January 2011

Found 6 blog entries for January 2011.

A great comparison study done by Trulia shows the financial benefits of buying vs. renting in various cities around America. While New York and LA are places that one should rent, Honolulu falls nicely into the "BUY" section.

Why?  Simple - because rents are so high here.  Trulia explains their method:

Trulia calculates the price-to-rent ratio for the 50 largest U.S. cities using the median list price compared with the median rent on two-bedroom apartments, condominiums and townhomes listed on Trulia.com. 

Sample Price-to-Rent Ratio Calculation:

  • Median List Price: $140,201.37

  • Median Rent: $1,871.65

  • Price-to-rent ratio: $140,201.37 ÷ ($1,871.65 x 12) = 6

While cities like Las Vegas and Miami are the best places to

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As we had predicted a couple months ago, the Oahu housing market finished the year very strong. In December, there were 306 Single family sales, which was up 12.5% from last year.  For the year, there were 3051 sales, compared to only 2690 sales in 2009. oahu beachfront home

Condo sales did well too, though December was down by 9 sales compared to December '09, the 2010 total was up 10.3% to 3934 condo sales on Oahu.

The median price of Oahu homes was also up to $587k in December, compared to $555k at the same time last year. That is a 5.8% increase, and year over year, the prices were up 3.1% to $592,750.  I would say that all over Oahu, prices were steadily rising all year and continue to do so now.

Oahu condo prices had a $303k median, up just 0.2% since last year. Not

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CNBC gave Honolulu some nice publicity:

"While Hawaii in general has a unique air concern known as VOG (volcanic smog) that can affect health, Honolulu regularly makes lists of greenest and cleanest cities, and Sustain Lane ranked it the best city for air quality."

Actually what they don't realize (probably) is that VOG is a problem mostly in Kona, on the Big Island, not in Honolulu.  The only time Honolulu has any VOG is when there is a South wind, which is only a few days a year, once in a while.

"Honolulu’s water is filtered through volcanic rock and is known to be free of the chlorine taste of other cities’ supplies. The nonprofit Environmental Working Group, based in Washington, D.C., rated the Honolulu Board of Water Supply No. 6 among big

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Real Estate 101: What is a Spec Home?

When meeting with a real estate agent to search through your new home options, it is easy to get a bit confused by the terms that are used by real estate agents. While agents are not trying to confuse their clients, the reality is that certain terms are so common in the industry that it is easy for an agent to forget that everyone might not be familiar with that term.

One such term that could potentially cause some confusion is "spec home." In the simplest of terms, a spec home is a home that a builder constructs with the belief that someone will eventually come along and want to purchase the home.

In other words, the builder constructs the home based on speculation of what a buyer would look for. As such,

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 daniel_dae_kim hawaii houseLost and Hawaii 5-0 star Daniel Dae Kim is selling his house for $2,430,000.  Located in beautiful Kahala on the East side of Oahu, the home has 5 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and a large pool. It's a vintage Hawaii home in Oahu's most expensive neighborhood.  Best of all, it's about a block from Kahala beach! Check out the video. 

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Just got this email from a lender:

The maximum loan amount was just updated to the VA Matrix for 2011 which includes a loan increase for Honolulu county of $741,250!  Other highlights include:

·        620 FICO up to $700K no reserves

·        Max loan amount of $1,500,000

·        Split entitlement is ok

·        Spouse can satisfy occupancy requirements

·        Case by case VA IRRRLs with no appraisal up to $1,500,000*

·        AVM (no appraisal) only if the LTV is less than 95% for IRRRLs up $1,500,000*

*anything over $700K needs an exception

The VA loan is one of Hawaii's best financing options.  Without it, many military would never be able to buy a home. I have worked with

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