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As of today 1/19/18 there is only 1 home for sale in the neighborhood of Mariners Cove in Hawaii Kai. It’s a really nice one too as it has direct canal frontage with a boat dock that is ready to go. The asking price is $2,685,000 and it’s been on the market for 224 days…. Let’s investigate why.

     It has a pool and a really large open concept plan which are very desirable today, but it hasn’t been renovated since 2001. The pictures on the MLS are not done by a professional photographer. The agent describes (very nicely) the good things about the home in the remarks, but has not illustrated that in the photo’s….what a shame. I wonder how many agents and clients have turned away from this listing because the current 8 pictures (the MLS actually allows you to 25 pictures in) don’t highlight this home. Pictures (great ones, done by a professional photographer) are so important when trying to sell a home. I would hate for someone to turn down a home that is very nice, because the Realtor took photo’s at night on their crappy flip-phone! Professional pics run approx. $200. Such an inexpensive investment that helps sell your home! Team Aloha Tony (us) pays for this for all of our listings. So crucial!!!
     When you look at the recent sales in this neighborhood, that are also directly on the water AND have a pool and are comparable in size, you can clearly see that this home is so overpriced. There is a good comparable that sold for $2.1M….in 5 days! It had great pictures, had been recently remodeled (2012), was actually a little smaller in size, but was priced right. Pricing is also a very important part of listing a home. When you price a home too high, then keep lowering it as the weeks/months go by, you eventually get a “stale” listing. Typically, homes that are in the “stale” state, sell for less money than if they were priced right initially.
     Another issue: On the market for 224 days. 224 days = 7.4 months = 7 mortgage payments spent, with another coming up. Actually, the current owner paid cash for this home so he doesn’t have a payment, but I’m sure that he’s not in the mood to pay the monthly association fee’s (which the Realtor has decided to not include in the MLS…strange) and the taxes as well.
     The price and promotion of this home are all wrong!!! Ugh, this hurts my Realtor heart!
     Choosing a Realtor that has proven results and that will do the right things to market your home is so important! Having your friend or family member who is licensed list your home, or help you find a new home to buy is honorable and sweet, but will you be getting the BEST service? Will you be paying more than you should’ve when buying? Will you be making more mortgage payments than you wanted to, or will you miss out on that dream home that wouldn’t accept your offer because your home was not sold yet? I pray that this doesn’t happen to you.
     Call me (Chelsea), or any one of us on Team Aloha Tony for TOP service! Our team has been on the Realtor’s Top 100 of Hawaii for over 6 years now and there is a reason for that…we care about our clients, AND we care about the results!
Call Chelsea Pferschy @ (808) 754-6000

The post Choosing the right Realtor….What sells a home? appeared first on Aloha Tony.

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In the Spring of 2017, some friends asked me if I thought the Hawaii real estate market would continue to rise in 2018.  I said no, that the market would probably fall, and now I think I was wrong.

Mind you – I correctly called the real estate “collapse” of 2007, though I was a little early (I said 2006), though the market only dropped about 10% on Oahu.  And also, I correctly called the end of that correction in 2009, while MANY real estate agents thought I was crazy to think the market would start to rise by 2010.

So, here is why I thought the market would drop in 2018.

  • It has been about 10 years since the market started to correct in 2007.  That lasted a year and half, to about 2009.  10 year cycles are historically well documented in real estate.
  • Prices have risen nearly 25% in some areas since then, with about a $700k median price on Oahu, which seemed to be way too high for many people to afford.
  • The Fed told everyone that interest rates are going to rise more in 2018, as they already have.
  • Inventory started to rise in the Spring of 2017, especially in the high end, above $2mil.

But now that we are here in 2018, I see things differently. I can admit when I’m wrong, or at least when I think I’m wrong.  Here is what I see so far this year, in just 24 days of January.

  • Inventory has shrunk back to almost nothing.  In Kailua, for example, under $1 million, there is almost nothing available.
  • The tax reform bill passed.  People will have more money in the pockets, but most importantly, businesses will have BILLIONS of dollars to invest in the economy.  Walmart and Apple have already pledged to invest billions in new jobs, stores, and employee bonuses. Nearly a trillion dollars will return to US banks this year alone.  All that spells a better economy.  And better economy means more people buy houses.
  • Buyers – I have seen many buyers come out of hiding over the past 3 weeks. My listings are almost all sold, at good prices.  I have 7 listings in escrow right now, and only 1 available (it’s in Kailua for $1mil).
  • Housing shortage – Paul Brewbaker, former Chief Economist for Bank of Hawaii, says that 3,500 new housing units are needed per year to keep up with our population growth.   Oahu is in the midst of a shortage that will likely never be resolved.  Check this article in Us News about the housing shortage in Hawaii.  The shortage also isn’t just because of residents – many buyers are from the mainland or from other countries like Japan and China.
  • Trump – I don’t like Trump.  I’m a conservative that didn’t vote for him because I have problems with his morality, his past, his language, etc. etc.  However, one thing I can appreciate is that the man loves real estate.  And when people who love real estate run the government, you should own real estate.  Apparently many people agree with me, because the Hawaii market is hot.
  • Inflation – The greatest protection against inflation is a hard asset, like real estate. If you get a mortgage fixed at 4%, and you buy a house with today’s dollars, in 10 years as inflation weakens the dollar, real estate prices go up while the payment remains the same.  You are paying the mortgage with cheaper dollars in the future.  With inflation comes higher prices of hard assets.  That is economics 101.

I hope I’m not wrong this time.  I see buyers and sellers everyday, and the feeling I get from them is that 2018 is going to be a YUGE (Trump voice) year in real estate.  We have already put several homes into escrow, so I just hope we don’t have any real nuclear missiles.  Fake ones are ok I guess.

The post I was wrong. 2017 was not the top of the Hawaii real estate market. appeared first on Aloha Tony.

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In May 2017 my husband and I bought a fixer home in Hawaii Kai. It was in original 1970 condition and it needed some major TLC!

The renovations that we made were all cosmetic and we (thankfully) didn’t have to do any electrical or plumbing work that exceeded the amount to do without a permit.

What we did do: paint, flooring (tile and carpet), lighting, full kitchen, 1 toilet (in 2nd bath) and 1 full bathroom. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it took us 5 weeks. We stayed in our previous home so we didn’t have to live through it all. And, luckily I have a very handy husband (James, also on Team Aloha Tony) who has built homes from the bottom, up…so he knew what he was doing and we didn’t need to hire a general contractor or a construction manager!
As of now (7 months later), we could sell this house for about $100K more than what we paid for it. We only spent a little over $20K on the renovations. Here are some before and after pics.
Before:
And After:
We took down the wall between the living room and the kitchen to open it up. And added a bar.
The Old KitchenThe New Wide Open kitchen

Before: the wall between the living room and kitchen.

After: Open living/kitchen with a bar.
Before: dining room
After: dining room. We made the weird closet into a built in hutch. You can also see that we moved the washer/dryer and put in a pantry.
Before: Master bath
  After: We put a double vanity in as well as tile backsplash.
Before:
After:
Before: looking into living room from enclosed lanai.
After:
After: looking into living room from kitchen. 

The key to an efficient renovation is having someone that can plan every step before you start! It’s so important in order to finish on time. If you tear out an exhaust vent above the stove top to relocate it, and realize later that you will also need to repair the ceiling above, you’ll be constantly chasing your tail. Hiring a construction manager will help save you time and money. Typically, they have contractors in their pocket that will get things done quickly and get you competitive pricing as well.

Call me today to find your Honolulu Fixer upper!

Chelsea Pferschy (808) 754-6000

RS#76072

The post Fixer Upper Honolulu-Hawaii Kai Edition appeared first on Aloha Tony.

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Here’s a beautiful home in Kailua that is back on the market after the buyer canceled, due to a mistake by the appraiser.  We had a great transaction going  until the appraiser measured the house smaller than the blueprints, tax records, and permits on record at the city.

The appraiser’s measurement was 70 square feet smaller than the permits and blueprints showed,  which caused him to value the house lower than our sale price.

So here is your chance to get a beautiful 4 bedroom 3 bath home with over 2000 square feet, for $1,049,000.  In Kailua, one of the most sought after neighborhoods on Oahu, this is a great value for Kailua real estate!

Great Room

Nice white kitchen opens to the living room

Beautiful large grassy yard for the kids!

And here’s an added enclosed lanai that serves as a family room off the kitchen.

Currently in Kailua, there are only 3 homes available under $1.2mil and over 1800 sqft.  This is the best value in Kailua real estate so come see it today!

The post 4 bedroom Kailua home near the beach. $1mil. appeared first on Aloha Tony.

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Let’s face it: there is never a bad time to sell your home in Hawaii! But with school out and a lot of military families starting to arrive, summer becomes a very good time for home sales.

Here are a few tips on getting the most for your home, and even possibly getting multiple offers.

1. De-clutter your entire home. Keep ‘knick knacks’ down to a minimum and take down a few of those family vacation photos. This will help other people be able to see themselves in your home and help to not distract them when they’re viewing your home.

2. Make sure your yard, lanai, and garage are as clean/picked up/de-cluttered as possible. These area’s serve as entertainment area’s in homes in Hawaii so they really help buyers see value in your home.

3. Leave your home when there is an agent showing it. There is nothing worse than a seller who is hovering over a buyer and their agent when they’re trying to see a home. If there are special things about the home that you feel that your agent has not provided buyers, then make a short list and leave it on the kitchen counter for agents and buyers to see. There are other things that a selling agent can do in this type of a situation as well. Call us for more details…

4. If you have AC units, turn them on before a showing. If not, then leave some windows open so that the home can be ventilated. If your home feels HOT and almost as if there is poor ventilation, that could deter them from wanting to live there.

5. Make sure your home is as clean as possible. Hire a cleaning company to do a deep clean before listing your home. I’ve seen so many buyers who were unable to see past a mess.

6. If you’re trying to sell a home that is vacant, try to go to the home every 5-10 days. There is nothing worse than opening a kitchen drawer and seeing a dead cockroach…

7. Turn ON all of your lights even if it’s daytime. It sounds absurd, but it always helps your home appear more “light and bright”!

If you have any questions about selling your home, call us! Our team has been on the Realtor Top 100 of Hawaii for 6+ years now. We specialize in both buying AND selling and can help you get the MOST for your home.

Call Jim and Chelsea Pferschy @ (808) 754-6000 (C) (808) 342-9000 (J)

RS#76072

The post 7 Tips for selling your home in the summer appeared first on Aloha Tony.

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“I don’t have 20% to put down. Does that mean I’m out of the game?”

If you’ve even thought about purchasing a home, you’re already aware of the industry standard in home-buying: 20% down for a mortgage loan. The absence of that amount of cash is enough to defer the dream of home ownership for many. But this doesn’t have to be the case for everyone…

Why is 20% such a magic number in the first place? From the lender’s perspective, offering you more than 80% of the value of the home is a huge risk. Why? Well, statistically speaking, a buyer who hasn’t had the income or financial habits to save that amount of money is more likely to default on their mortgage loan. Nothing personal, these are just the facts.

But what if you have great financial habits? What if you’ve got a good credit score and you’re good at saving? Let’s say you’re thrifty, out there hustling every day, but not making the 6-figures it seems you have to make in order to buy a home. What then?

Freddie Mac’s HOME POSSIBLE program may just be the right fit, which allows a minimum of 3% down up to a loan amount of $636,150 in Honolulu County.  So with 3% down, you’re looking at a max purchase price of $655,824.  Whoa.

Yes, Freddie Mac developed what you can say is a hybrid loan between FHA and USDA loans to serve low to moderate income buyers.  Unlike a USDA loan (in which you’re limited to buying in rural and underserved geographical areas) the HOME POSSIBLE program allows you to purchase island wide! You would just need to make sure you’re within the income limitations. These limitations depend on which area you’re looking to live in, but note: there are even some geographical areas that don’t have any income limit. More info here: http://www.freddiemac.com/homepossible/eligibility.html

Some basic details:

  •       3% down payment
  •       Down payment can come from a gift (e.g. from mom, dad, grandma)
  •       Buyer must be owner-occupant, purchasing as their primary residence
  •       Minimum FICO of 620
  •       Income limits may apply depending on location
  •       Home ownership education certification required for first-time home-buyers
  •       Max loan amount for Honolulu County can’t exceed $636,150

Do what you can with what you have, where you are. That’s what Theodore Roosevelt said. So you can’t buy a median-priced $750K home in Hawaii? Start somewhere. Start small, start now. Begin to build the dream. It’s your dream. And we’re here to be on your your team.

Thanks to our info source for this article: Steven Bui, loan originator at Compass Home Loans, LLC. He’s a responsive, informative and creative problem solver. Great guy to have on your team.

The post Can I buy a home with 3% down? appeared first on Aloha Tony.

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Today she has almost nothing in her wallet, little money for gas and only enough money for one more month of groceries.  Her money has run out, and she told me that next month, she will have nothing left.  But in 2005, this friend of mine bought a tiny house in Honolulu for about $350,000.  At the time, that was a lot of money for Mary (pseudonym), who had to stretch to qualify and had barely any savings.  For the past 12 years, she scraped and saved everything she could to make her house payment, literally getting her bank account down to zero many times. 

A few years ago Mary had to take a low paying job at a big company, with the hopes of climbing the ladder.  That job ended badly, so she took another low paying job at night.  Mary did everything she could to make her house payments, and was able to modify her loan to a lower rate and payment a few years ago.  

Fast forward to the present day, and Mary is now finishing school for a new career, but has no income until that career starts.  She’s got some credit card bills, school loans, but she’s still on time with her house payment.  Mary has tried to do everything right and worked hard, but life has brought her many difficulties. 

Now, guess how much Mary’s tiny house is worth today.  Guess… 

$600,000.  

That’s right.  Mary is rich.  When I met with her, she had no idea she was rich.  Though she has almost nothing in the bank, even after paying off her credit cards, school loans, her modified home loan, her net worth is roughly $200,000.  That puts her in the top tier of people in America.  All we have to do is sell her tiny house. 

While Mary is doing everything she can just to afford her groceries, and has hardly any money for gas, she is rich. When we close on her home sale, she is going to have wealth that she never thought she could have, and it’s tax free. 

She told me, “I have nothing left, and I don’t know what I’m going to do next month.” But buying Hawaii real estate will have saved her life. 

The post She’s broke today, but buying Hawaii real estate saved my friend’s life. appeared first on Aloha Tony.

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     One of the most common phrases a Realtor in Hawaii will hear is ”back on the mainland” or “back in Seattle” or back in (fill in your city), followed with, ”my home was so much bigger” or “brand new” or “I had this much land!” These statements always end with the inevitable disbelief of how much a single family home will cost in Hawaii specifically on the island of Oahu. Not only how much they cost, but what you get for your money.

     The island of Oahu has a land mass of approximately 600 square miles. With over 950,000 people occupying the space, and so many people looking to stake a claim in an area this size, it is no wonder that many homes in highly sought after neighborhoods have soared to over to well over $600.00 per square foot.

     According to an article in Pacific Business News published in January of 2017, home values on Oahu rose 5% in 2016 and the median home price rose to $740,000.00.

     In this article I will focus on one very hot area of Oahu for home sales, Hawaii Kai. This area began to be heavily developed in the seventies so many homes for sale in this area will typically be forty to fifty years old. For most people moving here from the mainland they are quite shocked to find a 40 year old 1200 square foot home selling for upwards of $800,000.00 and in many cases the home may still need a renovation or makeover to bring it up to date. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for these homes to only last on the market for a few days, with offers well above asking price. However, with all of that said, Oahu is still one of the best places in the country to invest in real estate!

     Before the market crash in 2008-2009 Nevada was one of –if not THE- fastest growing states in the nation. For comparison, I will show how an investment in real estate in Nevada compares to an investment in real estate on the island of Oahu.

     Post-crash, at the end of 2009, this 5800 square foot house (in Reno, NV) was only two years old, sat on an acre of land and had 4 bedrooms and six bathrooms. Sale price was $1,000,000 or $172.00 a square foot.

     Almost 2 years later, at the end of 2011,with the economy still struggling, this 1242 sq. foot home ( in Hawaii Kai) with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms sitting on a little over 1/3 acre sold for $799,000.00. Or $644.00 a square foot.

     It is obvious, as the pictures show, you get a lot more bang for your buck on the mainland. However what the pictures don’t reveal is the investment potential. The home in Nevada sold at the end of 2015, six years later, for $1,175,000.00. Or $217.00 per foot that equates to roughly 2.91 % a year in appreciation.

     On the other hand, the home on Oahu is currently listed at $1,145,000.00. ($921.00 per foot) This sale price will bring the annual appreciation rate up to 8.6% over the last five years. To further illustrate the value of the Oahu home over the Nevada home you also have to consider the difference in real estate tax rates. The real estate taxes on the Nevada home were roughly $11,000 per year, while the Oahu home is only $2,900.00.

     So what does that mean for a buyer moving to the islands from the mainland?

     Real estate on Oahu continues to be a great investment!

     The best advice I can offer is to work with a Realtor who knows the market well. Have your Realtor begin your home search well before your move so you have a better idea what to expect before you arrive. This will not only save a considerable amount of time and frustration trying to adjust to the real estate market on Oahu. It will also prepare you to take the next step once you have found that dream home.

     Stay tuned for part two of this article “you’ve found the house you want-how do you get it?”

p.s. it is not as easy as you may think!

James Pferschy RS# 79141 (808) 342-9000

For questions or comments on this article email me at jamespferschy@gmail.com

The post Moving to Hawaii and thinking of buying a home? Forget what you know about real estate on the mainland!!! appeared first on Aloha Tony.

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    Many people get confused when Realtor’s talk about Mariners Valley in Hawaii Kai. They say, “Do you mean Mariners Ridge????” Nope. Im talking about the valley that’s nestled between Mariners Ridge and Kamehame Ridge, Mariners Valley. It goes by a few different names, depending on what area of the valley you’re talking about….Mariners Valley or Kamilo Iki Valley are the 2 that are widely used. They’re based on the legal descriptive names of the area and the subdivisions used in the property tax records for Honolulu County. 

 

An aeriel  view of Mariners Valley from the ridge above

    There are single family residences and also townhomes in Mariners valley. The valley is in a really great area of Hawaii Kai, right in the middle. But it’s tucked back so that you get a nice suburban and quiet feel here. Koko Head crater looms overhead so most of the residences get a nice view of it, at least from the streets. And in the back (top) of the valley, some homes even get Hawaii Kai town views and some partial ocean/marina/canal views. 
    At the beginning of the valley there are numerous soccer fields, a skate park, basketball courts and playgrounds.  Up from there is Kamilo Iki Elementary School.  There is also a park (Kamilo Iki Neighborhood Park) about halfway into the valley with a playground, basketball court and a soccer field space. And if you want to catch the bus, there are a few stops on Lunalilo Home Rd. 

 

Mariners Valley 3 Townhomes 

     The townhome subdivision is called Mariners Village 3. Prices range from  $448K-$607K  (in the last year) and they have units with 2-4 bedrooms and range between 850-1356 sq ft. The lower priced one’s may possibly need some renovations, but the reduced price and being in Hawaii Kai are 2 great reasons to check these out! I’ve seen these units after they’ve been fully renovated and they’re awesome! The neighborhood has a pool and clubhouse available to the owners and floorplans are spacious and buildings and grounds  have been well planned and maintained. 

 

Kalapaki St single family home in Mariners Valley 

     There are also many single family homes in the valley that range from $750K-$1,078,000 (in the last year), and land sq ft range between 5,200-13,700 sq ft. If you know your rules of real estate in Hawaii, then you know that the more land you have, the more you’ll pay for the home. It’s a commodity that we, unfortunately, cannot produce any more of on this island, especially on this side as most of the usable land has been developed already. 

View from the lanai of a single family home in the back of Kamilo iki Valley 

    Hawaii Kai is such a desirable area to live in with the close proximity to great beaches, town, shopping and restaurants. On top of that, the highly rated public schools put Hawaii Kai home values up on the top.  Mariners Valley/Kamilo Iki Valley are a wonderful option for buyers to consider here. Log onto alohatony.com to get customized information on Hawaii Kai and other neighborhood’s on Oahu. -Mahalo

By: Chelsea Pferschy RS# 76072 (808) 754-6000

The post Before and After my North Shore Remodel appeared first on Aloha Tony.

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