Thinking of buying a new home on O’ahu? There are so many reasons to buy new construction, and with so many great options springing up all over the island, there’s really a lot from which to choose. But before you get started, here’s what you need to know about buying a new construction home on O’ahu.
7 Tips to Get the Most Out of Buying a New Home on O’ahu
1. Determine What’s Most Important
You have three basic options for buying new construction—buying a new house that’s already built (usually a condo or part of a tract subdivision), buying a semi-custom home based on a standard floorplan with optional add-ons and upgrades, or designing your own fully-custom home. Your preference may determine or limit the areas or neighborhoods in which you can look (i.e. you probably won’t be able to build a fully-custom condo in downtown Honolulu).
You will want to consider factors such as where you’ll be looking (urban Downtown Honolulu vs. suburban Ewa Beach, etc.), what style of home you’re looking for (condo vs. single-family), what type of community you’d like (neighborhood vs. condo building), and how much control you’d like to have over the features and amenities of your new home (the ability to customize).
2. Do Your Research
Don’t start searching homes unprepared! Research reviews of local builders and find out what past clients have had to say about their work. Find out what kinds of new construction or developments are going on in areas you’re interested in—this includes things like retail and restaurants, public transit, entertainment venues, and new housing developments. If you can, drive around different areas to see what they’re like at different times of day.
3. Ask Lots of Questions
Be that pesky buyer that’s always asking questions—it can save you a lot of headache later on. Ask about HOA or condo fees. Get estimated completion dates. Find out about restrictions to development of the property or the home. Ask about amenities in the neighborhood and future plans for development that could affect your home values or overall enjoyment—like new amenities or add-ons to the subdivision right behind your yard.
4. Carefully Select Your Home Features
Once you find your location and/or community, it’s time to find your home. If you’re looking at a model of a home still to be built, make sure you find out what comes standard—and what’s an upgrade. Then, determine which upgrades you need versus those that you want so you can figure out what you can actually afford. Be sure you find out what’s covered under warranties, who offers the warranty (builder vs. manufacturer), and how long it’s good for.
5. Get Your Home Inspected
6. Be Prepared to be Flexible
Even with given finish dates and move-in dates, new construction often takes longer than anticipated, and unexpected developments can push back your move dates. If you’re relocating, be prepared to make alternative plans if this is the case.
7. Always Work with a Buyer’s Agent
One of the most important things you can do is find a local O’ahu Realtor who knows the market and is experience in new constriction. Remember, agents present at construction sites work for the builder and do NOT have your best interests in mind!
A good buyer’s agent, on the other hand, will know the reputation of local builders, will know about new construction projects and plans in your area, and can help you throughout the process—from finding the right neighborhood to negotiating the best price.
Searching for an Experienced Buyer’s Agent on O’ahu?
If you’re thinking of buying a new construction home on O’ahu, then it’s time to contact RE/MAX Honolulu. As your local guides to real estate and lifestyle on the island, we’re here to help you learn more about buying a home on O’ahu, explore the island and its beautiful cities, discover new construction communities, and find the perfect home for sale.