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LUVA Real Estate Blog

When we think of March in West Hawaii, we think of the humpback whales being here in full force, making looking out onto the ocean a casual sport as you can see the little rainbows from their spouts or the huge splashes created by their breaches. We also think of craft brew for the annual Kona Brewers Festival, which hosts almost 2000 guests each year and raises money for great causes in West Hawaii. We also see many people here escaping the snow and cold back on the mainland hanging on tightly to their warm sunny days in West Hawaii. As you get out and enjoy our beautiful spring weather, LUVA Real Estate shares some great events to help you enjoy your time here or for residents, great opportunities for you to volunteer

What: West Hawaii Community

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Wire fraud in real estate is one of the fastest growing cybercrimes in the country. The FBI reportedly received 301,580 complaints in 2017 and losses exceeded $1.4 billion, and in the real estate/rental sector alone, more than 9,600 victims lost over $56 million in the same year. LUVA Real Estate takes the security of our clients very seriously. We make it a point to provide fraud protection information throughout the transaction.

The entire team at LUVA understands the threat of wire fraud and works with our clients to inform them of the threat and the steps we and our trusted escrow companies take to keep our clients protected. The type of fraud with the highest reported loss last year was Business Email Compromise (BEC)/Email Account Compromise

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As you may have read, there is a softening trend in housing across the country as the white hot market that has been occurring for the past two years is slowing. As Steve Harney, CEO of Keeping Current Matters said recently, “In 2008, the plane crashed, but this time we are coming in for a very soft landing.”  Despite slowing on the mainland, people are still finding that warm sandy beaches in Hawaii beat the brutal winter weather on the mainland!

LUVA Real Estate agents are very busy showing homes right now and our market remains desirable. How does West Hawaii stack up to the softerning in the national market?

Island-wide sales volume from January 2018 to January 2019 shows a 28% decline according to statistics from the Hawaii Information Service.

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Last year, land sales were starting to outpace home sales, as prices increased for existing homes and buyers turned to the possibility of building their own homes. LUVA Real Estate was responsible for many of these land deals and helped connect buyers to local construction companies. During this time, Kona was also experiencing construction on many new projects around town and at school campuses.

However, from single family home developers, to the anxious business owners of the new Magic Sands Grill to frustrated non-profit organizations racing to use grant money for a new community kitchen at Kona Pacific Public Charter School, the delay in the projects was the construction permits. Getting a building permit has been a challenge as the permit process

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With so many visitors and snow birds here escaping the cold of the mainland, February is a busy month for fun events! LUVA Real Estate recommends enjoying not only Hawaii’s signature annual events such as the Cherry Blossom Festival, but the whale watching opportunities now available with thousands of visiting Humpback whales along the Kohala Coast. Lots to see and do this month!

What: ASIAN FEST - WAIKOLOA BEACH RESORT

When: February 1, 2019 from 5-8pm.

Where: Queens’ MarketPlace, Waikoloa

Time for Lions and Taiko Drums! Welcome the Year of the Pig at the exciting “Asian Fest” and celebrate with vibrant Lion Dancers and the driving rhythms of drums from around the world. And, make sure you have your lycee (red envelope) ready with

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Photo credit: ABC Cesspool in WaimeaAs LUVA Real Estate wrote in a prior post, a vexing issue faces Hawaii County: 88,000 homes are currently using cesspools, which at one point decades ago, was a useful way to handle sewage without having to build expensive wastewater treatment plants outside of the main cities on the island. However, now with the population growing and scientific findings that the raw sewage can have a negative impact on the environment, it is time to get cesspools converted into septic tanks.

There has been a movement to use point of sale to get sellers to put in septic tanks before they can sell the property, but at the rate of home turnover, it would take decades to solve the problem. The Legislature is examining the creation of a working group within the Department

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It’s January and this is the time of year when pundits make predictions for the year ahead. Well, not being a pundit, but knowing a thing or two about the local housing market and keeping our fingers on the financial markets, LUVA Real Estate would like to share our crystal ball with you.

Buyers Head to the Condo Market

As we mentioned last fall, West Hawaii real estate prices plunged after the eruption, but started to pick up in November and December as buyers on the fence through the summer and early fall saw that the island was not going to sink or tip over and that real estate was still a great investment on Hawaii Island.

However, the single family market in North Kona has been slowing down and in December prices fell year over year 5%. This

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With months of wrangling behind us and the dust now settling, the County of Hawaii has passed Bill 108 and it is now an ordinance, which lays the ground rules going forward for everyone who owns short term vacation rentals on Hawaii Island.

According to the ordinance, “short-term vacation rental” means a dwelling unit of which the owner or operator does not reside on the building site, that has no more than five bedrooms for rent on the building site, and is rented for a period of thirty consecutive days or less.

As a new buyer, you will only have the ability to create a short term vacation rental business if you either (a) buy a property in a resort, hotel, or commercial zone; or (b) buy a property in a neighborhood with residential or agricultural

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The government shutdown that began on December 21 is having a variety of local impacts to the state of Hawaii, which ranks 3rd in the nation for the number of federal jobs it has. But it is not just local federal employees who are being affected by the shutdown, but many people who are in the middle of a real estate transaction to buy or sell a home here in West Hawaii. LUVA Real Estate agents are not currently reporting missed closings, but we wanted to keep you abreast of what the potential impacts may be.

The shutdown includes all non-essential government employees and the many departments they represent. Some of these departments are directly related to the mortgage process. If you are selling a home, your buyer could directly be affected.

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It is almost the New Year and LUVA Real Estate is giving you the low down on the fun New Year’s Eve parties and fireworks displays and what is coming up this weekend, and into January, too! We wish you a very safe and fun New Year’s Eve celebration and good fortune and gratitude as we head into 2019.

What: WAILEA VILLAGE 21st ANNUAL MOCHI POUNDING

When: December 29, 2018 from 8 am-2 pm.

Where: Akiko's Buddhist B&B, Hakalau

A traditional Japanese mochi-pounding event that started with 23 people, mostly neighbors that now welcomes between 600-700 people. Free to the public. Saturday is the Mochi Pounding celebration, making traditional rice cakes the "old-fashioned" way: everyone takes their turn at pounding the glutinous sticky rice for good

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