Sign up for Hawaii home remodeling tips

Finding Hawaii’s Affordable Condos

homes0922_2Thirteenth in a series

Priced low for the desirable Punahou neighborhood is a two bedroom condominium apartment listed at $198,000 lease-hold by Century 21 All Islands Realtor Joy Barnhart.

“In my opinion, this is the best buy for a condo in this area even though it is leasehold…because the leasehold terms are so favorable,” Barnhart said.

The fee can be purchased for approximately $120,000, or a buyer can opt to pay the monthly lease rent of $431.30. The lease term extends to 2045, but will be renegotiated in 2020.

“Buyers need to understand that leasehold terms vary significantly and can be favorable when they make a property affordable to an entry level buyer. What needs to be considered are the terms of the lease, which the sales agent can and should explain thoroughly to the buyer. It will be part of the documentation needed to obtain a mortgage.

“It’s also important for the buyer to get pre-qualified by a lender to find out what they can afford. The lender will take into account their income and expenses together with the financial commitment involved in buying a new home and calculate what the monthly mortgage payment will be. Keep in mind that not all condominium properties will be eligible for VA and FHA financing.

“Then, there will be monthly association fees that need to be factored in…fees that generally include common area maintenance and water and sewer, as in the case of this Punahou unit which has an association fee of $392. If you are buying leasehold and choose not to purchase the fee, the lease rent needs to be added to the monthly financial commitment.”

The two bedroom, one bath condo is located on the fourth floor of a five story building at 1425 Punahou Street. Built in 1960 and converted from apartment to condominium in 1980, it includes 1 studio, recently sold, 10 one bedrooms, 6 two bedrooms, and 1 three bedroom. It is managed by Hawaiian Properties and allows pets.

The two bedroom, one bath unit offered by Barnhart is a total of 822 square feet including a screened lanai off the living room. The price includes one assigned parking space.

Operable windows in the master bedroom provide good ventilation, enhanced by a room air conditioner in the second bedroom which has jalousie windows. The living room opens up to the lanai with sliding glass doors and looks out over the treetops. The doors have been removed from one of the bedrooms which served as an in-home office of the previous tenant, but are available to be reinstalled.

“This apartment needs some tender loving care but the work would be manageable for a buyer who enjoys do-it-yourself projects. A coat of paint, new carpet, and new kitchen counters and cabinets would do wonders.

“The building itself is very solid and includes an elevator. Many clients I’ve worked with over the years like the idea of being on a lower floor with a staircase as an alternative in the event of a power outage.

“The big appeal of this condo is the location. Schools and churches are everywhere in the Punahou neighborhood. The spacious landscaped grounds of the Christian Science Church, Arcadia, and Maryknoll School are across the street and Punahou is a block away. On the corner is the delightful Punahou Square Park. The Makiki District Park, which is three blocks away, has ball fields, tennis and basketball courts, a playground, swimming pool, and even a community library. A People’s Open Market is held there on Monday mornings, and St. Clement’s Church on Wilder Avenue holds a Farmer’s Market on Thursday afternoons.

“The building where this two bedroom unit is located is right in the heart of the Punahou neighborhood…it would be ideal for first time buyers as well as seniors who would appreciate the convenience and all the local amenities. Investors have also expressed interest in apartments in this neighborhood which would make very desirable rentals for students, teachers, and other professionals working in the area.”

Open House Guide
Mortgage Rates