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

May 2010 - Hilo Brokers, Ltd.


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


Your Big Island REALTOR®:

Kelly H. Moran



Honoring the Ali'i in Kona

- By Kelly Moran

E ver since the U.S. annexed Hawaii in 1898, the native royalty – ali’i – haven’t played much of a role in governance, though some did, early on: most notably Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole. Had Queen Liliuokalani not been overthrown, he was considered next in succession, and would probably have become King. As it happened, he served a year in jail for joining the putsch that failed to restore the monarchy. But in 1903 he was elected Hawaii’s first U.S. Congressional Delegate, and he’s honored now, every March 26, with a state holiday called “Prince Kuhio Day.”

I mention this because he was the last member of the ali’i to own and live in the Big Island’s only royal residence: Hulihe’e Palace, on Ali’i Drive in Kailua-Kona. Since it was essentially a vacation-house, Hulihe’e is pretty small for a palace: it’s a simple two-story building with a footprint of only 30 X 60 feet, and just three rooms plus a lanai on each floor. A parlor and a dining room flank the center entry hall, above which the sitting-room is flanked by two bedrooms. In Kona alone, there are literally thousands of houses that are bigger; but none has such an illustrious history.

One of the very oldest surviving buildings in Hawaii, it was built in 1838 for the second governor of the Big Island. In 1844, the house passed to his daughter-in-law, Princess Ruth Ke’elikolani, who was half-sister to the last of the Kamehameha kings (IV and V). She willed the house to Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, who died young; and although Pauahi’s will created the Bishop Estate, the house itself was sold to King David Kalakaua.

The “Merrie Monarch” had it extensively remodeled in high Victorian style, with stucco on the outside, plastered interior walls with gold-leaf moldings, and crystal chandeliers. The rooms are kept, today, as they were commissioned by Kalakaua, and contain many pieces of furniture that he and other royal family members owned and used, along with displays of museum-quality artifacts from pre-contact Hawaii.

Prince Kuhio and his brother, David Kawananakoa, were the last royal owners, and it went into private hands upon Kuhio’s death in 1922. The palace would probably have been torn down to make room for a hotel; but it was acquired in 1925 by the Daughters of Hawaii, a not-for-profit group originally formed in 1903 by kama’aina (locally-born) haole women who wanted “to perpetuate the memory and spirit of old Hawai’i and of historic facts, and to preserve the nomenclature and correct pronunciation of the Hawaiian language.” (The organization also maintains Queen Emma’s Summer Palace, mauka of downtown Honolulu, in Nu’uanu Valley.)

The walls are made of local lava stone and coral, a full three feet thick, but they were no match for an earthquake in ....



Mortgage Rates
U.S. averages as of April 30, 2010:

30 yr. fixed:   4.99%
15 yr. fixed:   4.34%
1 yr. adj:        4.20%

View current rates



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Featured Listing

Elegant Kamaaina Home with Ohana Guest House

Elegant Kamaaina home with Ohana guest house overlooking Richardson Beach. Ideal location in sunny Keaukaha, only minutes to downtown Hilo. Walk out your front door and swim, surf and snorkel. The Old Hawaii lifestyle is calling you back home. This historic gem is now available. A home for connoisseurs who appreciate artisan details and exceptional quality combined with an outstanding location. Homes like this are rarely available. The lifestyle that comes with it is priceless. Welcome to paradise!

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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


 Green Your Home with Cost-Saving Remodeling Tax Credits

As the 40th anniversary of Earth Day was celebrated last month, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reminds home owners that they can use fewer resources and save money by taking advantage of federal energy efficiency tax credits through the end of the year.

Home owners who purchase qualifying water heaters, windows, air conditioning units and other appliances, insulation and roofing can be eligible for tax code section 25C tax credit, equivalent to 30 percent of the cost. There's a $1,500 overall limit for purchases made in 2009 and 2010.

"You can save money, save energy, and be a good steward of the Earth's resources," said NAHB Remodelers Chair Donna Shirey, a remodeler in Issaquah, Wash. "I can't think of a more appropriate way to commemorate Earth Day."

Carolyn Taylor of Columbia, S.C., enjoyed Earth Day with a new tankless water heater that supplies plenty of hot water for her active family of four. Remodeler and NAHB member Pete Williams of ATherm Remodeling in Columbia suggested the switch because it was less expensive than relocating her existing gas water heater during a whole-home renovation project.

When Williams told her about the energy-efficiency tax credit the family would also enjoy, that was the icing on the cake, Taylor said. "Any time you can do something that makes a home more energy efficient and saves you money, of course you should do it," she said.

Remodeler Shawn Nelson in Burnsville, Minn., helped home owners combine the federal credits with a state program that offered rebates for ...


 Here on the Big Island, Far-Seeing From Here
Part II - Imiloa, the Healing Force

- By Kelly Moran

Besides the summit of Mauna Kea, there are few places on earth where you can see so many stars so clearly. You’re on top of nearly every cloud, nearly 14,000 feet above sea level, and there’s essentially no smog or air pollution at that altitude. Vog from Kilauea doesn’t blow that way, either: it would first have to climb up and over Mauna Loa, which is very nearly as tall as Mauna Kea, and vog gasses are heavier than air.

There’s no “light pollution” here either: as a courtesy to the astronomical observatories, all the streetlights on the Big Island are a dull yellow color that doesn’t register on their telescopes. In fact, hardly any of them are looking for visible light. Most are searching the sky in other “wavelengths,” including infrared radiation (which is invisible but which we notice, mainly, as “heat”), and the even longer wavelength Twin Keck Telescopesknown as “sub-millimeter.” One of the telescopes – the Keck - is actually two telescopes in one, that act like binoculars, and hence give a more three-dimensional image.

Mauna Kea has been an enormously attractive platform for viewing the heavens. But that does not mean that astronomy has been popular here. Several groups of native Hawaiians and environmental activists have, for years, vigorously protested plans to construct yet another observatory – one which will contain the world’s largest mirror, thirty meters across. (Technically, it’s a cluster of small mirrors, each computer-controlled, that produce an image equivalent to what would be seen if it were one big chunk of glass ground into a parabolic mirror – but such a mirror would be impossible to transport up, and is probably impossible to fabricate, anyway). The University of Hawaii has never been able to deflect objections to new observatories [see previous blog post], but the UH Institute for Astronomy has recently helped to cultivate a generation of children and young adults who are intrigued by astronomy. The reason is . . . Imiloa.

It means “far-seeing,” and it’s a hands-on science museum, located just mauka of the UH-Hilo campus, and centered on the science of astronomy. It houses the only planetarium on the island, and the only 3D projection system as well. Current shows include two that were locally produced: “Awesome Light 2,” which shows distant galaxies that the infrared and sub-millimeter telescopes have explored; and “3D Sun,” with three-dimensional images of solar flares taken from special satellites. The planetarium also draws in new audiences by showing 3D light-shows with rock music.

But if that were all, Imiloa would not be so popular ...



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10 Tips for Water Conservation

  As warm weather makes its way across the nation, sprinklers come out of hibernation and return to their full time positions, pools fill up, and many a garden hose sees daylight for the first time in months. But in an era where water shortages are a sad but true realty, many homeowners are now concerned with how to conserve water. Here are 10 tips to help your family use water more responsibly.

Sprinkler Use. Homeowners want lush, green lawns. This is understandable when one considers that curb appeal can mean added value and better resale potential. To make your sprinklers as efficient as possible, try to use them during the coolest hours of the day, either during the morning or evenings. This helps to minimize evaporation due to heat. And adjust your sprinklers so that you aren't watering the sidewalk or driveway.

Rain Sensors. While you're at it, install a rain sensor on your irrigation controller. There is no need to water your lawn when nature is already handling the job for you.

Responsible Landscaping. Not every region of the country has the climate for lush, green yards. Consider following the lead of Southwestern homeowners, who opt to plant drought resistant plants, supplemented by rocks and stone.

Washing Dishes. Have one side of your sink filled with soapy water to wash dishes, and then fill the other side of your sink with clean water for rinsing. This keeps you from having a steady stream of water running as you rinse.

Washing Clothes. Energy Star rated appliances reportedly use 30 to 50 percent less water, not to mention giving you incredible energy savings. Consider replacing your old washer with a newer, more efficient one.

Water Level. This tip goes hand in hand with tip number five. Be sure that your load size matches the load setting. A large load setting utilizes more water, so adjust accordingly.

Cleaning the Drive. Consider using a broom instead of a hose or powerwasher to clean your driveways and sidewalks. Recent statistics say this small change can save 80 gallons of water every time.

Low-flush Toilets. Newer, efficient toilets use around 1.6 gallons a flush, as opposed to 3.5 with standard toilets. According to water conservationist George Whalen, these bathroom fixtures can save you up to $100 ...


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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.


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Upcoming Island Calendar of Events

Dates: 5/29/10 - 5/31/10
Times: 9am-6pm Sat & Sun, 9am-4pm Mon
Free Admission, Everyone Welcome
Place: Wailoa River State Park, Hilo
Contact: or 808-557-8607

Everyone is invited to experience the sights, sounds, flavors and spirit of Native America through music, dance, storytelling, food, arts and crafts at this free family-oriented event with opportunities for audience participation throughout the weekend. At Wailoa River Park in Hilo. This is a drug and alcohol free event.

Date: 6/4/10
Time: 7:30pm
Admission: Purchase tickets on-line or at the door
 Kilauea Military Camp Theater, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Contact: 808-967-8222 or

A Hawaiian music concert featuring the Hoku award winning Kainani Kahaunaele. The depth and breadth of her musical tapestry ranges from classic to contemporary and blues-jazz flavor. A fluent speaker of Hawaiian, Kainani's singing style and original compositions honor the rich traditions and language of the Islands. Her debut CD received a Hawai'i Music Award for Best Traditional Hawaiian Album and this concert celebrates her latest recording, "Ohai Ula." Don't miss a rare offering of traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music by this gifted next-generation singer-songwriter.

Date: 6/11/10
Times: 10am-5pm
Admission: Free
Place: Moku Ola (Coconut Island) in Hilo

This festival features a hoolaulea with top Hawaii recording artists such as Cyril Pahinui, hula halau, various cultural presentations, Hawaiian chant competition, dance of the warrior exhibition, food, and art and crafts booth.

Date: 6/13/10 - 6/19/10
Admission: Fee; see website
 Kalani Oceanside Retreat in Puna
Contact:  (808) 943-0999 or visit

Forget the stresses of everyday life and rejuvenate both your body and spirit at this week-long adventure camp with TV fitness guru Gilad. Three healthy meals a day, yoga, pilates, water exercises, various workout classes, plus daily hikes and more. At beautiful Kalani Oceanside Retreat in Puna. Find out how much fun a healthy life can be.


Date: 6/25/10
Time: 7pm
Admission: Fee; see website
 Palace Theater, downtown Hilo
(808) 934-7010 or visit

Most people naturally think of the ukulele as an instrument for playing Hawaiian music, but in the right hands – like those of Benny Chong, Byron Yasui and Ben Kaili, who will perform in this concert – it shows it is also extremely versatile in the realm of jazz music.


There are always special events happening in and around Hilo!  Here are a few ongoing Calendar of Events:


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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