One of the many features of the GOP tax overhaul, which cleared Congress on Wednesday, is that it limits the annual state and local tax deduction, including property taxes, to $10,000. In the New York metro area, where state and local property and income taxes are high, not to mention property values, this will mean a heftier tax bill for many, particularly for wealthy homeowners in New Jersey, Westchester County, and Manhattan. Moody's Analytics economist predicted that an earlier, roughly similar version of the tax bill could cause home prices in Manhattan to drop by nearly 10 percent. Limits on the mortgage interest deduction will also hit homeowners' pockets.
Way across the country and part of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii has the lowest property tax rates in the country, at only 0.28 percent. Of course, Hawaii also has spectacular beaches, magnificent vistas, standout surfing, and warm weather that is especially enticing this time of year. Plus, the state's real estate may look pricey to the rest of the country, but from Manhattan, where the median sales price is $1.17 million, Hawaii's housing costs don't seem quite so insane.
The bad news is that despite Hawaii's low property taxes, its relatively high property values and other tax rates mean that, like residents of New York and a handful of other high-tax, Democratic states, Hawaiians will still be hit hard by the tax overhaul. Nevertheless, with New York's winter beginning in earnest, it seems nicer to suffer on the coast in the tropics than bundled up and barely moving on the C train.
Here's a taste of what's out there.
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This detached condo, also pictured at top, is on the island of Kauai, a place so breathtaking that to visit it is akin to spending the weekend in Jurassic Park, dinosaurs not included. This condo has three bedrooms and two full bathrooms, along with an outdoor pool, a two-car garage, and an outdoor terrace with unbelievable mountain views. It's also conveniently located between two of Kauai's best beaches. The owner is asking $899,000.
The Kona district, one of two of Hawaii's famed Big Island, is coffee country, thanks in part to the fertile land created by its Hualalai and Mauna Loa volcanoes. It's also unbearably gorgeous, and this three-bedroom, four-bath house in the district's main town of Kailua-Kona is right in the middle of all that natural beauty. Amenities include open beam ceilings, a den/office with its own full bathroom, a new fridge and range in the kitchen, a backyard, and jalousie windows, plus each bedroom has its own special loft area. The owner is looking for $479,000.
Maui is Hawaii's second-largest island. It and the surrounding waters are home to a rainforest, coral reefs, and a large population of humpback whales, along with beaches, breweries, and breathtaking views. This four bedroom, three-bath house in the Napili/Kahana/Honokowai area has both ocean and mountain views, along with a front and rear lanai (veranda), high vaulted ceilings, and a distinctive pole-style design. The owner is asking for $945,000.
For a more city-meets-island experience, this two bedroom, one-bath plantation cottage in Honolulu is located right by the state capital's famed Diamond Head beach. It has new flooring, mountain and beach views, an attached garage, a deck, and a private garden. The owner is asking for $860,000.
Also located in Honolulu, this three bedroom, two-bath townhouse condo is near O'ahu's Kaneohe Bay. The house comes with a private lanai, a washer-dryer, and a dishwasher, plus access to three pools, an area boat ramp, tennis courts, and clubhouses. Most importantly, though, the townhouse has panoramic views of the Ko'olau Mountains and Kaneohe Bay. The listing price is $680,000.
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