To Fix or Not to Fix

By  / 

You’ve been looking at homes to buy and think it might be a good idea to find one in need of a little TLC. You’re handy, the place has great bones, and those shows on television make the process look so simple. Whether you are on the market for a home that you can make your own or you’re looking to invest or flip, here are some points to keep in mind before getting fitted for a hard hat.

  • Be Honest – Know what you can do and delegate the rest. If your idea of being handy is hanging pictures that are “almost” level, you might be better off working on the design aspect of the process. You’re spending your own time and money so you can be as adventurous as you want, but at least opt for a professional to do the electrical and plumbing work otherwise you might face very dangerous and expensive learning experiences.
  • Do Your Research – If there is a property that stands out to you and you already know what needs to be done (maybe the kitchen needs new cabinets and appliances and the bathroom needs to be re-tiled) start pricing out project items at local retailers. If you are looking to stay on the lower side of the budget, big box stores may be the way to go. You may also want to view homes with your contractor so he or she can give you an idea of the cost of things you might have overlooked. Make sure you are working with someone you know and trust, or someone reliable who has been recommended by a friend, family member, or trusted third party.
  • Set a Budget – Some people set an all-inclusive budget while others may have a specific purchase price in mind for the property with another amount set aside for labor and materials to fix it up. Remember that surprises happen, sometimes more often than you’d like, so be prepared and set a buffer of 10% to 20% aside in your budget for just that.
  • Know When to Compromise – After setting a budget it’s a good idea to make a list of the things you know you want for the home and another list of the things you can live without. Maybe you’ve always wanted a farmhouse sink in the kitchen and in order to get it, you can compromise on the center island. If you are renovating your own home, do what means the most to you. If it’s an investment property research which improvements could increase the property’s resale value. This article on The Balance’s website entitled The Best Home Improvements to Add Resale Value is a good place to start.
  • Timing is Important, Not Definite – You’ve set a schedule and you want to stick to it, although it may not always be realistic. Whether you’ve bought the home for yourself and are living in the chaos of a remodel or you’ve invested and every month another mortgage payment is chipping away at your proposed profit, any delay can be daunting but it’s something for which you should be prepared. Sometimes the work can take longer than you’d think or maybe something completely out of your control arises like obtaining a license or permit. Either way be sure to set aside extra time and patience because things don’t always go as planned.

Renovating a property may not be as simple as it looks on those remodeling shows but if tearing down walls and creating something beautiful is what you love, you should do it. With a little help, a lot of hard work, and some realistic goals, your reno project could rival anything you see on TV.

March 2019 Real Estate News


March 2019

REAL ESTATE NEWS


Brought to you by Theresa Harden

How to Find the Perfect Neighborhood


By David Hakimi
decorative image

Location, location, location. Half of buying a home is finding where you want to live. You may have found your dream house, but it might not be in your dream location.
Here’s how you can find the perfect neighborhood:Neighborhood SidewalkCheck It Out Online
Look up what people are saying about the neighborhood you’re interested in. Do people actually enjoy living there? What do they like and dislike about it?

Google the crime statistics for the area; safety should be top of mind. If you have kids, look up schools in the area. How are they rated? Social media platforms like Facebook and Nextdoor also offer a great window into the ins and outs of your potential neighborhood.

Scout It Out
Literally. Do drive-bys, and do them at different times of the day to get a feel for the neighborhood. Is there a soccer field or baseball diamond close by? You’ll want to know before it’s too late whether cars will be lined up on your street every weekend. What’s that nearby intersection like during rush hour? Is there a grocery store close by? The more questions you can answer before moving in, the more confident you’ll feel when it’s time to put down an offer.

How Far Is Your Potential Home From Your Job?
A long commute has the potential to become an everyday stressor. If you take the bus, look up the route and times. If you drive, check out the route during your normal commute times on Google Maps.

Do Your Research on Property Taxes
Property taxes greatly differ from one region to the next and could majorly impact your cost of living. Do your due diligence and make sure you can afford the area you want to live in. Check out other costs of living while your at it—think utilities and food prices.


How Marie Kondo Is Fueling Our Thrifting Goals
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Second Hand Dishes

Whether or not you’ve bought into Marie Kondo’s wildly popular method of tidying up, there’s no denying that the current decluttering trend has had a significant impact on one industry in particular—thrift stores are bursting with donations.
For the uninitiated, Marie Kondo is a Japanese “tidying consultant” who employs a method of purging items from your home that do not “spark joy.” Between her New York Times Best Seller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and her new Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, her KonMari method is in full effect, and what doesn’t spark joy for others, might spark joy for you. Here are some great items to look out for:

Books
Gently-used, vintage children’s books are common in many thrift stores. These and uniquely-colored books can be great to use in decorating.

For the flippers out there, good-condition, used box sets like the Harry Potter series can sell for around $30 to $50 on eBay. Other popular box sets include The Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games, and Little House on the Prairie.

Wood furniture
Thrift stores are a great place to score solid wood furnishings at bargain prices. Even if you don’t end up finding your vintage dream piece, items that look more “grandma” than Mad Men can be transformed with a little paint, varnish, and fresh fixtures.

Dishes and Glassware
Vintage dishes can be particularly valuable, so do a little research when you’re out thrifting. Glassware lovers enjoy vintage Pyrex cookware, as well as glass in different shapes and colors, so keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary.

Mirrors
Mirrors make your space feel bigger, so they are the ultimate accessories for your walls. New mirrors can be expensive, however, so you can save big bucks by finding one at a thrift store.

Showcase Properties









$2,200
Honolulu

$559,000
Kaneohe

$102,500
Honolulu

Tough Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Invest

By  / 

Knowing what you want and why you want it is half the battle, both in life and real estate investing. Before you open your checkbook, search online or call a real estate agent, ask yourself the tough questions of what you want to accomplish, why you want to accomplish it and why you believe investing in real estate is the way to help you achieve it.

Do you want to build a portfolio, so you can sell the properties and use the money to fund your retirement? Do you want to buy a property every time you have a child so that 18 years down the road the monthly cash flow or income generated from the sale of the properties can contribute to the cost of their post-secondary education? Do you want to put your skills as a handyman (or woman) to work to fix and flip? Once you know your why, you’re halfway there.

After working through this exercise fifteen years ago, Ontarian, Ed, created a plan to fund his retirement. He spent weekends driving through cottage country to choose the location in which he wanted to invest and eventually live. He found a winterized cottage for sale, which he was able to comfortably afford on a fifteen-year mortgage to coincide with the target date of his retirement. He utilized the cottage himself for vacations but also rented it out to generate additional income. Fast forward to the present day and Ed owns the property mortgage-free. However, by renting it out over the years, he was also able to pay for maintenance and updates to the property and invest the extra money to provide cash flow in retirement.

Once you’ve established why you want to invest in the first place and confirmed that real estate is your vehicle of choice, next determine how much time and effort you want to personally expend. Would-be investors can have unrealistic expectations and so they choose labor-intensive projects when they were really better suited for more passive investments. “I’ve known people who have made terrible mistakes thinking they wanted to fix and flip but when they looked at how much available time they had, it was a nightmare,” says Tami Bonnell, CEO, EXIT Realty Corp. International. Reality television paints a rose-colored picture of fix and flip real estate. “Television shows are made for entertainment and have to be interesting for people to watch so the producers ensure the finished product looks magical but that’s not how real life works,” says Bonnell. “I’ve known doctors and dentists who wanted to fix and flip but in reality, they work too many hours to take on a project like that. They ended up losing money because they paid professionals to finish their projects. Also, they weren’t educated enough to know how much they should be paying to update the properties. They ended up with granite counter tops in rentals that didn’t warrant upgrading to that extent.”

With the why, what and time decisions made, next you should set about educating yourself. Establish an informal group of people whose opinions you trust and who have had some success in real estate investing. Some of these people may be in your immediate sphere and others might be experts you listen to on podcasts and follow on Twitter. A Google search for “Canadian real estate investing podcasts 2019” returned more than 16 million results so you should narrow your search by province, city, specialty, etc. to find the best fit for you. Look for people who have “been there, done that” and are creative with a finger on the pulse of investing trends.

“One such trend we’re seeing is a twist on subleasing,” says Bonnell. “People who don’t want to go through the trouble of renting out a property but want to make sure that the mortgage is covered might lease it to a family member who then turns the property into a short-term executive or vacation rental. This arrangement isn’t necessarily something the investor wants to manage or maintain, and the lessee has the opportunity to make money above and beyond what he or she is paying in rent. Of course, everyone is fully disclosed, and this happens in communities where it is permitted by law.”

Experts and investors are also buzzing about the trend toward homes built from shipping containers. “These homes handle climate challenges well and can be inexpensive to build compared with traditional construction.  They are well-suited for island living and hillsides, too,” says Bonnell. “Many boomers and millennial are looking for efficient, compact, environmentally-friendly, alternative homes to rent.”

Bonnell concludes, “Approaching real estate investing by first establishing your why, how, time and then learning all you can, will help you to enter the market with your eyes open and achieve not only better financial returns but also better emotional returns because your investments will be based on what makes sense for you.”

February 2019 Hawaii Featured Oahu Real Estate For Sale

Aloha! Our advertisement for the February 2019 Estates & Homes publication featuring Oahu real estate listings from EXIT Realty in Hawaii. EXIT Real Estate Associates is proud to have partnered with Homes & Land to market properties for sale. Homes & Lands print media compliments our online sales and marketing provided through our own ExitRealtyHonolulu.com website in addition to Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, and other third party listing providers. In addition, our listings can be found on The Wall Street Journal real estate portal, The Washington Post real estate portal, The New York Times and The International New York Times real estate portals as well as other established luxury lifestyle real estate portals.

With Homes & Land our listings get exposure with more than 2,700 targeted, quality publications mailed to Oahu homes; direct distribution to industry professionals including mortgage companies, title companies, banks, coffee houses, and real estate offices; and reaches over 190 MILLION unique visitors worldwide through Internet marketing campaigns and online syndication that target Asia, Europe, Japan, India, Canada and Latin America.

You can find our advertisements on the back cover in the current issue as well as past issues. Contact your Realtor if you have any questions about any of the properties appearing in any issue of the Estates & Homes publication.

3 Things to Consider Before Listing Your Home as a Short-Term Rental

Real Estate News

By Tim Harris

The Age of Sharing is here, and it’s a phenomenon that’s expected to grow from $15 billion in 2014 to $335 billion by 2025, with services such as home-sharing and maintenance platforms being a big part of that equation. Many homeowners have seen big economic benefits over the years from home-sharing platforms like Airbnb, but if you’re thinking about jumping in to get a piece of that pie, there are a few things you should consider first.

Know Your Regulations
Not all cities see the home-sharing phenomenon as a win-win. Many municipalities are passing new regulations that are often designed to curb its growth. Before signing up for a service like Airbnb, you should find out a few things. Does your city have a framework for short-term rentals? Are there any legal restrictions? How expensive is licensing?

This is critically important, because ignoring licensing regulations can be very costly. In Portland, Oregon for example, the city implemented fines of $1,000-$5,000 per violation for home-sharing operators. In 2017, it collected over $70,000 in fines and fees from a single operator who was found to be in violation of the city’s regulations.

Know Where You Live
Cities are made up of distinct neighborhoods, and people are proud of where they live, so, you’ll want to think carefully about the impact of a short-term rental on your neighbors before moving forward with your plans. Will the locals have to compete with guests for on-street parking? Will they feel less secure with strangers coming in and out?

You don’t need to get permission before renting rooms, but as a courtesy, you’ll want to let anyone impacted by your decision in on your plans. You’ll also want to establish clear house rules and expectations, especially about noise or late-night outdoor socializing, for your guests.

Know Your Coverage
You’ll hear horror stories in the news regularly about a home-sharing rental gone bad. In London, a short-term renter threw a party for 100 people, unbeknownst to the homeowner, during which floorboards were ripped and a television pulled off a wall. In another widely-reported example, a short-term rental unit was used as a pop-up brothel. Stories about experiences as bad as these are extremely rare; however, they serve to remind us about the financial and legal risks for hosts who allow strangers into their home. It’s important to make sure you have the appropriate coverage if you don’t already have it.

Home-sharing companies such as Airbnb or HomeAway offer basic insurance coverage, but what they offer may not be enough, or could be severely limited by exclusions. Your best option is to ask your insurance provider about the nature of the protection, liability coverage and deductible. For example, if you’re renting out rooms at your primary residence, short-term, on a regular basis, it may be considered a home-based business, and you could be denied coverage.

EXIT Real Estate Associates specialized in sales, marketing, exchange, and management of investment properties. For more information on our services visit www.ExitRealtyHonolulu.com or for more information on our short term rental properties visit www.WaikikiStay.com. EXIT Real Estate Associates is an independently owner and operated EXIT Realty Corp International franchise.

Mortgage Bankers Association December 2018 Rate Forecast

 

Mortgage Bankers Association December 2018 Rate Forecast

The December 2018 Mortgage Bankers Association rate forecast for the 30 year fixed rate mortgage has us ending with a slightly lower forecasted rate for this final quarter of 2018 than previously forecasted.  Even the quarterly forecasted rates moving through 2019 have been slightly revised downward from the previous forecast.  The forecast is predicting more marginal rate growth in 2019 plateauing around 5.0 percent while the forecast holds steady at only 5.1 percent for all quarters in 2021.

Looking back to the 2017 forecast predictions one year earlier, the forecasted average quarterly rate was actually higher than the average quarterly rate we have today suggesting that the anticipated rate increases have curtailed during the past 12 months but not by a significant margin. None-the-less, the rates are still forecast to meander upward slowly at least through 2019.  Expect fluctuations in the rate as the 30-year fixed rate mortgage as we kick off 2019 with the more aggressive rate rise during the early part of the year.

Depending on market demand, the mortgage rates can pave the way for an increase in home values as mortgage rates remain relatively stable with not much deviation in the quarters ahead. The flip side is that when the real estate market becomes stagnant, buyers are not as pressured by rising mortgage interest rates to make a purchase. However keep in mind that according to Freddie Mac’s September 2017 outlook report, total home sales are expected to rise with a 4.9 percent increase in home prices in 2018. Complacent buyers may get out priced if the real estate market continues its record level upward trend.

Check out how much your home is worth based on local home values in your neighborhood. Simply enter your address and see what is available in your neighborhood.

See available Just Listed Honolulu, Hawaii homes that are for sale right now.

So what do these rates mean if you are seeking a Veteran’s Assistance or VA home loan? The rates one actually qualifies is based on several factors including the loan program, credit score and credit worthiness. The forecast rates are only intended to provide you with insight into what the market considers as the overall average rate for the given period. You must check with your financial institution to find out what rate you qualify and in some cases that rate may be lower than what you see forecast by Mortgage Bankers Association. VA home loan is a home loan guaranty program offered to Veterans, military service members and eligible surviving spouses.

 

December 2018 Hawaii Featured Oahu Real Estate For Sale

Aloha! Our advertisement for the December 2018 Estates & Homes publication featuring Oahu real estate listings from EXIT Realty in Hawaii. EXIT Real Estate Associates is proud to have partnered with Homes & Land to market properties for sale. Homes & Lands print media compliments our online sales and marketing provided through our own ExitRealtyHonolulu.com website in addition to Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, and other third party listing providers. In addition, our listings can be found on The Wall Street Journal real estate portal, The Washington Post real estate portal, The New York Times and The International New York Times real estate portals as well as other established luxury lifestyle real estate portals.

With Homes & Land our listings get exposure with more than 2,700 targeted, quality publications mailed to Oahu homes; direct distribution to industry professionals including mortgage companies, title companies, banks, coffee houses, and real estate offices; and reaches over 190 MILLION unique visitors worldwide through Internet marketing campaigns and online syndication that target Asia, Europe, Japan, India, Canada and Latin America.

You can find our advertisements on the back cover in the current issue as well as past issues. Contact your Realtor if you have any questions about any of the properties appearing in any issue of the Estates & Homes publication.

Mortgage Bankers Association November 2018 Rate Forecast

Mortgage Bankers Association November 2018 Rate Forecast

The November 2018 Mortgage Bankers Association rate forecast for the 30 year fixed rate mortgage is unchanged from the previous month with a gradual increase throughout 2018.  The average interest rate is still forecast to plateau at 5.1 percent by the end of June 2019 and then hold a steady average through the remainder of 2019 and even through 2020.  Expect fluctuations in the rate as the 30-year fixed rate mortgage will not remain stagnant but will slightly deviate around a 5.1 percent quarterly average.

To gain some confidence in the forecast, we looked back to the 2017 forecast predictions one year earlier. The forecast average quarterly rate was 4.9 percent which is consistent with today’s forecast rate for the same period. One year ago the forecast prediction for the 2018 annual average rate was 4.7 percent increasing to 5.2 percent in 2019.  The current forecast has surpassed the 4.7 percent annual average rate for 2018 however the 2019 annual forecast was a notch higher at 5.2 percent.  A comparison of the two forecast periods supports a continual rise in the average mortgage rate at a much less aggressive rate than we have experienced thus far for 2018.

Depending on market demand, the mortgage rates can pave the way for an increase in home values as mortgage rates remain relatively stable and even flat for a prolonged periods of time in the quarters ahead. The flip side is that when the real estate market becomes stagnant, buyers are not as pressured by rising mortgage interest rates to make a purchase.  However keep in mind that according to Freddie Mac’s September 2017 outlook report, total home sales are expected to rise with a 4.9 percent increase in home prices in 2018. Complacent buyers may get out priced if the real estate market continues its record level upward trend. 

Check out how much your home is worth based on local home values in your neighborhood. Simply enter your address and see what is available in your neighborhood.

See available Just Listed Honolulu, Hawaii homes that are for sale right now.

So what do these rates mean if you are seeking a Veteran’s Assistance or VA home loan? The rates one actually qualifies is based on several factors including the loan program, credit score and credit worthiness. The forecast rates are only intended to provide you with insight into what the market considers as the overall average rate for the given period. You must check with your financial institution to find out what rate you qualify and in some cases that rate may be lower than what you see forecast by Mortgage Bankers Association. VA home loan is a home loan guaranty program offered to Veterans, military service members and eligible surviving spouses.

$98,500 Waikiki Turnkey Vacation Rental Investment Property For Sale

 

Text E63656 to 85377
for pictures and details

2450 Prince Edward Streets 507A

Honolulu HI 96815

$98,500 | 1.0

 

Details:


Price:
$98,500
Bathrooms:
1.0
Property Type:
Condo-Townhome
Sq Feet:
243
Year Built:
1975
Listing #:
201804555

Description:


GREAT LOCATION FOR VACATION RENTAL. Close to everything that Waikiki offers. Only 2 short blocks to the gorgeous Waikiki beach.

Schools:


Elementary:Jefferson   Middle:Washington   High:Kaimuki

MORE DETAILS
$98,500
| 1.0 Baths

View Tour

Listing Agent:

Luise Sefika

808 368 4622

Request Info
Email

Text EBC139417 to 85377 for my Mobile Business CardTM

EXIT REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATES
808 735 2221
2463 Kuhio Ave C1, Honolulu, HI 96815

 

 

Anytime, Anywhere, Any Device…We Bring Owners and Tenants Together

Whether you are looking for someone to take the burden of the daily demands of managing the property and the tenants, or looking for someone to make sure you are in compliance with Landlord Tenant Code, Hawaii Dream Realty LLC has a TEAM of ethical, licensed, professionals to get the job done while making your investment as profitable as possible.

Click Here for Our Property Management Website

The Spirit of EXIT Expanded Charitable Initiative

EXIT Realty Corp. International’s charitable pledges to-date now total $4 million.  In addition, EXIT announced an expansion to our successful charitable initiative, newly dubbed The Spirit of EXIT Dollar-for-Dollar Matching Program.

A portion of every transaction fee received by EXIT Realty Corp. International is pledged to charity.  In 2004, we began a long and successful affiliation with Habitat for Humanity when we sponsored the first of many home builds.  In 2016, we introduced a program to match funds raised by brokerages and agents to benefit Habitat for Humanity initiatives in your local communities.  The new Spirit of EXIT Dollar-for-Dollar Matching Program makes it possible for EXIT Associates to raise funds for not only Habitat for Humanity initiatives but also for other approved, registered charities and submit a proposal to EXIT Realty Corp. International for those funds to be matched dollar-for-dollar from EXIT Realty’s pledged pool of funds.

 “Many of you work tirelessly to raise funds for charity in your communities,” said Tami Bonnell, CEO, EXIT Realty Corp. International.  “We believe that by matching the funds you raise, we can have an even greater impact than ever before.  The Spirit of EXIT Dollar-for-Dollar Matching Program allows EXIT to touch more lives.”

Kuhio Village Blessing

EXIT Real Estate Associates is committed to preserving the ‘aina and Hawaiian values as well as the importance of spirituality in our everyday lives. Our company has worked hard with the Kuhio Village and neighboring communities to spread the spirit of aloha and provide for a positive and rewarding experience for all our guest, customers and clients.

The blessing of Kuhio Village by Kumu Karen Leialoha Carroll and her father was greatly appreciated by Theresa Harden, Principal Broker, and her Staff, as well as the residents of Kuhio Village. Kumu Carroll provides inner peace and guidance through her words of wisdom, her spiritual chants and prayer. Mahalo nui loa to Kumu Karen Leialoha Carroll and her father for creating an unforgettable moment and connecting us with our community.

Click on the photo to open the flickr album of pictures taken during the blessing of Kuhio Village on April 21, 2017. The blessing begins with the EXIT Real Estate Associates office and progresses through the lobby area and grounds of Kuhio Village. Kuhio Village Blessing

Our Product is Real Estate; Our Priority is People

Below is an excerpt by Tami Bonnell, CEO of EXIT Realty Corp International, that we wanted to share with you from Volume 4, Issue 3 of the EXIT ACHIEVER. Click Here for the latest edition.

Throughout the world of business and its varied landscape, one thing remains true, you can tell a great deal about an organization by its priorities. Here at EXIT Realty, we take this philosophy very seriously, but also one step further than the average real estate company. At EXIT, yes our product is real estate, but our absolute priority is on the people behind all the work and effort required to sell that product. The greatest way to achieve success is by always ensuring that you prioritize the person. It will inevitably deepen the meaning and the impact of what you do for yourself, your business, your community as well as your family. My favorite definition of family has absolutely nothing to do with blood relation, but everything to do with relationships and “a group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation.“

The unique culture and empathy orientation that we cultivate through our EXIT Formula of residuals and our commitment to mentorship naturally fosters a family atmosphere within our corporate office all the way through to each and every one of our offices across North America. There’s a sense of belonging, a willingness to share and to lift one another up. Similar to a family, we share more than just a name, but a common goal and a unified focus on the significance of the human element. People produce more in a family environment where they feel safe, cared for and trusted. And in real estate this equates to agents not only feeling at home, but also their clients in turn as well. Simply by giving as many people as possible the atmosphere they need, we will continue to grow and prosper. So as you look forward into a New Year full of possibility, focus on prioritizing individuals to create your legacy. Do it one person at a time, by making their life and their business important and you will achieve the success you are looking for.

To learn more about your local Honolulu EXIT Realty ohana, contact Theresa Harden (R) PB via phone at 808-223-0429 or email th@808exit.com.

 

It’s here! New Vacation Rental Marketplace Website Announcement

What we do and where we are going

TimetoVacationWe are pleased to reveal our newly designed vacation rental marketplace website for Hawaii Dream Realty LLC, feel free to Take a Peek! We have worked hard to grow Hawaii Dream Realty LLC from a single dimension real estate brokerage operation to a franchised company more robustly able to provide for our Client’s real estate needs. The company utilizes enterprise systems for each of its business lines with the goal to maximize returns, increase property value, reduce risk and stress, save time and money, and ultimately to provide piece of mind to our Clients.

The company already employed proprietary systems for marketing and managing real estate transactions through our affiliation with EXIT Realty Corp International. Hawaii Dream Realty LLC, doing business as EXIT Real Estate Services, specializes in the procurement and exchange of investment properties.

Today, Hawaii Dream Realty LLC is comprised of a number of business lines that have been developed in direct response to the needs of our Clients. Together they provide our Clients with a total real estate investment solution. For the first time we have dedicated websites and back office support systems that reflects each service line.

The vacation rental marketplace is the consumer end of an enterprise system that expands the ability for Hawaii Dream Realty LLC to manage and market our Client’s investment properties zoned for short term accommodations. Our new website, aside from being aesthetically pleasing, provides an agile and easy to scan, read, and navigate interface for its users enabling visitors to find their accommodation wants quickly.

One of our primary objectives we wanted to achieve when designing the new site was to help visitors get to know us better and get a feel for who we are as a company and vacation services host. We employed a responsive, security-conscience design, which means that you’ll see essentially the same design and secure interface optimized for your smart phone, tablet or desktop.

We hope you will visit the new website at our new address, www.waikikistay.com and acquaint yourself with the many options we offer when it comes to vacation rental properties for Waikiki. The company has its office located in the heart of Waikiki on the beautiful Hawaiian Island of Oahu. The vacation rental accommodations are within a three block radius of the office and have immediate access to everything that is Waikiki from its dining, street entertainment, to its beautiful beaches and parks, and even a zoo and an aquarium.

We are quite proud of the site, but we know there is still work to do. In the coming months, we plan to continue to expand our online marketing to additional third party vendor sites increasing the online exposure of our Client’s properties.

Vacation Home Purchase Considerations

Craig Venezia is writer for the San Francisco Chronicle and author of Buying a Second Home: Income, Getaway or Retirement. On March 6, 2015, Craig published “The Dollars and Sense of Buying a Vacation Home” and provides some insight into what it means to own a vacation home. As with any investment be sure to do your due diligence and understand the implications of the investment as they apply to the state in which the property exists.

According to the National Association of Realtors, Americans bought 717,000 vacation homes in 2013. If you’re considering taking the plunge, take time to figure out what a vacation home purchase would really cost you. Otherwise, you may find that owning one is no holiday.

Expect Stricter Mortgage Requirements

More than 60 percent of vacation-home buyers carry a mortgage (current national average rate: 3.5 percent on a 30-year fixed-rate loan). If you plan to get one, be prepared for more scrutiny from lenders than on primary residences.

“These loans tend to have higher credit requirements because people are taking on large amounts of additional debt,” says David Gorman, Regional Sales Executive for Bank of America. “Traditionally, they are more likely to pay the mortgage on their primary homes if they run into financial issues.”

Those higher credit requirements come primarily in the form of higher down payments. Expect to put down at least 10 percent on a vacation home (compared to a 5 percent minimum, or even no down payment, for a primary residence). You may want to put down 20 percent or more, if you can, to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI), which usually runs between 1/2 and 1 percent of the loan amount on an annual basis.

You’ll qualify for the best mortgage rate if your credit score is over 700. Otherwise, you could pay a rate that’s about one percent or more higher.

Know the Cost of Insurance

You’ll, of course, need homeowner’s insurance and you may have to buy flood or earthquake insurance.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, if you plan to use your vacation home exclusively for yourself, insuring it may be as simple as extending the policy you already have on your primary residence.

If you’ll be renting it out, though, you’ll need to buy a separate rental dwelling policy; that costs about 25 percent more than your primary home’s policy. Most rental dwelling policies reimburse for the loss of rental income if you can’t rent your place out while it’s being repaired due to damage from a covered loss.

Property Management

Since owning a vacation home means you won’t be there all the time, you may need to hire someone to take care of it during your absences — or when you’re in between guests, if you rent it out.

For townhouses or condominiums, you homeowner’s association dues will handle outside maintenance. No such luck for single-family homes. Regardless, the inside is your responsibility.

A property management company fee can vary depending on the level of services. The management firm can also help you find short term guests or long term renters if you want; expect to pay upwards of 20 percent or more on the daily rent you take in.

Understand Tax Implications

Be sure you’re familiar with the vacation home tax rules, too, before making a purchase. The property will still qualify for the mortgage interest deduction, assuming the combined mortgages on both your homes don’t exceed $1.1 million. And property taxes are fully deductible.

Things get trickier, taxwise, when you use the vacation home as a rental property. “If you rent out your vacation home for more than 14 days a year, you will have to report rental income,” says Jared Callister, a tax attorney in Fresno, Calif. “But you will also be able to deduct rental expenses, like repairs and depreciation.”

What you can deduct depends on how much you use the place personally versus renting it out. Also, most states expect you to pay sales taxes on rental income.

Some cities and counties impose such taxes, too; they may go by other names, such as lodging,accommodations, hotel, bed, tourist or transient occupancy taxes. Be sure to find out whether you’d owe them so you’re not hit with a nasty surprise after you become a vacation-home owner.

In Hawaii, all property owners are required to pay property taxes. If the property is rented, long term rental income (greater than six month lease) is also subject to General Excise Tax. While short term (vacation) rentals are subject to both General Excise Tax and Transient Accommodations Tax. As with all Hawaii income, the income is subject to income tax.

But wait there’s more, Hawaii may impose other taxes when it comes time to sell the property. For more information on taxes, you should consult a local accountant.

Bottom line, even with the management fees, insurance, and taxes, the right deal combined with the right management company, over time, can get you positive return on your real property investment. Just be sure to do your due diligence.

Booming Rental Market

Click Here to Download the Booming Rental Income Newsletter

Invest Newsletter 122014
The December 2014 Booming Rental Income Newsletter includes articles on “How to Set the Right Rent” and “Booming Rental Income” by  Dr. Lawrence Yun, the Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors. Click on image to download your copy of the newsletter.

We are an independently owned and operated EXIT Realty Corp. International real estate company serving the greater Oahu area. Our office is located on the ground floor of the Kuhio Village condo-hotel complex. We are in a unique position to advise you on Honolulu’s short term vacation rental market as well as its long term rental market. We use investment case study calculators to project investment cash flow, cap rate, and rate of return on perspective investment properties. The Booming Rental Income Newsletter shares techniques and resources to consider when assessing a fair market rent for your investment. In this newsletter also read about why Dr. Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors Chief Economist expects rents to continue to increase and even double in the next 20 years.

For more information on our real estate investment services visit www.WaikikiWalkingTours.com.

 

Appraisers 101

An appraiser is a professional person who provides an objective report on the estimate of value of real estate. An appraisers opinion of value is very important as the appraiser must prove to the bank that a property is with equal or more than the loan the buyer is trying to obtain.

Click Here for Real Estate Advisor Appraisals Newsletter

Real Estate Advisor is an informative newsletter offered to Clients and Customers covering all aspects and facets of the real estate industry. This edition of the newsletter discusses the importance of an appraisal. Click on image to download your copy of Real Estate Advisor.

With that said, below is a MarketWatch article by Daniel Goldstein that dispels some myths associated with real estate appraisers and is appropriately titled “10 things real estate appraisers won’t tell you” published on November 22, 2014.

 1. We’re working under a cloud

There are about 80,000 real estate appraisers in the U.S. and they play a key role in most home sales: Until they weigh in with a determination of a property’s value, the buyer typically can’t finalize a mortgage. (Appraisers also play roles in property-tax appeals and home-equity lending, among other transactions.)

The profession got a reputational black eye, however, during the housing boom and bust. In numerous instances, including federal lawsuits against real estate data companies, appraisers were accused of fudging their numbers so that unscrupulous lenders could approve loans for unqualified buyers. “Appraisers were no more innocent than lenders or their CEOs,” said Phil Huff, CEO of Platinum Data Solutions, a real estate appraisal data company in Aliso Viejo, Calif. “They share the blame, too.”

As a reaction to such allegations, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Protection Act of 2010 required more state and federal supervision of appraisers, and put more pressure on lenders to work through appraisal management companies, or AMCs. These independent firms are designed to keep appraisers and lenders from getting too cozy, explains Sam Heskel, manager of appraisal firm Nadlan Valuation in Brooklyn, N.Y.

But appraisers say that new rules have made the process slower and more complicated for consumers—and that they haven’t stopped some appraisers from yielding to pressure from banks.

2. We don’t know your neighborhood

One unintended consequence of the Dodd-Frank reforms: AMCs are increasingly sending out-of-county or out-of-state appraisers to calculate property values. This happens because AMCs in some cases assign homes to appraisers essentially at random, says Huff: “They may not know the area all that well, and not use the right [comparisons],” says Huff.

This matters because inaccurate appraisals can hurt consumers. An appraisal that undervalues a property may keep a seller from getting a fair price; one that’s too high could put a mortgage out of reach for a buyer.

3. We work for the bank, not for you…

The typical appraisal costs between $350 and $500, according to Zillow, and it’s paid for by the consumer (usually the buyer). But while home inspectors, real-estate agents and contractors technically work for the consumer, the appraiser’s work is owned by the bank. And in some cases, homeowners and buyers are adversely affected by appraisals they never personally see.

Consumers do have recourse: Federal law requires that a copy of any appraisal be given to consumers who request it in writing. And unlike inspectors or agents, home appraisers have to answer to Uncle Sam, which means dissatisfied customers can complain to the feds. Complaints about appraisers and their practices can be filed with the Appraisal Subcommittee, which is part of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.

4.…but banks still don’t trust us

During the housing bust, many banks tried to resell homes they’d foreclosed on—only to find that their real value was far lower than the appraiser’s report had suggested. “The home wasn’t in the condition the appraiser said it was, and sometimes the home wasn’t even there,” says Greg Schroeder, president of Comergence Compliance Monitoring, a Mission Viejo, Calif., appraisal-technology company.

In part to satisfy the banks, regulations now require appraisers to fill out more paperwork, with the size of the typical appraisal record having doubled to about 30 pages. “Most of this work is defensive in nature,” says Lora Helt, director and appraiser with Bradford Technologies, an appraisal software company in San Jose. “If the deal goes bad, the first person that gets blamed is the appraiser.”

5. Get a second opinion (maybe in advance)

When an appraiser’s decision jeopardizes a deal, consumers are likely to feel aggrieved. Since the housing bubble, appraisers have typically gotten the most heat is over their work in neighborhoods with many distressed properties—since distressed sales and foreclosures create a baseline of comparable home sales (or “comps”) that tends to drive down prices. The Appraisal Institute, an industry trade group based in Chicago, says that such situations aren’t uncommon, and it encourages consumers to get a second opinion.

But some real estate pros advise consumers to get a valuation estimate of their own, even before the appraiser shows up. Buyers and sellers can ask their real-estate agents to provide a broker’s price opinion: Those estimates themselves may not always be accepted by lenders, but they can give the borrower a baseline from which to judge an official appraisal’s accuracy.

Heskel advises that buyers get at least two opinions, even if they’re paying cash. Differences in estimates can knock $10,000 to $20,000 off the final sale price of a home, he says.

6. It’s too hard to get this job

In many states, it takes relatively little training to qualify as a home inspector or real-estate agent. But for appraisers, the requirements can be very high—in large part because would-be appraisers have to be in compliance with both state and federal guidelines.

Simply becoming a trainee requires 75 hours of classroom time, according to the Appraisal Institute. To become a licensed residential appraiser (which only allows the appraiser to examine homes that have a value of $1 million or less) is another 150 hours of classroom time involving finance topics, valuation and market analysis. Qualifying as a certified residential appraiser, one of the highest levels, takes another 210 hours. Moreover, any appraiser that works with a federal agency must be certified on what’s known as a National Registry, which has more requirements. And typically, appraisers have four-year college degrees, or even postgraduate education.

The licensing and upkeep of an appraiser’s certifications is also getting tougher. Appraisers typically work with multiple AMCs, and each requires its own background checks, which appraisers must pay for out of pocket, says Schroeder, whose company is building a web portal designed to simplify the process. Given that some residential appraisers can earn only about $150 per job after the AMCs take their cut, many would-be trainees are put off by the educational and financial hurdles, says Schroeder: “There’s too much work for too little money.”

7. Our ranks are shrinking (and aging)

In 2010, there were 90,000 appraisers in the U.S. By last June, that figure had shrunk more than 10%, according to the Appraisal Institute, which says its ranks are thinning due to retirements and fewer people entering the profession. Today, more than half of appraisers are between 51 and 65 years old. And less than a third of all appraisers work in the residential sector, the institute says.

One issue is that hiring in the field has generally slowed down. In a 2013 Appraisal Institute survey, just 9% of residential appraiser firms and 21% of commercial real estate appraisal companies said they planned to hire more trainees.

When they do hire, some hope they’ll keep diversity in mind. About 90% of the 80,000 appraisers in the business are white and just over a quarter are female. The institute has formed a diversity committee to provide scholarships and training for minority appraisers.

8. We’ve got some bad news about your home makeover

Some homeowners assume that spending $50,000 on, say, a fancy new kitchen will raise the value of their house by $50,000. But that’s seldom the case: Ambitious home-improvement projects “are often not worth the price in a resale situation,” says Lance Coyle, incoming president of the Appraisal Institute.

Which renovations are more likely to raise a home’s value? A fresh coat of paint in neutral colors, or new fixtures or trim boards, can add value the fastest, Coyle says, as can Energy Star-compliant “green” renovations that pay the homeowner back in lower utility bills.

9. Don’t follow us around

Some homeowners confuse the roles of home inspectors (who assess the physical condition of a home) and appraisers (who estimate its sale value). One key way in which they differ: While many inspectors want consumers to follow them around—so they aren’t shocked when they’re presented with a multi-page fix-it list—experts say there’s no benefit for the owner or buyer in tagging along with the appraiser.

“(Following them) is a distraction,” said Platinum Data’s Huff. “Let them come in and do their jobs. If you want them to know about something, give them a list beforehand.”

10. Someday, drones could do our jobs

A typical appraisal takes about eight hours to complete, even if only an hour is spent at the property itself, says Helt, the San Jose appraiser. Behind the scenes, appraisers gather property records and data on land values and check features of the home against “comps.”

But technology is speeding up the process. “Big Data” software has eased the gathering of real estate information, while tools like Google Earth are figuring in more appraisers’ research. Even drones could soon come into play, if regulators allow their commercial use. “I don’t think there’s a replacement for boots on the ground, but the precise way a piece of collateral information is collected will change,” Huff says.

Hawaii EXIT Contingency Attends International Convention

Your local EXIT Realty Ohana joined real estate professionals from across North America recently at the EXIT Realty International Convention and Gala at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.

This convention is an annual, 5-star, event that brings top real estate professionals together to interact and learn from each other and promote discussions about issues and trends in the real estate market. A high point of the event was the Gala presided over by EXIT Realty Corp. International Chairman, Steve Morris.

EXIT Ohana at the 2014 EXIT Realty Corp International Gala

ANAHEIM CA (October 2, 2014) From left to right: Kaikoa Couture, Theresa Harden (R), Allen Couture, Julie Smith, Laulalani Crawford, Vhonda Lehue Crawford (R), John Fagasa, Rebecca Fagassa (RA), at the 2014 EXIT Realty Corp International Gala.

CLICK HERE FOR THE EXIT INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION PHOTO GALLERY

EXIT Realty Corp International 2014 Convention

ANAHEIM CA (September 30, 2014) EXIT’s 16th Annual Convention was a giant celebration in beautiful California. While exact attendance is not known, the event was packed with professionals taking up the entire first level of the Fantasy Tower of the Disneyland Hotel! Congratulations to all of EXIT 2014 Award Winners and we are looking forward to next year’s EXTRAVAGANZA at historic Nashville, Tennessee.

EXIT Realty is a proven real estate business model that supplies single-level residual income – for agents, security, stability and direction; for agents’ families, security in the form of beneficiary and retirement residuals. EXIT’s MIND-SET Training Systems offer the industry’s best hands-on, interactive sales training. State-of-the-art technology, including the Digital Marketing Strategy, gives EXIT Realty agents the edge in a competitive marketplace. EXIT is a by-invitation-only company focusing on the business of real estate. A portion of every transaction fee collected by EXIT International is applied to its charitable fund. To-date, over $2 Million has been pledged to Habitat for Humanity.

The Power of Attraction

The complete EXIT Promo Shop suite includes online, email and direct mail marketing tools.

The complete EXIT Promo Shop suite includes online, email and direct mail marketing tools.

I have a story to share with you that unfolded this past weekend while I was preparing a “Labor Day Greeting“. I used EXIT’s Promo Shop services to create the greeting. While using Promo Shop I came across a “Forged for Exponential Growth 2014” flyer which caught my eye. Now this is where this story begins but first I want to give you a little more background.

Like past years, we are gearing up for the  Annual EXIT Realty Convention. This year is the 16th extravaganza of its kind and is hosted at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.

In preparation for the event, our associates  needed to order more business cards. For the back of the business card, we wanted a custom graphic and one that focused on EXIT in Hawaii. After several drafts, its was decided to portray our Hawaii EXIT Residual Thermometer as a line graph and when we did we found that the curve resembled an exponential curve.

Residual Tracker

Over $226 MILLION PAID OUT in Sponsoring Bonuses since 2013 by EXIT Realty Corp International. PAID OUT on Top of Commissions!

We then got a little creative and provided a graphic with a timeline depicting how much EXIT Realty Corp International has paid out in sponsoring residuals generated from Hawaii EXIT brokerages. The graphic was approved and off it went to print.

There are a couple of things that make this graphic special to EXIT in Hawaii but not unique to EXIT. First the timeline depicting when the first EXIT office opened in Hawaii in 2008. The first office was converted from a then independent Kaneohe real estate brokerage referred to as Hawaii Dream Realty LLC. Hawaii Dream Realty LLC was founded on the same principals shared with EXIT Realty Corp International in that the agents are the true assets of the brokerage and the EXIT Formula had a special and unique way of making that happen. You could say I attracted EXIT Realty Corp International to me and I have been grateful ever since.

So that brings us back to today where Hawaii Dream Realty LLC is doing business as EXIT Real Estate Associates. Through the years and transformations of the Kaneohe brokerage, EXIT Realty Corp International paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in sponsoring bonuses and beneficiary bonuses right back to its associates and members in Hawaii.

Over $225 THOUSAND Dollar - Hawaii Sponsoring Bonuses Paid by Corporate! Could you do something with that?

Over $225 THOUSAND – Hawaii Sponsoring Bonuses Paid by Corporate! Could you do something with that?

Now the entire process of creating the original graphic for the back of the business cards took several days, during which time much thought went into what to present and how to present it. At no point was EXIT Promo Shop explored for ideas and up until today the idea was considered original. But what had really occurred was that the information being sought already existed. It was through the power of thought that the details wanted became known.

Now there are slight nuances between the use of exponential in the flyer and in the business card graphic but the use of exponential in both pieces affirms that we can attract that what we want. Some have referred to this ability as “The Secret” but it is something that I believe we all truly possess and I am thrilled to be able to share this example with you.