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Finding Hawaii’s Affordable Condos

homes_4Eighth 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 townhomes, Realtors will comment on the marketplace and finding the best values.

Among the final increments of the masterplanned Royal Kunia community, the 248 unit Kulana Knolls townhome complex was completed in 1994. It remains the only gated neighborhood in Royal Kunia, which represents fulfilment of developer Herbert K. Horita’s mission to create a new community that would comprise every type of home style in a wide price range.

Consisting of one, two, and three bedroom units in two story buildings, Kulana Knolls is, like the rest of the Royal Kunia development, extensively landscaped and well maintained. A one bedroom, one bath ground floor unit with one assigned parking space is currently being offered for $230,000 by East Oahu Realty sales agent Tina Chorman (RA).

Its 620 square foot interior is augmented by a 96 square foot lanai that opens to a fenced yard. The main living/dining area overlooks the grounds through floor to ceiling sliding glass doors. Chorman points out that the unit is being sold by the original owner who both lived in it and rented it out intermittently. The kitchen, which includes a dining counter and stainless steel appliances, was remodeled in 2008.

“This unit is equally suitable for a couple or single just getting into the market or for retirees who appreciate the quiet environment and sense of community you find in Royal Kunia,” Chorman said. “It also has potential as a rental for service members with several military bases close by. Within Royal Kunia are two shopping malls, parks, a recreational center, and a golf course. It’s pet friendly, and people here often get to know their neighbors while out walking their dogs or jogging through the various neighborhoods.”

“The main roadway through Royal Kunia is a beautifully landscaped loop where our residents love to stroll, with their with friends, with family members, with their dogs,” said Albi Mateo, general manager of the Royal Kunia Community Association. “Quite appropriately, our slogan is ‘Take a Walk in the Country.'”

She noted that registered home owners have the use of the Royal Kunia Recreation Center which includes a large park, tennis courts, basketball court, tot lot, and adult outdoor exercise area. A multi-purpose room with kitchen can be rented by home owners for parties and special events.

The Royal Kunia Country Club’s 18-hole public/private golf course designed by Robin Nelson is considered one of the most scenic on Oahu with views of the south shore, Pearl Harbor, and the Waianae mountains. The club’s restaurant is open daily.

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