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

209 Properties
Page 1 of 18
$1,170,000
Neighborhood: Ocean Pointe
4
Beds
3
Baths
1,695
Sq.Ft.
1999
Year Built
1
Day on Site
202411504
MLS
Open 5/19
45-528 Pahia Road #B Kaneohe,  HI 96744
$1,225,000
Neighborhood: Kaneohe Town
3
Beds
2
Baths
1,190
Sq.Ft.
1955
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202411079
MLS
$489,000
Condo: Punahou Regency
3
Beds
2
Baths
1,032
Sq.Ft.
1980
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202411003
MLS
$375,000
Condo: Trump Tower Waikiki
1
Baths
486
Sq.Ft.
2009
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202411413
MLS
Open 5/19
92-1159 Palahia Street #C203 Kapolei,  HI 96707
$540,000
Condo: Westview At Makakilo Hts
2
Beds
2
Baths
742
Sq.Ft.
1993
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202411408
MLS
Open 5/19
492 Mananai Place #13S Honolulu,  HI 96818
$624,000
Condo: Crosspointe B-1
2
Beds
2
Baths
848
Sq.Ft.
1985
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202411093
MLS
Open 5/19
45-701 Keneke Street #1 Kaneohe,  HI 96744
$1,290,000
Neighborhood: Kapuna Hala
5
Beds
3
Baths
2,339
Sq.Ft.
2022
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202411217
MLS
Open 5/19
92-804 Opalipali Place Kapolei,  HI 96707
$1,175,000
Neighborhood: Makakilo-Kahiwelo
4
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
1,722
Sq.Ft.
2014
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202411247
MLS
Open 5/19
920 Ward Avenue #4G Honolulu,  HI 96814
$575,000
Condo: Royal Court
2
Beds
2
Baths
1,073
Sq.Ft.
1970
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202411350
MLS
Open 5/19
120 Lakeview Circle Wahiawa,  HI 96786
$849,000
Neighborhood: Wilikina
3
Beds
1
Baths
854
Sq.Ft.
1952
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202406753
MLS
Open 5/19
5180 Likini Street #1201 Honolulu,  HI 96818
2
Beds
1
Baths
677
Sq.Ft.
1972
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202407862
MLS
2
Beds
1F11/2
Baths
717
Sq.Ft.
1989
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202411355
MLS

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