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Finding Hawaii’s Affordable Condos

Homes-102013-5Seventeenth in a series

Since condominium development began at Makaha in the late 1960s, buyers interested in resort/residential properties have been finding some of Hawaii’s “best buys” in second homes, vacation retreats, and investment rentals in this scenic Leeward community extending from the coast to the valley.

Following development of the Makaha Inn and Country Club, now the Makaha Resort & Golf Club, by Honolulu financier Chinn Ho, four condominium properties were completed along the coast and two in the valley. Makaha became Oahu’s first golf resort. The two condominium residences in the valley, Makaha Valley Towers and Makaha Valley Plantation, were also projects of the visionary developer.

Ho acquired the land from the Waianae Plantation Company with a view to creating a Neighbor Island resort experience on Oahu. Like other developers of the time, he recognized the potential of resorts and resort condominiums in venues “beyond Waikiki” that offered proximity to sandy beaches and golf courses, as well as a Hawaiian sense of place.

Since that era of destination resort development that gathered momentum in the 1970s throughout Hawaii, Oahu saw the emergence of the “second city” of Kapolei and Ko Olina in the Leeward area, bringing new visibility and viability to the Makaha community.

The Makaha Resort & Golf Club has been bought and sold, shut down, upgraded, reopened, and closed again. However, the golf course, known as the East Course, has been kept up and play continues. The West Golf Course has been purchased by Pacific Links and is expected to open next year after being redesigned by Greg Norman. However, the principal and most enduring asset of Makaha is its pristine sandy beaches. The Makaha Surfing Beach attracts surfers from all parts of the world, as well as international media attention, during winter months when the big waves roll in with the north swell.

Realtors active in Leeward Oahu have noted a resurgence of development activity in Makaha with new single family home subdivisions moving forward. The condominium market is also experiencing a spike in sales activity. Closed sales for August year-to-date are up 75 percent and days on market until sale have dropped by 38 percent.

Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties Realtor Linda Blomquist, who has been active in the Makaha condominium market representing both buyers and sellers, is currently listing units in Makaha Valley Towers and Makaha Valley Plantation.

Her sales in the Towers have been to both local and out-of-state buyers. In some cases, clients were residents who have purchased multiple units in the building, both for their own use and as rentals. “People who have lived here really appreciate the quality of this building and its many amenities…they consider it a good investment and also enjoy living here. The one bedroom, one bath unit I’ve listed at $129,500 is being offered by a couple who own three units in the building, one of which they live in. They have maintained this unit in excellent condition. The 680 square foot unit has a 60 square foot covered lanai that extends from the living room to the bedroom. The views are spectacular, looking out over the treetops to the ocean and mountains. Its third floor location in one of the higher towers on the hill is another feature that appeals to many potential buyers.”

The 145.32 acre Makaha Valley Towers gated complex consists of four buildings with 592 units, a recreation area with swimming pool and barbecue facilities, and meeting room. “This property is tranquil and inviting with gorgeous landscaping…it’s well planned and well maintained,” Blomquist said. She will be holding an open house on Sunday, October 20.

Blomquist’s Makaha Valley Plantation listing is a three bedroom, one bath condominium unit offered at $169,000. “This is a 993 square foot unit with a 30 square foot lanai, two parking spaces, and a beautiful unobstructed ocean view. The seller is a couple who have occupied it for 20 plus years. It would be ideal for a small family, particularly people working in the area or telecommuting. It’s a long commute to Honolulu, but not so to Kapolei or Ko Olina, both of which can be reached in about 20 minutes. Investor buyers also favor units in this property due to its proximity to the beach and extensive on-site amenities which contribute to its desirability as a rental.”

The 28-acre Makaha Valley Plantation townhome complex consists of 41 three-story buildings with 572 units, a swimming pool and spa, tennis court, barbecue facilities, cabana, and meeting room. The property is pet-friendly.

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