According to experts, the average age of home buyers is 35-40 years, although about ten years ago, apartments were mainly bought by people aged 40-45. Previously, parents often purchased housing for young people, but now young families are already able to do it for their own money. So, now we see that agencies offer a lot of Honolulu Houses for Sale. In this article, we will help you to choose which one you love.
Most people have to save up for a new home for more than one year. Therefore, when it comes to finding a particular apartment, it is important to weigh all the factors in order to choose the best option within your budget. What questions should you ask yourself when buying a home?
Location: sleeping area or center?
In the United States, when choosing to house, they have long been guided by the rule of three "L": location, location, and location. But in Honolulu, this is the first criterion that buyers name when they turn to realtors to select options.
Many dreams of housing in the city center - there is a good infrastructure, and it is easier to find a job within walking distance. But there are also disadvantages: high real estate prices, parking difficulties, traffic noise, and high gas pollution.
You need to understand what exactly you expect from the microdistrict. It is important for one to choose housing that is located near the place of work or school where children go. Others pay attention to shops, sports grounds, hospitals, pharmacies, bars, and restaurants. Still, others want a park or pond nearby. Fourth look at the proximity to the subway and transport interchange.
Think about what is a priority for you, and why you are ready to give up. As practice shows, often, after weighing all the pros and cons, buyers stop buying a home in a different area than they originally planned.
You should not specifically look for a good moment to buy - it's like playing the lottery. If you are only chasing the price, you can miss out on a good option within your budget.
Budget: What are you willing to overpay for?
Real estate prices are constantly changing. I know cases when people chose an apartment and then postponed the purchase - they expected that in a month or two its cost would decrease. And as a result, prices, on the contrary, grew (in the primary market) or this object was “taken away” by other buyers who offered a large amount (in the secondary market).
Therefore, you should not specifically look for a good moment to buy - it's like playing the lottery. If you are only chasing the price, you can miss out on a good option within your budget.
It is important to understand whether your budget meets the expectations of housing. Then you need to ask yourself: are you ready to sacrifice wishes or can you increase the budget?
In my experience, only 10-20% of buyers are willing to pay more - an average of 5-15%. One of the clients even sold his new BMW to have enough money, he liked the apartment so much.
About 50% of people lower the bar and consider options with fewer rooms or further from the center and transport interchanges. For the rest, the expectations and budget are approximately the same: it turns out to buy the kind of housing that they wanted from the very beginning.
Age of the house: "secondary" or a new residential complex?
Now there is no clear leader on the market: transactions in the old housing stock and in new buildings are concluded with approximately equal frequency. At the same time, apartments in the primary and secondary markets have their pros and cons.
Advantages of new buildings:
●the opportunity to buy an apartment 30-50% cheaper if you invest in construction at the stage of excavation;
●new construction technologies - as a rule, such houses are well insulated, with fast elevators and modern windows;
●new communications - pipes and electrical wiring will last much longer than in old houses;
●individual heat meters and battery-powered thermostats - due to this, you can save up to 70% on heating;
●"fresh" state of the entrance, hall, and adjacent territory.
Disadvantages of new buildings:
●as a rule, developers sell apartments without repair - so you have to allocate a budget for it. In the "economy" category, finishing will cost from $150-200 per square meter, in the middle price segment - it from $400-700. A designer renovation in general can cost more than an apartment;
●until all the neighbors make repairs, the house will be noisy and dirty - this can last one and a half to two years;
●if the residential complex is located in a new microdistrict, there may not be a developed infrastructure;
●if the house is just being built, there is a risk that it will be put into operation with a delay.
When buying a home in the primary market, you should definitely check the developer and supporting documents. If several floors have already been erected in the house and customers are allowed to inspect, it is worth going into the apartments to make sure of the quality of work and finishing materials. Pay attention to the joints of the walls, the surface of the screen, and the evenness of the plaster (if any). There are cases when buyers find deviations in the vertical walls or defects in window and door systems - it is important to identify them before closing the deal.
Advantages of old houses:
●apartments on the secondary market are cheaper than similar options in new houses in the same microdistrict;
●housing is being sold and already renovated - you can immediately call in;
●developed infrastructure around.
Disadvantages of old houses:
●old construction technologies - the apartment may turn out to be “cold”, and you will have to spend extra money on insulation;
●old communications - pipes can break at any moment or traffic jams can fly out if you turn on too many electrical appliances.
If you are interested in an apartment on the secondary market, you should check the condition of communications, as well as the presence of smudges or fungus.
You can also get to know your neighbors in advance. I know stories when people sold an apartment a few years after the purchase due to the fact that the tenants behind the wall were constantly making noise: sorting things out or having night parties. Another client had to do additional soundproofing. Such risks are difficult to identify in advance - but can be minimized by tactfully asking some neighbors about the trustworthiness of others.
Apartment: what area and layout do you need?
When choosing the number of rooms, you need to proceed from how many people will live in the apartment, whether the family has children, what age they are, and whether they are of the same sex. There are no definite right or wrong options: each case is individual.
As a rule, students, bachelors, and young couples choose "hotels", studios or one-room apartments with an area of 20-40 square meters. m. Also, this option is suitable for parents who are leaving with adult children, exchanging one large apartment for several with a smaller area.
Young couples who are planning a baby usually consider a separate nursery - if the budget allows. And families who already have children are mainly looking for apartments with two or more rooms. In this case, the area of housing is not as important as the number of rooms and depends on the financial capabilities of buyers.
In any case, when you are considering a particular apartment, it is worth imagining that you already live there. Is there enough space for all family members? Would you like to be in this room during the day? Do you like the layout - especially if there are irregular corners or rounded walls? Is one combined bathroom enough or is it better to have two separate ones?
Also, with the transition to remote work due to quarantine restrictions, some people needed to equip a separate workplace at home. According to my observations, this trend has not become widespread in our market. But if this is important to you, think in advance whether there is a suitable corner for a table and a computer in the apartment.
When you consider a particular apartment, it is worth imagining that you already live there. Is there enough space for all family members? Would you like to be in this room during the day? Do you like the layout?
Floor and view from the windows: how important is it?
Most people choose apartments on the middle floors. Many do not want to consider options on the first and last: there is an opinion that it is cold below, and the roof may leak at the top. This is often the case in old houses.
But in new buildings, such risks are almost impossible. On the contrary, these apartments have their advantages. The first floors are more accessible, especially for the elderly or people with disabilities, while the upper floors have a great view from the windows and no upstairs neighbors.
It is also worth considering that "species" apartments, as a rule, are more expensive. The markup can vary from 5% to 50%. Whether it is worth overpaying for a panoramic view - everyone chooses for himself.
I remember a case when a client could not decide. One of the apartments he considered was on the top floor of a prestigious building. The windows had a gorgeous view, but one of the family members was afraid of heights. In addition, the balcony railings seemed insufficiently reliable for the safety of young children. The second apartment was on the middle floor and cost almost twice as much.
The client and I discussed his "scenarios" of life in each of the apartments, and as a result, he settled on the first option - and does not regret it. In fact, people's choices often come from emotions - it's like buying a premium car or phone. The main thing is to make a decision consciously.
Documents: how not to become a victim of scammers?
When choosing an apartment in the primary market, buyers run the risk of encountering unreliability of the developer. In the worst case, if the construction is "frozen" and the house is not put into operation, you can lose all the money invested.
To avoid problems, examine the documents: check the license and permit for construction work, the lease agreement, or the ownership of the land. Be sure to ask the developer about financing schemes, and then assess the risks with a real estate lawyer.
It is also worth reading reviews about the developer on specialized forums and websites. If the company had problems with previous objects, it is better to refuse the purchase.
The secondary market also has its own "pitfalls" and fraudulent schemes. Before concluding a transaction, it is important to check the passport and identification code of the owner, as well as the ownership of the apartment. To verify the authenticity of these documents, contact a notary.
Buying an apartment is a serious step, and there is no single recipe for choosing the perfect option. Therefore, it is important not to rush into a decision. Carefully weigh all the pros and cons, and imagine your life in a new place as detailed as possible. So you will understand what you need exactly - and you will not make a mistake in choosing.