Honolulu’s Gold Coast is a scant half-mile stretch of oceanfront high-rises at the foot of Diamond Head. You may think that Hawaii has the same unending tonnage of oceanfront high-rises seen around Florida, not true. Within Honolulu, there are just 18 oceanfront residential high-rises. Seventeen are on the Gold Coast, and one in Waikiki. None are newer than 1970, with most dating to the 1950s and 1960s. Typical condos sell between $1,500-to-$2,200-plus per square foot.

Built in 1958, the 12-story Tropic Seas isn’t the toniest building on the street, but that’s where bargains reside. Unit 203 is just such a bargain. The one-bedroom unit has 618 square feet with an additional 121-square-foot lanai. You know there’s a renovation needed when the first listing photo showing the interior is the 13th of 19 photos. But at $499,000, that’s $675 a square foot.

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3165 Diamond Head Road (Unit C highlighted)

Back in 1982, two oceanfront thirds of an acre caught the eye of a developer who created a four-unit community behind private gates. Called Ku’u Makana it’s located in Honolulu at the foot of Diamond Head crater on the island of Oahu.  Each of the four units are identical — 3,536 square feet indoors and another 674 square feet of lanai space.

In the photo above, the demarcation of the units is obvious with the center fireplace chimneys.  No, it doesn’t get cold enough to need a fireplace and you’d likely need the air-conditioning cranked if you used it, but there you go. There are left-right and up-down units.

Currently, the two upper units are for sale – one in need of an overhaul and the other already renovated. Unlike a recent gut job I toured in Dallas, with $1.023 million separating the units, the renovation is more than priced into the deal.

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The world is captivated by the images coming out of the big island of Hawai’i this week as Kilauea erupted into the Leilani Estates subdivision. Thus far there are 10 fissures opened along the Eastern Rift Zone that runs along a historic volcanic path, marked by ancient volcanic ridges to the south.

Heat Map listing the 10 current fissures.

Next week, I’ll be in Hawaii on special assignment (ha!) looking into the perils of natural disasters and how insurance is likely the best defense in areas prone to a host of potential disasters. As you can see from the heat map above, there are a lot of homes near this unfolding eruption. There are already multiple stories out about how many regular insurance policies won’t cover homeowners’ damage.

 

Remember: When I’m not stirring up trouble in Dallas, Texas or Honolulu, Hawaii for Candysdirt.com and SecondShelters.com, I’m off scouting interesting locations for a second home.  In 2016 and 2017, the National Association of Real Estate Editors recognized my writing with two Bronze (2016, 2017) and two Silver (2016, 2017) awards. If you’re a Realtor with second home clients who’d like me to feature their journey, shoot me an email sharewithjon@candysdirt.com. Be sure to look for me on Facebook and Twitter. You won’t find me, but you’re welcome to look.

Hualalai Canoe Club | candysdirt.com

The Hualālai Canoe Club

News from the Hualālai Resort located on the Kona-Kohala Coast of Hawai‘i Island: The posh oceanfront hotel and private home community resort anchored by a five diamond Four Seasons on The Big Island just completed a multimillion dollar renovation of a key amenity, the Hualālai Canoe Club. Co-owned by Michael Dell, Hualālai Resort has attracted a who’s who of homeowners, including such business titans as Citadel founder Ken Griffin, Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle, Charles Schwab, Howard Schultz, and Bob Parsons, and continues to experience strong sales.

Real estate ownership options among more than 300 homes include single-family homes, home sites, and villas, ranging from $2 million to $30 million. Hualālai Club Membership is available exclusively to property owners and offers access to two 18-hole championship golf courses designed by golf legends Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf, each with its own clubhouse; the award-winning Hualālai Sports Club and Hualālai Spa; the Hualālai Canoe Club; the Hualālai Tennis Club; and a residents’ beach house. Membership also provides access to all amenities at Four Seasons Hualālai Resort. In an oceanfront setting of pristine white sand beaches and black lava landscapes, the hotel offers 243 guest rooms and suites housed in intimate two-story bungalows.

Here’s a look at what’s new and a home in this luxe resort community:

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Coastline and mountain views from the pool

On a drive up to Turtle Bay for a disappointing lunch at Roy’s Beach Shack, I drove right past 55-249A Kamehameha Highway in Laie on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.  I drove past, because from the road, the home is nearly invisible, tucked into its own oceanfront pocket tropical forest on about two-thirds of an acre.

The home just popped on the market with Erik Hinshaw of Hawai’i Life Real Estate. Readers will recall it was Hinshaw who showed me around the $71 million in penthouse “porn” you read about earlier in January.  During that visit we got to talking about this property.  But enough dish, here are the specs: it’s a 2004-built home with three bedrooms and three bathrooms totaling 2,464 square feet of living space and is being offered for $2.4 million.

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Honolulu’s Gold Coast at the foot of Diamond Head crater

Last month I wrote an Oahu market update detailing the prior year’s slight price appreciation.  I also pointed out that it takes hard work to lose money in Hawaii if you have time. In other words, don’t buy high and sell low as the Dallas Police and Fire pension funds did.  But all those number-y things get confusing, so here’s a concrete example of how two units in the same building have performed over time (spoiler: GREAT).

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Rippling side of Waiea facing the Pacific Ocean

For the second year in a row, the minute I leave town, Candy decides to throw parties in Dallas’ most expensive and storied digs.  Last month it was Deion Sanders’ Collin County mega-mansion and Walnut Place’s walk down the auction catwalk and into Mehrdad Moayedi’s hands for $36 mil.  Well I’ve had enough. This year, I fought back!  First was Sammy Hagar’s Maui retreat, then Fleetwood Mac alum John McVie’s Diamond Head estate, and now …

Welcome to Waiea where two penthouses kiss the Pacific Ocean for a combined $71 million.  It was here that we met Erik Hinshaw of Hawai’i Life Realtors to view these two staggering properties (the same Hawai’ian Life featured on HGTV).  We?  Yes, coincidentally, Dallas high-rise Queen Sharon Quist with Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate was in town poking around with a client and joined me on the tour.

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There’s an old investment adage: Buy when people are selling and sell when people are buying.

On July 14, 2017, there was a fire at the Marco Polo high-rise in Honolulu that damaged some 200 units and will cost approximately $100 million to repair.  It wasn’t the first. There was also a fire just four years prior in 2013 causing $1.1 million in damage.  There are no sprinklers in the 1971 building.  After the first fire, the HOA got an estimate to retrofit the building with sprinklers. The average cost was $8,000 per unit or roughly $4.5 million.  After this fire, I think it’s highly unlikely a sprinkler retrofit wouldn’t happen. I suspect insurance companies would demand it.

Doesn’t exactly smell like a dream Hawaiian getaway, does it?  What it should smell like is opportunity.

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