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Is Condo Living Right for You?

Whether you are considering purchasing a new- build customized to your tastes or investing in an established condo community, there are multiple factors to consider when investigating the condominium market in Hawaii.  From the benefits of a planned community to the potentially high AOAO fees, here’s what to look for in your search for a piece of island paradise.

condo

First, be aware that most lenders in Hawaii require at least a 30% down payment, and interest rates on condos tend to be slightly higher than those for single-family homes. While some condos do qualify for FHA and USDA financing, those loans come with their own requirements, and often prohibit you from renting out your property.

Secondly, it is important to run the numbers and see how much a condo really costs. By law, every condominium development on the islands is required to maintain an AOAO (Association of Apartment Owners) or HOA (Home Owners Association.) As a condo owner, you become a member of these organizations and can help make decisions on how your complex is maintained. However, it also includes a monthly fee, which can be very expensive depending on what services your AOAO offers. Before you buy, make sure you know the monthly fees, and find out exactly what they cover. Some AOAOs only cover basic landscaping and exterior maintenance, while others include utilities and some forms of home renovation.

Another important financial detail? Make sure your condominium association is committed to maintaining healthy financial reserves in case unforeseen repairs or remodeling arise. Significant financial reserves can be crucial if the event of a storm or fire damaging your home.

With all the additional fees and significant down payment, what makes condo living the right choice for many Hawaiians? Great locations, stress-free home upkeep, and the ability to offer viable vacation rentals as a form of extra income.  Due to Hawaii’s housing shortage, new space-saving condominium builds are at an all-time high, offering potential homeowners the ability to live in luxury condos or town-homes with easy access to the beach, mountains, and shopping. And while you might not experience the privacy and quiet of a single-family home, you won’t have to worry about landscaping or home repairs either.

Finally, if you’re buying or building a condo as a second home, securing the right lender and financing allows you to rent your home short-term as vacation lodging, bringing in a secondary income to offset AOAO fees or renovation costs. Already found the perfect condo? Contact us today with help decorating, renovating, or otherwise improving your new home.