Last week I had the pleasure to assist clients who had traveled from Tennessee to Hawaii to search for a dream horse-friendly property to buy now for future retirement. They were referred to me by someone who had been to the Big Island for Parelli Natural Horsemanship clinics I hosted.
It was imperative to this prospective buyer that the real estate agent she worked with own and ride horses, and so would be knowledgeable about whether properties would meet her criteria: that she could keep her horses on her own property, would not have to supplement pasture with hay or cubes, and that there be good riding without needing to trailer her horse. If any of those criteria are important to you, please read on!
The first two places I took them were obvious choices, since a secondary objective was a property with beautiful ocean views. Although there are a number of gated communities with equestrian riding easements on the Big Island, including Kohala Ranch and Puakea Bay Ranch, there are really only two with established equestrian facilities. One is Puu Lani Ranch on the upper road heading north from Kailua Kona. The other is Waikii Ranch, located on the Saddle Road about 15 minutes outside of Waimea (Kamuela). By the time we’d narrowed our search down from two dozen properties to a top five, both of these communities were still on the short list.
Puu Lani Ranch equestrian facilities
Technically speaking, Puu Lani Ranch didn’t meet the very first of my client’s criteria. The ranch has a gorgeous barn with stalls available to residents’ horses at a very modest rate. However since most of the home lots are only a little over 1 acre in size, the CC&Rs state that horses cannot be kept on the homeowner’s lot.
The current owner of the remaining undeveloped portions of Puu Lani Ranch has listed larger parcels ranging from 3.6 acres to almost 30 acres, so I gave him a call to find out whether the CC&Rs would apply to the purchaser of a larger acreage which clearly could support horses. He believed there were several ways to achieve my client’s goal, and took the time to fly over from Oahu to meet with us.
Although my clients ended up making an offer on another property, the result of our meeting is that the developer is planning to make the larger acreages even more appealing to purchasers with serious equestrian interests. [Contact me if you’d like more details, and I promise to blog more as plans move forward.] If having an on-site trainer is important to you, Puu Lani Ranch is also unique in that one of the respected names in natural horsemanship circles, Lester Buckley, offers training and lessons there.
If you plan to move sooner than my clients did, this is an excellent time to purchase a residence at Puu Lani Ranch. A developer-built home that was priced at $1.2 million in 2006 is now listed on close-out at $595,000. There is one bank-owned property (that will need some TLC), and three short-sales showing as active (although I’ve heard there is an offer on my favorite one next to the equestrian center).
Among the well-priced properties with no bank involvement, is a 3,000 sq. ft. home on 1.3 acres with maybe my favorite master bath ever. I’ve lived in Manhattan apartments smaller than this spa-style bathroom! The photo below is just the bath suite. And this bath suite is listed at only $625,000, including a kitchen, 4 bedrooms, living and dining rooms and a 3-car garage!
Puu Lani Ranch home with great master bathroom
Time to go feed the horses. Next post: Waikii Ranch.
A hui hou and happy trails!
Beth Thoma Robinson, R(S)