Canadians LOVE Maui and we LOVE our Canadian clients! We have identified some specific considerations for Canadian buyers.
In Hawaii, we use title companies and escrow officers to handle the transfer of the property, including the deed. This is different from the process that you are used to in Canada. The escrow officer, in addition to your Realtor, will communicate with you regarding issues of title, signatures, inspection time lines or other issues dealing with ownership and title.
This process can take 60 days or longer to complete if the purchase is being financed. Cash transactions can be completed in 30 days.
There are a variety of fees and taxes that are customary in the U.S. that you may not be used to and are in addition to the purchase price. These may include:
Your Realtor should be able to give you a breakdown and estimate of all the fees that apply to you and your transaction.
Some documents will have to be notarized by a U.S. notary. The instructions will likely direct you to do the signing at the U.S. Embassy. That will likely require scheduling an appointment and can be time consuming. You should try to schedule this appointment two weeks in advance. It may be simpler to make the drive across the border to a notary in the U.S.
If the utilities are to be in the name of the new foreign owner, as opposed to a condo-tel, Maui Electric will at least require notarized ID’s in order to open an account.
There are no mainland banks on Maui – only local Hawaii-based banks (No Wells Fargo, Bank of America, etc. branches exist in Hawaii). If you plan to have rental expenses such as electricity paid out of a Maui account or rental revenues deposited into a Maui account, you will need to open a local bank account.
Off island property owners who rent their property are required to hire a licensed property manager to manage the property. Property managers for long term rentals usually charge a fee of approximately 10%, while short term property managers charge fees from 25%-40% or higher, depending on services provided and how the management company is structured.
Strata fees = AOAO fees
Subjects = contingencies: I’m told that in Canada they typically remove the subjects within 7 days. Our contingency and inspection periods can be much longer.
As Is – I’ve heard that in Canada when a home is sold, the seller must bring all aspects of the home up to code. In Maui, the seller is required to disclose anything that is not “in compliance”, and the home inspector may identify items that do not meet current code.
Many properties are sold “AS IS”, meaning that the seller will not make repairs to the property before closing. Repairs are typically negotiated during the contract inspection period for properties that are not being sold “AS IS”.
Thanks to Pam Teal at Fidelity National Title.
Special thanks to the Best Real Estate Team in the Greater Vancouver area - Team Josh Bath - Matt, Terri and Josh.