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Hawaii is Paradise, and it doesn’t come cheap. This is where Uncle and Aunty were born, raised, and will live for the rest of our lives, so we want to own our piece of the islands. It is more challenging, but worth it.

Another Ala Moana Hotel update

2 days in a row!  Normally I wouldn't have reported about the owners' meeting except that it had the insurance tip and my rather impulsive decision to run on a board/committee.  Am still mulling over the wisdom or dumbness of that, but it is just for a year, and a year speeds on by. Back in October of last year, Aunty went to an auction for one of the units at the Ala Moana Hotel.  Her bid price was beat by ...

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Owner meeting at the Ala Moana Hotel

Aunty attended the 2017 Ala Moana Hotel Condominium Annual Meeting yesterday, very curious to hear from the new owners from the Mantra Group, and to talk story with fellow owners.  After the meeting, an Owners' Forum is held, and following that, an after meeting party in the room next door with food, music, and drinks. There are 1100 rooms, 90% of which are owned by people like Aunty, who rent them out usin ...

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Ala Moana Hotel auction and update

Aunty was again at the Courthouse steps (actually it is the lanai fronting the courthouse) to try her hand at bidding for an Ala Moana Hotel room unit this Tuesday at noon.  The foreclosure notice was found in the classified section of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser - the bank was due $215,458 with arrears, late charges, etc. Aunty went to its Sunday open house about a month ago, met Jenny the commissioner in ...

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Buying a piece of Ala Moana Hotel

Aunty used to go to a lot of marketing events at the Ala Moana Hotel, parking at Ala Moana Center by Macy's, which was a no-no but everyone did it without any hassle.  From there, a short walk up a ramp took us into the ballroom section of the hotel. Rumours Night Club just off the lobby is a hoot!  Aunty is not into the nightclub scene but decided to join some friends years ago during the happy hour.  We h ...

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Aunty at the auction

The Honolulu Star Advertiser has a promotion going on, so Aunty gets free Sunday and holiday newspaper home delivery.  At first, these would pile up, unread and then get tossed in the blue recycle bin, but one day, Aunty opened up the paper and saw a page in the classified section about property foreclosure auctions. One of the foreclosures in the newspaper was for a unit in the Ala Moana Hotel, so Aunty de ...

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Real Estate Lesson from Uncle the Fisherman

Recently, the house next door to us was for sale.  Aunty wanted it.  Wanted it bad.  We put in an offer that was higher than asking price with generous concessions and a very big mortgage.  With some rehabbing and modifications, this house could be rented out with a little bit of a positive income. The owners decided to go with another offer and sent us a counteroffer which they would use as backup.  Aunty ...

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Investing in Hawaii

Hawaii is not the easiest place to invest, although there are ways to buy, rehab, and flip properties for a few thousand dollars profit.  With home prices in the half million and up range, there is little cash flow in buying and holding unless you are as smart and wise as Bill Harvey (now has a website! and will be able to meet him at almost any real estate meeting).  Maui has been hit pretty bad with forec ...

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Rehabbing in Hawaii

One thing about Hawaii is we feel more secure in knowing someone who knows someone they used rather than just calling a company from the yellow pages.  It isn't always true that the one with the biggest and best ad is the best company.  I rather use tried and true, and if we have had good results at a fair price from one person or company, we will use them again.  I also trust in the recommendations of frie ...

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Aunty the Realtor (update – not anymore)

Uncle would make a great real estate agent.  I never wanted him to be one because he is so handsome and charming - call it jealousy and control; I call it being smart and safe.  Well, we are getting older and it's time to let kites fly and dogs run. Paul Xavier & Co. (formerly Real Estate Xtreme) have presented a great opportunity to anyone who is already a licensed realtor or agent, or thinking of beco ...

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Financing in Hawaii

When we were just married and starting our family, an incredible opportunity arose for us to buy the house we loved and currently lived in.  We were renting, and kind of half arsedly looking for a place to buy.  I liked almost every house we looked at, but Uncle would say, "too hot", or "junk", or "no more lichee tree".  Then, the owner of the house we lived in offered the house to us for a great price (Haw ...

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