Checklist before Buying or Building in Hawaii


If you are considering building or buying a house, condo or lot in Hawaii, here is a checklist of things to consider before closing the deal. This checklist was created from Your Ideal Hawaii Home: Avoid Disaster when Buying or Building in Hawaii


The Property : Is it the right spot?

     Verify the county zoning of the property and the land that abuts the property.

     Find out if the property is in a the hazardous lava zone, flood zone, or tsunami zone.

     Determine the property's drainage and proper drainage of nearby roads.

     Verify the property has unobstructed air flow that cannot be blocked by growth of trees or buildings on an adjacent lot.

     Verify the location is insurable by car and house insurance companies.

     Verify that electricity is available or an energy alternate plan is feasible.

     Verify that water is available or a water catchment system is feasible.

     Verify that a sewer systemis available. If it is a cess-pool find out its status with the EPA and if any fines have been assessed. If it is a septic system, verify it meets federal standards.

     Get a survey and walk the lot lines if possible.

     Find out which climate zone the property is in and its average rainfall and temperature. Find out the vog situation on the property.

     Determine if the property has any pest invasions. If crops or fruit is growing, find out if they are GMO or require pesticides or other chemicals.

     Check out the condition of the roads, traffic, and find out whether the county or maintenance organization is responsible for the roads.

The House : What is its condition?

     Get an independent house inspection.

     Verify that all of the structures on the property are permitted by the county.

     Verify that the house is designed for the climate: overhanging roofs, bug protection, air flow, etc.

     Find out how long since the last termite tenting.

     Learn the details about any installed electric solar systems and other utilities.

     Determine if the house will need AC or heating.

The Neighborhood : Is it the right fit for you?

     Meet the association’s board members and managers, if applicable.

     Investigate if the neighborhood has security or is open.

     Research local crime rates, check online for sex offenders and meth labs in the neighborhood

     Meet the neighbors and ask them about issues in the neighborhood, crime, building issues, etc.

     Verify the noise in the neighborhood at night and any road noise. Check the proximity to other houses and identify any potential problems: dog barking, smoke, or smells.

     Investigate if the neighborhood has rules like no animals, noise enforcement, BBQs, etc.

     Find out about any rules for parking or common areas.

     Find out what fire and police services are available and how close you will be to medical help like hospitals and urgent care.

     If you have children, visit the schools they will attend, research violence and drug issues at the school.

The Costs : What are the monthly expenses?

     Find out yearly Property Taxes and if there is any increase planned.

     Find out the owner associations and/or road associations fees for your particular lot or unit.

     Find out if the road, neighborhood, or condo association is planning a special assessment.

     Estimate monthly electricity costs based on your normal usage.

     Estimate the cost of yard or garden maintenance (gas for mowing, herbicide and pesticide)

     Estimate the monthly cost of maintenance for the house, pool, hot tub etc.

     Estimate costs of water and sewer.

     Estimate costs for storage unit or PO box (if needed).

     Estimate costs of pet food and care (if needed).

     Estimate extra costs for postage for items needed from the mainland.

     Estimate costs of internet and cable.

     Estimate costs of hauling garbage.

     Estimate cost of gas to commute to shopping, job, and activities.

     Find out cost of yearly car taxes and Hawaii safety sticker.

     Verify availability and cost of car insurance.

     Verify availability and cost of insurance for house and belongings.

     Investigate cost and availability of earthquake, tsunami, flood, and fire insurance.

     Investigate cost of getting local medical insurance or cost of Doctors that will take your existing insurance.


Copyright 2012-2014



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