Discover Oahu’s Neighborhoods
Oahu’s give island residents many lifestyle options. From beach towns to hidden valleys and family-friendly communities, the island of Oahu has it all. This is where you’ll learn more about Oahu’s wonderful neighborhoods
By Lisa Scontras | Photos by Camera Cliq
Expansion possibilities and up-side rental potential encourage homebuyers to build up, build out and subdivide in the marketable community of Kalihi.
Kalihi buyers are living upstairs and renting the downstairs to offset their mortgage. Some partner with family members to shelter generations. Others own a small care home business. Whether you’re thinking of buying an investment property or a place to live, Kalihi is a neighborhood of opportunity.
The latest stats show roughly 60 percent of the homes in the neighborhood are rentals, with the remaining 40 percent being owner occupied, which is a particularly flexible opportunity for homebuyers who are eager to find the biggest bang for their real estate buck.
Likewise, for families looking to pool their incomes and buy a home together, large lot sizes and extra large homes allow generations to house generations. Multi-generational households are drawn to interior square footages that can range from 3,000 to even 6,000 square feet. In fact, of the 40 single-family homes listed for sale in June, 18 had six or more bedrooms, and four homes had more than 10 bedrooms — one listing offered 17 bedrooms and 10 baths.
For investors, rents in Kalihi are competitive — commanding $1,050 for a two-room studio; $1,550 to $2,100 for a 3-bedroom; $2,300 for a 4-bedroom; and $3,000 for a 5-bedroom — on Craigslist in June.
And there is a great diversity in Kalihi’s market offerings, prices for single-family homes in the area range from just under $300,000 to more than $1 million.
Honolulu Habitat for Humanity
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Honolulu Habitat for Humanity, the non-profit organization that builds homes with volunteers and sells them at cost to families in need. The organization’s mission is to help end the poverty cycle on Oahu, one family at a time. To date, Honolulu Habitat has built 68 such homes and has recently broken ground on six more.
The criteria for selecting the next family are surprisingly simple — no red tape, no long government applications to file, and no waiting list.
Yes, that is correct. According to Genie Brown, executive director at Honolulu Habitat for Humanity, there is no wait list to become a Habitat qualified family. Applicants are screened for income, means, and a willingness to partner with Habitat for Humanity.
“A lot of people don’t really know what we do,” says Brown. “One of the criteria requires the family to be able to pay for the cost of construction, interest free. For example, recently, we charged a family $123,000 for their house, and it immediately appraised at $289,000 — so they already had quite a bit of equity.”
The $123,000, or the cost that is passed on to the recipient family, is paid for with a 20-year, interest-free mortgage.
“Mortgage payments are generally between $400 and $500 a month for 20 years — some were paying $1,300 in rent previously,” adds Brown.
In addition to having enough income to cover the construction costs, there has to be a demonstrated need for decent and affordable housing, such as living in overcrowded or unsanitary conditions, or a home that is considered unsafe for children or the elderly.
“We go out and look at how they are living,” says Brown. “Some houses have no running water, are completely termite eaten, or have mold issues. We can just demolish the existing home and build a new one.”
The third requirement is for the family to be a partner in the build — this is called “sweat equity.”
“They have to be there every Saturday to help,” says Brown.
Amazingly, because Habitat houses are built by volunteers, they are constructed on Saturdays. One house takes nine months to build — or 40 days. It is an astounding assemblage of volunteers.
“We have four skilled people in construction who lead the volunteers,” Brown explains. In June, the Kumuhau families broke ground on their home in Waimanalo. The day was blessed for these new homeowners with beautiful skies, cool breezes and tears of happiness.
If you or someone you know wants to apply, call the Honolulu Habitat office at (808) 538-7070. To get involved as a volunteer on one of the Kumuhau family homes, other projects, or to find out about the annual Build-a-Thon, go to www.honoluluhabitat.org.
The ReStore, which just opened last fall at the Kalihi Habitat location — 922 Austin Lane #C1 in Kalihi, sells donated furniture, building and office supplies at half price or less. All proceeds go toward Honolulu Habitat for Humanity.
Whether your interests lie in the many cultural artifacts representing Native Hawaiian, Pacific Island and Hawai‘i immigrant life, or the daily Planetarium shows exploring the planets and stars above, or the natural history collection of more than 22 million specimens of plant and animal life, the Bishop Museum is one of Kalihi’s most prized assets.
The museum’s mission is to be a gathering place and educational center that actively engages people in the presentation, exploration and preservation of Hawaii’s cultural heritage, natural history and its ancestral cultures throughout the Pacific.
In September, the grand re-opening of Pacific Hall (formerly Polynesian Hall) will explore the origins of Pacific Islanders,
the migrations and settlement throughout the Pacific Ocean, and the cultures and values of its people. This permanent exhibit will feature archaeological findings, many of which have never been exhibited before as well as one of the world’s best collections of model canoes.
Exhibits to open in October include the Lego Travel Adventure and the Ni‘ihau Shell Exhibit. In the Lego exhibit, children will be invited to create vehicles capable of flying, driving and floating. The Ni‘ihau Shell Exhibit will feature a private collection of approximately 50 stunning and pristine lei.
For more information about these and other exhibits, call (808) 847-3511.
Kalihi-Palama Health Center
Kalihi-Palama Health Center originally started in the basement of Kaumakapili Church as a free walk-in clinic.
“KPHC opened doors in 1975 in response to community concerns regarding the health and social needs of low-income Native Hawaiians and a growing Asian and Pacific Island immigrant population,” says Emmanuel Kintu, CEO and executive director for the organization.
Located in the heart of Kalihi-Palama, the facility services the inner-city community that is home to approximately 63,820 residents, provides comprehensive primary health care to more than 20,000 patients and employs more than 200 practitioners and staff.
KPHC staff mirror the cultural diversity of the patients. They pay attention to what goes on in their patient’s homes and neighborhoods and share resources with them, with the intent to help break the cycle of poverty, abuse, and neglect that could otherwise carry from one generation to another.
In 2011, KPHC served 21,500 patients in 17 different languages and cultures — 1,600 of them were homeless and 300 received housing and/or homelessness prevention assistance. It is also one of the four Patient Centered Health Care Home pilot programs in Hawaii and registered excellent results in addressing childhood obesity and in managing chronic diseases. To find out more about this 501(c) non-profit organization, call (808) 792-5566.
Construction Academy at Honolulu Community College
Looking for a rewarding career? Learning a trade in the construction industry? One that could lead to owning your own small business someday? Check out the Construction Academy and the Apprenticeship and Journey Worker Training programs at Honolulu Community College.
The homebuilding and remodeling fields never stop being red hot, meaning that plumbers, electricians, roofers, masons, carpenters, tile setters, drywall experts and a whole list of sub contractor businesses are booming.
Honolulu Community College is in partnership with participating Department of Education high schools statewide on the
islands of Oahu Kauai, Maui, Molokai and Hawaii. The mission is to prepare high school students with the technical, academic, and employable skills necessary to pursue a career in the construction industry.
The Construction Academy utilizes a hands-on approach to learning and offers 25 credit programs, which are career technical education. Participating students can earn high school and college credits, and use the college credit they earn toward HCC degrees in areas such as Carpentry, Welding, Construction Management, and Architectural, Engineering and CAD Technologies.
For the 2011-2012 school year, 1,031 students participated in HCC’s Construction Academy.
The Apprenticeship and Journey Worker Training program are for people already in a construction trade. For an apprentice to get promoted to a journey worker they need 4 to 5 years of on-the-job-training and classroom related instruction. The classroom instruction is offered at HCC on Monday and Wednesday evenings, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, or on Saturday.
Blood Bank of Hawaii
Blood Bank of Hawaii saves lives. With its main office located at 2043 Dillingham Boulevard in Kalihi, this non-profit organization is committed to providing lifesaving blood products to 17 civilian hospitals statewide.
Currently, there are more than 25,000 donors in Hawaii. But it is not enough. The need for additional donors is significant. According to statistics, someone needs blood every two seconds.
In fact, one in seven people who enter the hospital will need blood, but only two percent of the population donates.
You can save up to three lives with each donation, according to Michelle Burchfiel, communications specialist for the organization.
“Blood donors never know whose life they save,” says Burchfiel. “It could be their neighbor. When asked, most donors say they donate blood ‘just because it seems like the right thing to do.”
Statewide, the Blood Bank needs 180 to 200 donations a day to meet the demand for blood. Last year, 56,114 pints of blood and 4,271 units of platelets were collected.
Recipients include cancer patients, accident-trauma victims, open-heart surgery patients, as well as patients for bone marrow and organ transplants, and emergency surgeries.
All blood types are needed but universal donors are especially critical.
Blood Bank Hawaii has been serving Hawaii for more than 70 years. To make an appointment to donate blood or find out about additional donation locations, call (808) 848-4770.
Much Aloha to Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties and Island Homes Collection, Who bring wonderful neighborhoods and some of our favorite dining options.
*NOTE: MLS data deemed reliable but not guaranteed Listings and statistics included in this story are as of July 2013 from Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties (CBPP) and the Honolulu Board of Realtors (HBR).
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