Buying January 10, 2024

8 Tips For First-Time Real Estate Investors

Want to build wealth through real estate? Investing in rental properties can provide you with a steady income stream and long-term growth potential. However, the landlord life might not be for everybody. If you’re looking to get started with long-term rentals but are leery to dive in — keep reading! Here are eight considerations to help you to get off to a great start.


  1. Set Clear Financial Goals

Before buying your first rental, it’s essential to set clear financial goals. What are you looking to achieve with your long-term property investments? Are you in it for additional cash flow, or do you want to buy something that will increase in value over time? Having a well-thought-out financial plan will keep you on the right path.


  1. Choose the Right Location

Location matters—a lot! When it comes to property investments, make sure to choose areas with high rental demand, top-notch school districts, low crime rates, and easy access to amenities like shopping, transportation, and parks. A desirable location can attract quality tenants and boost your property’s value over time.

Pro Tip: Looking to buy a rental property in another state? We can help! Our team is connected to a network of 5-star agents across the country who can help you find investment opportunities.


  1. Market Research

Knowledge is power in the real estate world. Stay on top of the market by consulting with a real estate agent who keeps an eye on trends, rental rates, and potential property appreciation in your chosen area. Market research will help you make informed decisions and identify properties with investment potential.


  1. Designate A Rental Savings Fund

Being a landlord involves financial responsibilities beyond the initial property purchase. Make sure you’ve saved up and have reserves to cover property maintenance, insurance, property management fees, and any potential vacancies. Having a cushion will help you weather unexpected expenses.


  1. Pick the Right Property

Selecting the perfect property is a make-or-break decision. Make sure to work with an experienced real estate agent (that’s us!) and consider factors like property type (single-family homes, apartments, or condos), property condition, and the potential need for improvements.


  1. Know the Landlord-Tenant Laws

Each state and region has its own set of landlord-tenant laws. It’s crucial to understand these regulations—including tenant rights, eviction processes, lease agreements, and security deposit rules. Staying compliant will help you avoid legal issues and maintain positive landlord-tenant relationships, so make sure to consult with us about any rental questions you might have for the State of Hawai’i.


  1. Consider Professional Property Management

While some landlords handle everything themselves, others opt for professional property management services. Hiring a property management company can save you time and reduce the stress of day-to-day property maintenance and tenant communication. Decide based on your availability and expertise, and talk to us if you need a property management recommendation.


  1. Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Effective and friendly communication with your tenants is the key to a successful landlord-tenant relationship. Address their concerns promptly, conduct regular property inspections, and maintain open lines of communication. Happy tenants are more likely to stay longer, reducing vacancy rates and maintenance costs.

While buying an investment property can be nerve-racking, it doesn’t have to be. Being informed can help ensure that you’re getting off to the best start possible. So brush up on your real estate investing best practices, and then contact our team. We’d love to help you start growing your own rental empire!

Other December 7, 2023

Holiday Home Safety Tips

The holiday season is here! While this is a time for joy and celebration, it’s also important that your home stays safe and secure. Whether you’re planning a holiday getaway or simply enjoying festivities at home, safeguarding your property should be a top priority.

That’s why we’re here to share some tips to help you keep your home safe during the holidays.

  1. Lock All Entry Points

Locking your doors and windows may sound like common sense, but it’s often overlooked during the holiday hustle and bustle. Make sure all entry points are securely locked before leaving your home or heading to bed. Deadbolt locks provide an added layer of security.

  1. Invest in Smart Home Security

Modern technology makes securing your home more convenient than ever. Consider installing a smart home security system with cameras, alarms, and doorbell footage to mitigate porch pirates. You can also monitor your property remotely and receive alerts in case of any suspicious activity. This definitely comes in handy with all that holiday traveling.

  1. Don’t Advertise Your Absence

While it’s natural to share your holiday plans with friends and family, avoid publicizing your absence on social media. Burglars often scout for vacant homes online. Save the vacation pics and updates for after your return.

  1. Adequate Lighting

Keep your home well-lit, especially during the evenings. Motion-activated lights on entryways and pathways deter potential intruders. You can also use timers for indoor lights to give the illusion of an occupied home.

  1. Secure Your Mail and Deliveries

A pile of mail or packages on your doorstep is a clear sign that no one’s home. Request mail holds from your local post office during your absence or ask a neighbor to collect your packages. Alternatively, you can use a package locker or a parcel drop box for added security.

  1. Hide Valuables

Stow away your valuable items, like jewelry and electronics, in a secure location. Consider investing in a home safe for added protection, and don’t leave tempting items in plain sight from windows or doors.

  1. Ask a Trusted Neighbor for Help

Good neighbors look out for one another. Talk with a trustworthy neighbor about your travel plans. They can keep an eye on your property, collect your mail, and even park their car in your driveway to create the appearance of an occupied home.

  1. Keep Your Home and Yard Maintained

An unkept home and yard can signal that nobody is home. Make sure to maintain your property—even in your absence. Arrange for snow removal or lawn care to uphold the façade that someone is home.

By following these tips, you can enjoy the holiday festivities with some peace of mind. Also, reach out to our team for more real estate tips and tricks. We are always happy to be your guide to the O’ahu real estate market. Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season!

Other November 6, 2023

8 Ways to Practice Daily Gratitude

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of daily errands and the 9-5 grind. However, amidst the chaos, there’s an invaluable element that can enhance your day-to-day life—gratitude. Today, we will explore how gratitude can transform your daily life.


  1. A Mindful Start to Your Day

Start your day by spending 60 seconds to appreciate the simple things in life: the warmth of the sun, the sound of your healthy kids laughing, or the comfort of your home. By appreciating these small moments, you set a positive tone for the day ahead and cultivate a deeper connection with the world around you.


  1. Boosting Mental Well-Being

Gratitude isn’t just a feeling; it’s a practice that can actively enhance your mental well-being. Start by keeping a gratitude journal, jotting down three things you’re thankful for each day. This simple exercise trains your mind to focus on the positive aspects of life, reducing stress and anxiety. Additionally, consider practicing mindfulness meditation, where you intentionally pay attention to the present moment without judgment. This can help you become more aware of the many blessings in your life, both big and small, and foster a deep sense of gratitude.


  1. Creating a Supportive Network

Express gratitude to the people who make up your social and professional circles. Whether it’s a colleague who supports your career or a friend who offers a listening ear, these relationships are vital to your livelihood. All it takes is a simple appreciation text or a quick check-in call. This will extend the livelihood of your relationships.


  1. Enhancing Personal Growth

Gratitude isn’t just about the present; it extends to the past and future as well. Reflect on the lessons learned from past experiences, both positive and negative. Be grateful for the opportunities that lie ahead, as they will contribute to your personal growth and development.


  1. Financial Appreciation

Take a moment to appreciate your financial stability and the opportunities it affords. Gratitude for your income and resources can help you make informed financial decisions and work towards your long-term goals. This also includes homeownership and the wise decision to invest in real estate.


  1. Community Engagement

Show gratitude for the community you’re a part of—whether it’s your neighborhood, workplace, or online networks. Engage with others and contribute positively to your community. Your active involvement can lead to personal and professional growth, as well as uplifting someone else’s spirit.


  1. Lifelong Learning and Skills

Gratitude can be applied to your quest for knowledge and skills. Embrace learning with a thankful heart, knowing that every lesson and skill acquired enriches your life and livelihood. This is often helpful when receiving feedback and critique—this is a moment dedicated to bettering your skills. Take the time to let the information settle and appreciate the growth to come.


  1. Paying It Forward

As you experience the benefits of gratitude in your life, consider how you can extend this positivity to others. Acts of kindness, mentorship, or volunteering can have a ripple effect. Or, consider donating household items to a local shelter or even offering your time to help elderly loved ones with a physical project.

In a nutshell, gratitude is the key to unlocking a more meaningful and fulfilling life, both personally and professionally. By practicing gratitude daily, you can improve your mental well-being, nurture relationships, and open doors to new opportunities. So, take a moment each day to be thankful for the beauty of life, your home, and the world around you—it’s the foundation for a happier and more enriched existence.

Home ImprovementSelling October 9, 2023

10 Home Staging Tips Every Seller Should Know

Are you planning to put your O’ahu home on the market? First impressions matter!

While it’s important to clean and declutter your home, staging can highlight its best features, maximize space, and create an inviting atmosphere that potential buyers will love. As your local listing experts, we have put together a list of 10 expert tips for staging your home to help you sell quickly and for top dollar.

  1. Declutter and depersonalize.

Before you start staging your home, it’s essential to declutter and depersonalize the space. Remove personal items, excess furniture, and anything that might distract buyers from envisioning themselves in the home. A clean and tidy space allows buyers to focus on the property’s potential.

  1. Enhance curb appeal.

First impressions start at the curb. Enhance your home’s curb appeal by mowing the lawn, trimming bushes, painting the front door a fun color, and adding fresh flowers or potted plants. A welcoming exterior can set a positive tone for the rest of the showing.

  1. Light it up.

Maximize the natural light in your home by opening curtains and blinds during showings. For rooms that lack natural light, strategically place lamps to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Adequate lighting can make spaces feel larger and more appealing.

  1. Neutral colors.

Neutral colors are universally appealing and make it easier for buyers to imagine their furniture and belongings in the space. Consider repainting bold-colored walls with neutral tones to create a blank canvas for buyers. You can add pops of color with decor pieces, such as pillows and wall artwork.

  1. Rearrange and optimize space with furniture.

Rearranging furniture can make a room feel more spacious and functional. Try to create inviting conversation areas and ensure that the furniture placement boosts the room’s best features— such as a beautiful view or a cozy fireplace.

  1. Add greenery.

Plants and flowers can breathe life into a space and make it feel more vibrant. Consider adding some indoor plants or fresh flowers in strategic locations to add a touch of nature and freshness to your home.

  1. Create a cozy atmosphere.

Create a warm and cozy atmosphere by adding soft and textured elements, such as throw pillows, blankets, and area rugs. A comfortable setting can make potential buyers feel at home.

  1. Focus on kitchens and bathrooms.

Kitchens and bathrooms are crucial selling points in any home. Ensure they are spotless and organized—and consider adding a bowl of fresh fruit or a vase of flowers to the kitchen island to add a pop of color.

  1. Highlight outdoor spaces.

If your home has outdoor spaces like a patio, balcony, or garden, make sure they are well-maintained and staged to showcase their potential. Add outdoor furniture and accessories to help buyers visualize how they can use the space for relaxation and entertainment.

  1. Appeal to the senses.

Lastly, don’t forget to appeal to the senses. Use plug-in air fresheners or neutral-scented candles. However, always be careful not to overdo it when it comes to scents. Not all noses are the same, and a powerful plug-in could potentially ruin a buyer’s opinion during their showing.

Staging your home may require a bit of effort, but the results can be truly transformative. By following these 10 expert tips, you can make your home stand out in our competitive real estate market and increase your chances of attracting serious buyers.

Remember, a well-staged home paired with an expert real estate agent are the best combination to get your home sold for the perfect price in no time. So, make sure to reach out to us to talk with an agent about listing your home today!

Other September 7, 2023

Tips For Getting Back to Business After Summer Break

Ah, summer—the season of sandy toes, tan lines, and lazy afternoons. However, it’s time to say farewell to go-with-the-flow schedules now that fall has arrived and school is back in session. While summertime offers a much-needed break, it can be difficult stepping back into a productive routine.

Not to worry! We are happy to act as your guide to lead you back to the world of productivity. We’re here to help you accomplish your big goals and finish out the year stronger than ever!

So, here are our tips for getting back to a productive schedule:

  1. Reflect on the Good Times

As you reluctantly wave goodbye to your summer schedule, take a moment to reminisce about the amazing memories you’ve made. Remember the family camping trips and neighborhood barbecues and all the nostalgic summer moments in between. Cherish these moments—they are the fuel that will light your productivity fire.

  1. Create a Mindful Schedule

Now that you’re back to the grind, it’s essential to set yourself up for success. Grab your calendar (or your trusty digital assistant) and start planning your days. Remember, a well-organized schedule is the key to unlocking your productivity superpowers—but don’t forget to leave some room for spontaneity. Life is too short to be color-coded all the time!

  1. Set Realistic Goals

The only thing more refreshing than an ice-cold lemonade on a scorching day is setting achievable goals. While it’s tempting to reach for the stars, start small and work your way up. You will feel more productive as you stack up accomplishments that eventually add up to that massive goal that used to be intimidating.

  1. Embrace the Early Bird Life

We know, dragging yourself out of bed can be a struggle. But trust us, the early bird catches the productivity worm! Wake up a half-hour earlier than usual and savor the quiet moments before the world awakens. Make yourself a cup of coffee, watch the sunrise, and tackle your most important tasks. You’ll feel accomplished by breakfast.

  1. Sprinkle Fun Breaks Throughout the Day

Productivity doesn’t mean locking yourself in a room with endless to-do lists. It’s important to establish the work-life balance that suits your needs. If your mind is stuck in the nitty-gritty details of your day’s projects, it will eventually deplete your motivation to return tomorrow morning. So, make sure to pencil-in moments of fun and spontaneity to make the most of every day.

  1. Avoid the Procrastination Trap

Ah, procrastination—the true thief of time. Everyone battles with procrastination one way or another, but do you know how to combat it?  We have a secret weapon for you: the Pomodoro Technique. Set a timer for 25 minutes of focused work, followed by a 5-minute break. Rinse and repeat until your tasks are complete. It’s a productivity game-changer!

  1. Harness the Power of Accountability

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a team to keep you accountable. Find a productivity buddy or join a group that shares your goals. Together, you’ll tackle your to-do lists, cheer each other on, and exchange virtual high-fives. With accountability on your side, nothing can stop you—not even that relentless urge to binge-watch your favorite series.

  1. Celebrate Victories, Big and Small

As you progress on your productivity journey, take a moment to acknowledge your achievements. It’s so tempting to brush aside your accomplishments and move onto the next project, but it’s important to remember why you set these goals in the first place. Don’t forget that life is meant to be celebrated, and each step closer to your goals deserves a standing ovation!

Summer may have come to an end, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. With a pinch of reflection, a dash of planning, and a whole lot of enthusiasm, you can seamlessly transition into a productive end-of-year routine. If you still have a 2023 real estate goal you want to achieve, make sure to reach out to us! We would be honored to help you tackle your goals and guide you through your next move.

Real Estate August 7, 2023

Real Estate 101: The Top Terms You Need to Know

Basic vocabulary to advance your knowledge as a seller or serious buyer.

Navigating the real estate market can sometimes feel like deciphering a foreign language. From industry-specific acronyms to complex legal terms, there’s a collection of real estate vocabulary that can leave even the most seasoned homebuyers or sellers scratching their heads. To help simplify the process, we have compiled a list of the top real estate terms and created easy-to-understand definitions. So, let’s dive in and decode the jargon!



An appraisal is a professional estimate of a property’s value. These are performed by a licensed appraiser based on factors such as a property’s condition, location, size, and recent sales of comparable properties in the area. Appraisals are typically required by lenders to determine the amount they are willing to offer for a loan.


Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)

A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is a report prepared by a real estate agent or appraiser to determine a property’s market value. (Like a book report for your home!) It compares the property to similar recently sold properties in the area to estimate a fair and competitive listing price. CMAs provide valuable insights for sellers to set the right asking price and for buyers to make informed offers.


Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs)

This one can be a little intimidating, so let’s break it down. Usually, there are rules and regulations placed on a property by a homeowner’s association (HOA) or possibly by a PUD or city. The CC&Rs share what requirements and limitations there are for the homeowner of that property. So, consider CC&Rs the real estate commandments for your particular property.


Closing Costs

These are fees that you have accrued over your buying or selling journey. Closing costs include charges like title insurance, attorney fees, appraisal fees, inspection fees, and loan origination fees.

Pro Tip: In a “Buyer’s Market,” many sellers will pay a percentage of the closing costs. However, in a “Seller’s Market,” buyers are typically expected to cover them on their own.


Down Payment

A down payment is the initial upfront payment made by a buyer toward the purchase of a property. It is usually a percentage of the total purchase price and is paid in cash. The remaining amount is typically financed through a mortgage loan, and the size of the down payment affects the loan amount, interest rates, and the buyer’s eligibility for a loan.


Due Diligence

It’s time to roll-up your sleeves and start your detective work. Your due diligence is the period of time where buyers do some research before really committing to their new home purchase. They perform inspections and tests on the property—and based on what they find, some buyers will attempt to renegotiate the contract. Or, they can walk away altogether.


Earnest Money

Earnest money—sometimes known as a “good faith deposit”—is a certain percentage that buyers will put down when writing an offer to show the seller that they are serious about purchasing. (Think of it this way: If buying a house were a game of poker, this is when you decide to throw in some chips so the other players know you’re ready to throw down.)

Earnest money can be refunded before a specific deadline if the buyer chooses to back out for any reason. But once you hit that deadline—or you offer hard earnest money (meaning, no refund whatsoever)—then the money belongs to the seller. These funds can add up to 1-5% of the listing price.



The magic word in any growing market. Equity is the difference between the market value of a property and the outstanding balance of any loans or mortgages. As homeowners make mortgage payments or as property values increase, equity grows. It represents the owner’s financial interest in the property and can be used for future borrowing or as a measure of net worth.


Escrow Holder

“Escrow” is a fancy term for “safety deposit box”. This is a process where a neutral third party, typically an escrow agent or company, holds funds and important documents related to a real estate transaction. It ensures that both the buyer and seller fulfill their contractual obligations before the property is transferred. The funds are held in escrow until all the agreed-upon terms and conditions are met.



Ah yes, the f word. When a homeowner can no longer make their mortgage payments, foreclosure is the process where a lender typically repossesses the property and attempts to sell it. This is a last resort to pay back the amount that the homeowner can no longer maintain as a source of collateral.


Home Sale Contingency

This is when a buyer lets the seller know that the purchase of the seller’s property relies on the sale of the buyer’s own home. That’s not really a big problem in a seller’s market, but it can be in a buyer’s market.

However, there is a similar contingency for sellers as well—if a seller cannot purchase a home in a given amount of time, then they can back out of their sale. This is SO important in a seller’s market, so let’s break that down:

If you—the seller—don’t want to sell your home until you’ve found one to purchase, you can include a “home sale contingency” in your contract that will indicate to potential buyers that YOUR sale completely depends on whether or not you can find your next home.

Pro Tip: A lot of people worry about selling their home in this market because they don’t think they’ll find a new one in time. Add this clause to your contract and—boom—you’re covered.



A listing refers to a property that is officially on the market and available for sale or rent. It includes key details like the property’s price, size, features, and other relevant information. Listings can be found on multiple platforms, including real estate websites, brokerage databases, and multiple listing services (MLS).


Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a comprehensive database used by real estate agents, brokers, and prospective buyers to share information about properties that are on the market. It provides a centralized platform where real estate professionals can access and search for listings, view property details, and cooperate with other agents in buying or selling properties.


Seller Disclosure

This little document discloses all a seller’s knowledge about the condition of their property to the prospective buyers. It should include any recent updates, previous repairs, and any other work that might have been done on the home. It’s like doing an ancestry test but for your future home!

Understanding real estate vocabulary is crucial for anyone entering the market. Remember, if you ever have questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’re here to educate you on how to successfully navigate the housing market!

Home Improvement July 10, 2023

The Benefits of Xeriscaping in Hawai’i

Have you ever wondered what xeriscaping your yard would look like? The term “xeriscape” means a landscape without water, and there are plenty of ways to establish a yard that’s not only ecofriendly but also the envy of the neighborhood. From saving a few pennies to establishing a wildlife haven, here are the top reasons to convert your yard to a xeriscape sanctuary.

  1. Water Conservation. Xeriscaping is one of the best ways to minimize your ecological footprint. With water scarcity at the front of everyone’s minds, consider planting drought-tolerant species that will naturally thrive in your area. Implementing an effective irrigation system that could help reduce water consumption by up to 70% is also recommended
  2. Lower Water Bills. Who doesn’t love saving money? Xeriscaping not only benefits the environment but also your wallet. By reducing your yard’s water requirements, you’ll notice a substantial decrease in your monthly water bills.
  3. Less Maintenance. Are you tired of spending countless hours mowing, weeding, and pruning? Xeriscaping may be the key to more freedom! With low-maintenance plants and a well-designed landscape, you’ll have more time to relax, play at the pool, or enjoy your beautiful yard.
  4. Increased Property Value. Investing in xeriscaping will also increase your property’s value. A thoughtfully designed, water-efficient landscape can significantly enhance curb appeal, attracting potential buyers and increasing your home’s resale value. It’s a win-win situation that blends aesthetics with practicality.
  5. Climate Adaptability. Xeriscaping is a perfect match for any climate. Whether you live in dry, arid Arizona or a more temperate Colorado, xeriscaping techniques can be tailored to suit your local environment. By utilizing native plants, you’ll create an ecosystem that thrives naturally, even in challenging conditions. Continue reading to find out about 3 native Hawaiian plants that thrive in our Hawaii climate!
  6. Biodiversity and Wildlife Habitat. For all our birdwatchers and animal lovers, now is the time to create your own wildlife sanctuary. Xeriscaping offers the perfect haven for furry and feathered creatures by incorporating plants that provide food, shelter, and nesting opportunities for wildlife. Witness the magic of nature unfold before your eyes!
  7. Noise and Dust Reduction. Forget noisy lawnmowers and leaf blowers—strategically placed trees, shrubs, and hardscape features can act as buffers and reduce noise pollution from nearby roads or construction sites. Unwind in your tranquil outdoor haven away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.
  8. Enhanced Aesthetics. Contrary to popular belief, xeriscaping doesn’t mean sacrificing beauty. Instead, it provides an opportunity for artistic expression, allowing you to create visually stunning landscapes that harmonize with your surroundings. Explore a wide array of textures, colors, and shapes to craft a unique and captivating oasis.

While uprooting your yard might seem like an undertaking, there are multiple ways you can benefit from xeriscaping your yard. If you want to try this water conservation strategy in your hard, below are a few native Hawaiian shrubs to get you started:

  1. Naio. Naio, scientifically known as Myoporum sandwicense, is indigenous to various regions of Hawaii. Its growth patterns vary depending on the surrounding conditions. Along the coast, it often forms expansive shrubs, while in subalpine environments, it can reach considerable heights. Naio is characterized by its elongated, sleek leaves. On Oahu, a subspecies of naio exhibits petite leaves adorned with delicate hairs, imparting a gentle texture. The blossoms of this plant range from white to pale pink and emit a delightful sandalwood fragrance, enhancing the olfactory ambiance of your surroundings.
  1. Pohinhina. Vitex rotundifolia is found in sandy coastal regions across the Hawaiian Islands. Depending on the specific island, it may be referred to by different common names such as Pohinahina, Kolokolo Kahakai, Hinahina Kolo, or Mawanawana when purchasing it from a nursery. This shrub has the potential to become a prominent feature in a yard, growing up to three feet in height. Its rounded leaves are accompanied by lovely purple flowers. With its low water requirements, the shrub thrives when exposed to ample sunlight and exhibits rapid growth.
  1. ‘Ākia. ‘Ākia, scientifically known as Wikstroemia uva-ursi, is commonly encountered on Kauai, Oahu, Maui, and Molokai in Hawaii. This shrub can attain a height of four feet, featuring oval-shaped leaves and petite yellow flowers. As time progresses, the flowers transform into fruits. Due to their slow growth rate, ‘ākia plants necessitate less frequent maintenance compared to other plant varieties employed in xeriscaping projects.

We know plenty of landscapers and gardeners who could help you with yard makeover. Give us a call, and we’d be happy to connect you! Happy Xeriscaping!

Buying June 8, 2023

Avoid These Biggest Home Purchase Regrets

Buying a home is often the biggest purchase someone will make in their lifetime. However, the housing market can be an intimidating place to be—especially when inventory is low, and there are bidding wars.

As your real estate agent, it’s our job to guide you through the market and help you make informed decisions. Just like with any purchase, there is a possibility of buyer’s remorse—but we’re here to help you steer clear of any regrets and make your real estate transaction as smooth as possible.

Take a look at these top home purchase regrets from 2021 to 2022 if you’re thinking about buying a home in the near future.

(Source: Anytime Estimate with a survey of over 1,000 people.)

  1. Spending Too Much

The biggest regret that most people feel when buying a home is spending too much on their purchase. People often set a budget before starting their house-hunting journey, but it’s easy to be influenced by the heat of the market and bid higher than your established budget. To avoid this problem in the future, don’t think about the final price tag but instead what the monthly payments would look like. Is that something you can afford? If not, it’s best to walk away—there’s no sense in regretting your decision later. Also, if you find yourself torn in a bidding war, make sure to consult with your real estate agent and discuss your options.

  1. Rushing Into a Purchase

When the market is hot and competition is fierce, the process of buying a home might feel like getting caught in a flash flood. 26% of people regret buying a home too quickly. While it’s easy to get swept up in the adrenaline of a fast-paced market, make sure you take the necessary time to think over your decision. This is a big purchase, and it’s okay to “sleep on it” before moving forward.

  1. High Maintenance

While a pool or sprawling lawn may seem like a good idea at the time, you may regret those decisions when it comes to maintenance. Understand the responsibilities of home ownership and try not to bite off more than you can chew. Often, being a homeowner can be overwhelming when something unexpected breaks and you are not prepared to pay for the maintenance. Do your best to set up an emergency fund and know just how much you can handle when it comes to home maintenance.

  1. Fixer Uppers

All this room needs is a new coat of paint—right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case for 24% of people. Purchasing a rough home with the purpose of fixing it up may sound fun to some, but it’s very easy to get overwhelmed with it comes to renovations. Often, homeowners discover even more problems with a home during this process and drive their budgets higher and higher in the blink of an eye. So when it comes to fixer uppers, do your research and make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into.

  1. Buying Sight-Unseen

Many out-of-state buyers will consider making an offer on a home they’ve never seen in person, but 17% of people consider that a poor decision. Sure, it might save time upfront, but it could lose you lots of time and money in the long run if you are unhappy with your purchase. Often times, pictures and digital tours can be deceiving when it comes to space, layout, color, and even the feeling of the home. But if worse comes to worse and you are unable to walk a home before making an offer, make sure to send someone you trust to give an honest opinion on the property.

  1. Poor Location

Sometimes when purchasing a house, a buyer can get distracted by the look and aesthetic of the home. Make sure to investigate the location and neighborhood before signing on the dotted line. The design of a home can easily be changed, but the location and neighborhood? Not so much. Make sure to keep these important factors in mind when purchasing a new home.

It’s easy to get swept-up in the excitement of buying a home. Make sure to work with a real estate expert to help you make informed decisions when it comes to the housing market. If you’re a buyer ready to start looking for your dream home, we would be happy to assist you!

Real Estate May 11, 2023

Protect Your Assets: The Benefits of Setting Up a Trust

While there’s no harm in living in the moment, planning your finances ahead of time will be beneficial in the long run—especially estate planning. Do you know what will happen to your home, your investments? Probate can be a long and painful process if handled incorrectly, so that’s why we are here to help you keep your most important assets safe!

A living trust is one of the most popular ways to manage your estate before and after you pass away. But what is a living trust? How does it differ from establishing a will? Here are some details about living trusts and how they can benefit your estate planning.

  1. Trustee. For a living trust, you can appoint a specific person responsible for managing your estate on your behalf. This is a great way to keep assets within the family by appointing a sole-decision maker.
  2. Takes Effect Immediately. Unlike a will, a living trust takes effect while you are still alive. You can also make your trust revocable and allow yourself the flexibility of making adjustments—or irrevocable by keeping decisions set in stone.
  3. Asset Diversification. Living trusts help protect a wide expanse of assets. They can cover real estate, cars, boats, bank accounts, antiques, jewelry, artwork, family heirlooms, stamp or coin collections, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other securities.
  4. Avoid Conservatorship. A living trust allows your trustee to make decisions on your behalf. This can be very helpful if your health begins to decline quickly or unexpectedly.
  5. Avoid Probate. Probate is the legal process in which your estate is handled by the court. This can be a timely and costly, but a living trust grants your beneficiary the right to distribute assets and avoid court.
  6. Minor Specifications. If a minor is granted assets through a will, they will not have access to them until they are of age (18 or 21 depending on the state), and the inheritance will be managed by a legal guardian. However, with a living trust, you can provide special instructions dictating how a minor will receive these assets. Often, they are held for college funds or when they reach a certain age.

As you can see, there are many benefits to establishing a living trust to protect your assets. Crafting a will is beneficial if you are not married or don’t have a variety of assets, but adding a living trust to your plan offers greater flexibility and the opportunity to keep personal property within the family tree.

If you are considering setting up a living estate, we would be happy to connect you with a financial planner. Rules regarding living trusts can vary by state, and we have local connections who will guide you through the estate planning process.

We helped you obtain your home, now we want to make sure you keep it in the family! Prepare your living trust today!

Local April 25, 2023

Mo’olelo of Hawaiian Banks