Kona Westwind #2 Video Tour!

I’m very happy to share West Hawaii Real Estate’s inaugural, high-definition, property video tour!

My sellers now have the benefit of HD video tours showcasing their properties, WOW!  Property video tour demand is tremendous right now among buyers, and this is another great sales tool I am able to bring to my clients!

This Kona Westwind unit is an updated 2bedroom/2bath offering that has an expansive lanai area, ocean view, and is just minutes from town.

Kona Westwind is a low density (15 unit!) project that is pet friendly, and does not allow vacation rentals.

MLS 255244, 77-296 Kalani Way Kailua Kona HI 96740, Offered at $155,000

Want to get a better look at the property? Be sure to mark your calendars, this unit is being held open Sunday, July 15 from 12pm-4pm during Clark Realty’s Summer Sell-Abration extravaganza. Hope to see you then!

New Listing: Kona Westwind #2

I just listed a GREAT condo in the Kona Westwind condominium project!

This is an upgraded 2bed/2bath unit with a fantastic lanai area that overlooks the coastline and the delightful saline pool area!

The kitchen, living room and lanai are tiled, with laminate wood floors in the bedrooms.

Kona Westwind is a low density, 15 unit condominium project that is pet friendly, has elevator access and does not allow vacation rentals.

Want more good news? This is not a short sale or a bank owned property!

If you are looking for a GREAT condo in Kona, you have to see this unit!

Click here for the multiple listing service information, MLS 255244. Offered at $155,000!

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Interest Rates Drop Again, Is It Time To Refinance?

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Interest rates are at unbelievable lows right now and many property owners are taking of advantage by refinancing their current mortgages.

Have you thought about refinancing? Will it help your financial position at this time?

Lenders charge a fee for you to refinance your loan. These fees are known as “points”.  Points are upfront interest paid to the lender, calculated on the amount of money you borrow.

1 point = 1% of your borrowed money.

If you had a loan of $450,000 and you were going to be charged 1 point to refinance, that would equate to $4,500.

1% of $450,000 = $4,500

If you had a $450,000 mortgage, at a current rate of 6%, your monthly payment would be $2698.  If your lender was going to charge you 1.5 points to refinance to the current market rate of 3.5%, it would cost you $6,750.  Once completed, your new monthly payment would drop from $2698 to $2021, a decrease of $677! Wow!

Your monthly savings would be so great, that you by your 10th payment at your lower interest rate, you will have recouped the $6750 it originally cost you to get the lower interest rate, a wise move on your part!

While the refinance did wonders for you, that isn’t always the case. Take the scenario with your neighbor.

Your neighbor can’t believe how much you are saving and wants to refinance as well.

Currently they are paying 4% on their $450,000 mortgage, their monthly payment is $2,148.

Their lender is going to charge them a fee of 1.5 points or $4,500 to refinance to the market rate of 3.5%. After paying the $4,500, their monthly payment has decreased from $2,148 to $2,021, a monthly savings of $127. Realize here that they have just come out of pocket $4500 to save $127 a month. This isn’t anywhere close to the dramatic change you saw in your payment.

By the 36th payment (36 x $127 =$4,572) the monthly saving of $127 will equal the $4500 originally paid to secure the lower interest rate. In essence, it took them 3 years before realizing any savings from their new, lower rate. Possibly not the best use of their money.

A refinance includes an appraisal of the property, and a thorough examination of the borrower’s credit scores and financial strength. Think of it as going through the loan process all over again. As property values have decreased, appraisal value has been problematic at times, although new government regulations have tried to ease this.

Your lender will be able to advise you accordingly, just be sure you crunch the numbers and examine the many aspects a refinance presents.

Best of luck!

Snapshot Of West Hawaii’s Recovery: Kona Coffee Villas

When do you know the real estate market has hit bottom? When it has passed you by!

West Hawaii’s continued recovery can be clearly illustrated in some of our local condominium projects.  The Kona Coffee Villas is one of these.

Located in Holualoa, this project of 176 fee simple units can prove to be a great investment for first time buyers or the savvy investor. Coffee Villas offers concrete constructed 2bed/2bath units, some offering additional loft areas, with dynamite ocean views and low maintenance fees!

Click information below to enlarge.

The three highlighted units SOLD for $65,000, $80,000 and $82,000!  Are you kidding me? These are fee simple,  2bed/2bath units, in concrete buildings, with low maintenance fees! 

Currently in the project there are 3 units available, priced between $120,000-$150,000. Will we see units listing at under $100,000 anytime soon? Possibly, but not likely.  In my opinion, that market has bottomed, and is already, as illustrated, on the way back.

It’ll be interesting to see where it goes!

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Save Kona Coffee! Fighting the Coffee Berry Borer

Our beloved Kona coffee is under attack by a beetle that threatens to decimate our coffee industry if left unchecked.  

The Coffee Berry Borer is a beetle native to Africa that is found in most coffee growing regions in the world. Save Kona Coffee! CBB Information, Fighting the berry borer

First discovered on the Big Island in 2010, the borer has spread throughout the Kona area and has been found in coffee farms in Kau.

Adult berry borers are 1.4-1.77 mm in length, smaller in size than sesame seeds.

Females burrow into coffee beans and lay their eggs. Once the larvae hatch, they then eat their way out, destroying the bean in the process. Save Kona Coffee, CBB Kona, Fighting the Coffee Berry Borer

Destroyed beans are a total loss for coffee farmers. Less production equates to lost revenue while increasing the cost of cultivation. That loss is then passed onto the consumer in the form of higher prices.

This beetle has the potential to cripple the Kona coffee industry. Not just destroying a few beans here and there, but wiping out farms completely. The danger of the this infestation cannot be understated.

Industry wide, it is estimated that the borer does over $500 million dollars worth of crop damage per year.

Howard Dicus, a local television personality for Hawaii News Now Sunrise recently did a morning news piece with Melanie Bondera of the Kohala center. In association with Kamehameha Schools and the Kona Coffee Farmer’s Association, the Kohala center produced an instructional video with tips on combating the berry borer. Howard interviews Melanie on the production in the news clip below.

Howard Dicus Hawaii News Now Sunrise segment 

Staff from the University of Hawaii Manoa – College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources,  U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture have been working jointly to find the most effective ways to combat the beetle. 

Eradication at this point does not seem likely.  However, if coffee farmers and private citizens are aware and vigilant, the hope is beetle infestation can be kept to minimal levels.  

Please watch the video below and share with anyone who has coffee trees on their property.

Help save Kona coffee!  

For more information on the coffee berry borer see links below.

Coffee Berry Borer Information, University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

Department of Agriculture Coffee Berry Borer Page

Department of Agriculture’s Frequently Asked Questions on Coffee Berry Borer

Kona Coffee Farmers Association

Kona Makai #6301: Exquisite Oceanfront Living!

I previewed Kona Makai #6301 recently on our West Hawaii Realtor caravan and was so impressed I had to share it!

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A top floor, oceanfront end unit with vaulted ceilings, Unit #6301 is the pride of the Kona Makai condominium project.

This spacious 2bed/2bath offering has been completely remodeled with cherry cabinets, slab granite counter tops, new tile flooring, redone bathrooms and all new appliances!

The master bedroom provides stunning ocean views and the unit is graced with an enormous 531 sq ft wrap around lanai that is ideal for enjoying Kona’s year round sunsets! To give you a better idea, that square footage is comparable to some of Kona’s smaller condos!  

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                                                                                                                                                                Up for a swim, kayak or some great snorkeling? Immediately below your unit, you have direct ocean access! Walk downstairs and climb on in!

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Can you imagine the vacation rental potential here?! WOW!

This is a lease hold property, with the lease due for renegotiation in 2019 and lease “expiration” in 2039. If you have questions about the lease and lease hold property, please contact me directly.

Offered for purchase at $449,000,  Kona Makai #6301 needs to be experienced in person to fully capture what a fantastic property this is, please contact me directly if I can arrange a private viewing for you!

Oceanfront Parcel In Kona Bay Estates Available For Purchase!

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Beautiful Kona Bay Estates in sunny West Hawaii is now home to a spectacular offering!

Previously offered together with its sister property to the North at the price of $3,000,000 this parcel is now on the market singularly, as  Lot #40, MLS 266227 available for purchase at $1,350,000! To give you an idea of how competitive this pricing is, a few years back this same parcel was being offered for $1,615,000!

Of the VERY few prime ocean front lots available in Kona, this is hands down the BEST! Lot #40 offers 16,972 sq ft of Kailua-Kona beauty, awaiting the construction of your dream estate in the dazzling Kona Bay Estates community.

Prospective buyers will appreciate that the seller has a shoreline certification and topographic map for the parcel already completed. Kona Bay Estates building guidelines along with covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) of the subdivision are also available at their request.

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Kona Bay Estates is a mature, private, gated, ocean front community that provides 24/7 roaming security and represents the truly exquisite Kona lifestyle.

This is a great opportunity to purchase oceanfront in West Hawaii. Contact Marco directly to make an appointment to see this parcel!

 

*Co-listor of property is owner and has an active Hawaii real estate Broker’s license.

Understanding Short Sales: Kailua-Kona Short Sale Information

Understanding Short Sales: Kailua-Kona Short Sale Information, Short Sale, Kailua Kona Short Sale, Kona Real Estate, Kailua Kona, Holualoa real estate,Holualoa, Hawaii Real EstateA short sale is a real estate transaction in which the lender agrees to accept less than what is owed.

For example: John Doe owes $400,000 on his mortgage, after discussing and listing his property with Marco, a buyer is produced at a $300,000 sales price. With lender approval, the sale is completed. The difference of what is owed vs what is paid by the new buyer is $100,000, hence the “short sale”. 

This difference in amount can be forgiven by the lender, or arrangements may be made for the seller to repay the difference. This a case specific decision, and can have tax consequences for the seller.

In all short sales, there must be a documented form of hardship on the seller’s behalf. This can be attributed to any number of things ranging from reduction in work hours, job loss, divorce, illness, etc that is affecting the seller’s ability to pay their mortgage. The lender will require this hardship to be outlined in detail in the form of a hardship letter.

Short sales are viewed favorably by sellers because there is less long-term damage to their credit as opposed to foreclosure. Also, lenders prefer short sales many times, as this is far less costly for them then going through the foreclosure process.

Navigating the short sale process can prove challenging as various lenders have different guidelines, requirements and lender specific forms to be filled out. Ideally, listing agents will have already been working with their sellers and the specific lender to accumulate necessary financial documents, etc that the lender requires before the property hits the market. 

After the buyer and seller come to terms, that agreed upon contract is sent off to the lender for their approval. The lender goes over the seller’s financials, short sale information packet, along with other pertinent information. The lender then presents that file to the investor and/or private mortgage insurance company (PMI) for their approval. If all agree to sales price, sale proceeds and terms, the lender will issue short sale approval!

Once approval is granted typically the buyer and seller have 45-60 days to complete the transaction.

Above all, patience is necessary. Institutions are overwhelmed with short sales these days as homeowners seek to avoid default. The above steps outlined can take anywhere from days to weeks, to sometimes months.  One of the key factors in the time a short sale takes is the seller’s preparedness and cooperation in providing their documentation.

Thankfully, as the process has gotten more streamlined, we are seeing quicker turn around times, which is great!

Currently I have three short sale properties in escrow, two of which I am the listing agent. Before you get involved in a short sale, be certain that you are working with a Realtor that has a firm grasp of the short sale process. In working towards sale approval, 80% of the work in a short sale transaction falls on the seller’s listing agent. You want to be certain the seller has their financial documents and short sale packet together and ready for submission, so their lender can approve the transaction!

I’ll be following up this blog with specific buyer and seller short sale tips on what and how one can successfully purchase or sell a short sale property, stay tuned!

Kona Real Estate HOT Buy: Beach Villas at Kahaluu #302

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Beach Villas at Kahaluu, Unit #302 located on the southern side of Alii Drive, here in Kona is the perfect example!

The Beach Villas at Kahaluu  is situated directly across from the world famous Kahaluu Beach Park,  a highly popular destination for snorkeling or just enjoying sand and sun.  The variety of sea life you’ll encounter is almost astounding, but be sure to keep a safe (and required) distance from our local Honu sea turtles which are considered a threatened species.  Looking for surf? You’ll find a great break on the northern end of the beach! Not too big, not too small….just right! Kahaluu Beach, Kona Ocean view properties, Kailua Kona Real Estate, West Hawaii Real Estate, Kona Property Blog, Kona Hot Buy, Big Island Property Deals, Kona Property, Kona Condos, Big Island Condos

The Beach Villas at Kahaluu is a 22 unit, newer (2004) project that has an exceptional pool/BBQ area and is vacation rental friendly.  Unit #302,  purchased in 2005 for $781,000, is 2 bedroom/2 bath drop dead gorgeous, turnkey furnished unit offered for purchase at $399,000.  That is correct, sold furnished at $399,000! Though the price has dropped by nearly 50%  than what originally sold for, it is my pleasure to note this unit is not a short sale or bank owned property!

With a gourmet chef’s kitchen, granite counter tops, top-of-the-line designer furnishings, air-conditioned comfort and impressive ocean views, the only thing missing to date is the lucky buyer that is going to pick up a fantastic unit at an amazing price!

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 Let me know if I can arrange a viewing for you!

West Hawaii Oceanfront: Kona Bay Estates 2 Parcel Offering

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My listing at 75-5444 Kona Bay Drive offers contiguous oceanfront parcels, TMK numbers   3-7-5-5-40 & 3-7-5-5-41 together for purchase! 
Live in your airy 3bed/3bath deluxe beach cottage that boasts ocean views from every room, while building the estate property you’ve always dreamed of next door (Lot #40)! Together these parcels combine for over half an acre of oceanfront living!

Lot #40 offers you 16,972 sq. ft. of prime ocean front property that is hands down one of, if not THE BEST parcels on the market!

Kona Bay Estates is a mature, private, gated, ocean front community that provides 24/7 roaming security, direct beach access & represents the truly exquisite Kona lifestyle.

Enjoy ocean front living at it’s finest in Kona Bay Estates!