Winter rains brought spring green to the Puakea area on the dry side of Kohala just before Highway 250 turns east towards Hawi. By summer, the pastures will turn straw-colored, except where irrigation tends the landscaping around homes at Puakea Ranch, Puakea Bay Ranch, and Ranch at Puakea – the three distinct subdivisions, all horse-friendly communities carved out of the former cattle ranch.
Aerial view shows beautiful green pastures in the spring…looking towards the ocean at Puakea
Ironically, at the most beautiful time of year to show, the only residential listing (house for sale) in the Puakea area at the moment is the nine-bedroom oceanfront estate at Puakea Bay Ranch listed for $11,950,000 (MLS# 232548). Despite my prediction a year ago, it is still on the market, at a reduced price.
If you do a web search for Puakea, you will most likely turn up the luxury vacation rental Puakea Ranch. Beautiful updated original ranch buildings make a serene setting for vacationers, or a perfect site for a wedding or special event. The Puakea Ranch website does a great job of providing history of the area.
Rainbow looking mauka at a Puakea Ranch subdivision parcel
On this side of the highway (mauka or away from the ocean), the Puakea Ranch subdivision includes only nine parcels. No lots or houses are currently for sale. The two most recent sales were a home on 25 acres I had listed that sold in 2011 for $1,735,000, and a 25-acre parcel sold in 2012 for $567,500.
Ranch at Puakea – Oceanfront Subdivision
On the makai (ocean) side of the highway, the southernmost of the two Puakea subdivisions is Ranch at Puakea. Behind the gated entry are only three oceanfront lots and ten ocean view lots, each with 20 or more acres. No homes have ever been sold in this community, although one oceanfront and one ocean view lot have beautiful homes on them, and another home is ready to be built on the oceanfront side.
Selling points for Ranch at Puakea versus Puakea Bay Ranch next door include the larger lot sizes and smaller community; underground utilities including a private well to provide additional water for horses, livestock, or swimming pools; and an accessible oceanfront cove.
The thirteen Ranch at Puakea lots share access to this sweet oceanfront cove
Last year a 20-acre ocean view lot sold for $646,000; the year before an oceanfront 24-acre lot sold for $3,200,000. Currently there are four parcels listed at Ranch at Puakea, at prices ranging from $850,000 (MLS# 269263) to $2,500,000 for a 40-acre combination of two adjacent lots (MLS# 262474).
The least expensive vacant lot is my listing; you can see my partner Pam and I showing this lot about 2 minutes into the agent video on our website. Call me if you want my insight into the range of pricing for land at Ranch at Puakea.
Puakea Bay Ranch
Puakea Bay Ranch is the largest of the three developments, with more than thirty ten-acre lots (although some owners bought more than one lot to create a compound). The common area park at the oceanfront is great for whale-watching, if not a good place to actually get in the water. For the horse-owner, equestrian trails run around the outside of the entire community, making it the only one of the three Puakea subdivisions set up for riding.
Puakea Bay Ranch also has the largest minimum residential square footage requirement at 4,000 sq. ft. The architectural style guidelines are flexible and existing homes at Puakea Bay Ranch range from Balinese-style pod homes to Mediterranean to contemporary…and of course Kohala Coast resort-style.
Puakea Bay Ranch Community oceanfront park is a great place for whale-watching in season
While in 2013 there were three sales of 10-acre vacant lots under $300,000 and one home sold for $1,450,000, there have been no Puakea Bay Ranch sales yet in 2014. As mentioned at the start, the only active residential listing at Puakea Bay Ranch is the oceanfront estate. Lot prices have bottomed out and the three current listings range from $389,000 (MLS# 271266) to $489,000 (MLS# 272065).
“For Sale” signs are not allowed within Puakea Bay Ranch, so if you want to look at the available lots be sure to go with someone who is familiar enough with the ranch to help you locate the lot boundaries relative to existing homes! There are three homes that have been on and off the market that could be for sale, so if you think the Puakea Bay Ranch community might be right for you, I can send you the information.
A hui hou,
Beth Thoma Robinson R(B)