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Big Island

Artist and Historian Herb Kane's Home For Sale on the Big Island

The home and farm of the late Herb Kane has just been listed for sale. Herb Kane, famous Hawaiian artist, respected historian, and one of the founders of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, made his home amongst the coffee farms of Captain Cook overlooking his beloved Kealakekua Bay. Just listed for sale, this 8 1/2 acres of lush tropical gardens and orchards, along with an elegant tropical home (MLS# 244415), is priced at $675,000.

The Herb Kane Estate

Over 34 years, Kane and his Ohana developed a tropical paradise on 8 1/2 acres. Set in a lushly landscaped park-like garden, and surrounded by a working orchard of avocado and macadamia nuts, is a home with style and character befitting an artist of Herb’s stature. Views abound.

There are a variety of buildings in the compound lending themselves to all sorts of living arrangements. The orchard is as lovingly cared for as the garden areas, so it’s hard to tell where one ends and the others begin. In the background are the incredible views of Kealakekua Bay, one of Hawaii’s most historic and picturesque bays.

Most famous for being the site of first contact between the Hawaiian people and Captain Cook (as well as the site of his demise), the Bay has had a rich history both before and after Cook’s visit. It is also famous for its many pods of dolphins who call it home. It’s not unusual to be surrounded by them when kayaking, swimming, or stand-up paddling in the Bay.

This is a leasehold property, a Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estates property. A buyer would be purchasing the lease to the land, the structures and the crops, not the land itself. This makes financing difficult and scares off a lot of buyers.

Consequently, a lot of agents will discourage you from considering leasehold. Most of them don’t understand it and only know that it takes more time. I have helped several buyers through the process. In my experience, it is simpler and less aggravating than a short sale. If you aren’t in a hurry, and want a connection to Hawaii like no other, I encourage you to consider it.

The sellers understand this and it has been priced accordingly at $675,000. There are few places in Hawaii where you can find an 8 acre luxury estate for that kind of price. One thing to keep in mind, which perhaps explains Herb Kane’s decision to own a leasehold property, the mission of the Bishop Estate is the education of Hawaiian children, and to preserve and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture, traditions, and values.

The monies paid them are used to support a private school system with the highest standards, preschool through High School, on all the islands. So, would you rather buy an estate for two to three times the price, which is what this would cost were it not a leasehold property and pay a mortgage to a bank or buy this for a third of the price, and pay your money to a trust for the education of Hawaiian children? There can also be significant write offs as it is a working farm and leased property, and you should check with a CPA for more on this.

If this sounds great, but your funds are more limited, then a farm I have listed just down the hill (MLS# 238994) is available for $350,000. This farm is a little over 9 acres and has multiple dwellings, including a main house with an over-sized lanai, and an orchard of mango and mac nuts. The orchard needs a little attention, but with some work it could look as beautiful as the Kane Estate.

This farm in Keei is a great deal at $350K, and is just over 9 acres

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Lionel Kutner

April 30, 2011

I remember back in 1982 writing to Herb Kane about his then vacant house – in those days I used to back-pack past on the way up and down from my tiny off-grid (understatement) tree house in the forest above. I was beginning to think ‘might be nice to have electricity again’. Back then his vacant, very modest 900 sq. ft. ’70s kit home would have been a significant upgrade for me. He lived in town on coastal Alii Drive and this seemed far too humble a spot for the tall, aristocratic, eminent artist-historian so I made my approach. Well I don’t remember a reply but, within a few months word got out he had decided to relocate, concentrate on his historical paintings and move to the country. What a transformation that brought to the neighborhood! First the rough 4WD-only road was improved so any dinky rental could climb at least to that elevation. Then the best avocado orchard was established in easily mown lawns and his trees were all kept low and strong. This was a class act. Luxurious landscaping followed, it became a calming moment to pass by his changing residence and see what best practices and good taste brought to the once-wild, nondescript property. Fine transformation.
A number of years later, circa 1990 I had the chance to visit his studio, now hidden by the circular driveway and enjoy the master’s gracious rural lifestyle.
Whoever moves there next will benefit from its great provenance – some of Hawaii’s strongest art has been created right there – and from the retired yet productive ambience this family developed on South Kona’s magical slopes, overlooking the history rich, undeveloped coastal plain from Kealakekua Bay to Honaunau and south.

Lionel Kutner

April 30, 2011

I remember back in 1982 writing to Herb Kane about his then vacant house – in those days I used to back-pack past on the way up and down from my tiny off-grid (understatement) tree house in the forest above. I was beginning to think ‘might be nice to have electricity again’. Back then his vacant, very modest 900 sq. ft. ’70s kit home would have been a significant upgrade for me. He lived in town on coastal Alii Drive and this seemed far too humble a spot for the tall, aristocratic, eminent artist-historian so I made my approach. Well I don’t remember a reply but, within a few months word got out he had decided to relocate, concentrate on his historical paintings and move to the country. What a transformation that brought to the neighborhood! First the rough 4WD-only road was improved so any dinky rental could climb at least to that elevation. Then the best avocado orchard was established in easily mown lawns and his trees were all kept low and strong. This was a class act. Luxurious landscaping followed, it became a calming moment to pass by his changing residence and see what best practices and good taste brought to the once-wild, nondescript property. Fine transformation.
A number of years later, circa 1990 I had the chance to visit his studio, now hidden by the circular driveway and enjoy the master’s gracious rural lifestyle.
Whoever moves there next will benefit from its great provenance – some of Hawaii’s strongest art has been created right there – and from the retired yet productive ambience this family developed on South Kona’s magical slopes, overlooking the history rich, undeveloped coastal plain from Kealakekua Bay to Honaunau and south.

Annie Mendoza, (RS)

May 1, 2011

Wow…Erik! Mahalo for the glimpse of history about Herb Kane and also of the opportunity on this property and perspective on owning leasehold. Lionel also adds with his rich description. Kealakekua is a special place. Mahalo…

Annie Mendoza, (RS)

May 1, 2011

Wow…Erik! Mahalo for the glimpse of history about Herb Kane and also of the opportunity on this property and perspective on owning leasehold. Lionel also adds with his rich description. Kealakekua is a special place. Mahalo…

Linda Swanson, RB

May 2, 2011

Nice job on talking up the late Herb Kane’s leasehold property and the great explanation about leasehold properties. They are some of the nicest properties in the islands and once understood can really energize that part of our market. It is a pleasure having a Realtor talk-up leasehold as I feel strongly that it is up to us to energize all markets with our professionalism. Great job.
Linda

Linda Swanson, RB

May 2, 2011

Nice job on talking up the late Herb Kane’s leasehold property and the great explanation about leasehold properties. They are some of the nicest properties in the islands and once understood can really energize that part of our market. It is a pleasure having a Realtor talk-up leasehold as I feel strongly that it is up to us to energize all markets with our professionalism. Great job.
Linda

Heidi White

May 2, 2011

Well this area is magical part of Hawaii that most people( & many Realtors) have overlooked. It feels more like the South Pacific Islands than anywhere else in Hawaii and I think I mean ‘undeveloped polynesia’. Loved reading of Lionel’s colorful experiences. Nice comment! Miss you Lionel! Great Blog Erik!

Heidi White

May 2, 2011

Well this area is magical part of Hawaii that most people( & many Realtors) have overlooked. It feels more like the South Pacific Islands than anywhere else in Hawaii and I think I mean ‘undeveloped polynesia’. Loved reading of Lionel’s colorful experiences. Nice comment! Miss you Lionel! Great Blog Erik!

Marbeth Spreyer

May 25, 2011

I wad born and raised in Marshfield, as was Herb. He was 2yrs ahead of me (Class of ’46 was his classs) His brother, Wally, was in my class. When did Herb pass away?

Marbeth Spreyer

May 25, 2011

I wad born and raised in Marshfield, as was Herb. He was 2yrs ahead of me (Class of ’46 was his classs) His brother, Wally, was in my class. When did Herb pass away?

Erik Hinshaw

May 25, 2011

@Marbeth. Herb passed away on March 9, 2011. It was the 36th anniversary of the launch of the Hokulea, the Polynesian Voyaging canoe he Captained. He is missed greatly. He has left Hawaii a wonderful legacy.

Erik Hinshaw

May 25, 2011

@Marbeth. Herb passed away on March 9, 2011. It was the 36th anniversary of the launch of the Hokulea, the Polynesian Voyaging canoe he Captained. He is missed greatly. He has left Hawaii a wonderful legacy.

Erik Hinshaw, R(B)

December 23, 2012

The estate has sold and the new buyers have turned it into a gorgeous retreat/Bed & Breakfast. Here is a link to their website: http://www.kaneplantationhawaii.com True Old Hawaii at its best.

Erik Hinshaw, R(B)

December 23, 2012

The estate has sold and the new buyers have turned it into a gorgeous retreat/Bed & Breakfast. Here is a link to their website: http://www.kaneplantationhawaii.com True Old Hawaii at its best.

Jeffrey Adomi

April 25, 2014

I have a herb kane canvas painting from seaflite hawaii the one i have is called an american whaleing barq. Which was at aloha tower from 1975-1978 is anyone interested in buying it

D Repp

March 27, 2015

Do you still gave the herb Kane painting?

Jeffrey Adomi

April 25, 2014

I have a herb kane canvas painting from seaflite hawaii the one i have is called an american whaleing barq. Which was at aloha tower from 1975-1978 is anyone interested in buying it

D Repp

March 27, 2015

Do you still gave the herb Kane painting?

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