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 (www.HawaiiBigIslandBlog.com),
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
All Rights Reserved.
Hilo Brokers, Ltd.
400 Hualani St.,
Hilo, Hawaii, 96720
Quality Big Island Real
Estate Service & Experience
for Over 20 Years!
Big Island REALTOR®:
Kelly H. Moran
You Live Off the Grid?
Kelly H. Moran
month I started a blog series entitled, "Could You Live
Off-the- Grid?", and covered the first four articles:
- Part I: Addressing "Could"
- Part II: (Electric)
Power to the People
- Part III: Here Comes
- 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
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 ....
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)
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)
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
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
virtual tour and more information:
New Hilo Brokers iPhone Real
Estate Search Application
Kelly H. Moran
created a new, customized, FREE, iPhone application that
allows you to search hawaii real estate from your iPhone.
download from your iPhone:
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.
download the application via PC/Mac, go here:
Alternatively, you may go directly to the iTunes store
and search for “hilo brokers”.
downloaded the app and it's your website exactly! It's
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
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.
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,
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
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.
is now available.
Read online, RSS feed, or receive easy email notifications of
new posts. Just use the handy Subscribe links in the
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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
Vital Information for First Time Homebuyers
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
Kelly H. Moran
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.
Island Calendar of Events
CHRISTMAS GIFT FAIR
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.
THE NUTCRACKER BALLET
Date: 12/11 - 12/12/09
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.
KIPUKA AKIHI HIKE
Date: Through 12/19/09
Place: Hawaii Volcanoes Kahuku unit near mile marker 70 on Hwy
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
MYSTERY OF THE CHRISTMAS STAR
Date: Daily through 12/31/09
Place: Hilo’s high-tech Imiloa Astronomy Center planetarium
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
Date: Through 12/31/09
Time: By appointment only, 8:45am-12:30pm
Northeast Coast of Hawaii
Contact: (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.
10TH ANNUAL INVITATIONAL WREATH EXHIBIT
Date: Daily through 1/3/2010
Place: Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National
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).
LASER BEATLES / LASER ZEPPELIN
Date: Friday evenings through 1/8/2010
Time: "Laser Beatles": 7:30pm; "Laser Zeppelin": 9:00pm
Place: Hilo’s high-tech
Imiloa Astronomy Center planetarium
Contact: (808) 969-9700
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.