Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hawaii Kai Golf

In the words of a blog on golf vacations in Hawaii, "The problem with playing golf in Hawaii is distraction. Not too many people can concentrate on their backswings with the crystal blue waters of the Pacific to their right, a palm-lined fairway in front, a brilliant azure sky above, and a steady, relaxing breeze all around." If you want to play a few holes even with the "distractions," our Hawaii Kai Golf Course is the perfect location.

The Hawaii Kai Golf Course, a short drive around the base of Koko Head and past Sandy Beach, actually offers you two courses. Opened in 1973, the Championship course measures 6500 yards from the championship tee and features wide fairways, large greens with well placed bunkers and beautiful scenery. The course boasts the largest greens in the state with deep bunkers surrounding the greens. The coastline along this area of Oahu is probably the most beautiful on the island.

Every tee on the Championship Course offers a view of the Makapuu Cliffs, Pacific Ocean and the rugged eastern Oahu coastline. Wind is a significant factor and the gusts can take the spin off downwind shots and create a club selection problem on those holes where the golfer is playing into the wind. For most golfers who are not accustomed to playing the course, there is a tendency to under club on the ten holes which play into the wind.

Take a look at the course layout and scorecard on the course page.

The Executive Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., was opened in 1962. It is a 2223 yards , 54 par 3 layout that is characterized by small, undulating and sloping greens. The design requires emphasis on the golfer's putting and chipping skills, providing a challenge for even the most advanced player.

This course snakes up the base of the Makapuu Cliffs, offering views from every hole of the extinct Koko Head Volcano and one the most picturesque panoramas on Oahu. The greens are always in excellent condition at Hawaii Kai and tend to be fast especially in the summer months. Of course , tradewinds are always a factor, because the courses are close to the water and face the direction of the trades.

Take a look at the course layout and scorecard on the Executive Course page.

Hawaii Kai Golf Course also offers a pro shop, restaurant, driving range, and lessons. Details:
8902 Kalanianaole Hwy
Honolulu HI 96825
T: 808-395-2358
F: 808-395-7726

Here are their directions:
"Take H1 East which leads to Kalanianaole Highway ( Route 72). Continue on passing Hanauma Bay, Halona Blowhole and Sandy Beach on your right. About a mile past Sandy Beach, you will see a two-story building, the Hawaii Kai Club House on your left. A sign indicates the entrance to the golf course. Should you proceed beyond Hawaii Kai Golf Course, you will soon come to Sea Life Park on your left, famous for their dolphin and seal shows."

(note - Sea Life Park isn't quite that close. You have to go around Makapuu Point first, where you will often see whales in the winter months.)

There are many golf courses on Oahu. Visit for a complete list with site links.

As you drive through Hawaii Kai on your way to the golf course, be sure and take a look at our homes and community. Hawaii Kai is unique in the Islands and you can find real bargains now in condos or waterfront properties. Request my free Relocation Package, and call or email with your questions on how to live close to our Hawaii Kai Golf Course.

Barbara Abe, Realtor

Friday, August 20, 2010

Enjoy Kona Brewing Company in Hawaii Kai

Next month, the Kona Brewing Company releases its annual Pipeline Porter, a dark ale mixed with local Kona coffee. With 2% of the average amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee, you won't have to worry about the beer keeping you awake. The brew is available September-March.

Their web site describes the beer: "Pipeline Porter is smooth and dark with a distinctive roasty aroma and earthy complexity from its diverse blends of premium malted barley. This celebration of malt unites with freshly roasted 100% Kona coffee grown at Cornwell Estate on Hawaii’s Big Island, lending a unique roasted aroma and flavor. A delicate blend of hops rounds out this palate-pleasing brew."

The company believes in sustainability and green business practices. It has reduced its bottle weight by 11% this year, employs a sustainability coordinator, and produces the certified-organic Oceanic Organic Saison.

Rich Tucciarone is the brewmaster at Kona Brewing Company. He is a judge at the Great American Beer Festival, to be held this year in Denver, and World Beer Cup, the world's largest-ever commercial beer competition.

Enjoy the variety of beers offered at the Hawaii Kai location of the Kona Brewing Company, in the Koko Marina Center, enroute to Hanauma Bay, 7192 Kalaniana'ole Hwy. This is a full-service restaurant on the Hawaii Kai marina, and features a state-of-the-art beer delivery system with 24 taps.

Yes, we have an enviable lifestyle in Hawaii Kai. Request my free Relocation Package, and call or email me for information on Hawaii Kai real estate.

Barbara Abe, Realtor

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hawaii Kai Forum for Mayor and City Council Candidates

Aug. 31, at the regular meeting of the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board, Hahaione Elementary School, Mayoral and City Council District 4 Candidates will participate in a forum for the public. The Board will hold its meeting from 7 - 7:30 PM, and then open the forum until 8:30 PM. The public is invited to arrive at 6:30 to meet and talk with the candidates before the forum.

All 8 candidates for mayor and 7 for City Council have been invited. The election for both is Sept. 18.

Beth-Ann Kozlovich, host and producer of Hawaii Public Radio’s “Town Square,” will serve as moderator.

The Board is asking the public to submit questions for the candidates in advance. Questions may be sent to by August 27.

The Board will hold another candidates forum at its September 28 meeting. That forum will include state legislative candidates in Senate Districts 8 and 25 and House District 18, and Board of Education candidates in all Oahu races.

This is an important election, so do try to attend.

Barbara Abe, Realtor

Kamilo Nui Farmers in Hawaii Kai Face Steep Lease Increase

We've been wondering for a couple of years how the lease negotiations for the 13 farmers in upper Kamilo Nui Valley would resolve. Now we know.

Kamehameha Schools recently notified its farm tenants that it is seeking a roughly 25-fold increase in rent. The trust, Hawaii's largest private landowner, believes the offer is fair because the farmers have been paying rent set in the early 1970s. The farm leases call for rent to be reset now for the 15 years remaining on the leases. Kamehameha Schools spokesman Kekoa Paulsen said the trust wants farming to continue on the land, but also wants to receive fair market rent based on agricultural use. "We feel we're presenting fair values for the time and the area," he said. "They've been paying 1970s rents for 40 years."

While the farmers have been paying a rent set many years ago, that doesn't mean they can now afford such a large increase to keep their land. Many of the farmers, some of whom are in their 80s, say they cannot handle such a drastic hike, especially at their age and with the economy the way it is. They now face a rent increase from around $200 an acre per year to around $5,000 an acre per year, according to tenant and landlord representatives. The old rental rate expired July 1, so the revised rate will be retroactive.

Not only will the new lease price change the lives of many of the farmers, but if they leave or retire, this will no doubt influence the future use of the last undeveloped valley in Hawaii Kai. 40 years ago, the farmers were moved to Kamilo Nui Valley from other locations in Hawaii Kai, and they formed a coop to pay for the infrastructure of roads and water.

As reported in the StarAdvertiser, "Paulsen said the proposed rent is based on appraisals for farmland in the broader area. He added that similar lease rent increases were proposed for seven farms about a mile away behind Kaiser High School and that five tenants agreed on new lease rents within the last 18 months. Two of the 13 Kamilo Nui Valley farmers have agreed to new lease rents since the trust made its opening offer in a June 9 letter, Paulsen said.
'This is not a take-it-or-leave-it proposition,' he added. 'This is the beginning of the (rent negotiation) process.'

"Other new terms being proposed by Kamehameha Schools include allowing farmers to sublease parts of their farm, which would help older farmers generate more income, and receiving half of any proceeds if farmers sell their leasehold interest in the property. The trust, however, is not offering to extend the term of the lease beyond 15 years or sell the land to its tenants.

"Paulsen said Kamehameha Schools is not trying to push farmers off the land before their lease ends. 'We want farmers to be there,' he said. 'We want farming to continue on that land.' Beyond 15 years, Paulsen said it is uncertain what the trust would see fit to do with the property."

Read more at the

Barbara Abe, Realtor

Hanauma Bay in Hawaii Kai to be a Maintenance Priority

Honolulu City and County officials say they have a plan to repair and maintain the facilities at Hanauma Bay, which are in disrepair with some projects delayed for years. The city will take a more proactive approach by creating a weekly maintenance checklist.

Acting Honolulu mayor Kirk Caldwell says the city is well underway with repairs and that starting Tuesday, a new plan is in place. "On a weekly basis, we'll be getting a checklist of all the different areas of this bay that need to be properly maintained, and so when something is not working, we will know about it more quickly, in a more timely manner and it will be addressed and fixed in real time," Caldwell said.

"We believe we need to do a better job, that's what we've done now, we've got a checklist in place, we're going to be doing it on a weekly basis, when we find things that need to be repaired, it will be repaired," Caldwell continued.

Hanauma Bay repairs are funded by $5.9-million each year in non-resident fees, parking and concession dollars.

While maintenance needs are constant, the island treasure attracts almost a million visitors a year. A lot of these folks stop in Hawaii Kai en route, so it is in our community's interest to keep the tourist facilities in good condition too. We are pleased the City will be more active in protecting this beautiful Oahu natural attraction.

Barbara Abe, Realtor


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hawaii Kai and Oahu July Real Estate Statistics

Oahu Single Family

Sales stayed flat for the month and over the last 2 years. Number of sales for July this year was 268, last year 266, 2008 - 268.

Year-to-date, the sales were higher than both of the last 2 years. Number of sales for the year was 1,747, for last year 1,377, and in 2008 - 1,670.

Median Sales Price also stayed almost flat for the last 3 years for July. Median price in July this year was $605,000, in 2009 $595,000, and in 2008 $620,000.

Year-to-date, median sales price is up from 2009, but not yet back to the levels of 2008. For the year, median price is $585,000, for 2009 $575,000, and for 2008 $625,000.

Days on Market show significant improvement, both for the month and year-to-date. For July, average DOM was 39, in 2009 - 45, and 2008 - 53.

Year-to-date, average DOM improved to 32 this year, down from 52 in 2009, and 50 in 2008.

Inventory of homes is also showing a steady and healthy decrease. At the end of July, there were 1,577 homes for sale on the island, in 2009 - 1,929, and in 2008 - 2,406.

These numbers equate to 6.3 months' supply this year, 9.6 months last year, and 9.5 in 2008.

Oahu Condos

Sales dropped from June and 2008. Number of sales for July this year was 320, last year 343, and 2008 - 471.

Year-t0-date, sales showed a healthy jump over last year. Number of sales for the year was 2,338, for last year, 1,718, and 2008 - 2,631. So condo sales are still below 2008 levels.

Median Sales Price for condos is below 2008, but recovering. Median price in July this year was $299,000, in 2009 $307,250, and in 2008 $332,750.

Year-to-date, the median price is slightly below the last 2 years. For the year, median sales price is $304,000, in 2009 $305,000, and in 2008 $330,000.

Days on Market dropped for condos also, both month-month and year-to-date. For July, average DOM was 36, in 2009 - 56, and in 2008 - 29.

Year-to-date, average DOM was 32 this year, down from 55 in 2009, and 39 in 2008.

Inventory of condos is also showing a steady decrease. At the end of July, there were 2,046 units for sale on the island, in 2009 - 2,479, and in 2008 - 3,017.

These numbers equate to 6.0 months' supply this year, 9.3 months last year, and 7.7 in 2008.

Hawaii Kai Real Estate Statistics

Single Family

July 2010 vs July 2009

New Listings - 40 vs 28
Closed Sales - 20 vs 19
Median Sales Price - $810,000 vs $799,000
DOM - 37 vs 31
Inventory of homes - 94 vs 119

Year to Date 2010 vs 2009

New Listings - 217 vs 199
Closed Sales - 103 vs 91
Median Sales Price - $812,500 vs $757,500
DOM - 25 vs 49


July 2010 vs July 2009

New Listings - 18 vs 23
Closed Sales - 25 vs 18
Median Sales Price - $559,000 vs $526,000
DOM - 28 to 81
Inventory of units - 44 vs 68

Year to Date 2010 vs 2009

New Listings 168 vs 166
Closed Sales - 125 vs 93
Median Sales Price - $525,000 vs $475,000
DOM - 18 vs 78

If you would like the full reports, just let me know and I can email them in .pdf format. The numbers through July look very encouraging, both for Oahu and Hawaii Kai homes. Don't wait until prices start rising again significantly to look for your Hawaii Kai property.

Barbara Abe, Realtor

Friday, August 6, 2010

Why You Should Buy Now in Hawaii Kai

Recent government reports indicate the economy is starting to stabilize and the real estate market along with it. In Hawaii, at least in Hawaii Kai, our home prices seem to be inching up, even while rates stay at historic lows. Put together, this means a great time to buy.

As reported by RISMedia, here are some specific reasons why you should consider purchasing a home now in Hawaii Kai.

1. Low mortgage rates can absorb some fluctuations in the recovering housing market. When rates go up, buyers will realize equity with their initial investment.
2. More houses are in move-in condition. We have our share of foreclosures, where sellers have walked away and the bank stepped in with only minimal repairs. But other sellers, even in short sale situations, have kept their houses in good shape in order to compete. And they are motivated to sell.
3. Inventory remains high. In Hawaii Kai, there are waterfront and view homes on the market priced at unbelievable figures. You can make your dream - of a 2nd home or permanent residence in our Hawaii Paradise - come true for a lot less than a couple of years ago.
4. Appraisals are becoming aligned with the Hawaii housing market. Fannie Mae has adjusted its appraisal guidelines, so appraisers have more flexibility to arrive at values which reflect the current Hawaii Kai real estate market. This gives an accepted contract a higher chance of achieving a successful close.
5. There are financing programs available. Contact me for ideas on state and federal assistance for buying your new Hawaii Kai home.

If nothing else, take a look at what you can buy for the price you can afford - then you can decide if now is the right time for you to purchase in Hawaii Kai. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at what is available.

Barbara Abe, Realtor