Getting Things Done On Maui

chisueAugust 12, 2008

Hi Kulagal,

We own at Maui Kamaole and are only there the month of February most years.

Where are you at in your build? Do I remember that you'd just bought land and were hoping a neighbor would help oversee your build?

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Hi Chisue,

Isn't Maui Kamole in the Kihei area? It must be nice being on or near the water. We had once thought about doing a condo, bought a timeshare instead near Whaler's Village before we knew we would want to live here full-time, and then a real estate agent got us hooked on Kula and the views and the rest is history. Kihei is convenient with all the stores and restaurants that you don't have to travel very far to plus Wailea is not too far either for Safeway, etc.

Yes, we bought a 2 acre property with house and ohana about 7 years ago in Kula and we were trying to sell it last winter until the economy took a turn - we are now renting it out. In the meantime about 2 years ago we bought into Kulamanu, a nice development and a much smaller lot, where we will actually build our house. We will try to sell the other property in about 2 years or when it looks like the housing market will be in better times.

Our house plans and elevations are done. We hope to build in summer of 2010. At the advice of everyone here and elsewhere we have decided to be on site during the building process thus the later building start. We currently live in London, England and will be here until that time. Then my husband will semi-retire and we will begin our new life on Maui. We are originally from California - Bay Area.

How about you? Where do you live currently?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 8:22AM
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Yes, Maui Kamaole is in S. Kihei, a minute from the Wailea border. We'd stayed there in 2000, then had a property sell in Illinois. We decided to do a 1031 and bought a 1 BR 2 bath at MK direct from the owner. I wouldn't be happy in Kaanapali! We, too, thought about selling in 2006, but decided to ride it out. Now wondering if we'll lease long-term for a while until the economy improves. (BTW, you can see our little place on VRBO -- we are #8049.)

The seller agreed to gut and rehab before we closed on our condo in February 2001. We didn't fully appreciate all his help until we further rehabbed the bathrooms. If you've owned in Hawaii, you know about the different work ethic and problems importing every darn thing.

I don't think we would be happy 12 mos. on Maui. We're taking the cheapie NCL cruise this winter to 'sample' the other islands again -- considering whether we'd want to stay longer than a month on Oahu.

We live in Lake Forest, Illinois. Haven't been to the UK for several years -- and not likely to go now, with the rate of exchange!

(Sorry for any typo's. My right forefinger is swollen, recovering from a spider bite two weeks ago. I need to remember to wear garden gloves.)

I'm glad you plan to stay nearby while you build. That worried me when you first posted.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 12:05PM
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Aloha Sue,

What kinds of things did you have shipped over? Did you have any trouble getting them ordered and delivered with the right parts, etc? This is one of many things I worry about when we get to that. There is a major source on the mainland that builders use to ship stuff over to the islands but still the worry is will it be the right stuff!

I think it would be hard to live on the islands full time if you didn't have a house and garden to keep up as well as getting involved with the community. This is also why we chose Kula because it has a really nice community of people who are very involved with the arts and community service. It's also small-town living where a lot of people know your name! Sometimes good, sometimes, well...

Well, if you ever come over to Maui in early Jan (this is when we make our yearly visit after Christmas until we move there) let me know and we'll have to meet up.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 8:04PM
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Aloha Mandy,

Since we weren't building, just remodeling, the materials problem was primarily limited choices. We also have a time constraint -- have to get workers and materials lined up and the work accomplished before we return home. Our rental management agency, CRH, has been helpful in recommending workers and getting bids ahead of our visits.

You might search the Building forum for the lady who was building a home on Kauai last year. Her experiences would be more useful to you. If I remember correctly, she was thrilled with her 'easy' build...until the GC stuck her with a huge bill for 'overages' near the end. She was going to live in the house with her mother and severely handicapped daughter.

We plan to be in Hawaii January 28 to March 2nd, but I don't know whether we'll do the cruise first or last. Will you be staying at your ohana in Kula? Maybe we can meet!

Former neighbors of ours moved to a retirement home in Brentwood to be near their DS and DIL who recently moved into a large home in San Francisco. Wow! Those are *some prices* in that area! Their son is a VP with a firm involved in earthquake projections. He advised his parents not to sink a lot of money into a home there, but of course both he and they did! It is beautiful there. Do you miss it?

Have to stop. Our Westie needs to reassert his 'NO Squirrels In My Yard!' policy.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 12:33PM
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Hi Sue,

Awww...a Westie. One of my fav dogs. We miss having dogs but we will get them eventually after we settle into the new house. We are a little more partial to Tibetan Spaniels and Shih Tzu's, Yorkies and King Charles Spaniels but Westie's are cute and very popular here. A friend of mine at home has a new Westie puppy and it is soooo cute.

Yes, we miss the Bay Area. Especially friends, shopping, and the weather. Although shopping in London is fantastic it is VERY expensive. I don't buy clothes here just 'cause they are outrageous in price and they often don't fit the same as they do at home. I miss Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, Chicos, Nordstrom's and Macy's! Food shopping is fine here. We have a nice grocery store close by that has all the brands we need or want. The only thing I wish they would get here is Treetop Applesauce - we miss that! Weather for the most part is pretty cloudy, windy with intermittant rain and this is summer! We have had a really disappointing summer two years in a row and we're getting tired of it. Maui is looking better all the time! By the time fall gets here we can hardly wait until we can get to Maui for 2 weeks of sunshine and warm temps. This summer we went to Provence, France for 3 weeks and got our hot weather but that was it for us this year.

Well, that's it for now. It's close to midnight and I need to go to bed but I had to have my GW fix! Gads, is this an addiction!!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 6:51PM
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Hi Mandy,

Eliot is our fourth Westie -- one at a time! He's something of a disaster. We took him through Westie Rescue when he was ten weeks old -- a puppy mill dog. Very different from #3, Pip, who was show quality, but you know how it is, once they're yours...they're *yours*! We named him the short version of a family name because was only four pounds; we felt he couldn't carry the extra letters! He's long everywhere Westies should be short: ears, muzzle, back, legs, tail -- even his tongue stretches out 'way far. Leo wanted another dog a lot more than I did... so guess who is El's favorite: me. He's loving and smart, and romps well with our grandson (3 1/2) when Nathaniel visits. Having a dog is a complication when we visit Hawaii; always have to have a house- and dog-sitter.

What is the grocery near you? A Sainsbury's? Leo and I once drove around in circles for an age trying to find one that was hidden back from the road. It was near store closing time. We were staying three nights at The Georgian House at Hampton Court and just wanted to find something quick for dinner. They'd closed the big gates by the time we found the store and returned. The last of the visitors were filing out. Then here came our little rental car, carrying us with our frozen 'Chicago Style' pizza, to be ushered into the courtyard by two huge guards.

Do you have house plans? Will you be posting on the forum? I'm was too computer illiterate to attempt it!


Oh, I have to tell you about our July electric bill! We had 21 days occupancy in our little 849 sq ft condo. The bill was $436. Gulp.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 12:59PM
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Hi Sue,

Sorry I haven't gone here recently. I have been busy watching the convention, finding it very interesting, and time consuming. Problem here is everything is going on in the middle of the night, so here I am at 12:30 am at the computer, David is asleep, and Obama just was nominated unanimously by the convention - a very emotional time for the African-American community especially - and especially for the older ones who lived through the 60's. I'm undecided but will watch next week as well just to see which side will finally push me over the edge!

The grocery store closest to us is Waitrose - a store that is considered a little more up market from Sainsbury. We like it, has most everything we need and want. I still haul back items from CA that I can't get here but for the most part it's very good. Their meats here are fantastic as well as their fish although it's harder to get wild salmon that I like a lot.

Yikes! That's a high utility bill for 21 days! We hope to invest in solar panels if we figure we'll benefit from them financially - I think it takes 10 years before you see the pay off. So, we still need to evaluate that a little more.

Yes, I will post eventually. We just finished the design of the house and so I'm starting to look at more of the details including exterior as well as the interior. Right now I'm working on the kitchen and trying to decide what kind of wood to use for the custom made cabinets. Our architiect/designer wants us to get vertical grain Douglas Fir because most of the house will be trimmed out in DFir - very popular in HI. I'm not so sure about this and go back and forth between a wood cab and a painted cab. Being in Hawaii sort of dictates what your style is going to be and a lot of the cabs I see in mags show more wood cabs than the painted ones. Any opinions you want to share? It drives me crazy really! That and trying to pick out a faucet. I think our cab hardware will be ORB therefore the faucet and air switch should be ORB right? I've seen a Grohe that is ORB and that is nice but not too much else. I'm frustrated, too, because being over here limits me as to what I can go and check out. Fittings are different for one plus our house will be more contemporary and a lot of people here like to decorate more traditional styles so I don't see a lot of modern styles. I use the Web constantly to look at things but there is nothing like the real thing. In January, I will do some heavy looking around both on Maui, Oahu, and the Bay Area. Hopefully, I will start to find things that I like. What is your style of decor back in IL?

Well, as usual, it's late and I must get to bed so I can get up and watch more convention coverage!

Take care,

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 7:56PM
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Hi Mandy,

I'd go with the natural wood cabinets -- easier to rejuvenate them, I'd think. ORB is a great finish. Everything turns that color eventually anyway in this climate! We put that in our bathroom at the condo -- not Grohe, just Kohler or something. Grohe is so reliable though. We have Grohe in the behind-the-tile valves and soforth here at home. (We have a pretty traditional house. You'd hate it. All polished brass!)

You know, there are some local Maui people on the TripAdvisor forum. Maybe you'd like to ask them some things. The forum is one of my addictions.

I am SO anxious for all this election nonsense to be O-V-E-R. There's nothing I can do but hope we don't have four more years of Bush-by-Another-Name. I lost all admiration for McCain years ago. Obama is certainly a creature of the Daley Democratic Machine, but the Dems will get my vote this year -- by default as much as anything. I've always liked Biden. McCain's choice of 'A Woman' (Palin) for Veep is just bizarre. (Sorry, you didn't ask my politics! LOL)

We're feeling pretty lucky NOT owning in Florida these days, with the hurricanes. I couldn't live with that hanging over my head every year. Many Chicago area people own down there and we hear all about the evacuations, storm damage and returning to a house with no A/C for weeks.

Will be anxious to see your plans when you are ready! Isn't it exciting?


    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 6:08PM
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