Buying Advice

Military PCS to Oahu – Buying Site Unseen

An overseas PCS move can be complicated in “normal” times, and this moment in time is anything but normal! So how can moving your military family to Oahu be eased? Securing your on-island housing ahead of time can minimize risk by allowing you to do a door-to-door move.

Hawaii currently has a mandatory 14-day quarantine, which is set to expire on August 31, 2020. And while there is an exemption for military service members, many commands are continuing to follow the State guidelines. But even when the quarantine expires, the reality is, there is still a serious health risk that demands a new protocol. So, let’s talk about how you can execute a home purchase site unseen.

Choose Wisely

Choosing an agent that you trust and communicate well with, is a critical component of your buying process. This is true when buying in person, but is even more important when working together from afar. Choose an agent that:

  • Picks up the phone when you call!
  • Understands the type of home you are looking for and doesn’t waste your time deviating from your goal.
  • Is willing and able to address your questions and concerns.
  • Is willing to dive into the details.
  • Has vast market knowledge.
  • Can curate a competitive offer.
  • Has local service providers to assist you throughout the process and beyond.
  • Shows up!

Hello. Can You Hear Me?

Not only should you expect your agent to pick up the phone, or shoot you a quick text if they can’t immediately take your call. Sounds simple, but you may be surprised that this does not always happen. You should feel heard and confident that your agent understands your goals and desires and is working in your best interest. That being said, sometimes buyer’s wish list and budget are not in alignment, but your agent can help you reassess your “must haves.”

Your agent is your guide, so if there is something you don’t understand, you should feel comfortable asking any questions you may have without ever feeling that you are imposing.

The Devil is in the Details

Since you won’t have eyes on the property or neighborhood, find an agent that will do a slow and detailed virtual tour, or two, if that is what it takes to make you comfortable. Want to see what your commute will look like, ask your agent to show you the route. Kids want to see their new school? Have your agent request an in-person tour that can be recorded. A quick video drive through of the neighborhood can give you a look at the overall atmosphere and nearby amenities. With today’s technology, your agent has the tools to make you feel as if you are here on island.

Market Knowledge

Market knowledge is key in determining if you are making a wise purchase and what you should offer. An understanding of the median home prices, latest sales, health of the HOA, pet policy, neighborhood features and what properties rent for in that neighborhood, should you wish to hold the home for investment purposes, are all things your agent can help you navigate. And if they don’t know the answer, they can be the source of the source.

It’s Competitive

Low inventory and high demand create a competitive market on Oahu. Your agent’s market knowledge will be helpful when entering into the offer stage of the process. And while the offer price is important, the Purchase Contract has a lot of nuances. Using an agent that understands how to write a competitive offer and can speak to the Listing Agent about the strength of your offer can be the tipping point between securing the property and losing out.

Even if you have experience in buying real estate, ask your agent to go over the Purchase Contract with you so that you have a clear understanding of what you are signing.

Local Resources

Having access to tried and true resources, such as lenders, home inspectors, plumbers, contractors and electricians can be valuable as things come up during the escrow process and beyond.

Show Up!

Along the same lines as answering the phone, your agent should be present during all important milestones of the escrow process, such as the home inspection and final walkthrough. Again, they are your eyes on the property, and should go above and beyond to make sure you are completely comfortable with the buying process. Even small details like taking measurements of windows so you can pre-order window coverings!

Hear more about my client’s experience and tips on buying a home site unseen in Kailua.

Are you PCSing to Oahu and want to explore your options? Give me a call. I’d be happy to help you!

Virtual Final Walkthrough

Commute from Waialua to Schofield

Past client, Susan Nastase’s experience with buying site unseen

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