My how the Kauai real estate market has changed since the end of 2005 – mid 2006 period: that was a time of price escalations and bidding battles for properties island-wide. It was also the period when the curtain was coming down and caught speculators and good folks in general with “premium priced” (aka overpriced) investments………as the times since then have borne out.

There’s no need to dwell on the trials and tribulations facing many buyers following that immediate period: there’s plenty of press!

One outcome, by way of example, was the dramatic change in condominiums available in the marketplace in Princeville – the North Shore planned community – from the 2005-early 2006 period. It went from 25-30+ on any given day….with that number now at 125. The important reality though is that “investment quality” condominiums (and homes / vacant land) are now selling, while at the same time leaving the lesser quality properties languishing.

Again using Princeville as the example an agent operating as the exclusive representative of a Buyer would sort through the inventory of 125 (listed with 24 different real estate firms) and narrow it down to – in my experience – less than 10 quality proprties meeting the financial profile, personal usage plans, amenities and long-term goals of the Buyer(s).

In a kukui* nutshell: Though it’s finally good times for Buyers extra care must be taken to buy right. One needs to take special note of the following issues that may-or will-have an impact on purchase decisions for some folks:

Property Zoning /Usages. There is raging debate between and among the county governing body, the local community and absentee owners about the rights and limits one could/should place on personal decisions about property uses. You/we all need to watch the bouncing ball.

Which way VDA (Vacation Destination Area)? Limits on where properties can be used as “vacation rentals” is central to the prior subject. The proposed regulation for limitations is before the Kauai County Council. A separate posting will address this matter in more detail.

* Leis assembled from Kukuhi Nuts were worn by royalty back in the days of the Hawaiian monarchy.

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