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Kahala’s Best-Kept Secret?


This Waialae Gardens townhome is on the market for $435,000.

When a chef recommends a restaurant, you go. And when a realtor tells you she’s thinking of buying property in a particularly development, you go. Which is how I found myself at Waialae Gardens, a townhome community in Kahala. While it isn’t shiny and fashionable (though it probably was in 1966, when it was built), it’s clearly well maintained and quiet. The buildings are squat, stucco-walled structures with shake roofs, faded-wood trim and jalousie windows. The complex, which consists of 182 units with a mix of one- and two-story townhomes and one-, two- or three-bedroom apartments, feels small and intimate.

The community is located off Kilauea Ave. in Waialae Nui Valley, a five-minute walk to Kahala Mall and Waialae Ave.’s shops and restaurants, which is a big reason for its popularity. Plus, the location offers easy freeway access (about 20 minutes to downtown) and it’s close to several bus stops. Another reason Waialae Gardens is worth a look, says Prudential Locations realtor Carlin Yamashita, who currently has a listing in the complex (which I’ll get to in a second), is the demographic. About 60 percent of the residents are owner occupants, a group that’s made up of young, working couples, executives, small families and senior citizens.

For the area and for what you get, Waialae Gardens’ townhomes are reasonably priced. In 2010, six units were sold for an average sales price of $435,833. There are currently three fee-simple units on the market, with prices ranging between $395,900 to $550,000. Plus, Waialae Gardens' values have seen a steady increase over the last two decades. According to Yamashita, prices have increased approximately 4.7 percent per year for the last 20 years, which isn’t too shabby.

The townhouse that Yamashita currently has listed is priced at $435,000. It has one bedroom (a gigantic master bedroom) and two full baths and 1,035 square feet of livable area. The unit was renovated last year by CS Wo interior designer Brad Harris (the handsome CS Wo furniture can be sold separately), with new, neutral-colored paint,  beige carpet, plantation shutters and new toilets. There are a few vestiges of its former ’70s life, including a mirrored wall in the living room, popcorn ceilings and older kitchen appliances, but those are fixable.

There’s an AC unit in the upstairs bath, and one could easily be installed downstairs. Yard space is a bit lacking, with a common, unfenced grassy area behind the unit, which should be enough for Fido (one dog or one cat per residence is allowed). The townhouse comes with one uncovered parking space, which is directly in front of the unit. As for amenities, the property boasts a 60-foot-long swimming pool. Monthly maintenance fees are $385.

Contact: Carlin Yamashita, Prudential Locations. 392-3244, carlin@carlinyamashita.com.


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