Is there a way to buy a single-family home in Kauai as a first time homebuyer without paying more than $225K?

Asked by Li, Connecticut Tue Apr 1, 2008

Hawai'i is so beautiful, but so expensive!

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Greg Bloss, Agent, Princeville, HI
Wed Apr 8, 2009
Kauai Homes under $225K seems more possible than it did a year ago when I first addressed this posting. At that time there was only one home under $300K now there are EIGHT (8) under $300K and a few of them are in fair shape even move in condition.

See below for a list of all homes under $350K on Kauai currently listed for sale.

Greg Bloss (RA)
Prudential All Star Realty
Kauai, Hawaii

MLS # Tp St DOM Taxkey Tnr Price Location Land area Details
217772 RC A 149 4-4-1-7-9-2 FS $225,000 4855-B Nonou Rd #2 4,769 sqft 768 2/1
218296 RS A 139 4-4-6-27-28 FS $245,000 5111 Hassard Rd 5,115 sqft 840 3/1
219935 RC A 84 4-4-6-34-13-5 FS $249,900 4914 Aliali Rd #5 5,468 sqft 1,084 3/1.5
220533 RC A 69 4-4-6-34-13-3 FS $249,900 4912 Aliali Rd #3 4,517 sqft 1,084 3/1.5
215724 RS A 212 4-2-7-8-24 FS $249,999 4381 Omao Rd 5,793 sqft 912 3/2
216919 RS A 85 4-4-6-41-92 FS $275,000 5343A Kawaihau Rd 8,604 sqft 1,168 4/1
217774 RC A 149 4-4-1-7-9-3 FS $299,000 4855-A Nonou Rd #3 5,722 sqft 768 2/1
217775 RC A 149 4-4-1-7-9-4 FS $299,000 4855-C Nonou Rd #4 3,346 sqft 768 2/1
215646 RS A 216 4-4-6-35-59 FS $329,000 5679 Ani St 7,888 sqft 864 3/1.5
220489 RO A 70 4-4-6-15-32 FS $339,900 4808 Pelehu Rd 12,894 sqft 596 1/1
216968 RC A 149 4-4-2-6-15-1 FS $340,000 Wailua Homesteads Lot #: 5,838 sqft 640 2/1
222146 RC A 22 4-4-6-22-3-9001 FS $340,000 5026 Laipo Rd 4,906 sqft 835 2/2
221440 RS A 44 4-4-6-24-90 FS $342,000 5322 Kahala St 5,040 sqft 912 3/1
215919 RS A 205 4-2-1-6-62 FS $349,000 4740 Hokuloa Pl 6,715 sqft 1,584 3/2
214504 RS A 237 4-1-3-2-130 FS $350,000 8093 Amakihi Pl 6,114 sqft 864 3/1

This information has been supplied by third parties and has not been independently verified by Hawaii Information Service and is, therefore, not guaranteed. Copyright 4/8/2009 by Hawaii Information Service
1 vote
Debra A. Jas…, , 96714
Wed Nov 11, 2009
Aloha Li,

I just returned from a trip to Fairfield, CT last month. The leaves were turning, but it was cold and wet.

If you're still dreaming about a home on Kauai. As of today (Nov. 11th) there are 2 priced under $225,000. One of them is MLS #225118 in Kapaa. It's a 3 bed/1.5 bath home (4919 Aliali Rd.) with approx. 1084 SF of living space on approx. 6.055 SF of land. Asking price is $194,900. It's an REO (real estate owned by the bank), which means it will be sold "as is" and the owner (i.e. the bank) requires you get pre-approved before submitting your offer.

The other listing under $225,000, is MLS #217772 in Wailua. However, the listing agent indicates that "banks will not loan on this property because the planning dept. put a restriction on the parcel that if OVER 50% of the house gets burned down or damaged by hurricane that you can not rebuild." It is 2 bedrooms/1 bath with approx. 768 SF of living space on 4,769 SF of land. Asking price is $175,000 (it was $225,000 at one point in time).

[This information has been supplied by third parties and has not been independently verified by Hawaii Information Service and is, therefore, not guaranteed. Nov. 11, 2009]

At this time, there are approx. 4 homes priced below $250,000 (and above $225,000) that, depending on how long they've been on the market, may be negotiable when it comes time to make an offer. So, one of them may meet your price range.

Are you still dreaming? Or, are you ready to make a move to Kauai? When paradise is calilng you, call me!
Have a great day.
0 votes
Ron Margolis, Agent, Lihue, HI
Tue Apr 7, 2009
Finding a home in Kauai under 225K may be doable but the question arises what is your expectation of the size and quality of the home. Not sure where in CT you live, but Kauai would be comparable in price to one of the most expensive neighborhoods in CT. In other words, location, location, location. While the affordability of homes on Kauai is getting better, this is the tropics, there is a limited amount of it, and prices reflect that. I can easily enroll you in my system to look at any listings when they appear under a given price range.
0 votes
Debra A. Jas…, , 96714
Tue Mar 31, 2009
Aloha Li,

If you're still interested in a home on Kauai, there is - as of today - one home on the market for $225,000.It's 2 bedroom, 1 bath with 768 SF of living space and it's on the east side of Kauai. There are three homes priced around $249,900. One of them has been on the market more than 200 days, so negotiating a price of $225,000 might be a possibility.

Let me know if you want more information on these properties and I'll be happy to email the details to you. Have a great day.
0 votes
Chuck, Both Buyer And Seller, Kauai County, HI
Sat Mar 28, 2009
Be patient....SFH homes are approaching your mark. SFH should be running in the 175K-250K based on Kauai economics. Prices were below that in 2000, and the false appreciation of the past 8 years has vanished. Here are the reasons:

1. Mortgages are no longer being given out to masses who cannot qualify; a. they must have steady, adequate income, b. they must have at or near 20% down, c. and they must have excellent credit. On Kauai, we just don't have that kind of pool of qualified buyers to drive the market anywhere but down....way down. (Example, someone who makes 60K puts 50K down, has excellent credit with NO debt, fixed 5% interest for 30-yrs...would be given a max by most banks these days of: 237K!) Now,how many folks make a verifiable 60K on Kauai??? My point.
2. There is no influx of mainland cash from crazy appreciation like the period that fueled our current mirage.
3. Outside of a small percentage of homes in select areas, the "rich" don't fuel the general home values here.
4. We are just beginning to feel the pangs of the recession on Kauai. Worse, we have little infrastructure of high or even moderate paying jobs.

Without a doubt, Kauai is a wonderful place to call home, but you must be ready for wild economic rides and periods of working strange odd jobs to get by. I would rent first, see if this is a place for you, then try and find that dream home. Prices are going nowhere but down, down, down...for a long time to come....
0 votes
James Pycha, Agent, Princeville, HI
Tue May 27, 2008
Li . .
In the current Buyer's market, (as previously noted) $225,000 may get you a good bargain on a 2 bedroom condominium of around 800 square feet from a motivated Seller. The maeuver then is (1) upgrade with improvements (2) sell for a profit on the next up-turn (3) exchange into a free-standing single family residence. Meanwhile if you're renting the unit, you will receive income cash-flow to significantly offset your holding costs and receiving heafty tax deductions as well. More on this upon request.
0 votes
Vanessa A. S…, , 96756
Thu May 1, 2008
Hi Li,

As you can see from the responses to your questions so far $225K for a SFH is on the low side for a piece of paradise, as the other writers have commented you could definately find a condo, and might be worth you exploring further. We have just started to see some "short sales" coming on the marketing, which may help you find something affordable.

Good luck with the search.

Vanessa Schwartzel - RA
Century 21 All Islands
0 votes
Debra A. Jas…, , 96714
Tue Apr 22, 2008
Aloha Li,

Greg is right, it's not easy to find a home under $225K on Kauai. As of today (April 22), when I ran a search there is only one single family home on the market under $300K. There are approx. five 2-bedroom condos on the market under $250K located in the Lihue and Kapaa areas of the island (east side).

If you're serious about wanting to live on Kauai, one of the first things you should do is to speak with a local lender. They can help you determine what you may or may not be able to afford. And, some offer programs specifically for first time homebuyers. If you'd like the name of some lenders on Kauai, a few of their names are listed on my Web site Resources page.

Debra A. Jason, RA, ABR
Vision Realty All Islands Kauai
0 votes
Greg Bloss, Agent, Princeville, HI
Fri Apr 4, 2008
That would be great if you could! Currently the least expensive SFH for sale is $274K and honestly I would say its a tear down! Would you consider a condo to get started? Many a people get their feet in the market that way first and then upgrade in a year or so

Greg Bloss
Prudential All Star Realty
0 votes
Walt Berhalt…, , 96756
Wed Apr 2, 2008
Mark is correct about location and options. Adding to that though, for a decent home in any of those areas today, you should be anticipating closer to $400K. FHA has increased its limit for homes in Hawaii and the financial instutions are changing the options available on almost a daily basis. It still is possible to find that "deal" out there, but you really need a good realtor and financial resource person - on the islands, to assist you with the uniqueness of Hawaii real estate.

Good luck in your search.

Walt Berhalter, RA, Sales Manager
Century 21 All Islands - Koloa / Poipu, Kauai
0 votes
Mark Travis, , Cobb, Lake County, CA
Tue Apr 1, 2008
Possibly, if you keep a close eye on the market there, and if you have an attentive realtor working for you.

But also, with the recent HUD increase in loan rates in some areas, you might be able to get in more easily to a home there for the first time. If your credit is good, there are still incentives for first time home buyers.

The best areas on Kauai for you to look would be the Lihue, Kapaa, Waimea areas.

I was aa agent on Kauai for 10 years and now a realtor in CA, but can let you know who the best agents are on Kauai. Let me know if you some names.
0 votes
I'm in El Dorado Hills and work here. I've sold a home on the Oregon Coast that was a beautiful vacation rental (unfortunate circumstances) and would love a condo with an ROI potential on Kauai or the Big Island. cash under 300k for now.
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