Ocean Views from Everywhere. Second floor shows Master Bedroom.

Ocean Views from Everywhere. Second floor shows Master Bedroom.

Talk about location, location, location — 202 Kaikuono Place in Honolulu is two doors away from what’s arguably the most famous piece of residential property in Hawaii, Doris Duke’s Shangri-La estate.  Both are located on the ancient lava flow “toe” that juts out into the Pacific called Black Point.  It’s one thing to say you live in Diamond Head, but to call Black Point home raises your cred exponentially. It’s been estimated that were Duke’s five-acre oceanfront estate ever to make it to market, it would be the most expensive piece of residential real estate in the state. And it’s two doors down.

This side of Black Point is at a right angle to the water, so homes face a ribbon of sand-washed coastline resting below the summit of Diamond Head.  When you live here, the best part of waking up isn’t Folgers in your cup. Of course if you needed a little caffeine, you may be able to wrest a cup away from your other neighbor, Jim Nabors.

Head over to SecondShelters.com for more fab house porn.

Photo: The Boutique RE

Photo: The Boutique RE

We are beyond thrilled to say that one of the top real estate writers in the country, Deidre Woollard, is now blogging for SecondShelters.com. Woollard, who has written for realtor.com and founded Luxist.com, profiled the luxurious Hawaiian getaway, Hale Ali’i:

Winter months have just about everyone dreaming of Hawaii and the luxury of warm weather and soft white sands. But like every other dream destination, there are levels of luxury to explore. The Kapalua resort area on Maui has quickly become a favorite for both vacations and long stays.

Part of the allure is location, it is surrounded by mountains and framed by two nature preserves that give its idyllic beaches a feeling of protection. There’s also a sense of ideal living here with a spa, great restaurants and shops, a farm that sells organic produce to the community. This isn’t just a resort where you drop the conventions of the world but is instead a place where you experience a deeper connection with nature and yourself.

Read more about this amazing location on SecondShelters.com!

 

USS ArizonaLast October, we had the privilege of visiting Pearl Harbor while in Hawaii. It was a life-changing experience for me, a visit I think every American should make. My parents told me repeatedly how the attack on December 7, 1941 changed their lives forever. Fortunately, my father and father-in-law made it back from the war in good health. But many others did not, do not. Still, when they were needed, they enlisted with gusto. Our veterans are the bravest people we know, and today, after experiencing Pearl Harbor on a sunny, beautiful morning not unlike the one the day the brutal attack occurred,  I salute our veterans even more.Arizona Hull Pearl Harbor Memorial

Casa-Bella-Ray-Nagins-TH-533x400That’s the Casa Bella condo of former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin in Frisco — north of Lebanon Parkway, built by D.R. Horton, which he once referred to as a “modest second hurricane home”. He and his wife bought the home May 31, 2007 when it was valued at $181,968, saying they had family in the area. Problem was, in 2009, Nagin didn’t pay his homeowners dues/HOA fees of $1507.14. In March, 2009, the Casa Bella Owners Association filed suit again Nagin for past due moola. He said he would make it right, and he did. Looks like the house is now worth about $168,000, at least according to the Collin County Appraisal District, and he has paid up those HOAs.

But… now Nagin faces problems far worse than unpaid HOA dues: Nagin has been indicted by a grand jury on 21 federal corruption charges claiming he awarded lucrative city contracts to contractors in exchange for more than $200,000 in kickbacks and first-class trips to Hawaii, Jamaica and Las Vegas.

(Wonder where he went in Hawaii? I hope Kukio.)

The 56 year old served two four-year terms as mayor, from 2002 to 2010. If convicted,  he faces more than 15 years in prison. Nagin now has the dubious honor of being the first mayor in the city’s 295-year history to be indicted under federal corruption charges.

Here is what he is accused of doing — accused, y’all remember, jury’s still out:

– Taking $70,000 in bribes from a consultant who was awarded a couple dozen public works contracts with the city. Now that was totally worth it NOT…

– Got an all expense paid trip to Hawaii for himself and his family then went to Jamaica first-class courtesy of a contractor. Again, where did he go before I can surmise if this was worth it?

– Got a free private jet trip to both Chicago and Las Vegas from another contractor — a private jet is hard to turn down. Yeah, I might could be bribed for use of a private jet but I’d take the private jet to Hawaii.

– Oh Lord — this is bad — used city deals and his influence to enrich his New Orleans-based family granite supply company — what, did they put granite counters in every public bathroom?

Nagin was The Cable Guy. He came to office in 2002 promising sweeping changes and corruption fighting. Then Hurricane Katrina popped, or rather blew him into the national spotlight in 2005, when he criticized federal agencies and then President Bush for not doing enough to help New Orleans, which was pretty much devastated. But then the criticism turned back onto him, especially when it was revealed he came here to Dallas to wait out the storm. Still, headscratcher here, strong support from black voters helped Nagin win re-election in 2006.

 

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We just returned from a glorious ten days in Hawaii, island hopping from The Big Island to Honolulu and, finally, Maui. We survived a tsunami, my first! I’m still on Hawaiian time and mixing Mai Tais. As you know, Hawaii is second home nirvana for the wealthiest of the wealthy. Last week, I got to experience two fabulous second home communities, one Kukio, near Kona, the other on Kaanapali Beach, on Maui. Trust me, you can not go wrong with either.

This is Kukio. How to describe it? I never wanted to leave. No wonder so many turtles poke on over to rest on the Kukio beach: this is by far one of the most luxurious second home communities I have ever experienced.

A private oceanfront club and residential golf community, Kukio is the epitome of relaxed  luxury living amid a landscape of the most beautiful nature you can find: wide blue horizons, white sand beaches, and a gracious, warm and welcoming climate. Drive your golf cart on over to the Beach Club and leave the keys in it. Your warm towel is waiting for you after you emerge from the ocean, your snorkel gear is de-fogged and ready.

The only private equity Golf and Beach Club on Hawaii’s Big Island, The Kukio Club includes a full service Member’s Clubhouse, luxurious and I do mean luxurious open-air spa and fitness facilities, dining pavilion, beach bar, a ten-hole Tom Fazio-designed short course my husband says is among the world’s tip top, and Kukio’s signature Outdoor Pursuits program for paddleboarding, surfing, kayaking, whatever.  Newsflash: I learned to paddleboard, LOVE IT! The Beach Club has at least 50 paddleboards and I learned these things run about $2000 each! Then upslope from the short course is Kukio’s pride and joy, an eighteen-hole Tom Fazio-designed championship golf course, featuring dramatic panoramic views of the coastlines. Hubby loved this one, too. Amenities at Kukio blend aesthetically with the island’s natural physical features, resulting in a beautiful, well manicured environment. There is lava rock everywhere. Nearby bays – Uluweuweu and Kua – enhance and give you more beach options. Two pristine white sand beaches are to be found at adjacent Kikaua Point Beach Park, an ideal location for swimming, body surfing — I caught two big rides —  and a variety of ocean sports activities. This is a public beach but you will never find more than 30 people on it.

And the water is so warm you just walk right in!

Who lives here? Michael Dell, Lance Armstrong, tons of celebs lease homes here, an amazing Who’s Who that’s hard to nail because everyone who works there won’t jeopardize a job in paradise by spilling the beans. Can’t blame them. When you can afford a second home in Kukio, you have arrived.

This little number, affectionately called Lot 85, is on the market for $11,900,00, a major reduction from the original asking price of $12,900,000. That’s the good news about Hawaii right now — it’s a friggin’ bargain. The Japanese, Canadians and Chinese are buying real estate there like hotcakes. Lots in this area start at about $2 million just for the dirt/rock, but I found this little bargain surprise for $995K: the sellers apparently want to offer up a $275,000 golf club membership with the purchase, that’s how motivated they are. That’s what I heard, you’d have to check to be sure.

Get ready for lots of company: the home has five bedrooms,  five full and two half baths, all with outside rainfall showers, a Pool Papai with Thatched Roofing (basically, what we would call an outdoor kitchen in Texas but with a thatched roof cover), hand hewn teak flooring, stone, marble, louvered Koa Cabinetry, and great outdoor living spaces. Yes, that is a swim-up bar. Everyone needs one in their backyard! Most of the interior doors are pocket, Hawaiian-style, for serenity and clean lines. You get 6,187 square feet, but it’s really an 8,200 square foot plus home because everyone lives outside here. Note the master with that dramatic corner ocean view and the open master spa bath. In Hawaii, you’ll use your indoor kitchen for breakfast and big meals. Almost everyone cooks and entertains outside on the lanai. It’s really a three car garage, one split so you can keep golf carts and paddleboards in the smaller one.

This home was built in 2006 and sits on one acre, loaded with lush landscaping close to the home. Many of the lots in Kukio have lava rock yards, which really grew on me. First of all, they are are aesthetically fascinating and lava is good luck in Hawaii — just do not take it off the island! It is also very close to the Kukio Beach Club and Spa. FYI, when they evacuated the Four Seasons for the tsunami, everyone was put up at the Kukio Golf Club. You are a bit higher here, but just a short golf cart ride to fun.

This home also has a guest cottage, or two, which is vital to keep your future guest, that would be me, in privacy. After all, a girl has to have perfect peace and quiet to blog. But just think of what we have to call our blog when we launch in Kona? CandysRock.com!

 

 

 

Tourism is up in Hawaii, almost cranked up to 2006 levels, which means the real estate buyers are not too far behind. In fact, they are starting to crawl all over this delicious property in Maui.

Maui — just hearing that word kind of soothes us on a Monday morning.

Now comes a beautiful resort and spa on Maui that offers the first whole home ownership in paradise in 25 years, Honua Kai. The stunning condominium residences are smack on that famed Ka’anapali Beach are full ownership, on forty of the most beautiful beach-front acres ever seen. Guess where the price tag starts? $494,500 I kid you not. All the details are over on SecondShelters… because I get to go kick the tires!