Consulting with a local real estate agent. Here's the card of an awesome real estate team who would love to connect.
A local lender will work to qualify you for financing a Big Island property. In order to start touring property in person (and not just online), you will first want to get pre-qualified or pre-approved by the lender of your choice. Once we know what type of loan you can get, we can insure that you are looking at the right types of properties in the right price range. Your pre-approval will also put you in a competitive position to make an offer when you find “the one.” Using a local lender (as opposed to a mainland lender) is highly recommended. For starters, they operate in the same time zone, which is really helpful. They also understand Hawaii's escrow timelines and the nuances of Big Island real estate (like lava zones!) Using a local lender can be the difference between a smooth closing closing or a bumpy one. If you would like, I can help connect you to lenders that I know and trust!
A typical closing/escrow on Big Island right now is taking between 45-60 days. During this time you conduct your inspections and due diligence and escrow collects funds and documents. If you are paying all cash, sometimes we can close faster, but it usually takes at least 30 days. If you are buying for the first time in the State of Hawaii, our escrow timeline may not be the same as you've experienced elsewhere. For example, once your loan has funded and you've signed your final documents, it will take 3 more business days to record the sale at the Bureau of Conveyances before you can close and get your keys.
Great news! In most cases, my buyer's services are completely free since the seller's side typically pays our commission.
Since the Big Island has active volcanoes, there are 9 designated Lava Zones, with new flows most likely to occur in 1 and least likely in 9. Here is a map from the USGS illustrating them. Although things are always changing with our volcanoes, in general there can be a greater challenge obtaining financing and insurance in riskier Lava Zones 1 and 2, due to the lava hazard.
The real estate process has become more virtual than ever. From property tours to closing documents, you might be surprised by how much we can accomplish together online. I offer numerous unique options to optimize your buying experience.