House styles: Simple “Hawaiian Plantation Style” homes make up the majority of cottages in Palolo Valley.
Location: The valley behind Kaimuki between Wilhelmina Rise and St Louis Heights, backing up to the Ko’olau Mountains and Ka’au Crater.
Expect to pay: Some great values here, but they are often major fixer uppers starting in the $600,000+ range. You can still find a nicely restored home here under $1 million.
The Feel: This is one of Honolulu’s more rural feeling neighborhoods, especially towards the back of the valley where your neighbors include orchid nurseries, mondo grass farms, and Buddhist Temples. The mouth of the valley empties onto Waialae Avenue, with all its hip restaurants and cafes as well as basic day to day shopping needs. It is also not too far away from the University of Hawaii, making it popular with students and professors. Palolo Elementary School and Jarrett Middle School call the Valley home, as well as Palolo Chinese Home for Seniors. Palolo combines the relaxed tropical, simple life with easy access to urban life. Palolo offers cooler temperatures as you head further back in the Valley and rains nightly offering an ideal climate for gardening. Palolo Valley offers a wide variety of activities from hiking the Seven Falls hike in Ka’au Crater and Dinosaur Mountain, to an extensive community center which includes an outdoor saltwater pool free to the public.
Some details: Most of the homes were built in the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s. The homes are, for the most part, simple homes on small lots. Size varies, but the majority of cottages are around 1,000 sq ft on lots between 3,000 and 5,000 sq ft. Many of the small yards are filled with mangos, plumeria, orchids, and ginger with plenty of room for your dog or cat.
The Market: Like most cottage and bungalow neighborhoods here in Honolulu this one is much loved. Homes rarely come on the market and often sell quickly. For those looking for the quieter more rural feeling and lush cooler temperatures head to the back of the valley for your search. For those who want easy access to town and a drier climate, focus on the front of the Valley facing Waialae Avenue.
Among the best for lovers of: Cottages and bungalows, lush mountain peaks with waterfalls, parks and recreation, architecture, walkability, gardening, pets, country feel, shopping, and restaurants.
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