Hawaii Oceanfront Homes: A Buying Guide


BY Steve Boccone

hawaii real estate

With its unspoiled natural beauty, unique culture and traditions, and a vibrant community built around the laid back island life, Hawaii easily lands on the list of favorite destinations across the world.

Oceanfront homes in this side of the Pacific have been known to attract the most discerning real estate buyers, richest businessmen, the so-called jet set, and Hollywood celebrities.

If you are also drawn to the Aloha State and would like to own a house located steps away from its picturesque beaches, keep in mind the following home buying tips.

Rate Search: Get Approved for a Home Loan

Thoroughly examine the location

“Beachfront” can mean different things to different sellers. Sometimes a house would be truly in front of a beach, the doors just steps away from where the waves met the shore.

Other times, the waters are simply visible from the windows, but there is a long stretch of rocks, if not a property or two which are on the beach.

A smart buyer should seek to understand exactly where a property is located, and whether such a location is what they envisioned to be part of their everyday life in Hawaii.

For instance, if they intended to have daily strolls during sunset on fine white sand, that would not be possible if the actual beach is rocky, or filled with algae during the seasons they intend to spend their time vacationing.

Some parts of the ocean are suitable for fishing, others are not. Moreover, a beach in front of a house may be accessible to the public, and become the venue of what may be described as noisy gatherings or lively parties, depending on the homeowner’s preferences.

This makes it important for an interested buyer to thoroughly examine the terms of owning the property, and whether these afford them the quiet and privacy that they want.

Know the buying conditions

A property may or may not be up for purchase by anyone, and these are determined by the seller’s terms. For luxury homes in the most exclusive neighborhoods of Hawaii, for example, it is common for sellers to refer only to a list of pre-approved buyers, when opening their homes up for viewing.

And then there would be pertinent rules regarding the financing of mortgage in Hawaii. If a buyer intends to purchase via a loan, there might be maximum amounts involved, as well as minimum downpayments.

There are, too, eligibility requirements that might need to be met. Sometimes, loans are limited to first-time buyers, or for first homes.

The rules may also be different for those who intend to buy a vacation home but turn it into a vacation rental for most of the year. All these need to be rigorously understood, before investing considerable time and effort onto a particular property.

It would be quite disappointing to be emotionally attached to a home, only to later find out that one is not qualified to buy it.

Consider all expenses involved

In buying a beach house, one should not look at just the price of the property. There would be a long list of expenses involved in buying especially an oceanfront home – for redesigning or redecorating, for undertaking repairs, for pest control, for regular maintenance.

Regular maintenance is crucial for beachfront properties that would, on a daily basis, be exposed to the elements – the harsh sunlight, strong winds, saline air, and humidity –and this would require a regular budget.

Property taxes might be a little complicated, too, depending on whether the home will be a primary residence, a vacation home, or an income generating property. Bottomline, buyers need to be prepared for the expenses that await – above and beyond the property’s price tag.

Link up with a trusted broker

Finally, buyers need to link up with a respected locally-based broker, if they want the best of Hawaii real estate properties.

Local brokers are very familiar with the workings of the market, and the conditions that make it right to buy a house.

They would know the more detailed answers to questions regarding the community life in Hawaii: where the best restaurants and good schools are, where it is good to set up a business, how to prepare a home for each season, where pest infestation can be a risk, among many others.

Moreover, the best of these brokers have access to the finest properties which are not available to everyone else.

They also would have contacts to the professionals one would need when buying a property – from home appraisers and inspectors, to real estate lawyers, and even construction companies.

Shop and Compare Loan Offers and Rates

Steve Boccone

Steve Boccone is educated and experienced in accounting, finance, marketing and sales. He earned a BSc from the University of Maryland and has a strong passion for the real estate market particularly the luxury sector where he advises clients with marketing strategy and tactics.