Going Green in Lualualei

homes0515-1Green Homes Hawaii owner R.J. Martin came to Hawaii from San Diego in 2003 to attend University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he earned a Ph.D in American History. After completing his studies, he decided to remain in Hawaii and moved to Waianae, which he favored for its pristine sandy beaches and country atmosphere. He not only made his own home there, but saw an opportunity to fill a need in the area for new, affordably priced single-family homes.

He acquired a real estate license and began studying the Leeward Oahu market. In 2007, he found a large, vacant land parcel on Farrington Highway in Lualualei that was being offered for sale.

“This piece of property, which is right across the highway from the beach, seemed perfect for the type of small development I had in mind,” Martin said. “The challenge was to raise the money to acquire it, get the approvals necessary to build and obtain sufficient financing for construction. By selling two rental properties on Oahu and some Mainland property together with my parents, Dick and Barbara Martin, long-time residents of San Diego, we were able to raise enough funds to acquire the land. However, there were still four years of paper work to get through, as well as community hearings and an environmental assessment, before any construction could begin.”

In 2008, Martin took possession of the 2.77-acre plot of land. Since the plan was to divide it into 20 to 30 separate homesites, requirements needed to be met and guidelines observed with regard to infrastructure, including roads, setbacks, water, sewers and electric. With only two homes completed, Martin started sales in 2013.

Situated on fee-simple lots ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 square feet, the approximately 1,000 to 2,000 square foot, oneand two-story structures are designed in several floor plans, some with lanais, and all with parking either in carports or enclosed garages.

The homes have three or four bedrooms, two or three bathrooms and a large main living area that flows to an open kitchen, essentially a “great room” concept.

“In keeping with our objective to provide quality homes at affordable prices, I specified solid-wood cabinets, granite counters and ceramic-tile flooring in both baths and kitchens, vinyl-framed, double-pane low-E windows and wood-grain laminate floor throughout. All major appliances are included. We upgraded wherever possible for durability and energy efficiency … it seems that only an additional $4,000 or $5,000 makes a big difference,” Martin said.

“The first home sold for $289,000. Over a period of three years, we were able to get families into homes for what would be the equivalent of rent compared to the monthly payment on a low-interest mortgage. We are currently marketing the last three homes in the community — a single-story home priced at approximately $599,000 and two two-story homes priced at approximately $629,000. These models, which have direct ocean views, include central air conditioning, landscaped yards, privacy fencing and gates as standard features.

“Our landscaping incorporates both native and introduced plants, which thrive on the dry Waianae Coast. Initially, a specialist in native species came out to the property and gave a presentation at which homeowners and prospective buyers, as well as neighbors, helped with the planting. A xeriscape garden at the entry to Green Homes at Lualualei highlights our mission to make the homes affordable both to buy and to maintain.”

A sales office (87-1720 Farrington Hwy.) is open on the site 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 2-5 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, call R.J. Martin at 723-5541 or visit greenhomeshi.com.

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