- On the Affordable
Paradise Web site, I suggest visitors go to the Updates
page (the one you're on right now) and browse for topics relevant
to their interests. There's a caveat, though. Since the updates
have been posted over a period of time, some of the older ones,
particularly those speaking of the real estate picture, are outdated.
- So here's the
latest scoop on that front, but bear in mind that these reports
are my interpretations of what is, as opposed to what is.
These interpretations are derived from the continual research
and observances by my Lovely Bride and myself, and we do stay
on top of the market.
- The Fourth Edition
is curiously pretty much up-to-date even though it was published
over a year ago. Property values had tanked just before the book
went to press, and since then they went down even more and have
now, from all appearances, stabilized somewhat so the values
show are still right on.
- Of course there
are many statistics that blow that notion apart, since there
are so many unsold properties out there and some have been on
the market for literally years. But it has been our feeling that
any properties that are realistically priced sell pretty fast.
The Realtors' stats confirm that sales are picking up, but at
- It appears that
many who would like to sell have opted instead to rent until
the market recovers, and in the meantime they list the property
for a high price. If somebody comes along and pays the price,
fine. If not, that's fine, too. That is at least one of the reasons
for some of those listings that have remained unsold for so long.
- But here's the
good news: There has never been a better time than now to make
the move to your Hawaii home! Whether on the Kona or Hilo sides
of the Big Island, there are some amazing bargains out there.
Check the Hawaii Multiple Listing Service (MLS), log in with
any Big Island Realtor to get their listings and updates to fit
your criteria, or come on over and get up close and personal!
- We spoke with
a Realtor friend last night and she shared an interesting little
vignette. She said that a recurring thing with her clients is
that they come look at a house, love it, but feel it's priced
too high. Our friend will suggest they make an offer, but they
feel, no, the seller is asking more than they are prepared to
pay so they'll keep looking. A few days later, somebody else
comes along, tosses in an offer, the seller accepts it and client
No. 1 comes back and says, Hey, I would have gladly paid
that much for the property.
- The lesson:
If you like it and the price feels too high, make an offer. Here's
even a more fun idea: If you like it and the price seems right
on, still make an offer!
- The only time
that idea can come back to bite you is if the property is truly
priced right and you lowball it, your offer might well get kicked
aside if others come in at the same time. So you are taking a
chance when you lowball an already low-priced offering.
- Making a low
offer on an already well-priced offering is generally not a good
idea on a new listing. Check to see how long the property has
been on the market first!
- You can enter
the address of the property in question into Zillow.com or Trulia.com and get all sort of
great data to help you make an informed offer. You can find out
when the property last sold, for how much, how long it's been
listed, if it has had previous listing attempts and for how much,
and more! Do your research and be an informed buyer!
- And then there's
the amazingly low price, which usually becomes a
reminder of what you Mom and Dad told you when you were very
young, If it looks too good to be true, it usually is.
Often when yo see a really low price on a property, it's very
likely a short sale, which means the seller is about
to be foreclose on and is trying to get an offer, any offer,
that s/he can take to the bank to see if they'll accept it. The
offer is usually way less than the seller owes on the property,
and these transactions can take many months to come together,
if they ever do at all. Some, about the time the bank gets around
to looking at the offers, will go with the highest one and then
tell the buyer that the house is now worth $XXX more than it
was when the offer was placed, so either you come up with the
extra money or they'll just start over again. You need lots of
patience to deal with short sales!
- Another common
trick these days is to intentionally list a property for substantially
less than its market value, which will then bring in immediate
offers. The the seller or the agent) will start a bidding war
and ask each person who placed an offer to come up with their
highest and best offer. The lowball price was designed
to find everybody who was interested, and once they come out
of the woodwork and identify themselves with an offer, the bidding
- These are just
a few things to keep in focus when you go house-hunting, so you
won't end up wasting a bunch of time and end up with a bunch
- One more thing
that you need to know when responding to real estate ads is about
the photo fraud that is now become mainstream. If you're interested,
please check out Update #29!
- That's it for
now. Please visit the Affordable
with your comments or questions! I also just started FaceBook
and Twitter accounts, too, so let's talk story!
- Aloha Nui Loa!
- You are always
welcome to check in to the Affordable Paradise Blog and respond to this article and to talk story
about your concerns. You can read some of the many postings there
and learn from the conversations of others, too. You can also
go on konaweb.com and punaweb.org and either participate in the
discussions or just eavesdrop for a while!
- We wish you
all the best, and never forget to
Thomsen & Ohana