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

176 Properties
Page 1 of 15
Open 1/29
1777 Ala Moana Boulevard #728 Honolulu,  HI 96815
1
Beds
1
Baths
500
Sq.Ft.
1965
Year Built
1
Day on Site
202301216
MLS
Beautifully renovated unit with breathtaking ocean and lagoon views located in the iconic Ilikai. This pristine unit is fully furnished, ready to move in, and is perfect for both investment and owner...
$375,000
Condo: Island Colony
1
Baths
313
Sq.Ft.
1979
Year Built
1
Day on Site
202301544
MLS
Legal short term vacation rental in the heart of Waikiki. Legal short term rentals are increasingly rare in Waikiki due to local ordinance changes! This studio unit has a gracious lanai on the cooler...
1
Baths
362
Sq.Ft.
1971
Year Built
1
Day on Site
202301549
MLS
Rarely available, legal vacation rental in a boutique hotel at the entrance to the heart of Waikiki! This studio unit has one of the largest lanais in the entire hotel! Enjoy the huge 583 sq ft lanai...
2
Beds
1
Baths
812
Sq.Ft.
1973
Year Built
1
Day on Site
202301554
MLS
Groundfloor Corner / End Two Bedroom, 1 Bath Townhouse Unit with One Open Parking Stall.
Washer and Dryer in Unit. Nearby Shopping, Dining Bus Stop.
Open 1/29
98-719 Iho Place #5-1102 Aiea,  HI 96701
$470,000
Condo: Colonnade On The Greens
2
Beds
2
Baths
805
Sq.Ft.
1976
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202301350
MLS
Enjoy the sweeping views in this wonderful, high level home in Colonnade on the Greens. Surrounded by the Pearl Country Club golf course, this community sits at the end of the street and boasts views...
$725,000
Condo: Waikiki Windsor
2
Beds
2
Baths
941
Sq.Ft.
1986
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202301402
MLS
Situated in the beginning of Waikiki we have the Windsor. Tucked away from the busy streets and traffic but within walking distance to the beach, restaurants and the mall. Across the way you can find...
Open 1/29
2333 Kapiolani Boulevard #408 Honolulu,  HI 96826
2
Beds
2
Baths
930
Sq.Ft.
1971
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202301265
MLS
MARCO POLO - 2020 Building of the Year Award! This well priced, spacious 2bed/2bath/ 1pkg, corner end unit with a large wraparound lanai where you can enjoy peaceful treetop, Ala Wai park and canal...
Open 1/29
95-969 Ukuwai Street #3407 Mililani,  HI 96789
$718,000
Condo: Nohona II @Mililani Mauka 3
3
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
1,195
Sq.Ft.
2007
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202301454
MLS
Don't miss out on this rare opportunity to own in highly desiarble "Nohona II at Mililani Mauka. This newer built 3/2.5 split-level ground floor unit is well maintained and move in ready with all the...
1
Beds
1
Baths
555
Sq.Ft.
1974
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202301395
MLS
Live in the heart of Waikiki !Short stroll to Waikiki beach, luxury shopping, fabulous dining, and the famous International Market Place . Highly desirable residential building ! Wonderful renovated...
1
Baths
364
Sq.Ft.
1974
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202301398
MLS
BEST studio POSITION IN BLDG !Carefree convenient Living in the heart of Waikiki ! A short stroll to Waikiki beach, luxury shopping, fabulous dining, and the International Market Place ! Highly...
Open 1/29
91-1001 Keaunui Drive #154 Ewa Beach,  HI 96706
$855,000
Neighborhood: Ewa Gen Laulani-Tides
4
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
1,344
Sq.Ft.
2011
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202301478
MLS
Welcome home to your cozy desirable CUL-DE-SAC corner home! This 4 bedroom, 3 bath home has a lot of 4,032 sq ft., twice as large as most of the homes in the Laulani-Tides! It is one of the few homes...
$529,000
Neighborhood: Makaha
3
Beds
2
Baths
1,508
Sq.Ft.
1959
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202301496
MLS
PRICED TO SELL FAST...MAKE OFFERS SUBJECT TO INSPECTION. LARGE LOT WITH GREAT POTENTIAL FOR THE RIGHTR INVESTOR. MANY NEW HOMES AND NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN THIS AREA.

AGENTS PLEASE READ SHOWING...

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