Whale sculpture, Puakea Bay Ranch oceanfront park, with Maui in the background
The guard at the Puakea Bay Ranch gate was telling me last night that lately she’s been turning away a lot of people who want to come in and see the lots without a Realtor present. Some are visitors returning from a day in nearby Hawi, drawn by the big view of Maui, or the colors of the clouds as the sun drops into the Pacific.
Most of them, she says, are waving a printout from website such as Hawaii Life, curious about 10-acre lots for sale in a gated oceanfront community in North Kohala for as little as $375,000. I am not surprised—the last time prices were below $500,000 at Puakea Bay Ranch was in 2004!
Last year (2010), three Puakea Bay Ranch residences sold at prices ranging from $925,000 to $1,800,000. This year, pickings are slim, as there are no homes for sale within the Ranch unless you are in the $13,750,000 price point for the oceanfront estate (MLS# 232548). There is, however, a lovely home for sale on 25 acres just across the road in the smaller Puakea Ranch subdivision (MLS# 235911).
Ready-to-build 10-acre Puakea Bay Ranch lots are arranged to protect view planes
That means attention this year will be focused on the available vacant lots. Most of the rectangular 10-acre lots are arranged off the central drive with their long sides parallel to the ocean, so that homes can be staggered for view plane protection. Of the five lots currently available, two are Hawaii Life listings. Both have obvious building sites with great ocean views and the houses already built on the lots immediately below (makai), which means no chance of an unhappy surprise when adjacent owners are ready to build.
They are directly across from one another and just one lot away from where the equestrian trail criss-crosses the community. Lot 34 on the north side happens to be the lowest priced lot at $375,000 (MLS# 237518). Lot 4 is a bit higher at $425,000 (MLS# 234304), but already has landscaping: palm trees planted on a drip irrigation system along where the driveway would lead to the building site.
Speaking of irrigation, I notice many listing photos show the Ranch as it looked during the height of last year’s drought. Now our winter rains have turned the lots green and the cattle and horses are knee-deep in pasture! Puakea Bay Ranch does have CC&Rs and architectural review of building plans. Many of the gracious homes are far bigger than the 4,000 sq. ft. minimum. Most features pools and huge lanai to take advantage of those views.
Interested? If you call first, I could arrange that sunset showing, and end at the oceanfront park to watch whales frolicking in the light of dusk.
A hui hou,
Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B)