Friday, May 28, 2010

Hawaii Kai Recycling Event

I wanted to give publicity to the Aloha Aina recycling event June 12, Saturday, 8 AM - 2 PM, because it is a good cause for the Hawaii Kai community. The drop off will be the Hui Nalu halau, which is located next to the Hawaii Kai boat ramp off of Kalanianaole Highway. Items brought for recycling will be redeemed by Hui Nalu Canoe Club and proceeds will go toward helping the club.

As reported in the reader-submitted content in the Honolulu Advertiser, you can recycle many items, including but not limited to:

*beverage containers
· cellular phones
· printer cartridges
· scrap metal
· bicycles
· appliances
· newspaper
· plastic bags
· hangers
· used eye glasses
· hearing aids
· telephone books
· magazines
· computers (limit one per car)
· usable clothing/household items
· cooking oil
· unwanted cars

For cars that aren't running, call 306-1876 for free towing.

Note: Certain items will not be accepted including:
· tires
· recreational vehicles (RVs)
· hazardous fluids
· microwave ovens
· motor oil

"Aloha Aina is a great opportunity to clean out your garage, your closets, your attic and to rid your business of old equipment that's been collecting dust," said Cathy Ho, a coach at Hui Nalu who is helping organize the event. "It's also a responsible way to dispose of these items while helping out a great cause."

To learn more about the Hui Nalu Canoe Club, founded in 1908 by Duke Kahanamoku, Knute Cottrell and Ken Winter, visit their web site. And let's support their recycling efforts in Hawaii Kai to keep our paradise on Oahu beautiful and clean.

Barbara Abe, Realtor

Friday, May 21, 2010

How Do Hawaii Kai Homeowners Fit into this Survey?

A survey recently conducted by Zillow found that the confidence of US homeowners in the value of their homes increased in the first quarter, 2010.

Half of homeowners surveyed think their home's value declined in the past year. Zillow actually found that 65% of US homes declined in value in 2010, based on its own methodology.

The company also found 7% of homeowners - 5.3 million homes - would be "very likely" to put their homes on the market in the next 12 months if they felt the market was improving. An additional 8% said they would be likely to list their homes, while another 14% would be somewhat likely.

How do you feel about the value of your Hawaii Kai home? If you want a detailed sales analysis of your neighborhood, just call or email.

Barbara Abe, Realtor

Hawaii Kai Included in Education Grant for Ahupua'a Boundaries

The Ko'olaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club has received a $47,269 grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and part of the funds will be used to delineate the ancient districts - ahupua'a - on the island of Oahu. The boundary signs project received matching funds from the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation.

Ahupua'a are land divisions created from the mountains to the sea, whose resources once provided all the needs for the people living in those areas of the islands. The sign project has been under discussion for years, and the club decided to use old maps of the Hawaiian Kingdom that place Hawai'i Kai in the Waimānalo ahupua'a, Mahealani Cypher, club president. said.

The 11 Ko'olaupoko ahupua'a are Kualoa, Hakipu'u, Waikane, Waiahole, Ka'alaea, Waihe'e, Kahalu'u, He'eia, Kāne'ohe, Kailua and Waimānalo (including Hawai'i Kai). In the second phase of the project the club will hire teams of educators, including kūpuna and youths, to teach everyone about their natural and cultural resources and Hawaiian sustainability practices, Cypher said.

Greg Knudsen, Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board Chairman, said the residents seem pleased, as board members are concerned about the protection and preservation of the Hawaiian culture and archeology.

If you would like to be involved in the project, contact the Ko'olaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club. They are a non-profit community organization dedicated to the perpetuation of the Native Hawaiian culture, our heritage and our people. Their membership is comprised of Native Hawaiians and "Hawaiians at heart," and is open to anyone interested in supporting cultural, educational and service programs primarily in the Ko`olaupoko area on the Windward side of the island of O`ahu, Hawai`i.

Barbara Abe, Realtor

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hawaii Kai Non-occupant Owner Taxes may Increase

The Honolulu Advertiser reports that the "City Council moved another step toward a budget that raises the property tax on non-occupant homeowners, but promised to look for ways to minimize the increase before a final vote." Council members voted 9-0 for the operating budget, in the 2nd of 3 needed approvals. The non-occupant homeowners class is the only one to be given a rate increase in the budget.

The Advertiser also noted, "The council kept in the budget a proposal to boost property taxes on non-occupant homeowners to $3.72 per $1,000 of home value, up from $3.42. The tax increase, which was part of Mayor Mufi Hannemann's budget proposal, adds about $18 million to city coffers."

Bill 15(10) will go back to the Council Budget Committee on May 24, and then to the full council for a final vote on June 9. The new budget year begins July 1. Properties in the owner-occupant category will still be assessed $3.42 per $1,000, as they are this year.

If you own investment property in Hawaii Kai, and have an opinion on this tax increase, now is the time to contact your Council member.

Barbara Abe, Realtor

Recycle your Hawaii Kai Refrigerator

Hawaii is launching a federally-funded Cash For Clunker Refrigerator program that will pay consumers $250 for replacing energy hogging fridges with a new energy-efficient Energy Star appliance.

Rebates will be available for purchases starting May 24 from 35 retailers throughout the state, and end June 23, unless the allocated money runs out before that date. There is enough money for about 10,000 rebates. The state will allocate each retailer a specific number of mail-in rebate applications so that purchases and rebates won't exceed rebate funds. If one retailer runs out of applications, it's possible another may still have some.

Modeled after last year's Cash for Clunker Cars, this time the states can choose which appliances qualify. Hawaii is in the forefront of energy-efficient measures, and officials hope this will be one more step toward energy independence for the state. Also, a side benefit should be a boost in sales for appliance retailers.

The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism said fridges account for the largest portion of household energy bills after electric water heaters and air conditioners.

Here are some startling figures from the Advertiser:

  • If 10,000 old refrigerators are replaced by energy-efficient models that use 50 percent less energy, it would save about 100,000 barrels of oil and 7 million pounds of carbon emissions over the life of the fridges, the state said.
  • A 10-year-old fridge uses 63 gallons of oil every year. A new fridge will save 28 gallons of oil annually, with the electricity cost savings ranging from $80 to $90 a year. Ray Starling, manager of the Hawaii Energy Efficiency Program, said the savings for consumers can add up to $1,700 to $2,000 over the lifetime of a fridge at present electricity rates — or more if rates rise.
  • At $250, the rebate can amount to 25 percent or more off the cost of a new moderately priced fridge meeting energy efficiency qualifications.

For more information, read the Advertiser article, or visit

If you have thought of replacing your Hawaii Kai refrigerator, now is the time. And if you are thinking of selling, a new Energy Star appliance will certainly add to the home's value.

Barbara Abe, Realtor

Friday, May 7, 2010

Yes, You can Travel with your Hawaii Kai Pet(s), one of the international pet travel and transportation industry’s leading service providers, announced the results of its first annual Summer Pet Travel Survey of more than 6,000 pet owners worldwide. The study concludes that most pet owners travel at least once a year with their pets.

Some findings of the Summer Pet Travel Survey:

1. 61% of pet owners surveyed said they travel more than 50 miles with their pets at least once a year, with 38% of those stating they travel as often as once a month with their pets. Pet-friendly travel still is almost exclusively for dogs, with 61% saying that they choose to travel with their dogs, and 33% with their cats.

2. 38% said the most difficult part of pet travel is that airline pet travel fees are too expensive, followed by those who said there is not enough selection of pet-friendly airlines.

3. Summer pet travel appears to be on many pet owners’ agendas. The survey, which was sent out during the month of April, found that 57% said they planned on traveling with their pet within the next 3 months, while 33% plan on traveling with their pet within the next year.

4. 71% said they had never traveled internationally with their pets. The survey found 51% are considering international pet travel within the next year. 42% of those said they are making plans to travel internationally with their pets within the next year.

Pet travel is a bit more complicated from Hawaii because of our quarantine requirements, but can be done. If you aren't sure where to start, give me a call and I'll find someone to help. Read the Pet Page on my web site to find more resources.

Barbara Abe, Realtor

Hawaii Kai Real Estate Market Statistics, April, 2010

Here are the data for the Hawaii Kai real estate market in April, 2010.

Hawaii Kai Single Family
April vs Year-to-Date
2010 - 15 April, 53 YtD
2009 - 11 April, 44 YtD
*Median Sales Price
2010 - $720,000 April, $780,000 YtD
2009 - $700,000 April, $730,000 YtD
*Days on Market until Sale
2010 - 69 April, 50 YtD
2009 - 101 April, 87 YtD
*Inventory as of Month End
2010 - 106
2009 - 124

Hawaii Kai Condos
April vs Year-to-Date
2010 - 22 April, 58 YtD
2009 - 12 April, 45 YtD
*Median Sales Price
2010 - $515,000 April, $515,000 YtD
2009 - $436,000 April, $460,000 YtD
*Days on Market until Sale
2010 - 37 April, 48 YtD
2009 - 93 April, 87 YtD
*Inventory as of Month End
2010 - 742009 - 100

Our Honolulu Board of Realtors publishes very complete statistics in 3 reports: Monthly Indicators, Housing Supply Outlook, and Local Market Updates. Contact me for any of these to get a complete picture of the housing market on Oahu.

Barbara Abe, Realtor

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Staycations are Made for Hawaii Kai

The RealEstateChannel has released its latest study, Portrait of American Travelers, completed in part to measure the effects of the economic downturn on leisure travel. The results show that one out of four leisure travelers in America, with an annual household income over $50,000, took at least one overnight leisure trip/vacation in their local area (within a 50-mile drive radius of their home) in the previous 12 months. This trip was an alternative to vacationing in a destination that would have required traveling a greater distance.

The incidence is more pronounced among younger travelers (Millennials and GenXers) than older travelers, yet equally evident across all households regardless of annual household income.

By age group:
37% of Millennials (18-30)
31% of GenXers (31-44)
21% of Boomers (45-63)
15% of Matures (64+)

By income:
26% of $50-$124,000
26% of $125,000+

With/without children:
32% by families with children at home
21% by families with no children at home

As reported by, "These data suggest the phenomenon is more than a fanciful term that captured the imagination of journalists eager to report on yet another manifestation of the impact of the poor economy on the travel industry. On the contrary, 'staycations' appear to be real and represent a discernible, short-term shift in consumers' leisure travel behavior, if only for last year.

"It is important to understand, however, that the typical leisure traveler takes an average of four leisure trips annually, so one should not come to the erroneous conclusion that 'staycations' have necessarily replaced all well-established patterns of leisure travel. But the implication for travel service marketers is clear: local and regional origin markets retain considerable potential for generating incremental business in the year ahead, and this potential is likely to remain robust through the duration of 2010 and well into 2011."

The findings of the study represent good news to Hawaii, and residents here. We live with such beauty on an every day basis, it could become commonplace and taken for granted. But the challenges of the recession have brought a different perspective on the leisure opportunities in our state. While I haven't seen any figures, I would guess visitor count is up at Hanauma Bay, perhaps parasailing in Mauanlua Bay, and golf at the Hawaii Kai golf course. We often look offshore for our economic stimulus, but it seems we may find some in our own backyard.

Hawaii Kai is such a special place to live, and now you can find spectacular properties for sale for a fraction of their value a few years ago. Contact me for a copy of my free Relocation Package and see for yourself.

Barbara Abe, Realtor