Tax Credits And Specialty Loan Programs Boost Sales At Pokai Bay Community
With new construction financing in place, Mark Development is moving forward with sales of homes in Phase Five of its Ke Ola O Pokai Bay single family home community.
According to Mark Development president Craig Watase, a total of 46 families have moved into new homes in Phases One, Two, Three, and the first increment of Phase Five. “We jumped over Phase Four to Phase Five and started construction around the middle of the year. Ten homes have been built so far and we’ve sold six of them. This increment includes a total of 25 homes which we expect to complete by the end of next year,” Watase said.
The three and four bedroom homes with lots ranging from 5,000 to 6,200 square feet in Phase Five are priced from approximately $420,000 to $480,000 with a $25,000 credit that can be applied to upgrades and/or closing costs. There are no maintenance or home owners’ association fees that buyers need to factor into their monthly financial obligation.
The upgrades include flooring, window covering, countertops, central air conditioning, ceiling fans, security system, washer, dryer, and kitchen appliances. If specified before construction of the home begins, the credit can be applied to a bonus room. Included as standard features are solar water heating systems, double pane low E single hung windows, quality GE appliances, wall to wall carpeting, and ceramic tile flooring in the kitchen, baths, and entry.
The homes currently being offered for sale are Parade of Homes award winning models that were honored both as “Best Affordable” and “Hawaii BuiltGreen” entries.
Watase said the extended and expanded Federal tax credits of $8,000 and $6,500…which are available, respectively, to buyers who have not owned a principal residence for three years and current home owners who have lived in their home for five consecutive years of the past eight years…have been driving sales, together with the low interest rates and low and no down payment financing programs.
“I urge anyone who wants to use the credits to get pre-qualified and start the home buying process while the tax credits are usable and the interest rates remain at historic lows. The sales contract must be executed by April 30, 2010 in order to be sure to close in time to qualify. Basically buyers should start the process as soon as possible.”
Watase also pointed out that all Ke Ola O Pokai Bay homes are priced well below the $800,000 limit for use of the tax credits and are eligible for VA, FHA, and USDA loan programs. “The military have consistently accounted for a large percentage of our buyers due to our proximity to the various military bases in central and leeward Oahu and our ability to work with VA lenders. Due to our location, we qualify for the USDA rural loan program, which also has very favorable low down payment terms.
“We are currently working with several lenders we can recommend to our buyers, including Central Pacific HomeLoans, Wells Fargo, and VA Loans Hawaii. The key has been Central Pacific Bank which has continued to provide construction financing for this development. By doing so they have demonstrated their faith in the local real estate market and, specifically, Ke Ola O Pokai Bay.
“After 33 years of building affordable housing in Hawaii, I believe our Pokai Bay community offers one of the best opportunities available to people who want a new single family home with a big yard and spacious interior living areas. The scarcity of land available for new housing on Oahu will mean that many if not most of our builders will be opting for townhome and highrise rather than single family home developments, and few with livable yard space.
“And fewer options in new single family homes will necessarily mean escalating prices going forward. Despite the national housing crisis, home prices in Hawaii have remained relatively stable and even experienced growth in some markets. Our Pokai Bay properties have held their value and we haven’t decreased prices, so our appraisals come in on target for the most part. Buyers utilizing conventional financing, in addition to those taking advantage of specialty loans, generally don’t need much cash out of pocket.”