Buying To Build – Makakilo
Eighteenth in a series
Buyers in the market for a “piece of paradise” are often surprised to find that vacant land – even very large “pieces” – is available and at prices that look like a bargain in comparison to what similar offerings would command elsewhere. In this “Buying to Build” series, Realtors will comment on listings ranging from multi-acre parcels in the country and on the coast to small lots in city neighborhoods…what they will have in common is that all will offer development potential.
Small vacant lots suitable for the construction of custom single family homes have been in short supply in Makakilo. Over a period of approximately three decades, the most desirable property was acquired by major developers who created subdivisions extending from the base of Puu Makakilo to just below its 1,000 foot summit.
At Kumulani, Leeward Oahu’s only ridgetop gated community, few lots have remained unbuilt of the total 113 in the original subdivision. One vacant lot that became available was recently placed in escrow by Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties Principal Broker Richard Cricchio. He noted that the 6,600 square foot view lot, listed at $425,000, was a good buy considering that Kumulani consists primarily of up-scale homes. It was purchased by a Mainland investor.
Vernon K.T. Chock, principal broker of Vernco Properties, who completed sales of approximately 91 developer lots in Kumulani between 2000 and 2003, said he will be marketing a vacant lot in Kumulani shortly. “With the growth of Kapolei, the value of these properties has continued to appreciate,” Chock said. “A Kumulani home recently sold for $1,220,000. Currently there are three homes for sale in Kumulani priced at $1,075,000, $1,250,000, and $1,285,000. Two homes in upper Makakailo have been listed for $1,025,000 and $1,498,880.”
At Makakilo’s Royal Ridge development, a large vacant lot on Hookili Place has been subdivided into two smaller lots by the owner and placed on the market by Richard Cricchio. Lot One with 6,869 square feet is priced at $265,000, and Lot Two with 9,013 square feet at $345,000. “The lots have ocean and mountain views, are level and cleared, and utilities are available…in other words, they are builder-ready,” Cricchio said. “This is a well maintained neighborhood with newer homes that appeal to professional people and are within range for some first-time buyers. The financing is the key to obtaining vacant land in order to build your own custom home. It’s a challenge, but an achievable goal, particularly for buyers who have sold a previous home and come out with enough cash to purchase the land, leaving them in a position to finance the construction.
“Every time I come out to Kapolei to look at properties, I make it a point to drive into the commercial areas to see what’s new and find that shopping, dining, and entertainment options just continue to proliferate. There are several good golf courses in the area and a number of beach parks are close-by, including Ewa Beach which is now only about a 15 minute drive with the opening of new roads. Job opportunities are also increasing. Even buyers who commute to Honolulu have said they don’t mind the drive, considering that everything they may want to do on their days off is right here in Kapolei…there’s no reason to drive back to town.”