A Growing Community with a Tight-Knit Feel
BY LISA LEE
Nestled into the gentle slopes of the Waianae mountains, overlooking Kapolei, lies the cool and breezy neighborhood of Makakilo.
In Hawaiian, maka kilo means “observing eyes” and indeed, from many streets and homes in Makakilo you can enjoy beautiful, expansive views of the Ewa Plain and Honolulu all the way to Diamond Head.
Ask longtime resident Brandi Abrams, RA, about Makakilo and she describes a warm, welcoming community that takes pride in its neighborhoods. “Everybody waves here,” she says. “It’s a very friendly place. People from Hawaii live here because we love it. The military who live here move here because they really appreciate it.”
The cooler, breezy elevation encourages residents to get outside. “We have two great parks that people love to use,” Abrams says. “We have lots of baseball and football practices, and the basketball and tennis courts were just recently re-done. You’ll find people out walking their dogs – or just getting out to enjoy the neighborhood.”
Adding to the neighborly feel is a strong involvement in the local schools. “My children, like most in Makakilo, go to school in the neighborhood. Our principal lives here in the neighborhood and sends her kids to the school. There are three schools here with a strong sense of community and lots of activities for the kids, like our carnival and movie nights.”
Brandi Abrams is also a REALTOR at Prudential Locations, so she knows her neighborhood on a professional level as well. She explains that the diversity of homes encourages a rich community, and that people often stay in the community, first buying townhomes and then later moving into single family homes as their needs expand.
Abrams describes how Makakilo offers something for everyone: “Upper Makakilo has a variety of everything – older and newer homes, even a gated community (Kumulani). There are townhomes, like Pakeha Hillside, with front and back yards and covered parking.
“Lower Makakilo has some great older homes with nice, big lots. It has good access to public transportation and you can still find great views from some of the homes. In general, the homes have been kept up very well. There is a real pride of ownership.”
That pride is reflected in how homes in Makakilo are regaining their value. Median prices for single family homes have increased steadily since 2009, and 2012’s median price of $575,000 is the highest it’s been since 2006’s peak at $609,500.
The big story right now, however, is in the Makakilo market for condominiums and townhomes. Currently, there are just eight active listings for condos in the Makakilo area, and they have a median list price of $279,500. Condominium Days on Market (DOM), a key indicator that signals buyer interest and future price pressure, is at a remarkably low 18 days.
If you’re thinking of selling a home in Makakilo, especially a townhome, now might be the perfect time. “Everyone’s looking to take advantage of the low interest rates,” says Abrams. “Last week, I had three properties enter escrow!”