Thank you for stopping by!  I hope to feature both real estate and lifestyle information regarding living on this wonderful island, and particularly on the Windward Side.  

The towns of Kailua, Kaneohe and Waimanalo all have their own personalities.  Hopefully, you get a chance immerse yourself in all they have to offer! 

There is so much to do, see and experience!  My hope to to give you a little taste here.  Please read on...

Thank you ~ Jill

July 7, 2019

Small bedroom? Create a Livable Bedroom with Limited Space

Oahu homes are often smaller than what is typical on the Mainland. Less square footage means reduced room size, especially when it comes to bedrooms! Our sleep sanctuaries are often the first place where builders sacrifice square footage when space is at a premium. 

The good news is that we spend so much time in shared family areas and outdoors, that we don't spend a lot of time in our bedrooms.  Fortunately, when we do, there are still ways to create a comfortable, storage-friendly bedroom, even if you lack space.

Blair Morrison, co-owner of Windward Coast Designs along with partner Sherry Fahrenwald, offered tips for how to maximize your bedroom’s dimensions.

bookshelves near bed

When planning bed placement, don’t assume it must be centered. If the bed is for one person, you can move it against the wall, said Morrison.

On the non-wall side of the bed, one option is to add a small chest with drawers that can serve double duty as a nightstand/dresser. Another nightstand alternative Morrison suggests is floating shelves, which can also serve as book shelves and even a resting place for a small laptop computer. Pendant lights or a chandelier can replace table top lamps and also free up surface space for other uses. 

For more space saving options, consider a bed that accommodates specially designed under-bed storage bins.  Baskets can serve this purpose as well. Or try built-in shelves or a headboard with storage incorporated into its design, Morrison said. If there’s shelves in the headboard, that can serve as your nightstand, too!

In a child’s room, a loft bed configuration can up precious floor space for a homework desk and a cozy sitting area to hang out with friends.

lofted bed

Most importantly, Morrison said, is choose your furniture wisely.

“Don’t use any bulky furniture and get as much double duty usage out of each piece,” she said.


Part 2 Next Week: Decor Tips for a Small Bedroom



Bookshelves next to the bed in place of nightstands offers more storage space.

A lofted bed gives you flexibility to add another mattress below, or you could add a workspace/desk area.

June 20, 2019

Nine Courts, One Community: Kailua Racquet Club is a Place to Play Tennis and Gather with Friends

Tucked away in a residential corridor of Oneawa Street in the heart of Coconut Grove, is “the best tennis club this side of the Mississippi” – the Kailua Racquet Club.

KRC sign

The entrance of the Kailua Racquet Club blends so well with the surrounding the street, it is easy to drive right past its unassuming entrance. But once you drive down the palm-flanked driveway, you’ll find a bustling tennis club with lush flora.

Most days of the week, you can watch tennis players of all ages and abilities hitting balls on the club’s nine courts.

The Kailua Racquet Club was established by eight friends in 1938. Each put up $2,750 to purchase 7.5 acres of land. The founders  created the club as a private hideaway to spend weekends with family and friends.

In 1952 they decided to incorporate the club and opened membership to the community for a $50 initiation fee and $5 monthly dues.  

Today, in addition to the nine courts – five of which are lit for night play – KRC has a salt water pool and a café.

KRC pool

“My kids have enjoyed the pool many times over the years and the food has always been served with a smile and is quite a treat,” says KRC member Jim Zagorski. “It is a beautiful place to play tennis and I feel fortunate that there is such a great tennis venue located right here in Kailua.”

The Bruce Nagel Tennis Academy at KRC has programs for a range of abilities and ages, with children’s classes starting for kids as young as four. Instructors also provide private and semi-private lessons.

Bruce Nagel, general manager and director of tennis, who has been with KRC for 28 years, says the philosophy for classes is, “everyone should get to hit a lot of balls, everyone should get a workout and everyone should have fun.”

Rather than breaking down various strokes in detail, instructors at KRC have found that if they hit a lot of balls in a game-like situation, most people – especially kids – pick up the strokes and game on their own, Nagel says.

One of the features that creates a particularly serene feel to the venue is the open space created by the grassy areas between the courts and the large shady lanais for spectators.KRC green space

Nagel says the club is especially proud of an Outdoor Circle Lani-Kailua Branch award it received for its efforts to preserve its greenery.

The decades-old palms on the grounds will eventually need to be cut down because they will become too tall for anyone to climb and trim due to liability concerns.

KRC has only lost two or three so far, but about 20 years ago, the club proactively planted shadow palms – one next to each of the older, taller palms – so when the oldest trees have to be cut down, the newer trees will be there to replace them.

The shadow palms have already grown quite tall and filled out extensively, Nagel said.

With all of its amenities, most members agree that the greatest benefit to KRC membership goes beyond it’s well-maintained tennis courts.

"It's really very much family oriented," Nagel says. "Most people join the club for a place to play tennis, but in the long run, they end up enjoying it for the community and the friends."  



1.      The entrance of Kailua Racquet Club

2.      KRC’s salt water pool

3.      A view of the green space next to one of the Kailua Racquet Club’s nine courts

Posted in Community Updates
May 13, 2019

Relax, Renew, Refresh: Kaneohe Spas Offer a Variety of Services

spa image

Looking for an hour or even a daylong escape from the bustle of everyday and an antidote to stress? Windward Oahu has a selection of day spas that offer everything from traditional massages and waxing to new and innovative anti-aging treatments.

Experts cite many benefits of massage in addition to relaxation. Among those perks are stress reduction, improved circulation, pain reduction, toxin elimination, improved flexibility, improved sleep, enhanced immunity, fatigue reduction, alleviation of depression and anxiety, reduction of post injury and post-surgery swelling, and even improved posture.

Facials also reduce stress. Additionally, they can minimize the appearance of the effects of aging, promote blood circulation, help detoxify, and exfoliate skin.

Two local day spas in Kailua we featured last week. Here are two more options in Kaneohe to choose from! 


Bella Viva

Located in the Windward Mall (outside of Macy’s) in Kaneohe, Bella Viva Salon and Spa has a diverse menu of beauty and pampering services. You can shop and pamper yourself in one trip!

For haircare, Bella Viva services include cut, color, extensions, Brazilian blowouts and Japanese straightening. All haircare services incorporate Aveda products.

Bella Viva also offers waxing, facials, manicures, pedicures and a full array of massage choices. The “Touch of Bella Viva” package is a four-and-a-half-hour spa experience that includes a Soulful Touch Facial, a Bella Viva Rainforest Massage, and a deluxe manicure and pedicure. During the Rainforest Massage, clients receive an entire body exfoliation with a customized scrub, a high-pressure water massage and cleanse, and a 50-minute Swedish massage. You should feel like jelly after all of those services!

Clients appreciate the friendly service and cite the creative and often sparkly nail designs as one of many reasons to return.

 Massage Envy

Massage Envy

Massage Envy is a national chain with a location in Kaneohe. Their services include a diverse menu of massages and skin care.

“The daily grind of seemingly harmless everyday activities - like sitting at a desk all day, lifting a baby dozens of times a day, or lugging a backpack - can wreak havoc on an otherwise healthy body,” said Tom Collins, a spokesperson for Massage Envy’s corporate headquarters. “Through a regular habit of massage and total body care, people can keep their bodies working.”

Massage Envy’s recently-introduced Rapid Tension Relief, combines expertise of a massage therapist with the Hyperice Hypervolt device, a cordless, deep tissue vibrating massage device. All massages also incorporate Massage Envy branded lotions and a choice of one of six CyMe Boosts, a concentrated serum.

Skin services include chemical peels with PCA Skin and microderm infusion. Chemical peels are designed to treat skin problems such as sagging, wrinkles, crows feet, age spots, and acne scars. They do require down time after treatment because they often render the skin raw and sensitive.

Microderm infusion, which exfoliates the skin and infuses the skin with corrective serum, also targets skin problems, but without the downtime of chemical peels.

So, after reading about these wonderful treatment options, are you ready to treat yourself for an hour or more?  I’m thinking you deserve it!


Photos courtesy of the respective businesses.


Posted in Community Updates
May 1, 2019

Relax, Renew, Refresh with Holisitc Spas which Specialize in the Hawaiian Practice of Lomi Lomi

Has life been hectic and you feel the need for a spa day?  Do you have an ailment that needs to be addressed?  Whether you are looking for relaxation or rehabilitation, the services provided at our local spas may be just what you need. 

Honu You

In traditional Hawaiian and Samoan culture, a massage was more than just an enjoyable sojourn and a stress reliever.

The ancient custom of lomi lomi massage is still practiced today. Rooted in huna (a Hawaiian philosophy centered on achieving harmony in mind, body, and spirit,) lomi lomi massage aims to promote relaxation, improve circulation, address physical ailments, and provide spiritual benefits, including the relief of negative emotions.

With this lovely custom originating in the Hawaiian islands, it’s not surprising that there are spas on the Windward side that offer lomi lomi. Whether you are looking for a lomi lomi massage, a traditional massage, or another spa service, the Windward side has quite a few choices. Here are two choices in Kailua:


Honu You Hawaiian Spa

Honu You, which opened 15 years ago in December, offers lomi lomi massages, waxing and facials and carries professional skincare lines including Eminence, Jan Marini, Epicuren and Jan Iredale cosmetics.

Honu You owner, Jennifer Mehau, takes a holistic approach to each client, and they appreciate the individualized attention.

“When people make an appointment, we always do a thorough consultation, taking into account any medication, topical applications and any other treatments,” says Mehau, who is a trained aesthetician and massage therapist. “It always ends up being a discussion about a client’s overall health.”

“I want to meet your needs and what you’re looking for,” she adds.

Mehau’s newest treatment is a Sauna/Facia Blaster Treatment. A facia blaster is a medical device that is designed to release facia adhesions. Facia is a band of connective tissue, beneath the skin that attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and other internal organs. Warming up in the sauna beforehand helps renders the device more effective for maximum benefits, she says.



Spa Products


Lomilomi Hana Lima Kailua Spa and Boutique

Lomilomi Hana Lima’s goal is to “provide a bridge between the Hawaiian elders’ voices of wisdom and those who want to benefit from the beliefs that lead to self-empowerment in order to raise their consciousness and return to their daily lives awakened, strengthened and refreshed.”

It’s menu of massages include classic lomilomi and specialty massages including an Aromatherapy Experience Lomilomi, Deep Tissue Lomilomi, Hapai (prenatal) Lomilomi, Ola tropical Lomilomi, and a facelift lomilomi. It also provides body scrubs, a variety of facials, waxing and eyebrow and eyelash tinting.

Clients are treated to fresh orchid adorned rooms and offered Hawaiian tea, adding to the restful and pampering experience.  Owner Eri Mehealani Sakai-Virden uses her listening skills to tap into her intuition and compassion.


Photos: Bamboo ceilings & warm light add to the restful atmosphere at Honu You. Honu You carries professional skincare lines including Eminence.

April 24, 2019

“Paws”-itively Fabulous Things to Do with Your Dog on O’ahu - Part II

HK dog park

Off-Leash Dog Parks and Dog-friendly Beaches

Oahu has six off-leash dog parks to take your four-legged friends for play dates and some exercise.  This allows you to choose by location and amenities, such as nearby recreation facilities for humans and separate areas for large and small dogs. There are also dozens of dog-friendly beaches.

Whether you are on the beach or at a dog park, be sure to follow doggie etiquette and safety rules!  

·        Take your dog home at the first sign of unfriendly behavior

·         Be sure to provide plenty of water for your doggie

·        Closely supervise your dog

·        Your dog should be vaccinated and healthy before you bring him/her to a beach or doggie park

·        When at the beach, swimming is great exercise for your dog, but don’t let them overdo it!

·        Be careful as dogs can get heat stroke, too.

And of course, bring plenty of bags and CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR DOG!  (I always tie a few right on the leash.)



Moanalua Dog Park

The Moanalua Dog Park has easy parking and is centrally located near tennis and basketball courts, so your whole family can play. The thoughtful set-up includes a clean water bowl, communal poop bags (bring some to donate) and a small patch of fenced in forest for running. Wood chips help control the ground moisture although it can still get muddy when the weather’s been wet. And, flies can be a problem; however, management has placed fly traps on trees around the park in an effort to control the problem.

There is also plentiful shade and places to sit. The park management asks that you NOT bring any human food to distract the doggies. The Moanalua Dog Park is open daily during daylight hours except Tuesday mornings when it is closed for maintenance.

2900 Moanalua Road in Honolulu


Hawaii Kai Dog Park

The Hawaii Kai Dog Park has separate areas for large (over 18 pounds) and small (under 18 pounds) dogs, ample parking, water fountains, lots of healthy green grass and donated poop bags.

220 Keahole Street in Honolulu


Mililani Dog Park

Mililani Dog Park is open during daylight hours every day (except Wed. morning when it’s closed for maintenance). There is a hose with fresh water, trees, benches and plenty of parking. There are no separate areas for small and large dogs here. There are many dirt patches so be prepared for a dirty (but, oh so happy) doggie at the end of the play day.

94-245 Kaloapau Street in Mililani


A’ala Dog Park

A’ala Dog Park, which features separate areas for small and large dogs, is open the same hours as the surrounding A’ala Park, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

280 N. King Street in Honolulu


Ala Wai Dog Park

Ala Wai Dog Park is located near Ala Wai Elementary School. It is open during daylight hours every day. The Ala Wai Dog Park is divided into two areas: one for small dogs and the other for big dogs.

The park, which opened about five years ago, is the result of a public-private partnership between the City and the Ala Wai K-9 Playground Association.

2444 Hihiwai Street in Honolulu



Oahu has dozens of beaches to choose from when it comes to sandy playgrounds for your dog. Here is a small sampling of some favorites.

Kahala Beach

“I love coming here because it’s practically a dog park on the beach – there are calm waves and plenty of dogs throughout the day for my pup to play with,” said Teresa Daniels of Kaimuki.

4999 Kahala avenue in Honolulu


Kaiwi Shoreline Trail to Alan Davis Beach

“I enjoy this beach because it’s a mild hike down to it, and therefore doesn’t always get as busy,” said Lori Davis, who lives on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickham. “It also has a nice protected area for dogs to run and swim. It has the feeling of being a little more secluded than some of the other public beaches on the island.”

Access via a detour from Makapuu Lighthouse Trail in Waimanalo


Kalama Beach Park

This is my personal favorite and closest to home! There are always plenty of friendly dogs, calm waters, and a shower if you need to give your doggie a quick rinse before he gets in the car. Early morning is the best time to go if you want your dog to have his best chance to socialize with other canines.

248 N. Kalaheo Avenue

Photo: Dogs take a water break after a joyful romp at Hawaii Kai Dog Park. Photo courtesy of Tommy Halmos.

April 21, 2019

“Paws”-itively Fabulous Things to Do with Your Dog on O’ahu - Part I

We all adore our furry babies and there are many good reasons to try new activities with your dog. Including your dog in activities can help prevent boredom (which can lead to behavior problems) and helps strengthen your bond with your most loyal companion. Fortunately, there is no shortage of dog-friendly activities here on Oahu.

 doggie thru hoop

Doggie Classes in Waimanalo

In addition to boarding and obedience training, A to Z Dog Training in Waimanalo offers “Agility for Fun” and “Hounds on the Town.” In agility training, you work with your dog to complete an obstacle course that can involve jumping over barriers, going through tunnels and balancing. Agility training is recognized as a great way to work off a dog’s excess energy as well as strengthen his or her muscles, and increase endurance and confidence. And, it’s good for you, too!

Each “Hounds on the Town” class takes a group of dogs and owners to locations around the island to help foster good doggie manners.  This is a great opportunity for owners who wish to bring their doggie along more often – it’s a chance for your companion to refine his behaviors in a real-life setting with a trainer present to help address problem behaviors as they occur.

How fun does that look????

A to Z Dog Training (Waimanalo)


Chill in Haleiwa

In addition to a locally inspired menu, creative cocktails, board games, shuffle boards, live music and karaoke, Kawailoa Tavern now has entertainment for your furry companion.  A new off-leash area provides your dog with a place to play and socialize with other canines while you relax with an adult beverage.

Kawailoa Tavern (Haleiwa)


Dine al Fresco in Kailua  

The al fresco seating area in the Kalapawai Cafe welcomes well-behaved doggies to join their humans for a meal. Wait staff is always willing to provide a head pat and a water bowl for guests. Just remember to come along with another human so someone can stay outside with the dog while the other person goes in to order (at breakfast and lunch when it’s counter service) or to go inside and request a table (at dinner when it’s table service).


Frosty Treats in Haleiwa and Waialua 

Scoops of Paradise two locations in Haleiwa and Waialua are both dog-friendly. As long as your dog is trained and well-behaved, you are welcome to bring him in with you for a frosty treat.  Dogs receive a free scoop of vanilla ice cream as long as their accompanying human is also purchasing ice cream. 

Scoops of Paradise (Haleiwa and Waialua)

(*Disclaimer: Feeding ice cream to your dog is an independent decision.  In small amounts, it can be harmless; but, dairy and sugar can cause digestive issues for dogs.)

doggie ice cream


Doggie Theme Park in Waipahu

Kama’aina K9 Adventures has a 2.5 acre facility in the Kunia mountainside with six individual adventure parks, including a jungle park with pools, a miniature city, a puppy surf and socialization park, a tiny tot park, an agility park, and miniature livestock park. The facility is mainly for doggie day care and boarding, but it can also be rented out for private play dates or doggie birthday parties.


A good resource for dog lovers is to discover dog-friendly establishments wherever you roam. 

Next week, come back to read about off-leash dog parks and the best local beaches for dogs.



Holly Collier and her dog, Harriet, enjoy a vanilla ice cream at Scoops of Paradise.
Credit: Holly Collier 

Milo jumps through a hoop as part of his agility training at A to Z Dog Training. 

April 10, 2019

Entertaining with Less Stress and More Aloha – Part II

Last week, we touched on getting started and what are the “must haves” of party planning.  This week, Natasha provides us with some great ways to save money and keep your guests engaged. 



 “Wowing” your guests on a budget

Much of entertaining is visual, according to Freitas. Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank to create a stunning display.

For example, instead of buying white table linens, you can purchase white sheets. Sometimes you can even find these at thrift stores for a fraction of the cost of table linens.

Rather than china, purchase hard white plastic (melamine) and add a charger made of burlap or another fabric under each plate. If you must use plastic utensils, choose gold or silver which is not much more expensive than plain plastic but creates a more elegant table.

And most importantly, says Freitas, use greenery from your own yard. This is where living in Hawaii is a huge advantage!

“I’m spoiled, I can walk outside and make you a bouquet,” said Freitas.

Freitas favors selecting a variety of greenery, such as ti plants, avocado leaves or areca palms (which can last up to three days out of water), zip tying them together, and placing them in a glass cup. For a dramatic centerpiece, gather bottles, zip tie them together and place a mixture of greenery in each bottle. If your foliage is long enough to cascade over the zip tie, you won’t even need to cover it up!

“Greenery is an important thing because it looks so beautiful and lush,” says Freitas.

Star fruit is visually stunning and has multiple uses. Freitas has used it in water in lieu of lemons or cucumber, and she’s put a slice on top of an orchid on each plate before dinner starts.

Freitas advises clients to look around their homes and see what accessories they already own that can be of use.

"Maybe you have a beautiful vase that you can use for a lemonade pitcher instead of a vase or glass jars that are perfect for olives during a cocktail hour," she said.


Keep them entertained

The most important rule when it comes to entertaining is to keep your guests busy from the time they arrive to the time they leave, said Freitas. Music is always welcome, as is providing your guests with a conversational topic.  A program or a thank you letter for each guest is one way to do that.

Favors create conversation as well. Freitas has used painted rocks with an explanation for where each rock came from, or even different types of salt, such as Himalayan and Hawaiian salt. Guests then had an to opportunity read about where each salt originated from and why it has taken on a certain color and mix different types to take with them.

Now that you have additional tips from a pro as to how to up your entertaining game, it’s time to plan your next party!  


Natasha Freitas can be found on Instagram at @islandlivinghawaii and on Facebook at Angels of Aloha.

Photos are courtesy of Freitas: Beach-themed wedding favors and decorations created by Natasa using simple objects such as wine bottles, sand, shells and raffia; and, starfruit is a lovely way to decorate a water glass. 

April 4, 2019

Entertaining with Less Stress and More Aloha – Part I

No matter the size - whether it be a small dinner party of six or a wedding reception with 100 or more guests – entertaining can be stressful! Kailua-based event planner Natasha Freitas shared some tips for how to how to make a memorable and enjoyable event. She also offered some tips for how to use our abundant natural treasures to make gorgeous but low-cost centerpieces.

wedding table


Celebrations are Called For...

In Hawaiian tradition, there are three major life events that call for celebration, according to Freitas. The first, a baby luau, celebrates a baby’s first birthday. This tradition began hundreds of years ago when missionaries came to Hawaii, bringing with them germs for which the native Hawaiians were unaccustomed. Sadly, that meant, many babies didn’t live to see their first birthday. So, these joyous events were created to celebrate a child surviving his or her first year of life.

The other two milestone celebrations are high school graduation and marriage. Freitas coordinates parties for all of these life events, as well as small intimate gatherings and even more somber occasions such as memorials.

However, we all know that a good celebration can be declared for a good reason or no reason at all!!  Even a quiet dinner for two...

dinner for two

Getting Started...

No matter the type of event, you’ll need to start with some basics, according to Freitas.  That starts with identifying a venue, even if that’s your own home, and creating invitations. From there, create a timeline of how you would like the event to proceed. That timeline often begins with cocktails and pupus, then segues to the meal, dessert and a gathering time at the conclusion.

Once you have created the event timeline, you’ll need to plan where you will obtain your food, whether it be a home cooked meal or a caterer.

“I definitely suggest the host not take on the whole responsibility,” Freitas said. “Also, try not to ask family members or close friends (to prepare food) because you want them to relax, not worry about bringing the cookies to the party!”

From there, create a list of everything you need to purchase and set up for each portion of the event.  For example, for the cocktail hour, you might want to include background music and sitting areas to create conversation. Standing bar tables are particularly popular because it’s hot and people tend to stand and mingle, but they also want a place to put their drink, said Freitas.

Must Haves...

In addition to the list you will create using your timeline as a guide, Freitas suggests every host/hostess fill a large Tupperware container with the following:  duct tape, large clear tape, clear zip ties of multiple sizes, two pairs of scissors, two sharpies, a few regular writing pens, painters tape, and a stack of white towels for the kitchen. Once you have these tools assembled, you won’t need to go search in your home or run to the store to obtain them in the course of planning and setup.

Some of Freitas ideas for using these tools are inventive and surprising.

Clear tape is always useful if you’re trying to hide something, she said. A simple store-bought shelf and duct tape can create a makeshift mini bar. Face the shelf backward, place a white table cloth over the top so that it hangs low and covers the whole shelf, and use duct tape to secure the cloth in the back. The clear zip ties are an excellent way to secure greenery and flowers and create a bouquet.

Please come back next week to read Part II - Wowing Guests on a Budget and Keeping Them Entertained.


Natasha Freitas can be found on Instagram at islandlivinghawaii and on Facebook at Angels of Aloha.

Photos are courtesy of Freitas: An adorned wedding table is simple yet impact, and a fresh flower adorned table for two. 




March 24, 2019

Retirees and Vacation Homes: The Perfect Combination

You’ve had a nice, long, profitable career, and now it’s time to call it quits. You’re looking forward to sleeping in, much less responsibility, and lots of time to relax with your family. The only question now is where are you going to spend that time? As you consider buying a vacation home, keep the following tips in mind.

Ka Malani

Pick the Right Location

What you have to figure out when you are looking for a vacation home is what features are must-haves for you. Location is usually primary among these considerations: do you want to be near the beach, on a golf course, or near the mountains? Do you want to be in a neighborhood or in a quieter spot? Would you rather vacation in the city like Waikiki or in a more beach town location like Kailua?

You should also consider how easy it is for you to get there from your primary residence, and if it is feasible to maintain the travel long term


Pick the Right Home

Once you have settled on the general location, it’s time to drill down to identify the specific house or condo you want to buy. Start by doing research on what homes are available in the area you want. Once you have a found a few options, take a trip to visit them. Working with a local real estate agent will give you firsthand local knowledge. It’s also a good idea to spend some time in the area you’re interested in to make sure it fits your lifestyle and interests. Spend a couple of weeks in the area, or even come back a couple of times to visit.

Think about what features the house will need as you get older as well. In most cases, you’ll want a single-story dwelling so you can avoid stairs. Look for aging-in-place features such as wide doors and hallways, large bathrooms, and non-carpeted floors.


Determine Costs

Remember that along with what you’ll be paying for the house, you’ll have costs above the mortgage even when you’re not there. Property taxes, electric, gas, trash pickup, landscaping, and other maintenance services still need to be paid even if you are offsite. You also may need to pay a management company to look after the house while you’re not there, especially if you are planning to rent the house out (long-term, 30 days or more, of course) when you’re away. This is one cost that’s worth paying. You don’t want to show up for a nice, relaxing weekend away and find that a burst pipe has ruined your floors.

Please note Transient Vacation Units (TVUs) have been prohibited outside of resort zones since 1986 in the City and County of Honolulu.  TVU’s are not permitted for less than 30 days.  It is critical to do your research to see if the condominium association allows for subleasing if you plan on purchasing a condo.  And, if buying a home, you must consider the neighbors and neighborhood.  (Please see DPP FAQ's and for more information.) 

One last cost you’ll want to keep low is insurance. Second homes are generally viewed as more risky than primary homes, so you may find insurance costs to be steeper than you expected. If your new vacation home has a security system installed, that may save you a few dollars on your policy. You should also check to see if you can get a cheaper rate by bundling this new insurance policy with other policies you have with the same company.

You can also make some of your money back to pay for these costs, especially the mortgage, by using your vacation home as a rental property when you’re not there. Just be aware that if you go this route, you’ll need to make sure the home has plenty of amenities to attract renters, such as a full kitchen, cable TV, internet access, and a washer and dryer. For modifications that you can’t do yourself, you’ll need a contractor. Ask around for recommendations, then communicate every detail of your plan with the contractor you decide hire.

A vacation home can be a tremendous idea for retirees to consider. Following the tips above will give you a good start on finding your dream home. You have worked hard, and it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labors.


** Article guest written by Jim McKinley, Jim is a retired banker, and loves helping people make the most of their hard-earned money.  

Photo credit: Erin Evans with C21 Island Homes of Ka Malani in Kailua, HI

March 20, 2019

Our Local Farmers Markets Offer Fresh Produce, Tasty Meals and Artisan Creations

The year-round growing season and diverse culture of Oahu means those of us who are fortunate enough to live here can enjoy fresh produce and locally-inspired culinary creations any day of the week. And our Windward markets are the perfect place to do some grocery shopping and keep your kitchen clean for an evening!

Below is a sampling of Windward markets with a huge variety of local produce, delectable prepared food, and handmade goods.


Kailua Farmers’ Market

Thursdays 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

609 Kailua Road

Kailua Town Center


If your family is one of those that can never decide where to go for dinner because everyone wants something different, the Kailua Farmers’ Market is an excellent Thursday night meal alternative! And you can pick up some fresh produce and homemade goodies while you’re at it.

For meals, choose from Turkish fare, burgers made of grass-fed beef, Thai and many more vendors. The food lines can be long: stop by Pacifikool for a drink made with their signature Hawaiian ginger syrup, fruit and herbs to sip while you wait. Customers can stand at a few cocktail tables, and there area a few sitting tables for Pig and the Lady customers only. If you want to ensure you can sit and eat, bring a mat or blanket from home.

For produce shopping, HS Farm sells a variety of vegetables, cucumber, papaya, pineapple and melon and Otsuji Farm of Hawaii Kai brings lettuces, green onion, cilantro and papaya soft serve ice cream that is to die for! There are several other farm vendors to choose from as well.

The Kailua Farmers’ Market is run by the Hawai’i Farm Bureau, whose mission it is to protect, advocate and advance the social, economic and educational interest of the state’s diverse agricultural community.


Kailua Town Farmers Market

Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

315 Kuulei Road

Kailua elementary school


The Kailua Town Farmers Market offers an exceptional variety of food and locally- made goods. On a recent sunny Sunday morning, the venue was bustling with families, tourists and fitness buffs enjoying a post-workout snack.

Vendor Nadia Fairlamb Art sells wood framed mirrors. Fairlamb, who works out of her studio in Waimanalo, specializes in wood sculpture using a jigsaw and select woodworking tools. On a recent visit, she showcased wood framed mirrors, some natural wood colored and some painted ombre blue to resemble the colors of our local beaches. Many featured wave patterns.

Stroll down the aisles and grab a coffee from Nic’s Island Cafe. Nic’s menu includes cups of hot or iced Kona coffee, traditional hot and cold lattes, a smattering of chai varieties, milks, hot chocolate and Bullet Coffee. Bullet Coffee is favored by those who follow a high-fat, low-carb diet and consisting of brewed coffee, grass-fed unsalted butter and coconut oil.

Breakfast and brunch choices abound. Arnaud Jager of Chef Arnaud LLC flips savory omelets and berry topped French toast.

Baker Dudes’ offers sweet and savory breads, stuffed croissants and other pastries. At the end of the day on a recent Sunday, they were offering three items for $10. I nabbed a sour dough, rosemary olive loaf, a fragrant coconut sweet bread and three large, soft snickerdoodle cookies to share with my boys.

There is always plenty of fresh produce, handmade jewelry and clothing and more food choices. There are tables for which you can sit down and eat, but they are often busy and full, so bring a picnic blanket and be prepared to sit on the grass or on the pavement outside of Kailua Elementary.

The Kailua Town farmers market is run by Farmlovers Farmers’ Markets, whose vision and mission is to “create a business incubator for small farmers, food manufacturers and artisans, by creating a supportive and nurturing environment, which will cultivate economic growth, community health, and cultural awareness.”


Kailua Night Market

Third Friday of every month from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Public parking at Goodwill

41 Kihapai Street

This newer offering includes musicians, about 40-50 vendors such as clothing, handmade jewelry, local food trucks, and even pet adoption. The Night Market is located inside a renovated warehouse called the “Secret Zone” and outside behind the Olive Boutique and Calhau Building.

Kailua Night Market stands out for its local entertainment. A light show is projected on the walls inside the Secret Zone, and on any given night you might see a fashion show, aerial performers, yoga practitioners or belly dancers.

This independent market’s mission is to create “diverse cultural and food offerings and welcome visitors to the Kailua District.”


The Farmers Market at Windward Mall by Nalo Farms

Wednesdays 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays 9:45 a.m. to 2 p.m.

46-056 Kamehameha Hwy
Windward Mall - center court, lower level

This market includes about 60 vendors peddling a diverse array of foods (both prepared and fresh) fish, local beef, artisan bread, local fruits and jams, prepared food, flowers, gourmet balsamic vinegar.

This market is the perfect place to go when you need to restock your refrigerator or get your staples. And, the indoor mall location means there is always plenty of parking and no rain!

So, it's time to go check out a Farmer's Market you have not tried before, or venture out and try a new product!