The hot real estate market in Oahu and throughout the Hawaiian Islands has shined a spotlight on the benefits of homeownership – single-family homes and condos. If you're feeling the urge to shop, check a Hawaii mortgage calculator to determine your maximum based on income. You also can take the next step of applying for mortgage pre-approval. If you need to compete against other buyers for the home you want, you aren't left scrambling to be approved for financing. Some tips and tricks become important when you're home shopping during an active real estate market.
If you're someone who's been living in apartments for years, the chance to spread out and enjoy your surroundings more will be a revelation. The same is true for a backyard, and if you have kids or want to enjoy our Hawaiian tropical climate even more, it's perfect. There's also interior decorating, and while you can add finishing touches to an apartment, it's different from a house or condo that's yours. When you improve a property you own, it increases the value and is a wise move. Fixing up an apartment owned by a landlord is only temporary and does nothing for you financially.
Choosing a town or neighborhood is also a big part of home shopping and give it careful consideration. You don't want to make an impulsive purchase and end up too far from work or have your kids in a school district away from their friends. Wise home buyers are disciplined in their approach, look at multiple properties, and make careful decisions. Keep your future needs in mind so that you don't outgrow your house too quickly. While you can upgrade to a larger one, there is time and expense involved in moving. As a rule of thumb, try to find a house you can live in for at least five years.
Condominiums or planned communities that cover outdoor maintenance also deserve your consideration. You may lose some yard space, but you'll still own your residence and enjoy the investment and tax advantages. If you're already maintaining a yard and loving it, there's no reason to hesitate. But for many people with busy lives and demanding jobs (or jobs requiring travel), a yard can be a significant responsibility. Remember that our tropical climate also means year-round yard work because the growing season never ends. It factors into how much yard work you'll be doing.