We have a wonderful assortment of articles, Big Island Calendar of Events, resources, tips and industry updates for you this month and we hope you enjoy. Some of these include:

In addition to Kelly's Blog (, you can now also follow him on Twitter @hilobrokers!

If you are having any difficulty reading the newsletter below, you may view the current (and past) newsletter here: 

In addition to the featured articles, don't forget to dig a little deeper for additional articles located in the "Daily News & Advice" area, as well as the "More Articles" section.

Kelly & the Hilo Brokers, Ltd. Team


Some Articles Copyright © 2010 Realty Times
All Rights Reserved.

Hilo Brokers, Ltd.
400 Hualani St., Bldg 21
Hilo, Hawaii, 96720

Office: 808-969-9400

Direct: 808-938-5757

February 2010 - Hilo Brokers, Ltd.


Quality Big Island Real Estate Service & Experience
for Over 20 Years!


Your Big Island REALTOR®:

Kelly H. Moran



El Nino ... How it Affects the Big Island

- By Kelly Moran

It’s an “El Niño” winter, right now, and it’s a mixed blessing for Hawaii.
     Every few years, starting around Christmastime, the warm equatorial currents of the Pacific shift northward, toward the Tropic of Cancer. This causes a region of “high pressure” to hover around the Hawaiian Islands, keeping normally cool, wet weather at bay, and provoking a shift in the usual wind pattern. Instead of tradewinds swooping down on us from the northeast, most breezes this winter are coming from the southeast and southwest, which are warmer than the northeast trades.
     So the Big Island stays somewhat warmer, and a whole lot drier, in an El Niño winter than it does in “normal” years. North and South Kohala, and most of Ka’u, are in a drought; and even Puna and Hilo, which should have gotten a couple of feet of rain by now, have received only a few inches. The Hawaii County water department is warning residents who order a tanker-truckload of water for their parched catchment tanks that they may have to wait three or four days for its delivery.
     An earthquake in October 2006 knocked out the major irrigation system for the Honoka’a area and North Kohala; some repairs have been made, but farmers are not yet receiving the amount of water they need to sustain their crops, and rainfall has been nowhere near sufficient to make up the difference.
     And the shift in prevailing winds has given East Hawaii a taste of something that normally plagues Ka’u and South Kona: we’re getting Kilauea’s notorious “vog” [read all about vog here]. Some days in Hilo and Hamakua have been downright gray, with obscured views and occasional drifts of noticeably sulfurous fumes.

It looks like haze, but you sniff it, and . . . you’re reminded. It’s the volcanic smog known as “vog.”]

While an El Niño gives local folks great cause for concern, most visitors won’t be aware of this situation, and will construe the warm, dry days as a blessing for walking around and sightseeing: they might even pooh-pooh Hilo’s reputation for clouds and rain. But dry weather also means that streams are not flowing heavily; Rainbow Falls and Akaka Falls and Umauma Falls are not as attractive, right now, as the guidebooks say they should be.

[Rainbow Falls nearly dry due to lack of rain]

Other sights are more subtly affected. Waimea celebrated its annual Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival the first weekend in February. Normally, a wet and chilly winter would stimulate great masses of pink blossoms to festoon the dozens of trees that stretch along Church Row, and provide the thrilling experience that the Japanese call hanami – “viewing flowers” in Springtime. (Like the cherry trees in Washington DC, those in Waimea are ornamental, and do not produce edible fruit.)

[Waimea's cherry blossoms in a normal year.]

This year being dry and warm, however, only a few sparse petals were on the branches; full bloom will likely not come for another two or three weeks. Of course, to put the best face on the situation, that means there’s still time to see them at their peak!


Mortgage Rates
U.S. averages as of January 28 20109:

30 yr. fixed:   4.98%
15 yr. fixed:   4.39%
1 yr. adj:        4.29%

View current rates



View All Featured Listings Here

Featured Listing

Immaculate Large Custom Home on 3 Acres with Bonus Room/Bath & Bonus Utility/Farm Building

Immaculate large custom home with cathedral ceilings on quiet Koloa Maoli (Road 9) in Hawaiian Acres. The interior features easy-care laminate flooring, gorgeous African Mahoghany cabinetry in the kitchen, tiled bathrooms and high ceilings throughout. This spacious custom 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath home has extra bonus space too! A separate farm and utility building has double extra-height Martin garage rolling doors — ideal for a home gym, boat or farm vehicle storage, vehicle repair area, art studio, or a large home office.

Click Here for More Info

Hilo Brokers iPhone Real Estate Search Application
- By Kelly H. Moran

We’ve created a customized, FREE, iPhone application that allows you to search hawaii real estate from your iPhone.

Read More or Download Here


 Homebuyer Tax Credit Boosts Economy

A new survey reveals that savvy consumers cashing in on the new and improved homebuyer tax credit are helping fuel economic recovery.
     The vast majority of current homeowners say they would spend the expanded version of the homebuyer tax credit on repaying existing debts, home improvements, savings and investments and household expenses, according to a National Association of REALTORS® survey of 1,000 homeowners.
     Paying off debts affords consumers more spending power, home improvements likewise put more equity money in their pockets and savings and investments generate income.
     Consumer spending, of course, is the real fuel for the nation's economic engine. And much consumer spending is fueled by the housing market -- provided the housing market is energized.
     Helping to energize the housing market and the economy is the idea behind the homebuyer tax credit and its recent extension and expansion.
     By October 2009, before President Obama signed the latest extension and expansion, more than 1.2 million tax returns had claimed about $8.5 billion in the refundable tax credit, for both new and resale homes - according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).
     The new law extends the existing credit for first-time homebuyers, worth up to $8,000, through April 30, 2010.
     A new credit of up to $6,500 is available to qualifying existing homeowners who buy a new primary residence (or have one built) by April 30, 2010, if they owned their existing home for five consecutive years over the last eight years. Second homes don't qualify.
     The new rule also raises the qualifying income limits to


 Sell Faster: Understand the Buyer's Mindset

When most sellers list their home for sale the first thing they think about is how much will I get and that is usually followed by how soon will I get the money. It's certainly understandable that those two concerns are, most often, top of mind. After all, you're likely selling your home to buy another one or invest the money in something else.

But, if as a seller, you can get into the buyer's mindset, the sale of your home can come faster and for more money.

Understanding the way buyers think involves seeing things not from your perspective but from your potential buyer's mindset. It can sound easy but actually it's often harder to do than most sellers think. The psychology of buying is driven by



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Exterior Remodeling Proves Best Bang for Your Buck

  Despite a slow market and a slight decrease in the resale value of most remodeling projects, Realtors® report that the smartest home improvement investments may also be some of the least expensive. Results from the 2009 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report show that small-scale exterior projects are the most profitable at resale, according to estimates by Realtors who completed a recent survey.
     On a national level, eight out of the top 10 projects in terms of costs recouped were exterior replacement projects that cost less than $14,000. Certain types of door and siding replacements, as well as wood deck additions all returned more than 80 percent of project costs upon resale. A steel entry door replacement – a new addition to this year’s list – recouped 128.9 percent of costs, followed by


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Daily News and Advice

Read about the events shaping the Real Estate market today, find current interest rates, or browse the extensive library of advice and how-to articles written by some of the top experts in Real Estate. Updated each weekday.


Market Snapshots Are Here



More Articles

January Roundup: Mortgage Rates Steady

Is Your Credit Score as High as You Think?

How to Repair Your Home Without Damaging Your Wallet
What to Take and What to Leave Behind when Downsizing

Upcoming Island Calendar of Events

Dates: Tues - Sun through 4/2/10
Times: 1:00 pm & 3:00pm

Place: Hilo’s high-tech Imiloa Astronomy Center planetarium
Contact: (808) 969-9700 or visit
This dynamic new planetarium show takes you into space to learn about the Interplanetary Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission, which is drawing a new map of our solar system and Milky Way galaxy.


Date: March 10, 2010
Time: 7:30pm
Admission: LIMITED Reserved Seating. Tickets are $20 General, $15 Discount, and $7 for UHH/HCC Students with Valid ID and Children 12 & Under.
 UH Hilo Performing Arts Center

Contact: (Office/Box Office): 808-974-7310 or
Based on a true story of Hawai‘i in the 1890’s, this intimate and inventive puppet performance utilizes live music, animated projections, shadow puppets and Japanese kuruma ningyo style (wheeled puppet) figures.

Ko‘olau was a native Hawaiian paniolo from Waimea, Kaua‘i. In 1892 he and his son contracted Hansen’s disease. Rather than be separated from his wife, Pi‘ilani, and exiled, Ko‘olau took the family to the remote valley of Kalalau where he found freedom, of a sort. This is the family’s story, recorded in 1906 by Pi‘ilani, in the Hawaiian language with John Sheldon, an American journalist. Director Tom Lee addresses the powerful themes of this story with puppetry that evokes the poetry of the Hawaiian language and the natural environment of the islands. The piece is performed by four puppeteers, two musicians and two projectionists who animate live shadow and video images projected onto a screen at the back of the stage. Music is inspired by sounds of nature and compositions of Queen Lili‘uokalani and is performed on shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute), hammer dulcimer, guitar and percussion.

Date: March 14, 2010
Time: 7:00pm
Admission: Tickets $40/$35
 Kahilu Theater in Waimea
(808) 885-6868 or visit
Vienna Teng’s sophisticated, piano-driven chamber folk has everyone from NPR to David Letterman raving. A brainy software engineer turned talented singer-songwriter-pianist, the 27-year-old has already released two critically acclaimed independent albums: 2002’s Waking Hour and 2004’s Warm Strangers, which landed on three Billboard album charts and reached #2 on Amazon’s best-seller list. She’s appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman and toured widely, opening for such artists as Shawn Colvin, Joan Osborne, Patty Griffin, Joan Baez and the Indigo Girls.

Date: March 20, 2010
Time: Noon - 4:00pm
Admission: Free
Place: Kalakaua Park in Hilo
Contact: (808) 961-5711 or
These monthly programs feature musical performances by Hawaii Island musicians and hula halau, along with presentations by community groups. Also featured are authentic arts and crafts vendors and food booths.


Date: March 14, 2010
Time:  9:30am - 12:30pm
Admission: Free
Place: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, meet at the ranch bldgs inside the gate
Contact: (808) 985-6011or
This guided hike explores ways people have lived on the vast Kahuku lands from the earliest Hawaiian settlements through the Park`s current and future projects. This moderately difficult hike traverses 2 1/2 miles of rugged terrain including lava fields, pastures and historic ranch roads. Boots, long pants, and raingear are recommended. A treasured home and rich resource from traditional times, a working ranch since the 1860s, a WWII radar station and now part of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, the varied landscapes of Kahuku tell stories about the past and offer promise for the future. The Kahuku gate (mountain side of Highway 11 between the 70 and 71 mile marker in Ka`u) will be open from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Meet at the ranch buildings inside the gate. There is no need to sign up for this hike and four-wheel-drive vehicles are not required.


Kelly H. Moran
Web: or
Office: 808-969-9400 x11
Toll Free: 800-769-4456 x11
Mobile: 808-938-5757
Fax: 808-969-7900

Twitter: @hilobrokers

Hilo Brokers, Ltd.
400 Hualani St.
Bldg 21
Hilo, Hawaii, 96720


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