Kai’ulani of Princeville

I finally had the opportunity to preview one of the new Kai’ulani “condos” which are located on an 18 acre parcel in Queen Emma’s Bluffs, one of the most prestigious areas of Princeville. I use the word “condo” loosely because these units are so luxurious, so large and configured in such a way that they feel more like a single family residence.

The Kai’ulani concept is one of a low density luxury residential community consisting of 77 attached homes in varying configurations from 1900 sqft to 2870 sqft. The basic features includes upscale design, finishes and amenities located in a spectacular setting on the eighth fairway of the Prince Golf Course, with three heated pools, spa, two BBQ areas, a half mile lighted walking path and waterfall features in the common areas.

All 77 homes will have an attached two-car garage. Planned exterior features consist of concrete tile roofing, synthetic stucco exteriors with natural stone detailing, lush landscaped yards, and stamped concrete or flagstone driveways. All homes have assisted-cooling throughout and will include such amenities as slab granite countertops, Aristocratic cabinetry, and Subzero/Wolf built-in appliances. Most of these units are still under construction with completion scheduled for 2008

The Kai’ulani I previewed, listed for $2.1M, is one of the few that can be seen due, in part, to the on-going construction. It is a 3 bedroom 3.5 bath 2,443 sqft. unit with every amenity and luxury you could want.  A large water feature (sure to be quite beautiful) is under construction outside.  Kai’ulani certainly sets a new standard for luxury “condo” living in Princeville, providing the size and feel of a home with the ease of condo living. There are still several “pre-sale” Kai’ulani units on the market starting at $1.7M. For more information or to see any available units please call or email me at 808 639 2935 or soldonkauai@yahoo.com. Here is an aerial view of the site:

Here is a view of the unit:

Until next time,

Aloha from Elaine!

Princeville condo update for the week of April 23 to 30

Another beautiful day in Paradise and I am thankful to be here!  I just returned from a weekend in the Waikiki area which makes me appreciate Kauai even more. I never rent a car, preferring to walk to the Waikiki beach or over to the Ala Moana shopping center.   Just too much traffic, everyone speeding to get from here to there with traffic bumper to bumper during rush hour and many other hours of the day. What a contrast to the peacefulness and slower lifestyle of Kauai.  I was very happy to come home.

 Last week we had more units come onto the market than what into escrow.  It’s still a great time to be a buyer.  If you have questions about any of these units do not hesitate to contact me.  Here is last week’s activity:




An explanation of Condo Maintenance Fees

One of the first things I discuss with condo buyers are the maintenance fees, also referred to as HOA fees (Home Owners Association) or AOAO fees.  (Association of Apartment Owners)  All of these terms refer to a monthly fee charged to each condo owner for the management, insurance, upkeep, maintenance and future repairs (reserve funds) needed for the given complex.  Typically, maintenance fees cover the following:

Property Management
Professional Fees- Legal
Accounting Fees Audit
Common Area Electricity
Water & Sewer
Community Association Dues Supplies
Pool Service
Refuse Removal-General
Pest Control Taxes-General Excise
        Real Property Tax on Grounds (Land)
        Real  Property Tax on “Structure”
Insurance-Package Fire, Hurricane, Liability                                                             

A few also cover electricity within the unit as well as cable TV. 

Maintenance fees vary widely depending on the project but generally start around $400 month and go up.  Buyer’s need to know this from the start in order to accurately determine their buying power.  

In addition, they need to be aware that maintenance fees can and do increase over time.  Many complexes on the Island faced increases this year caused by spiraling insurance costs due to the Hurricane damage suffered on the mainland.  For example, the Cliff’s condo fees went up 15% as of the first of the year because of this – from apprx. $495 to $575. 

No part of the fee is “profit” for the Association. Condo Associations are non-profit corporations set up to administer the building on behalf of the owners. The directors are almost always unpaid volunteer unit-owners. Larger projects will have a paid staff usually consisting of a licensed Community Association Manager and staff.

Outside of normal maintenance fees, a unit owner can be exposed to “Special Assessments” for large maintenance items for which adequate reserves do not exist as well as for updating and improving the property (“capital improvements”).  This occurs less often but can happen. 

Condo associations are required by State law to maintain a reserve fund to pay for anticipated future repairs, like repaving or reproofing.  If funds are not available to pay for needed upgrades or repairs, then the Association will vote on a special assessment.   

Although these fees may seem high, when you sit down and calculate the cost of all these items for a single family home: yard maintenance, property insurance, building upkeep and maintenance, pest control and management for a single family home, these numbers start to make sense. 

Plus, in a condo you can be gone for extended trips or vacations and not have to worry if your gardener showed up this week !  I like my large “front yard” that disappears over the bluff into the ocean.  I have a gardener that comes each day and rakes up the Plumeria blossoms that fell from the trees the day before. Someone makes sure the trees branches don’t get so long as to scrape against my lanai.  They leave a note on my door letting me know when to expect pest control.  (condo fees at the Cliffs include exterior as well as interior pest control.)  All I have to do is show up and enjoy the view!  For me, condo living is ideal. 

If you have questions about the maintenance fees of any Princeville or Kauai condos, please do not hesitate to ask.  Below is a link to a spreadsheet which will show all the maintenance fees of condos currently on the market:


Aloha for now, Elaine

Princeville Condo Week update for April 15-22


What I hope to do on a weekly basis is to present a synopsis of what occured in the Princeville Condo market the week prior.  This information includes new listings, what properties went into escrow ( if any) expirations, withdrawals, sales and price changes.  Attached below is an Excel link for this week’s update:


Just for fun, I’m attaching a photo of the beautiful sunrise as it came up over the trees this morning.  It was a beautiful day today.  Hope yours was the same!


Aloha, Elaine

Cliffs condo analysis

It’s always fun to sit down and take a look at activity within a given condo complex. Recently, I was asked to look at the Cliffs at Princeville. I especially like to look at the starting price of a condo compared to current pricing. A couple of years back you often saw price increases with “Days on the Market” of a couple of months, if that. Now, if a seller wants to sell, lowering the price is often the ticket and “days on the market” can be extensive. I’ve attached an Excel spreadsheet showing all the whole ownership Cliffs Condos (fractionals not included) currently on the market along with the one unit in escrow and all the units that have sold since 4/1/06.


One unit, 4303, is currently in escrow. This unit came on the market at $699,000 and finally found a buyer while listed at $635,000. We won’t know the actual sales price until the sale closes and is recorded. It has a nice ocean view from the lanai which is shown below. (To see this photo along with the others associated with this property you can go to www.hawaiiinformation.com and seach MLS # 184227.


There’s another 2 bedroom unit currently on the market listed for $649,500. This unit is in building 2 which has valley and occasionally a very distant ocean view. Below is the view from this 2 bedroom unit. Additional photos can be found at the above mentioned link by entering MLS # 188728.


To understand the pricing you must know where the units are. The 4 digit Cliffs room number starts with the building number, the second number is the floor and the last two numbers are the room numbers. The room numbers run right to left as you stand facing the buildings with the first unit (ie 7201) and the last unit (7206) located on the end of the buildings. The number of units per building varies but if you are looking for 4303 it’s best to head toward the middle of building 4 and go to the top floor.

All the buildings are 3 floors. The first two floors are all 1 bedroom 2 bath units and the third floor is the same with the addition of a second loft bedroom. Now you know, whenever you see a “3” as the second number in the unit address you are looking for a 2 bedroom unit. There are few 4 bedroom units which are basically a combination of the first and second floor units, with the downstairs kitchen and living area replaced with 2 extra bedrooms. You have 1 bedroom/ 2 baths with living area upstairs and 3 bedrooms 2 baths downstairs.

As I said once before, location within the complex is key especially if the complex has ocean and non-ocean view units as does the Cliffs. I’ve attached a site map for this complex below:


You can easily see that building 8 has exceptional ocean views, followed closely by buildings 9 and 6. Building 7 is next in location, followed by building 5 which has ocean view but sits back behind buildings 6 and 7. Building 4 has some views from an angle down Edward Road while building 3 occasionally has a tiny peak of the ocean but mainly has garden views, along with building 2 and 1, which borders Edward road. If you prefer a lush garden view, building 2 might be the one for you.

If you have questions on these or any other units, please do not hesitate to ask. You just may find your question answered as a future blog topic! If you prefer a move private venue, my email is soldonkauai@yahoo.com.

Aloha and Mahalo!


Condo living in Princeville – an overview

Looking for a condo on Kauai? Princeville is a great place for one stop shopping with condos galore to meet every price range, every amenity, every view and they’re all contained within the world famous Princeville at Hanalei Resort! Granted, there are other condos throughout the Island, all offering various features and benefits, but for overall choice, Princeville can’t be beat. I admit to some degree of prejudice here, after all, my blog is about Princeville condos and I do live in a condo in Princeville, but even if those two facts were not in evidence, I would still place Princeville at the top of the list when it comes to condo living.

Let me tell you why. First you have to imagine living in an ocean view resort community where the beauty of mother nature is carefully enhanced with landscaping and architecture along with all the amenities needed for gracious Island living. Living here feels like being on vacation every day!

Second, the oceanview in Princeville is for everyone to enjoy and is assured by the view points throughout the complex. You can wave watch or whale watch (in season) from the Princeville Hotel Bluff (did I mention this world famous resort is just minutes away from any condo in the development?) Hanalei Bay Resort (another fabulous resort) or from the view point across from Hale Moi condos.

Third, Princeville has two championship golf courses on its grounds: the Makai Golf Course and the Prince Golf Course. Both the Prince and Makai Golf Course feature breathtaking coastal views of of our the incredible Pacific ocean. Did you know that the Makai is really three courses in one? The Ocean Nine is closest to the Pacific, the Lakes Nine winds its way around serene lakes and the Woods Nine is a pleasant diversion through native woodlands. All three offer challenge and variety.

Fourth, all the shops and restaurants of Princeville are at your fingertips. The Princeville Resort and Hanalei Bay Resort offer upscale dining at their various restaurants. All offer unriveled views of the magnificent Hanalei Bay and Bali Hai. There are several casual restaurants at the Princeville Center, along with Foodland, Banking, and a varity of shopping opportunities. The Princeville Center is about a 15 or 30 minute walk from your condo depending on location and just minutes by car.

And finally, we have the very best and most beautiful library in the entire state! Go there for Internet access, for a “magazine swap”, check out a best seller or DVD or sit and read the local, state or national newpapers. These are just a few of the amenties of this great resort. Oh — and do you have kids? There’s a great playground complete with swings and slide just behind the library in Princeville community Park for all to enjoy.

Did I forget to mention that all beaches in Hawaii are public?– so you can go to the Princeville Resort beach and snorkel and swim to your hearts content. Take the 198 steps down to the beach located to the left of the Princeville Hotel entry gazebo or make good use of the hotel elevators. And Halalei bay is just 15 minutes away by car – an absolutely breathtaking beach area not to mention all the restaurants and shopping of quaint Hanalei town.

Ok, now that I’ve extolled the benfits of Princeville in general lets go back to the condos: The price range for condos in Princeville is from $399 for a leasehold 1 bedroom 1.5 bath Pali Ke Kua (you pay a lease fee as well as a Homeowners associaton fee) up to $2.675M for a top floor ocean view 2 bed 2 bath Pu’u Po’a condo. Certainly, somewhere in between these numbers is a condo to suit your specific needs. Here is a list of all the Princeville condos currently on the market:

Condos on the market as of 4-17-07

This is a custom list that shows the various Homeowners Association fees (paid monthly) the days on the market and the price per square foot. Check it out.

Nihilani and Kaiulani are two of the newest condo complexes in Princeville. Nililani is almost completed while most of Kaiulani is under construction slated for completion in 2008. It promises to offer the ultimate in condo “residentail type” living on the Island with top of the line design, amenties and finishes along with a two car garage. Villas on the Prince was the first complex to offer a one car garage along with Villas of Kamali’l which was built after VOP. The Plantations, located next to Nihilani, also offered a one car garage and two floor plans. Nihilani was the first to offer a two car garage along with four floor plans.

None of the other condo complexes have garages, although some do have covered and / or assigned parking. Your choice of condo will depend on if you wish to vacation rent it, hold it as your second home or use it as a long term rental. A vacation rental condo will typically cost more than long term rental, as most vacationers prefer an ocean view or golf course location– and as we know…. the three most important things is real estate are location, location and location. Prices can vary widely within a complex based solely on location. A garden view in the Cliffs, for example, is in the mid $400K’s while ocean view is in the $600K’s, $700K’s and up. Just to give you an idea of where all these complexes are in relation to one another, I have attached a link to a map of Princeville condos.

Princeville Site map showing condos

I can, and will, in the furture, discuss the various complexes as to age, location etc, but for now would like to end with this rainy sunset picture taken the other day from the Cliffs bluff. The sun was setting back behind the moutains so I can’t really explain why it looks like it is over the ocean, unless it is some reflection from the rain that was coming in at the same time. You can see the color of sunset reflected in the rain as it touched down on the ocean—- enjoy.

Aloha Elaine


A buyer’s market

Everyone is saying its a buyers market… good for buyers, not so good for sellers accustomed to selling quickly at asking or close to asking prices. Just what is a buyers market and when does a market become a buyers market? A quick search on Google reveals the following definitions:

“A market condition which occurs in real estate where more homes are for sale than there are interested buyers.”

“Market conditions that favor buyers ie there are more sellers than buyers in the market. As a result buyers have ample choice of properties and may negotiate lower prices.”

“A period existing in the real estate market, whereas the number of available homes exceeds the number of buyers actively searching for a home. Such a condition could potentially favor the buyer because home sellers must remain flexible in their pricing and contract requirements in order to compete with the large volume of other home sellers.”

A buyer’s market is calculated based on past sales versus the number of properties currently on the market. For example, in Princeville as of 4 14-07, there are 142 condos on the market (not counting the 50 fractionals shares.) As for sales, since 10/1/06 there were 56 sales, only 27 of which were resales. The other 29 sales were in the new Kai’ulani and Nihilani condo complexes. Since most of the new sales were pre-sales that were initiated about 2 years ago, a clearer picture is provided by using on the true re-sales number for determing the market activity. With 29 sales over a 6 month period, that averages out to 4.8 or rounded up to 5 sales a month. At 5 sales a month, we have enough inventory for 28 months. Even if the new sales are included, with 56 sales for an average of 9.3 or 10 sales a month. Even at this “inflated” perspective, inventory exists for well over a year! Generally speaking, if the inventory is enough to supply demand for over 6 months, it is considered a buyer’s market.

Aloha Elaine

A rainy morning in Paradise with calm seas

Aloha and Happy Belated Easter! Today finds light winds, overcast skies and occasional rain. I can hear the ocean crashing gently onto the shoreline although it looks relatively calm from my window. During the winter months, we often get North Shore swells which can result in monster waves and fabulous whitewater views for me. Typically, I cannot see the whitewater as the waves come to shore, but during the winter swells I am often treated to awesome whitewater views. To see the waves “marching in,” with the winds blowing spray back from the tops of the waves against a clear blue sky is a sight to behold. They even have permanent chairs out on the bluff here inviting you to just sit and enjoy.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term “Swell”, Wikipedia offers a straightforward and clear definition:

“A swell, in the context of an ocean, is a formation of long wavelength ocean surface waves on the sea. Swells are far more stable in their directions and frequency than normal oceanic waves since they are formed by tropical storms and by stable wind systems.

From a surfing perspective, swells are often created by storms thousands of miles/kilometers away from the beach where they are surfed. This distance allows the waves comprising the swells to become more stable, clean, and free of chop as they travel toward the coast. Waves generated by storm winds having the same speed will group together and travel with each other, while others traveling at even a fraction of a second slower will lag behind, ultimately arriving many minutes later due to the distance traveled. This is a well known fact for surfers, swell waves come in sets. So Catching the first wave may allow you time to also catch a wave at the end of the set.”
I am not a surfer but definitely enjoy the majestic waves and whale watching available throughout the winter. If you are Princeville condo owner, as I am here at the Cliffs, you need only sit on your lanai to enjoy these views or walk to any of the view points throughout Princeville if your complex is not near the ocean. Here, in Princeville, ocean view is for everyone. One great aspect of the Princeville Resort is that it was laid out comprehensively with thought given to maintaining views throughout the resort for everyone to enjoy. You can also take a short walk or drive to the Princeville Resort Hotel and stand out on their bluff for incredible views of Hanalei Bay and Bali Hai. When I powerwalk in the morning, the Ocean, Mountains, Waterfalls, Hanalei Bay, and Bali Hai are all part of my scenery. Even if you have never wanted to exercise a day in your life before, you just may may find yourself overcome with the desire to get out and walk just to take in the natural beauty which surrounds you once you are here.

So how can you have a piece of this paradise? Condo ownership is one easy way for many people as it eliminates the issues of lawn care, exterior maintanence and the like. Plus, if you decide to vacation or long term rent your property, your Management company will ensure it is cleaned after each guest departs or after your long term tenant vacates, leaving you with little or no worries.

Another option which is gaining popularity is fractional ownership. This type of ownership started with those who bought vachts and jets only to discover their usage did not justfy the expense. They then started making these purchases with other “investors” or like minded individuals who also only needed a yacht or jet parttime. THis concept has now trickeled down to the second or vacation home market. Statistically, second homes are used approximately 20% of the time or 2 months. In addition, property owners were tired of coming in after not using their property for a period of time and then having to spend part of their vacation cleaning, upgrading, etc.

With fractional ownership, which is typically a set two month period, everything is set and ready to go upon your arrival. You, and 5 other “owners” pay a small managment fee to someone to make sure your property is kept in like new condition, plus, with occupancy year round, your home away from home is not left sitting collecting mildew. Fractional ownership is not for everyone, however, as it pretty much eliminates the personal touch that many homeowners enjoy. That is, you cannot come in and hang “your pictures” or paint the walls colors that you love since it is a shared property. There is something for everyone here on Kauai especially in Princeville where we have over 20 different condo complexes to choose from along with many beautiful homes. To get you caught up on the Princeville condo market, here is what happenned over the last 7 days:
Copyright 4/11/2007 by Hawaii Information Service


MLS # Tp St DOM Taxkey Tnr Price Location Land area Details
193722 T A 2 4-5-4-12-2-35 FS $559,000 Hale Moi #215
194107 T A 4 4-5-4-5-30-10 FS $649,000 Princeville Mauna Kai #F20
193699 T A 5 4-5-4-5-23-62 FS $667,900 Plantation At Princeville #1612
193433 T A 7 4-5-4-12-9-15 FS $899,000 Pali Ke Kua Iii #136
193915 T A 7 4-5-4-6-1-56 FS $955,000 Villas Of Kamalii #56


MLS # Tp St DOM Taxkey Tnr Price Location Land area Details
175762 SH A 388 4-5-4-12-9-24 FS $199,000 Pali Ke Kua Iii #234 1,135 #234
175759 SH A 388 4-5-4-12-9-24 FS $199,000 Pali Ke Kua Iii #234 1,135 #234
175755 SH A 388 4-5-4-12-9-24 FS $199,000 Pali Ke Kua Iii #234 1,135 #234
175765 SH A 388 4-5-4-12-9-24 FS $225,000 Pali Ke Kua Iii #234 1,135 #234
175763 SH A 388 4-5-4-12-9-24 FS $225,000 Pali Ke Kua Iii #234 1,135 #234
175756 SH A 388 4-5-4-12-9-24 FS $225,000 Pali Ke Kua Iii #234 1,135 #234

***** Before you get all excited thinking these units are only $225K, please note that these are “shared” or “fractional” units coming back onto the market….in other words, you are buying two months at these units…..


MLS # Tp St DOM Taxkey Tnr Price Location Land area Details
184077 T A 190 4-5-3-11-1-36 FS $965,000- Villas On The Prince #36
194086 SH A 248 4-5-4-11-3-51 FS $325,000- Hanalei Bay Resort #J13
190750 T A 70 4-5-4-5-24-62 FS $650,000- Nihilani At Princeville Resort #21B
178779 T A 302 4-5-4-5-39-120 FS $675,000- Cliffs At Princeville #5106
177183 T A 342 4-5-4-5-13-13 FS $693,500- Kamahana #13
188655 T A 112 4-5-4-6-1-2 FS $999,000- Villas Of Kamalii #2

This information has been supplied by third parties and has not been independently verified by Hawaii Information Service and is, therefore, not guaranteed.

There were no sales or condos that went into escrow during this seven day period. Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the condos or concepts discussed in todays blog. I am here to answer your questions and welcome comments. Still overcast but the rain stopped. Wait another half hour and you may find yourself headed to the beach with the sun blazing above. Like they say here, if you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.

Aloha for now,



Aloha and welcome to my new blog, part of the Aloha Living Blog Network. Mahalo for visiting, and stay tuned, as I look forward to sharing with you both a professional and personal perspective on real estate in this area.