Posts Tagged ‘Hawaii Realtor’

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.


Living Green in Hawaii: Kauai

Kauai is a place where the green lifestyle is as literal as it is figurative. The Garden Island is a place of water; frequent showers cause waterfalls to appear out of nowhere. Water brings uninhibited life – a theme of Kauai and its people, and one that affects many of the sustainable lifestyle choices made every day by the residents of The Garden Island.Green living on Kauai

If you’re moving to Hawaii in search of a green island lifestyle, look no further than Kauai real estate. Although small on a map, Kauai has a wealth of land owned by local ranchers and farmers who produce some of the greenest foods known to man. Grass-fed cattle and wholesome seasonal fruits and veggies are available at many restaurants and local markets. Look for stickers on beef that indicate a local product (if you see a Princeville Pride sticker, it means the product comes from the Princeville Ranch on the North Shore).

Fishing is a huge industry on Kauai. Some of the freshest sustainably caught seafood can be had without hurting your wallet. Many fish markets are peppered around the island so you can be sure there’s one nearby your work or your little piece of island real estate.

Grass-fed beef, local fresh fish and island-grown produce can be found at some of these local favorites:

  • North Shore: Foodland, Hanalei Dolphin, Kilauea Fish Market, Papaya’s, The Hanalei Gourmet and Princeville Shell Gas Station (don’t be scared away by the pumps!)
  • East Side: Wailua Country Store, Pono Market, Kojima’s, Fish Express, Windward Market, Ara’s Sakana-ya & Hukilau Lanai
  • South Side: Sueoka’s, Koloa Fish Market, Shells Restaurant at the Sheraton Kauai Resort and Merriman’s (look for beef from A’akukui Ranch, located just eight miles from Poipu)
  • West Side: Barefoot Burgers, Big Save, Kauai Coffee, Hanapepe Sunshine Market and Hanapepe Café

The green lifestyle is alive and well on Kauai. Planning to retire in Hawaii? Kauai is one of the best places to retire! Looking to raise your family here? Look no further! Trying to find life’s next big adventure? Kauai has it all and Best of Hawaii real estate will connect you to the best Hawaii REALTOR to guide you to the greenest real estate on Kauai. 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 you. 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: 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.


Hawaii Real Estate: Why is the grass greener on the other side of the island?

It’s no wonder so many people decide to buy a Hawaii home.  When you look at Hawaii’s weather throughout the year, normal in Hawaii means a temperature change of only seven degrees between the height of the summer season and the low of the winter season – thanks to Hawaii’s many microclimates, those special areas where the climate differs from the surrounding area.  If you are looking at buying real estate in Hawaii as a way to escape extreme temperatures, you won’t be disappointed. Did you know that the climate within the state of Hawaii changes depending on which island – and even which part of the island – you live?

Thinking about moving to KaKauai Kayakinguai? As any Kauai real estate agent knows, Kauai real estate prices change depending on where you are on the island. Home and condo values in Poipu, on Kauai’s south side, vary widely from neighboring Kekaha town. The Poipu microclimate is white sand beaches with lush green backdrops, giving the Garden Island its name. Whereas Kekaha is hotter and dryer, for those looking for a much more arid climate.

If you have been looking at buying Big Island land, have you asked yourself what draws you to the area? The Kona District, famous worldwide for its Kona coffee, rests on the gently sloping western side of the Mauna Loa volcano. Mauna Loa naturally shields the delicate coffee plants because by the time the winds reach west-facing Kona, they have turned in to gentle, misty breezes perfect for growing coffee. These conditions also are greatly appreciated by the humans that make Kona a Hawaii real estate hotspot!

Finding the right Hawaii Realtor is your ticket to your perfect piece of Hawaii real estate. Your Hawaii Real Estate agent can help you assess how the microclimates can affect Hawaii real estate values and how that fits with your Hawaii lifestyle needs. The best real estate agents live and work in Hawaii – they know the impact microclimates have on each area on each island and are waiting to give you the benefits of their local island knowledge.


10 Best Reasons to Buy Hawaii Real Estate in 2010

The other day, I was forwarded a Yahoo! Real Estate article listing the 10 worst mistakes first-time homebuyers have made so far this year. The article paints an all-around gloomy picture of the average American first-time homebuyer – and we think you deserve a little more credit.

Whether you’re new to Hawaii real estate or not, the fact that you’ve found Best of Hawaii Real Estate on the web means you’re researching your decision and, according to Yahoo! Real Estate, are well above the curve when it comes to shopping for the best Hawaii real estate.

Now that we’ve reddened your cheeks with compliments, let us introduce you to Best of Hawaii Real Estate’s official 10 Best Reasons to Buy Hawaii Real Estate 2010:

1. You Can Afford More. As we’ve all learned in the past couple of years, a weak housing market means lower prices on much of the best Hawaii real estate. If you’ve been in the Hawaii real estate market for any length of time, you’ve witnessed the decline of price tags  for the best Hawaii homes across the board. Hawaii homebuyers today have the advantage on their side, and experts agree that this won’t last long.

2. Lowest Mortgage Rates. So you think these low rates mean you can put your hands on some of the best Hawaii homes with even less stress on the bank account? We do too. Have you been hearing that shorter term loans might just be within your grasp? We don’t see why not. The time to lock in a low fixed and/or a shorter term  rate on a mortgage is right now.

3. Expenses That Pay You Back. If the expenses associated with home ownership have been holding back your dreams of buying Hawaii real estate, keep in mind that each dollar you spend maintaining your new Hawaii home is an investment in your future.

4. It Pays To Be Picky. Buying Hawaii real estate isn’t like going to the supermarket to pick up some eggs. With so much on the line for so many years to come, you deserve to take your time with this decision. And it just so happens that waiting is paying off; the variety of homes on the Hawaii real estate market today, compared to two years ago, is amazingly high and prices are at record lows.

Congratulations. You’ve arrived at the best possible buyers market.

Aloha Hawaii

5. The View. In a quiet moment, as you sit on the balcony of your new Hawaii home, on a perfectly 70-something degree evening in mid-January, sipping a Mai Tai and watching the sun set over the blue Pacific waters, your doubts about the strangely colored wallpaper in your bathroom fade away forever.

6. Being Swept Away. It’s a phrase that fits in well with your new Hawaii lifestyle. It also seems to happen a lot here. Let’s review all the different times Hawaii has swept you away: 1) you were swept away with Hawaii’s natural beauty on your first vacation; 2) you were swept away with the possibility of actually living here; 3) you were swept away with the home you decided to buy; 4) you were swept away by the 1000-foot waterfall you saw from the air on a helicopter tour of the island last weekend; and now, 5) you’re dressing up to be swept away by an amazing night of food, music and dancing.

Being swept away has never felt so good!

7. Compromise No Longer Needed. Life in Hawaii is about pure pleasure and bliss, and compromising on your Hawaii real estate purchase is no longer necessary. With Hawaii property prices so low, and mortgage rates continuing to sink, affordable Hawaii real estate is the name of the game now, but act fast – these prices won’t last long!

8. Did We Mention The Weather? In Hawaii the average temperature is 72 and only rises to 79 in August!  Need we say more?

9. The Best Real Estate Agents. Name one person you know who doesn’t occasionally dream about living in Hawaii. Drawing a blank? Whether you daydream of a luxurious beachfront mansion, a Hawaii condo, or a jungle retreat completely off the grid, Hawaii has something for everyone. With such a range of properties available, it’s only fitting that Hawaii Realtors are among the very best in the world.  When you use Best of Hawaii Real Estate, you can be sure that finding the best Hawaii Realtor to help you has never been easier.

10. Because The Future is Now. Instant gratification and smart future investment aren’t phrases you normally see next to each other. Times have changed. When you buy Hawaii real estate now, you’re getting the best of both worlds. Take advantage of today’s ideal combination of low home prices and super low mortgage rates to get the winning combination of  instant gratification and a smart future investment of the best Hawaii home ownership.



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.