We recently decided to put our beloved Puako Beach House on the market. Speculation as to why, of course, soon ensued. This may be the Big Island, but it’s a small community and since I’ve been a REALTOR/Broker for 16+ years, and Dave for over five years, of course the coconut wireless wants to know. So, without further ado, here are the top three reasons why we’re selling our Puako Beach house.
1. Diversify Our Equity
We bought this Puako property in 2004 with an old, dilapidated beach shack on it. After consulting with everyone possible, we determined it could not be saved even in the name of history, so we tore it down and rebuilt a new beach shack that was completed in 2008. Legally, the structure is permitted as a guest house, which means that a house with another 4 bathrooms can be built on the back of the 15,000+ sqft lot (and the guest house kitchen will need de-commissioning to obtain final permits on the back house). We enjoyed living in the beach cottage so much that we simply never got around to building another home in the back. Despite not developing the lot to full capacity, we’ve owned the property for 15+ years, and have built up a good amount of equity. Since we don’t want to work forever (or even until 65, truth be told), we feel now is the right time to take that equity and redistribute as diversified investments elsewhere for maximum future retirement use.
2. Time to Change Our Big Island Home Climate
The Big Island is an incredibly diverse place from a flora, fauna, and weather perspective, and we’ve lived the last 18+ years in one tiny slice of that pie — dry, hot, beach. When we first moved here from the Bay Area, it was exactly what we wanted. The average temperature ranges from 72-79.4 degrees Fahrenheit, year-round, with an average of 9.5″ of rain total over 36 days per year. Sounds pretty perfect for a tropical island in the middle of the Pacific, right? (Hint: it is). I remember teasing friends who loved living in Waimea and North Kohala, because who would ever want to live in the rain?
However, we are finally ready for a change. It sounds heavenly to fall asleep to rain and cooler temperatures. We want to experience the “bustle” of living “in town” where we can live in brand new construction and walk a few blocks to the grocery store, restaurants and doctors’ appointments instead of driving 20 minutes up 3,000 feet of elevation to run errands. Will we be sad to leave the 29-second walk to sunsets, honu (turtles) napping and relaxing on the beach? Yep. But it’s time for a change, and lucky for us, the Big Island offers the opportunity to make a fairly drastic climate change within a fairly short driving distance. That’s one of the most beautiful and incredible things about living on this island.
3. Downsizing Maintenance
When we moved from CA, we went from a 7,000 sqft lot, to 3+ acres of land in North Kohala. While we loved the urban privacy, maintaining 3+acres of land was a LOT of work, especially compared to what we had left behind. Then we moved onto a 15,000+ sqft land in the wonderful neighborhood of Puako Beach where we have enjoyed getting to know our neighbors, proximity to the ocean, and quiet, dark evenings. However, 15,000 sqft of land is about 1/3rd of an acre and still requires maintenance (especially since we never developed the second home on the property) in the form of planting, watering, trimming, mowing, and picking up all the various fruits, nuts, and leaves that fall to the ground.
Don’t get me wrong — we’ve thoroughly enjoyed growing our own papayas, bananas, mango, lemons, limes, tangerines, pineapple, herbs, plumeria, hibiscus, etc., but we are not gardeners by nature or profession and the time has come for us to enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labors, instead of our own. We are ready to downsize our land area and maintenance. This will allow us the freedom to travel more internationally, for longer periods of time, and not worry about yard upkeep and house maintenance.
Of course, there are other reasons why this is a good time to sell our beloved Puako Beach cottage. As it is for most sellers in Hawai’i, this was not an easy decision to make, and it took a lot of effort over a number of months to “neutralize” and depersonalize a space that has been our home for almost two decades. But we are ready and excited to welcome the new owners and caretakers of this ‘aina, who will love it and create as many wonderful memories as we’ve been fortunate to have, and will carry with us to our next adventure.