Buying a Home? Here’s All You Need to Know About Home Inspections!

May 1, 2019


For us residents, May always signals a return to normalcy as the large visitor crowds are on sabbatical for at least the next couple of months.  No long lines for gas at Costco and supermarkets.  Happy hours at the local restaurants are no longer two-deep at the bar and parking is abundant.

Our Real Estate market shows little change over the past few months.  So I thought this would be a good time for some Real Estate 101 for prospective buyers—tips on what to look for and how to manage Home Inspections.

Most likely your Real Estate agent will have a short list of inspectors for you to choose from that they have worked with in the past.  While inspections are not mandatory to complete a transaction, they are highly encouraged.  If a buyer chooses to waive an inspection (perhaps because they have the technical expertise to conduct their own inspection) many agents, including myself, will have the buyer sign a written waiver for the file.

Since inspections are at the buyer’s option, the buyer will be expected to pay for the inspection.  Here on Maui, inspections on small condos generally start at about $350, and on a large home can be as much as $1,000 or more.  Specialty inspections such as mold, roofs, or swimming pools are often performed by third party inspectors at an additional cost.

Purchase Contracts will designate a time frame in which the inspection will need to be done.  Quite often the seller will negotiate an additional deposit due once the buyer approves the inspection.

Inspections are very detailed and often times can be 50 pages or more, complete with photos of trouble areas and an easy-to-follow summary highlighting potential repairs now or in the future.  They will point out missing GFCI’s, plumbing leaks, major appliances that may not be performing properly, doors and windows that need new glides, etc., etc.  Now is the time to negotiate with the seller to make the necessary repairs to bring the property up to speed.

But, oops!  There’s that “As Is” Addendum you agreed to in the Purchase Contract, indicating that the seller intends to sell the home without making any repairs.  Are you “dead in the water”?  Absolutely not!  You still have options.  There is nothing to prevent you from asking the seller for repairs, or often times a credit to escrow to make the repairs yourself after closing. This will effectively pass the ball back to the seller to agree or not.  Should seller deny the request, you still have your option to cancel the contract and have your initial deposit returned.  Frankly, I’ve often wondered why agents bother with “As Is” Addendums.

For this month’s Featured Properties I decided to go with fresh, new listings.  All of these properties have been listed for two weeks or less, giving you the opportunity to grab one of these gems before someone else does!

MLS #382699—Oh so rare to find a nearly new, quality 4BR/4BA home with ocean views like this at this price.  Located atop a ridge overlooking Kihei and out to the ocean, you’ll enjoy conveniences at your fingertips yet the feeling of being away from it all.  Golfer?  Hop on your golf cart and drive about 200 yards to the pro shop for your tee time.  $1,499,000!!!

MLS #382739—Take a walk through this classically designed Mid-Century Modern Wailea home with the 3D tour posted on the MLS listing.  Extensively upgraded with exotic woods and finishes throughout (yes, even real hardwood floors!).  Large lot and a sense of privacy in this gated community make this one a great buy.  $1,995,000!!!

MLS #382683—Ok, so you don’t want to spend your Sundays mowing the lawn.  Then give a serious look at this opulent and spacious 3BR/3.5BA condo located across from the exquisite Grand Wailea Hotel that includes an opportunity to enjoy all the amenities of the hotel!  Make this your Maui getaway or put it in the rental pool and reap $200K+ annual income!  $3,125,000!!!

MLS #382709—If you have to hear those gentle waves caressing the beach just steps away from your condo, then this direct oceanfront Waile Elua unit was built with you in mind.  Arguably the most desirable location in the entire complex, you can score BIG with vacation rentals or be proud to own and make it a family legacy.  $3,975,000!!!

Click here for complete April Statistics

Since most if not all of you have spent time on Maui (or you wouldn’t be in my database!), you know that Hawaii offers cultural experiences not likely to be found anywhere else. Among the cultural activities that are still practiced or at least mimicked, you’ll find Outrigger Canoe Paddling, Hula demonstrations and competitions, and of course, Luaus.  Where else can you enjoy the bland and starchy taste of Poi but at a good-old new-fashioned Luau?

Some of the activities that have become “traditional” or “customary” rather than cultural include Hawaii’s propensity for celebrating holidays.  In Maui, the crowds that gather on Front Street in Lahaina for Halloween, for instance, have become legendary; the costumes some of the most imaginative you’ll see anywhere.  Harmless enough.

On the other hand, Hawaii’s passion for fireworks on New Year’s Eve, Independence Day, and Chinese New Year has become excessive and is creating more and more concern amongst the community.  While there are laws on the books that regulate hours and types of fireworks that can be used, they go largely ignored.   Police are so outnumbered that enforcement has become a thing of the past and firemen are on full-time duty just to put out the inevitable fires started by errant fireworks.  As I have mentioned previously, my home was severely damaged by fireworks last 4th of July.

Since this is a problem searching for solution that is very near and dear to me, I have become an activist of sorts to try and curb what has become more than just a nuisance.  I know many other communities have faced this problem and come up with ways to allow the public to enjoy fireworks yet protect homes and pets and children from the potential hazards of fireworks.  Any thoughts you may have on this topic, if shared, would be greatly appreciated!

That said, I know many of you are looking forward to spending at least part of your summer vacation right here on Maui—just a few weeks away!  I’m always available on relatively short notice to get together over a latte or glass of wine to offer my knowledge of Maui Real Estate, so don’t hesitate to call.  Mahalo for following my Monthly Newsletter!

A hui hou (‘til we meet again)

Michael Blaz
(808) 283-9093

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