Selling homes in Hawaii


December 2009:  Mom, Maria holding Julia, and me.

We were celebrating Christmas in my home.

Here we are as a group:


Circling the buffet table:


And this is a close-up of my mother (age 93):


My mother passed away peacefully in March of this year at the age of 99.

Her 4 bedroom 2 bath house, which was built in 1953 for $29,000, recently sold for $1.175 million.  We children are very pleased.  I wonder if the two doctors, who purchased the property, will demolish the house and build something better.  Only time will tell.

We bought our 3 bedroom 2 bath house in 1991 for $380,000.  At the time, we thought it was very expensive and we barely qualified for the mortgage.  Now, in today’s market, our home could go for $750,000, and that is a conservative estimate.

No matter how you look at it, investing in real estate in Hawaii can be lucrative, because land is scarce and therefore valuable.

Has the market value of homes in your area improved, too?

14 Responses to “Selling homes in Hawaii”

  1. Cathy Says:

    Our little 3 bed 1 bath cost $15,000 in 1973 – now would attract nearly $450.000. Unfortunately the price of every other property has risen as well lol

  2. Beatrice P. Boyd Says:

    After reading this post about soaring real estate prices in Hawaii, I wish we could relocate our VA property and house there, Gigi. We have been trying to sell it (unsuccessfully) for the past couple of years. It’s not the house & property, but its location in a very small town. These are qualities that drew us to the area over 13 years ago, but seem to be a drawback for many others now.

  3. Jan Says:

    Yes, property values everywhere have increased, although not as fast as in Hawaii, I suspect. We rent and didn’t buy when we moved to Bellingham.

  4. dkzody Says:

    Our little house In Fresno would sell now for about $160K, but if it was in San Francisco it would be more like $600K, or more due to the lot size and the fact that we have a 2-car garage.

    We have hoped, when we bought the house in 1980 for $72K, that prices would increase but they have not. The housing bubble in the early 2000s increased the value of the house to about $260K, but there was no where that we could buy so we just stayed put. The bubble burst and so many lost their overpriced homes.

    Our house is paid for so we can live pretty inexpensively in retirement.

  5. SchmidleysScribblins Says:

    Arlington and DC which were one entity for many years are like an island in this huge Metro Area. Consequently, the price of housing has gone through the roof. All that concerns me is property taxes these days. Our jurisdiction never has to increase the rates because the base keeps expanding…scary, especially for or seniors. We couldn’t afford to buy our own home these days.

    Beachfront property is also prohibitively expensive along our coast. Unfortunately, the poor who once lived in those areas have been driven away. Our State Senator says real estate in VA is out of reach for most people. Mostly these days this result comes from all the folks from up north retiring to the mid-Atlantic States.

    Unless you plan to move to a less expensive location, home value is almost useless. Except to those who inherit it after you are gone. And yes, I know about reverse mortgages, but I don’t trust them. Nothing is free in this life.

  6. Musings Says:

    I’m sorry for your loss, Glenda. She did have a long life though and got to enjoy the satisfaction of seeing so many successes in your family. Housing prices slowed in Hawaii for a time, but they appear to be climbing again. I feel sad for young couples starting out and the homeless.

  7. Suzanne Says:

    We bought our house in 1979 for $129K. It’s now worth about $800K, after our kitchen and bath renovations. At one point we thought about moving to a condo. But for one located in downtown Honolulu, we wouldn’t have enough to get a 3-bedroom unit that’s move-in ready. So we’ll stay put, tolerate the insane traffic coming and going to the west side of the island, and enjoy looking out onto green grass and Areca palm trees and listening to the birds (even the squawky parrots!)

  8. Olga Says:

    I suppose I should start finding out how much my house might be worth because I will eventually sell it. Your mother’s investment was a wonderful gift for her children.

  9. Christine Says:

    wow good news about your mom’s house! Property values in Toronto are sky high.

  10. Joanne Noragon Says:

    And we’re still waiting for the housing market to recover in NE Ohio.

  11. Linda Reeder Says:

    Housing values fell in 2008 in Seattle, but are now climbing again. Housing in the city limits and in some of the suburbs is very expensive. Housing is in great demand.
    We bought our house as new construction in 1978 for $70,000. It’s value now is somewhere over $350,000, but we don’t live in a high value area.

  12. Lynette Says:

    We bought our coastal So. Calif. home in 1977 for just under $69,000 (3/4 acre, 1550 sq. ft. home). We added 500 sq. ft. 4 years ago and now it’s worth about $800,000. We plan to live here the rest of our lives since 7 of 8 grandkids along with their parents live 5-10 minutes away.

  13. mm!!!! Says:

    Our small house 1,205 sq feet is now ridiculous for what is asked in our town of Vancouver Washington..A high school was built it dimished the property values, we would have never bought it here knowing a high school was coming, when our only graduated in 96 and the same time the community college many teachers retired tired of the punks and future criminals threatening harm. They all attended our daughters high school graduation and junior college graduation the same week..That was it for them, ap classes no less..Our home is comfy and tiny, taxes did not go up much but the constant crap from the kids on marijuana and other drugs is not pleasant, but they patrol with police women and men and guard the walkway to the school vigilantly, we would never buy near any school again, we tried to buy up in seattle but I could not find work, we found a lovely new Spanish style home for only 10,000 more than the one we purchased it is now worth probably a million as it is on the perimenter of seattle and good public transportation..We always wonder how our life would be, the largest city in the state with much to be desired, but most people don’t live in Seattle just tooo expensive and the taxes oh, my goodness sakes..It is wonderful your Mother got that home, I understand food I Hawaii is prohibitive not to mention housing too, nice place to visit like Seattle but you cannot live up there either..aloha!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Musings Says:

    You do also live in a very convenient area which is wonderful with traffic being so bad these days and for the next several rail years.

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