Saturday, January 28, 2012

Best Place to Own a Second Home in Hawaii

Makaha Valley Towers Condominium Complex in Waianae, Oahu

Makaha Valley Towers, a high-rise condominium complex on Oahu, is the best place for the money to buy a getaway Hawaiian vacation home.

On the western side of Oahu, just thirteen miles beyond the Ko'olina resorts, is a stunningly beautiful small town called Makaha that most tourists never see. Farrington Highway runs along the western coast and deadends just beyond Makaha, so visitors circling the island in their rental cars typically bypass the area, driving Highway 2 to the 99 through the middle of the island, never knowing what they have missed.

Makaha Valley Towers Pool
Retirement Homes and Second Homes

William Pereira (1909 - 1985) was an architectural genius whose legendary buildings include the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, Disneyland Hotel, Biltmore Hotel in Santa Barbara, the City Hall of Miami, Florida, the Convention Center in San Francisco, Descanso Canyon Hotel on Santa Catalina Island, and the Doha Sheraton Hotel in Qatar, to name just a few. William Pereira's legacy is over 300 impressively constructed landmark buildings, malls, corporate headquarters, airports, and luxury subdivisions, not to mention his 1970 masterpiece, the Makaha Valley Towers.

Pereira's Makaha Valley Towers includes 586 studio, one and two bedroom condominiums on a 14-acre tropically landscaped site, overlooking a pool and a golf resort in Makaha Valley. Each apartment is situated to enjoy an incredible view ranging from the mountains to the Pacific Ocean. The 24-hour security guards keep the property safe, and no one is allowed on the premises without an invitation from a resident. Prices of the luxury condos are in the $100,000 range.

Waikiki always had the bulk of tourists in Hawaii, but Pereira desired to build his condominium complex in a remote location on the island. Makaha was chosen for its spectacular setting. About the same time, Maui and Kauai were gearing up to build their own resorts. Kaanapali on the west side of Maui came first, then Wailea, Kapalua and finally Kihei. The Big Island developed their Kona coast. The resorts, like Makaha Valley Towers, were built on the dry leeward side of their islands, to take advantage of less wind and rain, and gorgeous sunsets. The island of Kauai built the magnificent Princeville Resort during the 1970's.

Nearby Kaena Point, Leeward Coast of Oahu

The resorts on the other islands soon took attention away from Makaha, and the prices of the Makaha condos stagnated. Tourists apparently wanted either the cosmopolitan amenities of Waikiki or the peace and quiet represented by the other islands. Many were unaware that they could have both in Makaha, enjoying a peaceful, tropical setting with the convenience of a big city only an hour's drive away.

Makaha Gets a Bad Rap

Almost all the realtors in Honolulu discourage their clients from looking at properties on the leeward coast, including Makaha, despite the reasonable prices. Realtors do influence the housing market, especially when they collectively parrot their indoctrination, and the effect can deprive an area of its true value. Their reasons for avoiding Makaha appear overblown and deserve further inspection:

Makaha Valley
  • too many homeless on the leeward coast
  • the neighboring city of Waianae
  • lower income people
  • native Hawaiians who don't like haoles (white people)
  • drugs and crime rate

Homelessness is an unfortunate problem, especially in Hawaii where many a livelihood depends on tourism, but the homeless live on all the islands, not just on the Waianae coast of Oahu. Because of the climate, some of the homeless actually prefer their lifestyle to that of mainstream citizens, and this should be kept in mind. However, as far as singling out the Waianae coast, 2011 statistics show 296 homeless living there, but a grand total of 703 in greater Honolulu.
Top Deals under $100 Great Holiday Savings for You and Your Family

Reputation of Waianae

The City of Waianae stands along the coastal stretch between Makaha and the Ko'olina resorts. Its residential communities resemble those in Haleiwa on the north shore of Oahu or Kapaa on Kauai, which are not generally criticized by the real estate community. Waianae's income level is lower than on other parts of Oahu and the area does contain Hawaiian homesteads, but they are well kept, and the Native Hawaiians still offer the spirit of aloha to visitors. Makaha Valley Towers owners include many retirees from the U.S. mainland, Canada and other parts of the world, including wealthy people who don't mind living next door to Section 8 tenants and part-year residents. In short, all kinds of people live in Makaha Valley Towers.

Makaha Sunset
While Waianae struggles to gain respect, Kahala on the east side is regarded as the Beverly Hills of Oahu and is home to many of the island's elite. How do the crime rates of these two areas compare? In 2010, District 8, which includes Makaha and Waianae, had 4,189 crimes while District 7, which includes prestigious Kahala, had 4,035. Although no amount of crime should be tolerated in either area, there is not much difference in the rates.

Purchasing Second Home in Hawaii

Waianae Mountain Range in Makaha
One Waikiki resident remarked that he often heard people say about the west side, "Don't go to that part of the island." Out of curiosity, he decided to drive over and see it himself. What he saw surprised him: Beachfront condos selling for just $30,000 at the Makaha Surfside mid-rise complex, complete with ocean views and a pool. As of 2012, the prices had risen to around $85,000, still a bargain by Hawaiian standards.

The gentleman invited friends from Honolulu and they were also impressed with the scenic beauty along with reasonable housing prices. Several condominium complexes are in Makaha, but none are built to the standard of William Pereira's building. They moved to Makaha Valley Towers, often called the "undiscovered jewel of Oahu." The units cost a little bit more than the Surfside but are far less than anything of similar quality in Waikiki.

Makaha Valley Towers

2010 Annual Report Statistics. Honolulu Police Department, 2011, retrieved January 27, 2012.

City & County of Honolulu Homeless Point-in-Time Count 2011. City & County of Honolulu Department of Community Services, May 2011. retrieved January 27, 2012,
Portfolios: Pereira, William. Kellner, Thomas. retrieved January 27, 2012,

Search Results., January 27, 2012.

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