Kona Condo Update: Alii Lani Inventory and Recent Sales

The popular Alii Lani condominium project, located on Kailua-Kona’s Alii Drive continues to draw strong buyer interest as many find the project’s competitive pricing good Kona value.

Alii Lani has 2bed/2bath or 3bed/2bath floor plans, multiple swimming pools for owners to enjoy, low maintenance fees and is just minutes from Kona’s many beaches.

I closed on my Alii Lani F101 listed property, September 14, 2012.

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This turnkey furnished unit had been almost completely redone from top to bottom with new appliances, flooring, paint and fixtures. As my seller and I began readying the property for market,  I shot high quality photographs along with a high-definition video tour to best showcase the property!

I released Unit F101 onto the market,  the morning of August 3, 2012. Within the hour we had a request for showing, a second showing to same buyer that same day,  and by the next morning a full price offer!  When a property is priced right, and you have professional photographs paired with a video tour, your property will sell.  We closed September 14, 2012 at our list price of $189,000. My seller, and the buyer were ecstatic!

There is still some great inventory in Alii Lani. Currently there are four units available, priced from $155,000-$209,000. Units that have sold from June 1, 2012 range in sales price from $138,000-$209,000. To view Alii Lani inventory and recent sales activity click here. 

For information on these or other units, or to discuss selling your property, contact Marco today!

Kona Market Update: Inventory Down, Sales Up!

Kona’s real estate market continues to gain momentum, as reduced inventory levels and aggressive buyers continue to take advantage of fantastic market pricing.

Our most recent market update via The Griggs Report, shows us that in North Kona’s residential market priced to 4 million,  inventory levels have been reduced 19%  when compared to the same time in 2011.

In the same market, during the same time frame that inventory has decreased, pending sales have increased by 16%.

Decrease in inventory, increase in sales…..you know quite well what is coming next. Increased pricing.

Many Realtors can attest to the fact that we don’t have the inventory we used to. It simply isn’t available. Well priced properties fly off the shelf, and my Alii Lani #F101 unit, currently in escrow, was a great example of this.

I listed the below Alii Lani #F101 condominium Friday August 3, 2012 at 8:11 a.m. Before the end of hour, I had a request for showing. Then a second showing to that same buyer by mid afternoon. The next morning, we had an offer. All parties came to terms Sunday, and we opened escrow Monday morning.

If you are a Buyer in Kona’s current real estate market, DON’T WAIT. Recovery is happening this very moment, and concrete numbers are supporting that.

Don’t be left behind!

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Interest Rates Drop Again, Is It Time To Refinance?

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Interest rates are at unbelievable lows right now and many property owners are taking of advantage by refinancing their current mortgages.

Have you thought about refinancing? Will it help your financial position at this time?

Lenders charge a fee for you to refinance your loan. These fees are known as “points”.  Points are upfront interest paid to the lender, calculated on the amount of money you borrow.

1 point = 1% of your borrowed money.

If you had a loan of $450,000 and you were going to be charged 1 point to refinance, that would equate to $4,500.

1% of $450,000 = $4,500

If you had a $450,000 mortgage, at a current rate of 6%, your monthly payment would be $2698.  If your lender was going to charge you 1.5 points to refinance to the current market rate of 3.5%, it would cost you $6,750.  Once completed, your new monthly payment would drop from $2698 to $2021, a decrease of $677! Wow!

Your monthly savings would be so great, that you by your 10th payment at your lower interest rate, you will have recouped the $6750 it originally cost you to get the lower interest rate, a wise move on your part!

While the refinance did wonders for you, that isn’t always the case. Take the scenario with your neighbor.

Your neighbor can’t believe how much you are saving and wants to refinance as well.

Currently they are paying 4% on their $450,000 mortgage, their monthly payment is $2,148.

Their lender is going to charge them a fee of 1.5 points or $4,500 to refinance to the market rate of 3.5%. After paying the $4,500, their monthly payment has decreased from $2,148 to $2,021, a monthly savings of $127. Realize here that they have just come out of pocket $4500 to save $127 a month. This isn’t anywhere close to the dramatic change you saw in your payment.

By the 36th payment (36 x $127 =$4,572) the monthly saving of $127 will equal the $4500 originally paid to secure the lower interest rate. In essence, it took them 3 years before realizing any savings from their new, lower rate. Possibly not the best use of their money.

A refinance includes an appraisal of the property, and a thorough examination of the borrower’s credit scores and financial strength. Think of it as going through the loan process all over again. As property values have decreased, appraisal value has been problematic at times, although new government regulations have tried to ease this.

Your lender will be able to advise you accordingly, just be sure you crunch the numbers and examine the many aspects a refinance presents.

Best of luck!

Buying Now: How Interest Rate Increases Affect YOU

“Interest rates are at historic lows right now!”  I’m sure you’ve heard it, but how do interest rates affect you and your purchase?

Interest rates affect your monthly payment, and the amount you will have paid by the time your loan is paid off.

Minute increases in interest rates directly affect the amount a buyer ends up paying in the short and long-term.

Let’s run some numbers to better illustrate.

We have found your dream property, at your price point of $500,000.

The interest rate on your $500,000 dream home is 3.875%. For a 30 year, conventional mortgage you can expect your monthly principal and interest (P&I) payment to be  $2351  By the time the loan has been paid off, you will have paid $1,595,967.

But, you just aren’t certain. Prices have been going down, and you want to wait a week or two, see if the sellers reduce their price. What does waiting a week or two hurt, right? 

Unfortunately, when you next look at this purchase, interest rates have gone up. Now, the best rate you can get is 4.25%, and increase of .375%.

Your same property, now at 4.25%, is costing you  $2460 per month. Principal and interest payment has increased by $109.

Along with that the total amount paid on the loan which previously was $1,595,967 has now increased to $1,785,325, a difference of $189,357 over the life of the loan. Wow. 

The chart below illustrates how changes in rates will continue to affect you, at different percentages. 

Value     Int Rate         Term             P&I Payment        Total Paid                Difference

500K        3.875%         30 year           $2351.19             $1,595,967            From 3.875%

500K        4.00%           30 year           $2387.08             $1,656,749           $72.62/60,781

500K        4.25%           30 year           $2459.70             $1,785,325           $108.51/189,357

500K        4.50%           30 year           $2533.43             $1,923,849           $182.24/327,882

The question you should be asking yourself is, do you forecast the market dropping far enough to cancel out an increase in interest rates? Or are you ok paying an additional $70-$180, or more a month, to continue waiting on your purchase?

Interest rates are at historic lows right now make sure you take advantage of them!

Kona Real Estate Statistics: Escrows Reflect Continued Recovery!

Mike Griggs, a fellow Realtor Broker here in Kona puts out a market report updated every two weeks, and it is packed full of valuable information!

The Griggs Report – February 29, 2012 came out late Friday afternoon and I wanted to share this great publication with my blog readers.

As the report indicates, pending sales are up! Current North Kona properties in escrow number at 114, up 17 from a month ago! A huge indicator in this statistic is that this level of escrow activity was last seen in the recovery cycle of 2001.  I like it! To better put that in perspective, at our current cycles low point in 2008, North Kona had 26 homes in escrow. Yikes!  Any idea which way we are heading?

We have a classic example of supply and demand shaping up in West Hawaii. As Kona’s residential inventory decreases with demand staying strong, you can certainly expect increased pricing on the horizon.  To make purchasing even more enticing, interest rates are still at historically low levels.

If you are not out shopping for homes, you should be!  There is fantastic opportunity right now in West Hawaii, send me a note and I can get you a list of my best buy properties!