Waterfront Homes in Kailua: Kailua’s Lakeside Lifestyle

Waterfront Homes in Kailua

Not everyone knows that there is a lake (Enchanted Lake) in the middle of Kailua. And there are waterfront homes in Kailua, along this lake, where you can enjoy an incredible lakeside Kailua lifestyle.

enchanted lake kailua

Looking over Enchanted Lake from Hillcrest, Kailua – PC Tron Van Tran

About Enchanted Lake aka the Kaelepulu Pond

Enchanted Lake is a privately owned lake and one of the largest inland bodies of water on Oahu, at about 79 acres. It was once a Hawaiian fishing pond called the Kaelepulu Pond. In the early 1960s, it was partially filled in with the development of Enchanted Lake Estates – hence, the alternate name. Here’s more about the history of the Kaelepulu Pond.

kaelepulu pond map

Old Kaelepulu Pond Area Map, 1943, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Courtesy of ELRA.

Enchanted Lake Estates is a large subdivision of more than 1500 homes built around and in between the Kaelepulu Pond and Mid-Pacific Country Club. These were simple Kailua mid-century style bungalows, about a mile mauka from Kailua Beach. Some of these homes are extra special because they are waterfront or have golf course frontage. Many have stunning Koolau Mountain views.

Enchanted Lake Estates originally had just a few floor plans, and these are the same plans built in reverse. These were 3 bedroom, 1.5 or 2 bath homes, with a lanai; though, one model had 4 bedrooms. Many of these simple, single-wall, mid-century Kailua bungalows are now remodeled, added onto, or torn down. There are some very beautiful remodeled homes in this area, but even the original ones have charm in their simplicity. Approximately 275 of the single-family homes in this area are waterfront. There is also the waterfront, Kukilakila (PUD) subdivision on Enchanted Lake, if you prefer townhouse-style residences at a lower price point.

Peace and Beauty…

Purchasing a waterfront home in Kailua makes for a great Kailua lifestyle. There are special things about living in one of these Kailua waterfront home areas. For one, there are fabulous water and/or mountain views. Additionally, you feel a sense of greater space and peace, since your nearest back neighbor is further away than normal. Your nearest side neighbor may be further away also, as these lots are larger. Most are around 10,000 square feet. Many have additional easement space along the water way, making the “enjoyable” lot size even larger than the taxable, owned lot square footage.

sunset waterfront homes in kailua

Peaceful sunset and mountain view at a Kailua waterfront home. (c) 2018, Yvonne Jaramillo Ahearn

Recreational Fun…

Recreational activities are fantastic in these Kailua waterfront homes. There’s the opportunity to SUP, kayak or even fish off your backyard! Many homeowners living in waterfront homes in Kailua have boats docks and electric boats, pontoon boats, or party barges to take a cruise out on Enchanted Lake and the Kaelepulu Stream. Or you can just relax with a water view. Outrigger canoe paddling clubs use these waterways for their practice, so you will often see canoe paddlers on the Stream. Many of these waterfront homes in Kailua have fabulous pools and spas.

Waterfront homes in Kailua on Kaelepulu Stream

Waterfront home in Kailua with stunning pool area, last sold 2011, for $1,412,500 (c) 2017, Yvonne Jaramillo Ahearn

Around Christmas, the Enchanted Lake Residents Association holds a festive, lighted boat parade on the Lake. On the 4th of July, neighbors gather at the ocean-side mouth of the Kaelepulu Stream to watch fireworks. Neighbors who use the Lake and Stream are friendly and socializing is enjoyable.

Wildlife is plentiful on Enchanted Lake, the Kaelepulu Stream, and in the adjacent Kaelepulu Wetlands. The most common fish I’ve seen in the Lake and Stream are tilapia and barracuda. Crabs and oysters also seem to thrive. Birds such as ducks, coots, egrets, and herons, also make their home on the Lake and Stream areas. The sound of the birds in the morning is amazing! The occasional green sea turtle can even be seen swimming in the brackish waters of the Kaelepulu Stream.

birds-at waterfront homes in kailua

Wildlife is abundant around the waterfront homes in Kailua on the Kaelepulu Pond and Stream (c) 2017, Yvonne Jaramillo Ahearn

Improving Water Quality?

Though wildlife is abundant, the water in Enchanted Lake and Kaelepulu Stream, unfortunately, also contains pollutants, so it is not swimmable. Also, I do not recommend eating fish caught in the Lake or Stream. People say that when the area was originally developed, the water in the Lake was clean and clear. There was even waterskiing on Enchanted Lake when these waterfront homes in Kailua were first built! There is talk of restoring the lake to its pristine condition, but I’m not sure if that will happen. The ELRA is working to that end, with dredging projects and clean-ups. It does seem like the water quality in the lake and stream has improved over the last 10 years that I have been here.

The water quality can be improved by opening the stream mouth into Kailua Bay. This removal of sand is done periodically, but more frequently in the event of heavy rains. Another thing which improves water quality is better environmental control over major construction activity in the area. Development sometimes causes detrimental runoff into the Lake. The ELRA recently settled a lawsuit on this issue, which helped to improve the water quality and health of the Lake.

Enchanted Lake Residents’ Association

There is a fee of $300 per year to belong to the Enchanted Lake Residents’ Association. It is mandatory only for homes on Enchanted Lake. Homeowners along the Kaelepulu Stream are not required to belong, but are not allowed to use the Lake itself without the fee. Anyone can use the Kaelepulu Stream and other Kailua canals without membership or fees.

The Kaelepulu Stream

Homes along the Kaelepulu Stream, just makai of Enchanted Lake, are some of the most desirable of the waterfront homes in Kailua. Perhaps, this is because they are closer to the ocean and beach than those on Enchanted Lake. One end of the Kaelepulu Stream is the Lake and the other is the ocean and bridge by Kailua Beach Park. It’s fun to take a cruise down to the Beach end, park your boat at the bridge and walk over to Buzz’s Steak House for dinner, or pupus and drinks. You can even park your boat there for going to the Beach, if you don’t feel like taking your car on busy beach days.

Waterfront home in Kailua on Kaelepulu Stream, last sold in 2018 for $1,605,000. (c) 2017, Yvonne Jaramillo Ahearn

Waterfront Homes in Kailua for Sale Now

Overall, waterfront homes in Kailua are a great purchase for those who enjoy an outdoor Kailua lifestyle and natural beauty. Waterfront Kailua homes for sale on Enchanted Lake and Kaelepulu Stream are available in the Enchanted Lake, Kailua Estates, and Kukilakila neighborhoods.

Below, is an Enchanted Lake Waterfront Home in Kailua for sale now for $1,949,000. This is a great example of the amazing homes that are sometimes available. Call me if you’re a buyer and you’d like to see it in person, it won’t last long!

Video credit Slick Pixels Hawaii, listing Diane Pizarro, CBPP. Used with permission.

List Price: $1,949,000

Waterfront homes are sometimes also found on the Kawainui Canal leading from the Kawainui Marsh to the North end of Kailua Bay. These are in the Koolaupoko and Beachside neighborhoods. This area is not connected to the Kaelepulu Pond and Stream, but has some beautiful homes too.


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Steven Gadbois

February 28, 2020

Never mind. I found this article. Mahalo.

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