Mortgage Bankers Association May 2020 Rate Forecast

 

Mortgage Bankers Association May 2020 Rate Forecast

The second quarter of 2020 closes out with a 3.4 percent average for the 30-year fixed rate mortgage with the forecasted rate remaining unchanged in the final two quarters of 2020.  Even the out year forecasted average rate is only one tenth of a point above the current year. Overall, the report shows a rather stable mortgage rate moving forward. The forecast is considerably more conservation than past forecasts and should provide some stability to the recovering housing market.  Don’t lose sight that the forecasted average mortgage rate is still sitting in the historic low zone that bottomed out at 3.3 percent in November 2012.

Depending on market demand, the mortgage rates can support an increase in home values as mortgage rates remain relatively stable, and albeit low, with little deviation in the quarters ahead. The flip side of our historically low mortgage rates occurs when the real estate market becomes stagnant and buyers are not pressured by concerns over rising mortgage interest rates to make a purchase.  The current market is experiencing some stagnation as social distancing has hampered open houses and showings; however, supply or available inventory can also cause changes to home prices. A significant drop or rise in inventory will cause a corresponding shift in value given the stable mortgage rates.

The Housing Inventory Snapshot for April 27, 2020, showed a 4.54 percent drop in average list price and a 1.23 percent drop in average sold price for single family homes; condominiums had a similar drop; while number of active listings for single family homes grew by 17 or 2.5 percent and condominiums grew by 21 or 1.47 percent. Given the relatively flat mortgage rate forecast, the percent values in the Housing Inventory Snapshot provide an indicator on the overall status of Honolulu’s housing market without influence from typical mortgage rate fluctuation.

Register on www.ExitRealtyHonolulu.com  to receive the Housing Inventory Snapshot to follow the market trends.  The Housing Inventory Snapshot is also posted to our blog however in order to receive the monthly trends you must register on the website.

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? VA home loan is a home loan guaranty program offered to Veterans, military service members and eligible surviving spouses. 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.

 

Oahu April 2020 Housing Inventory Snapshot

I hope you will find the following snapshot of local Real Estate inventory interesting. Click on the inventory category to see current listings. The table represents aggregated values based on MLS data for the specified date.

Housing Inventory Snapshot  April 27, 2020
Average List Price Average Sold Price Average DOM: active listings Number of Listings
Honolulu County, HI
Click to Search Single Family under $1M $974,905 $886,952 91 678
Click to Search Single Family over $1M $4,403,410 $3,060,667 141 210
Click to Search Condo/Townhome under $500K $380,369 $410,268 109 1,431
Click to Search Condo/Townhome over $500K $1,650,748 $1,122,506 150 480
If you know someone who is considering buying or selling a home, please give me a call. While open houses are eliminated due to COVID-19 precautions, our digital marketing strategy and distributed print media ensures that your listing gets exposure. I provide professional and courteous service along with knowledgeable guidance through the process. If you want to know what your home is worth in the current market Click Here or for more personalized service contact me directly at 808-223-0429. 

 

March 2020 Hawaii Featured Oahu Real Estate For Sale

Aloha! Our advertisement for the March 2020 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 Herald Tribune real estate portals as well as other established luxury lifestyle real estate portals.

Homes & Land is not just a magazine, it is a fully integrated marketing program including a printed magazine distributed locally and worldwide and online giving our listings increased local exposure beyond the Multiple Listing Services. With Homes & Land our listings get exposure with more than 2,700 targeted, quality publications mailed to Oahu homes; exposure through 101 street magazine boxes all over the island; direct distribution to industry professionals including mortgage companies, title companies, banks, coffee houses, airport lounges, golf courses, hotels, and real estate offices; and reaches over 200 MILLION unique visitors worldwide through Internet marketing campaigns and online syndication that target Asia, China, Korea, Europe, Japan, 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.

Homes and Land Syndication

Oahu March 2020 Housing Inventory Snapshot

I hope you will find the following snapshot of local Real Estate inventory interesting. Click on the inventory category to see current listings. The table represents aggregated values based on MLS data for the specified date.

Housing Inventory Snapshot  March 31, 2020
Average List Price Average Sold Price Average DOM: active listings Number of Listings
Honolulu County, HI
Click to Search Single Family under $1M $1,021,281 $897,970 84 661
Click to Search Single Family over $1M $4,679,961 $3,449,111 137 205
Click to Search Condo/Townhome under $500K $392,253 $427,785 101 1,410
Click to Search Condo/Townhome over $500K $1,719,873 $1,431,714 142 473
Oahu home sale statistics for March released Monday largely don’t reflect dramatic impacts happening now, including sellers postponing sale efforts, buyers not being able to complete purchases because of income losses, and a prohibition on open houses. However the mortgage market is creating pressure on buyers to act while interest rates are likely at their lowest level for the foreseeable future.

In March, the number of residential property sales on Oahu rose for single-family homes and fell for condominiums, while median sale prices rose less than 4%, according to data from the Honolulu Board of Realtors.

There were 303 single family home sales last month, up 9.8% from 276 in the same month last year. Condo sales fell 12.2% to 410 from 467 in the same period.

The median price for single-family houses sold in March edged up 3.5% to $810,000 from $782,500 a year earlier. The condo median sale price achieved a 1.4% bump to $435,000 from $429,000 in the same period.

If you know someone who is considering buying or selling a home, please give me a call. While open houses are eliminated due to COVID-19 precautions, our digital marketing strategy and distributed print media ensures that your listing gets exposure. I provide professional and courteous service along with knowledgeable guidance through the process. If you want to know what your home is worth in the current market Click Here or for more personalized service contact me directly at 808-223-0429. 

 

Oahu February 2020 Housing Inventory Snapshot

I hope you will find the following snapshot of local Real Estate inventory interesting. Click on the inventory category to see current listings. The table represents aggregated values based on MLS data for the specified date.

Housing Inventory Snapshot  February 29, 2020
Average List Price Average Sold Price Average DOM: active listings Number of Listings
Honolulu County, HI
Click to Search Single Family under $1M $1,032,779 $834,643 83 681
Click to Search Single Family over $1M $4,514,450 $3,613,500 130 216
Click to Search Condo/Townhome under $500K $404,049 $411,361 101 1,407
Click to Search Condo/Townhome over $500K $1,730,240 $2,252,630 131 463
If you know someone who is considering buying or selling a home, please give me a call. I provide professional and courteous service along with knowledgeable guidance through the process. If you want to know what your home is worth in the current market Click Here.

February 2020 Hawaii Featured Oahu Real Estate For Sale

February 2020 Hawaii Featured Oahu Real Estate For SaleFebruary 2020 Hawaii Featured Oahu Real Estate For Sale

Aloha! Our advertisement for the February 2020 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 Herald Tribune real estate portals as well as other established luxury lifestyle real estate portals.

Homes & Land is not just a magazine, it is a fully integrated marketing program including a printed magazine distributed locally and worldwide and online giving our listings increased local exposure beyond the Multiple Listing Services. With Homes & Land our listings get exposure with more than 2,700 targeted, quality publications mailed to Oahu homes; exposure through 101 street magazine boxes all over the island; direct distribution to industry professionals including mortgage companies, title companies, banks, coffee houses, airport lounges, golf courses, hotels, and real estate offices; and reaches over 200 MILLION unique visitors worldwide through Internet marketing campaigns and online syndication that target Asia, China, Korea, Europe, Japan, 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.

Homes and Land Syndication

Inspections vs. Appraisals vs. AVMs

Inspections, appraisals, and automated valuation models, while related, all have different functions but can be easily confused. Let’s take a closer look.

Before You Buy, Inspect!
Buying a home is one of the most important purchases you will make in your lifetime, so you should be sure that the home you want to buy is in good condition. A home inspection is an evaluation of a home’s condition by a trained expert. During a home inspection, a qualified inspector takes an in-depth and impartial look at the property you plan to buy. The inspector will review the readily accessible exposed portions of the structure of the home for potential problems. 

Inspections: A property inspection is ordered by the buyer and is meant to be an unbiased look at the condition of the property. While not necessarily required by a lender, an inspection protects the buyer from purchasing a home that requires expensive repairs or otherwise doesn’t live up to its list price. A property inspector will examine the condition of the property inside and out, running through a checklist of areas including, but not limited to, the roof, electrical panels, wiring, plumbing, appliances, doors and windows. If any issues pop up, the inspector makes note and provides the buyer with a report.

Many reported issues will need some attention but won’t affect financing. If major repairs are needed however, the lender might want to have those issues addressed before they provide any funding.

When you make a written offer on a home, you should insist that the contract state that the offer is contingent on a home inspection conducted by a qualified inspector. You will have to pay for the inspection yourself, but it could keep you from buying a house that will cost you far more in repairs down the road. If you are satisfied with the results of the inspection, then your offer can proceed.


During the Home Inspection
While not necessary, it is recommended that the buyer be present for the inspection. This allows the buyer to observe the inspector, ask questions directly, and obtain a better understanding of the condition of the home, how its systems work, and how to maintain it. The written report may be easier to understand if the buyer was present during the inspection. It is important that safe access and sufficient lighting is provided so that the inspector can inspect the property.


Appraisals: Once the inspection has been completed and reviewed, the lender can order an appraisal. The appraisal will consider comparable homes in the area as well as other factors such as lot size, nearby schools and crime rates. The goal of the appraisal is to determine the true value of the property for the sake of the lender.

The key difference between an inspection and an appraisal is that an inspection aims to assess the physical condition of a home itself, while an appraisal solely determines the market value of the real estate.

AVMs: An automated valuation model is a digital evaluation of the value of a home. An AVM will quickly research the database of similar homes in the area and compare them with the value of the subject property. AVMs are often used to assess the value of a property portfolio, and have the advantage of saving time and money since no one physically visits the property. However, AVMs can’t take into account the true condition of a property, are only as good as the data the model selects for valuation, and often aren’t enough to secure a conventional loan for a home buyer. AVM’s are notorious for misinforming the public so be sure to follow up with a Realtor to affirm the information you are receiving from an AVM. 

Oahu January 2020 Housing Inventory Snapshot

I hope you will find the following snapshot of local Real Estate inventory interesting. Click on the inventory category to see current listings. The table represents aggregated values based on MLS data for the specified date.

Housing Inventory Snapshot  January 31, 2020
Average List Price Average Sold Price Average DOM: active listings Number of Listings
Honolulu County, HI
Click to Search Single Family under $1M $1,024,736 $835,519 86 683
Click to Search Single Family over $1M $4,273,372 $2,848,333 136 212
Click to Search Condo/Townhome under $500K $407,804 $428,624 98 1,383
Click to Search Condo/Townhome over $500K $1,884,936 $1,281,471 135 463
If you know someone who is considering buying or selling a home, please give me a call. I provide professional and courteous service along with knowledgeable guidance through the process. If you want to know what your home is worth in the current market Click Here.

Oahu December 2019 Housing Inventory Snapshot

I hope you will find the following snapshot of local Real Estate inventory interesting. Click on the inventory category to see current listings. The table represents aggregated values based on MLS data for the specified date.

Housing Inventory Snapshot  December 31, 2019
Average List Price Average Sold Price Average DOM: active listings Number of Listings
Honolulu County, HI
Click to Search Single Family under $1M $1,043,124 $908,346 100 677
Click to Search Single Family over $1M $4,324,838 $4,231,984 132 210
Click to Search Condo/Townhome under $500K $417,847 $419,164 105 1,329
Click to Search Condo/Townhome over $500K $2,044,006 $1,723,560 133 432
If you know someone who is considering buying or selling a home, please give me a call. I provide professional and courteous service along with knowledgeable guidance through the process. If you want to know what your home is worth in the current market Click Here.

Prosperity Over Time with the EXIT Formula

Steve Morris 2019

EXIT Realty is a company built on human potential and at its very core is the EXIT Formula.

EXIT Realty’s Founder and Chairman, Steve Morris, looked at the problems in the real estate industry, including recruiting, retention, and the gaps agents face between closings, and asked, “What if it doesn’t have to be this way? How can we attract and retain top talent, create an environment in which they can thrive both personally and professionally, and provide an opportunity to earn more than 100% and pay no desk fees?”

Drawing on his experience in the life insurance industry, Steve introduced the concept of residual income to real estate and the EXIT Formula was born. With the EXIT Formula, every EXIT Associate has the opportunity to earn single-level residual income over and above their commission. Here’s how it works.

Let’s say Mary is a sales representative with EXIT Realty. She introduces John to management and he is hired. As a special thank you from EXIT Realty Corp. International for helping to grow the company, Mary receives a bonus in an amount equivalent to 10% of the gross commission John earns to a maximum of $10,000 per year for as long as John stays with the company and produces business. This thank you is referred to as a sponsoring bonus and is not deducted from John’s share of the commission.

A culture where it pays to be a mentor

Because every agent who joins EXIT Realty is sponsored by someone in the company, an atmosphere of mentorship is created which strengthens our corporate culture. If Mary is earning $100,000 per year and John is earning $50,000, it is in Mary’s best interest to mentor John and teach him how to increase his production. Who learns more, the teacher or the student? The teacher every time. So, Mary actually gets better at her job by helping John get better at his.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the typical REALTOR® is 54 years old. Mary may eventually choose to retire from selling real estate and when she does, her 10% sponsoring bonuses will convert to 7% residuals.

At EXIT Realty, someone is considered retired or part-time when they close fewer than 8 transaction sides or $40,000 in gross commissions in the production year. The best part about the 7% aspect of the EXIT Formula is that it can apply not only in retirement but also when someone wants to — or must — take a break from selling real estate. We’ve seen agents go on parental leave, have surgery, recover from illness, taken care of aging parents, finish a college degree and take an extended vacation while living on their residual income.

Sponsoring bonuses are convertible and portable. Once Mary closes her eighth transaction side, her 7% residuals go back to 10%. If Mary moves to another part of the country, her 10% or 7% bonuses follow her. This aspect of the EXIT Formula has proven to be advantageous to people serving in the military and military spouses.

The average agent hasn’t paid attention future-tense, so the EXIT Formula pays attention for them. When Mary joined EXIT Realty, she named a beneficiary. If she passes away, her 10% sponsoring bonuses or 7% residuals would convert to 5% beneficiary benefits to provide for her loved ones even after she’s gone. Benefits like real people with real jobs.

The EXIT Formula provides an incredible opportunity for our agents and brokers to build financial security and personal wealth. Visit our YouTube channel or blog for just a few examples of the thousands of EXIT Associates who are using their sponsoring bonuses to fund their charitable initiatives, their lifestyle and their dreams.

EXIT Realty is the solution. You owe it to yourself and your family to take a closer look.

About EXIT Real Estate Associates:  EXIT Real Estate Associates is an independently owned and operated EXIT Realty Corp International brokerage located in the heart of Waikiki, Hawaii.  We specialize in sales, marketing, exchange and management of investment properties and have been doing business on Oahu since 2007.  Our agents and their families have received bonus residuals, beneficiary residuals, and retirement residuals. To learn more about EXIT Real Estate Associates contact Theresa Harden (B) at (808) 223-0429.

2019 Holiday Community Gatherings

Thanksgiving Greetings from EXIT Real Estate Associates

May you and your family be blessed on Thanksgiving and during this holiday season. Celebrate the holidays with your community at one of the five holiday gatherings happening across O’ahu.

  • Friday, November 29
    Waikiki Holiday Parade, 7pm.
  • Saturday, November 30
    West O’ahu Electric Light Parade, Kapolei Satellite City Hall, 5pm.
  • Saturday, December 7 – Wednesday, January 1
    35th Annual Honolulu City Lights, Honolulu City Hall, 6pm.
  • Saturday, December 7
    Kaneohe Christmas Parade, Windward Mall, 9am.
  • Saturday, December 7
    34th Annual Mililani Holiday Parade, Mililani Shopping Center, 9am.

Teal Ideals

Teal Ideals

Associates of EXIT Realty Corp. International have commented that the color teal seems to almost follow them around. Many believe they notice it because it’s such a large part of this great company, but what if it’s something more than that?

Teal has been listed as one of the public’s favorite colors; it’s a staple in interior design, and according to color psychology it represents the unconventional and those who appreciate the ability to stand out.

It’s the color of choice for awareness ribbons for several issues including but not limited to ovarian and cervical cancers, sexual assault, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. You may have seen teal pumpkins during Halloween at homes or businesses, signifying that they offer non-food treats like rings or small toys to ensure those with food allergies can partake in the fun.

Another way teal has been used is part of an organizational paradigm. According to Belgian author, Frederic Laloux, organizations can be categorized by color. This is completely unrelated to a company’s logo, though in EXIT’s case it works, and goes far deeper than that.

In his book Reinventing Organizations, Laloux describes the evolution in organizations, categorizing them with a color system, starting with red and ending with teal. These organizations differ in how their operations run and what is considered to be their main goal or focus over time.

The first stage is red, organizations led by one main leader who has all the power. Amber, orange, and green fall in the middle and represent organizations that all have a triangular hierarchy of order in common. In the amber paradigm, most decisions are made at the top while the lower level follows, such as in the military and governmental organizations. Orange is like amber but shifts control throughout the organization with the addition of departments to help delegate tasks. Orange organizations like Nike and Coca Cola® are considered more innovative, and this style of operation is still very common within the business world today. Green organizations have more of an egalitarian management system, so each position is important and there’s a focus on empowering employees. Ben & Jerry’s® and Southwest Airlines® are a couple of examples Laloux lists.

The fifth and final organizational paradigm is teal, where hierarchy is replaced by self-managing groups. Instead of only seeing executives as those of highest importance, these organizations realize that certain situations call for different types of intelligence to find solutions. They believe in potential and adaptation, so they grow and change as the world around them does. Wholeness is another important part of the teal equation. These organizations believe in the power and potential of the employee as a whole, not just professionally. Many organizations that fall under this category are considered radical – especially businesses – because money and the bottom line aren’t the main focus.

EXIT Realty Corp. International was teal before it was trendy, established with many of the teal ideals that Laloux describes. For over 20 years, EXIT Realty has continually grown its people-centric business culture, thriving as a company known to be built on human potential, the power of connection, and a holistic journey.

About EXIT Real Estate Associates:  EXIT Real Estate Associates is an independently owned and operated EXIT Realty Corp International brokerage located in the heart of Waikiki, Hawaii.  We specialize in sales, marketing, exchange and management of investment properties and have been doing business on Oahu since 2007.  Our agents and their families have received bonus residuals, beneficiary residuals, and retirement residuals. To learn more about EXIT Real Estate Associates contact Theresa Harden (B) at (808) 223-0429.

Exciting News! $460 Million in Residual Income Paid To-Date!

Exciting News! $460 Million in Residual Income Paid To-Date!

People-Focused Real Estate Company Pays $460 Million in Bonuses

By exitrealty / October 15, 2019

“People want to be part of something better. They want to feel like they belong, they’re being heard and that their individuality is honored; that they have the opportunity to contribute and to earn a living which will not only finance their lifestyle today and tomorrow but also their dreams,” said Tami Bonnell, CEO, EXIT Realty Corp. International following the company’s announcement today that it has topped $460 million paid to-date in single-level residual bonuses to its real estate professionals across the U.S. and Canada. 

 EXIT Realty Corp. International’s business model, known as the EXIT Formula, is unique in the real estate industry. “The EXIT Formula provides the opportunity for financial security now and when agents want to retire or take a break from selling real estate, and even leave a legacy” says Bonnell.  “A spirit of mentorship is fostered because agents have to be invited to join our company by one of our Associates, resulting in a culture unparalleled in our industry.”

The company’s 18-member executive team leads with more than 460 combined years of real estate experience and has served the company, on average, for more than 15 years.  “Being a privately-held, stable company empowers us to turn on a dime,” said Bonnell.  “We don’t answer to venture capitalists or shareholders.  Our Head Office personnel, Regional Leaders, Broker/Owners, Sales Representatives, their staff and the consumers they serve are our stakeholders and we answer to them. Real estate is a people business, first and foremost.  We don’t do what everyone else does.  We do what works.”

About EXIT Realty:  EXIT Realty Corp. International was founded in Toronto in 1996 and today the EXIT family of hundreds of independently owned and operated brokerages home to thousands of real estate professionals spans the U.S. and Canada.  For more information, please visit www.exitrealty.com.

About EXIT Real Estate Associates:  EXIT Real Estate Associates is an independently owned and operated EXIT Realty Corp International brokerage located in the heart of Waikiki, Hawaii.  We specialize in sales, marketing, exchange and management of investment properties and have been doing business on Oahu since 2007.  Our agents and their families have received bonus residuals, beneficiary residuals, and retirement residuals. To learn more about EXIT Real Estate Associates contact Theresa Harden (B) at (808) 223-0429. 

Mortgage Bankers Association September 2019 Rate Forecast

Mortgage Bankers Association September 2019 Rate Forecast

Mortgage Bankers Association September 2019 Rate Forecast

“Historic lows” continue to persist and as we inch closer to the final quarter of 2019, the September forecast shows no sign that those lows are soon to be behind us.  With the third quarter of 2019 closing out with a 3.7 percent average for the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, we have what may be the lowest interest rates for the 30-year fixed rate mortgage for 2019.  No need to be concerned if you wanted to refinance your existing mortgage or looking to make a purchase because the low rates are forecast to continue throughout 2020 with the average annual rate only up one-tenth of a percentage point between 2019 and 2020.  For the final quarter of 2019 expect a rate fluctuation around 3.8 percent.

Depending on market demand, the mortgage rates can support an increase in home values as mortgage rates remain relatively stable, and albeit low, with not much deviation in the quarters ahead. The flip side of our historically low mortgage rates occurs when the real estate market becomes stagnant and buyers are not pressured by concerns over rising mortgage interest rates to make a purchase. However supply or available inventory also cause changes to home prices.  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? VA home loan is a home loan guaranty program offered to Veterans, military service members and eligible surviving spouses. 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.

Why an Investment Property Should Be Your First Real Estate Purchase

REAL ESTATE NEWSWhy an Investment Property Should Be Your First Real Estate Purchase
Brought to you by Theresa Harden, SFR ePro Realtor

Not ready to buy a home for yourself but want to take advantage of great market conditions? Consider buying an investment property! It’s a trend that’s taking over real estate, as savvy investors look to put their money in an appreciating asset. Here are five reasons to consider it.

1. Rates are crazy low. Lower rates mean more affordable lending, or more for your money if you choose to reach higher.

2. Because it will appreciate. According to CoreLogic, “The overall home price index (HPI) has increased on a year-over-year basis every month for seven years.” The long-term price appreciation of real estate can provide one of the safest investments out there.

3. Because passive income is good. Yes, it’s nice to know there will likely be appreciation over time, but the real key to success with investment properties is passive income.

“The best part about rental properties is that they provide a stable income,” said Mashvisor. “What would be better than having a check sent to you every month? In order to have positive cash flow, you have to make sure you invest in a profitable rental property.”

4. To turn it into a short-term rental. The short-term rental market has opened up a new world of opportunity for investors. By buying in the right location—by the beach, near a university, or in close proximity to a popular annual event, you have the potential of making a significant return in a short period of time. Just be sure to check the local laws, as Honolulu has been cracking down on Airbnb and other services.

5. Because it can help you buy the home of your dreams down the line. “Buying an investment property before your first home does not imply that you won’t have the funds to purchase your actual home at some point,” said Mashvisor. “In fact, investment properties that have been purchased wisely and have grown in value can offer you a sizable amount of wealth and equity.”

Oahu August 2019 Housing Inventory Snapshot

I hope you will find the following snapshot of local Real Estate inventory interesting. Click on the inventory category to see current listings. The table represents aggregated values based on MLS data for the specified date.

Housing Inventory Snapshot  August 31, 2019
Average List Price Average Sold Price Average DOM: active listings Number of Listings
Honolulu County, HI
Click to Search Single Family under $1M $966,171 $832,847 80 864
Click to Search Single Family over $1M $3,993,613 $2,853,750 119 275
Click to Search Condo/Townhome under $500K $420,456 $412,190 84 1,485
Click to Search Condo/Townhome over $500K $1,959,022 $1,157,157 119 491
If you know someone who is considering buying or selling a home, please give me a call. I provide professional and courteous service along with knowledgeable guidance through the process.

Know Before You Go – Red Flags Before Buying a Home

Starting the home buying process means navigating many stumbling blocks; it means saving every cent, finding the right real estate agent, and scouring homes online in your free time. You might not mind a property within your budget needing a little TLC to make it your own, or maybe you want something completely move in ready. Fortunately for you, your real estate agent has helped you narrow down your choices and can help guide you toward what’s best for you.

During the house hunting experience, you may come across a property or two that pique your interest but also give you some cause for concern. Your agent knows the right questions to pose to the seller’s agent, and even before you view the property you can review the seller’s disclosure documents together (when available). Your agent has an expansive knowledge of the industry and is connected to other industry professionals to help you along the way. Unfortunately, there can be a few more hurdles to overcome. Since two heads are usually better than one, before you sign on the dotted line, let’s look at a few common red flags.

Odors– If something doesn’t quite smell right, ask about the source of the odor. In older homes, especially in the country, there may be animals living in the walls. If you walk into a basement and get assaulted by a musty odor, it could be a sign of costly water damage. Alternately, if it smells excessively fragrant, many candles are lit or air fresheners used, the pleasant smell could be an attempt at masking something far worse.

Pests– Like animals in the walls, there can also be insects or rodents in the home. Pests can be a significant issue not only for the damage they cause, but also because they aren’t easily spotted. Look for droppings in or around the kitchen or bathroom floor, as well as signs of nesting like scraps of paper or bits of string or ribbon.

Paint– Seeing new paint in a home is not necessarily a red flag, however, if you notice one painted wall or area amidst others which have not been painted you may want to bring that up with your agent. Sometimes paint is used to cover water marks or other damage for a quick sale, and the buyer is left facing a bigger issue down the line.

Shoddy Repairs – In some cases homeowners may feel they have the experience to do home repairs themselves when they should have called a professional. Bringing along a trusted professional (such as a contractor, plumber or electrician) to a showing can make all the difference. They can point out an amateur fix and give you a good idea of what else might need fixing.

Electrical Issues– Check all plugs and switches. If lights flicker, the switches or outlets are warm to the touch, or the outlets look original to a home older than you, those can end up being costly updates to make.

Now that you have an idea of some things to look for during this process, hopefully you feel a little more at ease. Once you’ve found a home that meets your expectations, your agent will work with you on next steps like submitting an offer and arranging for a home inspection.  A thorough home inspection by a qualified professional may confirm your worries or dispel them so be sure to review his or her report before making a decision. The bottom line is that buying a home should be an accomplishment to look forward to with transparency and far less stress. Luckily for you it can be with the right representation.

Do I Dare? The Truth About Foreclosures, Short Sales, and REOs

By exitrealty / 

The terms “foreclosure,” “short sale,” and the acronym “REO” tend to get a bad rap in real estate. Be it inexperience or misunderstanding, because people aren’t sure what each stand for, a great deal of agents and homebuyers steer clear of these kinds of sales. Since it isn’t uncommon for misunderstandings to lead to unnecessary fears, let’s remove some of the taboo, and shed some light on these terms so you can decide whether one of these types of properties is for you.

Let’s face it, when many people hear one of these terms, thoughts of a home in complete disrepair with a big red X on the door come to mind, or assumptions about an undesirable neighborhood arise. That’s not always the case. These types of sales are all based on seller circumstances but as we know, misfortune doesn’t discriminate. Sure, you may find a small home in need of new plumbing throughout, but you might also find a gorgeous home with little to no work needed, for which you wouldn’t otherwise qualify. In some cases, if the homeowner can’t afford the mortgage, they may not have maintained the property for years, on the other hand there are also many cases of hardship, where a homeowner becomes ill or loses a job and can no longer pay their mortgage for the home in which they’ve done nothing but take pride.

Foreclosure – When a homeowner is no longer paying their mortgage, and the loan becomes delinquent, the bank or lender will contact the owner to see if they’re able to pay it off in full. If they cannot, the process starts with a Notice of Foreclosure where the lender will take possession of the property to sell it and recoup as much of the debt as possible. A foreclosure dramatically affects the borrower’s credit score and stays on their credit report for seven years. Foreclosures are sold at auction, of which the procedure and laws vary by state and country. For example, in Massachusetts the auction is held at the property location, while in Florida they’re usually held at the county courthouse. Foreclosure homes are typically sold “as-is” or “sight unseen,” meaning that the mortgager will not be paying for any updates or repairs and the buyer will not be able to inspect the property prior to purchase. Foreclosures are also typically paid in cash to avoid financing contingencies and hasten the process. To get a better idea of what the laws are where you live, check here if you live in the U.S. In Canada foreclosures are less common due to stricter lending requirements, and the preferred process that keeps the lender from involving the court system is called Power of Sale.

Short Sale – With a short sale, if a homeowner is having trouble paying their mortgage and they owe more than what they can get for it through a sale in the current market they, or a representative for the borrower, contact the lender to see if they qualify for this option. The lender will ask for information to begin a short sale package which includes financial statements and a hardship letter from the seller. This process is less damaging to the seller’s credit score and usually shows that the seller took responsibility by trying their best to get the lender’s money back. If they haven’t already done so, the seller will find a real estate professional to list the property. The real estate agent must disclose that “the terms are subject to the mortgage lender’s approval” and usually the property is sold “as-is” due to the seller not having the ability to pay for repairs and the lender not wanting to lose any more money on the property. Contrary to its name, when looking to purchase a short sale property keep in mind that it’s not called a short sale due to the length of time it takes. In fact, it’s the opposite. The term means that the sale price will likely fall “short” of the debt owed on the property. Though purchasing a short sale can be similar to a regular home buying experience, some major differences are the length of time to close, the amount of paperwork involved, and the fact that you’re dealing more with the lender than the seller as they need to be the ones approving the offer.

Real Estate Owned (REO) – This type of property is not sold at a foreclosure auction; the bank already owns it. Often during a foreclosure auction the lender sets the price trying to recuperate not only what is owing on the home, but also the interest and legal fees that have accrued, which can take the price far over fair market value. This can sometimes deter bids, so the property remains in the bank’s possession. The bank will then hire a broker to help sell the property, which could come to market at a discounted price or with incentives like a reduced down payment or faster approval.

REOs are not always a bargain, as the banks are looking to make money. If you’re purchasing one, use the services of an experienced real estate agent who will check the title or deed that serves as evidence of ownership, and recommend you get a home appraisal and inspection.

Now that you know there isn’t a condemned property behind every door with these types of sales, there might be a little less trepidation, right? Whether you want to purchase one of these property options or you’re still on the fence, know that these types of sales come with baggage and are not for everyone. Some are the stuff of dreams for home flippers or investors who can budget for worst case scenarios based on square footage, others can be the perfect financial opportunity needed for first-time homebuyers to break into the market. Either way, with the right, experienced real estate professional working on your behalf, a foreclosure, short sale, or REO property might be perfect for you.

What Size Home is the Right Size?


by exitrealty / May 21, 2019

Whether you are on the market for your first home or you’re an empty nester ready to make a change, an important question to ask yourself is, “How much home do I really need?” The answer can lead to finding exactly the right property for the next chapter of your life. Here are a few points to consider before starting your search.

Lifestyle – Does your life revolve around working at the office and spending nights out with friends or are you more of a home body? If you don’t spend much time there, does it make sense to buy a large home? Maybe you are somewhere in between. Think about how you spend your time and what you like to do. If you have a large extended family and would love to invite them to your home regularly, maybe a little more space makes sense.

Number & Use of Rooms – This point may seem simple, but consider your current circumstances as well as what the future may hold. Maybe there are only two of you now, but if you’re looking to start a family, that could impact the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you might need down the road. Also, would you use all of the bedrooms as such, or do you work from home and need a space where you can shut out the rest of the hustle and bustle?

Affordability – Typically the larger the home you purchase, the more expensive it will be. That isn’t only true initially, but also when maintaining, furnishing, heating and cooling it. The size of your home impacts the property tax you’ll pay as well.

Be Realistic – Sure, it might be nice to have a personal gym or a designated play room, but how often will that space be used? Also, think of what you are willing to do around the house. Do you want to clean every square foot or will you resent some of this extra space? Likewise, if you are constantly bumping shoulders while brushing your teeth with your partner you might not be thrilled you opted for less space. Create a list of priorities and make sure they are reasonable for you and your family or circumstances.

If you constantly entertain, already have a large family, or you like room to spread out then a big home is probably right for you. If you spend a lot of time away from home or prefer a more minimalistic way of life, maybe a small home is where you belong.

Understanding Downpayments

April 2019


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Brought to you by Theresa Harden, R

Down Payment Dilemma: How Do You Know How Much to Put Down on a Home?


For many prospective home buyers, the down payment is the most daunting hurdle in the race to buy a home. Even for people with decent credit and a healthy paycheck, the down payment can be the great home ownership killer.

The big question for all prospective buyers is: how much should my down payment be? Most lenders will tell you that 20 percent is the standard, but is that really necessary?

The short answer is no, but of course there are some caveats.

“It’s a myth that all home buyers must have a 20 percent down payment to buy a home,” says Nancy Herrera-Siples, a Riverside, CA, branch manager at Primary Residential Mortgage. So why all the fuss over having 20 percent to put down? “Because if you don’t, it usually means you’ll have to shell out money for either private mortgage insurance (PMI) or government insurance, which is usually financed by the Federal Housing Administration,” according to Herrera-Siples.

Still, when a low down-payment is your only option to buy a home, PMI might literally be a small price to pay. Remember that PMI goes away eventually when your loan balance is 80 percent or less of the home’s value. If you’re in an area where homes are rising in value, this could happen sooner than you think.

Here are a few reasons to go high… or low.

When to make a substantial down payment:

  • When you’re looking to keep your monthly payment as low as possible and have cash to spare.
  • When you’re approaching retirement age and can envision a reverse mortgage sometime down the line.
  • When the interest rate is lower with a higher down payment. “The more you put down, the better position you are in for negotiating a lower interest rate,” says Credit.com.
  • If you’re worried about being underwater. If the market should drop in your area, you run the risk of owing more than your home is worth.

When to go low:

  • When you don’t have the funds for a higher down payment and can’t earn or borrow them quickly enough.
  • When the rate on your FHA or Fannie or Freddie loan is comparable to that you’d get with a higher down payment.
  • When you need to escape a high-rent situation and the monthly payment on a house is lower than what you’re currently paying, even with the PMI factored in.
  • When you’re confident your home will appreciate quickly, allowing you to refinance and get rid of PMI quickly.

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