Dec. 26, 2015

Lalea in Hawaii Kai

Lalea in Hawaii Kai is a town home complex located at the end of Hawaii Kai Dr, just after you've passed the Hawaii Kai post office. It is a 29 building complex with 293 units within it. There are 1, 2, 3, and 4 bedroom units which creates a large range of buyers that may consist of singles, couples, and families. Units range between 750-1500 sq ft. Pets are OK (please verify). They were built in 4 stages that each took a year to complete between 1996-1999 and built by Castle & Cook Homes Hi.

 

                           

There are many things that make Lalea standout in the condo/townhome scene in Hawaii Kai: Their private park, heated pool, clubhouse and lots of private streets for walking with the family and pets. And, with all of the necessities very close by (Costco, Safeway, Ross, City Mill, Koko Head Theatres, and many restaurants and boutique shops), homeowners are able to spend more time enjoying the community.

 Lalea at Hawaii Kai is zoned for: Hahaione Elementary, Niu Valley Middle, and Kaiser High. Hahaione is a blue Ribbon school and also in International Baccalaureate school as well. Please check with current zoning's as these may change as time passes. The units within Lalea rarely stay on the market for very long as this is a highly coveted neighborhood in Hawaii Kai. It's affordable price point, friendly atmosphere, and many amenities within, make this a popular complex to buy in to.

Currently the owner occupancy rate is approx. 75%, and there is very low turnover as people tend to enjoy living here.

Call one of us at Alohatony.com if you'd like to be represented as we represent both buyers and sellers with care. We have many years of real estate experience and go above and beyond to provide our clients with the best service possible.

by: Chelsea Pferschy RS# 76072

Posted in General
Sept. 17, 2015

Honolulu-Oahu local market update August 2015 (Comparing 2015 to 2014)

     As the summer selling season draws to a close and we start to approach the holiday season, I wanted to give you an idea of our local market and the trends that are happening now compared to last year.

     For single family homes and condo's, inventory is down in most area's which will tend to drive up prices. When X number of buyers are looking at Z number of houses, and X is greater than Z, that means bidding wars ensue (from buyers) which always end up pushing sale prices higher.

     For single family homes, median sales prices went up this year 6.45% compared to the median sales price in 2014. The average days on market went up 3 days, to 25 days on market, compared to last years 22 DOM.

     For condominium/town homes, the median sales price also went up 3.3% compared to last years prices.The average days on market for condo's went down this year to 25.5 days on market, compared to last years 26.4 DOM. Not a huge change, but notable considering the trend these past few years. With single family homes becoming increasingly more expensive, condo's/town homes are becoming a more affordable option for families and investors.

     As we've been saying here at alohatony.com, sales prices continue to rise in single family homes, and are continuing on the approximately 6% per year rise. And also with condo/town homes rising again with 3.3% this year. The Hawaii real estate economy continues to prove it's strength and stability with these figures. This proves again that investing in Hawaii (Oahu) real estate is a great choice.

Call us today to get personal representation in the purchase (or sale) of your home.

By: Chelsea Pferschy RS# 76072 (808) 754-6000 Team Aloha Tony-Hawaii Homes International Statistical information provided by the Honolulu Board of Realtors-HBR

Posted in General
Sept. 16, 2015

Marina front living in Hawaii Kai

        If you have a boat or you'd just like to live on the water, then you've definitely considered Hawaii Kai as your next home. Hawaii Kai is located in the south eastern corner of Oahu. It's considered Honolulu, but as Honolulu is such a broad area we all know it as Hawaii Kai. 

       As you ponder your options, here are a few things to consider. A town home/condo may be the best option for you. Unless you want a single family home, then you'll need at least $1,500,000 for marina front in Hawaii Kai.

     The prices for a marina front condo/TH in Hawaii Kai range from $380,000 for a 1 bedroom in the Esplanade, to $1,150,000 for a 3 bedroom town home on Koko Isle. Marina fee's are $400/year but some maintenance fees cover this. If you have a pet(s), there are a few places that accommodate. Call one of us at alohatony.com to get a custom MLS search for properties that will allow pets.

    Maybe you have a boat but soon realize that the marina front life doesn't' fit within your budget. Prices for a boat slip at Koko Marina start at $300/month for a 26 foot slip. With miles of canal plus Maunalua bay, there's plenty of places to take your boat to. Hawaii Kai rates #9 in all of Hawaii for neighborhood's to live in. It ranks high in all categories except affordability. It's a beautiful place to live and work, with parks and public school's that also rank high in Hawaii. Call us today for all of your Hawaii/Oahu real estate information.

By: Chelsea Pferschy RS# 76072 (808) 754-6000 

Posted in General
Sept. 15, 2015

Is now the best time of year to sell your home?

Homes on Oahu sell for higher at this time of year than any other, which means now may be the ideal time to sell your home. If you’ve wanted to list your property but had trouble deciding when, here is some valuable information to consider. 

Median home prices on Oahu have peaked in Nov/Dec in 3 of the last 4 years. Since the typical escrow period here is 45 days, the sales figures recorded in Nov/Dec reflect offers that were accepted in Sept/Oct. Historically, offers made in Sept/Oct are higher than the rest of the year. Check out the trends in the chart, below.

Oahu Median Home Prices By Season

 

Summer Peak

Post-Summer Dip

Winter Peak

2015

$710K (Jul)

-

-

2014

$700K (Jun)

$650K (Aug)

$719K (Nov)*

2013

$677K (Jun)

$647K (Jul)

$685K (Dec)*

2012

$664K (May)*

$609K (Aug)

$640K (Dec)

2011

$595K (May)

$558K (Aug)

$605K (Dec)*

*Year's Highest Median 

What’s behind the spike in median price during the winter? While there are many factors, one trend that seems to be consistent is the decrease in inventory between August and September. Fewer homes were on the market in September than August every year for the last four years. Simple economics says a decrease in inventory paired with steady (or increasing) demand will result in higher prices. 

Wouldn't you rather sell your home with less competition?

Currently, homes for sale on Oahu stay on the market for an average of 20 days before an accepted offer. Add a 45-day escrow period to your calendar, and you may be able to go from listing to closing in 65 days, give or take a week or two. To sum it up: if you decide to sell your home today, your sale could line up perfectly with that winter swell. 

Posted in General
Aug. 18, 2015

Koko Head Terrace- Hawaii Kai

    With it's amazing location just in front of Koko Head crater in Hawaii Kai, the neighborhood of Koko Head Terrace makes coming home a beautiful thing.

    The homes in Koko Head Terrace were all originally built between 1965-1971 and were constructed by using the single wall method of construction. Single wall construction is quite common here (and in other tropical regions) as we do not need a method of heating for homes, which makes insulation unnecessary. A majority of traditional Hawaiian homes were built using single wall construction. With the homes having been built with single wall construction, they were all originally single story. When you see a 2 story home in Koko Head Terrace, it's safe to say that they had to have it re-engineered and framed in double wall in order to support the structure above.

    The homes all range between (approximately) 1000-1800 sqft. With an exception to those that have been enlarged and remodeled. Land square footage is between approx. 5000-6000 sq ft., also with the exception of a few larger lots.

 

    Some Realtors claim that Koko Head Terrace is an "entry level" area within Hawaii Kai for consumers to buy a single family home, but with prices this year (2015) ranging from $720K-$1.250M, I'm not sure that's so true anymore. Depending on how renovated a home is prices per sq ft are about $373-$644.....PER SQUARE FOOT!!! But, there's a reason that these home prices continually go up...living in Hawaii Kai, the beauty, the suburban feel, the convenience of shopping, the great public school's, the variety of outdoor activities and easy proximity to nice beaches helps boost these prices each year.

    Call team Aloha Tony if you would like personal representation on your next home purchase. We would love to help you!

-Chelsea Pferschy RS# 76072

Posted in General
July 29, 2015

Makakilo-Anhuea

     We recently sold a home in Makakilo-Anhuea, within the Palehua Home Owners Association. Anuhea is a subdivision developed by DR Horton-Schuler Homes in 2005. The homes are very well built with steel frames and nice floor plans. This neighborhood consists of 109 homes that are a CPR. CPR is short for Condo property regime. But these are all detached, single family homes. The CPR refers to the way that the land was split up by the developer.

 

    The floor plans are all very open and have nice sized bedrooms. There are 4 different floor plans with many variations of them all. They are all 3-4 bedroom, 2, 2.5 or 3 bathroom and range from 1285-1817 sq ft.

 

    The homes have a traditional exterior elevation and all have nice vinyl picket fencing around the side and backyards. Some of the homes boast views of the ocean, town, mountains and some Makakilo gully views. They are maintained by a great association that keeps very low maintenance fee's and requires home owners to keep up exterior appearances to maintain good home values. The homes (right now) range in price from $615K-$730K depending on size of the house and lot.

 

    Makakilo itself is considered Kapolei, but is divided from Kapolei (proper) by the freeway. One of the BIG draws to Makakilo are the wonderful breezes that sweep over the Makakilo hillside. They cool off the homes on hot summer days and nights. Makakilo is just a quick trip right onto the freeway on-ramp and many restaurants, grocery and clothing stores. If you would like more information about Makakilo and its subdivisions, contact one of us at Team Aloha Tony. We would love to help you! -Chelsea Pferschy RS#76072

Posted in General
July 20, 2015

Honolulu’s Interest Free Down Payment Loan

“These loans can be the difference between renting and ownership for families across O‘ahu.” 
-Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell
 
Last week Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced that qualified low-income and moderate-income families can receive interest free loans for a down payment on home purchases. That day I called the DCS loan branch for more info and here’s what I found out.
 
The city will loan up to $40,000 to a borrower interest-free over a 20 year period.
 
But that’s not all! 
 
For every year of owner-occupancy, the borrower will be credited 5% toward their loan balance. After ten years, about 50% of the balance should be paid off by the buyer while the other 50% will be paid off by credits. So only does the buyer get an interest-free loan, but they get half the loan amount credited to them for living in their home for ten years.
 
There are some restrictions. To qualify, the borrower cannot earn more than a certain amount, depending how many are in his/her household. As far as the price of the property is concerned, it cannot exceed $489,000. Also, the loan is not meant to cover the full down payment amount (Borrower must furnish 10% of down payment amount funds, city will cover up to 90% of down payment)
 
Do you qualify? For more information, visit the following site: http://www.honolulu.gov/cms-dcs-menu/site-dcs-sitearticles/1853-cad-loans-downpayment.html
 
Or call the DCS Loan Branch at 808-768-7076.
Posted in General
June 26, 2015

Top 100 Realtors in Hawaii 2015 by: Chelsea Pferschy RS#76072

 

For the 4th year in a row, Tony Kawaguchi and his Aloha Tony team have received the honors of being on this prestigious list of top producing agents in the state of Hawaii. The data is compiled from the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and there are a few criteria that are considered from this.

1. Only MLS transactions in Hawaii

2. Only residential sales are counted. (no vacant land or commercial)

3. No new home sales are counted. (which is a shame since Realtor's often find homes in new construction developments)

4. Primary listing agents receive full credit, co-listing agents do not receive credit.

5. Both buyers agent and sellers agent are credited for the full sales price amount.

6. If the Realtor represents both seller and buyer, the Realtor is credited with twice the selling price.

Along with the top 100 in total sales, there are 4 other categories to celebrate the success of real estate agents statewide. Many of these same agents also made the top 100 Realtors list as well.

1. Most transactions

2. Vacant land

3. Top Companies

4. Honorable mention- This is given to the agents who ranked 101-125 in the value of sales, based on the same sales criteria as the top 100 Realtors.

The highest priced home for this sales year was $17.5 million dollars, and was in the Hualalai Resort area on the big Island. The highest price home sold on Oahu was $17 million and was located just east of the Waialae golf course, on the ocean (of course!). The highest price home on Kauai was sold for $12.85 million. The selling price of this same house in 1998 was $1.2 million. That's an increase in price of approximately $728,125 per year! Incredible!

As a part of the Aloha Tony team, we are proud to say that Tony Kawaguchi (and team) made it on the Top 100 Realtors list as well as the Realtors with the most transactions list. Tony and his team are climbing in numbers each year, while still maintaining the care and attention that we strive for in all of our relationships with our clients.

By: Chelsea Pferschy RS# 76072

Team Aloha Tony

Hawaii Homes International

 

Posted in General
May 5, 2015

Rent vs Own: 4 reasons Military Should Buy a Home in Hawaii

The first question we get from military clients PCSing to Hawaii is whether it's best to rent or own.

On one hand, renting seems to offer the very attractive prospect of immediate cash savings. If you rent lower than your BAH, that's extra money in your pocket, right away. On the other hand, a wise purchase can help you procure tens of thousands of dollars in wealth ... way more than you'd have if you'd chosen to rent. This type of wealth is not as obvious or immediate as savings you might get from renting, so its value is often overlooked.

Do homeowners know something that renters don't? Are you missing out on key information that would help you plan your future? If you are planning to be in Hawaii for at least 3 years, here are a few details to consider that will help you make an informed decision.

First, let me point out 2 huge perks for military buyers. You probably already know about them... 

Honolulu BAH. The Basic Allowance for Housing in Honolulu is among the highest offered in the nation. An E-5 with dependents gets a BAH of approx. $3000. Over the course of 3 years, that's $108,000 you would never see if you decide to live on base. Check your BAH here: http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bahCalc.cfm

0% down VA loan. Up to a purchase price of $721,050, you don't have to put any money in for a down payment. And most homebuyers would need to put 10%-20% down in order to get kind of interest rates that are available to VA buyers who put 0 down. (Generally, the lower the down payment, the higher the interest rate.)

Now here are four ways buying real estate builds wealth.

4 WAYS BUYING REAL ESTATE BUILDS WEALTH

1. Rising value. What's the real estate market like in Honolulu? Here are some facts: Between 2011 and 2014, the median sale price for a single family home increased by about 5% each year. Doesn't sound like much? The difference in home equity after 3 years was $100,000! See the numbers here:http://hicentral.com/oahu-historical-data.php

2. Adding equity. This is the "forced savings account" you hear homeowners talk about. Your home equity increases as property values rise AND as you pay down the mortgage of your house. After 3 years, on a $600,000 home (with today's interest rates) you will have paid down your mortgage loan by about $36,000. That money is yours, in the form of equity in your home. This means that even if your property value stays the same, you will have saved $1,000/mo in the form of home equity.

3. Tax Savings. Your monthly mortgage payment includes interest on your loan. The unfortunate fact is, you'd be paying a lot of money in interest. But here's the silver lining: at tax time, the money you paid in interest gets deducted from your year's income. This is called a top-line tax deduction. Approximately 25% of the interest you paid can be retained in the form of tax savings. Please consult your tax professional for more comprehensive information (we are not tax advisors)

4. Inflation protection. Simply put: rent payments go up, while mortgage payments stay the same. Next year your landlord may decide to raise your rent by 5%. As a short-term renter this may not be a big deal, but consider the wealth accrued by the long-term owner. On your house, your mortgage will stay the same for 30 years. Wise owners who bought a house in Hawaii in 1985 have made hundreds of thousands dollars in the ways mentioned above and from renters ... whose payments have quintupled from 30 years ago. 

Whereas renting may save you thousands in the short run, owning can help you procure tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands in the long run. Don't miss out on the benefits you've earned. 
Posted in General
March 20, 2015

Generation Y Begins to Drive Real Estate Trends

I was showing some homes to a client this week and walked into a home that smelled like flowers. All 3 of us made comments about how nice it smelled and felt happy the whole time we were there. I saw that the owner had lit some candles to make the home smell nice.

Then it hit me - why doesn't everyone try hard to make their home buyer friendly? Why is there so much weird stuff I see, smell, and hear when I walk into a house? So here are 10 things that buyers hate. 10 things that will keep your home from selling, in no particular order.

   1. Smokers. You cannot get smoke out of a house. Change the carpet, paint the walls, buy an ozone machine, and you might not get it out if it's real bad. I don't care if you smoke outside, you still can smell it when you walk in.
   2. Dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and anything with hair. I can small pets the moment I walk in. your carpet is probably stained in places you can't see without moving furniture. You have fleas and you don't think you do. Your house smells like pets, and buyers hate that.
   3. Clutter. Please don't leave your collection of Chinese dolls or your 10 chess sets in plain view for us. Please throw away your trash, clean your dishes, put away your clothes, and make the house look un-lived in.
   4. People. Huh? Yes, people. Buyers want to walk around uninteruppted, and want to feel like they can look anywhere for as long as they want. So please get out of your house when we come to see it. Don't stand there watching over us like a school principle. Let us look slowly and carefully at this most important investment.
   5. Dirt - There is so much red dirt on this island, and it seems to get everywhere. It makes fences and walls look terrible, so go buy some Oxyclean and get that stuff off. You might have to get a pressure washer and put some of that Oxyclean in there. Whatever you do, just get the dirt off your house.
   6. Darkness. Open the dang windows please! Don't close all the blinds when we are about to show up, and please do turn on all the lights. If you have dark drapes or blinds, you might have to get rid of them. This is Hawaii, so let the sun in!
   7. Weird decor - we walked into one house that had a giant nude painting of a woman right in front of the entry. It was all we could talk about the entire time so we hardly even saw the house. The rest of the day we kept laughing about the giant painting. In fact the house was pretty nice, but we could hardly notice!
   8. Extreme colors - bright red, bright yellow or green, basically anything that will distract the buyers. I don't want to walk into a house and be shocked. If my first thought is, "whoa! bright colors!" then you've probably missed an opportunity to grab a buyer. First impressions do count, a lot.
   9. Heat - in Hawaii it gets warm, very warm. So if you have a home that has been locked up with all the windows shut, the buyer is going to walk in and feel too hot to want to stick around very long. Even if they like the house, they might want to get out because they are so darn hot. So if your house gets hot, you may have to turn on the AC when you have showings .
  10. Most importantly - PRICE! Don't overprice and hope to get something lower. Price the house to sell because this is a buyer's market and probably will be for a long time. If you price a house even a little too high, it tells the buyer that you're not that motivated. It might keep you from getting an offer, while pricing it "low" might get you 3 offers above asking. Price it to sell quickly or you'll be waiting around a year and probably will get less in the long run than if you sell fast.

Posted in General