North Kohala Vacant Land For Sale – April 2020

The reason I updated my old post about financing for vacant land in Hawaii is that I have been getting so many inquiries lately. Yearning for a quieter lifestyle on a bit of acreage? My listings represent a good cross-section of the types of land available for sale in rural North Kohala on the Big Island, so letʻs take a quick virtual drive-by. We will start with the southern edge of the district just above the Kohala Coast resorts, and working our way north on Highway 270 towards Hawi, and then east towards the end of the road at Pololu Valley.

Protected Kohala Coast

The west-facing coast of North Kohala has a dry, sunny climate like the nearby resorts, but larger acreage lots and view-plane protected shoreline.

Kohala Ranch and the lower North Kohala Gated Communities

One of the questions I am frequently asked is why 3-, 5- or even 10-acre lots at Kohala Ranch sell for a relatively affordable $200-300,000… and why there are so many for sale at a given time. I provided some answers in a post last year, and this outlook still holds true.

It is important to note that Kohala Ranch and Kohala by the Sea are gated communities with CC&Rs and home design standards and review processes that will make your home larger and more expensive than if you were to build on acreage without those minimum size and material restrictions. There is a reason why resale homes listing start around $1 million.

Kaiholena – A Small Luxury Off Grid Community

Nothing but ocean Kaiholena

Off-grid living on over 8 acres, imagining the ocean views from where your poolside chairs might sit (MLS 622709)

If you are looking for a lot near the ocean, with coastline, sunset, and Maui views, and with less restrictive design requirements, you could consider my listing at Kaiholena, just north of Kohala Ranch. There are modest CC&Rs because the lots are behind a gate and share a well providing brackish water to them. Potable water can be trucked in, or the well water treated with reverse osmosis.

Puakea Bay Ranch – Room for Horses

Puakea Bay Ranch is an equestrian community

Puakea Bay Ranch near Hawi features 10-acre lots and equestrian trails with ocean and Maui views (MLS 624215)

Although there are equestrian trail easements around the perimeter at Kohala Ranch, there are only a handful of equestrian properties and horse owners there. Puakea Bay Ranch has a much higher proportion of horse-owning residents. Another big difference, and the main reason for the somewhat higher asking prices, is that Kohala Ranch is “mauka” of the highway (upland), and Puakea Bay Ranch is “makai” (ocean side).

Like Kohala Ranch, Puakea Bay Ranch is also a gated community, with even larger minimum home sizes. For a more in-depth comparison, see my earlier blog post.

Zoning from Hawi to Pololu Mainly Ag – 20 acres

Ocean and maui views from 40-acre Hawi lot

Land near Hawi still has ocean and mountain views, but the grass is greener than on the sunset side (MLS 627798)

As we continue on Akoni Pule Highway and turn the corner to the north-facing part of Kohala, we see a noticeable shift to green. Higher rainfall and deep soil makes this one of the most desirable agricultural districts on the island, which is why most vacant land parcels are zoned “Ag-20a”. That means that even if the parcel is under 20 acres, it cannot be further subdivided unless the resulting parcels would be at least 20 acres each.

Driving down Hoea Road towards my listing, you will pass a number of working farms and farm stands. The 42-acre parcel could be subdivided into two, or kept intact as a ranch, farm, or open space around your home.

Larger Acreages Still Available

485 acres raw land for sale

Aerial view of legacy land parcel with 485 acres and five waterfalls, agricultural and some forest zoning (MLS 263044)

I do have a legacy land listing of 485 acres, that has been subdivided along the lines of a gulch into a 67-acre parcel and a 418-acre parcel. An acreage of this size requires a new steward with vision. Agricultural conservation easements might be an interesting option given the water resources, forest conservation, and historical uses.

Of course, my listings are only a fraction of the vacant land listings in North Kohala. It is sometimes hard to sort through so many options, so feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email with your criteria, and I can help narrow down the choices for you.

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Linda Hussey

April 16, 2020

Great information Beth !

Denni Keyes

April 16, 2020

Love the rundown and virtual tour from the Kawaihae coast up towards Pololu!!

Bill Moody

September 24, 2020

We are interested in starting a farm in the north Kohala area. Needs to be in place with good consistent rainfall. Looks like 20 acre parcels are the norm. Perhaps you can send info on a few places and then will get back to you. We live in the Kona area and can visit there at some point.

Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B)

September 25, 2020

> Hi Bill, Iʻll get back to you by email with some ideas.

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