For Sale

Multiple Possibilities: Two 5 Bed/3 Bath Homes on One Lot in Hilo

This new Hilo listing is mine. I donʻt just mean I am the listing agent. It is a home I purchased for my hanai daughter and moʻopuna to live in while she finished her degree at the University of Hawaiʻi – Hilo.

Back when I was an undergraduate, my grandmother bought a five bedroom home in Boulder, Colorado — and told me I would manage renting out the other rooms to fellow students to cover the mortgage payments. Smart lady, my grandmother. The seed she planted stuck with me.

Of course, as a licensed broker with Hawaiʻi Life, I took a slightly different approach, which was to have the awesome team at Hawaii Life Rentals manage my long term rental property. Initially I was really thinking about a condominium that I could use as a short term rental once the girls were gone. But this crazy listing showed up in my automatic listing emails, showing ten bedrooms and six bathrooms. I thought it had to be an entire apartment complex, like this other new Hawaii Life listing on the Hamakua Coast. But no, it was two homes legally built on a single lot. With shiny new roofs.

two homes on one lot for sale in hilo

Two mirror image homes, each 5 bed/3 bath, legally built on a single lot in Hiloʻs Kaumana neighborhood

The Story Behind Two Legal Homes on One Lot on Chong Street, Kaumana, Hilo

When I went to see 111 Chong Street for the first time, the owners were the ones who showed me around. Two sisters, and one husband. And I tell their story in the listing like this: Once upon a time, two sisters and their husbands built two identical 5 bed, 3 bath homes on a single lot on Hilo to raise their families together. After the children were grown, the homes were rented affordably to help young local families, a tradition the current owner has continued.

There are multiple possibilities here. Continue as a long term rental property, or live in one house, and rent the other for income, which is what my family did at first. Then I wanted to keep the good tenants in place, so I have kept the rents below the Countyʻs threshold to qualify for a long term affordable rental property tax break. A new owner could also apply to be a Section 8 landlord, a super program in which the County makes up the difference between market rent and what the tenant can afford.

covered lanai

This covered upstairs lanai is accessed via stairs from the carport, or sliding doors off the great room.

Or two families could purchase the property, an arrangement becoming more popular with home prices out of reach for many. In this scenario, you would want to have a lawyer draw up a tenants-in-common agreement in addition to getting prequalified with a local lender.

Property Details for the Two Homes – Almost Identical but Not Quite

Each home has 2,020 sq ft, with a great room and three bedrooms and two baths upstairs (including the primary bedroom and en suite bath). Downstairs are two really big bedrooms sharing a big bathroom with separate shower and whirlpool tub.

Although the two homes began as mirror images, the front house was subsequently changed without permits. The garage was turned into a recreation room and a carport built on the side of the home. This is the home I renovated in 2018 when I purchased, with new kitchen appliances, new flooring, new paint, and updates to the en suite bath in the main bedroom.

Some of the furniture in this home may be available under separate bill of sale, but the art work has sentimental value so I will be keeping that.

updated kitchen with granite countertops and white cabinets

Kitchen of the front house was updated with granite counters, new appliances, and the cabinets painted white. All new flooring throughout this home.

The back house was recently painted inside and some appliances have been replaced. This house has a two car garage.

second house on the hilo property

The back house is a mirror image of the front house. It has fewer updates but does have a 2-car garage.

Each home has its own electric and water meters and cable for high speed internet.

Whatʻs the Chong Street Neighborhood Like?

Although you are close to Kaumana Elementary School, the University of Hawaiʻi – Hilo, Hawaiʻi Community College, the Hilo Medical Center, and basically ten minutes from Hilo town, the neighborhood has almost a country feel, and a cool elevation. Since I go back and forth from the west side of the Big Island, I appreciate the proximity to Saddle Road — I clocked one hour and five minutes to our Waikoloa office.

aerial view of two homes on one lots in hilo

The homes are on a flag lot, tucked in behind another home with a driveway off Chong Street. Vacant lot behind the home and a country feel.

Soon after I purchased, there was a Saturday afternoon meeting of the entire Chong St neighborhood on a neighborʻs lawn. Out of that meeting some of us took the lead to form a road maintenance association and everyone contributed to repave almost a mile of road in 2019, since only the first part of Chong Street is a County road. Most owners make voluntary contributions of $60 per year for maintenance. Generous neighbors also constructed and donated an easement for a path to Kaumana Lani Park so neighborhood residents can walk from Chong St without going on busy Kaumana Drive.

For more photos and further details, please visit MLS #670706. You can email Renee Hill or me, Beth Thoma Robinson to schedule a showing.

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