Kauai Real Estate and Local News Update

Christie’s Great Estates - Your Link to Distinctive Properties Worldwide

*****Want to buy a beachfront “fixer upper” for $80 Million?*****

Once a vacation haven to Jacqueline Kennedy and Bob Hope this seaside 5.5 acre estate is up for sale and it need some serious TLC after being vacant for 2 decades.  Henry Kaiser originally bought the property in 1959 for 1 million and it was once considered the largest residence in the United States.  It is now being offered for sale in three different parcels or a bulk purchase at $80 million. 

If this is out of your budget I have listed a list of the new properties that came on the market last week and the closed transactions.  Some of these are “fixer uppers” and don’t carry such a hefty price tag.  Call me for information on any of these properties that you see on this list: CLICK HERE

*****Massive Power Outage Shuts Oahu Down*****

Oahu’s 900,000 resident and thousands of visitors were left “in the dark” when a power outage hit Oahu Friday evening bringing the island to a standstill.  Emergency generators at Honolulu International allowed planes to land but all take offs were suspended.  800 traffic lights were out which resulted in fender benders all across Oahu.  Ala Moana Center, which was bustling with after Christmas shopping, was blacked out and hundreds of shoppers were left to slowly inch their way out the parking lot.  President elect Barack Obama is vacationing here with his family for the holidays on a private estate on the Eastside was okay and in a very secure place.

As of Sunday it was still unknown what caused the outage, there was a storm but lightening was ruled out as a cause.  Power was not returned to the island for about 24 hours and the people of Oahu were being advised “when in doubt; throw it out!” when it came time for them to survey their food supplies.  Stores were selling food but no perishables.

In another power related story 5 US passenger flights were redirected from Maui when their runway lights failed on Wednesday.  The flights landed safely in Oahu and returned to Maui that night after the electrical shortage in the runway lights was fixed.

*****Governor Lingle Proposes Pay Raise Freezes*****

The proposed pay raise freeze could save our State $4 million by suspending pay raises that had been approved for our legislature in 2007.  Citing different economic times and setting an example for those who are losing their jobs or facing serious cut backs themselves Governor Linda Lingle proposed to freeze legislators pay raises.  Opponents said that Lingle should look in other areas first and that this move on her part is “irresponsible and political”

Kauai Real Estate and Local News Update

Christie’s Great Estates - Your Link to Distinctive Properties Worldwide
Here is a real estate update for the island of Kauai.  I have been told that a lot of refinancing is happening as interest rates are very low, good news for buyers!  With good inventory, motivated Sellers and great interest rates this is a good time to consider a purchase here on Kauai.  Call me for more info.  For now here is the new listings and closing for the last week here on Kauai:  CLICK HERE

*****3 Separate Shocking Airline Incidents*****

There were three separate incidents involving air travel in our friendly Kauai skies this past week.

A week ago Saturday afternoon a 55 year old Idaho man approached the cockpit on a flight from the mainland to Lihue and when two stewardesses stopped him he struck them both in the face and head, the two stewardesses sustained bruising. The man was subdued by three male passengers and an off duty pilot. The man posted bail after being in custody here in Lihue for 24 hours.  His court case is set for January.

and then…

On an American Airlines flight last Wednesday the police were called by the captain of the flight to council 10 adults for the misbehavior of their children on a flight from LA. A flight attendant said it was ”the worst behavior that they’ve experienced in their days working as flight attendants”.  Children ranging from 1 to 12 years old were throwing items and causing huge disturbances to other passengers on the plane. The policeman counseled the adults on how to manage their children and the group was receptive to what the policeman said and stated that the children had become “restless” American Airlines said they planned to send a request to their home office to not allow the group to fly back on their airline.

and also on Wednesday….

A 22 year old male visitor from Oregon who was traveling with his mother was attempting to purchase a ticket to Maui at the Lihue airport Hawaiian Airlines ticket counter.  He became unruly and extremely agitated and smashed the check in kiosk machine.  Airport security arrived and removed the visitor to the car rental area to subdue him and two officers were injured when the visitor head-butted them.  Police arrived to find the man handcuffed and on the ground still yelling obscenities.  The Oregon man was put into jail and, as of Saturday, was still in custody.

What a week at the Lihue Airport!!!

*****State Auditor Blasts State For Superferry Special Treatment*****

The news is not too good for the Superferry after the State Auditor got done with her investigation.  In her report she stated a troublesome issue was the State acquiescence to the Superferrys start up demands to have taxpayer money finance the ramps needed for the vessels, this in the amount of $40 million dollars.  Another serious issue was the fact that the State decided it didn’t need to prepare an environmental impact statement in order to meet the Superferrys start up deadline.  After court cases funded by special interest groups were heard the Supreme Court ruled in August of 2007 that the State indeed needed to do such a study and in response our Governor called lawmakers into a special session where they approved a new law allowing the Superferry to continue to operate while the EIS is being done.  The State Court is set to hear the legal challenge to that law.

*****Man is Apprehended After 7 Accidents*****

In a 20 minute span a 55 year old Kapaa man got into 7 traffic accidents and was taken into police custody at his home.  His first traffic accident happened in Lihue and the Kapaa man did not stop but kept driving north to his home where along the way he hit 6 other cars, never stopping after any of them.  The police caught up with the man at the ABC store in Kapaa and the man just kept driving to his home where he was reprehended.  Some of the victims were taken to the hospital and the man is being held in jail at this writing.

*****Second Brick Oven Opens In Wailua*****

If you have spent any time here on the South Shore of Kauai hopefully you’ve had the chance to eat at Brick Oven Pizza in Kalaheo which is some of the very BEST pizza here in Kauai and better than I’ve had in my homeland; Orange County California.  Brick Oven opened a second location in Wailua on the other side of the street where the Coco Palms is.

Kauai Real Estate and Local News Update

        Christie’s Great Estates - Your Link to Distinctive Properties Worldwide

Aloha! I’m back after 3 weeks in Las Vegas and Orange County with a new post!  It was very obvious that Vegas is in a terrible real estate slump and my Realtor friends in California confirmed that things are not much better there.  One of the reasons (and this is only ONE of the reasons) the Vegas and California markets differ from our Kauai marketplace is developers are dumping (or abandoning) entire subdivisions which has huge impacts on the housing market and this caught many, many speculators by surprise and left them holding properties that they cannot afford or rent out.  While Kauai does not have developers dumping such massive amount of inventory the west coast is primarily where our Buyers come from which is the impact we are feeling, thankfully to a lesser degree.  The lower interest rates are creating quite a buzz and have been sparking new energy into our market and according the MSN the Fed opens a two-day meeting Monday to assess to economy and decide its next move on rates. Another reduction to the funds rate, the interest banks charge each other on overnight loans, is all but certain to be announced Tuesday..  Buying property at a lower interest rate eases Buyers minds against the “what ifs”.  What is the status on your Kauai property or dream property?  Contact me for “No Pressure, Ever!” information.  For an island wide list of what came on the market last week and what has sold here on Kauai  CLICK HERE

*****Storm Slams Into Kauai on Saturday*****

Residents and Visitors alike were huddled in their homes, hotels and vacation rentals as a storm slammed into the island  bringing with it 4 to 6 inches of rain an hour and in some areas 8 to 10 inches.  The storm started on Friday night and we all knew we were going to be in for it when thunder started hitting that was so loud it woke us up.  Sure enough on Saturday the storm was in full force with non-stop rain that came down so hard people here at the Poipu Kai (including myself) went out on their lanais to look out in disbelief.  All beaches were closed as a tornado warning was issued at 12:45 and called off at 1:30.  The Westside was hit the hardest and major flooding was reported in Waimea Valley (near the Waimea Big Save) leaving some residents stranded.  In other parts of the island; a landslide was reported on Anini Beach, Hanalei Bridge was closed for most of the day cutting off any access for residents and visitors, multiple road closures, a sewage spill along Waialo Road near ‘Ele’ele shopping center and multiple power outages all during the day along with flash flood warnings.  Hanapepe made the news when Channel 8 in Honolulu broadcasted a photo of the entrance into the town which virtually had turned into a river.  Friday evening Governor Linda Lingle issued a State Disaster proclamation for the counties of Kauai, Maui and Honolulu.

This morning (Sunday) is clear and so I ventured out.  Tree limbs and debris are all over the road and the Poipu Beach parking lot is a lake.  Our new Kukui’ula Bypass Road had been closed and tree tunnel is a mess. Here is the parking lot at Poipu Beach…..Poipu Parking Lot Poipu Beach close up  

While the storm had an impact it proved to be relatively short and fortunately resulted in no deaths.  Today (Sunday) it looks like we will get more rain but the worst is over and some sunny skies are forecasted for next week.

*****Second Kauai Safeway Gets Green Light*****

Permits have been issued to Safeway for them to build their second store in
Lihue.  This will be the 20th store in the State.  Construction on the 23
acre shopping center is estimated to be completed by 2010 and will include
a mix of local and national retailers, restaurants, banks, offices, gas
station and community center.  A huge concern was pedestrian traffic and in
particular the students who will be able to cross the road from Chiefess
Kamakahelei Middle School.  To address this the planning commission imposed
a first ever pedestrian activated flashing light and a hedge will be
planted along Nuhou street to discourage street crossings other than the
crosswalks.  A roundabout will also be built.  Safeway states that they
have the finances to go ahead with this project and are looking forward to
competing with the nearby Star Market and Big Save.

*****Big Island Vog Attacks*****

The eruption of Kilauea on the Big Island has been plaguing the area with
“Vog”  which is a volcanic smog created when sulfur dioxide mixes with the
sunlight, oxygen, dust and water particles in the air.  This dangerous mix
has been causing a multitude of health problems and the most recent is a
study which shows a 6.5 increase in acute bronchitis cases in children who
live downwind of Kilauea and middle aged adults exposed to Vog have twice
the risk of suffering from acute bronchitis.  This study can be read in
its entirety in the November issue of the Journal of Toxicology and
Environmental Health.  Oahu and Maui’s proximity to Hawaii unfortunately
results in Vog conditions for them too.  Here on Kauai we have very few
days of Vog conditions.