Today on Living808 we learn more about the company We Buy Houses.  This is a company that takes older homes that are in need of repair of varying levels, and repairs, renovates, and returns the home to the market for sale.  With the rising cost of housing in Hawaii, we asked the co-owner of the company, Daniel Kong if he had any tips on how locals could afford a home.

“The rise in real estate prices is out of control. So two things we’d like to share.

First of all, if you are buying a home to live in, a common misconception is that you need 20% for your down payment. You only need a 3.5% down payment for most houses, and sometimes even 0% down if you are in a rural area or are in the military. That means, to buy a $500,000 house, you only need to save up $18,000.

Second, is to use a method we like to call ‘House Hacking’. This is where you find a hosue with an ability to rent out sections of the house separately, and have aunty, uncle, mom, or dad live with you when you first start. After, you can rent it out to other tenants, and its a great way to help you afford your mortgage.

Also, if you are buying one of our houses, send us your story. We almost never pick the highest offer when selling and love putting a local family in a home.

There are people out there that say fixing up houses and selling them again only drives up prices, but Kong disputes that claim.

“One of the misconceptions about real estate is the reason for high and increasing home prices. It has nothing to do with fixing up homes and making them look nice. It’s a supply and demand problem. So many people want to live in Hawaii and buy homes here but the supply is so low (We live on an island). Most other parts of the US you can keep on building more houses, but we are really limited here. That’s why we like it whenever we can find an old beaten up house, fix it up, and put it backy into the supply. When the house is all run down and beaten up, then everyone loses. It hurts the neighborhood, makes it unsafe for kids playing there, and its one less house for a family to live in. Often if a family wants to buy the house they don’t have the money or knowledge to fix it up. So we really enjoy finding these beaten up houses, use our own money to fix them up and make them feel brand new. That way a new family can come and buy this house and its ready to be lived in and make memories in – no work on their part. Bonus if there is the ability to house hack.”

If you’d like to learn more about the company, visit online at

We’d love the opportunity to connect and see what we can do to help you to both buy or sell a house. Or just give you advice with any kind of tricky real estate related situation that you might have. We love solving problems, fixing things, and building beautiful houses. Thank you!”