Sunday in Poipu

Today is one of those special times that seem to happen “out of the blue” .. just when refreshment is most needed. Today I have been given a renewed gift of “visitor empathy & awareness”.

I’m sitting Open House in a lovely condominium for sale at the Manualoha condominium complex. The day is absolutely Classic Kauai; soft trades, bright sun, perfect temperature, and brilliantly colored purple bougainvillea draped magnificently over the carport just outside the window. The ocean is less than five minutes walk from the condo and the swimming pool is between the two .. just in case you only have two and a half minutes of energy. Another perfect day to settle on the beach or melt into a soft chair at the pool for that lazy afternoon sun session. This day, and many others like it, is why I love my island home.

There have been many folks popping in to view the condo today. I’ve been blessed to interact with a family visiting from far away Georgia, a single lady from southern California, a lovely older couple from northern California, and a couple from Canada .. to point out just a few. Everyone is so happy to be in this beautiful place and all of them share the common dream of owning their personal space on lovely Kauai. They are all vibrant, smiling, and excited to be here. For some, this visit is the culmination of many dreams and they see the Kauai with fresh eyes, the same way I first saw Her beauty back in 1967 as a young military man during my first visit.

Yes, today has been a gift .. a reminder I am responsible for accurate information and hard work on behalf of these fine folks who dream of owning their own place on Kauai. And, most importantly, I am responsible for what they carry in their hearts when they go back to their homes. I am responsible to demonstrate Aloha.

Today is a special day for me .. a day of new realization. This kind of day seems to happen frequently on the worlds most wonderful island. Come on over, there is plenty of Aloha to share and we will find your place in paradise.

Small town living .. Kalaheo style

Kalaheo Post Office

I live only two blocks from the Kalaheo Post Office and it is my daily ritual to stop by and check the mail. In this “age of electronika” we seem to have less and less actual human contact, as a more readily accessable “virtual contact” becomes the norm. This simple trip to “my” post office is a refreshing interlude from restraints imposed by glaring computer screens and seemingly never ending “cell phone captivation”. What a fascinating show of humanity one can observe as the glass portals to the home of our mail service swing to and fro. If there was no other place to imprint the beautiful faces of our neighbors into the collective familiarity of our community, it wouldn’t matter .. we have the post office. We may never actually stop and have a conversation, but we “know” each other and we are bonded by this common place we attend on a daily basis. This is a place we all feel comfortable in .. this is a place we all have pride of ownership in .. it is a symbol of decency and common daily toil we can all connect with .. it is OUR Post Office, and that feels good.

That’s just a tiny part of the wonder of Small town living .. Kalaheo style. Come on over, I’ll help you find your place in this special community .. it can be “your” post office too! Aloha, Bill

Garden Island .. with beach access

I get it .. I understand it feels to endure a freezing winter in the “heartland” while dreaming about 82 degrees in the crystal blue waters of wonderful Kauai. There is no mystery to the allure of lying on a carpet of soft sand .. soaking up the rays while admiring those bronzed and beautiful people around you. Paired with the Pacific’s rejuvenatory powers and a total sleep experience following happy “beach exhaustion” after a lazy day in the sun, one would think you have seen and felt the best of Kauai .. Right? I don’t think so! Look at that flower …

I am hereby raising my voice in defense of the the “other Kauai”. You know, the one that spawned the aka of “Garden Island”. Ah, yes my friends .. as the dolphins play and endless surf laps Her lovely beaches, the “Garden Island” sits mauka (looking toward the center) patiently waiting for our awakening senses to discover what may possibly be the most beautiful land mass on earth. I’m just sayin’ – “It simply ain’t right for that water to get all the attention!”. But, since a picture speaks a thousand words, please allow me to share some beauty from the “other Kauai” and invite you to intimately gaze upon Her colors, textures, and earth bound wonders. There is simply no end to the splendor of this ‘Aina (earth) … and She gives her beauty, asking nothing in return. Please, go towards the center and experience a peacefulness and power that will live within you forever. Kauai truly is “The Garden Island .. with beach access”.

On second thought .. there’s a lot to be said for 82 degrees and the crystal blue waters of Beautiful Kauai! Aloha, Bill

“Light at the end of the Tunnel”

I am fortunate to enjoy the incredible beauty of a walk that begins and ends at the front door of our Kalaheo home. The photo above is a small section of this five mile trek .. a hike showcasing wonder and magic, courtesy of the Garden Island. Over the years, this “escape” into the bounty of Kauai has been invaluable. This is the place I leave my troubles, my worries, and those “future” doubts that have irritated all of us as our world recently seemed to spin wildly out of control. Nature offers up sanity when all else appears to be fragmented and disfunctional.

Today, as I walked, the sudden realization struck me that our planet and Her people have not so much suffered over the last few years as we have grown .. grown into a new awareness that truly does emphasize finding the place we are happiest, inside and out. When this “hit” me between the ears, I couldn’t help but smile, knowing I am better equipped than ever before to have a new understanding of how important the “place” is to my Clients in this new, improved world. It was a lucky thought .. one that made me aware we are all going to look at the home purchase through wiser eyes in a more intelligent manner. It’s getting better, Folks .. and I suggest it is going to get even better than we imagine.

May I humbly recommend a good walk, some clear thinking, and a positive knowledge we are on the way to new heights. Please, put on a wonderful smile, come enjoy paradise, and find YOUR place on Magical Kauai .. the time is right and there IS “Light at the end of the Tunnel”. Call me .. I’ll happily tell you where my walk is .. the more smiling people, the better .. Welcome to YOUR new improved World!

Aloha, Bill Facker

P.S. Median Prices for homes during the month of February, where I walk, were down 39.91% .. Smiling? :)

FREEDOM

  • The 4th of July 2010 is past and Kauai was alive with sights, sounds, & smells of fireworks in honor of our Freedom. In these trying times, no matter what one thinks of current events and situations, it is always good to remember we have our Freedom. If we don’t like “IT”, we are free to voice our opinion about “IT”. We can travel the highways and byways of our nation at will. Those two facts alone make our country a pretty nice place to hang your hat. If you are one of the fortunate persons who hangs your hat on Kauai, I believe you are doubly blessed .. not counting the swim to visit relatives in Los Angeles, of course. Contact me for your Kauai real estate needs and I’ll throw in a Rubber Ducky innertube at closing to help with that little problem :) And, dear reader, know that because our nation IS filled with wonderful people, we WILL pull out of this current funk. Real estate is still the best investment … especially on Kauai ! Enjoy your Freedom and come see me while this incredible Buyers Market is still alive.
    Aloha, Bill

  • Your Piece of Kauai’s Nature

    Aloha All!

    Those of you who live in the Cities of the world “do it” .. Country Folk “do it” .. People in the desert “do it” .. and we certainly “do it” on the Beautiful Garden Island. Yeah Baby, we all “Do It” … We all look at the Beauty of Nature around us.

    Is Nature more beautiful from one place to another? Is it more wondrous to view nature on the most Beautiful Island of Earth (Kauai, of course), with the endless bounty of tropical plants, than to have a flower box on the window of a high rise in New York? There are moments of wonder over a single flower in the desert. Because of the starkness surrounding that “lonely lovely”, its beauty literally explodes to the eye.

    No doubt, nature is beautiful everyplace … with no exceptions to the wonder of it all.

    But, “Yeah Baby” there’s just so much more of it on Kauai! And you have the opportunity to Get over here and enjoy this phenomenal Buyers Market!

    And with that, I share a beautiful Orchid from my yard with you …

    YOUR Piece of Kauai’s Nature. Enjoy!

    small-white-orchid.jpg
    (Click on photo to enlarge)

    Wishing you great Health, Wealth, & Happiness

    Bill Facker RA
    Accredited Buyers Representative
    Cell: (808) 634-8392
    Email: bfack1@msn.com
    Website: www.kauaibill.com

    Laulima & Kokua Kauai

    As described in the Hawaiian Dictionary, composed in part by the late, great Mary Kawena Pukui, the word “laulima” refers to a group of people working together. Another word commonly used for this spirit of cooperative effort is one of my favorite Hawaiian words, Kokua.

    You may have read my prior writing about our 1941 Plantation Home in Kalaheo. I’m happy to report that Darlene and I are enjoying this wonderful home & the neighborhood where it resides even more than we ever anticipated … now, two years after purchasing. There is a “feeling” here that borders on the ethereal … a feeling that I’m certain is based on those who resided in this neighborhood before. In a place that has a history of Japanese and Portugese inhabitants, this Haole has been made to feel most welcome, and part of the fabric of this place I consider the best community on Kauai. I like to think this is, in part, because we take great pride in our yard and attempt to contribute to the beauty of our surroundings. This is the way Darlene and I can Kokua or Laulima in respecting our neighbors, their history, and the history of our home. This is how we can show our appreciation and respect for the Aina of Kauai.

    The feeling of acceptance has been so overwhelming to me, that I must say I’ve learned a great life lesson from the generosity of my neighbors. I plan, in the future, to suggest to my Valuable Clients that they ask themselves what they can do to Kokua or Laulima for the neighborhood they are purchasing a home in. I’m certain this spirit of cooperative effort will assure my Clients (and me, as their Agent) not only a beautiful environment, but acceptance into that community. A well kept yard seems to garner instant positive recognition.

    It is ethereal, isn’t it? “Working” in the yard must be one of life’s great pursuits. Sitting at dusk in a freshly mown yard with your plants smiling at you is a great moment in time. As a Realtor, I think it might be imperative that I Kokua to the neighborhood by at least suggesting to my Clients the benefits (both aesthetic and social) of exercising those two beautiful Hawaiian words … Laulima and Kokua.

    Wishing each of you great Health, Wealth, and Happiness! Aloha!

    KALAHEO PALI KAI

    Aloha All!

    I’m freezing! That’s right, I’m sitting in my home office (yes, the 1941 Gem in Kalaheo) freezing. Okay, so I’m not really freezing, but it’s ONLY 79 degrees today and raining, and that feels a little chilly in a comparative analysis to the “norm” of sunny days and mid 80′s we usually enjoy on the Garden Isle in winter. Whoops, the sun just popped out … ahhh, Beautiful Kauai! I must say, those poor souls on the Mainland have really been getting “hit” with awful weather this week. I spoke to my cousin yesterday .. it was 9 degrees in Casper, Wyoming! My good buddy in Kansas City is digging out of an ice “attack”, and the East Coast … forget about it! Okay, you know it’s coming, so let me go ahead and get the sales pitch out of the way … YOU COULD BE ON KAUAI! IT’S A BUYERS MARKET! GET OFF THE FENCE AND CALL ME! DO IT NOW! (I stole that last phrase from COPS ). Hey, it always works for them! There just ain’t that much here, folks, and who can guess how much more development can be sustained or will be allowed on this most beautiful place … okay, argueably the most beautiful place on earth. But hey, my friend in Las Vegas says the desert is “actually very pretty”. I’m so looking forward to doing the breast stroke across those blazing sands!
    In 1988, we moved into Kalaheo Pali Kai condos. I was working at the Westin in Lihue at INN ON THE CLIFFS .. possibly the greatest restaurant venue every to exist on Kauai, and Darlene was working at the same resort, different restaurant. Those were truly Glory Days for our little island in the Pacific. A true visionary and developer by the name of Chris Hemmeter was at the peak of his creative power, and the result of his effort was Westin Kauai Lagoons. He also created a little joint on the Big Island where you swim with dolphins, but that’s not part of this story. What an amazing time it was! I recall the opening of Kauai Lagoons and the various reactions by the Kama’aina of Kauai. There were bumper stickers with Chris Hemmeters name in the center of a red circle and a red slash through it, like a No Smoking sign. In fact, there were many bumper stickers of protest in various forms … Kauai Lagoons wasn’t the most popular entity to “come down the pike”. Prior to the grand opening of this 800+ acre resort, the old Kauai Surf sat lazily by, as waves kissed the sands of Kalapaki Beach, and the fear of this new “monster” completely overtaking Kauai was making waves of its own. In fact, the face of Kauai was going to change … and many feared it would be for the worse.
    Well, as is the case for nearly everything on Kauai, magic happened. Without giving you the long version, suffice it to say that Westin Kauai Lagoons is emblazoned into the hearts of many Kama’aina who were blessed to work there and enjoy the Spirit of Aloha which grew exponentially from 1987 until Hurricane Iniki came to “play”. Those years were my training ground for learning why Kauai is so incredible … it is Her People. In my life I’ve been fortunate to live in many places, but no place has the admirable Society that is present on this Island. Kauai is inhabited by people who have exhibited incredible flexibility in the path of growth, both past and present. The resilience and loving Spirit of her children is, possibly, the most special feature of this beautiful place. It is difficult to watch your home change … I know, I watched my childhood home in Colorado go from a sleepy little one horse town to a bustling tourist mecca. My favorite fishing places were all of a sudden fenced off .. places I used to hunt deer (I don’t do that anymore) were suddenly POSTED – NO TRESPASSING, and you can now drive to places it took me two days and one overnight camp to reach as a youth. Over the years I’ve come to realize we can’t keep people from wanting to be in the most beautiful places .. it’s a natural event. After all, I came to Kauai and I certainly understand why anyone else would come to Kauai … She is the most wonderful island on earth. With a world that is experiencing huge population growth, we know that all places are going to be more populated in the near future. The best we can achieve is INTELLIGENT PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT of this growth .. not only on Kauai, but everywhere. And the best we can hope for is that people everywhere can be as resilient and flexible in accepting change as the people of Kauai.
    I regress, I started writing this piece to tell you about the wonderful years we spent at Kalaheo Pali Kai and how I’ve just been blessed to help negotiate a deal for my clients to make a unit in Pali Kai their new home. I’m particularly pleased because they are Kama’aina (People of this earth .. Kauai) and I feel that maybe, just maybe, I’m giving back in a small way to the people of Kauai who have given me so much for the last 20 years. If you are blessed to come be a part of Kauai, I highly recommend opening your heart to Her Children and enjoying their ways. Make your footprint a soft one and I promise, you will be forever profoundly changed …. and you will be forever grateful. But don’t wait long, “There just ain’t that much here, folks !” and Beautiful Kauai is a rare and fragile gem that can only sustain so many souls. Wishing you great Health, Wealth, & Happiness. Aloha!
    P.S. Kalaheo Pali Kai Condos – A wonderful place to live .. with a valley full of birds singing, views all the way down to Poipu, and the majestic Pueo gliding by your lanai … that IS what this Blog Entry was about … Right? Wishing you great Health, Wealth, & Happiness. Aloha!

    Bill Facker RA
    Accredited Buyers Representative
    Cell: (808) 634-8392
    Email: bfack1@msn.com
    Website: www.kauaibill.com

    1941 Kalaheo Gem

    1941 Kalaheo Gem

    Sometime in 2006 I happened to take my Clients to view a small home in Kalaheo. The home was described on MLS as follows:

    “Completely renovated home in Kalaheo town. Restored to maintain its original plantation style, charm, and architecture. New kitchen and bathroom with oak cabinets and new appliances. New flooring throughout.”

    After our visit, I was certain this was the perfect home for my Clients. It was absolutely beautiful. The neighborhood was quiet, as per their request. The yard was small and manageable, perfect for their retirement. There was a very healthy Panix “fence” growing between this house and the neighboring property, providing the privacy my Clients required. It had covered parking for three vehicles … how unusual is that! The parking was excellent because it consisted of a detached two car covered car port, and another one car port that was attached to the home and covered by the existing peaked roof. The architecture looked good, and I immediately pointed out to the folks they could very easily “frame in” that four hundred square foot area, adding a third bedroom and second bathroom, if they wished. This would be advantageous for future value, since the home was now 872 sq ft with 2BR/1BA … all they had to do was have the floor and walls completed – it was already roofed! So, before we even stepped in the front door, I knew this was the home for them!

    Walking into that small home in Kalaheo was truly a feast for the eyes. The contractor who did the renovation did an absolutely fantastic job. It looked brand new! Now that may not sound impressive to you, but consider the fact that this home was originally constructed in 1941 … that’s right, 1941. When I tell you it looked brand new, I mean it looked as if we had gone back in time to 1941 and the home had just been constructed. We were standing in a home that “felt good” … you know what I mean … like there had always been happiness and good times … it just “felt good”. The interior architecture was awesome! The living room still had the three original “sash” windows that worked perfectly, and all other windows in the home were sideways sliding “pocket” windows which moved horizontally into the walls. The ceilings were beautifully unique, and every single room had angles that reminded one of the homes age and heritage. This place was a plantation “gem” of the highest order … a rare treat for anyone who places value on the rich heritage of Hawaiian Architecture and who wants to experience the romance of “days gone by”.

    I was shocked when my Clients didn’t buy that home. It fit every single criteria they had given me, and then some. It’s location in Kalaheo couldn’t have been better. One could walk to the Post Office, the grocery, several restaurants, the pharmacy, and several churches. Three gas stations were within a four block radius, and the smell of newly acquired gas, whether from a gas station or restaurant, could be effectively masked by the purchase of flowers at your choice of florists. What more could there be? My answer was simple … there could be no more.

    Well friends, I felt I had complied with my Clients every request and met all their criteria in that beautiful 1941 Kalaheo Gem, but it wasn’t to be. I’m over it now, because I did eventually help them find their special place on Beautiful Kauai.

    As for me, I sit here looking out those three original “sash” windows that continue to work perfectly in MY 1941 Kalaheo Gem, and life is good. Guess it proves the old adage “There’s a home for everyone”. I know you will find yours. Aloha!

    Bill Facker RA
    Accredited Buyers Representative
    Cell: (808) 634-8392
    Email: bfack1@msn.com
    Website: www.kauaibill.com

    Aloha!

    Aloha and welcome to my Kalaheo Home Sales blog. I look forward to sharing both a professional and personal perspective on living, buying, and selling in this Kauai neighborhood where I choose to live, as well as the entire Island. It is my pleasure to share information and stories about the most beautiful island on our planet … Kauai.

    Aloha & All the Best,
    Bill Facker RA (ABR)
    RE/MAX KAUAI