Posts Tagged ‘Hawaii’

Living Green in Hawaii: Oahu

Sunny day at Waikiki beach on Oahu, HawaiiOahu is unique within the state of Hawaii. Containing three quarters of the state’s population, the state capitol, major airports, shipping lanes and hospitals – Oahu, is essentially the center of Hawaii.

With influence comes responsibility, and Oahu has taken its obligation in stride. Oahu is also a global leader in green lifestyle technologies.

Oahu has made enormous strides creating alternative energy in recent years.  Have you heard that the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative signed into law less than two years ago is already producing results?  Solar energy is just part of the plan to decrease overall demand and increase efficiency.  The goal is to meet 70 percent of Hawaii’s energy demand by 2030 using only the viable sources that, like sunlight, are abundantly available in Hawaii.

Oahu real estate agents have seen huge increases in the number of new homes powered by solar arrays.  Living green on Oahu creates new jobs in Hawaii for new and existing Hawaii residents as the demand for clean energy resources rises.  Jobs in a healthy environment – what’s not to love?

Leading a green Honolulu lifestyle is easier than ever thanks to some recent advances in green city living.  Composting household waste (even in a tiny space) has become quite the in-thing, no longer reserved for those on big parcels of Hawaii real estate.  Composting your waste is the one of the greenest alternatives to the trash can!

Want to live green in a Honolulu or Waikiki condo? Maybe you are dreaming of a larger Oahu home?  Best of Hawaii Real Estate will find you the best Hawaii REALTOR to guide you to the greenest real estate on Oahu.  Each Hawaii REALTOR in our system has been ranked according to their specific areas of expertise, and you can be sure we have the ideal agent for your needs. Our free Hawaii REALTOR matching service will connect you with an agent who will help you achieve a green lifestyle in Hawaii.


Living Green in Hawaii: Big Island

There is no better place for us to begin our new Living Green in Hawaii blog series than the Big Island. Many are drawn to Big Island real estate because of how easy it is to lead a green lifestyle.  As the largest island in the state, Big Island Hawaii is home to many spectacular natural wonders.  Its size and dramatic altitude changes make the Big Island one of the most naturally diverse places on Earth. Preserving these amazing resources is at the heart of the Big Island and its people.

Living Green in Hawaii

Buying locally produced food is an easy way to decrease your carbon footprint and a great way to start leading a green lifestyle. The benefits of consuming local produce are twofold. First, it gives you the freshest fruit and veggies. Second, it saves fuel by eliminating the need for cross-country transportation and refrigeration. Consider the resources, time, and cost required to simply bring in a carrot from the mainland –  you will quickly see the benefits of buying local.  There are few places on Earth with as many flourishing natural resources as Hawaii. Take advantage of Hawaii’s year-round summer by buying only sustainable Hawaii agriculture.

Many of the Big Island’s farmers sell their just-picked produce at farmers market. The Hilo Farmers Market features nearly 130 vendors and is the largest and best known farmers market in Hawaii. Kona to the west has four regular farmers markets and a handful of established local fruit stands.  Kona is the only place in the world that can boast delicious Kona coffee as a part of their local produce!  There are well over 20 regular farmers markets around the island so you know one will always be in the area.

Recycling is also a key part to leading a green lifestyle that has been made both easy and beneficial by Hawaii residents. Have you ever noticed the HI5¢ on many of the beverage containers you use every day? This little label means that Hawaii is one of the few states that offers a cash refund for recycling beverage containers. Cardboard, assorted paper and even plastic bags are all recycled in Hawaii. The Hawaii Island Recycling Guide and Zero Waste Hawaii answer all your questions about recycling in Hawaii.

A deep respect for the natural world is a part of the culture of Hawaii and its residents.  This is something the team at Best of Hawaii Real Estate understands and seeks to promote. Our free Hawaii REALTOR matching service will instantly connect you with an agent who can help you achieve a green lifestyle on the Big Island Hawaii.


Mahalo For Removing Your Shoes

When you think of caring for the land – being environmentally friendly, in politically correct terms – you don’t think of taking off your shoes before going into a friend’s house… do you?

Nope – we didn’t think so. You might be surprised to learn that in Hawaii, even little things like removing your shoes can be traced back to the ancient Hawaiian idea of Malama ‘Aina – to care for the land. That’s why the next section we will be adding to the Best of Hawaii Real Estate website is all about Malama ‘Aina and its cultural importance in Hawaii.

Here are three examples of Malama ‘Aina in action, introducing you to its relevance to everyday life in the islands:

1. Mahalo For Removing Your Shoes. If you’ve ever been to a Hawaiian home, you’ve more than likely encountered a huge pile of shoes outside the front door. We’ve already explained that this is a tradition of respect in the islands, but Malama ‘Aina is about respecting the land! How does this fit in?Ancient Hawaiians thought of human life as an extension of the land – a gift sustained only by the natural bounty of the islands themselves. These ancient peoples lived a life much closer to the land, so it’s easy to see how this belief formed. When you enter a home barefoot, you’re respecting your host, and in turn, the land itself.

2. I can’t drive 55. So you’re spending the day exploring the back inland roads on Kauai, and you encounter a one-lane bridge and signs require both directions of traffic to yield to the other. As you approach the bridge, you see that another car is also about to enter the only lane coming from the other direction. What would a local do?The gracious act of stopping and waving a stranger through a one-lane bridge respects the life on the other side of that bridge, and is an example of living Malama ‘Aina. With so many one-lane bridges in Hawaii, this is an act you’ll want to follow!

3. Clean-up has never been so fun. How do Hawaii’s beaches stay so clean and sparkly? No, there’s no secret task force that combs the sands for trash while nobody is looking. Beach cleanups are a popular activity among many Hawaii residents – children on field trips, local environmental groups, ocean sport enthusiasts and even the group of post-party-goers just breaking down their beach campsite.Spending your day cleaning takes on a new meaning when it’s on a pristine Hawaii beach. Beach cleanups often pop up at random locations and times, and for any old reason – a testament to just how precious these natural resources are to Hawaii and its people.

Malama ‘Aina is the Hawaiian concept of respect that forms the basis of these traditions. Respecting the land and its people – your neighbors – is as much a part of Hawaiian culture as the Hula and the Lu`au.

Head over to the Best of Hawaii Real Estate site and check out this and more helpful tips for new and potential Hawaii residents.


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.


Top 5: Comin’ on Strong

Best of Hawaii Real Estate’s “Top 5 things to consider” section we announced earlier in the month is coming along nicely.

As of today, the Big Island (split into Hilo and Kona sides) Oahu, Kauai and Molokai are all up and running, with Maui and Lanai due to be released in the next couple of days. Every one of these sections has been designed with you in mind based on interviews with long-time residents and locals of each individual island. We hope the feature will give you an inside glimpse at day-to-day life in the islands, ultimately making your Hawaii real estate decision as informed as possible.

sea turtle

And while you’re on the site, keep an eye on the Information Center for more new and helpful information. Next up will be “Jobs in Hawaii”, a detailed and to-the-point overview of how you can expect to be received by Hawaii’s job market.

So head on over; we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the data we’ve gathered.


Moving to Hawaii? Check out the Top 5 Things to Consider

Hawaii SunsetStarting today

Best of Hawaii Real Estate will be rolling out a new informational “Top 5” section for each Hawaiian island, one island at at time. The feature is designed as a resource to give prospective Hawaii real estate buyers a local’s perspective of what makes each island unique.

To give the articles an accurate and original voice, we’re basing all the content on a simple question we’ve asked locals and long-time residents of each island: What is your favorite part of living here?

So head over to http://bestofhawaiirealestate.com and check it out. We hope you find their answers helpful, insightful and entertaining.


Best Of Hawaii Real Estate Launches Interactive Website And Realtor Matching Service

LIHUE, Hawaii – The Portal Tree, LLC, a software development company specializing in real estate referral networking, today announced the launch of BestOfHawaiiRealEstate.com (http://bestofhawaiirealestate.com), a website designed to give Hawaii customers free access to its proprietary Realtor matching technology. The announcement marks the first major phase of the system’s consumer release since its nationwide launch was announced by the company in January.

The BestOfHawaiiRealEstate.com website includes a number of features to help consumers in their real estate search:

•   Realtor matching technology. The system has been developed from the ground up as a free online service to instantly match the consumer with a pre-screened Realtor depending on specific consumer needs.

•   Scenic virtual tour. The website introduces a new virtual tour system that highlights beaches, cultural and religious centers, wilderness areas and parks, shopping locations and other major attractions for each Hawaiian island. The system includes panoramic views, available facilities, suggested activities and health and safety advisories for each individual attraction.

•   Lifestyle and culture. Featured on the website are informative sections detailing the unique and notable aspects of each island’s lifestyle, culture and demographics.

With a goal of being the premier Realtor matching and industry information web portal in Hawaii, BestOfHawaiiRealEstate.com will be unveiling its “Information Center” to feature helpful information targeted at new or potential Hawaii residents. Additional features will be continuously appearing on the site in upcoming weeks.

The BestOfHawaiiRealEstate.com website was designed and implemented by The Portal Tree, LLC, a software development company specializing in real estate referral networking. All revenue from this website is generated through its relationships with the Best of Hawaii’s real estate agents and brokers as well as third party advertisers. The website’s Realtor matching service is provided free of charge to the consumer and without any obligations.


The RE-Direct Report – March 2010

Take The First Step Toward Your Dreams Today!

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) expands on the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit:

Extended deadline

To qualify for benefits, home buyers must have entered into a purchase contract by April 30, 2010. Once this provision is met, home buyers have until June 30, 2010 to close the deal.

Expanded sphere of benefits

While those making a first time home purchase still qualify for the $8,000, repeat home buyers are now eligible to claim a $6,500 tax credit on home purchases up to $800,000. This affects an enormous range of individual circumstances, including those of you looking to upgrade, downsize, relocate for any reason or simply make a smart investment. Additionally, the tax credit is redeemable for the construction of a new home.

Relaxed income requirements

To qualify for the full amount, individuals must make no more than $125,000 annually, couples up to $225,000 combined. Individuals and couples who make up to $20,000 over the limits will still qualify for partial benefits measured on a progressively declining scale. These numbers nearly double that of last year’s First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit and affect all eligible home purchases between November 7, 2009 and the April 30, 2010 deadline.

Your REALTOR® can help you take advantage of the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit.

Real estate is one of the smartest long-term investments you can make.

What are you waiting for?

For further information regarding the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit, we recommend:

The National Association of Realtors

IRS News Release

National Association of Home Builders’ Informational Site