Relocating can be as stressful as it is exciting. Whether you’re starting over or moving home, finding your new home is a big and sometimes scary challenge. While we are so “lucky we live Hawaii,” the fact is, the average time a home is available on the market is usually just days, if priced right. Here are our recommendations for people relocating to Oahu:
1. Start Now. A recent client of ours knew they’d be moving back to Oahu, so more than a year ago, we got them started in a simple, minimally time-consuming way that really paid off. They knew their price range but not their neighborhood, so we set up a weekly email showing them everything that they could afford. Once a week, they spent 20 minutes clicking around the MLS link that came in, and by the time they were ready to go house-hunting, they knew where they wanted to be. And unlike many people moving to Hawaii, they were prepared not only for our high prices, but for exactly what you get for your money when buying in Hawaii.
2. Get Your Financials Together. In the months leading up to the house-hunting trip, reach out to a lender to get pre-approved. If the market is strong and moves fast, like ours, consider getting pre-approved with a local lender, as it will make the seller more comfortable, thus make your offer more competitive if you get into a bidding war. And bring a check with you when you go, as most escrow companies will accept a personal check for the initial deposit needed to open escrow. We have recommended lenders that know our market and will make the process smooth for you.
3. Be Willing to Bend. The homes you see online two weeks prior to your trip are likely to be gone by the time you arrive. The week of your visit, your agent can set up appointments to show you properties that you’re interested in. The day you go house-hunting, you may find new ones to see as well.
4. Don’t Sleep on it. If you see something you like, don’t hesitate. In our housing market, the good ones go quickly, so be mentally prepared to move quickly. If you like it, make an offer. You get an inspection period, and that’s the time to really dig in and take a hard look at what’s behind the walls and make your final decision.