Buying a New Home vs an Old Home in Maui Hawaii - Sakamoto Properties

Buying a New Home vs an Old Home in Maui Hawaii

Home » Real Estate Tips & Guides » Buying a New Home vs an Old Home in Maui Hawaii
June 8, 2018

A common question we get from buyers is whether you can get the same value from an old home as you would from a new home. When you’re making a substantial investment in Maui real estate, it’s only natural to wonder whether you’re going to get as much out of an old structure as a new structure. Here are some of the many factors to consider as you answer this question:

Condition – In the case of an old home, its condition is commonly a key factor in the decision. Some older homes are sold by owners who have afforded every attention and care in terms of maintenance, upgrades and renovations over the years. We often see this in Kaanapali homes for sale. In such cases, you might find that the property needs very little work done at the time of the purchase, or in the near future. On the other hand, some older homes need work. Maybe you’re considering a home that has great bones, but needs little changes like new carpets and cabinets. Or maybe there are more expensive issues to tackle, like a roof that will need replacing within a few years, or perhaps the plumbing or electric systems need work. There’s a huge spectrum of possibilities here. Whatever the case may be for the older home you’re interested in, it’s worth keeping the condition in mind.

History – Like the rest of Hawaii, Maui has a unique and rich history that you may appreciate, especially if you have an interest in all the splendor of Hawaiian culture. You might find yourself surprised by how many Maui homes were built with features that harken back to the Plantation Era, in a time when cultural influences from Hawaii mixed with those of America, Japan, China, the Phillipines, Portugal, and many others. What they created was something entirely unique and new, essentially marking the creation of the modern Hawaii that we know and love today. This may stand out in the music, cuisine, and the way people speak, but it also fueled decades of distinct architectural features. Think low profile wood homes with wrap-around, roofed lanais (known elsewhere as verandas). These features are not just historic, but practical, designed for compatibility with the environment. Here in Hawaii, the lanai is sometimes screened in to keep the critters out. The roof above it provides as much shelter from the hot sun as the rain. The stilts allow water to pass right on by without touching the main structure of the home in case of a storm. In fact, you might just find that an older home has features that make it more compatible with the environment than a new home. Just something to consider.

Location – This is one of those factors that makes a home’s value personal to you and your preferences. Maybe the pros and cons are about equal between a new and an old home, but one has a location that you prefer over the other. Location really does matter, not just in terms of desirability if you choose to sell in the future, but for your own convenience. Do you like the neighborhood? The surrounding scenery? Which is in a more convenient location? If you have a family, what about proximity to schools? Location tends to be a very important factor, and a very personal one. If all other factors are about equal between a new and an old home, your decision might just come down to their locations.

Features – Here is another factor that depends on your personal tastes. Maybe you find a new home with a modern design and floor plan that appeals to you in terms of simplicity and convenience. Or perhaps you find an old home whose owners made some nice custom additions. Think mature gardens with fruiting trees, an expanded garage, custom mosaic bathroom tiling, or maybe an outdoor shower. Older homes can include any number of unique custom features that make that home especially suited to the location, or the owner. Or perhaps such features aren’t really suited to your tastes and you find yourself planning to take them out and replace them if you buy, which means you have costs to factor into your purchase.

Regulations – Over the years, regulations have evolved and become more strict as the population has grown. New homes are most often built to code, while older homes may or may not have unpermitted features. Consulting an expert on this can save you a lot of time and money in the future. Maybe you would like to make additions to a new home that would be difficult to get permitted for, whereas an old structure has a similar feature that has already been permitted. As another for instance, maybe you find an old home that you want to change dramatically, only to discover that current setback regulations would add more restriction to your new plan than you have with the existing structure. We can help you find a good consulting engineer to advise you through the process, which can go a long way to helping you realize your dreams for a perfect Maui home, whether new or old.

Although this is by no means an exhaustive list of considerations, we hope these factors help you get a sense of the pros and cons you might encounter when comparing a new Maui home to an old one. As we’ve illustrated, some factors directly influence the value of a property in a way that can be quantified, while others are personal to the qualities you prize most highly in a Maui home. Not sure how to keep track of your comparisons? Start with a list of the aforementioned factors, maybe add some new categories, then rank them in terms of importance. Then use that list to grade your favorite Maui homes accordingly. It’s also a good idea to get professional assistance in helping you to evaluate some of the pros and cons of any given property. Sakamoto Properties agents are happy to help, so feel free to contact us if you need us. Mahalo!

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