- Not much new
to report for September, 2009. The "recession" appears
to be easing here as across the rest of the country, housing
prices are still dropping in some areas, but as usual in Hawaii,
this is dictated largely by the local supply and demand. In the
huge subdivisions where there are many homes and lots for sale,
the prices are still dropping smoewhat and the sales are slow.
High inventory and low demand are not a good combination.
- Hilo home prices
seem to have stabilized and there are very few homes on the market.
Some of this is no doubt because even those who would like to
sell are hanging in for a while longer hoping for a higher price.
All indications are that they will be rewarded in this way come
- Which means
it's still a good time to buy, no matter where you wish to be
here, as prices are low and mortgage interest is again coming
down. The caveat is that you need an excellent credit rating,
and unless you know some terrific tricks, 100% mortgages are
a thing of the past. Plan on having a minimum of 10% down, and
know that very low down payments normally result in higher mortgage
interest and/or "points."
- Another (old)
issue that is ongoing and getting worse is the coqui infestation.
The rate at which these infestations spread is nothing short
of astounding. There are no coqui predators, so the rule the
environment. Places where we would hear one or two a few months
ago are now thoroughly infested.
- Some communities
are keeping them under control and doing a good job of it. But
this takes a community effort, and even one or two residents
who don't care can make thing very difficult for everyone else.
We are fortunate in that all of our immediate neighbors are willing
to either put in the effort to do the control themselves or to
have someone else do it for them. But "control" means
an ongoing effort to take care of each infestation as it occurs.
- The methods
include hand-capturing, hand spraying every time a new frog makes
its presence known, or volume spraying a whole area if there
are more frogs than can be dealt with one-at-a-time.
- Used to be,
we all thought that the other Islands would do a better job of
keeping the coqui out, but they are now everywhere. All of the
Islands have so much inaccessible area that is perfect breeding
grounds for coqui that it is impossible to get rid of them now.
Short of some kind of miracle, or perhaps some creative scientist
coming up with a way to sterilize them, they are now a permanent
part of the scene.
- An interesting
note is that some the coqui drive some people nuts, yet others
claim they either don't hear them anymore or some even say they
enjoy the "tropical night sounds." We have a rental
house that is surrounded by coqui "tropical night sounds,"
and our tenants there are among those who like the coqui.
- So again and
as with all other aspects of Island Living as applies to Hawaii,
you need to feel it all for yourself. If you think you would
like to live here, rent a home for a while and explore all the
very different micro-climates, cultural and weather differences,
and take the time to really feel what it will be like to live
with all you experience.
- The Fourth Edition
of Affordable Paradise is now shipping. Updated
to all the current Island data and still only $12.95! Or get
it at a discount on Amazon! Please make sure that wherever you
order the book, they are shipping the Fourth Edition.
- The Third Edition
is sold out, but there are still some around at many of the venues
that sell books, online and otherwise.
- Today is another
beautiful, warm and sunny day in Hilo!
- Much Aloha!
- You are also
welcome to check in to the Affordable Paradise
Blog and talk story about your concerns. You can read some of
the many postings there and learn from the conversations of others,
too. You can also go on konaweb.com and punaweb.org and either
participate in the discussions or just eavesdrop for a while!
- We wish you
all the best, and never forget to
- Mahalo for
- Skip Thomsen