HAWAII: Snow­birds

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Recreation & In­vest­ment Prop­er­ties -

She was joined on the tour by Rebecca Keli­ihoomalu, a top re­al­tor with the Ka­muela, Hawaii com­pany.

Be­cause of the strength of the Cana­dian dol­lar and econ­omy, snow­birds are tak­ing ad­van­tage of re­duced prices to get into home own­er­ship.

The Gold Coast of the Big Is­land is a favourite area for re­sort prop­erty in­vest­ment, says Keli­ihoomalu. “That’s an area where Cana­di­ans tend to grav­i­tate.” Macarthur and Keli­ihoomalu aim to ed­u­cate Cana­di­ans on the many op­por­tu­ni­ties that come with be­ing a full or part-time res­i­dent of Hawaii.

Work­ing with Sotheby’s In­ter­na­tional Realty Canada of­fices, they are pre­sent­ing a di­verse se­lec­tion of prop­er­ties from all over the Big Is­land, in­clud­ing those at is­land re­sorts such as Mauna Kea, Mauna Lani, Waikoloa and Hualalai. “I’m ex­cited to have our com­pany in­ter­act with our Cana­dian neigh­bours,” says Macarthur, adding that she wants po­ten­tial snow­birds to have an op­por­tu­nity to meet Sotheby’s agents face to face, ask ques­tions and learn about Hawaii’s real es­tate op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“Thanks to the cur­rent eco­nomic con­di­tions in the United States, the Cana­dian dol­lar can buy more, and those same con­di­tions have cre­ated an op­por­tu­nity to buy the prop­erty they want — not just to get their foot in the door,” says Macarthur.

In her opin­ion, the Big Is­land has some of the best

MVisit our web­site un­der the head­ing, ‘Rec Prop­er­ties,’ for more photo gal­leries and stories. value op­por­tu­ni­ties in Hawaii.

De­pend­ing on the re­sort, the style of housing and the lo­ca­tion on the prop­erty, res­i­dences are be­ing dis­counted any­where from 25 per cent at Kamilo at Mauna Lani to more than 60 per cent at Waikoloa Beach Re­sort, she says.

For ex­am­ple, a prop­erty at Mauna Kea Re­sort sold in 2006 for $2.35 mil­lion US. That same prop­erty is cur­rently listed for $1.35 mil­lion.

At the Waikoloa Beach Re­sort, a prop­erty in the Fair­way Villa sec­tion of the devel­op­ment was pur­chased in 2006 for $695,000.

Ear­lier this year, it was listed for sale at $309,900, but sold for $260,000.

“Prices are start­ing to creep back,” says Keli­ihoomalu. “Tourism dropped dra­mat­i­cally in 2008, along with the econ­omy, so now we have a strong in­ven­tory and great prices.”

A Cal­gary busi­ness­man named Mau­rice (who doesn’t want his full iden­tity re­vealed) went in with other fam­ily mem­bers to buy a condo on the Big Is­land at Waikoloa Beach Re­sort.

“Con­dos there are go­ing for less than half what they did be­tween 2005 and 2007 — and sub­stan­tially less than on Maui or Oahu,” he says.

They pur­chased a twobed­room, 1,172-square-foot home in the Fair­way Vil­las sec­tion of the re­sort for about $260,000. The plan is to use it as a rental prop­erty for now and as a re­tire­ment des­ti­na­tion in the fu­ture.

Deb­o­rah Kurtz, a re­al­tor with Sotheby’s In­ter­na­tional Realty Canada in Cal­gary, works with Cana­di­ans look­ing to buy or sell prop­er­ties in Hawaii.

The islands are con­tin­u­ing to draw po­ten­tial home­buy­ers, she says.

“It’s still at­tract­ing Cal­gar­i­ans look­ing for re­tire­ment, or sec­ond or third homes, or for just a get­away place,” says Kurtz, adding that prices can run from as low as $70,000 for an apart­ment condo up into the mil­lions of dol­lars for es­tate homes.

“It’s my role to work with clients here, nar­row down what they are look­ing for and where, and then pass them along to our Sotheby peo­ple there,” says Kurtz. “Ev­ery­body wants their dream place with ocean views, but some­times, you have to start with some­thing else.”

Cal­gary buy­ers are look­ing for value and life­style, says Macarthur. “It’s about them and what they want to do with the rest of their lives.”

Pho­tos cour­tesy, Macarthur and Co. Sotheby’s In­ter­na­tional Realty

This 2,040-square-foot home at Kapoho on the Big Is­land of Hawaii was re­cently voted the list­ing with the best ocean view. Cana­di­ans are seen as po­ten­tial buy­ers of such prop­er­ties.

The liv­ing room of a home at The Shores at Waikoloa.

A home at Mauna Kea has plenty of out­door liv­ing space.

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