Oahu Realty Blog

Tropical Storm Olivia will reach Hawaii tomorrow and Oahu residents' worries are renewed.  Hurricane Lane passed us in late August and it was a real scare.  We were spared from devastation because Lane, a Category 3 hurricane at the point it traveled south of the Aloha State, went on a westerly path and didn't turn north towards us.  Hurricane Lane went close enough to Hawaii Island (AKA the Big Island) to cause significant flooding from days of heavy rain.  Maui was also impacted, particularly on the east side of the island causing damage to the Hana Highway.

hurricane lane track

What's the key to avoiding damage in terms of flood zones?  Flood zone "X" is generally the safest.  Other factors are proximity to the ocean, consideration of foliage, large trees and

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Kaimuki Toyota

Take a look at the corner of 6th Avenue and Waialae Avenue on the mauka side and Kaimuki Toyota is gone!  It was closed in early 2018 and has been replaced with Kaimuki Subaru, which relocated there from further up Waialae Avenue.  Both dealerships are owned by Servco.

servco toyota 2011

I marked the top photo "Kaimuki Toyota" and the photo below "Servco Toyota" and there was no change in the name or ownership - I just didn't bother to redo the title on either photo.  The proper name of the dealership was "Servco Toyota Kaimuki" and in the later years called "Servco Toyota Kaimuki Service" after they quit selling cars and focused solely on servicing them.

servco toyota in kaimuki 

Also note the signage above included Scion, an alternative Toyota nameplate which was

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Who likes high maintenance fees?  Nobody, of course. Healani Gardens' board of directors and owners managed to keep their maintenance fees steady with no increase in 2018.

Here are the monthly fees:

  • One bedroom, one bath units with 533 square feet interior - $313.04.
  • Two bedroom, two bath units with 815 square feet interior - $462.18.
  • Two bedroom, two bath units with 975 square feet interior - $552.26.

I recently read Healani Gardens' Executive Summary and the results are positive. Maintenance fees collected exceed expenses and the reserve fund appears to be getting enough money to pay for future expenditures.  That part is very important, when condos and townhomes don't save enough money to their reserves, maintenance fees sometimes

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Oahu's property tax payment deadlines are February 20th and August 20th of each year.  If you recently purchased a property, the Honolulu Property Tax office might not have processed your owner information yet and a tax bill might not be sent.  Still, a property owner is responsible for paying his/her property taxes on time.

Here’s how to get the property tax information and pay the taxes:

  1. Go to the Honolulu Property Tax website.
  2. Click “property search.”
  3. Search by site address or by parcel number (tmk).  Site address works well for single family homes.  Searching by parcel number is usually better with condos and townhomes.
  4. Searching by address - input the address using the street number and street name.
  5. Searching by TMK - all Oahu
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wai kai lagoon hoakalei

Hoakalei's Wai Kai Lagoon has undergone several significant changes over the years and the latest change occurred in May, 2018. The State of Hawaii Department of Health informed Haseko Hawaii, developer of Hoakalei that it's operating an illegal public swimming pool by allowing swimming in the lagoon. Fines of $1,000 per day may be imposed for continued violation. Haseko informed the residents of Hoakalei last week that swimming is not allowed and signs were posted along the shoreline.

The man-made body of water covers 52 acres and is fed by underground streams. The water is brackish, that is freshwater though not at drinking water quality. The State takes issue because a man-made structure containing an artificial body of water used for swimming

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Hawaii Fractionals - little to choose from

Now and then people contact me searching for fractional properties on Oahu.  I'll run a search, usually finding no listings on Oahu and then check the neighbor islands.  Maui, Kauai and the Big Island also have few, if any. 

A recent check showed Maui having fractionals available for 2-week periods per year.  Fractionals can be for any time period that's legal per state and local laws.  Customarily the fractional period is two months.  Maui fractionals, at two weeks, appear similar to timeshares (usually having a one week interval per year).

Here's What Makes it Harder to find Oahu Fractionals

The Oahu MLS has an option to designate a property fractional.  We prepared ourselves for the new wave of

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Phishing scammers are crafty and they don't give up!  This one had me going and I was more gullible than I'd like to admit. Here's a recent close call.

An e-mail from "Tsuyako" appeared in my inbox and it appeared to be an offer on a listing. Japanese people are generally considered honest and not the type of persons to try and hack a computer. At least that's the impression we have in Hawaii.  I thought this was an innocent looking e-mail.

tricky phishing spam message

I thought about it then clicked the link.  The link took me to this message. And note the "100% Secure" logo at the top - does it look legit?

google drive fake message

This message looks fishy - I mean phishy.  The document title P.D.pdf doesn't seem sensible.  I looked up the realtor's phone number and called her office.  The

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We were lucky to get a table at JJ Bistro on January 28th, it was the restaurant's last night in business.  Yes, JJ Bistro closed up after 18 years at 3447 Waialae Avenue near the intersection with 9th Avenue in Kaimuki.

JJ Bistro (many call it "JJ's") is named after its owner, Praseuth “JJ” Luangkhot, of Laotian descent with French culinary training.  Initially a bakery, JJ Bistro grew and became a full restaurant with seating for up to 100 persons.

JJ said he's looking to relocate to a smaller location with better parking - Waialae Avenue parking can be hard to find.  That night we parked on 9th Avenue, mauka of Waialae Avenue in lower Palolo Valley. It sounds like a long walk, Palolo Valley to Kaimuki but it was about a block - not that far.

JJ Bistro last night

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It's a new year and we have new maintenance fees.  For 2018 Makaha Valley Towers maintenance fees increased by 2% from 2017.

Makaha Valley Towers have three types of units.  Here are the maintenance fees for each.

Studios - $618

One bedrooms - $781

Two bedrooms - $924

The cost of central air, electricity, water, sewer and basic cable are included in the monthly cost.  Premium cable TV (through Spectrum, formerly Oceanic Cable), internet and land line telephone service are additional.

The majority of the condos at Makaha Valley Towers are one bedroom units (349 of them).  There are 169 studios and 68 two bedrooms units.  For year around residents the maintenance fees are a great deal.  Owners who frequently leave their units vacant are

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Pualei Circle is one of the more affordable places to live at Diamond Head, an upscale and expensive neighborhood. Here's a comparative market analysis of Active listings, in escrow and recently sold (November to late-December, 2017).

Leahi Avenue is the main access way to Pualei Circle and Diamond Head Surf is located there.  Off Monsarrat Avenue, Kanaina Avenue is an alternate route to Diamond Head Sands as well as Ilima Apartments, Diamond Head Manor Apartments and Diamond Head Lanai. I mention this because while some of the buildings don't have Pualei Circle addresses, locals generally consider them part of the neighborhood.  And some buildings with Pualei Circle addresses are accessible via Kanaina Avenue.

 pualei circle comparative market analysis 2017

Here's the market wrap-up for the

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