Applications are DUE: Friday, April 12, 2019 by 5:00pm
Lottery will be held on: Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 10:00am
Lottery applications and instructions can be picked up at The Hoʻopili Sales Center. For more information email us at our give us a call at 808.753.9033
‘Iliahi at Ho‘opili will presents an opportunity to experience a convenient and new lifestyle, with 8 single family style floor plans. Each residence comes standard with upgraded finishes and a stainless appliance package. The entire development will include seven community and recreation centers, more than 200 acres of commercial farms and community gardens as well as up to 3 million square feet of shopping and dining options. For those with children, five DOE public schools will be within walking distance of many Ho’opili residences.
Ho’opili by D.R. Horton – Development of Ho’opili in Kapolei has begun and will bring over 11,000 homes to West Oahu. This large master planned community will help alleviate some of Oahu’s pent up demand for housing and possibly make things easier for first time homebuyers and new families on the leeward side.
Real estate developer, D.R Horton purchased 1600 acres of the former ‘Ewa sugarcane land’ in March 2006. In May 2015, D.R. Horton Schuler Division’s Ho’opili won the final approval from the Honolulu City Council. This new project is slated to create over 11,000 homes on 1,554 acres over next 20-30 years. It will include 200 acres of agricultural land, ample space for personal gardens and community farms, parks, open spaces and schools and commercial space for businesses creating thousands of new jobs. With new businesses and education options within the community, residents will be able to reduce their commuting time as well. Nearly 80 percent of community will be connected to public transit via the two planned Honolulu rail stops, expanded bus service and new leeward bicycle paths.
The project will be located between five West Oahu communities: Kapolei, Makakilo, Kunia, Waipahu and Ewa plain. It is the largest development project before the Honolulu City Council in at least two decades.
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.
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.
Overall, the Hawaii real estate market has had a very good run from the days of the Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which implemented that $7,500 first time homebuyer tax credit, to the all time highs of 2018. We have seen more than just a recovery. We have seen one of our longest periods of improvement with respect to housing prices.
For the single family market we have seen the number of sales increasing since 2009 but then tapering off in 2018, with fewer sales overall. Being that condominiums are of a more affordable housing category, we didn’t see a decrease in the total number of sales overall in 2018. However, we did see a similar decline in the later half of 2018, which means that the slowdown occurring in the single family market has now moved to the condo market.
Changes On Oahu
Oahu in particular is experiencing a similar staircase-like pattern of growth as we have seen over the past 33 years. There is also a healthy cycle of sales increases and decreases every 7 to 10 years. One key trend that occurs is when a change in the number of sales precedes a change in price. This has happened in every cycle and is also happening at present. The decrease in number of sales in 2018 is a likely signal that we are starting to have a lateral move in prices.
Part of understanding the market is evaluating the demographic landscape of who our buyers are. It is interesting to note that 2018 had witnessed an increase in offshore buyers from areas such Japan, California, Canada, and Korea. On the other hand, there was a decrease in the number of local buyers in the same regions of the island. As usual, Central, West and Windward Oahu, had a strong percentage of owner-occupant buyers, whereas in North Shore, Metro and East Honolulu, there was a higher percentage of investors in the mix.
When looking at the most active neighborhoods for single family luxury home sales in 2018, the usual suspects of Kahala, Diamond Head and Kailua Beachside topped the list. Oahu also still dominates the single family luxury market in overall sales. Not surprisingly, Kakaako, Ala Moana and Waikiki are the most prominent neighborhoods for luxury condominium sales. Unlike the rest of the market, luxury properties peaked in sales in 2017 and had a slow 2018. This is not unusual in our cycle, to see the luxury market lead the way of change.
There have also been changes to average rental rates of residential real estate, with some regions of Oahu showing increases in average rents, while others are showing slight decreases. This is to be expected in a changing market. When you have softening sales you typically have a softening of rental rates as well.
The silver lining to our shifting market is that interest rates have not gone up as quickly as anticipated. In fact, rates are still in the mid 4% range for a 30 year fixed loan. It is anticipated that there may not be much movement for the next several months, but rates could go up to possibly 5% by the end of the year. For higher end homebuyers, it’s good to know that jumbo rates are actually lower than conventional 30 year fixed mortgages.
Residential Real Estate in Hawai‘i has seen some leveling off as we depart from the tighter inventory of 2018 to an increase in housing availability in 2019. Sales will perform at a slower pace and number in 2019 than in 2018 with adjustments in price reflecting a more lateral move in the market. If you are a homebuyer you can be more creative with your offers. As a homeseller, you’ll have to work harder at attracting the right buyer, and will have to keep your price attractive.
Ohana Hale is the newest condominium to offer affordable residential units in Honolulu. Located at 929 Pumehana Street, the project is sandwiched between the neighborhoods of McCully and Moiliili. This will the first new development for the area in over a decade.
Ohana Hale will be 21-stories high consisting of 180 units and floor plan mix of studios, one, and two bedrooms. As an affordable project, 60% (108 units) of the building will fall under the Hawaii Housing Finance Development Corporation (HHFDC) guidelines. Units will have higher view plains since there will be six levels (Floors 2-8) of parking below the building. There will be a total of 206 parking stalls. Residential units will start from the 9th floor up to the 21st floor.
Units at Ohana Hale will range in size from 316-419SF for studios, 483-504SF for one bedrooms, and 761-784SF for two bedrooms. Affordable units will be priced from $286,000 for studios to $491,000 for two bedrooms. Market units will be priced from $553,000 for one bedrooms to $836,000 for two bedrooms.
Building amenities are limited to a recreation area, roof deck, secured entrance, and bike storage. Maintenances fees are estimated at $.50 per square foot. This will be a pet friendly building. Application packets are available now and due by December 22nd. Contact us for more information or to get an application packet.
The home exemption for Oahu residents assists property owners by reducing the amount of property tax they pay on their principal residence. The first home exemption law was enacted way back in 1896 by the Republic of Hawaii to provide some tax relief and to encourage settlement. In this year, the home exemption amount was $300. Currently, the basic home exemption is $80,000.
How a home exemption works is the $80,000 is deducted from the assessed value of the property and the homeowner is then taxed on the difference. This results in a lower amount of property tax owed. The assessed value of a property is determined by the Real Property Assessment Division of the City and is provided to the owner each year. This assessed value may change over time as property values change. If you have an exiting exemption on your primary residence this will be reflected on your tax assessment statement.
There are other real property tax exemptions based on your age or life situation. Your exemption amount increases from $80,000 to $120,000 when you reach the age of 65. There may also be other exemptions if you are a disabled veteran, or are afflicted by a disability or hansen’s disease.
So just how do you qualify for a home exemption? Here are specific steps to qualifying for a home exemption as provided by the City and County of Honolulu:
You own and occupy the property as your principal home (“real property owned and occupied as The owner’s principal home” means occupancy of a home in the city with the intent to reside in the city. Intent to reside in the city may be evidenced by, but not limited to, the following indicia: occupancy of a home in the city for more than 270 calendar days of a calendar year; registering to vote in the city; being stationed in the city under military orders of the United States; and filing of an income tax return as a resident of the State of Hawaii, with a reported address in the city.
Your ownership is recorded at the Bureau of Conveyances, State Department of Land and Natural Resources, in Honolulu on or before September 30 preceding the tax year for which you claim the exemption. In the case of a lease, the document must indicate that the lessee has a lease for residential purposes for a term of five years or more and will pay all property taxes.
You file a claim for home exemption (Form P-3) with the Real Property Assessment Division on or before September 30 preceding the tax year for which you claim the exemption.
For more information regarding real estate ownership insights please contact us.
One of the most popular questions I receive is, “how do I find affordable housing on Oahu?” Affordable housing is not easy to come by on Oahu because of the high demand and low supply. According to the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, the median household income in Hawaii was $74,511 or 29.3% higher than the U.S. average in 2016. This is a positive statistic for incomes throughout the State. However, in this same year, the median monthly owner cost for owner-occupied residences with a mortgage was 50.7% higher than the U.S. average, which is the 3rd highest in the nation.
With these statistics it is not surprising that some families are deciding to move to other parts of the US to experience a lower cost of living. Yet, most of us who call Hawaii home are trying their best to make ends meet, and being able to find affordable housing is a big part of the equation. So just how does a person go about finding affordable housing? Here are three steps to consider.
Clearly define your parameters. Most homebuyers do not know where to look because they don’t know what they are looking for. Being able to define the property characteristics that you are looking for is the first step to finding an affordable housing. Here are some basic parameters you should determine:
✓Geographical Areas ✓Proximity to work or school ✓Bedrooms ✓Baths ✓Parking ✓Interior square footage ✓Lot size ✓Condition ✓Lanai ✓Amenities ✓Air Condition
Confirm your price range. Although we might go through a pre-qualification process with a lender, this does not mean that you know what is most affordable in your situation. Aside from understanding your maximum qualifying amount, you also want to know your comfortable purchase amount. For example, sometimes in the pre-qualification process a lender will not take into account private school tuition, or your daughter’s dance lessons. These and other extracurricular expenses are important and should be factored into your overall budget. Having a household budget and factoring in these other lifestyle expenses will help you to determine your affordable price range.
Consider where you might be flexible. Although you might have an ideal picture of the property that you want to purchase, finding an affordable home requires you to be flexible. For example, perhaps you have imagined yourself in a single family home because you want a yard for your dog, but didn’t consider a townhome that provides a private courtyard. The price difference may be $200,000 between the two, and it places you in a more affordable price range. Another option is sacrificing interior living space in order to live in a more convenient location. By consulting with a Realtor and understanding where you might be flexible, you can find the home that you’re looking for at an affordable price.