Brandon Lau (R), Author at ChaneyBrooks Choice Advisors
Hale Ka Lae – Flex Units

Hale Ka Lae – Flex Units

We recently had an article about Avalon Group’s plans to convert over 200 rental units to condominiums. Hale Ka Lae’s 269-unit complex is located at 7000 Hawaii Kai Drive and was originally built in 2016 to help fill demand for more rental housing.

One key feature at Hale Ka Lae are the “Flex Units” with lock-out suites. These lockout units have separate entrances giving the owner the option to occupy the entire unit or rent out a portion of it, almost like owning two condos for the price of one!

Prices start at:

$559,000 

for 2-bedroom units

$635,000

for 3-bedroom units

Get in touch with us today to learn more about this unique opportunity to own a contemporary condo outside of the hustle and bustle of the city.

April 2019 Oahu Real Estate Market Update

April 2019 Oahu Real Estate Market Update

OAHU SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES SPRING UP IN APRIL

Single-family homes ticked up in April according to resales figures released today by the Honolulu Board of REALTORS®. The analysis conducted by the Board using data collected from its computerized Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system show the following statistics:

Single-Family Home Resales

Number of Sales Median Sales Price
April 2019 318 $766,750
April 2018 289 $790,000 -2.9%

Condominium Resales

Number of Sales Median Sales Price
April 2019 476 $418,950
April 2018  547 $416,000 +0.7%

During April 2019, the sales of single-family homes increased by 10.0 percent, while condominium sales decreased by 13.0 percent from April 2018. The median price paid for single-family homes decreased by 2.9 percent from the same month last year to $766,750, while the median price paid for condos increased to $418,950, a 0.7 percent increase from last April. Active listings increased year-over-year for both single-family homes and condominiums with gains of 30.6 percent and 17.6 percent, respectively. According to the Days on Market indicator, the median days for single-family homes was 25 and 29 for condominiums.

“After a slow first quarter that saw a decline in housing sales, but steady median prices, the Oahu market experienced positive activity in April with a 10 percent increase in single-family home sales,” said Jenny L. Brady, President of the Honolulu Board of REALTORS®. “Low mortgage interest rates, coupled with more inventory on the market compared to last year, presented better opportunities for potential homebuyers and spurred more of them to buy. While condo sales were down comparatively, there was still a healthy number of condo units sold in April.”

The information contained in this report is provided to the National Association of REALTORS® and the Hawaii State Department of Economic Development, Business and Tourism for its official reports. This report reflects information about resales of existing properties only and does not include new home sales. All of the MLS information is compiled from sales reported during the cited months; this data is known only after closing of escrow. The public is encouraged to visit www.hicentral.com to see what’s happening in the housing market. Consumers have the ability to browse Oahu single-family home and condominium listings, available for sale and for rent, and to see a comprehensive guide of homes that will be open to visit this Sunday. All searches can be done by geographic location and/or price range, and hicentral.com provides useful information about buying and selling real estate in Hawaii.

MCC Program Updates

MCC Program Updates

The HHFDC just updated their income limits and purchase price limits for the MCC program, effective Monday, April 22, 2019. Attached is the Acquisition Cost Limits document and updated MCC Program Brochure.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the MCC program, an MCC gives a qualified first-time homebuyer (no primary residence ownership in the last 3 years) a tax credit of 20% of the mortgage interest paid each year. At current rates, that effectively saves them almost 1% on their interest rate.  It also can improve their pre-approval buying power by enough to make the difference between qualifying and not qualifying for a purchase.

A tax credit is much better than a tax deduction, as it reduces your tax liability dollar for dollar. The remaining 80% of your annual mortgage interest continues to qualify as an itemized tax deduction.

For properties on Oahu, the new income limits are up to $139,520 for a family of 2 or less, and $163,240 for a family of 3 or more, while the new purchase price limit is $648,955 in non-targeted areas.

There are certain census tracts, or targeted areas, where the HHFDC has a different income limit (need to contact them for the limit for each area) and an increased purchase price limit of $793,168.

The acquisition cost (purchase price) limits applicable to the MCC Program are as follows:

Non-Targeted Areas

County Newly Constructed or Existing Residence*
Hawaii $348,800
Honolulu $648,955
Kalawao $610,659
Kauai $641,710
Maui $610,659

Targeted Areas

County Newly Constructed or Existing Residence*
Hawaii $426,311
Honolulu $793,168
Kalawao $746,362
Kauai $784,313
Maui $746,362

* Pursuant to federal regulations, there is only one purchase price limit that applies to both newly constructed and existing residences.

March 2019 Oahu Real Estate Market Update

March 2019 Oahu Real Estate Market Update

OAHU HOUSING SALES DOWN IN MARCH WHILE NEW LISTINGS INCREASE —

Honolulu’s housing market ended March with a moderate decrease in sales volume, according to resales figures released today by the Honolulu Board of REALTORS®. The analysis conducted by the Board using data collected from its computerized Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system show the following statistics:

Single-Family Home Resales

Number of Sales Median Sales Price
March 2019 276 $782,500
March 2018 305 $760,000 3%

Condominium Resales

Number of Sales Median Sales Price
March 2019 467 $429,000
March 2018  485 $435,000 –1.5%

During March 2019, the sales of single-family homes declined by 9.5 percent, while condominium sales decreased by 3.7 percent from March 2018. The median price paid for single-family homes increased by 3.0 percent from the same month last year to $782,500, while the median price paid for condos decreased to $429,000, a 1.4 percent drop from last March’s record-setting median high of $435,000. New listings ended in positive territory with a 12.8 percent and 3.6 percent increase in newly listed single-family homes and condominiums, respectively. Total active listings of single-family homes increased by 33.6 percent and condominiums were up by 23.3 percent over the same period last year. According to the Days on Market indicator, the median days for single-family homes was 24 and 22 for condominiums.

“Oahu’s housing market remains healthy as the spring season begins, and there are favorable opportunities present,” said Jenny L. Brady president of the Honolulu Board of REALTORS®. “Inventory levels have been rising steadily, offering more options at all price ranges. That, coupled with the recent decline in mortgage rates creates opportune circumstances for buyers. Partnering with a licensed REALTOR® is a great first step to ease the transition from browsing to buying.”

Pet Friendly Housing On Oahu 2019

Pet Friendly Housing On Oahu 2019

This article is dedicated to our best friends and furry confidants.  Studies by Scientists at the Claremont Graduate University in California have shown that cuddling a pet, likely a cat or a dog, releases oxytocin (a love or close bonding chemical) in both the human and the pet. This natural “love” chemical has a calming and soothing effect that leads to the development of a strong bond between the owner and their pet.

Per the Hawaii Humane Society, nearly 60% of Oahu’s households have pets. When searching for a new home, it’s important to not only be able to identify properties that allow pets but also to work with professionals, like REALTORS®, rental agents and property managers who understand and appreciate how important your pet is to your family and to your housing decision.

Whether you are looking to purchase, rent or lease a new home for you, your family and your pet(s) take note that buildings, condominiums and developments that allow pets are not necessarily the same as “pet friendly” properties.

Properties that “allow” pets may still have strict restrictions as to the breed, size and/or number of pets that are permissible under the properties “house rules” or covenants, conditions and restrictions used to regulated the use, appearance and maintenance of properties with common and community areas.  For example, some properties might not allow Pit Bulls, or limit pets to 10 pounds or less, while others may restrict a condo or apartment unit to only one pet.

Properties that are “pet friendly”, on the other hand, will allow any type of pet and have building rules and/or amenities and common areas built specifically for the benefit of resident pets.  For example, the newer developments, like the condominiums in Kaka‘ako, tend to be very pet friendly in their approach to promote and develop the urban live/work concept.

With regard to your pet that is registered as a “service animal” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you are allowed to live with your pet in any building or property and thus, the “No Pets” rule or restrictions do not apply.

Click here for list of Oahu condominium associations that do not prohibit pets.

For renters, a pet addendum to your written lease will go a long way to help protect you, your pet as well as the property and the landlord or owner.  The Hawaii Humane Society provides a sample Pet Addendum on their website.

Under Hawaii laws, a landlord may require the tenant to pay, as a condition of a rental agreement, pet security deposit an amount agreed upon by the landlord and tenant to compensate the landlord for any damages caused by any pet allowed to reside in the premises under the rental agreement, provided such additional security deposit is not in excess of one month’s rent.  Notwithstanding, an additional pet security deposit is not permitted as a condition of a rental agreement in the case of a registered service animal.

In closing, here are Four Important Tips for pet owners looking for a new home:

1 | HONESTY

Be honest. Don’t try to buy or rent a home in a complex, development or community that does not allow pets. Subjecting yourself and family to eviction or legal action is not worth the battle.

2 | OPENESS

Be open.  Finding the best home in the best location for you, your family and your pet(s) may take a bit longer, so be open and patient.

3 | MORE

Be willing to pay a little more.  Agree with your landlord to place a larger security deposit to cover possible damage your pet(s) might make to the property.  Also, you might have to pay a little more in order to obtain the best location for your pet(s), e.g. corner, end unit with small yard or lanai.

4 | EVIDENCE

Be able to present evidence.  Have documents readily available to demonstrate your excellent care and due diligence in raising, training and caring for your pet.  Examples of documents and good evidence supporting that you are a responsible pet owner may include: proof of spay/neuter, records of up-to-date vaccinations, indications of regular veterinary visits, obedience school diplomas as well as proof of a consistent flea management program.  You might also consider obtaining a letter from your existing or prior landlord and neighbors supporting you and your family as a responsible pet owner and also that your pet has demonstrated good demeanor and behavior.

For more helpful tips and information about the current laws that apply to pet ownership and housing on Oahu at the Hawaii Humane Society website:  http://www.hawaiianhumane.org/current-laws.

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