3 Helpful Tips to Snatch Up the Perfect Home in Hawai‘i
Whether you’re relocating from elsewhere on O‘ahu or moving home from the Mainland, you may only have a few days to make a move on a new home.
Relocating can be as stressful as it is exciting. Whether you’re looking for a new place or returning to the Islands from the Mainland, finding your new home is a big and sometimes scary challenge. Throw in the fact that in April, the average amount of time a home was on the market here was only 17 days, so you have to be able to make a decision quickly. Here are some tips for a successful house-hunting trip on O‘ahu.
Know the Market
A recently retired military family knew they’d be moving back to O‘ahu this summer, so more than a year ago, they reached out to a local real estate agent. They knew their price range but not what neighborhood they wanted to be in, so they requested a weekly email showing them everything they could afford. Once a week, they spent 20 minutes clicking around the MLS link that came in, and by the time they were ready to go house-hunting, they knew they wanted to live in Kailua or Kāne‘ohe. And unlike many people moving to Hawai‘i, they were prepared for not only high prices, but how far that money would get them. Those weekly online research sessions were quick and invaluable.
Get Your Financial Ducks in a Row
In the month leading up to choosing a house, reach out to a lender to get pre-approved. If the market is strong and moves fast, like ours, consider getting pre-approved with a local lender, as it will make the seller more comfortable and thus make your offer more attractive if you get into a bidding war. And bring a check with you when you go, as most escrow companies will accept a personal check for the initial deposit needed to open escrow.
Homes you see online are likely to sell before you can check them out in person. Have your agent set up appointments to show you properties that you’re interested in for each week. The day you go house-hunting, you may find new ones to see, as well. If you see something you like, don’t sleep on it. In our housing market, the good ones go quickly, so be mentally prepared to move. If you like it, make an offer. You get an inspection period, and that’s the time to really dig in and take a hard look at what’s behind the walls and in the ceiling.