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The Coconut Chronicles
Volume III, featuring Maui Starter Homes
Aloha! Welcome to the third edition of "The Coconut Chronicles" presented by Billy and Pete Jalbert, Realtors for the Maui Real Estate Team in Paia, Maui. Thank you to those that have taken the time to read our first few editions. We hope that you found them to be both entertaining and informative. The intent of our monthly newsletter is to provide you with insight on the local real estate market as well as an overview of some of the fantastic towns, places and activities available on the little slice of paradise we call Maui. While we have a passion for helping our customers buy and sell Maui real estate, we also like to soak in all that Maui has to offer. We hope you enjoy "The Coconut Chronicles" and find it to be a value to you as you consider buying or selling Maui real estate.
Billy and Pete's Picks: Starter Homes
Each month The Coconut Chronicles will present some properties that may be intriguing to you. There are literally hundreds of active listings to choose from. Our goal is to provide you with a snapshot of some properties that may be right for you! This month we are focused on starter homes.
If there is one thing that we enjoy more than anything else in real estate, it is helping first time home buyers. The following home and condos represent some of the more affordable options throughout Maui. If you see anything of interest, or if you know of anyone thinking about buying their first home, please don't hesitate to send us an e-mail or give us a call.
This article was originally published in November of 2004. Contact Billy and Pete today for information on Starter homes and condos on Maui today.
Coconut Community Spotlight: Haiku
The subject of this month's community spotlight is a small community near and dear to the heart of The Maui Real Estate Team. Haiku is the town we call home. Nestled on the Northwest slope of Haleakala, this community is fairly anonymous amongst the Maui tourist population. While it may lack amenities and attractions for tourists, it has proven to be an increasingly desirable home for many Maui residents. It has seen significant population growth throughout the early nineties and the turn of the new century as more and more people are attracted to the area's quiet rural location and natural beauty.
Like most of Maui, the community of Haiku can trace its historical roots back to agriculture. The community began to flourish around the start of the 20th century. Pineapple became a key crop with the construction of a local cannery in 1904. The quiet agricultural community was home to people from all over the Pacific Rim, native Hawaiians and Anglos who came to work and manage the pineapple fields. An influx of newcomers came to the area in the 60s, as hippies migrated to this slice of paradise. The quiet community offered a place to get back to nature and live a simpler life than they might have found on the mainland. The 80s brought windsurfers drawn to nearby Ho'okipa beach park and its abundant wind and waves.
Haiku Shopping and Food
Pineapple farming is still active in and around Haiku, but the old Pineapple canneries have been converted into small hubs of shopping, restaurants and light industry. The Haiku Marketplace is the largest of these former canneries and has the most to offer. Colleen's is a good bet any time of day. Their pizza is quite good as is their breakfast. Kimura Saimin offers good Saimin and other cheap local style food. Hana Hou is a great restaurant located in a small building next to the cannery. Hana Hou features authentic Hawaiian dishes as well as fantastic Sushi by Harry. The best part may be the nightly entertainment. Bruddah Francis plays music by request and his repertoire ranges from old Hawaiiana tunes to a damn good Elvis. Worth mentioning is Island Taco located in the parking lot of the cannery. This low key taco stands offers delicious Kiawe (like mesquite) smoked pork, chicken and fish tacos. They are a bargain at $3.00 a taco. In addition to the restaurants, the Haiku Store is a small market that offers a surprisingly good selection of beer and wine. One of the newest tenants in Haiku Marketplace is the Studio Maui. The Studio Maui offers Yoga classes, dance, massage and much more. This beautiful space has quickly developed a loyal following to its many talented instructors (thestudiomaui.com).
Across the street from the cannery is the Haiku Town Center. This space is currently undergoing significant renovations. As it is, it still has a couple of pretty good eateries. Vasi's Bakery offers a variety of baked goods and Greek foods. Their Gyros are quite good. Veg Out is a vegetarian take out place. It has become quite popular due to its good food, generous portions and fair prices. The Haiku Snack Shop offers pretty decent plate lunches as well.
The other cannery in Haiku is the Pauwela cannery located off of West Kuiaha Road. While the majority of this space is dedicated to small cottage industries like surf board manufacturing and repair, the Pauwela Café offers good breakfast and lunch. In addition to the canneries, there is a smattering of general stores throughout Haiku that help alleviate the need to head to town. They are Hanzawa's General Store, Fukushima Market and Ohashi General Store.
A number of people are drawn to the Haiku area due to its proximity to the water and nearby ocean related activities. Ho'okipa located between Pa'ia and Haiku is a big draw for surfers and wind surfers. For the particularly skilled and daring surfers and windsurfers, the world's largest wave known as Peahi or "Jaws" is located at the base of steep cliffs in Haiku. Massive winter swells generated by storms up near the Aleutian Islands will cause this mystical wave to break a handful of times a year. People line the cliffs to watch the spectacle of wind surfers and tow surfers riding waves with faces that can be greater than 70 feet tall! On a more subdued note, Twin Falls offers hiking and swimming. This is but one of many waterfalls located throughout Haiku. Haiku residents are able to take advantage of many small and tranquil falls proximate to their homes. Billy and Carla enjoy 2 waterfalls within a 10 minute walk from their house.
Haiku Geography and Climate
Haiku is an area of rolling hillside starting at sea level going up to elevations approaching 1,500 feet. The countryside is often intersected by valleys or gulches draining the upper elevations of Haleakala. These valleys frequently have year round or at least seasonal streams. Volcanic features helped create high points like Haiku Hill and Giggle Hill. The oceanfront along this part of the coast is rugged. Dramatic cliffs predominate with few beaches except for the rocky areas where drainages run into the Pacific.
Haiku is the transitional area to tropical Maui. The prevailing trade winds from the North East bring cooling breezes and showers to keep the area green and lush. Despite its relatively small area, the diversity in precipitation can be significant. Places along the ocean and the western edges of Haiku receive significantly less rainfall than the upper and easternmost areas of Haiku. Geographic features such as valleys can lead to additional enhancement of rain. By and large the rainfall tends to fall mostly at night and during the early morning hours. Winter storms may bring more extended episodes of rain. Passing showers, which lead to world class rainbows, and cooling trade winds make Haiku cooler than the Central Valley, Lahaina and South Maui.
Haiku Homes for Sale
Haiku has experienced considerable growth and Haiku homes for sale have been in high demand over the last 4 years. Haiku Homes for Sale vary in size and price from the most affordable homes in the North Shore/Upcountry areas to some of the most dramatic estates in all of Hawaii. Close to the Haiku canneries is the Rice Camp neighborhood. There are some cute homes in this area on smaller lots. Prices range from the mid 300s to low 400s**. By and large smaller lots are the exception rather than the norm. Much of the community is zoned agricultural with 2 acre minimums. The lower density and bigger lots are part of what contributes to the demand for Haiku. The variety of terrain also suits diverse tastes. If you are looking for views, there are a number of properties with spectacular views of the Pacific, Haleakala and/or the West Maui mountains. If you are looking for lush terrain, there are gulch properties filled with tropical plants, running streams and waterfalls. There are a number of spectacular oceanfront estates lining the cliffs of Haiku. They boast tremendous views of the waves crashing on the shoreline below. Discriminating buyers might also be interested in some of the more dramatic estate properties in the area with expansive grounds and privacy.
If you are interested in creating your own vision of paradise, Haiku also offers more vacant land parcels than many other Maui communities. Also worth mentioning are some of the subdivisions that are pending in the area. Peahi Farms has the potential to be one of the most interesting and innovative subdivisions created in Maui. This 240 acre subdivision along the cliffs of Haiku, will only have 16 home sites. The vast majority of the acreage of the subdivision will be dedicated to organic farming. Sustainability is an important element of the community with plans to rely extensively on wind power. The homesites themselves will be along the cliff fronts. While this area has the best views, it also has the least agricultural potential. The whole project has interesting implications for Maui as we contemplate what to do with current farm land that will soon go fallow.
Maui Moments: A weekend in Hana
Before I moved to Maui, I would come to the island to vacation and visit my brother frequently. Since I have been on island, I had yet to take an on island vacation. Well, that's not entirely true. My first few months on the island were pretty vacation-like as I enjoyed the fruits of underemployment. During the second weekend in October, Billy and his family, a group of friends and I went to Hana for the weekend. I had looked forward to our "on island vacation" since we had made reservations for cabins out at Waianapanapa State Park in mid-July. The weekend lived up to its expectations and then some.
The drive out to Waianapanapa in and of itself is always entertaining. While Haiku is lush in its own right, each mile of the road to Hana is progressively more tropical. Waterfalls dot the roadways, bamboo forests sway in the wind and scenic ocean vistas are visible around every other bend in the road. If you stop for all of the sights, it could take you the good part of a day. Having made the drive itself many times before, I was more anxious to make it to our scenic destination. We arrived at Waianapanapa late on Friday afternoon and checked into our cabins. The cabins are rustic, but clean. They each sleep roughly six and have their own kitchens and bathrooms. They reminded me a lot of some place where you would stay at an old YMCA camp as a kid. The scenery was above and beyond anything that I saw at YMCA camp though. While it only took us an hour and half to get there, it felt like we were half a world away. Golden light shone down on the emerald green foliage, the ocean crashed on the shore and the steep east flank of Haleakala loomed to our west. We gathered outside the cabin and enjoyed the last of the fading daylight and the emerging dusk. Darkness brought a carpet of stars. Sleep came easy that night as the sounds of the nearby ocean and the occasional trade shower were a soothing background.
The next day allowed us time to discover and enjoy more of Waianapanapa and Hana itself. The first stop was Waianapanapa's spring fed fresh water caves. The morning air was humid and the caves cool temperatures and brisk waters were amazingly refreshing. Just a short walk away is Waianapanapa's Black Sand Beach. After scrambling around on the rocks a bit, we found a good place to jump into the ocean. We enjoyed a brief swim before venturing through the breakers and onto the beach. After a nice relaxed morning, the boys headed out past Hana town towards Kipahalu. One of our crew that was more familiar with the Hana area took us to the Venus Pools. These pools are typically spring and stream fed freshwater pools at the side of the ocean. A small strip of land forms a barrier between ocean and pool. When we were there, the waters of the Pacific had breached into the pool and the stream and associated waterfall were dry. Despite these conditions, the setting was spectacular and the weather perfect. The deep pool and adjoining cliffs provide a good opportunity for diving into the waters below. The cliffs are just tall enough to give you pause before you make the jump.
After a half hour of play at Venus Pool, we decided to join the rest of our crew at Hamoa Beach. Hamoa is my favorite beach in all of Maui. I am not alone in this sentiment. I have seen no better description of Hamoa than author James Michener's.
The salt and pepper beach combined with the lush backdrop is truly unique to the Hana area. The water is an attraction in its own right. Incredibly clarity and great waves for bodysurfing make Hamoa hard to beat. It took me about 5 minutes from arrival to throw on my fins and join the mix of surfers, body boarders and other body surfers in the water. Hamoa is noted as one of the best if not the best body surfing beaches on Maui. Billy and I gave our best shot at the waves despite our limited body surfing skills.
As the sun began to set, we packed our bags, hosed off the kids and headed back to Waianapanapa. After a fun day of play in the sun, our friends Todd and Stacy put together a meal fit for kings. Steak, shrimp and au gratin potatoes served with a delicious salad mmmm. We ate outside and enjoyed the return of the spectacular stars. Sleep came even easier than the night before as we were all stuffed from our meal, drained from the sun and enchanted by the sounds of the waves crashing on the nearby shore.
We took advantage of only a fraction of the activities available in the Hana Area. There are other great beaches to explore like Koki and Red Sand beach. The Seven Sacred Pools at the Kipahalu Section of Haleakala National Park are not to be missed. Even better is the Pipiwai Trail above the pools leading to the majestic Waimokou Falls. Kahanu National Tropical Botanical Garden and Hana Maui Botanical Garden both offer nice walks through beautiful flowers and plants native to Hawaii and tropical areas all over the world.
While Hana is on the rainier eastern side of the island, the beautiful weather that we experienced is not unusual. The majority of the rainfall occurs up the slope of Haleakala and to the Northwest of Hana in areas like Nahiku. Much of the rain that does fall occurs at night or earlier in the morning. That being said, winter storms can create significant rainfall.
In terms of accommodations, the cabins at Waianapanapa are a bargain at $45 a night for between 1 and 4 people. It is $5 a night per additional person. Tent camping is available at $5 per night. Reservations are available through Hawaii State Parks (Tel. (808) 984-8109 ). For those looking for upscale accommodations, the Hotel Hana Maui is hard to beat. Click here for Hotel Hana Maui information and reservations. There are also a number of cute bed and breakfasts in the area.
Coconut Cultural Calendar
The MACC is not the only great place for cultural activities on Maui. There are other venues such as the Hui No'Eau Visual Arts center located between Paia and haiku. As a feature to our readers, we will provide a monthly calendar of events for the MACC, Hui No' Eau as well as other events around Maui.
Wednesday, November 3
Friday, November 5
Saturday, November 6
Sunday, November 7
Monday, November 8
Wednesday, November 10
November 12 - December 19
Saturday, November 13
Sunday, November 14
Sunday, November 14
Friday-Saturday, November 19-20
Saturday, November 20
Sunday, November 21
Saturday, November 27
Saturday-Sunday, November 27-28
Selecting Colors The Primary Plus One Palette
Taste of the Tropics
Terri Chun's Teriyaki Flank Marinade
Maui Real Estate Market Update
As Realtors, we are frequently asked about the direction of the Real Estate Market. While we wish we could provide definitive answers, any guesses we would make would be a disservice to our customers. We can however, provide information on the recent performance of the market. The link below provides access to recent statistics on home, condo and land sales in Maui County. It is important to bear in mind that month to month statistics can be easily skewed based on the relatively small sample of properties on Maui. Differences in statistics are just as easily changed by variation in inventory as much as changes in the market place. We plan to provide this data as a monthly feature. Each subsequent month will help to clarify the big picture of recent Maui real estate market trends.
If you have any more specific questions or feedback about how we can make The Coconut Chronicles more useful, please let us know. Of course, any inquiries on Maui Real Estate are more than welcome.
If you know anyone else who might enjoy these articles, please feel free to forward a link to this page.
Pete and Billy Jalbert
Maui Real Estate Team, Inc.
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