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Real Estate

Neighborhood Profile: Makakilo

When I talk about heading out to Makakilo, it’s akin to plotting a long-distance road trip: Pack some snacks, a few drinks and sunscreen, kids, ’cause we’re heading to Makakilo! OK, I exaggerate, but the hour-long (or so) commute from downtown to the west-side community is a hike, which makes the neighborhood’s rapid growth all the more astonishing in my mind. But I think I’ve finally figured out the keys to Makakilo’s success: affordability, cooler-than-Ewa weather, and space to spread out.
2010.10.19 03:55 PM

What You Need to Know: HOA Fees

According to the Community Associations Institute, there are nearly 310,000 association-governed communities (this includes homeowners’ associations, condominiums, cooperatives and other planned communities) in the United States, representing approximately 25-million individual housing units. The general role of a homeowners’ association is to maintain a community’s common areas—roads, parks, landscaping, recreation centers, swimming pools, clubhouses—and homeowners are required to pay association dues to fund the upkeep and contribute to the association’s reserve. On Oahu, homeowners’ association (HOA) fees can cost anywhere from $9 to $3,000 per month, depending on the services and amenities covered by the association.
2010.10.18 07:03 PM

This Week’s Open House Pick: Ewa Beach

I wrote about the Ka Makana at Hoakalei resort community a few weeks back. If you’ll recall, I mentioned that the community’s most affordable housing options, the Lehua Series town houses, were temporarily sold out. Well, lo and behold, the first town home resale has hit the market, and it will be open this Sunday.
2010.10.15 03:01 PM

Weekly Waikiki Real Estate Walking Tours

The latest home-buying trend has legs, er, feet. As evidenced by two of my recent posts (see my stories on Kailua real estate bike tours and Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties’ Waikiki is Open event), eco-friendly real estate tours are popping up left and right. But it seems I missed one: Century 21 All Islands has long been hosting weekly real estate walking tours in Waikiki.
2010.10.14 05:24 PM

Lanikai House Reduced, Listed for Under $1.6 Million

“I’ve had eight sales in Lanikai in the past year, all good properties,” says realtor Annie Kwock, as she gestures toward a new-ish, 4,000-sq.-ft. residence down the road that sold, without ever coming on the market, for $3,350,000. Another nearby listing, this one also a private sale, went for $1,665,000. So, a house in this neighborhood priced at $1,580,000 is something of a good deal? “It’s a phenomenal deal,” says Kwock of this Koohoo Pl. listing.
2010.10.13 07:16 PM

Manoa Bed & Breakfast Still Hopes to Welcome Buyer

Manoa Valley Inn is one of the neighborhood’s most iconic residences, and certainly one of the island’s most charming historic homes. Built in 1911, the residence was formerly known as the John Guild House, named after the secretary of Alexander & Baldwin who acquired and renovated the property to its current form in 1919. In fact, the home, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, has been owned by several prominent local figures throughout its history.
2010.10.12 06:11 PM

Hawaii’s Most Expensive Zip Codes

Forbes recently released its annual listing of America’s Most Expensive Zip Codes, and Hawaii’s top-ranking zip codes raised more than a few eyebrows. That’s because, according to the Forbes list, Hawaii’s most expensive zip code is 96703, Anahola, which came in at number 60 with a median home price of $1,921,875. The second-most expensive zip code in the islands? That would be 96714, Hanalei, which came in at No. 72 on the Forbes list with a median home price of $1,732,833. So how did these two Kauai zip codes out-rank Oahu’s consistently pricey 96821 (Aina Haina), which came in third?
2010.10.11 07:03 PM

This Weekend’s Open-House Pick

For this weekend’s open-house pick, I’ve set my sights on Manoa—specifically, the former caretaker residence to the Straub Estate. According to listing agent Kai McDurmin, the original Straub home, built in 1919, sat on approximately an acre of land tucked into the back of the valley, and the caretakers’ quarters was built on part of the property in 1939. The entire estate was later subdivided into three parcels, one of which included the caretakers’ residence.
2010.10.08 06:16 PM

September Real Estate Stats for Oahu

The Honolulu Board of Realtors released the September residential resales statistics for Oahu yesterday. Overall, changes in the market last month were minimal, showing mostly small, steady gains, which points to a pretty stable housing market.
2010.10.07 06:53 PM

Free First-Time Homebuyer Seminars

Prudential Locations will be hosting two first-time homebuyer seminars this month, both of which are free and open to the public.
2010.10.06 04:30 PM

The Lowdown on Honolulu's Luxury Market

I was intrigued by some of the data detailed in the 2010 Luxury Home Real Estate Market Report released by Prudential Locations early last month, and thought I'd pass along a few of the more intriguing highlights.
2010.10.05 05:07 PM

Update: The Pacifica in Honolulu

The Pacifica condominium building, formerly known as Moana Vista, got off to a bit of a rough start when the project went into foreclosure in early 2009. But things have certainly turned around since developer OliverMcMillan acquired the project in late 2009. The building is coming along—it will get its top at the end of this year, and completion is projected for fall 2011—and sales have been picking up. There are currently 360 condos under contract, leaving only about 130 on the market. Of those, approximately 30 are reserved housing, which I’ll get to in a minute, and 100 are market-rate residences.
2010.10.04 04:53 PM

Open House: Price-Reduced Kaneohe Townhome

It’s Friday, which means it’s once again time to talk open houses. This week I’m turning my attention to Kaneohe, more specifically, the Ahuimanu area. This townhouse is located in Club View Gardens III, a quiet townhouse community popular with new-home buyers, retirees and military families who appreciate the well-maintained grounds, recreation center and clubhouse, easy access to the H-3 (about a 15-minute drive) and Windward Mall (about five minutes away).
2010.10.01 06:15 PM

Resort Living in Ewa Beach

Among the most ambitious new communities is Ka Makana at Hoakalei, a resort community that is already home to approximately 200 families and the private, 248-acre, Ernie Els-designed Hoakalei Country Club Golf Course. The first residential component to be developed at Hoakalei, Ka Makana will have, at its completion, more than 800 homes and the Ka Makana Swim Club, a fitness center, pool and spa situated on an acre of land in the center of the neighborhood.
2010.09.30 03:50 PM

A New Kind of College Dorm in Waikiki

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.
2010.09.29 03:12 PM

Low-Key Luxury in Honolulu’s Black Point Community

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.
2010.09.28 02:14 PM

Hudson and Rocker Hubby Selling Makakilo Manse

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.”
2010.09.27 08:26 PM

This Weekend’s Open House Pick

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.
2010.09.24 07:05 PM

This Space Reserved: $30K for a Parking Space in Hawaii Kai

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.
2010.09.23 08:13 PM

House-Hunting 101: Finding the Right School

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.
2010.09.22 02:10 PM

Tour Kailua Real Estate by Bike

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.
2010.09.21 04:38 PM

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