Working with a Local Real Estate Agent on Oʻahu
As you’ve seen, Hawai’i real estate shares some similarities to the mainland. However, as all residents know, things just work a little differently in Hawaiʻi—and on Oʻahu.
That’s why it’s so important to work with a local real estate agent. By that, we mean one who’s not just in Hawaiʻi but also on Oʻahu. Your ideal real estate agent is someone with deep local experience who understands the specific landscape on the island, someone who can answer your questions from personal experience.
Oʻahu Real Estate: Money Matters
The median sale price for a single-family home on Oʻahu hovers around a million dollars, so it’s important to get your finances in order before you start shopping.
If you’re not in the position to make a cash offer, you’ll want to get pre-approved for a mortgage so you 1) know your budget and 2) present yourself as a serious buyer in the competitive Hawaiʻi real estate market.
Below, we’ll give you the lay of the land where the finances of the Hawaiʻi real estate market are concerned.
What Types of Mortgages Are Available for Oʻahu Homes?
Where home loans are concerned, Oʻahu’s options are pretty similar to those on the mainland. You’ll find lenders offering both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages.
In addition to conventional loans, there are also a few other loan types that Oʻahu buyers will want to be aware of, including:
- FHA loans for buyers who might not qualify for conventional loans
- VA loans for servicemembers and veterans
- USDA loans for eligible rural areas
- Jumbo loans for properties over the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guarantee limits
Learn more about available loan types in Hawaiʻi.
Are Home Prices Dropping in Oʻahu?
Market prices for homes on Oʻahu fluctuate frequently. If you’re nursing a long-held dream of owning real estate on the island, it pays to keep tabs on the market regularly.
In addition to browsing current listings, we also like to check in with the Oʻahu Real Estate Report from the real estate firm Locations. Updated monthly, their report offers up to date pricing and statistics on the Oʻahu real estate market. It’s a great place to take a reading.
Is It Cheaper to Live in Maui or Oʻahu?
If you’re looking purely at real estate costs, Oʻahu is cheaper. Recent Zillow figures put Maui’s average home price well above Oʻahu’s. In fact, Oʻahu is often ranked as the second-cheapest Hawaiian Island where real estate is concerned. (The Big Island is the cheapest overall!)
Are Hawaiʻi’s HOA Fees Really the Highest in the U.S.?
According to a recent study, Hawaiʻi’s homeowners’ association fees are the second-highest in the U.S., second only to New York. The study calculated average Hawaiʻi HOA dues at $762.32 a month. Make sure you account for this cost when you put together your Oʻahu real estate budget.