Last weekend, many residents of Hawaii, including the agents and staff of LUVA Real Estate were awakened by a shrill alarm coming through their phones from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency alerting them to an incoming ballistic missile strike. We share resources, insights, and wisdom about being prepared for natural and man made disasters on Hawaii Island. Because when you see, “THIS IS NOT A DRILL”..you want to be ready.
Happy New Year from all of us at LUVA Real Estate! West Hawaii is an exciting time to be here if you are visiting or looking for events to expand your appreciation of the Big Island or of the ocean…as this month West Hawaii features TWO world class film festivals. Take a stroll, listen to music and see the lunar eclipse..it’s all here this month!
So you want to move to paradise. You start looking for a home in Hawaii and the next thing you know you are on a plane to view available listings. You get to Kailua Kona, meet your LUVA Real Estate Realtor, and go view open homes. You are in luck! You find one that you fall in love with. A beauty near the ocean with sweeping views and a spacious lanai. Or you find that artist’s cottage where you can retire and use as your home base to travel the islands. Or you may even find that great second home and you can see the income potential as you make your offer.
BUT, before you get to this point, there are important aspects you didn’t know about before getting on that plane. We are going to alert you to some of the pitfalls that you can avoid before you make the offer and while you are in escrow on your dream home in Hawaii.
Mistakes To Avoid in Buying A Home In Hawaii
- Where is your checkbook for your deposit?
We have seen quite a few people who forget to bring a way to pay for the earnest money to get into escrow after deciding to make an offer on a home. Don’t be that guy who slaps his head. Bring your checkbook.
- Do you have proof of funds?
In Hawaii, to make an offer, you have to show proof of funds up front for the listing agent and their client to take your offer seriously. Lance Owens, LUVA Realtor offers a tip: You can screenshot your bank info, send it to your Realtor and they can turn it into a pdf for submittal with your offer.
Better yet, bring a letter of proof of funds prepared from your banker. Your lender has to verify the funds in your account to provide a pre approval. Have your lender write a letter verifying that you have the cash available to make a purchase offer.
- Use a Local Bank/Lender to obtain your mortgage
Sure, we believe in supporting our local economy, but this one can really save you during the escrow process when your mortgage lender in your hometown on the mainland isn’t familiar with lava zones, tsunami inundation zones and other geographical issues that we have that other locations do not in their lending review.
We suggest talking to local lenders in West Hawaii who are familiar with the intricacies of geographical nuances on the Big Island. We have fantastic professionals whom we can suggest.
- Wiring Funds To Pay For Your Home
Did you know that to wire funds you must be there in person to sign off when sending large amounts of money to Hawaii? You may think that the Big Island has a Wells Fargo, but ours is a mortgage company, not a bank. Make sure you talk to your Realtor and mortgage company before the close of escrow on this issue. Lance shared that he had this issue come up when a couple had already sold their home on the mainland and flown to the Big Island to await close of escrow. Then they called their bank to wire funds to Kona. Alas, the bank required for them to be there in person to sign off on the wire transfer! They almost lost the deal and thankfully family members stepped in while the bank sent small amounts of funds everyday for weeks!
- Good Funds Act of Hawaii
You can thank the Great Recession for the banks in Hawaii requiring a two day hold on funds coming in from the mainland called the Good Funds Act of Hawaii. Even if you are wire transfering the money, you have to wait two days to make sure your funds clear. Hawaii put this law in place on incoming funds to ensure the money isn’t trapped in a folding bank off island. Keep this in mind when you receive the date of close of escrow and make sure funds are in place to close the deal. Two Days.
A few things to keep in mind during escrow in general:
The buyer has a certain number of days to conduct inspections on the home and request any repairs or closing cost credits as a result of what’s found during inspection (which can be referred to as the inspection contingency date). In Hawaii, common inspections include an initial inspection by a licensed home inspector and additionally a termite inspection (note: a termite inspection usually has its own inspection contingency date in the contract). A mold inspection may also be performed.
LUVA Real Estate wants to ensure your home buying and selling process goes smoothly. Please contact us if you have any questions about buying or selling a home on Hawaii Island.
LUVA Real Estate knows that many of you may travel to the Big Island during the holidays and some of you may just have moved here. Have you thought about some of the activities you want to do while you are enjoying West Hawaii’s balmy weather? Here are some fantastic events and things to do that you may not have even realized should have been on your bucket list of things to do in West Hawaii for the holidays, but after you experience them, they will become a tradition! Really! Heads up: TWO OF THESE EVENTS ARE THIS WEEKEND!
Food and Wine Events:
Christmas With the Chefs
You will be in foodie heaven on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 5:30-8 p.m at the festive “Christmas with the Chefs” event. The annual holiday gala is a favorite outside event held on the seaside grounds of Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. Over 20 chefs will delight attendees with plates of expertly prepared savory cuisine and delectable holiday treats—all accompanied by all-you-can-enjoy handcrafted ales, choice wines and 100 percent Kona coffee.
The Bill Noble Trio jazzes up the evening for dancing under the stars and a silent auction will tempt would-be Santas with an array of holiday gift ideas while supporting local businesses.
Tickets are $90 presale, $95 at the door and available online at www.konakohalachefs.org. Tables of 10 are $1200—which includes reserved seating, table-side service and select bottles of wine—and can be purchased online.
Feast on the Beach
Feast on the Beach is your ultimate beach party under the stars! Held at the Lava Lava Beach Club at Anaehoomalu Bay on Friday, December 8 starting at 5:30 pm, this popular holiday event will once again wow guests with delicious food stations along with beer, wine, and its signature toes-in-the-sand ambiance.
Advance purchase of Feast on the Beach tickets will be required. Tickets, priced at $100 per person or $1,500 for a reserved table of 10, are ONLY available from participating nonprofit partners:Kona Community Hospital Foundation, Hospice of Kona, North Hawaii Hospice, Lava Kids and Hawaii Island Humane Society.
Nothing says tropical atmosphere than Henry Kapono, performing SONGS OF C&K, a tribute to the music of Cecilio & Kapono! Joining Henry on stage is Hawaii Music Award winner, Johnny Valentine, Alx Kawakami (of Manoa DNA) and 2016 “Most Promising Artist” Na Hoku Hano Hano Award winner, Blayne Asing. Also performing on stage is the popular LT Smooth, who’s velvety sound will keep the party going.
Kailua-Kona Christmas Parade
The sounds and songs of Christmas will ring along Alii Drive Saturday December 9th from 5 to 7 p.m.during the 32nd annual Kailua-Kona Kona Christmas Parade that will feature around 80 floats and 2,100 participants.
The festive procession will include horses, miniature horses, dogs, donkeys and sheep, dancing elves, children’s groups tossing candy into the crowd and Santa himself.
It starts at Kekuaokalani Gymnasium, runs south down Kuakini Highway, turns right onto Alii Drive and ends near the intersection with Walua Road. Road closures on the course will be from 4:45 to 7:30 p.m.
This year’s theme is “The Magic of Christmas – Kona Style!”
For a fun place to watch the parade, bring your blanket and chairs to find space along the parade route or head up to the second floor restaurants on Alii Drive, the new Foster’s Kitchen, the newly renovated Island Lava Java, or for adults- Laverne’s Sports Bar
Festival of Lights in Holualoa
Get your warm jacket and scarf out as the Historic Holualoa Village rolls out the holiday red carpet, inviting visitors and residents to ring in the holidays, Hawaiian style at the annual Festival of Lights on Saturday, December 2 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the artsy village of Holualoa.
The village lights up the night with the annual lighting of the town Christmas tree, plus a festive area for Santa to say Aloha and pose for holiday photo taking opportunities. Enjoy lots of live music, gallery gatherings, art openings, complimentary pupus and beverages, holiday treats and of course, 100-percent Kona coffee.
Be sure to visit the Holuakoa Garden Cafe for a “slow food” locally sourced dinner and celebrate the evening with Jill Sanders’ Cella Bella quartet between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Holiday Tree Tour of West Hawaii Resorts
This is not an official event, but it sure is a fun adventure! From the Sheraton Kona in Keauhou, which boasts a 25 foot tree that looks out over Keauhou Bay through a picturesque open window to all the way up the coast at the Hapuna Prince Beach Resort, whose Christmas tree is framed by Hapuna Beach below, to all the resorts who boast big beautifully decorated trees in between, (see Four Seasons Resort- Hualalai, Mauna Kea Resort , Mauna Lani Bay and Bungalows, Fairmont Orchid, Royal Kona Resort, etc), touring the West Hawaii resorts at Christmas time is fantastic for photographers, aficionado of gorgeous architecture and tropical and Asian decor and for folks who would rather tour than spend time on a beach or in the waves!
All of us at LUVA Real Estate wish you and yours a very safe, merry and adventurous holiday season! If you are traveling to the island, please review our luxury vacation rentals that are available during the holidays and if you are coming to the island to view available real estate, let us be your guide!
Happy Thanksgiving! We give you the reasons why living on the Big Island deserves gratitude-from the Aloha, to the food, to the beaches, to the people, we are very fortunate to call Hawaii home. (If you love this island as much as we do, you will find yourself nodding and enjoying the beautiful photos, too!)
Amy Banner Updegrove, CEO of Leverage Global Partners, recently welcomed LUVA Real Estate as the exclusive member in the Big Island, Hawaii. The premier network of luxury real estate brokerages around the world, Leverage Global Partners provides a variety of services from training and marketing to networking and referral placement that enhance what its members offer to their clients. Each member of Leverage Global Partners has been carefully selected as demonstrating innovative leadership and peerless integrity in the field of real estate.
Pololu Valley, located in North Kohala, is a gorgeous sacred valley with a black sand beach, towering green cliffs and a great hike. The second in our “Weekend Adventure” series on the Big Island. our post contains information about Pololu Valley, restaurants, attractions and lodging in the area to make planning a memorable trip easy.
Holualoa, located above Kailua Kona, is a hidden Kona coffee, artists community and verdant gem. Learn more about this charming village surrounded by acres and acres of coffee plantations with a vibrant art community.
July was quite a busy month for condo sales in North Kona with a 108.33% increase year over year from 24 sales in 2016 to 50 sales in 2017 and a 108% increase in sales volume year over year, as well. In South Kohala, the sales volume for condos was up 66.73% over July of 2016. Home prices in Kona are almost at 2006 levels.
A town is only as good as it’s food scene, right? Kailua Kona and the Kohala Coast boast many places to enjoy local, fresh and superb food with many restaurants having the added benefit of viewing the famous Kona sunset each evening with a tasty tropical beverage. Hare are 12 fantastic restaurants we recommend. If you are been to Kailua Kona, you may know some of these classic staples of a great time and good food and we offer a few new ones. Enjoy!