How to Buy Land for Cash in Hawaii

Return to Blog

Get cash offer for your land today!

Ready for your next adventure? Fill in the contact form and get your cash offer.

Thank you! We got your info and will reach out with any questions ASAP.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
How to Buy Land for Cash in Hawaii

Bart Waldon

Across Hawaii's main islands, the total number of farm operations decreased over 6% between 2012 and 2017 per the USDA, even as average farm real estate values themselves swelled over 20% surpassing $240,000 for just 10 acres. Despite ongoing land market volatility and economic uncertainties, direct buyers using reliable all-cash offers still consistently acquire prime properties below full asking prices if bidding strategically. Cash provides financial flexibility to act more aggressively on value Kuleana land deals compared to foreign owners petitioning banks for mortgages. 

By presenting motivated sellers facing financial duress, encroaching estate taxes or abbreviated foreclosure timelines upfront guaranteed sale security and swift closing abilities, individual investor-buyers inject essential liquidity into this land-strapped Aloha state. If preparing the proper due diligence confirming resale or development potentials ahead of time, motivated purchasers can secure unique Hawaii land assets using cash opportunities sellers eagerly welcome fastest.

Do Your Research on Hawaii Counties and Parcels

Hawaii consists of several main islands you can choose from including Hawaii Island, Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai and Lanai. Within those islands each county has diverse landscapes from the tropical rainforests of Hana in Maui to the rugged lava fields of Kona on Hawaii Island.

Do some research to narrow down which Hawaiian island and then specific county or area best suits your plans for the land based on the size, terrain, rainfall and vegetation that would work well. This helps set realistic expectations when you start your property search.

You’ll also want to research details on zoning regulations and allowable land uses for rural vacant parcels and agricultural lots in those counties. Find out information like the minimum or maximum acreage allowed in different designated zones for activities ranging from farming to home building.

Understanding these guidelines ensure the land you end up purchasing aligns with local ordinances and supports your long-term vision for the property whether that’s to farm, build a home, gather native plants or preserve natural habitats.

Search Property Listings in Your Budget

The Hawaii land market offers diverse options in terms of acreage and pricing. Across the islands, property sizes can range from less than an acre to over 100 acres. List prices also run the gamut from tens of thousands to a few million dollars depending on location, acreage and site attributes.

With a set maximum budget in mind for your Hawaii cash land purchase, search current property listings that have asking prices within your range. Expand or narrow the search area and alter acreage filters to browse different parcels until you find good matches.

Utilize sites like Zillow, Redfin and Landwatch to filter for land and acreage listings based on parameters like property type, county location and price range. Drive around areas you like and look for physical ‘For Sale’ signs. And connect with knowledgeable local real estate agents that can alert you when suitable lots matching your criteria become available on or off market.

Vet Property Details and Compare Parcels

As you identify candidate parcels of land for sale within your budget, dig into the listing details of each property.

Look beyond the asking price to understand full considerations like:

  • Property access - Does it front a major road, corner lot or end of private drive? Check sight lines for slope and blind areas.
  • Utility availability – What water, electric and wastewater infrastructure exists on site or nearby?
  • Regulation compliance – Does current zoning and land use align with plans for home building, farming etc?
  • Soil composition and drainage – Clayey, sandy or balanced for good drainage?
  • Vegetative cover – Cleared, light brush or dense jungle?
  • Surrounding sites – View harmony with neighbors/structures or remote private feel?

Drive by top prospects to visually inspect in person. Note any extra clearing needed, erosion issues, unusual build challenges etc. Input property details into spreadsheet to contrast and compare like attributes across your favorite land parcels.

By doing thorough upfront vetting through listing research, on-site visits and side by side comparison, you can carefully determine not just sticker price but true value based on full property package. This allows you to make data backed offer decisions.

Submit a Competitive Cash Offer

Once you decide on the ideal land parcel for purchase, it’s time to make an offer. Having a pre-approved loan likely won’t help you here since the seller needs assurance of a quick sale. You’ll want to submit an appealing cash offer instead right out the gate. This immediately signals to the seller your financial credibility as a serious buyer who can close quickly without financing hurdles.

Craft your offer letter emphasizing key strengths:

  • Cash price meeting or exceeding list amount
  • Fast 14 day escrow timeline or quicker
  • Loose contingencies about clear title/boundaries only
  • Large earnest money deposit showing good faith
  • Pre-inspection done waiving right to ask for repairs
  • Personalized note conveying passion for property

Ideally your offer terms appease the seller’s need for a fast, firm sale while protecting your interests in the land itself should any major issues surface later unaffected by agreeing to buy as-is upfront.

Even if there are multiple bids, a competitive all-cash offer paired with supporting sale assurances often gives you an edge over financed offers. This lucrative incentive convinces many sellers to accept a cash buyer over higher financed alternatives. For you, it opens the door to land ownership in Hawaii on your own terms and timeline.

Close Quickly and Celebrate Land Ownership

With a bit of negotiating back and forth, once you and the seller agree on a purchase price and contract terms, you can move swiftly through escrow to close. As a cash buyer, you get to dictate the closing timeline based on your own readiness since you don’t have to wait for financing. This keeps the momentum going.

During the escrow period, the title company facilitates required legal tasks like title transfers while keeping both parties updated on progress. As closing nears, the title company will verify you have adequate funds to cover the final purchase amount. They collect this from you upfront and handle disbursing payment to the seller at closing.

With all land title and payment details fully settled, congratulations! Complete ownership of your very own slice of paradise in Hawaii is now yours, free and clear. You get to immediately start enjoying it based on your intended land use plans whether that be building, harvesting or just unwinding in a hammock taking in sweeping ocean views. No lender to answer to.

The upfront legwork of researching land regulations, property options and crafting a competitive cash offer pays off allowing you to bypass headaches of traditional financing. Now settled right into the Hawaii lifestyle, you can start putting down roots, quite literally, on land you fully own and control. Let the memories begin!

Final Thoughts

While buying property in Hawaii is competitive, purchasing land for cash provides more available inventory options and negotiating power. For property hunters with sufficient capital to buy outright, understanding county guidelines, properly vetting parcels and submitting a compelling cash offer unlocks affordable access to an island getaway or new livelihood. Land ownership enables you to put plans for building a home, planting crops or just enjoying tropical paradise on your own timeline.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are some tips for finding land for sale by owner in Hawaii?

Some strategies to find FSBO land include searching classified ads in local papers, looking for handmade "For Sale" signs, joining Facebook groups focused on Hawaii real estate, and networking with real estate agents who may know of owners selling directly.

Is purchasing agricultural land in Hawaii a good investment?

Agricultural land can be a good long-term investment in Hawaii but has more restrictions on use and development. Consider whether you want to actively farm the land. Also research the local market for leasing agricultural land.

How much does vacant land typically cost in Hawaii?

Land prices vary greatly by island and location. Expect costs ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars for a 5-10 acre parcel on the Big Island to over $1 million+ for prime 1 acre lots on Maui or Kauai. Urban Honolulu lots sell for millions.

What expenses should I budget for when buying land in Hawaii?

In addition to the property purchase price, buyers should factor closing costs, attorney fees, property surveys, permitting and development costs, property taxes, and insurance. Infrastructure installation like power, water, and septic can add significant costs.

What risks do I need to consider when buying land for cash in Hawaii?

Risks include undisclosed title issues, lack of access rights, restrictions like zoning regulations and easements, natural hazards if near the ocean or volcanoes, and market volatility impacting resale value. Hiring professionals to guide the purchase is highly recommended.

About The Author

Bart Waldon

Bart, co-founder of Land Boss with wife Dallas Waldon, boasts over half a decade in real estate. With 100+ successful land transactions nationwide, his expertise and hands-on approach solidify Land Boss as a leading player in land investment.


Related Posts.

All Posts