Hawaii Military & the VA Loan

Honolulu County IS of the whole island of Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands. With 50+ Hawaii Military Bases and Installations on our island alone, you can guaranty that the VA Guaranteed Loan is the way to go for the Hawaii Military Veteran purchasing their piece of Hawaii and paradise with a place they can call home.

(picture to left is the model of the USS Arizona Memorial depicting the ship under water and the memorial above at Pearl Harbor Hawaii)
Remember, VA Guarantees a percentage of the loan and you still have to go through a Lender that actually does do VA Loans and it is for your OWN PERSONAL USE. (not all banks, credit unions and loan companies do VA Loans). The Veterans Administration Guaranteed Loan is one of just a couple of loan programs that allow the Veteran to finance the funding fee as well as come in with no down payment. (100% financing)
In my experience, the Hawaii Based Military personnel have purchased homes or condos totalling 1/3 of my total sales with their VA loan benefits. I have learned the process very well and you may as well consider me a Seasoned Real Estate Agent for VA Transations and the Hawaii Military Relocation.
I take pride in my relationships with the Military Stationed in Hawaii and pay particular attention to their needs when they Relocate to Hawaii. Military Transfers & Relocations to Hawaii: A Geographical Shock tells my story and travels as a Military Dependent but also that the Hawaii Military Veteran makes up 10% of our population on Oahu & the Active Duty Military Personnel make up about 3.5 % of our population on Oahu.
 
The following guidelines will help you in preparing for your Hawaii Relocation (or even if you already live here and are purchasing a home) and learning about the transaction process using your VA Guaranteed Loan:

  1. Your Realtor® needs to know what price range you qualify for in order to search through the MLS system for properties in your criteria that you provide (i.e. #bedrooms, baths, etc). If you do not know a LOCAL lender Your Realtor® can refer you to a couple who are well qualified and know the State Laws In Hawaii. Local lenders also will be walking along side you step by step as well as being face to face at time of signing loan docs.
  2. When the Loan Officer lets both you and Your Realtor® know what price range you are qualified for the Oahu and Surrounding Neighborhood Search: Relocations Hawaii gives you information on how Your Realtor® will set you up with a detailed web page according to your criteria for property listings.
  3. Get your financial documents together (and make sure you don’t let the movers pack them!) such as LES’s for a whole month prior (you can also get this on MyPay online so not to worry), last two years of W-2’s, last two months bank statements, any documents relating to your VA disability (if you are a disabled vet) and whatever the Loan Officer tells you that you will need.
  4. Your VA Certificate of Eligibility will be ordered by the Loan Officer online once you go through the loan application process and it saves you the trip to Tripler Army Medical Center -VA Office- so, not to worry. VA guarantees approximately 25% of your loan to the lender.
  5. Your Credit (FICO) Score and Income make a difference if you are to be qualified for a VA Loan. Remember, just because you have VA Benefits does not mean you don’t have to have decent or some credit. There is a criteria that the Lenders follow according to VA guidelines. (i.e. if you have NO credit you cannot obtain a loan. Get a gas card and credit card to establish credit. You DO have to show a history of payments). Your debt to loan ratio is also taken into consideration and part of the criteria.
  6. This Realtor® makes showing appointments according to the criteria you have specified. You will know which home to put an offer in on and it’ll be when you walk in a home and you say, “This feels like the right home for me!”
  7. Then the contract is drawn up and this Realtor® explains each contingency throughout the contract while signing. The offer is submitted to the Seller’s Agent and when it is accepted by the seller the Transaction and Loan Process begins!
  8. This Realtor® sends the accepted contract to the Loan Officer and Opens Escrow. All documents and you initial deposit check will be submitted to escrow during the transaction and you will make an appointment immediately to submit all documentation and go through the VA application/signing with the loan officer. From there the loan officer orders the appraisal.
  9. This Realtor® will set a time & date coinciding with your schedule to do your home inspection and will also give you a list of professional home inspectors to choose from. The home inspection will show you if there is anything to be repaired or remedied,
  10. The Condominium and/or Subdivision Association Documents should be ordered immediately after acceptance of the offer and in the buyer’s hands within 10-14 days after acceptance. This agent will make copies of the Budget, last three Association minutes and the Property Information form (RR105C) and submit it to the lender. They need this for the VA Loan Guidelines and process for your loan. (these documents will show how the Association budgets their money in reserve. % of owner occupants, any pending concerns or litigation going on and so forth.
  11. Provided your loan process goes smoothly you should have a Conditional Loan Commitment Letter within the first three weeks in contract. This is an approval of your loan with Conditions. Maybe you need to submit a couple of more documents or the appraisal is not in yet or the survey and termite inspection are not done yet. These are the types of conditions that will be listed on this letter.
  12. Within two weeks after the Conditional Loan Commitment letter is issued all the conditions should be complete for signing documents with escrow and the loan officer. Not to worry! I attend all signings with you. Approximately two to three days after signing the lender will wire all monies to escrow (funding) and when escrow receives all monies they will take the documents to the Bureau of Conveyances to record. One day later the Bureau gives clearance of recording and in turn escrow notifies all parties, and….
At this time, I call you and say, Congratulations! You now own your home!

How Can I Obtain More Information About VA Home Loans?

Call VA at 1-800-827-1000 or contact a local lender or real estate professional. Pamphlets available from VA include: 26-4 VA Guaranteed Loans for Veterans

Honolulu County Hawaii Military Bases & Installations- Oahu Neighborhoods
LIVE on VIDEO: A Hawaii Military Relocation Story Comes to Life
*Across the Ocean to Paradise: Military Relocations Hawaii*
The Art of Hawaii Relocations
The Cost of Living Factor in Considering A Hawaii Relocation
Oahu and Surrounding Neighborhood Search: Relocations Hawaii
Aiea, Pearl City Neighborhoods- Hawaii Military Relocation

~~~~~
It’s not easy moving across the Pacific Ocean and purchasing your Hawaii Home;
let alone to a totally different “world” of people.
But you can do it with a little effort, motivation and a great Realtor®!

If you’re Relocating to Hawaii (regardless if it’s near future or just wanting to be proactive for the future) contact me to get started with your search for Hawaii Homes for Sale.

Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman, RA, e-PRO / Century 21 Liberty Homes, Mililani, Hawaii
© Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman, All rights reserved.
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HAWAII VA LOANS | Hawaii Military Relocations |This Realtors® Process

Active Duty or Veterans of the Armed Forces have VA Home Loan benefits for their home purchase that have proven beneficial for when it comes to little or no money down loan program. (provided their credit is satisfactory) VA guarantees the Local Lender that they will reimburse the lender a percentage should the veteran default on their loan. The following brochure What VA Does For the Home Buying Veteran should be very useful guidelines and loads of information.
*Across the Ocean to Paradise: Military Relocations Hawaii* has loads of information for your Military Relocation to Hawaii so you will have pertinent information on what to expect in your relocation to our island paradise.
Currently, I have one VA Loan client in contract and the other one has already been prequalified and coming to Honolulu Hawaii next month specifically to put in an offer during their 5 day house hunting trip so they can return back to the mainland and pack for their Hawaii Relocation in February. VA Loans are abundant here due to our high volume of military personnel and presence on Oahu, Hawaii.
The following steps are what this Real Estate Professional does in order to make your Relocation to Hawaii as smooth as possible concerning your real estate transaction and VA Loan Process.

Speak to a Local Hawaii Lender (if you do not have one I can refer you to a few who are well qualified in the State of Hawaii) to submit your information and get prequalified.

  • While talking to the Loan Officer make sure and let him/her know what you are comfortable with for monthly mortgage payments. After getting prequalified your Realtor® will now know in what price range to search for properties for you.
  • Let your agent know what other criteria you are looking for as far as # bedrooms/ # of baths, sq. ft. interior/land, parking, single family or condo/townhouse. Just remember to go over the *Across the Ocean to Paradise: Military Relocations Hawaii* because this gives pertinent information on what to expect in your Hawaii Relocation.
  • Get all your financial paperwork together so you will have it with you when you arrive.(Do not pack your bank statements, W-2’s, LES’s and important documents you will need to submit for your loan!)
  • If you have a couple of months to spare you may order your Certificate of Eligibility from the Veterans of Affairs office. It is not necessary to do so though, because our lenders order them online once you start your loan process and if anything is held up we have a VA office centrally located on Oahu for your convenience and it takes just minutes.
  • Start your loan process before you get here so you will have everything in place when you submit an offer for a loan. The loan process is the lengthy and of course an important part of the transaction so it is better to be proactive in your process. Your closing costs can be included with your loan so you will have minimal costs to come in with and to close with.
  • Appointments are made and off we go in search of your new home! When you decide that you would like to put in an offer we will go through the whole 12 page (plus addendum’s) contract and submit it to the sellers agent to present to the seller.
  • After the offer is accepted the loan process begins. You will meet with your Loan Officer to submit your complete application and submit all documentation needed for your VA Loan process packet. Then it goes to Underwriting to process the initial packet and order the appraisal with their VA approved appraisers.
  • The Condominium and/or Subdivision Association Documents should be ordered immediately after acceptance of the offer and in the buyer’s hands within 10-14 days after acceptance. This agent will make copies of the Budget, last three Association minutes and the Property Information form (RR105C) and submit it to the lender. They need this for the VA Loan Guidelines and process for your loan. (these documents will show how the Association budgets their money in reserve. % of owner occupants, any pending concerns or litigation going on and so forth.
  • Provided your loan process goes smoothly you should have a Conditional Loan Commitment Letter within the first three weeks in contract. This is an approval of your loan with Conditions. Maybe you need to submit a couple of more documents or the appraisal is not in yet or the survey and termite inspection are not done yet. These are the types of conditions that will be listed on this letter.
  • Within two weeks after the Conditional Loan Commitment letter is issued all the conditions should be complete for signing documents with escrow and the loan officer. Not to worry! I attend all signings with you.
  • In Hawaii, we do not sign at the same time as the Seller due to conflict of interest and we sign approximately four days before recording. After the signing, the loan officer takes the notarized and signed documents to go through processing and within 2.5 days the Lender should have funded the money for your loan to the escrow company. When escrow receives all monies then they will take the documents to the Bureau of Conveyances in Honolulu to record. By the next business day it will record and we usually get word between 8-10am. At that time, the home is legally yours and I will have already made arrangements and have your keys in hand to open the doors to your new home.
    Congratulations!
    It’s not easy moving across the Pacific Ocean let alone to a totally different “world” of people but you can do it with effort, motivation and a great Realtor®!
    Call me for a Relocation Packet and more info!
    Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman, Realtor Associate ®
    Century 21 Liberty Homes
    95-221 Kipapa Drive, Mililani, HI * (808) 375-1404
    http://www.hawaiihomesmarket.com/
    http://woohoosally.blogspot.com/

     

    Online Hawaii Relocation Package

    So….you are Relocating to Hawaii with the Military, a Job Transfer or just want to Retire here in our islands …… well, you came to the right place for information galore to help you adjust in your move….across the ocean to Paradise.

    Your Relocation to Hawaii and Purchasing Your New Home. The following information is basic but pertinent information to go over before you even pack for your transfer and before considering purchasing your Honolulu County (Oahu) home. Moving across the Pacific Ocean to a totally different and diverse culture may be of a shock and you may want to brush up on a few tips to make your transition a smooth one.

    Land Use and other Zoning Laws It is without a doubt that our Hawaiian Islands have little buildable land so it is detrimental to keep all of our zoning and land use laws intact. The majority of our land is Preservation and Conservation land and the following will give you insight

    Neighborhoods in Honolulu County and Market Report too! An insight into the different neighborhoods and what they have to offer. You will also get current market statistics in each community for which I wrote for that period.

    Honolulu County (Oahu) Weather and Traffic – It is a given that with an island so small and a population of almost one million that we do have peak traffic hours as in any other part of the country. For a look at Oahu’s traffic click on the following TRAFFIC CAM to view during peak hours.

    Things to Do, History & Places to See – A three part series for a brief, condensed Points of Interest series to learn a little about our island and our so diverse and full of different cultures and ways of life.

    Condo or Townhouse Living: Rules to Follow and Steps to Protect: If you are contemplating downsizing then condo / townhouse living may be an option. With maintenance fees for most associations taking care of the bulk of your homeowner’s insurance (common elements), and repairs to the outside, roof, grounds and water/trash and sewere this may just be an option.

    History of schools and links to Hawaii’s Education System A brief look at the history of Hawaii and its school system as well as researching schools and neighborhoods suitable for your family and their Relocation to Hawaii.

    Myths, Legends and Superstitions: Every place has it’s history as well as their “stories”….come join me in revisiting some old tales of Hawaii. It is a given that there are certain things to respect on the islands. Not only do we have Ancient Burial Site laws that protect our land…we also have certain sites that still have remnants of ancient temples that are not to be disturbed.

    And a special Hawaii Military Relocation Story:

    LIVE on VIDEO: A Hawaii Military Relocation Story Comes to Life

    Bottom line is this.

    It’s not easy moving across the Pacific Ocean let alone to a totally different “world” of people,

    but you can do it with a little effort, motivation and a great Realtor®!

    ************************************************************

    If you’re Relocating to Hawaii (regardless if it’s near future or just wanting to be proactive for the future) contact me to get started with your search for Hawaii Homes for Sale.

    Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman, RA, e-PRO / Century 21 Liberty Homes, Mililani, Hawaii

    Are You IN the Middle of a Rip Current?

    After reading the warning sign and taking precautions by standing back a few feet from the warning tape I looked up to see big breaking waves on the shore and the whitewater rushing back out to see. Rip currents are DANGEROUS. The powerful, channeled currents of seawater flowing away from the shoreline, through the surf and past the breaking waves will take you out to sea quicker than you can bat an eyelash.

    There is no doubt that conditions change and we need to take heed to the warning signs.
    The housing market and real estate industry is constantly changing and has been for some time. Though it is known that the market is LOCAL and every area has different statistics I think I can safely say that there is no housing boom going on.

    In October, there was Good News! October Statistics for Oahu’s Housing Market! Then, The Ripple Effect From Our Hawaii Tourism Industry took a dive and many restaurants and industries are closing down. For the month of November, our home sales declined but our prices here on Oahu are still stable and hopefully this decline will last just a short while.
    Needless to say, the Rip Currents are dragging many out to sea and everyone is out there trying to grasp at every straw to stay afloat:

    • Buyers are backing out for no reason ….or maybe they were just too embarrassed to say why. (i.e. family problems, lost jobs or whatever the case may be)
    • Loan Officers are promising the world and can’t deliver when it comes time for processing. (giving a preapproval without taking everything into consideration ….in hopes it goes through)
    • Realtors® are nagging at sellers to list their home. (Who knows how they got the private cell number of the owner….yes this just happened to my seller)
    • Realtors® are giving bad advice to the buyer for the sake of a sale. (i.e. bank owned and no warranties, inspections or recourse)
    • Sellers are thinking that it’s still a great market (and thinking that they can play hardball when there are few and far between buyers)

    The majority of us have kept afloat with great marketing skills and a niche we have created for ourselves. We listen to our clients and only after listening to their needs first do we give back sound, straighforward information and advice. We follow our Code of Ethics which can be compared to our every day behavior following our personal beliefs, morals and values in this game called life. We hold our heads high and sleep VERY well at night knowing…we lived each day right and didn’t step on anothers toes to get there.

    The rest will be sucked out to sea by those dangerous rip currents.
    And You?
    © 2008 Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman, All rights reserved

    VA Loans & Hawaii Military Relocations: This Realtors® Process

    Active Duty or Veterans of the Armed Forces have VA Home Loan benefits for their home purchase that have proven beneficial for when it comes to little or no money down loan program. (provided their credit is satisfactory) VA guarantees the Local Lender that they will reimburse the lender a percentage should the veteran default on their loan. The following brochure What VA Does For the Home Buying Veteran should be very useful guidelines and loads of information.

    *Across the Ocean to Paradise: Military Relocations Hawaii* has loads of information for your Military Relocation to Hawaii so you will have pertinent information on what to expect in your relocation to our island paradise.

    Currently, I have one VA Loan client in contract and the other one has already been prequalified and coming to Honolulu Hawaii next month specifically to put in an offer during their 5 day house hunting trip so they can return back to the mainland and pack for their Hawaii Relocation in February. VA Loans are abundant here due to our high volume of military personnel and presence on Oahu, Hawaii.

    The following steps are what this Real Estate Professional does in order to make your Relocation to Hawaii as smooth as possible concerning your real estate transaction and VA Loan Process.

    Speak to a Local Hawaii Lender (if you do not have one I can refer you to a few who are well qualified in the State of Hawaii) to submit your information and get prequalified.

  • While talking to the Loan Officer make sure and let him/her know what you are comfortable with for monthly mortgage payments. After getting prequalified your Realtor® will now know in what price range to search for properties for you.
  • Let your agent know what other criteria you are looking for as far as # bedrooms/ # of baths, sq. ft. interior/land, parking, single family or condo/townhouse. Just remember to go over the *Across the Ocean to Paradise: Military Relocations Hawaii* because this gives pertinent information on what to expect in your Hawaii Relocation.
  • Get all your financial paperwork together so you will have it with you when you arrive.(Do not pack your bank statements, W-2’s, LES’s and important documents you will need to submit for your loan!)
  • If you have a couple of months to spare you may order your Certificate of Eligibility from the Veterans of Affairs office. It is not necessary to do so though, because our lenders order them online once you start your loan process and if anything is held up we have a VA office centrally located on Oahu for your convenience and it takes just minutes.
  • Start your loan process before you get here so you will have everything in place when you submit an offer for a loan. The loan process is the lengthy and of course an important part of the transaction so it is better to be proactive in your process. Your closing costs can be included with your loan so you will have minimal costs to come in with and to close with.
  • Appointments are made and off we go in search of your new home! When you decide that you would like to put in an offer we will go through the whole 12 page (plus addendum’s) contract and submit it to the sellers agent to present to the seller.
  • After the offer is accepted the loan process begins. You will meet with your Loan Officer to submit your complete application and submit all documentation needed for your VA Loan process packet. Then it goes to Underwriting to process the initial packet and order the appraisal with their VA approved appraisers.
  • The Condominium and/or Subdivision Association Documents should be ordered immediately after acceptance of the offer and in the buyer’s hands within 10-14 days after acceptance. This agent will make copies of the Budget, last three Association minutes and the Property Information form (RR105C) and submit it to the lender. They need this for the VA Loan Guidelines and process for your loan. (these documents will show how the Association budgets their money in reserve. % of owner occupants, any pending concerns or litigation going on and so forth.
  • Provided your loan process goes smoothly you should have a Conditional Loan Commitment Letter within the first three weeks in contract. This is an approval of your loan with Conditions. Maybe you need to submit a couple of more documents or the appraisal is not in yet or the survey and termite inspection are not done yet. These are the types of conditions that will be listed on this letter.
  • Within two weeks after the Conditional Loan Commitment letter is issued all the conditions should be complete for signing documents with escrow and the loan officer. Not to worry! I attend all signings with you.
  • In Hawaii, we do not sign at the same time as the Seller due to conflict of interest and we sign approximately four days before recording. After the signing, the loan officer takes the notarized and signed documents to go through processing and within 2.5 days the Lender should have funded the money for your loan to the escrow company. When escrow receives all monies then they will take the documents to the Bureau of Conveyances in Honolulu to record. By the next business day it will record and we usually get word between 8-10am. At that time, the home is legally yours and I will have already made arrangements and have your keys in hand to open the doors to your new home.

    Congratulations!

    It’s not easy moving across the Pacific Ocean let alone to a totally different “world” of people but you can do it with effort, motivation and a great Realtor®!

    Call me for a Relocation Packet and more info!

    Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman, Realtor Associate ®
    Century 21 Liberty Homes
    95-221 Kipapa Drive, Mililani, HI * (808) 375-1404
    http://www.hawaiihomesmarket.com/
    http://woohoosally.blogspot.com/

    What’s In Your Real Estate Agenda?

    First of all, let me give you an idea of the number of Realtors® that are licensed in the state of Hawaii, and more specifically on our island of Oahu. Then I’ll be able to give you my opinion of what my agenda is like as a Realtor -Associate in Honolulu County that just may be helpful in your Honolulu Hawaii Relocation.

    There are approximately 15,400 real estate licensees in Hawaii and the breakdown for just my island (Oahu: Honolulu County) are following the whole State of Hawaii stats:

    • 9,600 active real estate licensees (statewide)
    • 5,800 are inactive
    • 3,150 brokers
    • 9,800 salespersons
    • 1,200 corporations, partnerships, LLC’s, and LLP’s
    • 1,150 sole proprietors
    • 100 branch offices.

    On our island of Oahu in Honolulu County there are about 12,000 licensees and of those licensees about 9,000 are now active and approximately 3 thousand that are not. That’s 9,000 Oahu Real Estate Licensees to help you in your search for real property. So, what sets one Realtor® apart from others?

    All I can tell you is what is on my agenda:

    • If you are Relocating to Hawaii you need a local island Realtor ® to represent your best interests in your next purchase of real property.
    • Licensed in the State of Hawaii and a MEMBER of the National Association of Realtors®, Honolulu Board of Realtors, and the Hawaii Association of Realtors.
    • Access to the Multiple Listing Service (and a given if a member of the above)
    • An agent you definitely feel comfortable with! Sometimes personalities don’t quite fit and that’s understandable.
    • Someone who will pay great attention to detail and walk you through every step of the transaction and answer all questions.
    • Won’t leave you in the dark and expect you to understand their Real Estate lingo. They’ll explain!
    • Experience in the Real Estate Industry and can either answer your questions or direct you to a professional who can.
    • Follows all Code of Ethics, Hawaii Real Estate laws and goes above and beyond the call of duty.
    • Knows the local areas and neighborhoods!

    It’s not easy moving across the Pacific Ocean let alone to a totally different “world” of people but you can do it with effort, motivation and a great Realtor®!

    More Info:

    Call me for a Relocation Packet and more info!

    Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman, Realtor Associate ®
    Century 21 Liberty Homes, Mililani, HI *
    (808) 375-1404
    http://www.hawaiihomesmarket.com/
    http://woohoosally.blogspot.com/

    Oahu and Surrounding Neighborhood Search: Relocations Hawaii

    If you are planning a Relocation to Hawaii the first step for you is most likely searching the internet for listings, a good Realtor® to advise you on your first step to getting started, and a local lender to help you with your financing needs and who knows our local real estate laws and contract. This local island Oahu Realtor-Associate® will first suggest that you contact a local lender to get pre qualified so we will have a price range to start out with our search. If you are unfamiliar with the process then I will refer you to a few I have worked with over the past few years.

    This local island Realtor-Associate® will set you up with an automatic email notification of listings according to the criteria you are interested in. Our Multiple Listing Service system gives the prospective client a personal webpage and it will notify you automatically with listings and an email that says “ON behalf of Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman: Client Gateway” and will look somewhat like the page below.

    In the first initial setup of the site I’ll need the additional following information for your criteria:
    Condo/townhouse/single family?

    • # bedrooms, # baths, # parking?
    • Sq/ft interior; sq/ft land interested in?
    • Land tenure; neighborhood, city interested in?
    • Price Range? (make sure your local lender has qualified you according to the monthly payments you are comfortable with!)

    With this webpage you will be able to save listings to your favorites, your possibilities, make notes and ask questions so I’ll see them and give you a prompt response. You may also save properties in the reject folder for the ones that are not appealing to you at all. This structure will give me a better idea of what you are interested in and we will be able to fine tune your criteria as we go along.

    Here we go!

    It’s not easy moving across the Pacific Ocean let alone to a totally different “world” of people but you can do it with effort, motivation and a great Realtor®!

    Call me for a Relocation Packet and more info!

    Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman, Realtor Associate ®
    Century 21 Liberty Homes, Mililani, HI *
    (808) 375-1404
    http://www.hawaiihomesmarket.com/
    http://woohoosally.blogspot.com/

    The Cost of Living Factor in Considering A Hawaii Relocation

    If you are considering relocating to Oahu, Hawaii or you are Relocating to Hawaii with the Military then you need to consider quite a few things. With the military your BAH covers housing expenses and your commissary priveleges allow you to buy food with only a smaller percentage higher than the mainland.

    What about civilians who are relocating to our Hawaiian islands? Consider this: The main reason that everything costs a little more here than on the mainland is that just about everything is transported to Hawaii….from food to lumber for building to just about everything needed to sustain the majority of necessities as well as luxury items. Shipping costs, fuel and oil costs all have risen drastically therefore pushing up our prices even further.
    90% if our food is imported so automatically presume that our cost of food is at least 30-50% higher than the mainland. We drink a lot of milk and it’s not too bad at 2 gallons for $7.50. My favorite places to shop for food are Costco and Sam’s Club.
    Rental Housing Market: Central Oahu: 2 bd/ 1 ba / 2 parking can run anywhere from $1200 to $2000 per month. A condo in Downtown Honolulu can run from $1500 to $3000 for a two bedroom. A significant increase in the last four years due to the increase in real property for sale.
    Real Estate Market: Again, depending on the neighborhood the single family median sales price for a 3 bdrm/2 ba home is around $625,000. A 2/2/2 townhouse are still selling for $300,000 to $325,000. Condos 2/1/2 run between $225,000 to $255,000.
    Utilities: My electric bill is about $125.00 to $140.00 per month for my small one bedroom. Of course I have the A/C on energy saver for the dog during the day when my house is locked up. Otherwise, others in my neighborhood (who don’t use their A/C) probably utilize about $50 to $75.00 worth of electricity. I have a gas water heater so that runs about $30.00 per month.
    Gasoline: Currently at $3.35 per gallon at Costco.
    Ahhhh. But where else can you live in a paradise with tropical island weather year round and our breathtaking scenery of the ocean, the mountains, the valleys, the flora and fauna. These are the reasons for my remaining in this land I call home….and the reasons that many flock here for their relocation.
    Weigh out all your options in your Hawaii Relocation because no matter what, Hawaii is like no other place in the world. We thrive and strive from our strength of diversity and our wide range of international and ethnic cultures and food.
    * Keep in mind that the outer islands such as Maui, Kauai, Hawaii (the Big Island), Lanai and Molokai are even higher in costs because again….the shipping and transporting costs.

    It’s not easy moving across the Pacific Ocean let alone to a totally different “world” of people but you can do it with effort, motivation and a great Realtor®!

    The Art of Hawaii Relocations
    *Across the Ocean to Paradise: Military Relocations Hawaii*

    Call me for a Relocation Packet and more info!
    Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman, Realtor Associate ®
    Century 21 Liberty Homes, Mililani, HI * (808) 375-1404
    http://www.hawaiihomesmarket.com/
    http://woohoosally.blogspot.com/

    Across the Ocean to Paradise: Military Relocations Hawaii

    Military personnel who have relocated across the Pacific Ocean to Oahu, Hawaii are always astounded at the differences in homes once they arrive here. Okay, let’s say stunned instead. I have had many military clients who were so shocked at the size of homes that they had no alternative but to store the majority of their household goods once they arrived because they brought it all. They also had a cultural shock as well with all our diverse cultural and ethnic groups. And the difference in weather conditions? Tropical paradise to say the least.
    If it’s one thing we all will agree on is that Hawaii, the island Paradise, is full of beautiful tropical island scenery that will captivate you to no end.

    As a Hawaii Realtor Associate® and Relocations Specialist I guaranty that the following information will help you in your relocation across the Pacific Ocean to the Hawaiian Islands!

    ENVIRONMENT: Expect a totally different environment! You will need an open mind for a brand new experience with Hawaii’s diverse community full of ethnic groups and cultures from all over the world! Do not expect everything to be the same as the Continental United States because you will be disappointed! Wherever you look you will have Japanese, Chinese, Filipino. Portugese, Hawaiian, Tongan, Samoan, Caucasian, Korean, African American, Vietnamese, Spanish, Guamanian and Polynesian races with different beliefs and styles of living. And the food? We have all the fast food places but why keep eating burgers when we have such a variety to choose from?
    JOBS: Hawaii has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. The vast number of military stationed in Hawaii make up the majority of the federal government employees although spouses surely have an advantage if they have been previously employed on a military installation and transferring to a new duty station. We also have many jobs in the tourist industry including but not limited to hotels, restaurants, historic and scenic sites and so forth.
    HOUSE HUNTING: Make arrangements with this Realtor® to give you information, send you a relocations packet and start you out with your online search for your home purchase. Remember, Hawaii is not the same as the last time you were stationed here in back in 1975 and the change will shock you. We have many freeways, traffic, high rises and such. We may be more laid back but change is always inevitable with just so much buildable land.
    MORTGAGE LENDER: Make sure to use a local lender as Hawaii lenders know the Hawaii real estate laws. There is no recourse (RED FLAG!) if something goes wrong with a mainland lender, negotiating the best price and time lines are a very important factor in a real estate transaction. Even if your cousin or uncle is a Loan Officer it is a given that they will not know about Hawaii mortgage funds. I guaranty that I can tell you some stories about the deals that fell through due to using lenders not familiar with our Real Estate Laws, Contracts and Contingencies. Also, make sure and hand carry your important financial papers as you will need them!
    VA GUARANTEED LOAN: The most important thing to consider before utilizing your benefits is what you want to allot yourself for a monthly mortgage payment. The current VA Loan Amount is $625,500 (this is INCLUDING the funding fee) and soon to go up to $700,000. MEDIAN HOME PRICES: During our home search online you may see a home that may interest you. I’ll be sure to give you the median home price for that neighborhood. If it’s way below the median price…well, it just may be too good to be true! If this is your first time to Hawaii we will cruise the different neighborhoods so you can get a feel for the community. We will also need to choose between condos, town houses and single family homes according to your price range. (which is determined by your conversation with your local lender who prequalifies you)
    HOUSEHOLD GOODS: Our homes are smaller so be prepared to bring half of the household goods you currently have in your 3,000 sq. ft. interior home on the mainland. A 1,200 to 1800 sq. ft. for a single family 3 bedroom around the $500,000 to $600,000 range in Central Oahu is about the median sq/ft for the price. Be flexible and open minded!

    Our office is located in Mililani Town in Central Oahu and 10 minutes from Schofield Barracks and Wheeler Army Air Field. We are also located about 20-25 minutes from Hickam AFB & Pearl Harbor Navy Base although I service all of the island of Oahu.

    It’s not easy moving across the Pacific Ocean let alone to a totally different “world” of people but you can do it with effort, motivation and a great Realtor®!

    The Art of Hawaii Relocations

    Relocating to Hawaii? With our warm climate and breathtaking scenery it’s no wonder why everyone (including locals) call it “Paradise”! Hawaii is the choice of many people who prefer a tropical setting to live out their retirement years. It also becomes everyones favorite Hawaii Relocations spot when transferring to the military bases in Hawaii including the Schofield Army Base, Wheeler Army Air Field, Pearl Harbor Navy Base, Hickam AFB, or Kaneohe Marine Corp Air Station.

    Education, Information and a Good Realtor® is The Art of Hawaii Relocations.

    Do your homework if you are contemplating a Hawaii Relocation. Check out employment options, schools, plan a trip (if you are not familiar with our islands) and do your budget! We are (by far) different than elsewhere in the world and our homes are one of the highest priced in the nation. Why?

    Inventory/Demand: Very little buildable land is available on these small islands and with their steep mountains and canyons the prime land has already been developed. Much is owned by the Federal Government, the State of Hawaii, and private landowners and no place to build out into the outlying areas. This will be true whether you rent or purchase a home.

    Neighborhood: Get to know your neighborhoods. Take into consideration the price ranges and how they are determined. Convenience to business districts, schools, quality of homes, character and street/curb appeal. Your island Realtor® will know the neighborhoods and give you alternatives to your criteria for neighborhoods.

    Expensive areas (luxury estates): Diamond Head, Kahala, and East Honolulu towards Hawaii Kai. (Truly level land is in short supply so many homes are located on the steep hillsides)
    Affordable areas: The Leeward area (Waipahu, Ewa, Waianae) are the more affordable neighborhoods on flat land and some newly developed areas and homes offer some of the best values. If you work downtown traffic may be an issue for you though.
    Mid Range Areas: Central Oahu (including, Mililani, Waipio Gentry, Waikele, Wahiawa) and the Windward area offer a variety of “suburban” communities and homes.

    Value and Price: Most of the value is in our land, Expect SMALLER and compare to other Hawaii homes…not other areas. Additional features and upgrades are not always what you may expect for a higher priced home. Be realistic and ask your Realtor® to make appointments in your price range. It’s like going shopping for food without eating first. Wants vs. Needs!
    Home Styles: As stated above Hawaii has JUST SO MUCH buildable land, therefore the percentage of condo/townhouse ownership is one of the highest in the nation so don’t disregard the possibilities of owning a condo or townhouse. As far as heating and cooling go we don’t have central heat (we have year round climate) and air conditioning is not mandatory with our trade winds cooling our air. Most homes here include most appliances so you may want to save on shipping costs of your appliances. Same goes for your auto; unless it’s a collectible or you have an employer paid move.
    Living Area: Most of our homes have less than 1500 sq. ft . roofed living area and very few have more than 2400 sq. ft. even in the higher priced ranges. Take into consideration the amount of furniture you have that may not coincide with the size of our island style homes.
    Market on Oahu: Of course you will want a Realtor® to guide you through your home purchase and let you know what the current market is like. Your Realtor® will also be able to give you knowledge (pick an island wide knowledgeable agent) to help you find that right home.
    As of October 2007 the inventory is higher than usual although the prices are holding in many of the neighborhoods. Just know that interest rates are still low and prices are not dropping drastically. Also, the rental market is very high so you might as well get those tax breaks on owning your own home.
    Rentals on Oahu for a 3bdrm house will range anywhere from $2,000 to $3500 plus per month so regardless if you are renting or buying the town areas will be priced higher and the more distant (Central and Leeward area) will be lower. Just be aware that if you are working in Honolulu and live further away you will have to consider the rush hour traffic.

    Oahu Single Family Homes Prices overall went down 2.3% for the third quarter of this year ending with a median sales price average of $649,000. Condos/townhouses went up 0.6% topping off at a median sales price average of $330,000 on our island of Oahu.

    Be Part of the Solution For Your Market; Because “Shift” Always Happens is another article discussing the market shift and what the market looks like this year. If you are planning on moving to paradise please contact me for a Hawaii Relocations packet so you can get started!