Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8

Hawaii Real Estate, Fix it Anyway

by John Riggins


Fix It Anyway

"If it isn't broke, don't fix it" is certainly popular advice, but if you've ever had a serious plumbing leak, you certainly wished you had taken care of the problem earlier.

Washing machines, like all appliances, are supposed to work and when they don't, it's time to have them fixed or replaced. However, there is a critical connection from your water supply that may even be older than your washing machine itself.

Ask someone whose hose broke while they were asleep or out of town and you'll hear stories of how quickly the water can damage walls, flooring and furniture. Almost anyone can replace the hoses with a pair of pliers for under $30.00 to avoid this potential catastrophe.

As you're shopping for the replacement hoses, consider the braided stainless steel connectors. The advantage is that the stainless steel offers additional protection should a soft spot develop in the hose beneath. They'll cost a little more but offer considerably more protection for a nominal price.

Why Rent when you can Buy Hawaii Real Estate?

by John Riggins

The IDEAL Investment: Hawaii Real Estate

by John Riggins


The IDEAL Investment: Hawaii Real Estate

Rental homes can be the IDEAL investment in today's market because they offer a much higher rate of return than alternatives without the volatility of ups and downs in the stock market.

IDEAL serves as an acronym to identify the advantages of rental properties:

  • Income from the monthly rent contributes to paying the expenses and a return on the investment
  • Depreciation is a non-cash deduction that contributes a tax shelter
  • Equity grows monthly as the mortgage amortizes due to some of each payment being applied to the principal
  • Appreciation is achieved as the value of the property goes up
  • Leverage can increase the return on investment by using borrowed funds to control a larger asset

The combination of these characteristics working together makes rental real estate a very good investment for today's economy and years to come. Increased rents, high rental demand, good values and low non-owner-occupied mortgage rates contribute to positive cash flows and very favorable rates of return.

Contact me for more information about actual opportunities in our local market.

Great Investment, Invest in Honolulu Real Estate

by John Riggins

Great Investment

If you invest in a savings account, you'll make less than 1% and will have to pay income tax on the earnings. On the other hand, contribute something extra to your house payment on a regular basis and you'll essentially, earn at the mortgage interest rate which is certain to be more than you're earning in the bank.

Making additional principal contributions on your Hawaii mortgage will save interest, retire debt and build equity. An extra $100 a month in the example shown will save thousands in interest and short the term of the mortgage as well.

Reducing your cost of housing is another way to improve the investment in your home. Becoming debt-free is a worthy goal that is achieved with discipline and good decisions. Suggestions like this are part of my commitment to help people be better homeowners when they buy, sell and all the years in between.


First-Time Homebuyer Credit Questions and Answers:
Homes Purchased Your Hawaii Home in 2008, 2009 or 2010
Do I have to pay back the credit?
If the tax credit is for a home you bought in 2008, you must pay back the credit. If the credit is for a home you bought in 2009 or 2010, you do not have to pay back the credit in most cases.
2008 Homebuyer tax credit: You must start paying back the credit two years after the year you bought the house. You pay back the credit over a 15-year period as an additional tax on your tax return. If you claim a $7500 credit, for example, you must pay back about $500 per year. Note: The tax credit is basically a 15-year interest-free loan from the government.
If you stop living in the house as your primary residence, or if you sell the house before the 15-year repayment period is over, you must pay back the balance of the tax credit in full. In special situations, you do not have to pay back the full amount (for example if you do not make enough profit from the sale of the house to pay back the credit, or if the taxpayer dies).
2009-2010 Homebuyer tax credit: You do not have to pay back the credit as long as you own and live in the home as your principal residence for at least three years. If you sell the home before the three years are up, you must pay back the entire credit.
Please contact your CPA with any questions.

Risk Determines Rate

Regardless of what a lender quotes on mortgage rates, the actual rate paid by a borrower is based on a number of variables. Lenders determine whether to loan money and at what rate based on the risk involved with the transaction.

Factors that increase the risk that the loan will be repaid will proportionately increase the interest rate charged to the borrower. If the risk becomes too high, the loan will not be approved.

  • Loan amounts - conventional loans for more than the conforming limits set by Fannie Mae are considered jumbo loans and generally have a higher interest rate.
  • FICO score - the lowest interest rate is reserved for the highest credit scores; the lower the score, the higher the rate borrower will pay.
  • Occupancy - borrowers occupying a home as their principal residence are considered a better loan risk than second homes and investment properties.
  • Loan purpose - purchase transactions generally have the lowest interest rate while refinancing a home is generally higher.
  • Debt-to-Income ratio - a borrower's monthly liabilities divided by their gross monthly income develops a ratio that helps lenders to assess the borrower's ability to repay the mortgage.
  • Loan-to-Value ratio - the lower the percentage of the loan to the appraised value of the property will generally lower the interest rate.

Any combination of these factors could limit a borrower's ability to secure a mortgage at the rate initially quoted. Being pre-approved by a trusted mortgage professional is the best way to know what rate you can expect to pay. Please call for a recommendation.

Oahu Beach within Walking distance of Home fore sale In Waianae

by John Riggins

Waianae single family home for sale.  5 Bedroom Single Family Home,   Walk to Beach!

Enjoy the sites and sounds of the Beach

by John Riggins

Sites and Sounds of Beach in Waianae,  west side of Oahu.  Enjoy!

Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8

Contact Information

Photo of John Riggins REALTOR RB11175 Real Estate
John Riggins REALTOR RB11175
John Riggins Real Estate
1003 Bishop Street, suite 2700
Honolulu HI 96813
Fax: 888.369.3210