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Owning your first home or condo in Hawaii may be your dream, but in order for the purchase to be the happy and satisfying experience it was meant to be, you need to ensure that you are financially and mentally prepared for the responsibilities that come with it.
Some people have a notion that home ownership is like renting, but with the power to have pets and paint the walls whatever color you like. However, while these privileges are available to homeowners in most communities in Hawaii, they come with the responsibilities of a mortgage, taxes and home maintenance. Preparing for home ownership requires you to take critical stock of your finances and your expectations.
Owning your own home (or condo) is about being prepared to maintain your home over the years, realizing that part of your income and time will go towards repairs and maintenance. It's about being willing to take the risks of home ownership with a realistic expectation of the rewards.
It can be discouraging to find that your salary won't stretch as far as the home you want to own. However, sacrificing a huge part of your income just to pay the mortgage can very quickly make home ownership a burden rather than a point of pride. It's better to buy a modest home or condo now and look at purchasing your "dream home" in a few years. Condos in the desired Kona to Waikoloa area of the Big Island for instance, generally start at $ 250,000 and homes are higher starting at the $ 400,000 plus range. The inventory for condos and homes in the lower price range is currently at a low due to high demand.
This is something that lenders take very seriously. Your overall debt should not be more than 40% of your income, and your housing debt should not be more than 32%. What 32% of your income will buy depends on where you want to live on the Big Island.
Do you like the idea of cleaning your own gutters? Do you shudder at the thought of lawn care? Would you rather just pay a maintenance fee every month and have everything done for you? Condo living may be for you.... and in Kona there are many nice condos to choose from on Alii Drive. You may also want to look within the growing Waikoloa Village area where you would be close to the amazing Kohala Coast beaches!
You need a good experienced agent who will work hard for you and help direct you to the best property. We want you to find the home that will make you happy and successful in real estate ownership.
When you hire us to help you buy your first home, we want to know what you want and how much you can afford. Then we'll find a way to merge these two priorities and find a residence that you'll enjoy owning.
Keep your objectives in mind when visiting a home or condo. Sometimes the idea of owning can overwhelm your practical sense, so keep your feelings in check. Keep a list handy of the features that you need and want in a property, and judge each home or condo by the list instead of by details that could distract you from your goal. We will help you go over the pros and cons of each property you are interested in. We will help you stay on track while still keeping our eyes out for a great property.
Make the offer. This can be a maze of "buyer", "seller", "contingencies", "deposit", and "completion". We'll be happy to prepare the Purchase Agreement and go through it with you before submitting it. Remember, the seller may reject or counter your offer, so even at this late date, avoid setting your heart on the home you hope to own. You'll need to be prepared to write a deposit check to escrow that proves the seriousness of your offer.
Get all necessary inspections done. A home inspector will check for signs of harmful materials like asbestos, lead paint and mold. They'll also check for evidence of pests, faulty wiring and leaks. This is a crucial part of the home purchase. Not getting an inspection done means that you could be stuck in a home with a bad case of black mold and no recourse other than to pay for its removal. Inspections will cost a few hundred dollars, but again, this is more than worth it in the end. There are several inspectors in the area that we'd be happy to recommend.
Do a final walkthrough before closing the deal. We'd be happy to do this with you to make sure that everything agreed upon is completed prior to the final signing or you can hire your professional home inspector to do this for you.
From the first interview that determines your requirements to the moment that you receive the keys, we can help you with the complicated process of buying a home.
Contact us anytime to learn more about the local home buying process.
With aloha, Cindi