Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 at 6:07am. 966 Views, 1 Comments.
Finding the right home inspector on Oahu
When a purchase contract is accepted, one of the first tasks is to decide on a home inspector. In a typical purchase contract, a buyer has 10 days to select an inspector, get the inspection done and evaluate the results.
A home inspection typically costs somewhere between $250 for a studio or one bedroom condo and up to $500 for a regular sized home. Some buyers prefer not to incur the cost of a home inspection, figuring they can do it themselves. In some cases, particularly with newly built properties, that's fine. In other cases, things may get overlooked. Saving a few hundred bucks now might cost more in the future.
Everytime I've seen a home inspection report, the inspector found…
Monday, June 27th, 2011 at 9:07am. 534 Views, 1 Comments.
A few years ago Matt Damon starred in a movie called "The Informant". It was not a blockbuster, still it's a fun movie to watch. The events portrayed in the movie took place in the 1990's.
At one point the characters decide to have a meeting in Hawaii. The location of the meeting is not mentioned in the movie, however for people who know Makaha it's easy to figure out. They stayed at the Makaha Resort (formerly known as Sheraton Makaha) and golfed at the Makaha West course.
Here are some screen pics from the movie:
Here's a picture of the government spies, following the alleged conspirators. The Makaha Valley Towers are in the background.
Matt Damon tees of while the group watches. You can see the Makaha Valley Towers…
Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 at 10:10am. 688 Views, 0 Comments.
What Canadian Buyers Should Know About Buying in Hawaii
Being a Canadian and buying in Hawaii is not a problem. From the purchasing standpoint, if you choose to do your escrow signing in Canada (instead of being in Hawaii), your documents will be notarized at the local consulate, which requires an appointment set in advance.
When you sell, there will be two withholding "taxes" applicable. One is called FIRPTA, a U.S. Federal withholding amounting to 10% of the sale price. The second is HARPTA, a Hawaii withholding of 5% of the sale price. To recap, when you sell, 15% of the sale price will be withheld.
The purpose of the two tax withholdings is to ensure a foreign person files U.S. Federal and Hawaii tax returns and pays capital gains on…
Monday, May 9th, 2011 at 9:50am. 873 Views, 0 Comments.
Here are some more pictures I've seen lately. These were all spotted in our local newspaper, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, giving credit where it's due.
Here's a picture of Ala Moana taken in 1959. Note there's no Magic Island and the shopping center was not built. There's also a drive in theater. I am not sure about the original name, I think it was called Kam Drive In when it was built in 1948. Later when the Kam Drive In was built in Pearl City this became Kapiolani Drive In. Now that location is Don Quixote.
Have you ever heard about the Ala Wai canal and the idea of running it through Kapiolani Park? I remember reading about it in the newspaper years ago. Someone actually dug up a picture of the plan.
The Ala Wai was…
Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 at 10:26pm. 2619 Views, 0 Comments.
GET and TAT Licenses
A few months ago a customer bought an Ala Moana Hotel Condo unit which was in the hotel rental pool. In order to keep their unit in the hotel rental pool, one of the procedures required by the hotel was that the new owner obtain General Excise Tax (GET) and Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT) licenses. We'll explain how to get these licenses in this article.
What Are These Licenses For?
General Excise Tax is similar in some respects to a sales tax. When you buy something at a store, GET is usually added on to the purchase price. GET also applies to independent contractors, such as landlords, realtors, handymen etc. The State of Hawaii collects GET at several different levels.
Transient Accommodations Tax is also…
Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 at 2:13am. 586 Views, 1 Comments.
People are often amazed at the resilience of Hawaii Kai's home market. Well think about it, what areas really stand out for prospective buyers, especially those from the mainland? Hawaii Kai often comes to mind because of its safe communities, good roads, shopping centers and ocean views.
February 2011 was a good month for Hawaii Kai home sales overall. Months supply of inventory is at 5.3 for single family homes and just 3.2 for condos and townhomes! When a neighborhood has less than 6 months inventory, we consider that a sellers' market.
Percent of original list price is important to look at too. In February, Hawaii Kai homes, condos and townhomes on average sold for just under 97% of their original list prices. That means most…
Monday, February 28th, 2011 at 12:37pm. 627 Views, 0 Comments.
If you own a home on Oahu, you may have noticed that the water bills are on an upward trend. And if you've been reading the newspapers, you might also realize that they will continue going up for years.
The primary reason for these increases is that our City and County of Honolulu settled with the Federal Government - the EPA to be exact. In recent years there were times when two sewer treatment plants - Sand Island and Honoululi discharged raw sewage into streams and the ocean because they were pushed beyond capacity or just broke down.
The City and County is required to upgrade the two sewer treatment plants and storm water discharge systems over the next 28 years or so. And it's going to be expensive.
So what does this have to do with…
Sunday, February 20th, 2011 at 11:19am. 637 Views, 0 Comments.
There's a new listing at La Pietra. It's a distress sale and priced accordingly for $1,295,000, significantly lower than comparables. The owners of this property paid $1,700,000 when they purchased it in 2007.
Interior size is 2,622 square feet with 3 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths. Association fees are $1,400 and real property taxes are $475 per month.
I had an opportunity to look at the townhome this week. It's in mostly original condition - in other words, ready for a complete remodel. Parking is immediately to the left of the townhome. Walking in the front door, there's a hallway leading to the dining room and the kitchen. On the left is the living room with its high ceiling and stairs to the bedrooms upstairs. The third bedroom is…
Friday, February 11th, 2011 at 9:09pm. 915 Views, 3 Comments.
Last week I was walking from the Ilikai to my office and noticed a sign in a store that said "Ashley's Collection". I thought about it for a few seconds and realized I know the owner, Kim. Her store used to be at Aloha Tower Marketplace. So I walked upstairs and said "Hi Kim!"
Ashley's Collection is located above an ABC store on Ala Moana Boulevard, next to the new Fat Greek restaurant that recently opened. If you don't know where the Fat Greek is, well it's a few steps away from Kobe Steak House. Now you've got an idea, right?
Kim displays some of her handiwork
Ashley's Collection (named after Kim's daughter) primarily markets women's aloha wear. Kim buys the fabric and sews the clothing herself. This is a hard working…
Friday, December 17th, 2010 at 9:12am. 884 Views, 0 Comments.
If you caught this week's episode of Hawaii Five-0 (aired 12/14/2010), one of the neighborhoods McGarrett and Danno visited was Saint Louis Heights.
Hawaii Five-0 is a great TV show for promoting Hawaii. At the same time, the show's creators take liberties when they depict our islands. The house itself is representative of Saint Louis Heights. The size of the land parcel reminds me of other neighborhoods, perhaps Makiki Heights.
Saint Louis Heights is a popular neighborhood on a ridge with Manoa Valley to the west and Palolo Valley to the east.
Now take a look at these screen shots from Monday's episode:
The images look great, very attractive! The only thing is, this doesn't reflect the true character of Saint Louis Heights. …