One of my favorite posts this year by my business partner, Pam Deery, was entitled “3 Big Island Estates for an Eccentric Client.” Her client was looking for Land with Potential, Horse Property, or Something that “Makes Sense.” Two out of the three properties she wrote about have since sold, which means that there is a market for the truly unique, high quality, non-resort Big Island estate property.
And that got me thinking about a few newer listings that fit the bill for a buyer who wants to find an estate home off the beaten path.
This 5,000+ sq. ft. home listed for only $1,680,000 began life as a 25,000 gallon water tank (MLS# 255898)
Eccentric or Eclectic: From Water Tank to Luxury Home in Ahualoa on the Hamakua Coast
I have some very sensible clients who were drawn to a Hamakua Coast property that some would characterize as eccentric. This is a residence of over 5,000 sq. ft. interior space on a 5-acre parcel in Ahualoa with finishes and features that would be right at home at Hualalai Resort, Kukio, or 49 Black Sand Beach; Hawaiian-style features like its huge 34-foot length pocket doors bringing the outside in, lava rock waterfall, and koi pond in the great room, and hidden wine cellar.
Only this particular property is reached by traveling on a one-lane winding road up to a cooler elevation of Ahualoa. For the buyer with an artistic sensibility who needs privacy and likes a climate reminiscent of the Cotswolds (okay, perhaps I exaggerate, but we did see sheep), but has a taste for Mary Philpotts interior design, this could be a steal.
Similar homes in the resorts are sold for three times this price. I especially liked the generous use of skylights to bring natural light into the home, and the quirky nooks, crannies, and hidden doors. The engineering type will love the steel frame construction, massive concrete foundation, and copper roofing.
The only thing I’d change would be to add a cover to the lanai area off the master bedroom so one could enjoy the hot tub even on a rainy day. Views? From the ocean to Mauna Kea! Neighbors? A passing herd of cattle. The lower part of the property has an unpermitted artists cottage and the beginnings of a fine garden. Horse pastures could easily be created as the house sits at the top of the acreage.
Permaculture Paradise in Hawi
If the phrase “land with potential” caught your eye, you might consider a property listed near the oceanfront below Hawi. I don’t even pretend to know what permaculture really means, but I first toured this property on the annual Green Homes Tour and was captivated by the clever ways in which Nature is used to fertilize without chemicals and eliminate pests without herbicides (chickens and ducks!). Think organic farming taken to the power of three. There are two parcels here. The one with the home on it has 9 acres, and it can be sold together with the adjacent 6 acres planted in orchard.
Often when we think “green home” we think recovering hippy rustic. This elegant but family-friendly farmhouse residence was designed by a European architect, with a solidity of structure and functional design my Swiss-born husband finds lacking in most American homes. We have big empty closets and then hire companies that figure out how to organize our belongings in them. The Europeans design the storage into the home.
The home’s luxury green features include a photovoltaic system tied into the grid, and to supplement county water, a catchment water system that gets filtered for household use and then feeds into aquaculture tanks. In addition to the main house, the property has numerous farm outbuildings and unpermitted dwellings (three small cottages and three open tea houses).
There is a true sense of place at this Big Island property near the birthplace of Kamehameha the Great, with an emphasis on native and endemic plants among the fruit orchards and abundant vegetable and herb gardens.
Contemporary Design, Room for Horses and Expansion
Walls of windows frame dramatic ocean views in this architecturally distinctive home
The only one remaining of Pam’s original choices has been reduced in price from $4.6 million to $3.5 million for the award-winning Jim Cutler-designed ohana residence and almost 25 ocean view acres (MLS# 254132). With or without the three adjacent parcels offered for sale, a huge price reduction puts this property in the category of “something that makes sense.”
I’ve made no secret that on a clear day I believe Niuli’i to be quite possibly the most beautiful place on earth. The green pastures below this home could easily be turned into a full-on equestrian estate…your neighbors down the road include Hawaii Paso Finos Ranch if you’d like some horse barn and arena ideas.
Land with potential? Check. Horse property? Check. Something that makes sense? Three different choices for three different sensibilities.
If you don’t see the perfect eccentric Big Island property for you, give me a call and we’ll figure it out together!
A hui hou,
Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B)