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Home Buying FAQs PDF Print E-mail

Why should I buy a house/property in Hawaii?

We hope this would be obvious, but one of our favorite reasons is simple: This Is Paradise!!! We have plenty of other reasons in case you're not sold there, such as how affordable the price of property and houses are, the diverse and very comfortable climate, and the warm and welcoming people here. If you are new to the Islands, take a look at our Links page to find more information about our wonderful State and all that it has to offer.

What do Leasehold and Fee Simple mean?

This can be a little confusing at first, so here is the explanation. If you purchase a fee simple property, you own the land and the improvements upon it. This is the standard way of owning a property. However, if you purchase a leasehold property, you are buying a lease for the land and, usually, you own the improvements. A residential leasehold might have been set for 55 years but if the ground lease is 30 years old, there would be 25 years left on the lease. Most banks require a minimum number of years remaining on the lease before they will agree to lend on the property. Some require that the lease be renegotiated with the ground lessor, often a family trust or large landholding estate. This can take more time than you expect and, in fact, lessors are not obliged to extend or renegotiate the lease.

With all this, why would anyone buy a leasehold property? Because it is often less expensive to purchase and the lease is depreciable, which may have some tax advantages for you.

As always, before purchasing any property, you should consult with your tax advisor and your attorney about how to protect your tax position and your estate.

How long will it take to buy a house?

This is dependent on quite a few things, so it's not a quick and simple answer. If your lender works quickly and the sellers have already accepted your offer you will generally have a much better idea as to how much longer things will take. In general, one could say that escrows are somewhere around 45-60 days, but realistically as your property and your sale are unique, so will the timeline. We can assure you that we will do what we can to expedite the transaction however possible, just let us know.

What is the Hawaii property tax rate?

Land Use Class
Land Building

Improved residential
8.10
8.10

Unimproved residential
8.10
8.10

Apartment
8.10
8.10

Hotel/resort
9.00
9.00

Commercial
9.00
9.00

Industrial
9.00
9.00

Agricultural
8.35
8.35

Conservation
8.55
8.55

Homeowner
5.55
5.55

How much does an average house cost on the Big Island?

Housing costs vary greatly from community to community on the Big Island, as they do on the Mainland. The best way to get an idea of current property costs is to browse through the "Property Listings " section of this web site, exploring different locations as you go. You'll be able to see everything that's presently for sale through the Multiple Listing Service because our site links directly to the MLS database.

Once you know the specific area(s) you are interested in, contact us and we will help you find your dream home or property!