Oahu Real Estate: Where to Buy Now
The number of homes on the market has been remarkably small through the downturn, but prices are beginning to heat up. Here are three regions where your home-buying dollar might pay off more than others.
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The homes in older diamond head neighborhoods have larger lots so buyers get more home for their buck as long as they don’t mind a residence that may need some work.
The name “Diamond Head” is a little misleading, as HBR’s Multiple Listing Service classifies this not just as the upscale neighborhood around the volcano, but an area spanning from Kapahulu and Palolo, out to Aina Haina. Lopaz says this region has seen a 7.9-percent increase in median sales price, up to $850,000 from $788,000 last year.
But remember, many of the homes—especially in Kapahulu, Kaimuki and Niu Valley—tend to be older. The locations may be better than those in Kapolei, but the structures have been in place for decades. Why would buyers want an old home?
“Whereas Mainland buyers want brand-new homes, local people want to come back to town,” explains Marie. “They want to feel more cozy at home, with an old-fashioned neighborhood like the one they may have grown up with, and a yard for the kids.
“You may see these buyers adding midcentury architecture, restoration, and modern features and appliances, but keep traditional flooring and warmer colors,” she adds.
The homes in these older neighborhoods have larger lots than those in Kapolei, so buyers get more home for their buck as long as they don’t mind a residence that may need some work.
Such older neighborhoods have the bonus advantage of having established businesses in place, so there’s no need to build the community from scratch. Like Kakaako, this area has also seen a revitalization in the businesses around it, making it a destination for shopping and eating. From upscale eateries like Salt and 12th Avenue Grill to quaint spots like Your Kitchen and Kaimuki Grill, area residents have a wide range of dining options conveniently nearby. The weekly farmer’s market at KCC on Tuesdays and Saturdays can be a blessing or a burden, depending on how you look at it.