4 Important Things to Do Before Buying a Property "Sight-Unseen" in Hawaii
Buying a property in Hawaii “sight-unseen” can be done! When I assist sight-unseen clients, these are just some of the things I offer to help them feel more “at peace” about their Hawaii property purchase.
Why would someone buy a property sight-unseen in Hawaii? Well, because it’s more affordable to buy in Hawaii at this time and some of the foreclosure properties are such a great deal – in terms of market value and quality built homes – sometimes it’s too risky to pass up if you’ve been shopping for real estate in Hawaii for awhile. Here are 4 tips to read before purchasing a Hawaii property sight-unseen:
Tip #1. Have a Realtor Video Tour the Property For You
One of the things I do for my clients when they buy a property sight-unseen is to videotape the property from a location that the buyer is familiar with (like the highway), or from the property.
With my iPhone, it’s capable of video taping, and even better than that, Skyping, a showing of the property with clients live. This particular video was of a property that just closed a few months ago for sight-unseen clients and the new owners asked me to check on the place—so, I did a video walk through for them.
Preview a Hawaii property
Here’s a short clip of a property tour that is offered for any clients wishing to preview a Hawaii property that are not on-island. You will get to hear the birds and the natural sounds of the area, so you can get an idea of what the property has to offer. It may be in “raw” video form, but this is so you can get the full idea of the property, as if you were walking through it yourselves.
Tip #2. Have a Realtor Take Lots of Pictures
Besides taking a full video of the property you are interested in, taking lots of pictures is key to creating “peace of mind” for any buyer who isn’t available to view the property themselves.
This particular property has so many awesome features…like a central sound system, a central vacuum, a salt water pool, 3 separate living areas besides the main house…and not all of these features can be captured on film, so it’s best to have both video, photos, along with MLS details – as more information is better than less, when buying sight-unseen.
Tip #3. Get a Home Inspection
A home inspection is your best bet for checking out a property in detail, more so than you looking at the property yourself. A home inspector will:
- Check the attic and basement
- Check the electrical systems
- Check all water systems
- Check water pressure, temperature, and more!
Worth the cost (average $400+ depending on square footage), a home inspector can actually add value to the property you are buying.
Some Realtors – especially the ones who have foreclosure properties listed, where they have no contact with previous owners who had lived in the property – have little or no information about the property, or the building itself. A home inspector will check the property in detail and give you a printed report with pictures of everything that he/she has seen that will help you know more about what you are investing in.
Mike Woodbury with Woodbury Home Inspections is very thorough at taking lots of pictures, then sending a detailed report of everything he found about the property that will be helpful to you. Instead of having a Seller’s Disclosure Statement, a home inspection is the next best thing to know exactly what you are buying.
In this case, the home inspection added value to the property – since we didn’t know the house was completely made of Cedar (no termites) and had home insulation, among other great things – this foreclosure property was worth the buy!
Tip #4. Get Neighborhood Updates and Contacts
Once you’ve purchased your property, I provide clients with the names and addresses of all the current property owners in the area – just in case you need to communicate with your neighbors.
After the sale, I will keep you on the MLS Search for the area in and around the property you purchased – so you can be updated of the activity and sales values moving forward. This information is helpful for sight-unseen clients as well as investors who would like to evaluate the “climate” of the market as it happens.
I’d be happy to customize any property search for viewing for your specific needs and I look forward to being of service to you in any way I can! The more you know, the better you will feel about buying property in Hawaii.
Blessings and Aloha,
Claire K. Bajo, RS