Hawaii real estate news

Trimming the Hawaiian Electric bill

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Earlier this month I wrote about a customer's shocking bill from Hawaiian Electric.  He and I did some brainstorming about conserving electricity and monitoring our usage.  He started checking his electric meter everyday and flipped switches off in his breaker box when he and the family were away from home.  Note: he did keep the refrigerator on. As of this writing he has not received his latest bill.  However, he continues to monitor his electric meter a...

Quicken Loans comes through after all

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I wrote about some loan problems a homebuyer and I were having in a recent blog entitled Beware of Quicken Loans.  It turns out that somebody at Quicken Loans read my blog! A marketing representative named Clayton Closson e-mailed me and apologized for the problem.  He asked for details of the transaction in order to follow up.  I provided enough info for him to figure things out through his organization's channels.  I was careful not to divulge too much info...

Beware of Quicken Loans

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In Hawaii we encourage our buyers to use local lending institutions.  Buyers wonder why and sometimes think we're trying to help a relative or somebody else make some money.  Here's a great example of things going wrong with a mainland lender doing loans in Hawaii.  A customer decided to make an offer on a townhome at Makaha Valley Plantation listed for $150,000.  We had previously made an offer on another listing in the same complex and obtained&nb...

Buying Hawaii vacation rentals

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Buying a vacation rental in Hawaii Vacation rentals are a popular topic for mainland investors buying in Hawaii.  Buyers often think about owning a property here, renting it out like a hotel room for a tidy sum and living in it when they vacation in the islands.  It's a great idea!  There are some considerations that buyers should be aware of.   The difference between a vacation rental and a normal rental In Hawaii, a transient rental is defined as being fo...

Oahu housing market is doing well - June 2008

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Oahu housing market - June 2008 Statistics for June 2008 are published and Oahu home prices continue with their resilience.  While the number of units sold is down 31% from a year ago, median home prices have decreased just 8.8% compared with June 2007, a relatively small amount compared to markets in other places, such as California, Nevada and Florida.  Oahu's condo and townhome unit sales are down 35% with just a 1.9% decrease in sales prices versus a year earlier. Wh...

For Sale By Owner Scam

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For Sale By Owner Scam in Hawaii real estate A customer contacted me today and asked if I could represent him in a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) purchase.  I said that would be fine.  He forwarded an e-mail with a link to a website listing. See the photo below.  I did not intentionally blur it, apparently that's what happens when a webpage is copied and pasted into another webpage. Message from a person claiming to be the owner The customer also included...

Honolulu Open House

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Honolulu open house draws a crowd Ever have an open house and nobody visited?  Or just a handful of visitors in three hours?  What a drag.  We recently listed a preforeclosure house in Honolulu.  This house appealing because it's duplex (two separate residences for one price) and its location near downtown. The owners bought the house in January 2007 for $810,000.   We listed the house for $750,000 and after 10 days there were a few inquiries but...

Hawaii foreclosures 4/08

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Hawaii foreclosures increase a bit Haven't they gone up everywhere?  Honolulu statistics for the first quarter show 155 foreclosure filings this year (January through March) versus 102 during the same period last year.  That's an increase of 52% - the increase percentage sounds ominous, however the number of forclosures versus households is still very small.  Honolulu has the second lowest foreclosure rate in the U.S! Why aren't we getting hit? What's so spe...

Hats off to Hawaii Tourism Authority

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Hawaii Tourism Authority Steps Up On March 31 2008, Aloha Airlines flew its last passenger flight and laid off 1,900 workers.  Customers with flights booked on Aloha Airlines were stuck if they were not completing their roundtrips by that day.  Then on Wednesday April 2nd 2008, ATA Airlines shut down operations, stranding more passengers. Tens of thousands of people were affected by the shutdowns and there were not enough flights on other carriers to get people where they nee...

Hawaii Foreclosures 3/08

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Hawaii Foreclosures rising This morning's newspaper has an article titled "Isle foreclosures slowly building."  The article intrigued me as a Palolo Valley resident and realtor in Hawaii. House for sale in Palolo Valley I live just around the corner from the house pictured in the newspaper article (and pictured above).  This house is located in Palolo Valley, a Honolulu neighborhood.   Several months ago the house had a...