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
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Kelly & the Hilo Brokers, Ltd. Team
Big Island REALTOR®:
Kelly H. Moran
Quality Big Island Real
Estate Service & Experience
for Over 20 Years!
Some Articles Copyright © 2009 Realty
All Rights Reserved.
Hilo Brokers, Ltd.
400 Hualani St.,
Hilo, Hawaii, 96720
You Live Off the Grid?
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
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
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,
(You may also read all the articles in this series here)
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
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
virtual tour and more information:
The Road Less Traveled 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
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
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
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
- 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
- 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
- Written by Blanche Evans
is now available.
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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
Don't Let An Over-priced Home Be a Humbling Lesson
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
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
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
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
Island Calendar of Events
MORNINGS AT THE PALACE - HAWAIIANA LIVE!
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.
MALALO I KA LANI PO (UNDER THE NIGHT'S SKY)
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
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.
TALKING CIRCLE: BIG ISLAND INDIGENOUS FILM FESTIVAL
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.
23RD ANNUAL VOLCANO VILLAGE ART STUDIO TOUR & SALE
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
Kelly H. Moran
CCIM, CIPS, REALTOR®
Web: www.KellyMoran.com or
Office: 808-969-9400 x11
Toll Free: 800-769-4456 x11
400 Hualani St.
Hilo, Hawaii, 96720
Equal Housing Opportunity