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Best Buy $2-$2.5 Million Kohala Coast Condos

Along the Big Island’s Kohala Coast resorts there were 16 condos with listing prices above $2 million sold in 2010 compared with only 10 in 2009. Of course, all but three of these were technically in North Kona. One Kukio cottage closed at $3.3 million, and 12 condos sold at Hualalai Resort ranging from three listed over $2 million that sold for a bit less, to a paired condo home at Estate Villas for $5.45 million.

The other Gold Coast resorts currently have a total of 19 condos for sale at asking prices over $2 million, and only three sold in 2010, one at each resort. A Kolea penthouse at Waikoloa Beach Resort sold for $2,550,000; a Mauna Lani Point listed for $2.2 million sold for $1.9 million; and a resale at Kauna’oa at Mauna Kea Resort sold for $2.3 million.

Of these three, only Kauna’oa could be considered a good buy. The original owners paid $3.8 million four years earlier. The Mauna Lani Point sale price was right in line with the 2 bedroom ocean view sales in 2008. And although the Kolea seller took a loss (he paid $3.1 million), I found a similar penthouse in a nearby building for one of my buyers, for sale by owner, for only $1.5 million, and that makes one heck of a location premium paid by the other buyer!

Judging from the number of showings my team and I have had at this price point during the “slow” months of November and December, there is no doubt in my mind that the $2-2.5 million price point will be an active one as we move into the 2011 high season. Since we’ve been scouring the coast for bargains, I thought I’d share my current best buy picks.

Palm Villas 140C at Hualalai Resort

This Hualalai Resort Palm Villas Condo (MLS# 238214) is value priced at $2,250,000 fully furnished

Located in the earliest built section of the resort where you find Fairway Villas, Palm Villas, and Estate Villas, this condo looks right over the Jack Nicklaus Golf Course. It doesn’t have the biggest ocean view around, but the location, floor plan, and finishes of the almost 3,000 sq. ft., 3bed/3bath, townhouse-style home are what make this one my pick in the best buy category at its $2,250,000 asking price.

Proximity to the oceanfront amenities would make this home shine whether your plan would be to use only for your family and friends, or to offer it as a vacation rental. Offered for sale at $2,250,000, the inside scoop is that this seller would finance…and will be competitive on price as he has too many properties in his portfolio, and would like to move some (like this Kuki’o residence for sale in a very different price point!)

Kolea 8C at Waikoloa Beach Resort

This Kolea penthouse (MLS# 230228) is just steps from the beach at Anaehoomalu Bay

Priced at $2,095,000—or right in the middle between the two 2010 penthouse Kolea sales mentioned above—this unit is fully furnished, has a great rental track record, and is just steps from the beach. Sellers are also motivated in the sense that they have a resort lot upon which they plan to build once they pull their cash from this condo.

Although Kolea 10F will be on the market within a few months as an REO, and probably priced around $1,700,000, by the time you spend six figures to furnish and begin to build a rental base, you’ll be ahead if you can get 8C under $2 million…and I believe with a clean offer that is not a problem.

Mauna Lani Terrace J103

Mauna Lani Terrace J103 (MLS# 238951) priced $800,000 below the only other 3-bedroom

The two condo developments that are walking distance from the Mauna Lani Beach Club and hotel are the Point and the Terrace. An older generation of condos, they have carports rather than garages, and are mostly one and two-bedroom units. Prices here have held steady through the downturn. As the saying goes, the three most important factors in real estate are location, location, location!

The rare three-bedroom units command a premium…the question is how much? There are two currently on the market: A204 is a two-level upstairs unit, recently remodeled, offered for $3,295,000—a million dollar premium over the most expensive 2-bedroom. My best-buy pick, J103, is a downstairs condo priced at $2,495,000. It has also been updated, although the discerning buyer might find more to do, and would likely upgrade furnishings.

None of that cost would approach the $800,000 difference in asking price! I also think that the ground floor location has advantages. Although there is a set of stairs down to J103, an owner or guest who could not navigate stairs would have the option of walking around to the lanai…or the owner of a resident pet could walk them without having to run down stairs.

Mauna Kea Fairways South Residence

Great bones, great location, this Mauna Kea Fairways South home (MLS# 240220) is a great buy!

Moving up the coast to the Mauna Kea Resort, at the $2.5 million asking price, there are several developer units at Kauna’oa, where the one sale of 2010 took place, and a couple of Villas at Mauna Kea units. My best buy choice, however, is a freestanding home with pool in Mauna Kea Fairways South, which at its listing price of $2,750,000 is above my stated $2-2.5 million range, but I think a good clean offer would take it well within the range based upon the sold comps.

Previously used as sort of a “corporate condo,” it has great bones, but is sold as a blank canvas. My teammate, Catherine Klug, sold a home in this neighborhood for over $4 million in 2008…and I’m sure the owners would be happy to recommend their interior designer if you want an estimate on renovations before placing an offer!

A hui hou,

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

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Erik Hinshaw

January 3, 2011

As one of your team members Beth I can attest to the fact that this market segment does appear to be heating up with many deciding that now is the time. Another subtext I notice in your blog, sometimes older is better. In fact often. In three out of four of your best buys the featured properties were some of the first built in their respective resort. Usually, and in all of these cases, they picked the best spot. Condos can be upgraded, views and location near beaches cannot. I think your choices are spot on.

Erik Hinshaw

January 3, 2011

As one of your team members Beth I can attest to the fact that this market segment does appear to be heating up with many deciding that now is the time. Another subtext I notice in your blog, sometimes older is better. In fact often. In three out of four of your best buys the featured properties were some of the first built in their respective resort. Usually, and in all of these cases, they picked the best spot. Condos can be upgraded, views and location near beaches cannot. I think your choices are spot on.

Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B)

March 3, 2011

I got a phone call this week from a gentleman interested in one of these properties. The phone number you left for the mortgage person I recommended was missing a couple of digits which is why she can’t return your call! Please email if you’d like us to assist you. Mahalo!
Beth beth@hawaiilife.com

Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B)

March 3, 2011

I got a phone call this week from a gentleman interested in one of these properties. The phone number you left for the mortgage person I recommended was missing a couple of digits which is why she can’t return your call! Please email if you’d like us to assist you. Mahalo!
Beth beth@hawaiilife.com

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