Archive for December, 2007

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