Looking Leeward For Large, Buildable Acreage With a View
Large acreage with potential for a country retreat — property suitable for farming or keeping horses as well as building a home — is in short supply in most parts of Oahu. Buyers with these priorities are currently finding some of their best prospects on the Leeward side of the island.
Miki Blakstad, a Realtor with three decades in real estate sales and development, is a specialist in Leeward Oahu properties. She has been involved in numerous transactions in the area extending from Nanakuli to Makaha, where, she notes, projects that were previously initiated, then stalled, are now going forward.
“Developers are picking up smaller parcels and building spec homes for re-sale,” Blakstad said. “There are several new single-family home projects in Makaha Valley. Real estate activity is continuing to gather momentum in the area.
“The fewer the options for buyers looking for large parcels for a private residence — agricultural or ranch operation, or some combination of these — the more attractive available properties become on the Leeward side. Another factor is the increasing commercial development in Kapolei, which puts shopping, necessary services and schools within reasonable reach of the rural communities.
“The beautiful, open countryside and great weather of the Leeward valleys — Nanakuli, Lualualei,
Waianae and Makaha — are being discovered, whereas, in the past, it was primarily our well-priced condos along the coast that attracted both local and out-of-state buyers,” she added.
One of Blackstad’s active projects is a nine-acre Waianae Valley AG2 parcel, Sunset Acres, a joint venture with the owner whose home is on a three-acre portion of the property. The Sunset Acres CPR consisted of four lots, one three-acre and three two-acre lots. She has listed the three-acre parcel with a large home and horse pasture for $1,089,000. Two of the two-acre lots have been sold, one to a buyer from Hilo, the other to a former resident of a Makaha condo; another two-acre vacant lot will become available in the future for approximately $330,000.
“All these properties are great values,” Blackstad said. “Utilities and water are available and roads are paved from Waianae Valley Road into the property. All lots have ocean, mountain and valley views. An added asset is that not only can you have a horse here, but with AG2 zoning you could have a small equestrian center … no longer possible in other parts of the island where down-zoning has been enacted.
“Another catalyst in making these properties more desirable and viable for habitation is the enactment of Accessory Dwelling Unit legislation last year. All the existing owners at our Sunset Acres property are interested in creating an ‘AG cluster,’ taking advantage of a permitting process which would enable them to add more units to the existing property. Applicable rules and restrictions, however, are still being finalized. But it makes sense to be able to take advantage of all this great open space that we have out here … people need affordable homes, and Leeward Oahu still has affordable land.”