Around the Big Island

Hurricanes Stream Past Hawaii

August 29, 2015
Hurricanes, Hawaii late August

From left, hurricanes Kilo, (the Hawaiian archipelago is gray), Ignacio, and Jimena

Hurricanes passing by the Big Island have made for an unusually humid summer.

Compared to the mainland, summer in Hawaii starts early and ends late. Of course we go to the beach year ’round in the islands, but a few weeks ago I started hearing locals complain that the water is too warm. Super warm water at the beach usually happens at the end of September and the beginning of October.  In early autumn the ocean can feel like a bathtub.  When the air temperature has cooled off the high summer peak, it can feel nice to splash about in too-warm ocean water.  But during the tropical Pacific’s dog days of August, refreshing is what we want.

West Hawaii temperatures have been higher than normal and humidity has been off the charts.  A Honolulu meteorologist talked about our numerous hurricanes.  He said at least one day last week the humidity in Hawaii was as high as it could go.  Yes, I thought as I listened, sweat dripping, Continue Reading…

Practicalities

Sellers: Evaluate the offer

August 19, 2015

You’ve got an offer on your Hawaii home.  Now what?

You’ve spent weeks or months keeping your Hawaii property clean and staged for showings, and before that, lots of time, energy and money preparing the home for market.  Your broker just called to say an offer has been received, and you’ll have it shortly.  The buyer is asking for an answer in 24 hours.  You need a plan to evaluate the offer.

Continue Reading…

Beach, Tennis

Mauna Kea Resort Fun July 2015

July 20, 2015

Image mkr 50thMauna Kea Resort celebrates its 50th anniversary this week.  Bloomberg published a nice article about the anniversary by reviewing the resort’s storied past in this March 2015 article.

The special events and throwback price specials begin Tuesday July 21, 2015.  The very first event is a tennis match using wood rackets.  Wayne, one of the Seaside Tennis Club’s dedicated tennis pros and all around nice guy, told me he found a case of well preserved antique white tennis balls.  And players will use them!  Everyone who plays tennis this week at the Seaside Tennis Club is asked to wear all white.

Here’s the complete Mauna Kea Resort 50th Anniversary event schedule.  If you can’t join any of the tennis or golf fun, at least make it to beautiful Kauna’oa beach for the 50,000 orchid blossom drop by helicopter.  Let the fun begin!

Mauna Kea Resort beach aka Kauna'oa beach

 

Around the Big Island

Volcano Pottery Sale this weekend

June 11, 2015

June 12-13 pottery sale

Though the Big Island’s Halema’uma’u crater lava lake has drained out of view, there’s still a reason to visit Volcanoes National Park this weekend: the 7th annual pottery sale at Volcano Village.  It’s never too early to start holiday shopping. Support the Big Island potters guild.  Buy local pottery!  Friday and Saturday June 12 & 13, 2015.

Practicalities

Local wire fraud – be aware

June 8, 2015

On Saturday I received an email from my state professional association.  It discussed the problem of fraudsters targeting folks in the process of buying a home here in Hawaii.  Via email, the bad guys impersonate an escrow official or the estate broker to persuade buyers that the original wire instructions were incorrect.  Here are the correct wire instructions they say, and do send the money now.  It’s a scam.  Here is the complete text from the Hawaii Association of Realtors newsletter, including tips on how to protect yourself from this and similar email scams:

BE AWARE OF EMAIL SCAMS AND WIRE FRAUDSTERS – In recent months, real estate professionals have reported an upswing in a particularly insidious wire scam. A hacker will break into

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Food

Big Island honey at Costco now

June 7, 2015

Big Island Bees honeyI’m on Big Island Bees’ mailing list.  Last Wednesday they announced a small shipment of their raw organic Macadamia Nut Blossom honey to Kona’s Costco.

Last December I learned the small jars make excellent gifts.  I received heaps of thank you notes! My husband is a bread and butter guy.  He prefers the opaque Ohia Lehua Blossom variety.  I like it all!  Want to know why it’s time to give up the honey bear bottle? Learn that and how easy it is to become honey obsessed at Epicurious.com.

South Kona Big Island Bees honey is better tasting and more nutritious than the overly processed kind in the bear bottles. Get to Kona Costco before it’s all pau!

Around the Big Island

Follow the action in Kona at BuildQueenK.com

June 5, 2015

West Hawaii Today shared the website of the contractor hired to widen the Queen K highway from Kona harbor to the airport.  It is BuildQueenK.com.  Orange fencing says the job has commenced.  Any bets on how long will it take to complete?  They say two years.  I’m guessing five.  Remember the Phase 1 widening from Kona town to the harbor?  It was effectively built twice because so many mistakes were made.  I suppose the time frame for Phase 2 depends on what the archaeologists find.  In any event, this is Hawaii, not Dubai.  Why take a week when you can string out salaries paid by taxpayers for years?  Right now the job is estimated at $20 million per mile.  Any guess on what that number will be upon completion?  We’ll need to hang on to our checkbooks and traffic snarled tempers for a few years.  Here we go!

Around the house

Bamboo in the Garden

June 4, 2015

When you live in a Hawaiian rain forest like I do, bamboo will probably find a way into your yard.  It will most probably be an aggressive running variety such as Chimono-bambusa, Indocalamus, Pleioblastus, and Sasa. Running underground, new shoots will sprout tens of feet away from the stand in unwelcome places.  Controlling the spread will be a weekly chore.

Bamboo is lovely.  If you are not already infested with a running variety, you may want to plant a clumping variety here and there in your yard.  These are much better behaved.  Ask your nursery for Bambusa, Borinda, Chusquera, Fargesia, or Otatea bamboo.  Install a fountain or koi pond, meditation mat or garden bench, and you are set!

Big Island Hawaii Real Estate

8 Tips for Adding Curb Appeal and Value to Your Home

June 3, 2015

The summer home selling season is underway.  Are you ready to sell and move to Hawaii?  In addition to the 5 tips to prepare your home for sale article posted in September, here are eight ways to help your home put its best face forward.

By contributer Pat Curry

Homes with high curb appeal command higher prices and take less time  to sell. We’re not talking about replacing vinyl siding with redwood  siding; we’re talking about maintenance and beautifying tasks you’d like to live with anyway.

The way your house looks from the street — attractively landscaped and well-maintained — can add thousands to its value and cut the time it takes to sell. But which projects pump up curb appeal most? Some spit and polish goes a long way, and so does a dose of color.

Tip #1: Wash Your House’s Face

Before you scrape any paint or plant more azaleas, wash the dirt, mildew, and general grunge off the outside of your house. REALTORS® say washing a house can add $10,000 to $15,000 to the sale prices of some houses.  Continue Reading…