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Finding Hawaii’s Affordable Condos

homes0804_4Sixth in a series

Although their “dream home” may be a house with a garden, many first-time buyers with limited financial resources are taking a realistic look at the market and opting to make their debut as homeowners with the purchase of a condominium apartment or townhome. They’ve decided not to wait for single family home prices to come down…because neither Realtors nor lenders have a crystal ball revealing “if or when”…and, if they are in a position to qualify for a loan now, they know it makes sense to make their move while interest rates are still low. In this series on affordable condos and town-homes, Realtors will comment on the marketplace and finding the best values.

Mark DeCastro Realty & Associates recently listed a “nearly new” one bedroom, one bath townhome at Kealakai at Kapolei for $244,500. The 18-building complex is the most recent addition to Castle & Cooke Homes affordably priced communities at the Villages of Kapolei developed in partnership with the Hawaii Housing and Community Development Corporation.

The prospectus for the new communities called for a mix of affordable for sale, for rent, and some market priced units to be built incrementally. As provided by HCDCH requirements, all buyers and renters in these communities would become members of the Villages of Kapolei Master Community Association and have access to Community Association recreational faciliies.

Principal Broker Mark Allen DeCastro, previously Principal Broker of Castle & Cooke Realty, was actively involved in the company’s Kapolei projects over the years and noted that the company was committed to developing quality housing for entry level buyers.

“Castle & Cooke Homes served as planner and general contractor for the Kapolei developments and set up community covenants and restrictions to ensure that the neighborhoods would remain attractive, safe, and affordable.

“Kealakai at Kapolei, with a total of 18 two-story buildings, was completed only within the past year. The one bedroom, one bath unit we listed was one of the market priced units, meaning there were no income or re-sale requirements. The previous owner lived in the unit for only a short time, so everything is in pristine condition. It’s also well located in the building as a second floor end unit and includes two parking spaces. The five hundred square foot interior is augmented by a large covered lanai which overlooks the nicely landscaped grounds.”

DeCastro pointed out that the Villages of Kapolei Recreation Center, a few blocks away from the Kealakai townhomes, is one of the more elaborate recreational facilities available for the use of planned community residents. It incorporates a large swimming pool, volley ball and basketball courts, and a multi-purpose room that can be rented for special events. A variety of educational and physical fitness programs are offered. Adjacent to the complex is the Kapolei Neighborhood Park. Elementary, middle, and high schools are within walking distance, and the new University of Hawaii West Oahu Campus is a short drive, as are several shopping malls.

“This community is ideal for families, or for anyone who wants to take advantage of the recreational facilities to keep fit. Most of our buyers are local people and military who are attracted by both the convenience and the newness of these Kapolei neighborhoods. All things considered, I believe Kapolei is offering some of the best values on the island. And we are finding that properties here are holding their value and generally appreciating in price… there is no reason to expect otherwise as the ‘Second City’ of Kapolei continues to grow,” DeCastro said.

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