Certain aspects of Hawaii are different than any other state in America. In fact we sometimes joke that Hawaii seems like a third world country now and then. That´s a gross exaggeration, but there are some things that you need to know before buying a house in Hawaii.
Talk to a local real estate agent. (Yes, me.) A local agent will know which neighborhoods have problems with huge carpenter ants, excessive rain, or no rain, etc. We know which neighborhoods are a good investment, and which areas to avoid for resale value. So step 1, call me. Ask me a million questions.
Talk to a local lender. Lending, like everything else in Hawaii, is different here. We do land surveys on almost every house, we don´t use lawyers as in east coast states, and our loan limits are way higher. A local lender will know things that a mainland lender won´t, and those little things can cost you money or even blow the whole deal for you. Email me and I'll send you some good Hawaii lenders.
Expect less. That´s right, lower your expectations. Living in paradise means it´s always warm and wet, so we have mold. It means we don´t need insulation, so a lot of houses are single wall construction, meaning there is no stud behind that wall you´re looking at. Behind that wall is Hawaii, the outdoors. Houses, like everything else here in the tropics, wear out fast. Things rust, corrode, oxidize, break. Look for giant ants, roaches.
Use this site to look at pictures of houses, check out neighborhoods, learn about Hawaii. Drive. Drive all over the island when you visit. Do the commute from Ewa to Hawaii Kai. Drive from Waikiki to the North Shore.
Finally, if you haven't done so already, contact me: I'm a Hawaii real estate agent with and I can help you through the process of getting here step by step.