New construction in Puunui

Most of Puunui has a lot of retro charm: a lot of the homes have antiquated designs, and the streets are so old that many don’t have real sidewalks. Many of the families who live in the area—not just their respective streets—have known each other for generations.

New construction like this year-old home on Liliha Street sticks out like a sore thumb and lacks the character of the surrounding homes, but consider some of its advantages if you’re looking to move here.

  • It’s new. Period.
  • There’s no maintenance fee, although it’s one of four custom CPRs.
  • It’s an old, established neighborhood where everyone knows each other.
  • It’s across the street from John’s Groceries, which is a hidden haven for shave ice.

Most likely, people hoping to buy this three-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom home don’t need retro charm; they’re shopping here because they want to get their kids into the Maemae Elementary School district (it’s a five-minute walk). Maemae has long been known as one of the best elementary schools in Hawaii’s public school system, and over time, district exceptions are almost impossible to come by. Many of the reviews say that Maemae provides private school-quality education, since the students turn out high test scores.

The home itself is two stories, comprising 1,885 square feet. It has a two-car garage and ample guest parking, which is a premium in Puunui. The back yard is also large, as the lot is 4,717 square feet. (Click here for details.)

The price was just reduced, though, so maybe the cookie-cutter design does matter.

Money talk: $830,000 fee simple
Contact: Helen Linh On, Dower Realty, Inc., 808-373-2255,