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Big Island

What $1 Million Buys in San Francisco Compared to Hawaii's Big Island – Real Estate For Sale

One of the best things about traveling is the opportunity to connect and reconnect with colleagues all over the world. Being in San Francisco last week for the Inman Connect conference (#icsf)—offered the opportunity to reconnect with some established friends and colleagues, and network with some new ones!

I love visiting the Bay Area—born and raised in Los Gatos means I have an emotional affinity for the place—and all it represents. It also got me thinking about property comparisons—the City versus the Big Island. Lucky for me, I have a friend and highly-respected colleague, Mike Hirner, a top REALTOR with Alain Pinel, who recently sent me flyers on his new listings—both around $1M. Perfect!

Here is Mike’s listing right in the City of San Francisco asking $995,000:

A 2 bed/1 bath, 1,100 sq. ft. house in Portrero Hill—is it always that sunny, Mike? (Kidding, of course!)

Okay, so I know downtown Kona doesn’t exactly compare to San Francisco…it’s definitely a little tricky because the person buying the San Francisco house is probably buying for zip code, location, school districts, and proximity to something. Buying on the Big Island happens for entirely different—but no less emotional—reasons; like ocean views and sunsets and horses.

A 3 bed/2 bath, 2,100+ sq. ft. home on 10+ acres of land (MLS# 240386), asking $990,000, in the Big Island’s gated Waiki’i Ranch subdivision

Waiki’i Ranch is not San Francisco, but at the 3,000 foot elevation, it sure gets cold enough to feel like the City in the summer!

Then, down the Peninsula, in Woodside, Mike also listed this “tree house” for $1M:

This is an incredible house—my husband, Dave, would have wanted to buy it were we still living on the Peninsula! Love all that wood!!

As a comparison on the very northern tip of the Big Island, I offer this residential parcel of land—29 acres! With a one bedroom/one bathroom “cottage,” this will feel like living in a tree house—but offers space and zoning to build another, larger home should you wish to add another structure to the property (MLS# 241049); asking $999,000.

My friends who live in Kapa’au actually say the weather is similar to that of San Francisco—cool nights, sometimes it rains, mostly it’s sunny, and mid 60’s to low 70’s…

The weather is actually better most of the time in Hawaii—that’s one of the big reasons why we live here! Speaking of “better” weather, it’s also possible to purchase a mauka-side Puako property for less than $1 Million. Mike hasn’t sent me any postcards about nearly-oceanfront listings with which to compare (and I could spend a lot of time on the Alain Pinel website looking at homes, but that would be an extreme time-consuming distraction for me right now), so I have to assume it’s not easy to get this close to the ocean in the Bay Area with a 15,000 sq. ft. lot and the potential for more than one rental unit.

Right. I get it. There is actually no real comparison between San Francisco, the Bay Area, and the Big Island—except that a majority of our buyers these days originate from the Bay Area. Perhaps, like me, they recognize that this is still a place full of space and vistas and farms, and a lifestyle that focuses on enjoying the outdoors, enjoying our Hawaii Life!

I don’t know. What I do know is that $1,000,000 certainly seems to buy a lot more space and vistas and farms and lifestyles and ocean proximity and sunset here in Hawaii than it still does in the Bay Area. Which should surprise no one. Except me, I’m apparently still mystified as to why everyone doesn’t live here already.

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Martha Tumbleson, R(S)

August 7, 2011

Loved the comparisons, or should I say non-comparisons. There really is no place like the Big Island, is there?

Martha Tumbleson, R(S)

August 7, 2011

Loved the comparisons, or should I say non-comparisons. There really is no place like the Big Island, is there?

Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B)

August 8, 2011

Kapa’au is mid 60’s to low 70’s? You mean nighttime lows, right? My garden thermometer is reading 81 degrees at the moment…

Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B)

August 8, 2011

Kapa’au is mid 60’s to low 70’s? You mean nighttime lows, right? My garden thermometer is reading 81 degrees at the moment…

Katie Minkus, R(B)

August 10, 2011

@Beth – wow! It really is warm all over the country, I think it was cooler in Puako on Monday than Kapa’au!!

@Martha… so true!

Katie Minkus, R(B)

August 10, 2011

@Beth – wow! It really is warm all over the country, I think it was cooler in Puako on Monday than Kapa’au!!

@Martha… so true!

TMMH

November 11, 2011

The remark about zip codes doesn’t really apply to “humble” Potrero Hill; there are public housing projects only a few blocks away. Also, there are no school districts in San Francisco, as the school system is unified — like in Los Angeles. The comparison was fun, though.

TMMH

November 11, 2011

The remark about zip codes doesn’t really apply to “humble” Potrero Hill; there are public housing projects only a few blocks away. Also, there are no school districts in San Francisco, as the school system is unified — like in Los Angeles. The comparison was fun, though.

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