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July 29, 2015
of Our Favorite Homes on the Market Right Now
everyone, it is time for our pick of the week. This home
in Kailua Kona really stands out to us. This week’s
pick is MLS
number 282312 listed for $725,000. This property is located
in Kuakini Heights Subdivision in Kona. It has such wonderful
island style design, which appeals to a lot of our buyers.
It is at a great location and perfect elevation as it sits
on the hill above the Keauhou Resort. This home is close
to some really great shopping and restaurants and also very
close to Kahaluu Beach Park, home to some of the best snorkeling
in West Hawaii and a great place to work on your surfing
Shannon and I have shown this home and love the old style
Hawaii design and feel of it. The home is 2,064 sq. ft.,
has 4 Bedrooms and 3 baths, and sports a nice ocean view,
with plenty of downstairs storage The property has a very
comfortable, island sophisticated feel and is close to everything
in Kona. If you would like more information on this home,
or any other properties on the Big Island of Hawaii, please
call or email us anytime, 808-929-7063, or firstname.lastname@example.org
. You can always search for this property and many others
in Hawaii, in real time, in our MLS at our website by clicking
July 14, 2015
Kona Condo Market
by Eddie Underwood, Realtor Broker-in-Charge
Here we are at the mid-point of the summer here in Kona
and we just wanted to give a quick update on what’s
been going on with our condo market. As of this post there
are 179 active condos here in the district of North Kona.
This includes everything, fee simple, leasehold, studio
condos, 1 bedroom 1 bath and up, all the way from the high
end units up at Kukio and Hualalai, to just a little leasehold
property to hang a hat at over at the charming Kona Islander
Inn. This is a stark contrast to where our condo market
was in North Kona back in 2009 to 2010 when we were looking
at over 350 condos on the market in Kona at any given time.
The good news is that there are still some nice 2 bed 2
bath units that are available. As of this email there are
74 active condos on the market in Kona that are 2 bedroom
2 bath. Some of our favorite complexes along Alii drive
still have some decent units that do not have high home
owner’s association dues. Our personal favorite complexes
are Alii Lani, Kona Sea Ridge, and Alii Cove as their dues
remain low compared with many other condo complexes in Kona.
If you are someone with pets, we also really like Alii Park
Place as a nice complex in the heart of Kailua that will
allow you to have a dog or cat. Seascape, out near the airport
also allows a pet.
With low inventory we still see sales moving along pretty
well. In the last 6 months there have been 158 2 bed 2 bath
condos that have sold in Kailua Kona ranging from $95,000
- $799,000. With our median price of condos sold being $282,450.
There are still good interest rates available and Hawaii’s
Big Island and its real estate still seems to be an attractive
opportunity than that of the other islands. We have had
clients tell us that they like that the prices for property
on Hawaii’s Big Island as they are so much more affordable
that than the other islands. Same great weather, same awesome
aloha but for a lot less out of pocket. If you have more
questions or want to discuss you options of a home or condo
in Kona, please feel free to contact us at any time. We
can be reached at 808-345-9898 or 808-929-7063. Until then
Aloha and A Hui Hou!
July 8, 2015
Good Time to Become A First Time Home Owner
- by Eddie Underwood, Realtor Broker
the last few years the Kona and West Hawaii housing rental
market has become increasingly expensive, and it has become
very hard for folks to find a place to rent. It certainly
is a landlords market now. With the ever increasing rents,
the cost of renting may be the same, or close to, the same
amount you would be paying for a home mortgage here in Hawaii.
Many renters assume that they would not qualify for a mortgage.
There have been some changes over the last year that could
benefit renters and help them become first time home owners.
Did you know that that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac now allow
a down payment as low as 3%? They have also lowered their
minimum credit score requirements to 620.
Did you also know that on FHA loans, the mortgage insurance
premiums have been reduced to 0.85% of the loan amount?
That is down from 1.35%. In addition to this, FHA credit
standards have been lowered and some banks are accepting
minimum credit scores of 600.
If you are a member of the military, a veteran, or the spouse
of a veteran or military member, you can apply for loans
with a zero down payment and no mortgage insurance premiums.
There are also many state and local programs designed to
help first time home buyers. The federal government’s
definition of a first time home buyer is someone who has
not owned a home in the last 3 years.
Buying a home in Kona and Hawaii’s Big Island might
be easier that you think. If you are interested in learning
more about the home buying process here in Hawaii and how
it relates to a first time buyer, please feel free to call
or email us anytime 808-345-9797 or email@example.com
We are free to talk to and are happy to offer our assistance
and share our experience with you.
March 4, 2015
Winter Day in Hawaii"
morning we woke up to rain in Kailua Kona! This might seem
like an odd thing to be excited about in Hawaii, but it's
been awhile since we've seen any rain on our "dry side"
of the island. It was so lovely to lie in bed and listen
to the rain falling against the roof and through the trees.
Sadly for us, my husband, Eddie, and I had to leave our
cozy home to drive down to the southern tip of the island
to show a listing of ours to a client in Hawaiian Ocean
View Estates. We drove through heavy clouds/fog and rain
all the way down and this was a pleasant change from our
normal sunny and 80 to 85 degree weather. I actually had
to turn on the heat and the heated seat in the car!
our way back from the showing, we stopped for lunch at The
Mehina Cafe in the Captain Cook area and had a hearty and
delicious Portegeese Bean Soup, which was just perfect for
a wintry day.
have to admit that, although I have enjoyed this cloudy,
rainy, wintry day, I would not want to return to living
somewhere where I had a steady diet of it. Even after one
day in the clouds and darkness, I start to get this heavy,
almost ominous feeling. The desire to hibernate hits and
I am once again reminded why I've chosen to live in a place
that normally has winters that feel like other places spring.
Winters on the mainland used to really bring me down and
here in Hawaii, it is my absolute favorite season of the
July 8, 2014
Taste of Our Own Medicine"
early in April, when my husband and I made an offer on a
foreclosure home, which was contingent on the sale of our
current residence (or what WAS our current residence--we
no longer own it), we have become both Buyers AND Sellers
and have been experiencing a HUGE taste of what our clients
go through. This has been good experience, but, I can tell
you, it has NOT been easy.
are the things that have made this process difficult for
The emotional backlash of letting go of a house that we
have enjoyed living in, even though the one that we are
buying is only about 5 minutes away and I'm sure will be
a wonderful place to live as well. This wasn't something
that I expected to feel and it's weird how attached to a
home you become.
Feeling both Buyer"s and Seller's remorse. It is true
that a Buyer almost always feels like they have paid too
much for a property and a Seller feels like they have sold
for too little. We are feeling this on both sides of our
Getting a loan right now is HARD! My husband and I have
very high credit scores, good income to debt ratios and
have owned a home for over 19 years and were told early
on in the loan process that we shouldn't have any problems
getting our mortgage. The fact that we are purchasing a
foreclosure home, which had suffered a whole lot of neglect,
has made this slippery process a whole lot worse. Not only
did WE have to qualify for the mortgage, but the house
has to qualify as well. In our case, our lender
has required that quite a lot of work be done to the house
prior to them finalizing our loan. Guess who had to pay
for and get that work done? We did! We have now completed
every condition that our lender required from us (including
selling our current home for down pament), and we still
don't have a finalized loan in place. Our loan package is
being reviewed by the underwriters as I type this. Hopefully,
the next time I write, I will have good news to share.
what am I learning that will be of value for my own buyer
and seller clients? Well, I know what my clients are going
through from recent, first hand experience with the process
myself. I always encourge my buyer clients to "get
their ducks in a row" as far as getting pre-approved
for a loan BEFORE you even decide to look at properties.
This is even MORE important now than ever before.
my Seller clients, I will say that I've learned how brutal
potential buyers can be. Declutter, declutter, declutter
and keep your house extra clean while you are showing it.
(It's really a pain in the rear end.) If possible, leave
your house while it is being shown. You don't want to hear
what comments Buyers will make. They are looking at your
house completely differently than you see it. AND finally.......be
patient with yourself and the process. Try to accept that
this is going to be a bit of a roller coaster ride, no matter
how good your Real Estate Agent is. Buckle up baby.......it's
gonna get a little bumpy along this road! If I or my husband
Eddie are your representatives, at least you'll know that
we truly DO know what you're going through and will do our
very best to make the process as easy as we possibly can.
August 7, 2013
a PEOPLE Business"
a year and a half ago, in February of 2012, I went from
being a Realtor Salesperson, working for another real estate
brokerage, to becoming a Realtor Broker and starting my
OWN real estate brokerage,
Hawaii Coast Realty, LLC, with my wonderful husband
Eddie. Eddie and I both got our Brokers licenses, which
entailed getting additional training and taking and passing
ANOTHER state exam.
a new business has been challenging as I had to do a lot
of research and comply with various rules and regulations
on State, County and local levels, in addition to setting
up the finances, policies, procedures and training tools
of the company and a multitude of other details, BUT it
has also been extremely rewarding in so many ways.
Financially it has been wonderful and now, as our little
Ohana of agents begins to grow, that is another area that
brings it's own challenges and rewards. It's nice to be
able to share our experience with our new agents and I hope
that their own businesses will begin to take off so that
they can share in the joys and rewards of helping others
acheive their Hawaii real estate dreams. Selling real estate
really is a PEOPLE business. We become quite close with
many of our clients during the process of either buying
their home here, which usually represents a new, exciting
beginning for them, or selling their home and moving on
with a new chapter of their lives. Either way, we "root"
for our clients as we represent them and do our utmost to
protect their best interests in the transaction, and sometimes
we cry for our clients as they face the personal challenges
in their own lives, One thing for sure is that, if we allow
ourselves to, we LEARN from our clients because each person
has a unique story and a unique perspective that can open
us up to new thoughts and ideas and enrich our own lives
dramatically. Ultimately, though, isn't this true in all
of our interations with other people? It is amazing what
we can learn from each other if we just take the time to
really LISTEN to each other.
hope that you are blessed by the people that you interact
with today, and hopefully, they are blessed by us as well.
best to you with much ALOHA,
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February 2, 2013
Alone Time at Last"
is no doubt in my mind that by nature, in my heart of hearts,
I am basically a "loner." I know this because
I literally CRAVE time by myself and when I go too long
without it, I become anxious and even a little testy and
cranky. When I finally get some "alone time",
I'm excited about all of the possibilities of what I can
do with it. This has been my nature since birth as I can
remember being a young child completely content to sit at
my little table in my bedroom drawing, coloring, listening
to or playing music or writing. Hhhhhmmmmmm.........flash
from my 1970 childhood bedroom in Buena Park, California
to my office here in Hawaii in 2013, and I am still just
as content doing the very same things all by my lonesome.
get me wrong, I LOVE people too and I need other people,
of course. Although I do love my time alone, it wouldn't
be nearly as sweet if I had an over abundance of it. I guess
it's the balance of time with other people, my husband,
family, friends and clients that makes the rare "alone
time" even more precious.
and speaking of time.........what the heck happened to 2012??
I feels like I blinked and it was Christmas time and I blinked
again and it is already February 2nd, 2013! Jeeeezzzzz!
Just one more reminder of how quickly the time zooms by.
My few hours of "alone time" today are ticking
away, so I'm going to sign off here and go enjoy myself.
Gardening, reading, crafting, swimming......oh the possibilities.
Writing/blogging........check that one off the list!
wishes to you and yours for a happy, healthy and prosperous
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October 16, 2012
I am the Worst Blogger!"
my lack of blog posts this year is a testiment to how crazy
and busy life has been for us in 2012. I have kept meaning
to update this page, but sadly, there are too many other
priorities that have to come first. Oh well......we do what
I think that people get the idea that when you live in paradise,
all you do is go to the beach, go surfing, drink mai tais
and watch the sunsets over the ocean. Well, we DO
do those things, when we have the time to do them, but MOST
of us, who are not retired, are just as busy as our mainland
counterparts trying to make a living, keep up on our household
chores and family obligations. Living in paradise is no
different than living anywhere else EXCEPT for the fact
that you get to live your life in fantastic
weather and surrounded by the beauty of Hawaii all year
long. Hey, and those benefits are nothing to sneeze about
in my book!
year our family has been facing and dealing with some of
lifes heaviest issues. Sadly we lost my husband's step father,
Adrian, who passed away recently from a heart attack, His
wife, my lovely mother-in-law, Barbara, suffered a heart
attack,as well, incredibly, on the same day as her husbands.
In addition, my husbands father has been battling esophogial
cancer all summer long. Both Barbara, my husbands mother,
and Reg, his father, are recovering well from their health
scares, at the moment, but we are definitely more aware
than we were of our and our loved ones impending mortality
and I think that we treasure our families and each other
more than ever because of it.
is fragile and oh so uncertain and we are not guaranteed
even another moment here on this planet. This just reminds
me to try to enjoy my life as much as I can each and every
day. For me, living my life in Hawaii helps me to do that
and I STILL, after living here for over eight years, feel
"Lucky to live Hawaii."
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March 23, 2012
Busy, But it's All Good"
has 2012 started off to be a busy year for me so far!!!
I have taken my Hawaii Broker's Exam, and passed, received
my Broker's license, researched and opened my own real estate
brokerage firm which is called Hawaii Coast Realty, LLC,
designed my logo, forms and procedures for the business,
and am in the process of training a brand new real estate
salesperson to boot. I've done this and have continued to
also SELL and LIST properties in the meantime. I've been
a very busy girl! No wonder this year is already feeling
like it's going by way too fast! When you are in business
for yourself your work is just simply never done. But it's
the home front we have also already had a pretty busy beginning
to the year. We had been wanting to replace our horrible
white carpeting in our living room and hall ways with tile,
and the contractors that we really like and trust had an
opening in February to do it, so jumped on it. It took about
two and a half weeks for them to complete the job, but it
sure is beautiful. The day after the job was completed,
we had friends arrive from California for their very first
visit to Hawaii EVER. It was really fun to take a few days
off and show them around the island. We all had a very nice
ready for a little peace and quiet now, please. Usually
I get a couple of hours on Sundays to relax by the pool
and that's my peace and quiet time. Tomorrow is Sunday..........hooray!!!!
has so far been very crazy, but very good too!!! Hope it
is for you too!
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December 12, 2011
Kalikimaka or Christmas in Hawaii"
am officially a really bad blogger! It is the 12th month
of the year and I was just looking to see how many blog
posts I have done for the year and this is only my fourth.
Four!! Four blog posts all year!! That is really being a
well..... enough berating myself....in my own defense, blogging
is not my life and it is NOT how I make a living. Selling
real estate is how I make a living and unfortunately, I
am not wealthy enough to not have to work, so if I'm too
busy trying to make a living to write blog posts, then that
is just how it will have to be. If there is someone out
there that adores my writing style enough to pay me to be
a more prolific blogger, I'd love to hear from you. ; )
Until that day comes, I will blog when I can fit it into
2011 comes to a frightening fast close, I can't help but
reflect on how grateful I feel for everything and everyone
in my life. As I write this my house is decorated beautifully
for Christmas complete with a
lighted Christmas tree and our favorite decorations that
we've collected over the years. Two of my very favorites
are these cheap little hand crafted ornaments, one, a Santa
made from a pine cone and the other a little red velvet
angel elf, that were from my childhood in the 1960's and
70's. I think the little elf angle was made to be put on
top of packages, but I've stuck a hanger through her pointed
hat and hung her on my tree. There are also two old glass
ornaments with my and my brother Mark's names written on
them in glitter. I love those old ornaments!
night we attended our company Christmas party which was
held at our owners (Putty Clark's) ocean front vacation
rental home, which was a really lovely setting. We munched
on pupu's from Big Island Grill, drank a little wine, shared
our favorite homemade desserts and several of us brought
our instruments with us and played Christmas carrols while
the rest of the party goers sang along. I played my violin
with our little "band" and my husband Eddie played
his guitar. We had two other guitar players, a pianist and
an ukelele. With absolutely no rehearsal together, I thought
we did fairly well. Well..... at least we had fun doing
it. That's what's most important isn't it?
I finished my Christmas shopping online and feel really
good about getting that done and over with. Christmas always
kind of stresses me out and when I lived on the mainland
it was probably ten times worse than here. That probably
had to do with the fact that when I worked for the State
of CA I spent over 40 hours a week stuck in a cubicle behind
a computer, so there just wasn't the flexibility with my
schedule that I have working for myself as a Realtor. It
also may have to do with the fact that Hawaii is just so
much more laid back and I'm also not having to deal with
freezing cold weather and driving in all the traffic and
interacting with the crazy shoppers, etc. etc. We've got
less than 200,000 people total who live on the Big Island,
so that alone cuts down on the stress! I certainly enjoy
Christmas in Hawaii much more than I did in California.
hope that you and all of yours have a wonderful Christmas
and a very happy 2012! Maybe we'll see you out here on the
Big Island next year!! Mele Kalikimaka!!
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August 11, 2011
in My Own Backyard"
home office is located in my family room and while I'm typing
away on my laptop or speaking with clients on the phone,
I am treated to a lovely view of the paradise that is my
own backyard. Our yard is fenced with a tall border of areca
palms and there are six very large coconut palms scattered
about as well
as a large planter of ti plants and other planters with
flowers such as hibiscus in a variety of tropical colors
like red, pink, yellow and orange. In Hawaii, the flowers
bloom year round, of course, and I never tire of their beauty.
pool that we built a little over a year ago, has a lava
rock waterfall that attracts birds like crazy. When I have
a few moments to just sit and enjoy the show, I am delighted
by the birds bathing and ruffling their feathers about,
drinking from the pool at the top of the waterfall and generally
just having a wonderful time. We get such a variety from
itty bitty finches no bigger than an inch or two, to large
doves or common mynas, who are the bullies of the backyard.
this summer, I had the privlege of being able to save the
life of a baby cardinal who had fallen out of the nest which
was in our areca palms. I had noticed the adult cardinals,
Mom and Pop, frantically flying from above, where the nest
was in the trees, to the ground where their baby had fallen.
Thankfully, the baby appeared to be intact and I quickly
got on-line and found plenty of information about what I
should do to help the baby. In the nest there were three
other baby birds and there really wasn't any room to place
this one back in, so Eddie and I built a new nest from a
paper bowl lined with paper towels and attached it right
above the original nest. I gently scopped up the fallen
baby and placed it in the new nest. The parents discovered
the new nest and their baby very quickly and Eddie and I
felt like heros. Within a week the babies were beginning
to fly with their parents close by, assisting all the way.
Now the family is long gone, but when I see a cardinal in
the backyard, I can't help but wonder if it belongs to our
little cardinal family.
you are your own boss and run your own business, as my husband
Eddie and I do, you don't ever REALLY ever get a full day
completely off from work. In real estate you need to be
available for your clients when your clients need you to
be available, and Eddie and
I try very hard to accommodate our clients schedules. We
do TRY to make Sunday our one day off together and I feel
cheated if I don't get to spend at least an hour or two
on that day off swimming, lounging and reading by the pool,
enjoying the beautiful paradise that the birds enjoy all
day and every day in my own backyard.
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May 5, 2011
With the Geckos"
a spare moment to write! I'm actually forcing myself to
take a moment because I just got caught up with my phone
calls and now I need to get back to my studying for my Brokers
license. Yes, I've decided that I want to get my Brokers
license now after almost seven years as just a Real Estate
Salesperson. Hooray for me!! Lot's of studying and then
another State exam to take, but I'm confident that I can
life with the geckos! I will never forget the first time
that I encountered a gecko. It was on our very first trip
to Hawaii, which was to the island of Maui, and there was
this small, brown gecko in the kitchen that really freaked
me out. It freaked me out so much that my dear husband,
Eddie, called the front desk about it. The front desk folks
chuckled a little and told us that geckos are considered
lucky in Hawaii and that it would just go away and not to
worry about it. Looking back on that phone call now, I just
have to laugh.
with geckos is part of living in Hawaii. They are everywhere
here in many different colors and sizes. (All small) I even
have a gecko that I consider a pet who I have named "Gary".
Gary hangs out with me all day long while I am working at
my desk. He sometimes sits on the window sill next to my
desk begging for a taste of fruit, jam or whatever I happen
to be able to provide. Just a moment ago Gary was drinking
water from the condensation on the outside of my ever present
glass of ice water!
have taken so many darn pictures of Gary the Gecko that
it is laughable. I was tempted to grab my camera to try
to capture him drinking the water just a minute ago, but
restrained myself. After all, how many gecko pictures do
I need? Gecko photography here on the Big Island has actually
become big business for some photographers and I've met
two of them who take incredible photos. One of the women
even sets up little "scenes" like geckos doing
laundry or cooking, on motorcycles, in snorkel gear and
other gecko fantasies. They are actually quite adorable!!
This photographer lives in Kona Paradise and I love her
work! I can't remember her name though!! Uuugghhh!
gecko photos don't compare to hers, but I'll share one here
with you. As you can see, Gary is pretty cute! I must say
that I've come a long way with my gecko phobia since we've
moved to Hawaii these past seven years. Sometimes I will
even attempt to pet Gary, but so far when I extend my hand
slowly out to him, he scurries away and hides. I don't know
what I would do if he actually let me pet him or if he climbed
aboard my hand. I'd probably panic, freak out and accidently
through him across the room! Maybe Gary can sense that about
me and that's why he keeps his distance. For now, we're
content to share office space with each other.
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February 5, 2011
I've only got a few moments to sit down and write today
before I get going and get busy, but I just can't help but
reflect on how lucky I am to live in Hawaii. Especially
when I think about how lovely this day is, with high temps
in the mid 80's, sunshine and soft ocean breezes, while
so much of the rest of the country is digging out of snow.
For me, winter in Hawaii is absoultely the best time of
the year and when I lived in northern California, it was
absolutely the worst time of the year. It's amazing what
a change in the weather can do for your mood! Did I mention
that I am grateful, grateful, grateful to live here? Well,
I am!!! Gotta run!
a wonderful day!!
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