Buying Real Estate in Hawaii

What do you need to know about buying real estate in Hawaii?

Buying Real Estate in Hawaii

The Right Agent

One of the dilemmas you may face when buying a house in Hawaii is whether to have a local real estate agent represent you or to hire the listing agent of the property that represents the seller. Not every real estate agent in Hawaii knows all of the neighborhoods on each island, and listing agents typically need to attend showings in different parts of Hawaii anyway. 

It is generally a good idea to have your own representation during the homebuying process. Given Hawaii's distance from the rest of the country, you may have to rely on your agent a lot more than you would when purchasing a house on the mainland. For example, you might have the agent do the final walkthrough of the home before closing if you're living on the mainland while buying a home in Hawaii.

As you consider different properties, here are some topics to discuss with your agent, the listing agent, or both. Some are typical topics to consider as part of the home buying process, while others are unique to buying a house in Hawaii.

Buying Real Estate in Hawaii

Why is the Seller Selling?

You may need to get information about how the seller is treating upgrades to the home and negotiate for terms that are more favorable to you. Sellers are known for trying to get back the full price of any improvements they make. In reality, that may not happen. 

By having your own agent rather than hiring the listing agent used by than seller, you're more likely to get terms favorable to you.

Furnished?

Many homes and condos in Hawaii come furnished so it's important to know what comes with the property. 

Separately, you may also need to negotiate furnishings and appliances. You will not be able to haul a sofa or other big furniture on a plane with you to Hawaii. Shipping is expensive, as are the local prices for furnishings (the cost of island life, where so much has to be imported). Negotiating for furniture and commodities to be included in the purchase price is not uncommon.

Related: Cost Of Living In Hawaii

Buying Real Estate in Hawaii

Hawaii HOA

If you're moving into an area with a homeowner's association (HOA), try to get a complete understanding of how it operates. Use the information you discover to inform your decisions.

Many homeowner's associations in Hawaii have restrictions on what owners can and cannot do. For instance, they may have rules about pets, rules about what plants are allowed, and rules about what color your property can be painted.

HOAs also provide benefits to owners. For instance, in condominiums, these associations are often responsible for maintaining the exterior and front yard of the residence. They may also handle maintenance issues. If not, you should make sure to line up the needed services to help cover you if you're not planning to live on the island full-time.

Check out the newest developments on Oahu

There are a few different factors to consider when buying in Hawaii vs. the mainland. The key is using and enlisting the help of a qualified, full-time Oahu Real Estate Agent that knows all the details to the transaction. Contact me below at any time!

More Tips for Hawaii Home Buyers:

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Browse the Newest Listings

253 Properties
Page 1 of 22
$230,000
Condo: Island Colony
1
Baths
302
Sq.Ft.
1979
Year Built
1
Day on Site
202209644
MLS
Fee available on this legal short term vacation rental lodging unit in the Skyline at Island Colony hotel rental pool program. Keep it in the hotel rental pool to enjoy equal distribution of income...
2
Beds
1F11/2
Baths
753
Sq.Ft.
1976
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202208716
MLS
PAKALANA - secure condominium, conveniently located in the Makiki area. Enjoy sunrise over DH every morning and picturesque views from the east facing lanai. Covered parking is located in the secure...
$1,300,000
Neighborhood: Ala Moana
12
Beds
6
Baths
3,456
Sq.Ft.
1956
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202209485
MLS
Prime metro central location near Piikoi Street and Wal-Mart and across the street from Sheridan Community Park. This six-unit building is situated on a fenced corner lot and close to shops,...
2
Beds
2
Baths
909
Sq.Ft.
2016
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202209567
MLS
Stunning views of Diamond Head, ocean, mountain, coastal, Ala Moana Beach Park from every room of this beautiful unit in the highly desirable The Collection. Unit features two side by side parking...
$1,499,000
Neighborhood: Coconut Grove
3
Beds
4
Baths
2,382
Sq.Ft.
1950
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202205749
MLS
GREAT NEW LISTING! Well maintained, spacious 3 bdrm/4 bath home located in the cozy Coconut Grove neighborhood in Kailua. Relax & entertain on the covered deck overlooking a beautiful, tiled pool....
Open 5/22
94-555 Alapoai Street #152 Mililani, HI 96789
3
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
1,256
Sq.Ft.
1976
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202207385
MLS
Beautifully renovated townhome available close to Schofield and Wheeler! This home has all new floors, renovated bathrooms with custom tile work, updated kitchen with butcher block countertops, a...
Open 5/22
91-1125 Kaileonui Street Ewa Beach, HI 96706
$880,000
Neighborhood: Ocean Pointe
3
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
1,288
Sq.Ft.
2003
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202203930
MLS
Talk about amazing yard space!!! Come enjoy your own personal oasis in the heart of Ocean Pointe! In addition to the stunning yard this 3 bed 2.5 bath single family home has a highly sought after...
$718,000
Condo: Mariners Place Townhomes 2
3
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
1,050
Sq.Ft.
2002
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202209384
MLS
WELCOME HOME! This is the home you have been waiting for! Highly desirable corner unit. Conveniently located closed to entrance and alongside shopping center. Be the first to live in this...
$1,200,000
Condo: Hawaiki Tower
2
Beds
2
Baths
1,039
Sq.Ft.
1999
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202208993
MLS
Must see! Amazing location and views! This 2 bedroom/2 bath/2 covered assigned parking has been very well-maintained. The low maintenance fees covers many amenities such as a gorgeous infinity pool,...
$975,000
Neighborhood: Makakilo-Lower
6
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
2,170
Sq.Ft.
1965
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202209410
MLS
PRICED TO SELL UNDER ASSESSED VALUE!!! The astute buyer will know how to unlock the potential in this property. This single family home in Lower Makakilo is a fixer upper with 6 bedrooms and 2.5...
1
Beds
1
Baths
664
Sq.Ft.
1979
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202209521
MLS
Newly renovated spacious 1 bedroom, 1 bath unit with over 600 sq. ft. of living area, and 1 covered parking stall. Secured entry and gated parking garage. Newly installed vinyl flooring, new kitchen...
2
Beds
2
Baths
1,892
Sq.Ft.
1990
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202209415
MLS
HUGE Penthouse-level unit at the luxurious Nauru Tower (almost 2,200sf total)! Incredible ocean, mountain, and sunset views. This unit features a vestibule, a large living room, dining area and...

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