If you’re thinking of buying a luxury home in Hawaii, there’s no doubt that O’ahu is the place to find it—whether you’re looking for a stunning waterfront estate or an ultra-glamorous penthouse condo in Honolulu. But before you get started, here’s what you need to know about buying a luxury home in O’ahu.
Get Financial Approval Early On
Luxury loans take longer to procure, and since many sellers won’t show their homes except to qualified buyers, it’s a good idea to find a mortgage broker and start the approval process as early as possible.
Searching for a Luxury Home is a Little Different
When searching for a more moderately-priced home, online searches are probably the best way to start. But not so with luxury real estate. Often, ultra luxury homes go unlisted or are restricted to smaller sites in order to protect the privacy of theseller. Be sure to ask your Realtor if they have a private inventory of luxury homes.
Location is Key
One of the most important things you can look for in a luxury home is a great location. After all, what good is a beautiful estate if the location isn’t that great? Luckily, it’s pretty hard to go wrong on O’ahu—though some locations are definitely better than others. Consider whether you’re looking for a more secluded beachfront mansion, an estate in a waterfront luxury community like Kahala, or a bustling urban location like Ala Moana or Kakaako.
Large Homes May Not Look That Impressive on the Outside
Outside photos of large homes might be misleading. Outwardly stunning homes might not look spectacular on the inside, and conversely, unimpressive homes on the outside might boast some truly amazing interior features or unbeatable locations.
Keep New Developments in Mind
O’ahu is quickly growing, and new developments and homes are springing up all over. Before you buy a luxury home in a “great” location, find out if there are any future plans for the area, as these can crowd your property or even block your views. Using a Realtor who’s an expert not only in the local real estate market, but stays on top of local news and developments, can seriously limit this possibility.
Consider Resale Value
This home is filled with ultra-modern features and designs… but will all these designs still be popular in a few years? Some features and amenities that hold constant and are always in demand: Great views and lots of natural lighting. High ceilings. Unique but practical architectural designs. Spacious floorplans and layouts that make sense. Practicality and functionality. Ample storage and closet space.
Just because it’s a luxury home and everything looks like it’s in tip-top shape, doesn’t mean that it is. Be sure to hire an experienced luxury home inspector to ensure that everything is working at optimized functionality. For homes with specialized amenities, such as pools and spas, fountains and ponds, irrigation systems, customized outdoor lighting, or surveillance systems, you might need to hire specialized inspectors.
The O’ahu Luxury Market is STRONG!
Luxury real estate is O’ahu is booming! That means it’s a great time to buy a home… but the time to act is now. With so much demand, inventory is getting low and prices are starting to climb.
Always Use an Expert O’ahu Realtor
One of the most important aspects of buying luxury real estate is working with an experienced and local agent. It’s especially important that your realtor understands the fluctuations and the ins-and-outs of the local market and its many unique neighborhoods—and is an expert in the area as well.