Poipu has sunshine for the majority of year

Poipu is located on the South Shore of Kauai near Koloa and Kaheo.  It is a resort area that has also been named America’s best beach by the Travel Channel.  The population is just over 1,000, and most of the residents are actively involved in the tourism industry that the town offers.  This area is also home to some of the best dining, entertainment, and arts on the whole island of Kauai.  Residents of Poipu have many options of luxury resorts and shopping centers for employment.  The average income for residents is $51,000.

Poipu has sunshine for the majority of year that helps to draw people to this area for vacations as well as the beaches that surround the area.  The different beaches have different appeals for people.  Baby Beach is suited for families especially those with young children.  Lawai Beach usually attracts more surfers because of the water breaks, and Mahaulepu and Brennecke’s Beaches are usually where locals go to swim and sunbathe.

Condominiums are more prevalent in Poipu than single-family homes because of the immense tourist industry.   Several of the neighborhoods are near either the water on one of the championship golf courses.

One of the most popular resorts in Poipu is Poipu Kai that is made up of several smaller communities.  There are many condo styles available here, and it has a great rental history.  The communities Kiahuna, Poipu Sands, and Kahala at Poipu Kai have condos starting at $150,000 for studios and $250,000 for one-bedrooms.  Some of the communities in Poipu will typically have a starting price of $1 million.  Some of the more exuberant neighborhoods include Pane Makai, Whalers Cove at Poipu, and Koloa Landing at Poipu Beach.

Single-family home neighborhoods are also available in Poipu.  Poipu Kai Resort has cottages just under $500,000, and most other homes start at $600,000.  Bayview at Poipu Kai has homes available at prices between $650,000 and $2 million.  The communities of Lanai Villas, Wainani at Poipu, and Kiahuna Golf Village have homes priced at $1 million and up.

The recession did affect the real estate in Poipu, but as of late it has been making a comeback.  The average price of a home here is $399,000 at the moment making it a prime time to invest in real estate.  Investors purchasing condos for rental property have been known to do well considering the amount of people that come to the area for visits.

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Big Island Real Estate Market

Topographic Map in english of the island of Ha...
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The island of Hawaii, also commonly referred to simply as the Big Island, has, like the other Hawaiian islands, seen a continuously struggling housing market throughout most of 2009. The effects of the financial crisis have caused the prices of Big Island homes for sale to fall, bringing about dual effects. For those looking to sell homes or other properties, this is obviously unfortunate, but for those who have always wanted to buy Big Island real estate but were previously just unable to afford the high values, the dipping prices have encouraged action now while the opportunity awaits.

In the last quarter of 2009, sales activity on the island was actually the lowest of the four quarters of the year. Probably a lot of the heavy activity in the third quarter can be attributed to those rushing to get in on the government’s stimulus program offering up to thousands of dollars in rebates for buying new homes, which was set to expire in November but later was extended. There were just under 1,000 sales in the fourth quarter.

The median price of homes actually began to show a rising trend in the fourth quarter after two consecutive quarters of decline, and was at around $275,000, well off the peaks in 2007 of more than $350,000. In the month of December, the median price on the big island for a home sold was $278,800. Median prices were lowest in Puna in December, at just $175,000, and higher in areas like North Kona, where it was $425,000.

More recently, in February of this year, there were 94 home sales on the Big Island, according to the Star Bulletin, a rise of about 8% year-over-year. Condo sales were up 200% from a year earlier, with 39 changing hands. But prices were still struggling, which many experts attribute to the ongoing batch of foreclosures. The median price for a single-family home was $237,000, down almost 20% from a year earlier, while condos saw a median price of $266,175, down nearly 40% from February 2009’s price of $435,000. Some experts say these prices put the market back to levels not seen since 2003 and 2004.

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Annual Statehood Celebrations

Aloha Stadium: USC @ Hawaii. Photo taken by Bo...
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The 50th State Fair, held every summer on Oahu, is one of the season’s highlights for people of all ages, especially school aged-children looking for some exhilarating and safe fun.  Located centrally to many Oahu Neighborhoods, the Aloha Stadium hosts the annual event, held for six of seven weekends in May and June.  Although an admission fee is charged for everyone attending the carnival, this fee helps to cover the expenses of non-charged activities.  Free activities, or those attractions available at no additional charge above the admission cost, include a circus thrill show, pig races, hypnotist shows, a keiki talent show competition, celebrity meet and greets, and a number of other shows.

Some of the more popular performances charge an additional fee.  In 2009, dance crews from MTV’s hit television show “America’s Best Dance Crew” were featured and often other singers and artists are showcased.  The main attraction of the fair, however, is the rides and food.  Operated by E. K. Fernandez Shows, discounted wristbands are sold to provide cheaper ride tickets, although individual ride tickets can also be purchased.  The best part of having the fair at Aloha Stadium is the expansive parking lots that can easily accommodate all fairgoers.

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Hawaii Cruises

In her original livery as Pride of Hawaii
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NCL America, Norwegian Cruise Line’s American brand operates a single ship, the Pride of America, exclusively on inter-island cruises.  The brand was created in 2005 to provide 7-day cruises that started in Honolulu and visited Nawiliwili, Kauai; Kahului, Maui; Hilo, Hawaii; and Kona, Hawaii.  These itineraries were created to add time in ports and remove the 3-day roundtrip to Kiribati that were required of foreign-built ships.
The Pride of America was the first large, newly-built US-flagged cruise ship to be built in fifty years.  The ship’s crew, per U.S. law, is primarily American laborers, which is an exorbitant cost relative to international crews on other Norwegian Cruise Line ships.

However, to this day, the Pride of America is the only ship offering 7-day cruises in Hawaii without a foreign port of call, a large competitive advantage over other cruise lines that begin voyages in California and include Mexico in the itinerary.  At one point, two other NCL ships were in the Hawaii fleet with American crews: Pride of Hawaii and Pride of Aloha, although those two ships were re-flagged and returned to the international fleet following a softening of the Hawaii cruise market.  Nonetheless, the increase in the inter-island cruise industry has also led to an increase in Honolulu
rentals, used for pre- and post-cruise packages.

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Park in Paradise

Kapiolani Park, Waikiki
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A portion of Honolulu Condos is dedicated to the Kapiolani Regional Park, the largest and oldest public park in the state located in Honolulu on the east end of Waikiki. Created in 1876 during the time of King David Kalaukaua and since 1913 has been under the management of the City and County of Honolulu.  The park includes tennis courts, soccer fields, an archery range, and multipurpose greens used for cricket, rugby, football, lacrosse, and field volleyball.  A path that goes around the circumference of the park is a two-mile trail that is popular with joggers.  The Honolulu Cricket Club is based at the park and is the oldest sporting club in the Pacific, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

The park is home to the Waikiki Shell, an open air amphitheater that hosts a number of concerts, presentations, and other events during the year.  The Honolulu Zoo is also located in Kapiolani Park.  The zoo houses thousands of different animals and makes them available for visitors to view on a daily basis.  Conveniently located on the edge of Hawaii’s largest tourist district, the zoo and Waikiki Shell round out the wonderful park that has become one of the area’s best attractions.

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