Buying Your First Home in Hawaii

Buying Your First Home in Hawaii

As one of the most desirable places to live, with a limited inventory, buying real estate in Hawaii can be daunting. If you are hoping to buy your first home in Hawaii, you may be feeling some stress as you figure out how to prepare.

We are here to help. Contact us any time to learn more about homes for sale in Hawaii and how to find the right one for you.

Check out these tips to be prepared for the purchase of your first home in Hawaii. With the right preparation and plan, you can become a homeowner in your dream location.

Mortgage Pre-Approval

One of the very first steps you should take in preparing to buy your first home in Hawaii and getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Many buyers guess what they can afford based on online calculators, but without mortgage pre-approval you won't know for sure.

Mortgage pre-approval involves contacting a lender (or a few, which we recommend) and going through the process of finding out how much you can borrow, what your interest rate will be, and what type of monthly mortgage payment you should anticipate.

There are a few benefits of getting pre-approved:

  • You know exactly what you can afford, what your monthly payment will be, and how much you can offer
  • You are able to make an offer an a house immediately, rather than waiting to get approved and risking someone else making an offer before you can
  • You won't fall in love with a home that you ultimately cannot afford, wasting your time and energy

Understand Fee Simple and Leasehold

In Hawaii, there are two types of real estate properties: fee simple and leasehold.

When you purchase a leasehold property, you own only the structure, and not the land it is on. The owner has the right to use and enjoy the property for a determined amount of time, after which the property is returned to the fee simple owner of the property. Nearly all leasehold properties are condos or townhomes.

Fee simple ownership is probably what you think of when you picture owning a home. This includes owning the land and all structures on it until you decide to sell it, plain and simple.

Leasehold properties are sometimes listed for a shockingly low price, but it is important to pay close attention to the terms of the lease and the timeline, as buying a leasehold property could mean you only own it for a relatively short period of time.

Don't Forget Property Tax Exemptions

It is no secret that Hawaii real estate comes with a high price tag, but there are also some unique benefits to homeownership in Hawaii. One of these is the state tax exemptions. After buying your first home in Hawaii, make sure to file a property tax exemption claim. If you are under the age of 65, you can deduct $80,000 from the taxable value of your home, and if your are over the age of 65 you can deduct $120,000.

Make a Clear Plan

Before you begin the home shopping process, make a clear list of what you are looking for. Ask yourself:

  • What part(s) of the island do I want to look in?
  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms do I need?
  • How far do I want to be from work?
  • How long does this house need to work for me, and do I expect my household to grow in that time?
  • How much maintenance am I prepared to take on?
  • Am I looking for move-in ready or a fixer upper?

Want to learn more about buying your first home in Hawaii? Contact us any time with your questions. Check out the newest listings on Oahu below

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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