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September 18, 2015||Featured, Legislative Updates: State of Hawaii, Sustainability and Off-Grid Living

Hawaii's Energy Challenges As the most geographically isolated island chain on the planet, Hawaii is the most fossil-fuel dependent state in the country. More than 40 million barrels of oil are imported into Hawaii every year just to meet our energy production needs. Regardless of which island they live on, Hawaii residents pay substantially more for utilities such as electricity as well as gasoline. Although...

June 10, 2015||Big Island Communities: News, Legislative Updates: State of Hawaii

HPIA Lifts Moratorium on Homeowner's Insurance in Lower Puna 

As required by Act 32, which was signed into law in early May, the Hawaii Property Insurance Association (HPIA) is once again accepting applications and coverage increase requests for homeowner's insurance policies for Puna residents. In a press release dated June 9, Hawaii Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito encourages homeowners to assess their potential need for insurance or additional coverage and take action before another lava flow or other natural disaster takes place. For more information about homeowner policies, the Insurance Division of Hawaii's Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) offers a useful guide that includes sample annual insurance premiums. Download that PDF here: A Consumer's Guide to Homeowner's Insurance in the State of Hawaii The final Civil Defense update for lava flow activity near Pahoa was issued on March 27, 2015: PRESS RELEASE: HPIA Moratorium Lifted for Puna District HONOLULU... Read More 

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May 5, 2015||Legislative Updates: State of Hawaii, Resources for Big Island Residents

Hawaii's Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act Can Help Avoid Probate 

Although the Hawaii State Legislature passed the "Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act" in 2011, it is still not widely known or used, though it is an easy and less expensive way to pass property on to your heirs without having to go through an expensive and time-consuming probate process. Currently, 24 other states, plus the District of Columbia, also allow this type of deed. Under this law, you can have a lawyer re-title your real property with the phrase "T.O.D. to [name of beneficiary or beneficiaries]" after your name. You still own the property and can do as you wish with it, but when you die, it automatically passes to the named beneficiary without having to go through probate. A few important details to note: If desired, you can always later modify T.O.D. deeds to either remove or add named heirs. If you have an outstanding mortgage, the T.O.D. law has provisions to pass this obligation on to the heirs named in the T.O.D.... Read More 

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February 16, 2015||Legislative Updates: State of Hawaii

Seller Financing in Hawaii: Legal or Illegal? 

"Owner financing is a useful tool in the credit market, as it expands the pool of potential buyers for owners and gives buyers an opportunity to make a purchase that would otherwise be out of reach, especially if they could not qualify for a traditional mortgage loan." - Hawaii Association of REALTORS® Although seller financing (owner financing) has traditionally been a means by which real property transactions in Hawaii have been conducted, Clark Realty Corporation is currently advising our sellers to seek legal counsel before pursuing the sale of a property through a seller financing agreement. Here's why, as explained by the Hawaii Association of REALTORS®: During Hawaii's 2014 State Legislative Session, the Legislature amended Hawaii's Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (the SAFE Act), which established the system for mortgage loan origination in Hawaii. That action, Act 198, removed exemptions... Read More 

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July 23, 2012||Legislative Updates: State of Hawaii

Transient Accommodations Tax: What Should Hawaii Vacation Rental Owners Know about Act 326? 

HB2078 HD2 SD2 CD1: RELATING TO TAXATION Requires any operator of a transient accommodation to designate a local contact residing on the same island as the transient accommodation. Requires that all advertisements and solicitations on websites for transient accommodations display registration identification numbers. Effective July 1, 2012. Repealed on December 31, 2015. (HB2078 CD1) Source: capitol.hawaii.gov Read Governor's Message 1443 and Act 326 Act 326: Transient Accommodations Tax and Web Advertising Vacation rental owners in Hawaii should be aware that House Bill 2078, now known as Act 326, became law without the Governor’s signature earlier this month. This bill, which was designed to encourage greater compliance with the transient accommodations tax, includes provisions that directly impact how vacation rental owners advertise their properties. Briefly, the law requires operators... Read More 

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