Buying Advice

It’s All About Perspective

We received a call the other day from a buyer who said that he knows it is a “buyer’s market.” A “buyer’s market” is one in which the market favors buyers, typically occurring when supply outpaces demand. While this is definitely not the case at the moment, things did begin shifting a bit last summer.

Impact of Interest Rates

Interest rates were largely blamed for this shift. Every economist I listened to (and there have been many) predicted rates would go down this year. This caused some buyers to stay on the sidelines. So far, rates have not come down, and it doesn’t seem it will happen anytime soon.

I love the social media post about the person who waited from the 70s until the 90s for interest rates to go down so they could buy. They finally got a better rate but missed 22 years of appreciation! The point is, you just can’t time the market. When you find the property you want, you should buy it. Period, end of story!

Perspective on Current Rates

Besides, today’s rates are only high compared to the ridiculously low rates during COVID. The rate on my first home was 9.5%, and I thought I struck gold because they had recently been as high as 22% (talk about a time for creative financing!). It seems un-American for rates to remain high close to an election, but because the Fed is not supposed to be political, a reduction is certainly not a given.

Market Predictions and Personal Experience

Changes coming down the pipe (of which I cannot yet speak) will make the market more confused for a while, which further underscores the reason for buyers to be aggressive in their search. Remember that 22 years of appreciation I spoke of? I purchased my own home in 1999. I have done some work on it, but it has appreciated 212% in 25 years. During that time, I built equity not only through appreciation but by paying down my mortgage—all while I lived there and didn’t pay rent. Try that in the stock market!

Taking Action Now

So, if you are one of those sitting on the sidelines waiting for interest rates to come down, wait no further! Have your agent put you on a system that automatically notifies you of new inventory. This allows you to see available properties even before your agent. Look and then decide. Get started where you can. Don’t worry about finding your forever home!

Exploring Loan Programs

There are still many great loan programs; many require no down payment. Don’t be afraid to ask the seller to pay your closing costs. Use a local lender and start enjoying the benefits of home ownership today!

About the Author

Denise Nakanishi

Denise Nakanishi is a REALTOR Broker with Hawai'i Life. Denise Nakanishi is one of Hilo's most acclaimed real estate agents. She reached the rank of Major in the US Army and is now known by many as "Major Mom." The nickname fits–not only does Denise bring the discipline and mission-oriented attitude you'd expect, she's also caring and compassionate, always looking out for her clients like they're her own family. Having made the Big Island her home since 1987, Denise combines her extensive knowledge of the area with a sharp focus on customer service and the results speak for themselves. She's the recent recipient of the Best East Hawai`i, Best of Zillow, Chairman's Circle Award, President's Circle, Top Producing Agent since 2001, and Realtor of the Year awards. Denise stays ahead of the curve because she's passionate about education–she served as Education Chair for Hawaii Island REALTORS® for many years. She's one of Big Island's best real estate resources, known for her weekly article in the Hawaii Tribune Herald. Denise leads Team Nakanishi for Hawai`i Life, who is committed to their family, work, and community. In her little time away from work, Denise is a committed runner and Grandy. She also devotes many hours to various Veterans' Organizations, the East Hawaii Cultural Center, and the Hawaii Island REALTORS®. You can email me at or via phone at (808) 936-5100.

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