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Buying Real Estate Sight Unseen in Hawaii

Well, one thing is for sure is that 2020 will not quickly leave anyone’s mind anytime soon. This has been a heck of a year for the entire planet. As we start looking towards the last quarter of 2020, there certainly has been a ton of changes. The one thing that has remained constant is everyone needs a place to live. With rolling lockdowns due to COVID, one thing has become obvious, and that is your home has become more important now than ever. As we spend more and more time social distancing, working, and learning from home, everyone is reevaluating their space and their needs. This is very obvious when you see the number of home improvements currently happing on both a large and smaller scale. The big-box retailers are months out on basic deliveries such as flooring and appliances.

Working From Home — The New Normal

There is also a revaluation of where you work, how you work, and the new question — can I do this from home? Working remotely seems to be, at least in part, here to stay. People that now can truly work from home are now also looking into where they want to live if this is the new normal. The question is do people want to be in large densely populated cities and communities, or is more space and a better quality of life taking precedence? Here in Hawaii, we are certainly seeing a shift in buying. Buyers are trading up to larger homes and now coming from all over the US and world, for that matter.

If you can telework from home — why not do it in a place like Hawaii? The weather is great, the beaches and scenery are next level, and comparatively speaking, Hawaii has a lower amount of COVID due to the smaller population. As of today, we are also seeing tremendous damage and fires in California, which is prompting yet another thought pattern of maybe its time to relocate for our West Coast clients.

Hawaii’s Mandatory 14-Day Quarantine

As of today’s date, Hawaii has a mandatory 14-day quarantine in place if you are coming into the state. This is true even traveling between neighbor islands. So the burning question is if I want to move, how do I find a home out of state? The answer is simple but yet a bit complex. The first ingredient is to have a great broker that can be your eyes and ears on the ground. This is not the time to rely on a computer program, algorithms, or discount brokers to aid in making such a monumental decision. You certainly need a great local Real Estate Broker who can tell you the good the bad and give a good sense of the area, the property, and the community.

Home Shopping Online

Recently, technology has become the most important tool in our toolbox. A buyer can start by looking at online listing photos and hopefully, the property has some form of a virtual tour. This can be as simple as a video or as detailed as a 3D mapping system such as Matterport. The next step is to have your agent Facetime, record a video or video chat as you walk through the property.

Buying Hawaii Real Estate Sight Unseen

As of lately I have had numerous clients, both Military members and civilians, sometimes halfway around the world and successfully select, buy, and close on a home completely sight unseen. This is a huge responsibility but, if done correctly, can be a breeze. My buyers have closed on their new homes, flown to Hawaii, and quarantined in their new home. Anything can be figured out and achieved if you figure out how to make it happen.

Remote From Start to Finish

My clients and I have successfully worked entirely remotely from start to finish during the entire process. This is all the way from signing all the documents electronically to having a mobile notary come to them for the final signing anywhere in the world. The military buyers sometimes halfway around the world or on a base in the desert can use the base staff to help with the notary and shipping process of the document. Obviously it’s a few more steps than normal such as measuring an area or space for the buyers or just as simple as suggesting how to layout a room with their furniture, but we are making it happen. Currently, I have a few sets of keys waiting for the buyers to make their way into the state. It is always a huge relief when the buyers finally come and see their new home, and it’s exactly as they imagined.

Looking to Buy Sight Unseen?

If you have questions about living in Hawaii, how to buy remotely, or just basic how-to questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. I can be reached by phone, text, or email at any time. I am more than happy to help in any way.

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February 10, 2021

I am looking for two things. I just refinanced my home in Hawaii. I am looking to buy another place with my VA. Secondly, I need a recommendation for a good rental agency for my current home. The home will be available for a new rental contract starting in MAY

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