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Best Buy in Kukio Real Estate

Since I’m writing about what I consider the current best buy in real estate at the exclusive Kuki’o resort, you may think I’m going to talk about the home that is to be auctioned May 24, 2012. You might especially think so if you’ve found your way to this site via my guest blog post on the Concierge Auctions website.  

That 5-bedroom, 5,456 sq. ft. home on Lot 57 may well end up being a great deal for someone. Pre-auction price of $9,750,000…bids on this Kuki’o home (MLS# 245643) begin at $3,995,000 and if it is any indication, the “buy it now price” (meaning, that’s what it is listed for in the MLS) is $8,195,000.

This home at Kuki’o Phase 1 Lot 57 is set to be auctioned on May 24, 2012…bids start at under $4 million

Is the Kuki’o Real Estate Auction a Best Buy Opportunity?

Now that we have a number of real estate auctions completed on the Big Island (and elsewhere in Hawai’i), I’ve reached some conclusions about how to judge the success of an auction. For you as a prospective buyer, the key is to know the comps, just as it is in any real estate purchase.

The starting price for the auction on the Kukio home is $3,995,000…and the vacant lot next door is listed for $3,250,000. One way for a prospective buyer to calculate how much they’d be willing to pay for this home would be to think in terms of replacement cost. If you are buying at this level you probably have a good idea of cost/sq. ft. to build in your neighborhood, but keep in mind that construction costs are higher in Hawai’i.

Then add something because the residence comes furnished…and one should think in terms of $100/sq. ft. just for interior design. Of course, as with all properties conveyed at Kukio, the sale of the property does not include the cost of membership in the private equity club (the fabulous amenities are, after all, the reason to buy at Kukio!), and the terms of an auction include a buyer’s premium whereas the seller pays commissions in a regular sale.

Best Buy Pick: Kukio Residence Phase 3 South Lot 6

The “wow” factor on this Kuki’o residence begins with the stunning waterfalls at the entrance

Another way to decide what would make this home a “best buy” would be to look at other homes for sale at Kukio. A few days after my partner, Pam Deery, R(B), and I viewed the home at the sunset Broker Preview sponsored by Concierge Auctions, a few of us from Hawaii Life jumped in with the Kukio Properties sales team to do just that (remember, they represent the sellers, and you as a prospective buyer do have the right to your own representation).

Since the “buy it now” price (doesn’t that sound a little like eBay?) on the auction property is $8,950,000, we looked at another home for sale at $8,900,000. That second property, the Kukio home in Phase 3 South Lot 6 (MLS# 248987), won hands down.

What did we love about this 4-bedroom, 7,669 sq. ft. home that made us prefer it to the property up for auction, at least at that price?

How brilliant is this design? Home theater below main home has waterfall on one side, underwater view of pool on the other

  • Sheer “wow” factor. We see a lot of properties with exquisite finishes, panoramic views, big pocket doors opening up to the pool area for indoor/outdoor living, multiple private guest suites. This home stood out from the moment we walked across the entrance bridge flanked by waterfalls cascading down to a lower level. In contrast, the entrance to the property being auctioned seems like wasted space (although it was a great place to sit and make private phone calls in the midst of a broker event because no one was hanging out there!)
  • Distinctive floor plan. Among our favorite features of the layout were the indoor/outdoor family room next to the pool (perfect for those of us with fair skin) and the home theater on the lower level flanked by the “waterfall lounge” on one side and the “pool lounge” on the other. Yep, if you are bored with the film, you can watch the waterfall…or an aquarium-style view of who ever is swimming in the pool!

Clearly, the photos do not do this property justice, as the money shots of the two homes taken from the pool looking back at the interior look virtually identical.

Of course, all of this bling means a lot more home and a lot more maintenance. If what you are looking for is a good solid property that has all the basics right, a nearly blank canvas to personalize with your artwork and taste, the auction property could be your key to membership at Kuki’o.

The Most Expensive Property Listed at Kukio

The most expensive home for sale at Kuki’o is listed for $29,600,000 (MLS# 250605)

With the heavy traffic we get on our Hawai’i Life website, those of us who respond to elite inquiries get a lot of questions about the most expensive property listed on the Big Island. Currently, that’s the residence listed for $29.6 million on Lot 87 at Kuki’o (just edging out the $28 million front row home at Hualalai Resort next door). For comparison purposes, we ended our tour at Kukio Phase 1 Lot 87, which has been on the market about 4 months and already turned down one offer.

Part of the price point is the view…although not oceanfront or even really that close to the oceanfront, the topography in front of the home and its perfect siting gives the impression of nothing between you and the ocean. Part of it is sheer size: 6 bedrooms, 9,382 sq. ft. interior with a total of 13,798 sq. ft. built on over an acre of land. Bedroom count misses out that there is a room for everything in this luxury residence: in the master suite wing alone there are rooms for working out, getting a massage, and his and her offices.

Who builds or buys a home like this? Remember that one of the features that distinguishes Kuki’o from Hualalai Resort is that there is no hotel, no vacation rentals, and a membership plan that only allows guests accompanied by owners and their direct family to use the amenities. At the risk of violating Fair Housing Act guidelines that make us hesitate to use the word “family” in describing real estate, there is no way to explain the Kuki’o Golf and Beach Club membership without making that distinction.

Interestingly, it is not only baby-boomers buying at Kuki’o these days…increasingly new members are in their 40’s, and yes, their parents are included in the membership benefits.

If Money is No Object…

If you are looking at the Kukio home for $29 million, but like many of today’s buyers want to know what would compare at other Kohala Coast resorts, I would suggest we view a handful of other properties.

This Hualalai Resort residence gets Balinese pod-style right (MLS# 250438) reduced to $16,500,000

My first “must see” is the newly constructed Bali-style home at Hualalai Resort listed by Hawai’i Life. Also on 1.33 acres, this property has the privacy that compares with the Kukio top home, and its dreamy Bali-style design and furnishings give it the “wow” factor. Sellers have already reduced their asking price from $18.5 million to $16.5 million…so let’s talk about offer price!

Oceanfront home for sale at Mauna Lani’s 49 Black Sand Beach (MLS# 249543) has mesmerizing views

This week, Pam and I had a sunset showing for clients at an oceanfront home at Mauna Lani’s 49 Black Sand Beach residential community. Another recently completed and never occupied home, for the buyer who does not need or want to pay for the level of amenities available to members with a real estate purchase at Hualalai or Kukio, this location is stunning. 

The lot is extra-wide, allowing for more of the rooms to enjoy the oceanfront views. Offered for $11,900,000 beautifully furnished, Sellers have also turned down offers already…so sharpen your pencil.

A hui hou,

Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B)
Direct: 808.443.4588
Email: Beth@HawaiiLife.com

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Heidi White

May 22, 2012

Hi Beth, Great Blog! Now the best buy most likely will be lot 57 at Kuki’o, which is the property auctioned in 2 days on May 24, 2012. I hear they removed the reserve, so now there is NO minimum bid set!
Pretty exciting!

Heidi White

May 22, 2012

Hi Beth, Great Blog! Now the best buy most likely will be lot 57 at Kuki’o, which is the property auctioned in 2 days on May 24, 2012. I hear they removed the reserve, so now there is NO minimum bid set!
Pretty exciting!

Pam Deery

May 23, 2012

Kudos Beth for again covering the luxury market top choices with your very descriptive analysis of these homes. The auction is tomorrow and I will be anxious to see what the rather plain jane home brings in.. perhaps a benchmark for the year!

Pam Deery

May 23, 2012

Kudos Beth for again covering the luxury market top choices with your very descriptive analysis of these homes. The auction is tomorrow and I will be anxious to see what the rather plain jane home brings in.. perhaps a benchmark for the year!

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