March 2009

Found 9 blog entries for March 2009.

Living on the water in Hawaii
I've said before that Hawaii Kai is the only place in Oahu that you can live on the water and have a boat, which is true, sort of. There is Enchanted Lake in Kailua, where you can have a non motorized boat. kailua enchanted lake

Last week I showed a buyer several properties in Kailua, and one of them was this house for exactly $1million on the lake. For a million dollars you get a pretty good size houe in Kailua if it's not on the beach or on the lake, but this house even has a nice pool where you can sit and view the lake. While you can't waterski or jetski on Enchanted lake, you can get a nice water view and throw a fishing line out and catch some fish that you would never want to eat.

The water is a bit brown compared to…
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Home sales are down huge on the neighbor islands compared to last year, the number of sales has dropped more than 50% across the board. Condo prices on the Big Island were down 20% from a year ago! The Realtors there must be really hurting. The number of Maui single family homes sold dropped 50%! What is happening over there?

Well people who move to Hawaii are doing so for jobs or military. People who buy on the neighbor islands are mainland vacation home buyers, people with a lot of extra money, and retirees. As the market on the mainland has come to a screeching halt, the neighbor islands are really feeling it, since they have no real economy of their own apart from Oahu and the mainland.
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Will it cause Ewa Beach Oahu Real Estate prices to rise? The city's new Fixed Guideway system, fancy talk for "a train." Will be running from the west side into town in about 15-20 years.

Will this effect prices? Maybe insomuch as people perceive a future value that this will add. It's like buying stocks. The rumor of a buyout is worth more than the actual buyout. In this case, the future potential train system is a good selling point and could increase the value of properties that will be effected, primarliy those that are within walking distance of a train station.

This is primarliy going to effect Ewa beach, where traffic is the worst. Plans for the train stations are not final yet and won't be for years, so you can stop guessing. Overall, I think this…
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I'm only exaggerating a little. Even though inventory in Hawaii is about flat in the last year, a lot of the homes for sale in East Oahu are in need of serious renovation.

When I take buyers to Ewa beach or Kapolei or Makakilo, there are plenty of nice houses for sale and we get to be picky about what we look at. In fact I had over 20 homes to show a client a couple weeks ago in Ewa.

But when I look for homes in Hawaii Kai, Diamond Head, or Kailua, which are my specialities, I see a lot of run down, small, poorly decorated homes. If you decorate a house nicely and update it with modern flooring and windows, it sells quickly at a price almost over the market. Yes, over the market.

That's because there still isn't much for sale right now.  Inventory in Hawaii…
2,118 Views, 0 Comments

8 years ago when I started in Real Estate, only the youngest buyers and sellers were looking online for a Realtor or for real estate. Over the last year I've noticed that something is changing. My clients are now Baby Boomers.

The oldest Baby Boomers are turning 60 now, and just about everyday I get an email or a call from someone who is planning to retire in Hawaii. They all say it's been their dream for some time.

In fact a friend of mine is VP of a big home building company that is constructing a brand new retirment community here in Hawaii, complete with medical care and every aspect of retirement services. They are building hundreds of units over in Kapolei. The Boomers are coming.

So while most of the country has a slowing real estate market, Hawaii…
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Property tax rates for O'ahu houses and apartments were tentatively lowered even more, and may go even lower after a City Council vote next month.

In 2009 The Oahu real estate property tax rate for residential property will be from $3.29 per thousand dollars of assessed value. So consider how much lower your payment on a $1million house in Oahu is compare to the same price house in CA or TX or WA. Most states charge at least 1% of the purchase price for property taxes, if not 2%.

So if you buy a home in Oahu for a million dollars, it's likely going to be assessed around $800k-$1million. That would make your tax about $3200 a year. The tax will be over $12,000 a year in CA. So you're going to save about $9,000 a year by buying real estate in Hawaii compared…
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So you want a home in Hawaii. Should you build a house or buy one already built?
People ask me this question once a week or so. With the median price of homes in Oahu at $625k at the beginning of August, it seems like you could find some land and build for less couldn't you? Unfortunately, in Hawaii the answer is very complicated.

First of all, good for you for thinking a little outside the box, but there are many issues to consider before you make your decision. Will you buy land or tear down a house? What area will you buy in? Hawaii Kai? Kahala? Kailua? Aiea? How much home will you build? What is your budget for building? What type of house will you build? Custom or pre-drawn up plans? Will you hire a general contractor or do it yourself? What does the…
56,535 Views, 6 Comments


Last week everyone on the news was saying that Hurricane Flossie was going to hit the Big Island of Hawaii. The first thing you should know is that the Big Island is hundreds of miles from Oahu, so even if it had hit the Big Island, it wouldn't be anywhere near us on Oahu. It seems like everyone interested in Oahu real estate right now was worried that the island was going to wiped out or something. In fact you if you own real estate on Oahu, it's almost like a different state than the Big Island.

As it turned out, Flossie was a total dud. She didn't even bring us any good waves. No wind, no rain, nothing. We were actually hoping for some much needed rain. So what's the deal, is living in Hawaii going to be dangerous? Are you going to worried about…
12,394 Views, 0 Comments