About 20 miles south-west of the Hawaii’s largest city (Honolulu), is the Ewa neighbourhood, a beach town renowned for its glorious beaches, gated communities and a great spot for finding a newer home. Ewa’s strategic location, beautiful weather, and serene environment make it a popular spot for retirees so expect to run into plenty of golf carts within the neighbourhood. Homes in Ewa and the greater Honolulu area boasts of natural landscaping, parks, and pools.
Life in Ewa Beach: Quality of Life, Education, and Crime
In Ewa, homes are offered at a premium. The houses are smaller in size, but newer. Local shopping and conveniences such as restaurants and supermarkets are easily accessible, even walkable, in some cases. The neighbourhood is a great mix of military residents, mainland transplants, and locals. The greater Honolulu area was named as one of the best places to raise a family in the United States. The median income in Ewa Beach as of 2015 was $85,773 (from $77,674 in 2011), an amount significantly higher than the national average.
The state wide public school district in Hawaii is the tenth largest in the country with over 170,000 students and a total of 289 institutions of learning. The public school system in Hawaii is a little different. It funds and operates over 30 charter schools in the state and doesn’t charge any tuition fees. Crime rates in Ewa Beach and the city of Honolulu, in general, are among the lowest in the country. Per capita crime rate is the lowest among American cities with a population of over half a million.
Buying a House in Ewa
Honolulu has been — and still is — the economic hub of the Hawaii islands since the 19th century. As such, the standards of living rank among the highest in the country, and so is housing. And, since Ewa is largely a part of the city, the trend is similar. Though real estate prices in the Hawaiian coastal town are not the highest in the state, they are among the highest in the country. The real estate price in the area was $677,250 as of 2013 which was a 9% gain over the previous year. The asking price in Ewa is one of the most stable in the United States and it only on rare occasions that sellers have had to cut their prices.
Types of Mortgage Loans Options Available
Now that we have already established that buying a home in Ewa is going to be a little expensive than in most parts of the United States, let us educate you on the available mortgage loan options.
FHA Mortgage Loans
FHA loans are available in Hawaii under the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and are administered through Federal Housing Administration (FHA). In the past, FHA mortgage loans were known for having the best terms but things have since changed, and that may not always be the case.
VA Mortgage Loans
If you are a retired, active, non-active member of the National Guard, a VA guaranteed home loan should be your choice for a mortgage. Veterans Administration (VA) do not require any down payments or monthly mortgage insurance payments.
Conventional home loans are mortgage loans that are not insured or guaranteed by the United States government through agencies like USDA, FHA, and VA. These loans do not conform to the guidelines set by government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Reverse Mortgage Senior Loans
Reverse mortgage loans are available in Hawaii but are only eligible for seniors. The loan releases home equity in multiple payments or as a lump sum, and the lender defers the homeowner’s obligation to pay the loan back until he/she leaves to aged care or dies and the home is sold.