We Have Our Fingers on the Pulse of Real Estate

Latest News and Articles from Harcourts Island Real Estate

June 5, 2020

Pet Quarantine in Hawaii

I just wanted today to share with you the process for all the animals that come through Hawaii from the mainland. They either need to get shots ahead of time and if not they go through this quarantine facility in Halawa.

Animal Quarantine Station in Hawaii

State of Hawaii Animal Quarantine Station

Another thing I learned today (because I'm here to pick up a pet for some clients that just arrived here during the COVID situation) is if your flight comes in later in the day and have all the shots you need to have your animals spend 1 night here. Otherwise, if your pet gets all the shots and get an earlier arrival flight you won't have to come through the Hawaii Quarantine facility here. Once again if you don't get the shots, your pet is going to be here for sometime.

Hawaii Quarantine Dog Cages

Dog Cages at Hawaii Quarantine Facility

Let's plan ahead and make that relocation back to Hawaii a smooth one. Mahalo

More Information

For more information on the relocating your pets back to Hawaii, please visit the Hawaii Department of Agriculture Animal Division website.

Posted in Pets
June 1, 2020

Historic Ossipoff Home on Aukai to be Auctioned

We're excited about a newer listing we have in Kahala on Aukai Ave. It checks a lot of boxes as it's on the Historic Registry, designed by Vladimir Ossipoff and is located on one of the best streets on Oahu.

Historic Residence

Vladimir Ossipoff Historic Home

Historic Residence by Vladimir Ossipoff

The home is recognized by the City and County of Honolulu as a Historic Residence. The original owners were Dr. Gardner and Esther Black. Outside of the architectural significance, one of the beauties is the annual taxes are only $300/year.

Historic Kahala Home on Aukai Ave.

Historic Kahala Home on Aukai Ave.

Ossipoff Design

Ossipoff Japanese Style Windows

Japanese Window Pattern Indicative of Ossipoff

Unlike most of Ossipoff's "mid century" designs, this was one of his earlier works before World War II. It has the feel of a typical older home in Kahala, however you can see some of his signatures such as the built in cabinets and windows with Japanese style patterns.

Kahala Ossipoff Built Ins 1 Kahala Ossipoff Built Ins 2

Built Ins also Indicative of Ossipoff

Aukai Avenue Location

4817 Aukai Ave One Block in from Kahala Ave.

Aukai Avenue Home one block inland of Kahala Ave.

The home is located just one block inland from Kahala Ave. and very close to Kahala Beach Park, Waialae Country Club and the Kahala Hotel. The home directly across the street from our listing (4816 Aukai Ave.) sold for $4,750,000 just 2.5 years ago!

Harcourts Auction

We have an upcoming auction on this treasure with a Bid to Start from Price of only $1,980,000! Feel free to contact David or Dianne for more information.

May 28, 2020

Kapolei History, Lifestyle and Transportation

Why I Love Living in Kapolei by Yolanda Recinos, Realtor-Associate

Barbers Point Sunrise in Kapolei

Kapolei, takes its name from a volcanic cone Pu’u o. Also known as the beloved Kapo. History tells the story of Kapo who was the Goddess of Fertility and also sister of Pele, Goddess of Fire and Nāmaka, Goddess of the Sea. Most of the land was acquired by major developer James Campbell. Before Kapolei’s master plan developed, it was known as the sugar cane and pineapple plantation.

Sunset from Kapolei Lofts

It was not until 10 years ago that Kapolei became an affluent and vibrant city. Also, to be known as the second big city after Honolulu. Part of the reason I chose to move here, was the fact that it’s new and still growing. Many new projects are developing and I feel this will be the next desirable place to be after Waikiki. There pretty much is no reason to have to leave town. We have everything from Water Park, shopping plazas, Costco to the Ka Makana Ali Mall which has a variety of popular stores, restaurants, movie theatre, bars and hotel. Minutes away from Ko Olina and plenty of beautiful beaches. If you enjoy golfing we have several to choose from as well.

To save the best for last, the Honolulu Rail Transit that will be starting at East Kapolei going to Honolulu Ala Moana Center. If you plan on working in Waikiki you won’t have to worry about the dreadful traffic. Feel free to reach out if you are ready to start your new life in Kapolei.

Posted in Kapolei, Lifestyle
May 23, 2020

Diamond Head Home for Sale that Survived January's Tragic Fire on Hibiscus Street

As we come out of nearly two months of quarantine lockdown here in Honolulu due to COVID-19, it's hard to believe it was just two months prior on January 18th that the residents in Diamond Head experienced that Saturday morning tragedy that took place at 3015 Hibiscus Drive. As the community is still healing and recovering, we see our first home hit the market at 3041 Hibiscus Drive.

3041 Hibiscus Drive in Diamond Head

3041 Hibiscus Drive (MLS # 202011155) in Diamond Head

It's a cute bungalow home, as many are/were in the neighborhood. This historic home was built in 1926, which is quite old for Hawaii standards. There have been many renovations and remodels over the years, however most of the character has been kept from that era in time.

Living Room of Hibiscus Drive Home

Hibiscus Dining Room 1 Hibiscus Dining Room 2

Living and Dining Room with Historic Feel

Although the current owner has a tax bill that goes to the east coast, one of the owners in the chain of history was the late David Puder of Kahala Construction. He was a legendary craftsman known for building and remodeling homes in the Diamond Head and Kahala areas. You can see how well the history is maintained in this nearly 100 year old home, yet providing a modern feel.

Hibiscus Drive Kitchen 1

Hibiscus Drive Kitchen 2 Hibiscus Drive Kitchen 3

Remodeled Kitchen with Historic Feel

Hibiscus Drive Bathroom

Modern Bathroom with 1920's Feel

The Puders owned the home from 2007-2010 at which they put in the swimming pool.

Hibiscus Home Pool in Diamond Head

Swimming Pool that was added in 2007

That January morning was such a hard experience for everyone to go through. I've got a bunch of friends that live in the neighborhood. As everyone goes through their healing process, I'm glad to see that the majority of homes such as this gem have been saved.

May 22, 2020

Waterfront Living in Kailua

Waterfront Canal Living in Kailua by Matthew Dubrule, Realtor-Associate

Paddling on Kailua canal

Morning Paddle on the Oneawa canal in Kailua

Since moving to and living in Kailua for the last five years I’ve been very thankful and appreciative to be able to start my days with an ocean paddle at sunrise. It’s enhanced even more so with the ability to launch from and return to my home on the Oneawa Canal. With property access to one of the few ocean going canals in all of Oahu out your back door it is indeed a blessing to have such access.

Sunrise paddle in Kailua

Sunrise paddle in Kailua

There’s lots of SUP paddling, canoe paddling, fishing and boating taking place in the canal and during the six man season there’s lots of teams training throughout the protected waters of the canal. It really is an ocean enthusiast heaven on earth to have such immediate access to our ocean playground that nourishes us, affords us to gather or find solitude, and exercise where nature exists with its peace and tranquility.

If you're looking for something on the water in Kailua, feel free to contact me for more information.

May 20, 2020

Some History of Waialae Kahala

Some History of Waialae-Kahala by Mark E. Buck, Realtor

Historic Kahala Home on Aukai built in 1939

Historic Home in Kahala (MLS # 202010716) Built in 1939

Waialae Kahala today encompasses what once was old Kahala, the makai area of Kahala Avenue up to Farmer’s Road and bordered by Kealaolu Ave, Hunakai Street, and Black Point.  The older homes there were built mostly in the 20s and 30s.  The newer area called Waialae Kahala was farms, forests, and dairies above Farmer’s Road (hence the name)  After the War and into the 1950s the farms made way to the newer subdivisions.  They were built is phases over about 15 years.

Contemporary Home on Farmers Road

A more contemporary home (MLS # 201935405) on Farmers Road

It is interesting to note that all of Kahala and Waialae Kahala were Leasehold properties at the time.  The remained Leasehold until Bishop Estate was forced to sell under the Leasehold Condemnation Law.  Most of the properties converted gradually to where it is now a fee simple neighborhood.

There is a variance in lot sizes from the larger 1 acre plus waterfront estates to interior lots that range from 7,500 to a little over 10,000 square feet.  The prices vary even more, as many of the older homes were sold and made way for much larger and modern homes.

Sales in the last year have ranged from $1,300,000 to $7,200,000 with available listings ranging from $1,595,000 to $25,000,000.

Posted in Black Point, Kahala, Luxury
May 18, 2020

Waialae-Kahala Showed the Most Overall Market Strength in April

Single Family Home Stats

We saw the largest increase in the number of sale in Moanalua-Salt Lake, which was up 150% from April of last year with just 2 sales to 5 sales this year. Hawaii Kai saw the largest drop in the number of sales, where we had 22 sales in April of 2019 and just 6 this year.

The median sales price saw the largest bump on the North Shore which was up 44%. Right here in Waialae Kahala saw almost as high a gain with a 41% increase, where the median sales price went from $1,250,000 to $1,761,250. That's quite a significant increase. We're coming to you today from our latest Harcourts Auctions listing at 4817 Aukai Ave.

Aukai Auction home in Kahala

This Aukai Ave. home is an incredible location at a quarter of an acre and a block and a half from the beach in some of the most prime real estate here on Oahu.

The inventory was down in almost every neighborhood we track on Oahu. The only exception of that was Wahiawa, which was up just 9%. The irony of that is right next door in Mililani, they saw the largest decrease of new listings hit the market. We saw a 67% drop in new homes coming online. Whereas, in April of last year there were 83 new listings and this year there were only 27 new listings coming to market. That's a significant drop due to Corona Virus. Mililani is a major demographic for military families moving going into summer. We'll see if that inventory ticks up in May going into the summer.

Condo Stats

Although condo market activity overall was down across Oahu in April, a few neighborhoods had stronger activity in April this year compared with a year ago. For example, the number of condo sales in Hawaii Kai was up by 64% to 18 sales; and the median price in Hawaii Kai was up by 12% to $673,000.

In Makiki - Moiliili the number of sales was up by 34% to 43 sales and the median price was 19% higher than in April last year at $410,000. For the most part, despite reduced inventory, condo prices are holding steady. Aina Haina - Kuliouou posted the highest median condo price at $911,000

As we look toward the future, the number of new listings in April was down in 19 of the 21 neighborhoods we follow, an indication that condo buyers will have fewer properties to choose from in coming months in almost every neighborhood. With the opening this week of the beaches and some shopping malls, the economy seems to be slowly gaining momentum. If you’d like to talk with us further about market conditions and the opportunities the market presents, please get in touch with us. In the meantime, be safe and don’t forget to keep washing your hands.

May 14, 2020

April Home and Condo Sales Down Over 20%

Single Family Home Stats

We ended up the month of April with a median sales price of $809,000. That's actually a 5.5% bump from a year ago, which is pretty exciting considering the COVID environment that we're in. However, the number of sales were down 22% with 248 sales. That's definitely not the norm we're used to, however that's the environment we're in with COVID-19.

We're also seeing a big drop in the number of new listings coming to market, which are down 45.5%! So, if you're a homeowner and you're thinking about selling, there is way less competition right now. Meanwhile, the overall inventory in the market is down 24.6% from a year ago. Buyers that are serious in the market have a lot less to choose from. If you're thinking about putting your home on the market, now is a great time.

April 2020 Market Snapshot

Condo Stats

There were 343 condo sales in April. That means transaction volume is down almost 28% from April of last year. This is evidence of the impact of the stay at home rules have had so far on the real estate market. The number of new condo listings in April was also down by about 40%, which means there will be few choices for condo buyers in the coming months. At the same time, prices seem to be holding firm.

The median condo price in April at $450,000 is 7.4% higher than the median was in April a year ago. Buyers are still active in the market and low interest rates are continuing to stay low for the foreseeable future. Although, market conditions are uncertain, the dynamics can favor Sellers who were thinking about putting a property on the market.

Every home is different and every market is unique. To find out what the current market can mean for you, call us anytime. In the meantime, stay safe and don't forget to keep washing your hands. Aloha!

May 1, 2020

7 Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home While in Quarantine

Happy Aloha Friday from Honolulu! Today is May Day, which is normally considered "Lei Day" here in Hawaii. Unfortunately, most of the normal celebrations we're used to on this day aren't taking place. Rather than dwelling on the negative, we'd like to take this time to be positive and provide some value to you during these times.

As we enter into our 2nd month here for quarantine, here are 7 things we came up with you could be do to boost the value of your home:

Replace Wall Plates and Switch Covers

1. Replace Wall Plates and Switch Covers

Just like a good throw or statement cushion, wall plates and switch covers are a great accessory which can transform the ambience of your home. If you’ve never considered these an accessory, or perhaps your view of these are ‘cheap’ or ‘outdated’, then the chances are you just haven’t come across the right ones! It’s super easy to replace those cheap plastic covers with more elegant wooden, ceramic, or metal ones with better aesthetic appeal and ROI. And did we mention, kind on the budget!

NEXT STEP: Where else but Wall Plate Warehouse! They offer a huge selection and have a great FAQ’s and blog page where they walk through all the different types of options and also installation! Free shipping and great customer service!

Refresh Your Artwork for Home Value

2. Refresh Your Artwork

Have you been looking at that blank space on the wall for years thinking ‘that would be a great place for a piece of art”... Well, now is a better time than ever! Sometimes increasing your home’s value is as simple as swapping out that dated family heirloom for some- thing a little more contemporary. Measure the space and get online searching. Once you find something, consider using tape (wall safe of course) to attach to the wall where the frame/piece will go, this will give you a good idea of spatial use.

NEXT STEP: Now we are not suggesting you spend a fortune on a original masterpiece – although if that tickles your fancy go ahead and splurge! But if you do want to keep on a budget, consider etsy. com. It’s such a great place to find undiscovered artists! You can even narrow your search in etsy to find someone in your local area, how cool is that! You might have never known Suzie two blocks away, is the next Picasso!

Swap Out Old Lights and Lighting Fixtures

3. Swap Out Old Lights & Lighting Fixtures

“This house is too bright and airy” said no buyer ever!! If you can’t remember what your lighting fixtures look like without looking up, This might be an indication they need some attention. Lighting fixtures should be the jewelry of your house! Now saying that, does your jewelry look like it’s from the 50’s, not in a ‘precious antique type’ way but in more of a ‘original cookie cutter, grandma’s house type’ (note grandmas please don’t be offended, it’s not personal!) way? If so, let’s go shopping! Improving your light fixtures will improve the potential buyers check! When you’re replacing fixtures, don’t forget to swap out your old light bulbs for ones with a higher wattage. You want buyers to be able to see all of the highlights when they walk through your home and if you have dim lighting, they may be missing out on some key features.

NEXT STEP: Light fixtures might be a little harder to come by in this lockdown, but explore local stores and call around to see if anyone is offering delivery or curbside pickup. If all else fails, start a Pinterest board and start saving all those favorites you find, so when those stores open back up, you will be front of line!

Don't Forget the Outside Yardwork

4. Don't Forget the Outside

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. This is a place you can make a huge amount of impact while stuck at home, with little investment and big elbow grease! Simple things like mowing the grass, removing weeds and raking up leaves can make a huge difference! And did we mention fresh air! With this time at home show your garden some love and with a little tender love and care over a couple of weeks you might just surprised with the outcome. Think about making your landscaping clean and something which looks easy to care for. If you have a driveway, paths or garden bed curbs, just cleaning up the edges can give the ap- peal a crisp clean look. If you are looking to go the extra mile, maybe a new mailbox, some potted plants and a few bags of mulch.

NEXT STEP: Find those garden gloves and get to it! Don’t forget to take a before and after picture!

Re-Grout Shower Tiles

5. Re-Grout Your Shower Tiles

We all know renovated bathrooms are the real money makers in selling property! Now, we are certainly not suggesting a $10k+ DIY renovation! But with that in mind, consider how you can refresh your bathroom. For many people it means restoring the shower and floor tiles which are often neglected even through regular cleaning. Let’s be honest, tending to the tile grout is often not a weekly cleaning to-do. Similarly, re-grouting your bathroom tile can make your bathroom shine again in a pinch. Re-grouting tiles is an easy, small project that can make tiled walls feel like new.

NEXT STEP: If this is something new for you, Youtube is a great tool for tips and tricks from renovating experts! Jump on check it out, use their recommendations!! Again, don’t forget before and after pictures!

Replace Your Cabinet Door Handles and Cabinet Pulls

6. Replace Your Cabinet Door Handles and Cabinet Drawer Pulls

Keeping on the budget theme, we are not suggesting a full kitchen renovation. Plus, like really, who has enough sanity for that right now?! But a way to fake it, is by updating and replacing door handles. Obviously like everything you can spend as much as you like, but you will be surprised there are many great looking options for as little as $1-$3 each! And for most, this isn’t even a full day project! Try and consider matching the hardware color or style to lighting fixtures and/or wall switches to keep everything in a cohesive theme.

NEXT STEP: Start searching the internet for ideas of what you like. Large home improvement and hardware stores are open like Home Depot and Lowes and have a great range of products. Additionally, as we have suggested before, even if you don’t know the owner of your local hardware store, consider getting in touch, saying hello in this difficult time, I’m sure they might appreciate some local support.

Go Minimal and Declutter

7. Go Minimal

We get it! You are probably been overwhelmed with social media telling you ‘use this time to declutter your space’ uhhhh. Easier said than done! But in keeping with the Netflix theme of virus lockdown, have you watched the Marie Kondo ‘Tidying Up series? She is a genius at teaching tips and tricks of decluttering your space. And if nothing else you will feel better even just by looking at the amazing before and after of declutter-ing spaces.

NEXT STEP: While you prepare to sweat, put on your sweats and lift up that remote!

April 26, 2020

Windward Oahu Showed Strong Local Market Sales in March

Local Single Family Home Report

Wahiawa saw the largest increase in inventory that was up 240% from last year. The spike showed the largest inventory increase by far and we might need to dig into that a little bit more to see what was actually going on. As far as sales volume goes, the Windward Coast saw the largest increase, which was up 300% from 2 sales in March of last year to 8 sales this year.

The largest increase for median sales price was between Aina Haina to Kuliouou which was up 37%. It went from $950,500 last year to $1,302,000! So, east Oahu is fairing strong in this market and Dianne will be sharing what's gong on with the local condo report.

Local Condo Report

Through the first quarter of 2020, our condominium market was fairly stable. Two thirds of the number of markets we track showed increases in the number of closed sales. One notable neighborhood with strong performance was Kaneohe, where the number of sales was up 52%. Waialae-Kahala was also a strong neighborhood where 58% more sales closed in the first quarter of this year.

If we look at Waikiki, which is one of our condo-centric neighborhoods with a lot of condo sales activity, we saw that the number of sales through the first quarter was down by about 20%. In Makiki-Moiliili so far this year the number of sales have been flat.

At the end of March, less than 1/3 of our neighborhoods showed an increase in the number of new listings. In the Ewa Plain, the number of new listings is up by about 25%. Meanwhile, the number of new listings in Waikiki was down 28%. We can see there's a great deal of variation from neighborhood to neighborhood. We're watching the trends very carefully and we look forward to talking to you about what this market might mean for you.

If you're thinking of buying or selling a property is this a good time? Even though our doors are closed, we are here virtually and we'd love to talk with you. Please take care of yourselves, wash your hands and be safe. Aloha!

David E. Buck, Realtor

Dianne Willoughby, Realtor