What’s Hot: Condo Living

homes0427_1Today’s empty nesters and retirees may be looking to downsize, but that doesn’t mean they are downgrading. Many still aspire to live in their dream home – but it has a different definition now.

Condominiums offer an attractive lifestyle for people ready to leave behind the home maintenance and other concerns that come with single-family homeownership. The move from a long-time home to a condo is not just about space or cost, but also location and quality of life.

Condos are no longer a modest proposition. From golf-course frontage to ocean views, beach access to suburban community or urban living, Oahu has condos and townhomes around the island that suit a variety of needs, price points and desired lifestyles.

“I see a definite trend in boomers who are preparing for retirement,” says Patti Takayama, partner and REALTOR at Prudential Locations.

“Many of our clients who have purchased condos are accomplished professionals and still thriving in their careers. They’re empty nesters who are not yet retired, but are planning ahead. They want to live in luxury, have an active, rewarding lifestyle and be near amenities that suit their interests – beaches, parks, hiking trails, hospitals, shops, et cetera. They prefer not to care for large homes, yards and pools. Boomers are buying now to prepare for the lifestyle they dream of when they retire.”

For those who can afford them, upscale condos offer a step up from the single-family homes they may be leaving behind. These condos have amenities typically found at top resorts and spas, and the units are decorated with high-end finishes and appliances.

People no longer need to sacrifice style or size by making the move to condo living, and they can gain convenience and freedom. For example, moving from the suburbs into a condo in Waikiki, Ala Moana or Kakaako can bring everything to your doorstep – shopping, dining, outdoor activities and entertainment. You also leave behind the hassle of driving and commute times.

“If you’re looking for grandeur, excitement, luxury, a new carefree lifestyle, you may find it in one of these condos,” Takayama says. “You’re not tied to the house, the yard, the roof, the painting and all that comes with it. It’s a wonderfully active and happy lifestyle.”

Many people, whether they’re in the upscale condo market or not, welcome the security that condos offer and how it enables easier travel. “Many retirees want to travel, or spend extended time with family who may live on the mainland,” says Takayama. “There’s no worry or hassle about how to take care of your home while you’re gone. You can simply lock up and go.”

The universal appeal of condos for people of all ages and life stages is apparent these days on Oahu. Overall condominium sales are up despite very low inventory, making for a competitive market among buyers.

Data from the Honolulu Board of Realtors show that in the past 12 months condominium sales have increased 2.8 percent compared to the previous 12 months, and the median sales price has increased during that time from $328,000 to a record high of $350,000.

Condos are selling faster, too. The median number of days on the market for a condo sold in 2014 is 26 days.

Takayama says that people who sell a single-family home after owning it for decades are often in a position to make a cash offer on a condo, which is more attractive to sellers in this competitive market. It also means they can own their new home outright and not have to worry about a mortgage.

To see current condo listings and new construction, visit www.PrudentialLocations.com.

Locations Hawaii
Michael Marks
Sandwich Isles Realty
Kimo Smigielski, Broker-in-Charge
R, ABR, CRS, GRI, e-PRO
Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers
Emily Garcia
Agent, REALTOR(A), RS-77391
Coldwell Banker
DAY-LUM Properties

Edith Crabb, RB-8195
Coldwell Banker
DAY-LUM Properties

Glenn Takase, RB-18547
Coldwell Banker
DAY-LUM Properties

Misti R. Tyrin, RS-75836
Coldwell Banker
DAY-LUM Properties

David L. Skeele, RB-12882
Kauai Landmark Realty
Phil Fudge, RB-18576
Claire Keaton, RS-73854
Coldwell Banker
DAY-LUM Properties

Shea Miyashiro, RS-64678
Coldwell Banker
DAY-LUM Properties

Atsuko Winston, RS-75899
Coldwell Banker
DAY-LUM Properties

Mark Skeele, RS-77005