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Choosing the Perfect Honolulu Homes in Your Perfect Neighborhoods

Honolulu has been ranked the 10 Best Places to live in 2013, 2012, and 2011; and Top 10 Cities with lowest crime rate. Even with these statistics, I still have my neighborhood preference.

I only buy in certain neighborhood for my buy-and-hold strategy. And everywhere else, fix-and-flip.

I have good reason for that...cashflow and appreciation.

Remember from business school, the first ingredient in a successful business is "location, location, location".

This is still so true for real estate.

A great neighborhood is composed of many things: safe streets, good schools, beautiful views, friendly neighbors, and local professionals who care about the future of our neighborhood. And, of course, most importantly, you and your family feel safe, secure, and fit in. A place you can call home.

The neighborhood you pick for your first home might not always be the same neighborhood you want to settle down in for good. Years down the road, you may realize that you’d like to be closer to your job or live in a better school district.

Your lifestyle is a big determining factor in choosing the perfect neighborhood for the long run.

Is it close to your favorite spots? Make a list of the activities — movies, health club, church, etc. — you engage in regularly and stores you visit frequently. See how far you would have to travel from each neighborhood you’re considering to participate in your most common activities.

Are there good schools for my children? This is not only important if you have children, but it also can affect resale value. Real properties in good school district are more desirable and in higher demand. Visit schools personally in the neighborhoods you’re considering. Some schools also allow your children to attend one day to see if they like the school.

Is the neighborhood safe? This is very important. Your home should be your safe haven. If you can’t feel safe at home, you don’t have a home.

Contact local police department for neighborhood crime statistics, read local news, look up the sex offenders registry. Don’t focus only on the number of crimes but also the type — such as burglaries or armed robberies — and the trend of increasing or decreasing crime.

Visit the neighborhood personally Once you’ve narrowed your choices to two or three neighborhoods, go there and walk around. Go during different times, during the day, nights and weekends. Do you like the feel of the neighborhood? Are the homes up-to-date and well maintained? What kind of people lives in the neighborhood? Are streets clean and quiet? How does it feel? How’s the traffic? Pick a warm day if you can and chat with people working or playing outside.

Is this a good real estate investment?. Honolulu homes are always great choices of investment. The median prices of Honolulu homes average about 150% of the Hawaii median sales price. Properties in Honolulu are in high demand by both local and foreign investors. Home prices in Honolulu also recover a lot quicker from the recent recession than the rest of the island.

You don't need a realtor to get you a comparative market analysis. All past sold history are public record and available to all public. If your realtor tells you that you can't get this info or it is not available, run (not walk) away from this person.

I practically can do all my research on a property on This is a great website with info and links to all the information you need to do your assessment - past sold history, past listing history, tax record to show who the owners are, past sold in the same building or neighborhoods, etc. provides great search features and you can customize your own search and get frequent updates when there is a new listing or something happens to a listing you're watching.

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