Obviously you have heard all the pros for purchasing now at this time because the rates are so low and are heading soon northward, and for purchasing in Manoa, however, please let me play devil's advocate.
My concern would be for your exit strategy, that is your goals for your property. Are you buying it as an cash-flow investment, second residence, primary residence or flipping? If it was a cash-flow property you desire, it probably would not pencil out. Most single family homes in Manoa, that are not complete fixer uppers, would typically run you around $800K+, and you would be hard pressed to find a renter for more than $4000, and net positive if you held a mortgage. There are other condos and houses, in town, and Waikiki, that would at least get you some positive cash flow. I am not certain if you know that most homes in Hawaii run on the smaller side. Most homes in Hawaii are not much more than 1800-2200 sq ft for a 3-4bdroom Single Family and it would still run you almost $1M for something you do not have to touch up in East Oahu.
If it was a longterm investment or second home, Manoa is beautiful with lush greenery, and is a quiet sleepy suburb in much demand so it should ultimately pan out barring another real-estate meltdown, however, I prefer other locales better. Manoa is too quiet and damp for some. For me, I despise having to run a dehumidifier 24/7 so that mold doesn't grow on my teeth, let alone clothes and household belongings, and more so, I abhor doling out hard earned money to pay for outrageous utility bills as I probably prefer it dryer than most. In addition, my idea of stress-free living is not sitting in traffic during rush hour due to the fact that Manoa, like most places on the island, has only one major way in and out. Obviously, if you have children, schools are a big part of the decision making process, and I have mainland preferences in that children should attend good public schools if at ll possible. Hawaii Kai, (Hahaione), Aina Haina, and Kahala have the best rated public elementary schools and are all beautiful and safe neighborhoods (Do you have children? What are their ages? Do you plan to send them to public or private school? ) Where will you be working or will you be retired?
In addition, I prefer homes built with a minimum of double wall construction, which is sometimes not the case in Manoa, as it is an older neighborhood, with your mix of older homes that have and have not been fully renovated.
Regardless of the above, you may also want to consider the views. If you live in Manoa, there are not many homes where you get ocean views which is very desirable for most but especially for those from the mainland that say that if they were moving to Hawaii, they want to see and/or be near the ocean. Depending on where you live and work, you may only see the ocean as you travel downward on University from Manoa.
Please don't get me wrong, it is wonderful in Manoa, but it is wonderful almost everywhere in East Oahu.
If planning to reside anywhere, first ask yourself what you want, how you want to live, where you want to get to before choosing a location. That's the surest way to ensure your happiness with your home purchase.
My next recommendation is to rent if possible in the location you are considering.
Then speak to a Realtor who understands what you want and can fully outline all the pros and cons of a purchase, not just rubber-stamp what you may like and push you to a decision based on possible earlier commissions.
Just my two cents... ;)
Great homes that are well-priced in this area tend to go very quickly, so if you are fortunate enough to buy one, it should be a good investment -- whether you live in it or use it as a rental. It does look like there is more inventory than usual right now in that general area, but overall activity is very dependent on price range -- the upper price ranges actually seeing more consistent activity and price increases these days.
If you'd like me to give you more specific sales data and information for the neighborhoods in that area, and as to particular price bands or configurations, please let me know. I can also set up a website for you with no cost of obligation, where you could view sales activity on your own.
You are asking this question at a very good time.
The hom prices in Manoa have come down quite a bit in the last few years, and the interest rates are exceptional right now.
There aren't alot of homes for sale right now because noone wants to sell in this low market unless they need to...
I am happy to send you a list of what is available for sale in Manoa now.
I can also send you the comps in the area for the homes you like.
Please give me a call at: (808)218-2899, or email me at: email@example.com.
It will be a pleasure to hear from you!
Gold Coast Real Estate, Inc.
My name is Mike Gallagher. Get the facts first at http://www.hawaiirealestatestatistics.com I have been tracking statistics in Hawaii and especially Oahu since 2005.
In my opinion it is almost a good time to buy in Manoa Valley...any time. Manao is one of the most prestigious, most desirable places to live on Oahu.
Not only is it close to Town and everything else including the University of Hawaii, homes are sellling for premium.
Just sold a $600,000 rental to College Students parent for Cash. It was a done deal in no time. No Brainer.
Mike Gallagher, Broker in Charge, Abe Lee Realty
Ethics Complaints Review Committee Member, Honolulu Board of Realtors
Quite honestly this is a great time to buy in nearly every neighborhood on O'ahu. Without knowing your current financial status, whether you have a down payment and what your price range is I cannot guide you precisely; however, the last 18 months has been the single best period in history to buy in Hawaii because never before have interest rates been low when the overall housing market was down.
Manoa specifically is one of the most desirable neigborhoods for folks who appreciate vintage architecture, historic homes and lush surroundings. I see you are from Los Gatos, which I also know well, so you may be nicely suited to Manoa if you are surrounded by the charm of Los Gatos, San Jose or Willow Glen. I am happy to fill you in more on its specific features whenever you are ready.
Until then I suggest you run -- don't walk -- to you lender to get pre-approved for a mortgage so you know exactly what price point you will be in.
P.S. A Maui Realtor previously wrote to you that O'ahu sales are down from a year ago by 13%. The fact is that our statistics show the exact opposite: O'ahu is up 13.4% for home sales/10.3% for condos. In fact, sales are up for every island in 2010. It's the prices that have yet to follow suit except on O'ahu where several neighborhoods prices have increased in the double-digits already.
Me ke aloha pumehana, Dawn
I agree with one poster that a fixer upper could be a good investment if you don't need to move in immediately, but I'm not sure yet we've seen the bottom of the market. There's a ton of foreclosures waiting in the pipelines and when this inventory gets put on the market, it could bring prices down, even though Manoa itself won't be nearly as affected as other areas of town. Perhaps you could identify an REO or a short sale property you're interested in that might fetch a better deal....?
That being said, Manoa is a great place to own. Large lots, houses with lots of charm, and proximity to town make it a very desirable area. I've seen great deals in Manoa, and the interest rates have been absolutely fantastic. It would be a great time to check out property in the area and see if there's anything to your liking.
Please feel free to contact me if you'd like to discuss -- I can be reached at (808) 368-6646 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Aloha , Rob
My name is Mike Gallagher and am Broker in Charge at RE/MAX Honolulu. Please go to my website at http://www.hawaiirealestatestatistics.com and go to the page titled "Oahu First Quarter and Beyond" for complete up to date info on the housing market on Oahu.
You can also see reports at my Oceanic Cable Monthly Column at http://www.aroundhawaii.com
You can email me directly at Mikeg@hawaii.rr.com
Single family home prices went up over 27% this year compared to June-Aug 2006. Let the numbers speak for themselves. Contact your agent for more details.