FAQ

The Real Property Tax Division assesses all real property in a uniform and equitable basis for purposes of real property taxation. All real property is assessed based on fair market value. The tax year for real property tax billing purposes runs July 1 to June 30. Tax bills are mailed on July 20. The 1st half taxes are due on or before August 20 and the 2nd half taxes are due on or before February 20. The current residential rate is $10.05 per $1,000 per assessed value. Hawaii residents receive homeowner's exception and the current rate is $6.15 per $1,000 assessed value. For details, please refer to Hawaii County Property Tax Office.
In real estate transactions, almost everything is negotiable and so are closing costs. The standard Hawaii Purchase Contract lists customary closing costs as follows:
CHARGE TO BUYER, IF APPLICABLE CHARGE TO SELLER, IF APPLICABLE
40% of the premium for standard coverage title insurance and any additional costs relating to the issuance of extended coverage policy (including a lender's policy) 60% of the premium for standard coverage title insurance
Cost of drafting mortgage and note or agreement of sale Cost of drafting of conveyance documents and bills of sale
Cost of obtaining Buyer's consents Cost of obtaining Seller's consents
Buyer's notary fees 50% of Escrow fee
All recording fees except documents to clear Seller's title Seller's notary fees
50% of Escrow fee Cost of required staking or survey
Condominium and Association ownership transfer fees Recording fees to clear Seller's title
FHA or VA discount points and any mortgage fees FHA or VA mandatory closing fees
  Conveyance tax*
  FIRPTA (Federal withholding tax)/HARPTA (State withholding tax)
  Seller customarily pays for the termite inspection and address issues at their cost if any.
* A higher conveyance tax must be paid if Buyer is ineligible to file a county real property tax homeowner's exemption on the Property. If the selection changes from Buyer's "principal residence" to "other than Buyer's principal residence", Buyer shall provide written notification to Seller and Escrow no later than fifteen (15) days prior to the Scheduled Closing Date and Buyer shall be charged at closing an amount equal to the difference in the conveyance tax.
Please refer to this page. Title insurance fee schedule is found here.
Please refer to this page. Escrow fee schedule is found here.
The standard title insurance policy protects against pre-policy forgery, fraud, duress, and defective recordings in the chain of title, provides coverage if title is not veste as shown in Schedule A, protects against recorded liens and encumbrances not shown as exceptions, provides coverage against unmarketability of the title due to title defects and insures that the property has legal access to a public road. ALTA includes the Hawaii Standard Owners Policy coverage, plus the coverage against encroachments, including post-policy encroachments into the subject property, protects against post-policy forgery, provides coverage for certain building permit and zoning violations, subject to a deductible and maximum dollar limit, and certain violations of CC&Rs and insures actual vehicular and pedestrian access to a public road.
Vog is volcanic air pollution. It results when sulfur dioxide and other gases and particles emitted by an erupting volcano react with oxygen and moisture in the presence of sunlight. The vog forecast is found here. Read more about the vog here.
The coqui frog was accidentally introduced into Hawaii from Puerto Rico in about 1988. Aside from being a major noise nuisance, the frogs pose a threat to Hawaii's ecosystem. Read more about coqui frogs here.
Waikoloa Elementary & Middle School is a public school for children from K to the 8th grade, located in Waikoloa Village. Hawaii Preparatory Academy is a K-12 coeducational, boarding, independent college-preparatory school in Waimea. Parker School is a K-12 coeducational, independent college-preparatory school in Waimea. Honokaa High & Intermediate School is a public school for children from the 9th to the 12th grade, located in the town of Honokaa. Kealakehe High School is a public high school in Kailua-Kona. Hualalai Academy is a K-12 coeducation, independent college-preparatory school in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Explorations Academy is a unique public charter school for children between the 6th and 12th grade, located in the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) just south of the airport in Kailua-Kona. Innovations Public Charter School is a public charter school for children between K and 6th grade, located in Kailua-Kona.