Thinking of Buying in “The Parkways at Maui Lani”? Read This First!
Our First Hand Experience
A little over a year ago my family and I were fortunate enough to purchase our first Maui home in “The Parkways at Maui Lani.” As a Licensed Broker for 7 years and being able to preview homes every day for a living, I knew the Parkways offered the most value for our criteria and now as an owner in the brand new development built by Town Island Homes I’m pleased to say we could not be happier with our purchase.
However… I’ve discovered after talking with potential buyer’s and neighbors alike, the New Development learning process during our journey has proven to be invaluable. If you are at all considering buying into “The Parkways” (or really any New Residential Homes on Maui) please keep reading this blog to learn more about my buying tips and what to expect during the process.
1.) Be Very Cautious About Doing any Developer Upgrades
Not all, but most developers are not in the business of cutting you a deal on upgrades. This was no exception for us. To each his own— so please take the below advice in stride but this is a breakdown of our experience as best as I can recall:
- $24,000 for Central AC as an upgrade!? Pass on this. Call Certified A/C here on Maui or your preferred A/C installer and they’ll have the job done for you in 3 days. You can pocket a savings of 10k+ to use towards other expenses.
- Think hard about upgrading your flooring from the standard carpet. This one may be worth it for the convenience of having it done before you move in with all of your furniture, however, if you’re a DIY’er or willing to work with a contractor after the fact, there is yet another 10k+ of savings on the table to be had.
- I don’t completely remember the cost of the granite countertop upgrade off the top of my head but this may be another option that may be better to pass on depending on personal preference. The Corian countertops that come standard actually came out very sharp and they give you lots of options on color selection. I opted to stay with the Corian for now and maybe sometime next year we’ll upgrade through Home Depot to a simple all white Quartz countertop. Granite can look great in some homes but I’m noticing a trend away from granite and towards engineered quartz for various reasons. Doing so may help protect your resale value should trends continue toward this neutral look on top of additional savings on materials and labor.
- When it came to the kitchen appliances, I was able to buy the exact same Slate refrigerator at Home Depot for $2,100 as opposed to the $3,200 the developer offered. The rest of the kitchen appliances I upgraded to the Slate package for the convenience factor. It can be hard to time things with HD and Lowes as most appliances need to be shipped over which can potentially put you in a bind with your closing date. In hindsight, I may have been able to save another $1000 buying all of our appliances from HD/Lowes while also having a wider range of selection. That being said, I’m still very happy with our slate appliances and how things worked out overall.
- I’m going to advise passing on the washer and dryer from the upgrades list. I made the mistake of purchasing these from the developer to the tune of about $2,600 for both W/D (top-load). Had I priced these out I now know I could have easily found a better quality W/D combo for a little over $1000 from a retailer.
- Pass on the Ceiling Fans. $650/installed for each fan is a no go in my book. I was able to find sleek modern koa fans at HD for $240 each. Yes, it was no fun installing 5 fans but even if you pay someone to do it for you, you’ll still come out ahead all while having a wider variety of ceiling fans to help showcase your home.
2.) Plan on $50,000 + Out of Pocket After Closing
Below is a list of cost ranges to give you a ballpark breakdown and idea on how quick things can add up depending on your floor plan and lot size. Some neighbors have opted to do their own landscaping, etc. I decided to build my fence with Hardwood that I ordered online from the mainland and pay a professional to take the landscaping job off my plate. Had I opted for the typical Vinyl fencing, professionally installed, it would have cost around $25,000 since I had a lot of linear feet to my yard (7,200 Sq Ft lot). I was able to build a horizontal wood fence out of a Brazilian hardwood similar to Ipe for half of the cost but keep in mind that I did perform the labor myself (thanks to “How To” Youtube videos). This project was not the easiest or quick, but it was the one I felt I could take on during my free time while opting to pay a professional landscaper to do the yard. Even though the home prices have performed very well by Maui standards, you still always want to do what you can to prevent yourself from comp’ing yourself out of your neighborhood. It’s essential to add value wherever you can while keeping a close eye on your overhead and be sure not to make costly mistakes that can negatively impact the price of your home when you go to sell it in the future:
- Central A/C = $13,000- $16,000
- Landscaping = $10,000 – $20,000
- Fence = $10,000 – $45,000
- Ceiling Fans = $250 each
- Washer and Dryer = $500 – $1500
- Driveway Extension = $1500
- Kitchen Appliances = $3000
- Paint (Interior) = $2,000 – $4,000
- Window Treatments = $2,000 – $6,000
Other projects I was able to accomplish this year; building a sliding barn door in the master bedroom with the leftover wood from the fence project ($80 for the hardware on amazon prime), backsplash in the kitchen ($800 for glass tile and supplies), changing out shower heads and light fixtures for a more custom/modern feel ($400), Framing the bathroom mirrors with wood molding ($50) and changing out the kitchen faucet ($170)
3.) Be Ready to Work with the Design Review Board
Things take time on Maui and the Maui Lani DRB is no different. The employees working the office are awesome and great to work with but there is a learning curve involved on top of application fees. The more you can understand what you want to do while you’re in escrow and who you are going to hire can save you a ton of headache and time. Each time you make a change to your landscape/fence plans can potentially cost you a $75 review fee on top of the initial $150 app fee. Working with vendors who are familiar with the Maui Lani DRB is extremely helpful. I learned this the hard way after talking with 6 different landscapers just to try to get a bid.
4.) Think About Using a Realtor to Represent You as a Buyer – It’s No Cost to You and Can be Very Advantageous!
I often hear buyers mention that they didn’t even know they could use a Realtor to represent them in their purchase on New Development. Most tend to walk into the sales office on a whim during the weekend and even though they might already have a Realtor who’s been showing them around or educating them on the market, they preview the beautiful shiny model homes and forget all about Realtor Dan/Danielle. When it finally hits them, they think it’s too late and the Realtor gets to learn about it on Facebook with their brand new house keys in hand (Always Fun). Now I totally understand some people just don’t want to have buyer representation and that’s fine…but some of the key advantages will not only be an educated helping hand to personally guide you through escrow, but also an agent that can help you after closing to get settled and coordinated with tried and true vendors. On top of this, the added service comes at no cost to you as this is a Developer cost. Often times the sales reps have a ton on their plate with so many other moving parts and at the end of the day, their client and fiduciary responsibility is to the developer, NOT you. So find someone who you can lean on for the entire buying process, help you completely understand contracts/escrow, advise on prime location lots (sleepers), which floor plans have better resale value and hopefully a new friend, if not already, in the process.
Does All of This Sound Like Too Much Work and Time For You?
Time for Option B.
One of the benefits of buying new development is that typically the developer tends to price the homes at a discount in order to finish out their project and move on to the next one – Time is Money rings especially true to developers. This can be a great opportunity for the right buyer who A. Does not need a place to live right away and can wait while the home is being built and B. OK with all of the sweat and check equity that’s needed for the first year to make the home feel like home.
The obvious disadvantages are: often have to get on a waitlist, you may not get the lot/floor plan you want, you may not have the time and energy for countless projects, and you may just not have the extra funds to come out of pocket (especially after putting up a down-payment) so you would prefer to bundle everything into a mortgage.
If the latter is the case please continue reading below on a great opportunity for the right buyer who wants’s a turn key home that feels as good as new.
84 Olina St. in “The Parkways @ Maui Lani” – Feels brand new and all of the heavy lifting is done!
JUST LISTED! Great Value and can be sold Fully Furnished!
“Makena/P3” – 3 Bedroom/2 Bath Highly Desirable Floor Plan and single-level home sits perfectly on a corner lot in the premier master planned community of “The Parkways at Maui Lani”. Conveniently located within close proximity to some of Maui’s best parks and the award-winning Pomaika’i Elementary School. Enter to a bright and airy front entryway, which flows seamlessly into the open and inviting living area that provides coastal ambiance throughout. The spacious kitchen offers new appliances, custom backsplash, Corian countertops and a large bay window for plenty of natural light. The covered back lanai is a shady sanctuary perfect for relaxation and entertaining. The lush 5,990 square foot lot has been professionally landscaped and lined with Areca palms for privacy as well as a variety of beautiful plants surrounding the home for a tropical feel. This home was built with quality and style by Town Island Homes and has only been lived in for only 1 year+. Furnishings negotiable.
If you have any interest in 84 Olina St or would like to schedule a showing, reach out anytime. If you are interested in Maui Real Estate and have any questions about new development vs. resale, please do not hesitate to call anytime. I’m an open book and always more than happy to help with any questions.