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10 Best Things About Christmas in Hawaii

Everybody loves Christmas. Everybody loves Hawaii. It’s only natural that combining the two makes for one super holiday! People from every corner of the world come to Hawaii during the Christmas season to enjoy some of the best of what the islands have to offer.

We’ll let you in on a little secret. While we all know Christmas isn’t a Hawaiian holiday, over the years the holiday has gained a unique island feel. The familiar – Christmas trees, colorful lights and festive holiday parades – blend with Hawaiian cultural traditions to create something special. It’s Christmas in the Spirit of Aloha and it’s something you can experience every year as a Hawaii real estate owner.

To celebrate Christmas in Hawaii this year, we’ve put together a special list of what we consider to be the top 10 best things about spending the holiday in the islands:

  1. Hawaiian Christmas Songs. Music is part of the holiday and this is no exception in Hawaii. The Hawaiian language is beautiful and flowing – perfect for festive caroling. Perhaps the most famous is Mele Kalikimaka (made famous by Bing Crosby in the 1950s and, more recently, in the film National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation). There are many others!
  2. Santa Arrives… By Canoe? That’s right! Every year in early December, Hawaii celebrates the holiday season as Santa arrives on the shores of Waikiki Beach on his very own outrigger canoe. The event is hosted by the Outrigger Waikiki Hotel and is free to the public. Kids can even get some face time with the jolly old elf upon arrival!
  3. Lighted Boat Parades. Two parades typically light up the waters around Oahu each year during the Christmas season. The Honolulu Christmas Boat Parade tours around Honolulu Harbor and can be viewed from the Aloha Tower Marketplace and various other spots on the Honolulu waterfront. The Hawaii Kai Christmas Boat Parade usually attracts thousands who watch as about 40 boats – all litup for Christmas – float lazily through theHawaii Kai waters.

    Mele Kalikimaka

    Merry Christmas in Hawaiian! (Photo courtesy of Flickr user "billsoPHOTO")

  4. The Nutcracker Ballet. Hawaii enjoys some of the more traditional Christmas celebrations, too. Performances of the famous Nutcracker Ballet happen all over the state during the Christmas season.
  5. Lahaina Gets Lit Up. Maui celebrates Christmas by covering the historic Lahaina Banyan Tree in lights each Christmas season. Residents and visitors celebrate the annual tradition with a ceremony featuring Christmas carols, a Hula exhibition and an appearance by St. Nick for the kids!
  6. Honolulu is Illuminated. Every year around Christmas time, thousands on Oahu gather outside Honolulu Hale – the name give to the mayor’s office – to watch as the massive 50-plus foot Christmas tree is lit for the first time. The event is called Honolulu City Lights and marks the beginning of a month-long Christmas festival in and around Honolulu Hale. The lighting ceremony is accompanied by the Electric Light Parade.
  7. Kauai Blazes Brightly! Residents of the Garden Island celebrate Christmas with their own illuminated celebration. The Kauai Festival of Lights officially marks the arrival of Christmas to the island. The event has its origins more than 50 years ago with “Auntie” Josie Chansky, a local folk artist who opened her home each Christmas to share thousands of the homemade Christmas decorations she had made throughout her life. Her home became knownas The Christmas House among locals. The festival, which began in 1996, carries on the tradition by preserving Chansky’s wonderful collection for all to see.
  8. Football. The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl has become a beloved holiday tradition in the islands. The football game takes place every day on Christmas Eve at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Besides being a nationally important BCS bowl game, it is a chance for Hawaii residents to support the University of Hawaii in their much anticipated annual contest. This year UH will host the University of Tulsa.
  9. Christmas Trees. Having a Christmas tree in your home during the holiday season is a beloved tradition that isn’t missed in Hawaii. Boatloads of the fragrant conifers are shipped to the islands from colder regions of the world so the people of Hawaii can enjoy the comfort and coziness of a Christmas tree in the living room.
  10. Christmas on the Beach. Christmas morning in Hawaii starts out much the same as anywhere else in the world. Gifts are opened and brunch is served. That’s when things start to change. Late December in the islands is much the same as mid-July – that is to say, snow and freezing temperatures are not a concern. Many Hawaii residents head down to the beach after gifts have been opened to enjoy Christmas afternoon in the sun, sand and salt water.

Now it’s obvious that Christmas in Hawaii is an experience second-to-none. Moving to Hawaii is the next step to making this wonderful tradition part of your life. Best of Hawaii Real Estate will connect you to the best Hawaii REALTOR who will help make your dreams come true.


Christmas in Hawaii

Mele Kalikimaka! Christmas season in Hawaii is upon us! The orange and red hues of Thanksgiving are behind us, and the ghouls and goblins of Halloween are but a distant memory. December has started and it’s time to decorate that tree, buy gifts and indulge in a few Yuletide sweets.

Hawaiian Christmas Ornament

Image courtesy of Flickr User "Corey Ann"

This time of year Hawaii residents are gearing up for a very special Christmas celebration. Christmas in Hawaii is very similar to Christmas anywhere else in the world with just a few minor changes. Spending Christmas in the islands takes on a special Hawaiian flair found nowhere else on Earth. At Best of Hawaii Real Estate, we think Hawaii Christmas celebrations are one of the most unique parts of living in Hawaii. That’s why we’re dedicating the next several blog posts to the topic.

There are so many things to love already about the holiday season. Christmas lights, fragrant trees, giving and getting, sweet treats, friends and family always close by and the simple joy of the season. We are always happy to see Christmas come and always sad to see it go.

Hawaii has become a preferred Christmas vacation spot because the Hawaiian Christmas season is extra special. Residents and tourists alike enjoy the holiday with many traditional parades and parties throughout the state. Honolulu Hawaii (letter “H” on our Oahu Virtual Tour) features some of the most festive Christmas celebrations in the state.

Experience the Honolulu City Lights Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Outrigger Hotel. Watch as Santa lands on the beach at Waikiki (letter “W” on our Oahu Virtual Tour) in a Hawaiian outrigger canoe in the best Waikiki holiday ritual. Jolly old Saint Nick is greeted by the Hawaiian gift of hula – the famous traditional dance – and is available for free photo-taking for the kids!

Hawaii Christmas has something to offer to even the most diehard sports fans. The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl takes place on Christmas Eve at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

Christmas in Hawaii is part of what makes owning Hawaii real estate special. However tempting, we know how big of a decision buying a Hawaii home can be. Best of Hawaii Real Estate gives you the tools to make the most informed decision. We can connect you to the Hawaii REALTOR who best fits your needs – and best of all, it’s completely free!


Retiring in Hawaii

Retirement is a time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. You’ve been planning for this moment for decades and the time has finally come; now, there’s one last decision to make. Choosing Hawaii as your retirement destination carries with it a bevy of inherent benefits. Right now, there are hundreds of Hawaii homes and condos for sale. Who knows? One could be the perfect fit!

Life in Hawaii
takes on a pleasant and leisurely pace. Just like the rhythm of the gentle ocean waves crashing on shore, the lifestyle in Hawaii is naturally moretire in Hawaiire relaxed. Maybe it’s the tropical year-long summer weather. Perhaps it’s the chirping of the birds in the morning or the bright twinkling stars visible every night. Whatever the reasons, Hawaii’s laid back vibe makes for the ideal retirement lifestyle.

Do you love to golf? Hawaii golf courses are some of the best and widest ranging in the world. If your idea of a relaxing day of retirement includes 18 holes overlooking the Pacific Ocean, you’re going to love retiring in Hawaii. From Kauai and Oahu to Maui and the Big Island, every island has a wide range of golf offerings to suit every taste in the game. Numerous world class Jack Nicklaus courses are intermingled with quality public courses that meet every style and every budget.

It’s no mystery that Hawaii is famous for having perfect weather. Sun and warmth can do amazing things to the body, as many Hawaii retirees can confirm. We all know that aches and pains tend to show their ugly heads when the temperature changes. If you’re tired of that discomfort in the cold of winter, you’ll love Hawaii’s constant year-long warmth.  Ask any Hawaii retiree and they’ll tell you about the incredible restorative effects of the weather in Hawaii.

There are many other great reasons to retire in Hawaii. The Hawaii medical system is excellent and readily available. Hawaii property retains its value well, which means your piece of paradise will be a smart investment for generations. I’m sure you have many questions. That’s why it’s important to secure the services of a certified Hawaii REALTOR. Their expertise and dedication to Hawaii real estate help to make Hawaii is great place to live and one of the best places to retire. At Best of Hawaii Real Estate, we guide you to the best Hawaii REALTOR based on your unique needs.


What Makes a Hawaii Real Estate Agent a Hawaii REALTOR?

So you are in the market for Hawaii homes and are looking for a great Hawaii real estate agent. With so much on the line, obviously you want an agent that is successful and trustworthy. Choosing the right Hawaii real estate agent can make or break your dream of living in Hawaii. Picking an agent who is a certified Hawaii REALTOR is the best way to ensure your future is in good hands.

NAR Code of Ethics

The National Association of REALTORS Code of Ethics

Not every Hawaii real estate agent is a Hawaii REALTOR. In order to be called a REALTOR, an agent must be a member of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. The main purpose of this code is to ensure the best interests of the clients are being observed at all times. It holds agents to a much higher standard of ethical behavior than is required by law and ensures you receive the best service.

Imagine that you are looking at Hawaii beach houses for sale or a condo in Honolulu Hawaii. You search the Internet for the best Hawaii real estate agents and come up with a two Hawaii agents that fit your needs. One is a REALTOR and the other not. Both seem reputable enough but what makes the REALTOR different? First and foremost, the REALTOR has pledged to put your interests ahead of his or her own. This means that honesty will always come before commission. Taking advantage of your trust for personal gain will never be an option for your Hawaii REALTOR.

There are a host of other reasons why choosing a Hawaii REALTOR is the best decision you can make. Hawaii REALTORS make buying and selling Hawaii real estate a safe and worry-free process. This is what makes Hawaii a great place to live, one of the best places to retire and the perfect place to raise kids. At Best of Hawaii Real Estate, we connect you free with only the best Hawaii REALTORS so you can be sure your agent is trustworthy and genuine.


Mansions in Hawaii: The Ultimate Indulgence in Hawaii Real Estate: Big Island

There’s more to love on Hawaii’s Big Island. Owning luxury Hawaii real estate takes on a new meaning when it’s on the Big Island. Believe it or not, more than half of all the land in Hawaii belongs to Big Island real estate. With this kind of opportunity, it’s easy to find the perfect mansion in Hawaii to suit every possible taste.

Aloha From HawaiiSize isn’t the Big Island’s only claim to fame. Where else can you surf and ski in the same day? We can assure you, a list of those locations would be incredibly small. Add living a luxury lifestyle in paradise to the question and you’ll see why Big Island real estate stands alone at the top.

Kailua Kona Hawaii is located on the west side of the Big Island, and can be seen on number 25 of our Big Island Virtual Tour. Kona is a hotbed of luxury Hawaii real estate activity with some of the biggest mansions in Hawaii. Waikoloa real estate to the north (# 29 on our Big Island Virtual Tour) offers up extravagant resort living near world-class golf courses, shopping and beaches.

Hilo homes on the east coast offer a more laid back luxury lifestyle. This close knit community is home to the island’s only major airport, an excellent four-year university and gives quick access to the renowned Volcano National Park. Are you imagining a secluded Hawaii mansion with an ocean view? What about a luxury Hilo Hawaii condo? Look no further than Hilo real estate.

From Kona Hawaii to Hilo, the Kohala Coast to Puako, Best of Hawaii Real Estate connects you with the Big Island REALTOR who can make your dream of owning luxury Hawaii real estate a reality. Our free service takes the guesswork out of your real estate search.


Mortgate Rates Lowest In History

Rates on long- and short-term Hawaii home loans have never been more affordable. Last week, the national average for 30-year fixed rate mortgages sank from 4.75 to 4.69 percent to reach its lowest recorded level in history.

Rates on 15-year fixed-rate, as well as five- and one-year adjustable-rate mortgages also hit new lows.

Many experts are saying that the European debt crisis has helped drive down rates as investors flee European investment which is regarded as volatile right now. Investors have transferred major amounts of wealth into U.S. Treasury bonds, causing Treasury yields to fall. This in turn is driving down borrowing rates.Rates Have Never Been Lower!

News sources are quick to point out that, despite these record-setting lows, the demand for housing has never been weaker. This may be the good news you’ve been waiting for. A low demand for new loans means lenders will jump at the chance to give qualified borrowers access to these record low rates.

These historically low rates are combining with low asking prices to make this one of the best times to buy in history. Locking in these low fixed rates means, regardless of the future market, you’ll never have to worry about your rates going up. Act now because these rates could change without notice. This is your opportunity to realize your dream of owning property in Hawaii.

Team up with Hawaii’s top agents using RE-Direct at Best of Hawaii Real Estate on your journey to Hawaii residential or commercial ownership. We are your no-cost connection to Hawaii’s best and most qualified real estate professionals.


Healthcare in Hawaii? We’ve got you covered!

It seems like every time we Healthcare in Hawaiirelease new content on the Best of Hawaii Real Estate site, we uncover more and more reasons why moving to Hawaii is truly paradise found.

This week, the site’s latest addition – Healthcare in Hawaii – spotlights Hawaii’s healthcare system as a national standout.  We’ve compiled a bunch of useful information and data from a wide range of sources to create a page that’s comprehensive, easy to read and interesting all at once.  You will find lots of information in small bites, with the resources to find more if you want more information about a particular topic.

Did you know that Hawaii has had near universal healthcare coverage for more than 35 years?  Did you know the state’s largest private hospital has its roots in Hawaii’s original monarchy?  We’ve expanded on this and a whole lot more, all on the site.

We are just as curious as you are about these topics, and we aren’t satisfied until all of our questions are answered.  By putting ourselves in your shoes, we know that your questions are being answered as well.

Whether you’re moving to Hawaii, relocating to a different island within the state, or simply looking for information about healthcare in Hawaii, head over to the site and check out our latest website addition.  It is just one more step toward our goal to become your comprehensive Hawaii resource.


Don’t Miss This Step

We’ve added yet another new section in the Information Center on the Best of Hawaii Real Estate webMissing This Simple Step Could Cost You Thousandssite (http://bestofhawaiirealestate.com) to help you to better understand the enormous impact our free service could have on your next real estate transaction. Written by some of the most experienced minds on our team, this section is an eye-opener – it uncovers issues that arise in many transactions. For example, do you know what dual agency is? A fully disclosed answer awaits you! You have a choice and we want you to be fully armed.

When you’ve decided to make the real estate plunge, where do you begin? Do you head to the yellow pages? Do you start with a Google search? What phrase do you type in? How can you be sure that you’ve started your search correctly, or that you haven’t made the wrong choice at a fork in the road? How do you get rid of all those “What Ifs”?

If this is your first visit to our website or blog, welcome and let us take a minute to explain how our RE-Direct© technology does the work for you. First, you answer a few simple questions about your real estate goals. Next, our system takes less than thirty seconds to turn your answers into quantifiable attributes. RE-Direct© then compares your results to our ranked database of local Realtors. Instantly the preferences you’ve specified have traveled through the ether of cyberspace directly into the inbox of the exact same Realtor whose professional information is being displayed on your screen. It’s instant and it’s 100 percent free!

Now you have a dynamic new first step in the quest to fulfill your real estate dreams and a direct connection to the agent who best fits your requirement. No more questions, no more stress. It isn’t magic; we simply put the real estate industry where it should be – working for you.

Do real estate professionals take a hit in business as a result? Amazingly enough the answer is no – with willing consumers being connected with the agent most likely to satisfy their needs, there will be more happy buyers and sellers, more transactions completing escrow, and an all together better business environment. It is win-win for everyone involved.

Think of us as the real estate industry’s passive mediator, as a bridge over the strangely empty void between you and the industry’s best professionals. Most importantly, think of us any time you are in the market to buy or sell real estate.


The Job Market’s Greener on the Island Side

The latest addition to our Information Center section – Jobs in Hawaii – that we mentioned Thursday is complete and live.

We’ve approached this section a little differently. We realized that in order to make the point clearly – that Hawaii is a bright spot in a troubled global job market – we needed to stray a bit from our normal light-hearted style.

We’ve included graphs, tables and a whole lot of statistics, all telling you that if you’ve been holding off moving to Hawaii because of the job search, a closer look will offer some very good news that might just change your mind.

Throughout the Great Recession – the term dubbed by mainstream media for this recent economic downturn – Hawaii’s seasonally adjusted unemployment levels have consistently hovered around 70 percent of the nation’s average.

Hawaii’s job market also appears to be recovering at a faster rate than the country as a whole. Recent data show that, while the job market seems to be improving throughout the country, that rate has been turbo-charged here in Hawaii.

Since we’ve grabbed your attention, check out Jobs in Hawaii for more of the good stuff. And remember – more updates are always just around the corner!


An Example to Follow…

The online real estate marketing publication Property Ad Guru has featured our latest update as a shining example of how using real local information gives added value to our service and our website. We have been working hard to update our website to continually include more useful information to assist potential homebuyers.

Ad Guru Post Image

To quote the blog post, “Best of Hawaii Real Estate is making local information a key part of its strategy… [with] the addition of new ‘top five things to consider’ sections covering each area.”

Property Ad Guru agrees that local, from-the-source information is utterly invaluable to consumers looking for real estate. If you live on the mainland, you can’t simply jump in your car and drive to Hawaii. It’s the isolation, cultural differences and other aspects unique to the area that makes having this local perspective especially important to people considering Hawaii as a long-term living destination.

Similarly, a Google search will typically land you in a sea of results aimed at tourists and short-term vacationers. The information on our site is specifically targeted at people considering a move to (or within) Hawaii. This is good for the industry, good for Hawaii and, most important of all, good for you and your family.

And we’re not done yet! Just today, we’ve released the latest addition to our Information Center – Jobs in Hawaii – detailing how new residents can expect to be received by Hawaii’s current job market… and there’s good news for job seekers.

Experience the best of local Hawaii before you even arrive, only at Best of Hawaii Real Estate.