Choosing to invest in a fixer-upper, particularly in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country, can be incredibly daunting for potential homeowners. But many Oahu homes, while fabulously endearing in their charm, are also often in need of some TLC. Turn-key homes are often priced much higher and ultimately out of range for many buyers.
“At first, it seemed completely unattainable, but Shannon was amazing in showing how we could make it all happen.”
This became the case for the Luna Ohana as they worked toward purchasing a home in Mililani. But they didn’t start off looking for a fixer-upper. It was a major mind shift for the Lunas to even consider a home in need of a remodel. “The biggest surprise during the house-hunting process was realizing that it was not only possible to buy, but to afford a renovation as well,” Melissa explained. “At first, it seemed completely unattainable, but Shannon was amazing in showing how we could make it all happen.”
Their initial hunt for a home began in Kailua. They absolutely love the windward side of Oahu, and at first they didn’t consider much else. But when they weren’t able to find the right fit in Kailua, they expanded their search, and wound up purchasing a home on a completely different part of the island. And they are absolutely thrilled about it!
“We were determined to buy a home,” Melissa said. “After we moved to Oahu and had rented for a year, we decided it was time to invest in ourselves and purchase our little piece of paradise, and become permanent members of the community. We wanted to stop paying someone else’s mortgage and invest in our own!”
The Island Living Homes team was with the Lunas every step of the way through their home-ownership journey, demonstrating a cornerstone of the ILH boutique experience. Realtors Sarah and Shannon became sounding-boards, advice-givers, educators, and ultimately, friends. “We thought we wanted a move-in-ready home. We knew nothing about renovating. Shannon and Sarah walked us through the entire process.”
But choosing whether or not to buy a fixer-upper wasn’t the only major decision the Lunas had to make in their home-buying journey! Being a military family, they hoped to use their VA loan, but it was tied up in another property on the mainland. “At that point, Shannon really became our financial strategist in addition to being our Oahu realtor! She worked closely with us to determine how best to handle our home in California. She showed us the big picture; how we could create financial wealth for our family by making strategic decisions in all areas. She really was SO much more than our real estate agent. We were able to keep our home on the mainland as an investment AND purchase our Mililani fixer-upper. We absolutely could not have done any of this without the support and guidance of Shannon and and her team!”
Once the Lunas secured their new Mililani home, it was time for a makeover. Using referrals from Shannon and Sarah, along with their personal knowledge of rehabbing a home, the Lunas moved forward with their renovations, which took 6 weeks. “My favorite part was creating the open floor plan,” Melissa shares. “It feels so bright and fresh, exactly what you envision when dreaming of your Hawaiian home!”
Now that we’ve witnessed their happy ending, we wanted to know what tips the Lunas could share about surviving a home-renovation. When asked what one thing they wish someone had told them before remodeling began, Melissa shared, “Be prepared to be flexible and available to your contractors. Our contractors called us throughout the day with questions about the renovation ideas and we had to be available to answer the call or meet them at the property. It was challenging when you're working at a job where you can't just get up and go! We made it work, but I wish I’d be prepared for that ahead of time!”
Now with their home renovation behind them, the Lunas can now enjoy their favorite island activities, from neighborhood walks, to exploring new hikes, and of course, the beach!
"Clients like the Lunas are a cornerstone of what I love about Real Estate" Shannon King
“Clients like the Lunas are a cornerstone of what I love about real estate. Working with such a wonderful family and helping them to realize their dreams, there is so much pride and fulfillment in that. As a referral to my team, the Lunas had friends who’d worked with us and knew we take care of our people, so we had an amazing foundation of trust in our relationship right from the start. There was so much joy in showing the Lunas exactly how they could DREAM BIG; how we could get creative with their budget and financing, and really get them the best investment for their family and ultimately, their financial future. One area of Island Living Homes I take a lot of pride in is our ability to educate our clients on all the aspects of buying a home and the financial opportunities that come with it, not just making a sale and walking away. Melissa so greatly loved the value we brought to her real estate experience that she decided to become a part of it by joining our team. We are so happy to have them as a forever part of our OHANA!”
SHANNON W. KING (R - 22278)