Hawaii Real Estate - Permits, Licensed Contractors, Lenders and MORE!

By
Real Estate Agent with Liberty Homes RS-#62825

Whenever a transaction closes where I represented the Hawaii Home Buyer I make sure and let them know that whenever they decide to do anything to the home (i.e. addition, electrical, plumbing, walls and so forth) to make sure they have licensed contractors doing the job!

Why?

Because when you try and sell your home later on you don't want problems arising!

(EDIT):  As one example:   With VA loans they are particularly strict about additions with no permits and major electrical work done by Joe the Handyman.

They are meticulous when appraising the home and look at EVERYTHING in and out of the home. The loan will depend on the VA appraisal and the Notice of Value from VA.

So best you just be safe ....rather than sorry later on and follow my suggestions:

  • Electrical- Use a licensed electrician and save all invoices
  • Plumbing - Use a licensed plumber and save all invoices
  • Additions & Alterations (patio, lanai, extra room etc.) Use a licensed contractor and keep all paperwork. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE BUILDING PERMITS TO DO SO!
  • Walls/Fences - Licensed contractor and save all work invoices etc. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE BUILDING PERMITS!
  • Replacing anything within an association - Check to make sure that if you are in an Association that you check out your Design Rules etc. and get permission in writing from the Association and/or AOAO and save all slips!
  • Roof - Licensed contractor and save all warranties and invoices.
  • Mold - Use a mold remediation company who knows what they're doing and make sure and save all invoices and work done.

It really is important when it comes time to sell your home and there are never ending problems:

  • The buyer backs out because YOU didn't do things properly
  • Then VA does not guaranty the loan because of those "minor" additions YOU didn't do the right way
  • The lender doesn't approve the loan so kiss the sale goodbye.

Now, in the case of too little too late.....well, if you're a seller and you didn't have good representation during the buying process (and you didn't know that something wasn't permitted) then you have a few alternatives for those additions that weren't permitted.

  • Get an "after the fact" building permit. Get a plan drawing done by a professional draft person (or architect) and submit it with your application for a permit to the Honolulu  Department of Planning and Permitting
  • Get an "after the fact" approval with your "after the fact" building permit with your Association.
  • ....and if it's NOT PERMITTABLE...then you gotta tear it down.
  • Hope and wish that someone else will put in an offer and that their loan company accepts the "As Is" Home with no building permit for the addition.

 

 

 © 2008 Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman's Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog. All rights reserved.

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Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.

 

 © 2007-2015 Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman's

Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.

All rights reserved.

     

 


 

 

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Ambassador
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Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Sally, quality work with expert workers you can never go wrong.The problem often is figuring out how expert they are or are not.

Jul 18, 2008 06:10 PM #11
Rainmaker
659,636
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

I see it everyday.  Building department thinks there is a 3 bedroom home, yet I count 5.  The other is the lanai that was closed in to make a family room with no permits.

Jul 18, 2008 08:38 PM #12
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Kat DeLong
LakeView Realty Enterprises, Inc - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Realtor DRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (

Woo-Hoo: Amen to this post!  Even IF it isn't a VA loan, which as you say are VERY strict with their guidelines, getting a lic'd "anyone" is a good idea.

Jul 19, 2008 12:34 AM #13
Rainmaker
593,907
Neal Bloom
Brokered by eXp Realty LLC - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate

Not just for VA loans but it should be a standard for all workers if you want it to code and done right.

Jul 19, 2008 01:29 AM #14
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Gary: A license will do..checking their GET License status is even better...checking for insurance is great too. :)

 

Jul 19, 2008 04:40 AM #15
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Randy: It is common in a lot of older homes...they just tacked on all kinds of stuff :)

 

 

Jul 19, 2008 04:42 AM #16
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Kat: You're right about that!

Neal: You're right too!

Jul 19, 2008 04:47 AM #17
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Sally~

I can see the big name for today is Licensees. And right you are.And lucky Buyers who get this great advice.

Jul 19, 2008 05:41 AM #18
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William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

Woo Hoo, Guess how I got to this site , everyone? I did a search in del.icio.us ,the social bookmarking site and I typed in the word Cheeseman and here I am. How cool is that? I am going back since  I am the one that saved this post for Sally  as partof her post being featured in our new group and write about her in the notes section as one of the top REALTORS in Hawaii. Hopefully that will get her lots of extra Google Juice and maybe even a new client.

Jul 19, 2008 05:54 AM #19
Rainer
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Fred Chamberlin
Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA - Oak Harbor, WA
Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant

Good info Sally, however, I don't think the home in the pic can be salvaged. A good way to take care of some of those problems in the future is the FHA 203k program. You can do the rebuilding & permits at the same time. Pain in the Butt to work with, but good program. Easier is the 203k Streamline available up to $35,000.

Jul 19, 2008 11:20 AM #20
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Fred: Have you taken a look at our prices?  For the military VA is the way to go.... and if they like they can go up to 625k with the funding fee.

William: I better go check that out :)  You're too sweet. :)

janeAnne: the word of the day...is and always will be....LICENSEE for sure!

 

Jul 19, 2008 03:13 PM #21
Rainer
172,365
Fred Chamberlin
Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA - Oak Harbor, WA
Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant

Sally,

I agree, Hawaii Real Estate is way too expensive normally, but FHA loan limits in Hawaii go from $618,750 to $793,750, depending on county, with 3% down on a single family. However, I agree that VA is the way to go for anyone that qualifies, there is no better program. My referral on the streamline referred to the amount of repairs you could do, not the loan amount. I should have been more concise.

Jul 20, 2008 05:54 AM #22
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Sally this is such good advice.  As a builder I aways insisted that all work have permits for the reasons you mention.

Jul 20, 2008 09:29 AM #23
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William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

Woo Hoo, It is also useful when using licensed contactors that do any remodeling or repairs that the homeowners should request refernces or even ask for referrals frpm others that have been satisfied with the workmanship provided. Soemof the trades are true crafstman and others not so much.

Jul 20, 2008 10:31 AM #24
Rainmaker
76,237
Ronnie Margolis
KW Kauai - Kapaa, HI
Kauai Realtor - CDPE, ABR, RA - On Top of the Aloh

Here on Kauai, lots of designers and contractors are now expanding their services to help property owners with their transient vacation rentals. Any property outside the VDA needs to get a non conforming use certificate and that requires submitting plans and engineers drawings. Many property owners have neither. Some have some plans and need the rest of the plans to be drawn. And of course the county will use the situation as an opportunity to bring everything out of code into being fully permitted. I agreeing using licensed contractors is always the best bet especially for investors who do not live in Hawaii full time. Thanks, Sally.

Jul 20, 2008 12:50 PM #25
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Fred: Okay...thanks for the info. I think I was really trying to say that for buyers ...make sure that everything is permitted...and when selling make sure all additions etc. were permitted and by licensed contractors.

Thanks Charles...right on track!

William: I agree...and no matter what..better to be safe than sorry later.

Ronnie: That's so important and thanks for the info on your side of the world :) 

 

Jul 20, 2008 01:21 PM #26
Rainmaker
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Kent Simpson
Realty One Group Mountain Desert - Tucson, AZ
Real Estate Is About People

I have to laugh at Lori's comment about Deming!  ROTFLOL!  Growing up in Las Cruces and having lived around the country, don't worry:  having homes repaired, added onto and "improved" by "Cousin Joe" isn't limited to the southwest.

Jul 22, 2008 09:23 AM #27
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Kent: It's all over friend...lol!

Jul 23, 2008 04:21 AM #28
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Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

I remember one case where the buyer had to remove a room because he wanted to sell his home and had added the room without getting a permit.....................why do people do such things????

Jul 27, 2008 11:45 AM #29
Rainmaker
1,524,338
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Sally - You are so correct. Nothing like selling a home after the DIY owner did it all without permits or skills!

Jul 27, 2008 11:44 PM #30
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