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Friday, October 24, 2014


As any regular reader to this site must know by now, my apartment, Craigside Penthouse A2, is still for sale.  Well, actually, not mine anymore, as I endowed this property to the University of Hawaii to initiate a Blue Revolution program.  There was an open house on October 5.  Most of those who came were my friends, not the best buyers.

A second open house was scheduled for this past Sunday, but Hurricane Ana cancelled that event.  So, Sunday, 2-5PM, October 26, was selected, and the question was how much to drop the price.  Then, suddenly, a larger penthouse on my floor was announced for sale, at a price of $799,000.  The three next photos are for that other apartment, and they look gorgeous.  While I have the better view, how could such a great, recently upgraded apartment, be put up for sale at such a low price?  

So we dropped mine to $750,000.  But, I then noticed, reading their listing, that it was a leasehold.  So on the recommendation of my real estate agent, we decided to match the $799,000 price.  This had something to do with a Bank of Hawaii loan officer to be present on our floor this Sunday afternoon.  I don't quite understand this logic, but, I'm not a real estate agent.  

While of course there are a couple of individuals within the University of Hawaii Foundation who excel at what they do, what has troubled me most during this period, perhaps, is that the UH, which now owns this apartment, has shown zero entrepreneurial spirit.  You would think they would at least e-mail something out to their mailing list to spark interest.  I would almost be surprised if anyone from that institution even shows up for this upcoming open house.  There is a total lack of enthusiasm.  I'm puzzled and disappointed.

Interesting that I recently talked to another owner of a similar apartment on my floor, and he basically told me that he will not be able to move again, for his also is leasehold, and the only way to sell it is to bring the price down so outrageously low that it would be idiotic.  Thus, that other $799,000 apartment on my floor, if it were fee simple, like mine, would probably command a price way in excess  of a million dollars.

There is a lease to fee conversion law in Hawaii.  Basically, though, the landowner can legally refuse to participate, or, at least delay doing anything.  One of the better decisions I ever made was to pay this not-insignifant amount to convert.  But that was more than a decade ago.  Now, those in Craigside apparently don't have that option.    Lease terms for my building will expire in two years.  A 2007 Star Bulletin article indicated that a crisis was looming in the real estate market, and many would become homeless, for they wouldn't be able to afford the demands of the renegotiated lease rent, or just plain be kicked out.

Thus, here are your choices on our floor.  Buy that great and larger penthouse and hope for the best in your future negotiations.  However, that would be like having a home next to a rumbling volcano.  Clearly, the most sensible choice should be a slightly smaller apartment with a better view, but, one that is fee simple.  So if you want a bargain, buy my apartment, now.  See you on Sunday (park on the street, or under the building, entrance from Nuuanu Avenue, just past Judd Street) afternoon, 2-5PM.  And, yes, I'm having another wine fest, with some fine scotch.  Here is a Zillow summary, with a photo of my apartment:

If you live here, you will have a lifetime supply of rainbows and sunsets:

Amazingly enough, once Hurricane Ana is now a tropical storm at 60 MPH, actually located  north of Hawaii...heading for Victoria Island, Canada.

Yikes, I just noticed that the last new country to visit this blog site was Guinea, where that New York doctor with Ebola had just visited.  Anyway, I'm up to 216 countries.  Wonder if anyone out there on Planet Earth wants a fabulous fee simple apartment in Paradise?


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