Hawaii real estate news

Hawaii Kai home sales in May 2012

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Hawaii Kai along with most of Oahu is seeing steady growth in real estate selling prices.  The world economy may still be wobbling, but around here we are seeing increasing demand for both high and low end properties. Taking a look at Hawaii Kai home sales in May 2012 and comparing them with May 2011, the change in median prices is an eye catcher.  Don't worry, if you are on a budget there are still plenty of houses for sale in Hawaii Kai for less than $1 million.  The ...

Federal and Hawaii State Residential Energy Tax Credits

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I majored in Accounting in college and later became a realtor.  I still do some accounting work and have run across some interesting info about the tax credits for energy-conservation in the home.  Specifically, we will cover solar electric power, or "PV" systems. Federal tax credits Solar credits for residential properties can be applied for using Form 5695. These credits apply to residential properties - either a primary residence or a second home. The credit ...

Hawaii short sales are starting to move

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We've been sitting on several short sales for many months.  Suddenly, we're getting bank approvals on them - three in the last week! The Ilikai - Our offer on an ocean view unit written in July was approved and we're closing on it next week.  Very fast, we have less than two weeks to clear all the contingencies.  Obviously this requires a cash purchase. Ala Moana Hotel Condo - I'm representing the sellers and we received an offer in late September.  It was approved ...

Closed! Ocean Pointe HAP Sale

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Last year the owner of a townhome at Ocean Pointe contacted me about selling.  He was military, bought in 2005 and very much upside-down in value.  He bought his Ke Aina Kai two bedroom plus den, two and a half bath townhome with a two car garage for $425,000 six years ago.  By 2010 it was worth about $275,000.  Luckily, the owner met the requirements to get a HAP Sale.  What's a HAP Sale?  Basically, the Federal government covers the shortfall betwee...

Hawaii's illegal vacation rentals create financing problems

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Today we closed a sale at the Makaha Beach Cabanas and this time getting financing was more difficult than expected.  Sure, we've all heard banks are adding more requirements to get loans today.  The problem we ran into with this Cabanas purchase was different. The buyer was well qualified with a large down payment.  The problem came when the underwriter did some searching on the internet.  You see, residential condos are generally not legal for short term rentals, def...

Hawaii Tsunami Warning 3/11/11

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For regular visitors of Realestatewebmasters blogs the title of this post may seem familiar.  That's because Hawaii had a tsunami warning in February 2010, just over a year ago.  We hope tsunami warnings will not become an annual event here. Last night I received a text around 9 p.m. from a relative, asking if a Tsunami warning had been issued.  We turned the TV on and saw the devastation in Japan from the 8.9 magnitude earthquake.  The videos were amazing.&n...

Hawaii's Population Reaches (almost) 1.4 Million

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Hawaii remains a popular place, not just to visit but for residency too.  The 2010 census reported 1,360,301 people living in Hawaii.  Okay, not quite 1.4 million, however if we consider the amount of visitors here on any given day, military etc.  there are more than 1.4 million people in the islands. In the last decade Hawaii's population increased by 8.8 percent.  The county with the largest increase was the Big Island, with 24.5 percent more people, bringing its population to 185,079. ...

Hawaii VA Loans

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VA loan limits for Hawaii are increased to $741,250 for 2011.  This is for 100% financing with no cash down on a home purchase.  The VA funding fee can be financed as part of the $741,250. No Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) required, the VA guarantees 25% of the home's appraised value, thus eliminating PMI. In some instances disabled veterans are exempt from the VA funding fee. If a service member is overseas, his/her spouse can satisfy the occupancy requirements. VA loans can s...

Oahu Property Tax Assessments 2011

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The City and County of Honolulu has been sending out the new tax assessments for about a week now.  Oahu property owners, did you get your assessment yet?   If you haven't, a quick way to check is to visit the Honolulu Property Tax site here. Next, click the "Property Search" tab and then input your street address and street name.  A list will appear - if you own a single family detached home, your property may be the only one that appears on the list.  If you own a...

Hawaii's Luxury Market is Looking Up

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This time of year, real estate activity tends to slow down a bit.  People get busy with Thanksgiving, then Christmas shopping, vacations and New Year's. Surprisingly, agents are reporting increased activity from buyers.  Some agents are getting several calls a day on their luxury property listings, when a few weeks ago they were getting a few calls per week!   What's happening?  The news still has plenty of doom and gloom on a daily basis.  Several factors ...