Oct. 13, 2010

Things to Consider Before Buying a House in Hawaii

Buying your first Hawaii home, or any other home for that fact, is an exciting time, no matter if you are a first time buyer or a second time buyer. For first timers, the excitement of becoming homeowners will dominate throughout the entire experience, as this experience is always the most emotional. For second time plus buyers, the excitement of moving to or investing on another property is there, but they have gone through the process once, and feel more knowledgeable about what awaits. However, each transaction is different, and each negotiation comes with its own challenges and sometimes, surprises. However, despite being a first time buyer or a more experienced buyer, the rules of the game remain, and there are certain issues to consider before buying a home, which apply to both set of buyers. 


Markets change, economic conditions make prices volatile, and they change from neighborhood to neighborhood, and county to county, and beyond. One of the most important things for a buyer is to go informed to the search. Knowing the desired area in which to buy a home is one thing, but also knowing a little bit about the neighborhoods and the lifestyle of the area is important. Things to consider are home prices in the area, schools, crime rates, rate of moving out, and any important amenities that the family is looking for such as nearby parks, pools, movie theatres, hospitals, pharmacies, grocery stores, and other conveniences. In fact, you might love a dream home in an area, at a perfect price, but then realize that the place does not offer amenities near the location, or just not suitable to your lifestyle, or simply, too far to drive to. 


Finances, credit, and budget go tied to how much house a buyer can afford. It is important to take an honest look at your finances, current financial situation (the one that you only know and not the banks), assess all your expenses (even the ones that banks do not count), and answer truthfully if this is the time to buy a home or should it be postponed. Although banks and creditors are being more careful now and tightened requirements for credit approval, after the big meltdown, only you know your personal financial situation, your personal family issues that many effect future finances. This is worth taking into consideration. 


Consider your real estate agent well, before deciding which agent to help you with your search. Some agents are Realtors, and members of the National Association of Realtors. This membership comes with a lot of knowledge and ethical practices. It also lets you know the level of commitment an agent has to his/her profession. Consider the area of expertise of the agent, the geographical area, and the type of real estate - residential, commercial, investing. This is important because this agent will negotiate for you, and you want a knowledgeable and experienced person in that area - this does not mean that you have to discount new agents. Sometimes, new agents are more committed than older agents who have a large established clientele and have not been able to hire an assistant to alleviate the amount of commitment they have. 


Finally, before going out to look at homes, have clear and in writing the role that the agent is playing - buyer's agent, seller's agent, or a transaction agent - neither working for buyer/seller -only a transaction facilitator. If you are buying your first home a buyer's agent will suit your needs best. 


These are just a few issues to consider when buying a home.

Posted in Hawaii News
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