It is kind of amazing to think that a city as spectacular as Waikiki is in fact only one mile in size. Anyone looking to be in the center of the action should definitely consider purchasing real estate in this city. They would be in great distance to entertainment, world shopping, great restaurants, and some of the greatest sceneries in Hawaii.
Waikiki has a royal history, literally. Most of Hawaii’s royalty called Waikiki home at some point in their lives. That was when the city spread as far as Manoa Valley and was the center of Oahu’s government. The area was originally swampland, but was transformed into taro plantations, and the rest is history.
In the 1700s when the Big Island’s King Kamehameha planned to unite all of Hawaii’s islands, he and his army came directly to Waikiki Beach. He then conquered Oahu’s previous Chief Kalanikupule’s army driving them inland.
Today the only battle that happens on Waikiki is for the perfect spot under the sun on the world renowned beaches. If the beach does somehow manage to get old, Diamond Head is just a short hike away and has amazing views all own its own. There is no shortage of restaurants and great spots for someone who enjoys the nightlife. There is also not a shortage of new faces as Oahu, mainly Waikiki, gets an average of over 6 million visitors a year.
Currently 19,400 people have purchased Waikiki real estate. It is easy to understand what attracts people to this area of the island. Not only does the ocean sparkle but the entire community. Most residents are an average of 40-years old, slightly more men than women, and typically single.
The area also has great schools for those with families. There is Waikiki or Liholiho Elementary School, Washington or Kaimuki Middle School, and Kaimuki or Kalani High School.
While most people may think condos are the only real estate options in Waikiki that is simply not true. Buyers have options of a variety of homes that are available throughout the city.
Waikiki does have a more expensive price range from anywhere between $899,000 and well over a million; however, it is possible with a thorough search to find a condo for as little as $200,000.
Of the eight main Hawaiian Islands, Hawaii, also known as the Big Island, is by far the most diverse. From the dry, almost desert like conditions on the leeward side of the island to the rainforests on the windward side, the Big Island offers real estate for any taste.
The Big Island is divided into 9 regions, all under the municipality of the County of Hawaii. From the northernmost tip of the island, moving clockwise, these districts include:
• North Kohala
• North Hilo
• South Hilo
• South Kona
• North Kona
• South Kohala
Because of its diversity, when choosing real estate on the Big Island, it’s best to first determine the type of environment in which you want to live. Cool, sometimes windy weather and wide-open green pastures and paniolos (Hawaiian cowboys) are found in Kamuela. Dry, hot weather is typical in Kailua-Kona. If you love rain, Hilo won’t disappoint, as it’s one of the wettest spots on earth. Then there are all the other areas on the island, each unique.
Big Island Hawaii real estate prices vary as well. Single-family homes range in price from $39,900 for a small cabin in Southpoint to over $39 million dollars for a breathtaking estate in the Kukio area of Kailua-Kona.
Shopping for a condo on the Big Island? If you have a tight budget check out Hilo where you can pick up a top-floor condo, fully furnished, for $14,900. Luxury condo buyers will love the exclusive villas at Hualalai that are listed at $5,799,000.
Whoever first claimed that land is valuable because we have a finite supply obviously never visited the Big Island. Every time one of the island’s active volcanoes spews lava that reaches the sea, the island grows. If you’re in the market for a parcel of Big Island vacant land, you won’t be disappointed. Developers can pick up almost 64 oceanfront acres, designated for seven homes, on the Kohala Coast for $21,500,000. If you just want a piece of paradise on which to build a house, consider Hawaiian Ocean View Estates, in the southern part of the island. Here you can purchase a vacant lot for as little as $4,500. If you want to live closer to the action, there’s a new subdivision in Kailua-Kona, Wainani Estates, with parcels from $114,500.
The Big Island of Hawaii is large enough to fit all of the other main Hawaiian Islands between its shores, with a total landmass of 4,028 square miles. Here you will find Mauna Kea, the world’s tallest mountain, when measured from the sea floor. It is also home to Ka Lae, the southern most tip of the United States and Hilo, one of the wettest spots on earth.
As a resident you can ski Mauna Loa and make it to Hapuna Beach to sunbathe in the same day. Life in Hawaii is special and life on the Big Island is amazing.
The Oahu real estate market continues to be volatile, with some indicators pointing towards a recovery along with the rest of the economy and others showing more negative news. According to a May 13, 2010 article in the Honolulu Star Bulletin, “Oahu remained well below the national rate of foreclosures in April, but the Big Island and Maui markets took large hits. There were 1,474 Hawaii properties that received foreclosure notices last month, according to RealtyTrac, an online foreclosure marketplace.” The article by Gene Park went on to say that “Hawaii’s April foreclosures, which equated to one in every 348 households, added up to a higher rate of foreclosures, which was one in every 387. Oahu fared the best, with one in every 580 homes. But Maui and the Big Island saw a high rate, with one in every 187 and one in every 179 homes, respectively.”
This conflicted information regarding Oahu homes for sale was also reported in a May 6, 2010 article from the Honolulu Advertiser. This piece found that “Buyers continued to rush back into O’ahu’s housing market in April, but median prices fell a bit and ended a three-month run of price gains for single-family homes and a two-month rise for condominiums.” The article went on to say that “The Honolulu Board of Realtors announced that the median price for single-family homes sold last month was down 6.2 percent to $563,000 from $600,000 in the same month last year. The decline occurred despite sales surging 52.9 percent to 286 last month from 187 a year earlier. For condos, the median price slipped 2.2 percent to $308,000 from $314,950. There were 390 condo sales in April, a 48.3 percent gain over 263 a year earlier.”
One instance of the conflicted information in the Oahu real estate market was reported in a May 26, 2010 article from the Honolulu Advertiser. This article said that “A federal report suggests that O’ahu home values aren’t as positive as indicated by local sales data, though the market appears to be on a path of improvement. The Federal Housing Finance Agency yesterday reported that O’ahu single-family home values in the first quarter were down 4.5 percent compared with the same quarter last year.”