Home Buying Process in Kauai

Kauai is a beautiful island with so much to offer. Whether you are looking to move here permanently or purchase a vacation home, you should prepare yourself for the home buying process in Kauai.


Since each state does things differently, Hawaii’s home buying process may be different from where you currently live. Let’s take a look at the home buying process on Kauai.

Determine Your Budget

Before you set out in search of your Kauai dream home, you should know the prices here are much higher than in other places. In fact, Kauai has some of the highest home prices in the entire country.


This is largely because most of the land in Kauai is preserved and cannot be built on. Like many other places, demand for homes is extremely high, which has further driven up prices. In other words, be prepared to spend more than you may have initially wanted to.


In determining your budget, you will need to decide the amenities you would like your home to have. How many bedrooms do you need? Would you be willing to pay the price that comes with buying a home with an ocean view?

Which part of the island do you plan on moving to? These things will play into how much you should plan on spending and make the house hunting part of the process much easier.


Hire Your Real Estate Team

A crucial step in the home buying process is finding the right professionals to guide you through the process. You will need a real estate agent who can educate you on the market conditions, show you homes that match your home search criteria, and know local real estate customs and negotiation tactics.


Since you have already determined which part of the island you are interested in, you should also find an agent specializing in that area. If you have your heart set on Poipu, it would not be wise to hire an agent specializing in Princeville since the market can be very different there.


At the same time, you should find a lender you feel comfortable with and is knowledgeable in the type of property you plan on buying. Your lender and real estate agent will work closely to ensure all deadlines are met once you find a home you’d like to purchase.

Look For experience and knowledge

At the same time, you should find a lender you feel comfortable with and is knowledgeable in the type of property you plan on buying. Your lender and real estate agent will work closely to ensure all deadlines are met once you find a home you’d like to purchase.

Go Shopping and Make An Offer

Once you have all of the prep work completed, it is time to go shopping. This will be a lot of fun because the homes in Kauai are spectacular. Regardless of your budget, you will be treated to stunning views and may even get to see parts of the island you’ve never seen before.


Like I mentioned earlier, the demand for homes is high, so when you find a home you like, make an offer quickly, so you don’t miss out. Once your offer is accepted, you will enter into “escrow.” Now the real fun begins as we work toward making you a homeowner.

Open Escrow

Escrow in Kauai usually lasts 30-60 days. A lot happens during this time, but your real estate professionals handle most. Here is a brief outline of what is to come:

  • Deposit Earnest Money – Your earnest money, also referred to as a “good faith deposit,” will be the first step. This money will be held in a third-party account. If the transaction were to fall through, that third party would have to decide who the money gets returned to based on what the contract says.
  • Inspection Period– You have 14 days to conduct all necessary inspections. You will receive disclosures that outline any defects or previous issues like flooding or storm damage in the home. You should also research any special assessments that may be charged to the property and who will pay for them. Most importantly, you should hire a licensed home inspector to ensure all the home’s mechanical systems are in working order. You can ask the seller to repair anything that is found to be defective. Your real estate agent will help with that.  During this time, if you discover anything that is too much of a problem, you can walk away from the transaction without penalty.
  • Get an Appraisal – Your lender will order an appraisal to determine the property’s value. A lender will not lend more than the appraised value, so it is important to research the value before agreeing to a purchase price to avoid delays in closing. Appraisals are paid for by the buyer, and in Kauai, they usually cost about $600.
  • Work Toward Loan Approval – You will have to submit bank statements, tax returns, pay stubs and other documents to your lender. If your lender decides you are qualified, you will be approved for a loan.
  • Final Walk-Thru – You will take one last look at the home to ensure the sellers have moved all of their belongings and made any repairs you agreed upon.
  • Sign Closing Documents – You’ll sign the title transfer, loan documents, and deed to the home and will also pay any closing costs and transfer fees. 

Closing In Kauai

In Kauai, closing using occurs 2-3 days after you sign your loan documents. You will have to wait for the loan to be funded and the title to be recorded with the county or proper municipality. Once that happens, you will be handed the keys to your Kauai dream home! 


If you’d like to purchase a home in Kauai, we are here to help guide you through the process. Please give us a call or send us a message to get the process started. 

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