, it’s become clear to every person on the planet that our home means so much more to us than a roof and four walls. Though the tangible aspects we’ve been surrounded by are significant and can make or break a person’s ‘stay-at-home’ experience, Oahu Broker-in-Charge Cherie Tsukamoto explores the meaning of home in her recent article Defining Home During Covid-19.
In it, she writes, “More than ever, the comfort of home has proved invaluable. And by comfort, I just don’t mean physical comfort. I mean intangible comfort that is derived from the sense of peace, love and joy that my simple, but very significant, home offers. In a time of crazy, it offers something hard to describe, but deeply needed right now.”
If you’re in a cramped space that fit your needs before the coronavirus, you may now be rethinking your needs and longing for a yard or spacious lanai to enjoy Hawaii’s beautiful summer weather. If you’ve discovered the joys (and the ability) to work from home, and expect that to continue, you may be suddenly set free to choose a place on the North Shore or another island, now that you can work remotely. Either way, we are here to help you redefine what home means for you.