Kailua-Kona, HI Real Estate News

By Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you
(RE/MAX Gold)
Yesterday morning my gaze fell upon the newly refinished kitchen -- before I realized I could not open the dishwasher so the contractor had to come back -- and I noticed how butt ugly the ceiling light is. Well, I knew that all along but figured I could ignore that small voice. Besides, I had searched through every light fixture online and could not find a suitable replacement. The ceiling is vaulted, which rules out chandeliers, unless I want to swag. The light fixture sits too closely to the upper cabinets so any depth beyond 9 inches would interfere with opening a cabinet door. On top of that, if I don't find a fixture at least 13 3/4ths in diameter, it will involve painting the entire ceiling, not only in the kitchen but in the entire house.So apart from developing "mouse arm" resul...
Comments 15
By Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you
(RE/MAX Gold)
Yes, I get asked how is that kitchen remodel with Lowes coming along almost every week from friends . . .  and strangers to boot. Problem is there has been no activity since the first week in December. Lowes had to come to a screeching halt with crown molding hanging midair because some of the Shenandoah cabinets arrived damaged and other parts of the order did not arrive at all. The clerks at Lowes who were overseeing the job were filling in for another who was out on maternity leave, so there was not not much management. Lousy systems in place, and I am a systems-type person so I recognize the deficiency in corporations.The countertop install was far more stressful over all than anything, and that was not Lowe's job. That was the job of some guy I found online who works out of a stora...
Comments 14
By Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you
(RE/MAX Gold)
At first blush, I wasn't sure the Apple store in Kona was really an Apple store. I'm still not certain. I stopped by the store last year to pick up a couple of cables. The place was packed and it took a long time to get somebody to ring up my purchase, but I don't recall anything unusual about it.However, I was astonished that when I stopped by the store last week, it would not sell me a MacBook Air. My plan was to order through my local store and after it arrived at the store, bring down my MacBook Pro to transfer my data. Whenever possible, I try to spend my money in the community. The clerk at the store instructed me to order it myself through Apple.com and then bring it back. He assured me I did not need an appointment. Just bring the new computer down and we'll do it for you, he sa...
Comments 8
By Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you
(RE/MAX Gold)
Photography inspires me in cookbooks and magazines. I do not often get a chance to cook or bake anything but every so often I do tend to find inspiration in a photograph. Can I make this object, I wonder to myself. And then I set out to do it. Not to necessarily consume the end result, but it's not a bad distraction.However, there is just something about coconut pretzels that sounded really good. They actually are pretty amazing. Perhaps it is the cup of whipped cream or all of that brown sugar! And probably the funniest part of the whole ordeal was when I sat down with the final manipulation of bread dough and suddenly realized I do not know how to make a pretzel shape. You can read more in my personal blog today at this link and I encourage you to try out the recipe: How to Make Cocon...
Comments 11
By Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you
(RE/MAX Gold)
We spotted a couple of guys running along the Maka'eo Walking Path in Kona but at the time of day we were there (mid-afternoon), it was pretty quiet. Not a soul gardening. Not a soul relaxing under the Australian  Fire Tree to read a book. Nobody but mongooses darting about.This walking path provides a way to not have to walk uphill. My neighbor, when he goes out for a walk, does extreme walks, and he is almost 70. He walks at least 5 miles. When you live on the slope of a volcano, inclines are steep. You can easily walk into town, it's only a mile, but getting back up the hill is another story.You can read more about the perfect walking spot and view photos of the spectacular garden in my personal blog today at this link: Kona Maka'eo Walking Path and Community Garden.
Comments 14
By Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you
(RE/MAX Gold)
It may surprise you to learn that vanilla beans come from vanilla orchids. I know, right? If you're like me, you can hardly wrap your head around the fact a vanilla bean needs to go through a process to become vanilla extract. On top of which, you might not know that you can make your own vanilla extract by adding alcohol to the beans. And we have a vanilla factory right here in Kona, which is open for tours. When I think about it, we use vanilla all over our houses. From hand wash to lotion to air fresheners. You can read more in my personal blog today and see all of the amazing photographs at this link: The Vanillerie Tour in Kona Ends With Ice Cream.
Comments 9
By Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you
(RE/MAX Gold)
Finding secluded, out-of-the-way beaches in West Hawaii is one of the great joys in life. And while we did not make it to the beach billed as the most beautiful in all of Hawaii, we will do it, even if I have to do it myself. We had already walked to the closest beach to the first parking lot, followed by strolling along the shore to the other end when we realized it involved a much further trip to the last beach.By that time, we had already found both of the two Hawaiian monk seals who live on the island, resting on the beach. That was enough excitement for one day. Not to mention traversing the unforgiving road from the highway to the beach. You can read more and view a bunch of photos in my personal blog today at this link: Mahai'ula Beach at Kekaha Kai State Park.
Comments 14
By Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you
(RE/MAX Gold)
We got to the beach out on Old Airport Road yesterday with about an hour left of low tide. My plan was to hit the beach earlier but we had commerce to attend to. More specifically, we were on a search for a mortar and pestle. I made grilled shrimp on skewers a few nights back, yes, I actually cooked dinner for my husband, and I needed a mortar and pestle to smush kosher salt into chopped garlic. Every so often I discover we do not have an essential item at our vacation house.Some people just stared at us when we asked if they carried such a thing in their store. They asked: what is it? One Asian store in Kona had woks, rice bowls, chopsticks, seaweed, all sorts of stuff, but no mortar and pestle. Nothing at Island Naturals. They suggested Pier I but no such luck. If you'd like to know w...
Comments 10
By Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you
(RE/MAX Gold)
Just attended an annual HOA meeting for our community in Kona last night, and it was packed. I suggested the HOA set maximum percentages on the number of homes that could be rented, and that seemed to be a new concept that nobody had heard of before.Mostly people wanted to talk about the coqui, although we don't have those on my street. The only sound I hear at night is the ocean and an occassional car. I did ask about methods to control the terrorists, the band of turkeys roaming our streets like they live here, and I think they said it was OK to kill them. The problem seems to be how do you get those scrawny turkey legs into a trash bag.But on to more pleasant things today, like the daphnis nerii that I found crawling across our front porch. Having never seen anything like this before...
Comments 7
By Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you
(RE/MAX Gold)
Alrighty, it goes without saying that Barbara Todaro  will be pleased to hear I finally joined a gym. Of worthy note, I am NOT eating boiled chicken. I still prefer my chicken grilled. But when faced with the facts of life, those facts that are not a TV show, it is easy to see why I finally came to the conclusion I needed to join a gym. Of course, coming to the conclusion and then acting on that decision are two different things, and I know that. Without hesitation, I know that.The main problem seems to be I can't count on my good looks and nature to carry me through life until I leave the earth. Nope, that journey requires a bit of work on my part now that I'm over 65. You can read more in my personal blog today at this link: My First Day at Planet Fitness in Kona.
Comments 9
By Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you
(RE/MAX Gold)
Sometimes, I can get into trouble on an Agent Visual Inspection if I mention garage door opener. Buyers and their agents have thought that means a remote and they do not understand it is an opener attached to the ceiling of the garage. You have your garage door opener and your garage door remote. But it's even less clear when you're reading programming instructions from Liftmaster, which employ other words.I tried all afternoon on Sunday to get my remote control to work properly. It stopped functioning. After everything I did, including replacing the battery and attempting to reprogram, I concluded it was the garage door remote itself. It was 27 years old. Of course, the first place I looked for an answer was inside my SUV. It has features I have not familiarized myself with due to lack...
Comments 7
By Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you
(RE/MAX Gold)
There were shortages at U C Davis a few months back, and probably everywhere, for the new pneumonia vaccine. Still can't even get the updated shingles vaccine; maybe next month, I hear. When I googled places to get vaccines in Kona, I was surprised to learn that Wal Mart and Safeway both offer this service.Of course, as things go, I did not think about getting my shot until the opportunity presented itself. I am really good at jumping on opportunity when I see it. Even if I am unprepared, because you can't let opportunity pass you by or get hung up in the small details. Selling real estate is a good example of that premise. You can read more in my personal blog today at this link: Getting the New Pneumonia Vaccine at Kona Safeway.
Comments 11
By Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you
(RE/MAX Gold)
One of the things about remodeling a house is realizing contractors are limited by their experiences. They don't know everything. Especially general contractors. Every single one of them has a different opinion. Usually, the goal seems to be to pay their workers as little as possible and get the job done as quickly as they can. GCs are unlike real estate agents because Realtors care if their clients come back to them. I suspect witih some contractors, it's a one job thing.We are installing quartz counters in our house in Hawaii. You will not believe the number of counter top installers I talked with to figure out how to handle the overhang on our counters. You can read more in my personal blog today at this link: Do Quartz Counter Overhangs Require Support?
Comments 11
By Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you
(RE/MAX Gold)
As a general rule for a person like me, I do not wholeheartedly endorse gluten-free foods because it annoys me. Sure, some people are most likely gluten intolerant but there are a whole bunch of people who just grab on to that thought to be cool, I dunno. And vendors put gluten-free on their packaging because it makes people buy the product, not because there was any gluten in it to start with. Of course bike tires are gluten free. So is lard.In addition to that, vegans and vegetarians can be a bit much, too. Picky, picky, picky, is all I've got to say, LOL. Reminds me of a girlfriend who back in the 1970s screamed at me because I grilled a steak in our oven broiler. Said she could not stand the odor of cooked meat and it was disgraceful. Floored me because she grew up eating meat. And ...
Comments 15
By Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you
(RE/MAX Gold)
As with most things in life, no matter how refined the details, sometimes you've gotta kiss a bunch of frogs to find a prince. Just the matter of odds. And pricing. One guy offered to be our Hawaii gardener for $40 a month, and he came only once a month, too. For 15 minutes. By picking up a ton more houses in our community, he was earning $160 an hour. So he paid his workers ten bucks an hour.They descended on our street like blowhard locusts. Now, most of them are gone. We blasted through a few more. However, now our last gardener, a guy who lives on my street, sent me a video, which I have posted in my blog today. You can read more in my personal blog today at this link: Settling on a Hawaii Gardener for our Second Home.
Comments 6
By Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you
(RE/MAX Gold)
This is unusual for me to see because I don't live in a neighborhood in Sacramento that is overrun by wild turkeys or black witch moths. In fact, I had never seen a black witch moth before in my life until I spotted this huge insect thing attached to our lanai. I am very cognizant, or at least I try to be cognizant, of critters that appear out of nowhere. High alert, I call it. Because you never know when a fat cockroach will run across the floor or a lizard will fall on your head or you might step on a humongous slug barefoot. Nobody really wears shoes if they don't have to, but there is a good reason, in many cases, to have shoes on your feet. Shoes give you the opportunity to quickly squash the baby geckos, which emerge without warning from under warm places. So, with that I bring yo...
Comments 18
By Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you
(RE/MAX Gold)
I got so busy this morning that I forgot to post my blog. Between dealing with properly instructing guys who were about to apply sealer to my lanai, visiting with several friends and attending an HOA meeting, it was an easy thing to space out. That's because I am a creature of habit. If I change one thing in my routine, it can throw me off for the day. Like I always write a blog on Active Rain in the early morning, but my early morning was absorbed with too many other activities.Well, better late than never. Yesterday, I visited with a remarkable artist who has been creating clay flowers that are so realistic it is very hard to tell the difference between a real cattleya orchid and a clay orchid. You can read more in my personal blog today and view a lot more photos at this link: Buy or...
Comments 13
By Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you
(RE/MAX Gold)
My friend Linda from Roseville who lives down the street from our house in Hawaii says she always runs into people she knows at Safeway. Including various relatives from distant towns in West Hawaii. Well, I never see anybody I know at the grocery store but that's probably because I'm on a mission to get in and get out. Yesterday I was in bit of a rush so I could finish my shopping, get home with enough time to put everything away before going to the public interfaith memorial service for the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue victims, organized in part by Kona Beth Shalom. The message: stronger than hate. There were a couple of Hare Krishna priests, too, who passed around a lei for everyone to share Aloha. We read the Mourners Kaddish, even though many could not pronounce the syllables ...
Comments 9
By Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you
(RE/MAX Gold)
On Halloween night I called my husband at midnight, who happened to be in Chicago, because I needed to hear his voice. To talk more about the shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh. It has made me feel like it is 9/11 again. So horrific that fat tears pop out of my eyes at the slightest provocation.My way of coping with tragedies is to stay occupied and focus on day-to-day survival. Long drives seem to help. So does strolling along the beach. You can read more in my personal blog today at this link: A North Kona Beach for Boogie Boarding You Might Not Find.
Comments 6
By Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you
(RE/MAX Gold)
You've gotta admit, it is generally not the workers at the DMV who are the problem. It is the sysem established for handling the volume. I would think they would hire an efficiency expert or team to analzye the work-flow and to devise a system that better works.Up until the RealID situation in California, our Sacramento DMV accepted appointments, and you could be in and out in 15 minutes. People complained because it could take a couple of hours. Well, that is NOTHING as compared to the Kona DMV. When I heard how long the wait was I almost decided to drive to the Waimea DMV because at least that would be an hour there and an hour back in air conditioned comfort.You can read more in my personal blog today at this link: The Kona DMV is No Picnic but the State Workers are Great.
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