To CPR or Not to CPR?

What is a CPR and Should You Buy One?

CPR stands for “Condominium Property Regime.” A CPR is a legal mechanism for dividing property into two or more separate units of ownership. Each CPR unit has its own separate fee simple ownership (deed) and TMK number and can be separately sold or leased. Each unit’s owner pays for their unit’s own mortgage, insurance, property taxes, improvements, and expenses.

This home on a 14000 sq ft lot in Kuau would allow two additional dwellings, and the lot could potentially be CPR’ed. MLS 376825. See my Kuau blog here.

A CPR it is NOT a Subdivision

Because the underlying property remains a Single Parcel for State and County zoning and building code purposes, it does not allow owners to build any additional building or improvements, other than those permissible under the underlying property’s zoning.

The Upside

Condos were created to make property more affordable in areas where land is expensive — like Hawaii. It decreases a potential buyer’s cost by giving them the ability to purchase one unit rather than a whole undivided property. It can decrease the creator’s cost basis by allowing them to sell part of their original property. It also increases overall property value due to creation of separate saleable units on one property.

Because a CPR is not a subdivision, it usually does not require separate water meters for each unit. Also, a CPR typically does not require County subdivision improvements such as county water or fire protection.

Residential condominium properties are becoming more common on Maui. There are 35 CPR properties active on the MLS ranging from $470,000 to $13,900,000. This 2642 sq ft home in Pukalani is on 14,113 sq ft CPR unit of an original 23,000 sq ft lot. MLS 377370

Potential Downsides?

Because each CPR unit will be assessed separately for property tax purposes, the total real property taxes for the total parcel will likely increase. Also, an owner/developer holding multiple CPR units will most likely only be able to claim a homeowner’s exemption/rate for one unit, and CPR units may be taxed at a higher “apartment” tax rate.

There is an on-going relationship between the Unit Owners, more than just being neighbors. You may be sharing “common elements” such a driveway, and zoning or building code violations of one unit can be attributable to the property as a whole.

Time and Money

Attorney fees for the CPR process can range from $10,000 to $25,000 depending on the number of units in addition to approximately $4,000 to $7,000 in various surveyor, architect, inspection, recording, title, and Public Report Application costs.

Estimated timeline is between six months to a year, which may be changing as new rules are put into effect in Maui County.

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May 13, 2018

Hi Sally, good article. I heard that in the last couple months the State Senate stopped the ability to CPR, Hawaii-wide. Do you know if this is true?

Bruce H Tapley

September 19, 2019

I just purchased the CPRed cottage.that I’ve been lining in for over 3+ years. It’s true that the connection and relationship between seller and buy is important, and I was very fortunate, because this also contributed to getting what I feel was a great deal. And a good result for my previous landlord/lday, as well. I believe it will become more popular in the future.

Gerard Cambra

May 4, 2020

We would like more information on how to really start. We read your awesome write-up, understand it, and thank you. We just want to talk to someone that has already done it. Again thank you very much.

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