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Remodeling and Rebuilding are BACK IN FASHION


Some people dream of finding their perfect home. Others dream of building one.

“These days people are wanting to create their homes instead of waiting for them to come on the market,” explains Maria Torcia, REALTOR Associate at Prudential Locations.

Taking down an existing home to make way for a newer one is a logical solution for the buyer who wants to live in a certain neighborhood or on a particular type of lot, but cannot find the right home.

With the inventory of homes on Oahu so low, it is not surprising that more people are talking about building or extensive remodeling these days.

A tear-down or an extensive renovation has unique considerations. First, there is the vision and time needed to design the home, then more time for planning and permits. Once those steps are completed, there is construction and all that goes with it.

The advantage of new construction is that you can truly create the home you desire. From floor plans and elements to finishes and appointments, you can customize your home to reflect your tastes and lifestyle.

“At each step of the way, you need to partner with people you trust who understand your vision and who can make it become a reality,” says Torcia.

Every once in a while a unique buy-and-build opportunity comes on the market. Torcia is the listing agent for an ocean-view offering in Diamond Head that includes the plans and construction of a design-statement home by the internationally known architect, Carlos Ferreira of Sketchtank.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for someone to realize their dream home without having to take on a new-home construction project from the ground up. All the plans and people are in place to make it happen,” says Torcia.

The buyer will even be able to customize the final home to match his or her lifestyle by selecting finishes, surfaces and some construction elements the architect has planned for. Ferreira has also offered to create the interior design, if the buyer is interested, in order to ensure a cohesive, unified design and to provide a turn-key home.

“I’m a modernist at heart,” says Ferreira, “but I respect and admire various architectural styles.” With this home, Ferreira sought to create “comfortable, quiet luxury” in a modernist design that is “softened by the feel of the island and an international sensibility.”

Water is a clear feature throughout the luxurious home, from the dramatic waterfall that greets visitors, to the intimate, indoor infinity pool with a hearth and sunset view.

“In creating this home, I valued privacy and quiet, interior spaces but avoided a walled-up fortress. The house is open and tropical, but it’s not an open book. It tells a story. As you walk through it, the house reveals itself to you.

“I tried to create a diversity of emotional spaces throughout. There are public, glamorous spaces, formal and informal spaces, and intimate spaces. You can have three or four different social encounters happening throughout the house, independent and isolated from one another.”

The floor-plan includes subtle and interesting elevation changes, says Ferreira, who embraced the challenge of maintaining the footprint of the original structure while creating something entirely new.

“Now,” he says, “it’s ready for detailing – having little cool things to look at and touch as you go – even if it’s just the handle to a closet.”

If you’ve been looking for your dream home, think outside the box: it may be waiting for you to create it.

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