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:

Kelly's blog continues to receiving many accolades!  This month Kelly continues his ongoing series on "Living Off the Grid" -- Just completing the fourth article in the series.  So, don't miss out ... sign-up to receive regular updates throughout the month from Kelly's blog.  If you're not very familiar with signing-up for blogs, we've made it super easy. Just click the email sign-up link in the right area, enter your email address, and you'll receive each blog entry in your email box. You can unsubscribe at any time. Of course, the traditional feeds are also available.

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

Your Big Island REALTOR®:

Kelly H. Moran

October 2009 - Hilo Brokers, Ltd.


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


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



Could You Live Off the Grid?

- By Kelly H. Moran

     Notice, please, the question is "Could you . . . ?" You certainly can live where none or only some of the Big Island's commercial services - water, electricity, telephone, television, internet - are piped into your home for a monthly fee.

And you don't have to rough-it to live off-the-grid. You can enjoy a thoroughly up-to-date lifestyle, with all the accoutrements of a modern home, without being a customer of any commercial utility. In this and the next few blogs, I'll tell you about the challenges and the strategies of acquiring for yourself the necessities of life here on the Big Island.

Water comes first, of course. Hawaii County has an extensive water system of wells, pumps, pipelines and meters, with high quality and modest rates. But where 40 or more inches of rain fall every year, you can reliably collect your own water from the gutters on your roof. Rain is (shall we say) especially abundant in Hilo and Puna; so even in neighborhoods, there, where County water is easily available, some homeowners choose to use catchment tanks.

This house, though only seven miles from downtown Hilo, is entirely off the grid. The water tank – a metal frame lined with plastic – is in the foreground. The roof also has photovoltaic panels for generating electricity.

A so-called “family of four” should have at least a 10,000 gallon tank, which is generally a cylinder about twelve feet in diameter and eight feet high. Although some old redwood tanks are still in use, and are aesthetically quite pleasing, they are rarely if ever built nowadays. More common – and actually better, because they do not decompose – are tanks made of sheet metal and lined with tough plastic liners (very much like above-ground swimming pools), or tanks made of ferro-concrete (in which cement, sprayed onto a metal “rebar” frame, hardens into concrete). The latter is more expensive but will last much longer. Also, since rainwater is naturally slightly acidic, contact with the slightly alkaline concrete tends to neutralize the “ph” of stored water.

Once you have water in the tank, you still have to pipe it into the house. You’ll want some kind of filtration, because dirt and dust, or fragments of leaves, always wash down from the gutters; and though they generally settle to the bottom of the tank, little bits of stuff do sometimes get into the house’s supply line. But particulates like that are easily intercepted with simple filters which, like their smaller under-the-sink cousins, are typically replaced once or twice a year. Getting that supply to flow inside the house’s plumbing, however, requires ...


(You may also read all the articles in this series here)


Mortgage Rates
U.S. averages as of September 24, 2009:

30 yr. fixed:   5.04%
15 yr. fixed:   4.46%
1 yr. adj:        4.52%

View current rates



Featured Listing

Coco Palms

By the beaches in Hilo is a rare residential opportunity. Situated on 1.4 acres is Coco Palms, a planned 12-unit Polynesian-styled residential complex. If you imagined a little grass shack with every luxury amenity available, this would be it! Cantilevered over an ancient fishpond located in the center of the property, the thatch-roofed 3 bedroom/3 bath model unit has been completed. The property has been legally subdivided into 12 Condominium Property Regime units, with plans included in the sale for the 11 additional units.

For a virtual tour and more information:
Click Here

The Road Less Traveled By
- By Kelly H. Moran
Part 2 of 2

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by.”

Of course, Robert Frost wasn’t waxing poetic about the Saddle Road. But most people heading from one side of the Big Island to the other take Highways 19 or 11, so there’s relatively little traffic over the Saddle. If you’re willing to put up with the lousy condition of the western-most twelve miles (as noted in my last article), there’s enough to see to make it worth the journey. At the very least, the trip will help you understand some of the challenges – still unresolved – that the road poses to Hawaii County.

Start at the zero milepost in Hilo, at the intersection of Puainako St. and Kanoelehua Ave., across from the Prince Kuhio shopping mall. Puainako dog-legs at Komohana and becomes a wide, modern thoroughfare known as the “Puainako extension” – which some day will be fully extended, back toward the mall, parallel to today’s Puainako St.

The road heads steadily uphill, bypassing Hilo’s mauka suburbs, and joins Kaumana Drive after about six miles. The last houses in Hilo are at the eight-mile post. The next ten miles or so wind, twist and turn through a forest reserve, deeply green with ohia and koa trees, and ...


Job-hunting Strategies For Trailing Spouses

Y ou're moving. Again. And once again, your spouse's career takes precedence and yours is back at square one. Even if you are in total agreement with the move, you will still experience two of the highest stress factors in existence simultaneously - moving and unemployment.

Along with death of a family member, loss of a spouse, and disaster, moving and being unemployed rank among the top five stress producers. To be faced with two of the top stressors simultaneously requires the marshalling of all your survival and recovery instincts.

You're moving to make life better, but that is only true if moving is best for both of you and the rest of the members of your family. Your job as the transferred spouse is to make the best of the transition. Finding the right employment situation will get you well on the road to accomplishing that goal.

Over 75% of company transferees are married, according to the Employee Relocation Council in Washington, D.C. which means three out of four transferees has a "trailing spouse."

Although some companies take steps to smooth the transition for employees who are asked to move from one city to another, few recognize or appreciate the tremendous stress factors that typically befall the trailing spouse. The transferee is expected to integrate into his/her new surroundings and "hit the ground running," while the trailing spouse is left with the primary duties of finding or moving into a home, installing children in new schools and other programs, beginning a new social network, and generally adjusting the family to the culture shock of a new environment. Add to that the burden of having to find a new job in an unfamiliar market, and the prescription for adjustment problems is filled.

Many relocating spouses cope by developing or falling back on a skill they can develop in an entrepreneurial style. Deborah Grooms, who followed her husband to Orlando when he accepted a job at Disney World, found that she could return to the photography business she had begun in another city. Dave Harland, who followed his wife to Orlando where she took a job as a radio DJ. Knowing that every time she took a new job, it meant putting his career temporarily on hold, he developed a strategy that works for them as a couple. He began a home-refurbishing business, a career he can take anywhere.

And job hunting in a new market doesn't have to be frustrating. There are a number of tips that transferred spouses can follow to help them find the right position.

  • Go to your present company and see if the human resources department or your boss can refer you to similar companies in your new city. After you have given notice, contact the competitors of present company competitors as well. They could have a branch or looking to open a satellite office in your new city and you may be the right choice to make the plan happen.
  • Contact your spouse's human resources department and see if there are any programs for transferring spouses and their families. They may have a job search network in place that can help get the word out your special skills.
  • Contact your friends, family and acquaintances for referrals in your new city.
  • Contact the local Chamber of Commerce. Many times they will have a Web site and a list of members will be available for you to call.
  • When you arrive in your new city, don't let the grass grow under your feet. Volunteer with organizations that need the kind of professional expertise you have and ask them for referrals to people and companies who can offer you the kind of work you are seeking.
  • Scan the papers and surf the 'Net. Ask longtime residents and business contacts about the opportunities you find.
  • Get to know people in your neighborhood, your child's school and make yourself part of the community. Don't live as if your life is on hold.
  • If you are uncertain what direction you want to take, slow down and re-evaluate your priorities. Do you want to return to the same kind of job that you had? Talk to a career counselor, if you are in doubt. The evaluation fee is well worth it if it can lead you in a new direction that you will find more rewarding.

- Written by Blanche Evans


Enroll Today!

Kelly's Blog is now available.
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.


Quick Search -
Hawaii Real Estate

Quick Search for Big Island Real Estate, including Featured Listings and options to search by price, area, features, new listings and more.



Wondering What
Your Home is Worth?
Let us show you

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

September Round Up: Rates Remain Low, Increasing Affordability

Mortgage Fraud Remains An Easy Con

Home Staging Helps Bring Top Dollar Sale

How to Stay on Top of Mortgage Payments During a Short Term Financial Crisis

Don't Let An Over-priced Home Be a Humbling Lesson

  P erhaps the greatest influencer in getting your home sold is entering the market with a home that's priced correctly.

Over-priced homes won't get favorable attention; they lose out to the ones that are reasonably priced.

All sellers are looking for the highest price for their home. That's why some sellers want to start at the highest point, maybe even asking a higher price than what they really believe they can get -- the continued readjustment of price can be a humbling ride down to finding the reasonable price to sell the home.

Still dropping the price sounds like an okay strategy, some sellers think.

Here's the problem, especially in today's current market conditions where numerous sellers are competing for fewer buyers -- adjusting price down may come too late and cost the seller less in gain than if the home were priced correctly from the start.


Home Buyer's Tax Credit Changes Possible

The first major change to the $8,000 home buyer's tax credit began moving through Congress the last week of September, giving hope to real estate and building groups pushing for extension of the entire program before it expires November 30, 2009.

House Ways and Means Committee chairman, Congressman Charles Rangel, a New York Democrat, combined several smaller bills into the "Service Members Home Ownership Act of 2009", with a floor vote expected soon.

The bill is intended to correct a flaw in the original tax credit legislation: By requiring buyers to occupy and own their first home for 36 months to fully qualify for the credit, the program creates serious problems when military, Foreign Service and intelligence agency ....


Upcoming Island Calendar of Events

Date: Every Wednesday Morning
Time: 10:30 am - 11:15 am
Place: The Palace Theater, downtown Hilo
Contact: Kimberly Bright (808) 934-7010
An educational and entertaining cultural program featuring live hula, the historic pipe organ, short films, commentary, and a segment with audience participation and interaction. Tickets are $5. Children 12 and under free.

Date: Every 3rd Saturday of Each Month
Time: 6:00 pm
Place: Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station (VIS)
Contact: (808) 961-2180 or visit their site
A special presentation covering cultural components that surround Mauna O Wakea. The presentation begins at 6:00 PM and is followed by the regular evening stargazing program. Each month features a different speaker from the community who will speak about Mauna O Wakea from a cultural perspective. The access road to Mauna Kea begins at the 28-mile marker of the Saddle Road (across from the hunter's check-in station) and leads north to the summit. The VIS is on the access road, 6.2 miles from the Saddle Road - about a 1-hour drive from Hilo, Waimea and Waikoloa, about 2-hours from Kailua-Kona. Be sure that you have a full tank of fuel when driving to Mauna Kea. The steep grade combined with the lower oxygen level makes internal combustion engines run inefficiently. Fuel is not available on Mauna Kea or Saddle Road.

Date: Through 12/31/09
Place: Hilo’s high-tech Imiloa Astronomy Center planetarium
(808) 969-9700 or visit
Return to the past to visit the Seven Wonders of the ancient world on Earth and then journey into space to learn about seven wonders of the cosmos in this all new show digital show at Hilo’s high-tech Imiloa Astronomy Center planetarium. Great for kids and families. Shows at 1 and 3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Fee.

Date: November 20th - 22nd, 2009
Place: Palace Theater, Hilo, Big Island
Contact: Liz De Roche, (808) 557-8607,,
The Federation of American Natives in partnership with Big Island Resource Conservation and Development Council will take the stage, November 20-22, 2009, launching its inaugural Talking Circle: The Big Island Indigenous Film Festival. "Talking Circle" will be held at the historic Palace Theater in downtown Hilo, Hawaii. The festival will showcase productions by Native Americans, Native Hawaiians and First Nations media makers. It will promote and provide exposure to the works of a rapidly growing field of outstanding independent, indigenous filmmakers.

Date: November 27th - 29th 2009, 10 am to 4 pm
Place: Seven artists studios in Volcano Village, Big Island
Contact: Emily Herb, 808-987-3472, 
The Volcano Village Artists Hui cordially invites the public to a free Art Studio Tour in Volcano Village. A wide variety of artwork will be on display and for sale, including ceramics, paintings, hand blown glass, photography & more. The diversity and high artistic standards of the Volcano Village Artists, along with the picturesque settings with studios nestled in the lush rainforest of Volcano Village ensures a memorable experience. Maps for the tour will be available at businesses in the Village.


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

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


Equal Housing Opportunity