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 © 2009 Realty Times
All Rights Reserved.

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

Office: 808-969-9400

Direct: 808-938-5757

November 2009 - Hilo Brokers, Ltd.


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


Your Big Island REALTOR®:

Kelly H. Moran



Could You Live Off the Grid?

- By Kelly H. Moran

Last month I started a blog series entitled, "Could You Live Off-the- Grid?", and covered the first four articles:

  • Part I: Addressing "Could" you...
  • Part II: (Electric) Power to the People
  • Part III: Here Comes the Sun
  • Part IV: AC vs. DC

I continued the series into this month, concluding with part VIII.

Here is an overview of the next four articles in the series:

Part V: Getting Into Hot Water
You probably don’t want to live anywhere without hot water. But fortunately, that’s the easiest convenience to have, off-the grid. In our warm and sunny climate (sunny enough, even in Hilo), a simple black plastic water-bag on the roof will give you hot showers from afternoon through early evening. Utility executives know this. They also know that heating water with electricity is terribly wasteful and inefficient; and ....



Part VI: Winter Wood-Working
Nighttime winter temperatures along the coasts, here, can get down to 60° F. Add the cooling effect of clouds and rain, and on the eastern side, at least, you can expect nights in the 50s. As you get above sea level, anywhere, ambient temperature falls 3° F for every 1,000 feet up, so many places here are downright chilly in the winter: Volcano, at 4,000 feet, gets frost! But homes in Hawaii don’t have furnaces, and few if any are insulated against cold (or hot) weather. Other than wrapping yourself in heavy clothes, if you want to stay warm indoors, you’ll have to ....



Part VII: Staying in Touch
Once you have secured water and electricity, and can keep the temperature comfortable in your off-the-grid house, you can start thinking about what most people also consider key ingredients of civilized life: telephone, television and internet. Obviously, you can not have a “land-line” if you are off the grid. But you may already have...



Part VIII: Surfing (the Web) in Hawaii
Internet access is the biggest challenge for an off-the-grid user. Without telephone “land-lines” for DSL, or CATV cables for high-speed connectivity, you will have to accept a somewhat slower service. And when you’re off the grid, speed is very much a function of money. The least expensive option is to get internet access from ...


(Read all the articles in this series here)


Mortgage Rates
U.S. averages as of October 29, 2009:

30 yr. fixed:   5.03%
15 yr. fixed:   4.46%
1 yr. adj:        4.57%

View current rates



Featured Listing

Private 120 Acre Estate

Private 120 acre estate with streams, waterfalls, natural springs, swimming holes and expansive ocean views. Fabulous property for hiking and horseback riding with unlimited potential as a  retreat site or family compound.

For a virtual tour and more information:
Click Here

Just Released!
New Hilo Brokers iPhone Real Estate Search Application

- By Kelly H. Moran

Great news!

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


To download from your iPhone:

On your iPhone, go to the iPhone Apps Store, Tap Search, tap the search field and enter “hilo brokers”, then tap Search. The Hilo Brokers App page will display and you can download from there.

To download the application via PC/Mac, go here:

Alternatively, you may go directly to the iTunes store and search for “hilo brokers”.

"I downloaded the app and it's your website exactly! It's very cool!"


 All About the Move-Up/Repeat Home Buyer Tax Credit
& First Time Buyer Extension

On November 5th, President Obama signed legislation entitled "The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009". The new law will extend the $8,000 credit for first-time home buyers for sales contracts entered into by April 30, 2010 and closed by June 30.

Further, it has been expanded to include a new $6,500 credit for owners of existing homes who are purchasing a new principal residence.

Who is Eligible
First-time home buyers, who are defined by the law as buyers who have not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase, may be eligible for a tax credit of 10% of the home purchase price, up to a maximum of $8,000. Existing home owners who have been residing in their principal residence for five consecutive years out of the last eight and are purchasing a home to be their principal residence (“repeat buyer”), may be eligible for a tax credit of 10% of the home purchase price, up to a maximum of $6,500.

Income Limits
Home buyers who file as single or head-of-household taxpayers can claim the full credit ($8,000 for first-time buyers and $6,500 for repeat buyers) if their modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is less than $125,000. For married couples filing a joint return, the combined income limit is $225,000. Single or head-of-household taxpayers who earn between $125,000 and $145,000, and married couples who earn between $225,000 and $245,000 are eligible to receive a partial credit. The credit is not available for single taxpayers whose MAGI is greater than $145,000 and married couples with a MAGI that exceeds $245,000.

Effective Dates
The eligibility period for the tax credit is for homes purchased after Nov. 6, 2009, and before May 1, 2010. However, home purchases subject to a binding sales contract signed by April 30, 2010, will qualify for the tax credit provided closing occurs prior to July 1, 2010.

Types of Homes that Qualify
All homes with a purchase price of less than $800,000 qualify, including newly-constructed or resale, and single-family detached, townhomes or condominiums, provided that the home will be used as their principal residence. Vacation home and rental property purchases do NOT qualify.

Tax Credit is Refundable
A refundable credit means that if the amount of income taxes you owe is less than the credit amount you qualify for, the government will send you a check for the difference.

For example:
A first-time buyer who qualifies for the full $8,000 credit who owes $5,000 in federal income taxes would pay nothing to the IRS and receive a $3,000 payment from the government. If you are due to receive a $1,000 refund, you would receive $9,000 ($1,000 plus the $8,000 tax credit). A repeat buyer who owes $5,000 would pay nothing to the IRS and receive $1,500 back from the government. If you are due to get a $1,000 refund, you would get $7,500 ($1,000 plus the $6,500 tax credit). All qualified home buyers can take the tax credit on their 2009 or 2010 income tax return.

Payback Provisions
The tax credit is a true credit. It does not have to be repaid unless the home owner sells or stops using the home as their principal residence within three years after the purchase.

You can find a very detailed Frequently Asked Questions page on Kelly's website that provides detailed answers to the top 19 questions.


Enroll Today!

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Read online, RSS feed, or receive easy email notifications of new posts. Just use the handy Subscribe links in the blog's right hand column.


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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

October Round Up: Rates Stay Flat

Real Estate Investment Buying Tips

Remodelers Help Homeowners Lower Heating Costs with Weatherization Programs

Vital Information for First Time Homebuyers

  The first-time homebuyer Federal tax credit for $8000, record-low interest rates, and nationwide median home prices dropping to the lowest point in five years, makes this an enticing time to consider buying a home. By the way, that tax incentive isn't truly just for first-time buyers -- it's defined as those not having owned a home in the last three years. Research and knowing your options are critical. Check with your tax accountant for more details. It’s increasingly likely that Congress will extend and expand the popular home buyer tax credit, which will expire at the end of this month.

According to an article in August in the Raleigh News & Observer, 10.8 percent of buyers are motivated to buy due to Federal and state tax incentives. So far only 1.14 million buyers have filed...



Hawaii Civil Defense and You: A Text that Can Save Your Life
- By Kelly H. Moran

If a major road or highway is closed somewhere, as it might be after an accident; or if bad weather or a natural disaster is approaching, the Hawaii County Civil Defense Mobile Alerts program can tell you almost instantly. It will send the news directly to your cell phone, as a text message. I got the following text one Sunday in September, at 4:15 p.m.: “Police report road closure of Hwy 19 @ 44-45 MM due to traffic crash. Detour is through Ahualoa.” A little later came the update: “As of 5:30, police have reopened 1 lane to traffic. Full road reopening to follow.”

Now, I wasn’t going to be driving on Highway 19, past the 44- and 45-mile markers, that particular day. But some day, news like this is bound to come in handy. If a service like this were merely “handy,” though, it wouldn’t be worth telling you about. But consider that, a few days later, around 8:30 a.m., Civil Defense sent a text message that there’d been an earthquake and tsunami in Samoa. That is news that everyone here has to pay attention to, because any such event in the Pacific Ocean could potentially send a tsunami to ...                 


That's not a tsunami, just very high surf at Hilo Bay during a storm.  But the waves are high enough for the County to close the Bayfront highway - and for Civil Defense to text a warning to that effect.

That's not a tsunami, just very high surf at Hilo Bay during a storm. But the waves are high enough for the County to close the Bayfront highway - and for Civil Defense to text a warning to that effect.

Upcoming Island Calendar of Events

Date: 12/5 - 12/6/09
Time: Saturday: 9:00am-5:00pm; Sunday: 9:00am-3:00pm
Place: Butler Building, next to the Civic Auditorium in Hilo
Contact: (808) 966-4647 or visit
Don’t miss this Yuletide invitational fair featuring a “Who’s Who” of Hawaii’s cultural artists and master craftsmen/craftswomen sharing their one-of-a-kind collection of holiday season gifts, arts and crafts. Free.


Date: 12/11 - 12/12/09
Time: 7:00pm
Place: Palace Theater in Hilo
Contact: (808) 934-7010 or visit
The Nutcracker Ballet is a always a delightful, holiday tradition, like Christmas trees and presents. This year’s performance showcases 70 students of the Island Dance Academy in the Tchaikovsky classic. A must-see for children and adults alike. 7 p.m. both nights. $10 adults, $8 children 12 and under.

Date: Through 12/19/09
Time: 10am-3pm
Place: Hawaii Volcanoes Kahuku unit near mile marker 70 on Hwy 11
Contact: (808) 985-6166 - Participants Limited, Call to Register
Join Hawaii Volcanoes National Park rangers on this hike to a kipuka or isolated geologic island or remnant native vegetation to discover the rare plants and trees that live there. A challenging 3-mile hike. Participants are limited. Call to register.

Date: Daily through 12/31/09
Time: 3:00pm

Place: Hilo’s high-tech Imiloa Astronomy Center planetarium
(808) 969-9700 or visit
For the holiday season, 'Imiloa returns "Mystery of the Star" to the planetarium dome for daily showings. Mystery of the Christmas Star takes audiences on a journey back 2000 years to Bethlehem to discover a possible scientific explanation for the star the wise men followed to find the baby Jesus. This program investigates recorded sightings of significant astronomical events during the time of the birth of Christ. Investigators will see which of these signs in the sky could have been remarkable enough to cause the wise men to travel across the desert from Babylon just to see a newborn King. This modern retelling of the Christmas story is sure to charm and captivate audiences of all ages. “They go back in time mapping out these sequential recorded events from the Babylonian astrological traditions and theorize the possible true nature of the ‘Christmas Star’,” notes Dr. Richard Crowe, Astronomer-in-Residence, at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, and professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.

Date: Through 12/31/09
Time: By appointment only, 8:45am-12:30pm
 Ahualoa, Northeast Coast of Hawaii
(808) 775-1000 or (808) 775-1171 or visit
Ahualoa, on the Hamakua Coast, has long been an active agricultural region of Hawaii Island. Come visit three working farms and experience three of the unique local flavors of Ahualoa. The morning starts with coffee and fresh baked banana bread at Long Ears Hawaiian Coffee. Next you will drive just up the road to enjoy tea and goodies at Mauna Kea Tea Garden. Finally, another short trip up the road will bring you to Volcano Island Honey Company, where your morning will end on a sweet note. By appointment only.

Date: Daily through 1/3/2010
Time: 9am-5pm
Place: Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Contact: 808-967-7565 or
Working in a wide variety of media and materials, Gallery artists present their unique and highly creative collection of one-of-a-kind wreaths, from the whimsical to the traditional! Free (Park entrance fees apply).

Date: Friday evenings through 1/8/2010
Time: "Laser Beatles": 7:30pm; "Laser Zeppelin": 9:00pm
Hilo’s high-tech Imiloa Astronomy Center planetarium
(808) 969-9700  or visit
Two "music experience" shows, featuring songs by the Beatles and Led Zeppelin using lasers to create a multi-sensory concert program of color, sound and music, images, and special effects. Admission: $10 per show.


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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