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Best Buys in Mauna Kea Real Estate on the Big Island

As the inventory of property for sale shrinks in desirable Kohala Coast communities, such as those at the Mauna Kea Resort, it becomes more of a challenge to find “best buy” picks–and sometimes they disappear before my eyes. Honestly, at the moment, I see more opportunity for the value-conscious real estate buyer across price points in Mauna Kea real estate than at the Mauna Lani Resort.

Kumulani condos offer ocean views at an entry level price for Mauna Kea Resort

At the entry level, the four remaining developer units at Kumulani are priced from $550,000 (MLS# 235950) to $795,000 (MLS# 235915) All of the Kumulani condos are spacious two bedrooms (either 1,375 sq. ft. or 1,541 sq. ft.). Importantly, all of them have ocean views for a price point that Mauna Lani would give you only golf-view options, which makes any of them a “best buy.”

The tradeoffs—finishes are more modest (Corian rather than granite) and the pool area is basic at best. Purchasers would certainly want to sign up for at least the social membership level of the Mauna Kea Amenity Program.

Privacy! Wai’ula’ula Building N seen across water feature of Hapuna Golf Course

If you need three bedrooms and luxury finishes, and want a workout facility next to the pool for under $1 million, you can upgrade to a condo at neighboring Wai’ula’ula. Of the two units listed for $999,000, my pick is N201 (MLS# 241685).

Although the ocean view overlooks a few rooftops rather than just the Hapuna Golf Course, the building is perhaps the most private in the Ridge and the condo has really nice furnishings. Owners who bought from the developer in 2006-2007 paid over $1.5 million unfurnished for Wai’ula’ula condos…and for about that price today you can get a furnished villa with its own pool (MLS# 240082).

Speaking of the $1.5 million price point, my other best buy at the Uplands at Mauna Kea was a home in Moani Heights…but others felt the same and it was in escrow within weeks of coming on the market.

Ahh…and don’t forget the wind can blow at the Uplands when the trades are up! The effect is reduced makai (ocean side) of the highway, where Mauna Kea real estate prices rise as elevation falls. Maybe that’s why two of the units for sale at the Villas at Mauna Kea are finally under contract after more than a year on the market. Of course, dropping the price from the $3 million range (in 2009) to $1,490,000 will also have an effect. There is one more on the market, but priced at $1,880,000, and in need of updating, not a best buy.

The Kauna’oa “Country Club” amenity area even has private wine storage for owners

Among my $2-$2.5 million resort real estate best buys was a home at Mauna Kea Fairways South that quickly got an offer. In that price range, the best buy today has got to be Kauna’oa 10A (MLS# 221622)…or should I say, the best buy almost in the $2 million price point after last Monday’s price reduction from $2.5 million to $1.9 million.

I had clients drooling over this one back in 2009 when the price was reduced from $3.9 to $2.5 million. The developer hasn’t sold a residence since June of last year, which is curious since a vacant lot has already closed this year for $2,250,000, and two lots are in escrow. Kauna’oa seems to be the hottest spot in the resorts for vacant lots at the moment…but best buys in resort lots would be another post for another day.

Finally, a $700,000 price reduction on this 6 bed/6.5 bath single family residence (MLS# 235538) at Mauna Kea Fairways North brings it into the best buy category at $3,250,000. With over 2,000 sq. ft. of lanai, a garden filled with koi ponds, a graciousness of architecture, and ocean view location on the Mauna Kea golf course, this wraps up my current list of best buys in Mauna Kea real estate!

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Katie Minkus, R(BIC)

March 26, 2011

Beth – what’s so wonderful about you is I know you’ll dig up all the sales and listing history on the properties in which your clients are interested… your last “best buy” has a long and detailed past when it comes to that – and may hold the current record for property that’s been on the market the longest… it’s been for sale for nearly 11 years at this point, if memory serves! It also needs substantial renovation, vision and “love” so buyers need to be sure to do their due diligence, even bring a contractor or two to suss the place out. It’s an incredible buy – if it’s actually “purchase-able…” Definitely one of my favorites, too!

Katie Minkus, R(BIC)

March 26, 2011

Beth – what’s so wonderful about you is I know you’ll dig up all the sales and listing history on the properties in which your clients are interested… your last “best buy” has a long and detailed past when it comes to that – and may hold the current record for property that’s been on the market the longest… it’s been for sale for nearly 11 years at this point, if memory serves! It also needs substantial renovation, vision and “love” so buyers need to be sure to do their due diligence, even bring a contractor or two to suss the place out. It’s an incredible buy – if it’s actually “purchase-able…” Definitely one of my favorites, too!

Beth Thoma Robinson R(B)

March 26, 2011

@ Katie, don’t give out all my secrets, I actually have someone on call for those gems in need of renovation, which many of the best buys are! The interesting thing is at these price ranges even newer homes generally get a total remake from their new owners. The one thing you can’t change is LOCATION!

Beth Thoma Robinson R(B)

March 26, 2011

@ Katie, don’t give out all my secrets, I actually have someone on call for those gems in need of renovation, which many of the best buys are! The interesting thing is at these price ranges even newer homes generally get a total remake from their new owners. The one thing you can’t change is LOCATION!

Catherine Klug

March 27, 2011

As you know Beth I have clients at Kauna’oa, Mauna Kea Fairways South and Kumulani and no matter which side of the road you’re on they all agree that you have to be a member of the Mauna Kea Club (social, intermediate or full) to enjoy one of the Big Island’s best beaches. Location, location, location!

Catherine Klug

March 27, 2011

As you know Beth I have clients at Kauna’oa, Mauna Kea Fairways South and Kumulani and no matter which side of the road you’re on they all agree that you have to be a member of the Mauna Kea Club (social, intermediate or full) to enjoy one of the Big Island’s best beaches. Location, location, location!

Annie Mendoza, (RS)

March 28, 2011

You are so right, Beth! Mauna Kea definitely has some best buys for ocean view condos on the Kohala Coast. Several of my clients wouldn’t be anywhere else but Mauna Kea; they love their home, villa, beach. Funny thing is; these “best buys” could have even “better buys” a few months ago. In October 2010, our client had an accepted offer on the developer unit B3. The “powers that be” for the developer at the time agreed to some INCREDIBLE REDUCTIONS. But NOW, the new decision makers are no longer that motivated. They must be seeing the trend that we are; (inventory is shrinking)!! That same unit B3 is now in escrow and all indications are that the accepted price is tens of thousands higher than what it was only 5 months ago!! Also, our Kumulani buyer ended up with a different unit due to number of bedrooms. He loves his new home at kumulani, Mauna Kea! Don’t you agree that the developer units are getting fewer and less motivated pricing? Here’s a blog about developer deals; http://www.hawaiilife.com/articles/2011/01/best-real-estate-deals/ PS> Many of the Kumulani units do have granite, (not corian), due to upgrades during pre-sales.

Annie Mendoza, (RS)

March 28, 2011

You are so right, Beth! Mauna Kea definitely has some best buys for ocean view condos on the Kohala Coast. Several of my clients wouldn’t be anywhere else but Mauna Kea; they love their home, villa, beach. Funny thing is; these “best buys” could have even “better buys” a few months ago. In October 2010, our client had an accepted offer on the developer unit B3. The “powers that be” for the developer at the time agreed to some INCREDIBLE REDUCTIONS. But NOW, the new decision makers are no longer that motivated. They must be seeing the trend that we are; (inventory is shrinking)!! That same unit B3 is now in escrow and all indications are that the accepted price is tens of thousands higher than what it was only 5 months ago!! Also, our Kumulani buyer ended up with a different unit due to number of bedrooms. He loves his new home at kumulani, Mauna Kea! Don’t you agree that the developer units are getting fewer and less motivated pricing? Here’s a blog about developer deals; http://www.hawaiilife.com/articles/2011/01/best-real-estate-deals/ PS> Many of the Kumulani units do have granite, (not corian), due to upgrades during pre-sales.

Annie Mendoza, (RS)

March 28, 2011

I also feel that Kauna’oa “Halia Hale” developer units are still a best buy, too!! The only sale in the last 12 months has been a resale. Developer would love to sell one of theirs!

Annie Mendoza, (RS)

March 28, 2011

I also feel that Kauna’oa “Halia Hale” developer units are still a best buy, too!! The only sale in the last 12 months has been a resale. Developer would love to sell one of theirs!

Beth Thoma Robinson R(B)

March 28, 2011

@ Catherine-an excellent point, and prospective buyers should refer to our blog posts about the program…or give a call/email so we can explain.
@ Annie-not just developers, I am actually seeing price increases at several communities where inventory has dropped, like Villages at Mauna Lani and Kolea. and yes, corian not granite is something owners can change out, but it has surprised all the buyers I bring by those remaining developer units, not what they expect at Mauna Kea. Glad you agree with the Kauna’oa as a best buy pick; altho they only reduced 10A, I’d be willing to bet they are really negotiable…again prospective buyers should remember they can and should work with a buyers rep rather than directly with the developer agent, who works for the seller!

Beth Thoma Robinson R(B)

March 28, 2011

@ Catherine-an excellent point, and prospective buyers should refer to our blog posts about the program…or give a call/email so we can explain.
@ Annie-not just developers, I am actually seeing price increases at several communities where inventory has dropped, like Villages at Mauna Lani and Kolea. and yes, corian not granite is something owners can change out, but it has surprised all the buyers I bring by those remaining developer units, not what they expect at Mauna Kea. Glad you agree with the Kauna’oa as a best buy pick; altho they only reduced 10A, I’d be willing to bet they are really negotiable…again prospective buyers should remember they can and should work with a buyers rep rather than directly with the developer agent, who works for the seller!

Annie Mendoza, (RS)

March 28, 2011

What a great point….that the buyer should get their own representation rather than developer agent!!!

Annie Mendoza, (RS)

March 28, 2011

What a great point….that the buyer should get their own representation rather than developer agent!!!

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