Honolulu

When I saw the Mandarin Oriental construction fencing go up across from the Honolulu convention center, my curiosity was piqued. First, the Mana’olana Place development isn’t a stellar location. To contradict the marketing materials, it is not “steps from the beach” and certainly not while schlepping chairs, towels and sunscreen. It’s also flanked by a bevy of stripper bars and sits across from the aforementioned convention center that’s far from the beehive of activity promised by city leaders more than 20 years ago.

Being a Mandarin Oriental, you’d expect a better, more chic location. Granted, as Kaka’ako (with its large Howard Hughes development in progress), Waikiki and downtown Honolulu inevitably merge together, the Ala Moana area will be just another part of the city, but that’s years away. Folks buying one of the 99 condos or staying in the 125 hotel rooms are unlikely to want a front row seat to a neighborhood in transition. (more…)

This week, CandysDirt.com staff are writing about holiday decor and the best places to hang Christmas stockings. Since graduating college, my best place for holiday stockings has been on my feet as I drove to an airport. Flush with money from my first big-boy job, I booked my first international trip to Europe for the precise purpose of escaping the holidays. I’ve never looked back.

I have never setup a Christmas tree, strung garland, or been awoken to a sugarplum dancing in my head. I’m sure it doesn’t take Freud to figure out my aversion.

My childhood holidays were a B O R E. My parents, brother, and I shredding through presents and then were kinda bored by noon followed by an early dinner and TV. Thank god when movies started being shown on Thanksgiving and Christmas days.

So I am here to tell you it is not too late. Hang your stocking from the overhead bin and RUN AWAY!

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Diamond Head

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 $1,023,000 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:  High-rises, HOAs and renovation are my beat. But I also appreciate modern and historical architecture balanced against the YIMBY movement. 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.  Have a story to tell or a marriage proposal to make?  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.

 

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).

Head to SecondShelters.com for more.

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