Like LOST, part of the fun in watching last week’s premiere episode of Hawaii 5-0 was trying to identify the shoot locations. The opening sequence was obviously Kualoa Ranch, and I’m pretty sure the team’s office was headquartered in the old Advertiser building, but I couldn’t quite place Danno’s nondescript, retro apartment. A quick Google search yielded a somewhat-surprising result: The Tradewinds Student Suites, located on Hobron Lane across from Ala Moana Beach Park.
Honolulu’s Black Point neighborhood is synonymous with luxury, having long been the community of choice for many of Oahu’s oldest and wealthiest families (Doris Duke’s Shangri La is located here) and a number of celebrities (Martin Denny, Tom Selleck, to name a few). Within this exclusive enclave there’s a mix of flashy, new mansions and more traditional homes, a category in which this understated, old-Hawaii home belongs.
Hudson, of the Bizarro Morning Show on Star 101.9, and her rocker husband, Steve Hott, are selling their Makakilo manse. The couple bought the residence six years ago, having fallen for the home’s private location and unobstructed ocean and mountain views. “We loved that the house was on a perimeter lot, and that no one could ever build behind us,” says Hudson. “It’s located on a cul-de-sac, and the neighborhood is quiet. There’s a constant breeze. We have central AC, and I think we’ve used it maybe 20 times in the last six years.”
This weekend’s open-house pick caught my eye because of its graceful mix of modern amenities and relaxed kamaaina living. The home is located in Pacific Heights, a neighborhood that people tend to overlook, but shouldn’t. It’s close to downtown and convenient to everything, houses in this area often have stellar views of the city and beyond, and it tends to be a little cooler up there thanks to the trade winds that breeze through.
Sure, we all know that parking in this city is a hot commodity, but a nearly $30,000 commodity? Apparently. Standalone stall No. 235 at Hawaii Kai’s The Colony at the Peninsula is currently listed for $29,500 by listing agent/owner Philip McCaffray, who is looking to offload the extra space.
Today’s write-up is in response to another reader request: How do you find the right school while searching for the right home? Clearly, finding the best school is a crucial deciding factor in every family’s new-home search. There’s a lot of information to sift through, but, fortunately, a lot of what you need to know can be found online.
Start your house hunt off on the right foot with realtor John Stallings’ Pedal Buy Bike Tours of Kailua. The two-hour tours will have you searching for homes from the seat of a Schwinn, an economical, environmentally friendly and good-for-your-waistline approach to shopping for real estate. It’s also, quite simply, a lovely way to see one of the most beautiful corners of the island.
We were recently asked for some tips on how to determine if the neighborhood where you’re thinking of purchasing a home is safe. There are a lot of different ways to go about this, but here are some suggestions to get you started.
It’s Aloha Friday, which means it’s time to talk open houses. This time, I’m honing in on metro Oahu, specifically Nauru Tower on Ala Moana Blvd. Everyone knows that the realtor mantra is “location, location, location,” and Nauru certainly qualifies. “I think, traditionally, this building has been really liked by Asian offshore buyers because of the location,” says Sachi Braden, the principal broker at Sachi Hawaii Pacific Century Properties. “You can walk across the street to the park and beach, and then there’s the convenient shopping at Ward and Ala Moana Centers, and you’re also within walking distance of lots of restaurants. And the drive to the airport is 15 to 30 minutes. It’s very, very convenient.”
It’s been nearly two years since the remaining portion of the former Kaiser Estate was put on the market by its owners, Mr. and Mrs. S.L. Chan, and there’s hope that the estate may finally find a new owner, one with pockets deep enough to bring it back to its former glory. According to Mary Worrall Associates’ managing director Alden Yamane, since it was listed, a dozen or so potential buyers have seen the property, three of which were “serious.”
Full disclosure: I’m addicted to my iPhone, and, like any true iPhone junkie, I love a good app. So I’m pretty stoked about the Prudential Locations Real Estate Search, a fabulously functional (and free!) local real estate app for your iPhone, iTouch or iPad.
Vibe: The Waterfront at Puuloa offers beachfront living in former military housing. Formerly known as the Iroquois Point Island Club, the community’s military roots are still evident: There’s a Navy Exchange gas station and mini mart, and a somewhat-reliable ferry that shuttles military residents (about 60 percent of the community’s population is military) to and from Ford Island and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. The community, with 1,450 homes and approximately 5,000 residents, comes off as a small, Sims-like town.