Can’t judge a home by its cover

When I was looking for open houses on Sunday, I saw an interior shot of this home, above, and was instantly interested. It seemed like an unexpectedly swanky, newish home in an older Kaimuki neighborhood.

Well, imagine how puzzled I was as I drove past it a couple of times. It’s 17th Ave., right? Is my GPS working? I finally parked across the street from the intended 933 17th Ave., and cautiously approached this house (below).

This photo is a pretty good shot of the front; it makes it look newer than its 75 years. There was an open house sign out front, but I was still sure I had the wrong address.

Lo and behold, this was the brand-spanking new interior. What a great way to disguise a nice home. Turns out the owners renovated it completely last year, right down to the roof, electrical, and plumbing.

The old-school design and layout has been preserved, but the cabinets, flooring, windows, counters, fixtures and appliances throughout the 1,508-square-foot home have all been upgraded. There are three bedrooms, two full baths, and an interesting extra bathroom in the living room. (Click here to see a video as I walk through the house.)

The front and back yards are quite large—the lot is 9,000 square feet—with a long driveway, so if you had people over, there’s lots of room to park.

It’s possible the first people you have over will just need to walk, though. During open house, a group of neighbors came over to introduce themselves to the interested buyers and sell them on the benefits of living in such a sociable neighborhood. “We’re all really close,” one man says. (Click here for more details on the home.)

Money talk: $975,000 fee simple
Contact: Krisztina Kollo, Prudential Advantage, 808-738-3625,