Category Archives: Buy Local Kona

Some Interesting Facts About Real Estate on Hawaii Island

I just spent a few weeks traveling on the Mainland.

I heard a lot of people say they wanted to move to “Hawaii.” Many think of Hawaii as one place. it’s not: there are several island, all with a different lifestyle, cost of living and job market. This blog focuses on real estate on Hawaii Island.

Hawaii Island

I spent about twenty minutes talking to a guy who had “discovered” a lot of inexpensive land on Hawaii Island. Without trying to burst his bubble, I asked him about what he had found. He said found a lot of land that is inexpensive, relatively speaking, in South Kona and a lot of affordable properties in a place called Puna.

Clearly, he had very little understanding of Hawaii real estate. Here are some interesting things that many Mainlanders need to understand.

  1. The Big Island is truly big. From Kona, on the west side of the island to Hilo on the east side, it takes about an hour and thirty minutes by car. Some people buy relatively inexpensive property in the rural areas only to find that the commute to a good job is one or two hours each way!
  2. Location matters a lot. The sunshine and beaches are on the west (leeward side) and the rain and tropical vegetation are on the east (windward side). The wealth, for the most part, is on the west side. The south part of the island has a ton of inexpensive lots available, but you will be one to two hours (at times with no traffic) away from Kailua-Kona or Hilo.
  3. You might not own the land! A huge trust owns a lot of the land in South Kona. They own the land; you lease it and depending on the lease cycle, you may only have the rights to live on the land for five or ten more years. You can always renew the lease, but you will always be renting the land. Few of the leases go beyond thirty-five years, which will create issues if you want to sell the property when your remaining lease term is less than 30 years, as banks won’t lend for real estate for a term that exceeds the lease. Note: if you’re a cash buyer, you have a lot of bargaining power for real estate with only a handful of years left on the lease. That said, you need to have faith that your lease will be renewed!
  4. If buying a condo, be sure to understand what your Association fees and the financial condition of the Association. These fees cover outside maintenance, management, pools, gardens, trash removal, etc. They can be several hundred or a few thousand dollars a month. If your Association is in poor fiscal health, you might be looking at an assessment—one-time cost—shared by all owners. Oceanfront properties often have huge maintenance costs, so if your Association’s reserves are low or there are unexpected costs, you could be looking at thousands of dollars.

I highly recommend finding a good realtor in Kona, Hilo or Waimea if you are seriously considering property on the Big Island. It’s easy to fall in love with the island’s natural beauty on land and sea and invest in something that does not suit your intended lifestyle or financial goals.

Kona Impact | 329-6077

Wee Guys Fishing Tournament in Kona, Hawaii 2015

wee-guys-logo200

Whether it’s fishing on a million dollar fishing boat or fishing from a kayak, Kona offers awesome fishing for all budgets and types of fish.

One of the most anticipated fishing tournaments of the year is the Wee Guys Fishing Tournament in June. This is a unique tournament because it limits the entrants to boats under 23′, which basically takes the big, high tech boats out of the equation. The little guys, the “Wee Guys” if you will only compete against other similar sized boats.

The tournament is sponsored by the Queen K Tesoro. Kona Impact put together a simple website for the event.

The tournament is a great event in Kona. So, if you have a boat, get your friends together, get registered, and see you on the water! Go to http://weeguys.com/ for rules and registration.

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Thoughts on Earth Day 2015: Why We Do (and don’t) Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Earth Day 2015 at Kona ImpactWatch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

I have to admit that we are guilty of not always doing the right thing when it comes to the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

earth day 2015

I think our experience can be informative for other businesses in Hawaii and perhaps even provide some ideas how to reduce the impact business has the environment.

Here’s what we have learned:

  1. All you can eat is a horrible model. At our old location, we had a huge dumpster, and since the building was mostly empty, the dumpster was seldom full. That meant, there was always space to throw things away and there was no direct cost to consuming and discarding. There was no incentive to reduce waste, as twice a week, the dumpster was empty and we could fill it up again.
  2. Shared cost is a horrible model. Our previous building had no separate electric meters for the first floor; the electric costs were divided amongst all the first floor tenants. As a result, we paid approximately 1/7th the electric cost no matter how much electricity we used. Consequently, our cost for electricity was not directly tied to our use, as we were subsidized by the other tenants. This, of course, led to a lot of waste by us and other tenants.
  3. Recycling has a cost. We now have a big office that allows us to have ample space for cardboard boxes, which we have a lot of because a lot our supplies come in boxes. We now have a large stack of boxes and take them to the county recycling location periodically. Our old location did not have any extra space, so it was much more convenient to take them out the dumpster right away. Bad choice for the environment, but a rational choice for us. When it’s convenient to recycle, we do it; if not, we’ll take the easiest alternative: the dumpster.
  4. Incentives matter…a lot. I’d like to think we’re all conscious of our decisions and the environmental consequences of what we do. Perhaps we are, but we are also very aware of the costs of actions or inaction. We are separately metered at our new location. As a result, every second of air conditioning and a light being on is a cost for my business. I see a direct correlation between use and cost. Since I would rather have the money in my pocket instead of the power company’s I don’t turn the A/C on until we need it. Lights are off if we’re not in the room. Computers and monitors are turned off every night. Money matters. If you want some pro-environment action, make sure it makes sense financially.
  5. It’s not all about the money. We often propose sign solutions for our clients that result in less revenue for us. This might include suggesting that we reuse an existing material or that we use the back side some foam core displays. For banners for yearly events, we’ll often suggest changing the date only instead of making a new banner. These suggestions make us less money, but they do less the environmental impact. We’re ok with that.

After over eight years in business, we have learned that we, like many others, often take the easy, expedient option instead of making a better, more environmentally friendly choice. As I always tell our clients, business (as is life) is a process of becoming, a journey instead of a destination. We try to learn, reflect and become better every day.

So, on this Earth Day 2015, we acknowledge our weaknesses and strive to do better with how we affect the environment every day.

Local Spotlight: Fitness Business in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

There are few places on earth that offer such abundant fitness opportunities as Kona, Hawaii. If you want to swim year round, we have a lot of ocean. Runners and cyclists can count on 320+ days of excellent running and cycling weather. (The other 45 or so are not bad either!). There are many golf courses on the Kona-Kohala coast, from exclusive resort courses to more budget-friendly courses.

kona hawaii fitness

Here are some fitness-related business in Kona that have a great reputation and are locally owned and operated.

Hawaii Fitness Academy

Looking for a personal trainer in Kona? How about a specialist in corrective exercise and Parkinson’s fitness? Want to become a qualified personal trainer? Martin Petrofes at Hawaii Fitness Academy is the choice of many athletes and fitness trainers in Kona. Highly qualified and just an all-around great guy, Martin can take you from flabby to fit, from injured to healthy and from athlete to trainer. He is well known as a patient and effective trainer for personal training, corrective exercises and helping people with Parkinson’s with their fitness needs. Give him at a call at 808-936-0903 or visit his website, HawaiiFitnessAcademy.com.

Swing Vision Pro Hawaii

If you’re a golfer, you have to stop by Swing Vision Pro in Kona’s Industrial Area and have a chat with Rob. A certified PGA instructor, Rob and his staff can help you improve all aspects of your game. I’ve been to Rob’s facility and have seen all his high-tech training systems. I don’t think it gets any better than what he has. Give Rob a call at 808-333-5071.

Places to Get a Workout

Kona has no shortage of gyms and places to get a workout. Each has its own approach and vibe. Here are some the gyms that our clients recommend:

M2 Fitness – For those who want a small, private gym setting, M2 Fitness is a good choice. With a well-qualified group of trainers, M2 is a great place for those who want a little bit of help and privacy as they work to achieve their fitness goals.

The Club – Located in downtown Kailua-Kona, The Club is well-known for a good variety of equipment and an indoor lap pool.

Pacific Island Fitness – This comes close to what many consider a traditional workout gym. With a large free weight area and an air-conditioned cardio space, Pacific Island Fitness is a good choice if you already have you routine and needs figured out and you just want to pump iron.

CrossFit – By far the most respected CrossFit in Kona is CrossFit Kona. If you believe in the core principles of CrossFit and you want a Workout of the Day give them a call or stop by their facility.

Full disclosure: some of the businesses above are clients of Kona Impact, and some are not. We recommend businesses that are locally owned and operated and have a good reputation in the community.

At Kona Impact, we strongly believe in supporting local businesses and buying local. Our business spotlight is one way of doing that.

Kona Impact  | 808-329-6077

Home Grown: Big Island Agriculture Products

I saw this morning that 90% of Hawaii’s food is imported. That’s an amazing statistic for our islands. We are nearly completely dependent on air and sea transportation, as well as Mainland food growers and distributors for nearly everything we eat and drink.

Even some things that we think are “Hawaiian” are not. Every bag of “Hawaii style” or “Maui Onion” potato chips I see is made on the Mainland. Even a good share of beer with Hawaii logos, names and designs is not brewed here. Clever marketing, indeed!

In this blog post, I’d like to highlight three specialty agriculture businesses that make superior products. They are all what we’d call family farms; businesses owned and operated by families on the Big Island.

Organic Kona Coffee

What do you get when you take some of the world’s best coffee and then grow it organically? You have the best of the best. Hala Tree Coffee is grown organically in the heart of the Kona coffee growing area, in an area known for superior growing conditions and exceptional coffee. I know these farmers, and they have worked very hard and jumped through a lot of hoops to attain the designation of an organic farm. This means that they are stewards of the land and do not use pesticides and herbicides that not only taint the land and water, but as common sense would suggest, they also likely to be present in the food on which they are sprayed. So, if you are looking for an extraordinary organic coffee, check out Hala Tree.

Kona Coffee

In Shell Macadamia Nuts

Hawaii’s Best Mac Nuts has a wonderful story. The owners came to Hawaii Island from very different worlds and bought a macadamia nut farm on the east side of the island in some of the world’s best growing area for mac nuts. Not wanting to be a small fish in a big pond by selling their mac nuts to huge Mainland-based mac nut processors—the ones that fill the tourist shops with inexpensive chocolate covered mac nuts—they have been developing two product lines. The first is in shell mac nuts for pets. It turns out that macaws love mac nuts, and there is a good market for supplying nuts for birds. Another market they have is providing in shell nuts to shops for human consumptions. These nuts are very healthy and taste great out of the shell, which, by the way, is a tough nut to crack!

in shell mac nuts

Dragon Fruit

Tai Shan Farms, located in South Kona, is one of the largest local growers of Dragon Fruit on Hawaii Island. That not to imply that they are a huge conglomerate growing hundreds of acres of Dragon Fruit! This is a small, organic family farm that relies on WOOFERs for a lot their crop maintenance and harvesting.

Dragon Fruit is a sweet, delectable fruit that is certainly a treat for those who find it. It’s costly, but super healthy and simply delicious. They also have a lot of bees, which pollinate the Dragon Fruit and provide a good source of gourmet honey, which they sell on their website.

dragon fruit

While you will certainly not fulfill your caloric need by buying organic Kona coffee, mac nuts or Dragon Fruit, you can do a lot to support local agriculture by supporting our local farmers. All three farms do an exceptional job of taking care of the environment through organic and sustainable agriculture practices.

 Kona Impact  | 329-6077

Project Compassion to Benefit Habitat for Humanity

One of Kona Impact’s favorite non-profits is Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii. It’s an extremely well-run organization, and their impact on the community is immense.

I encourage anyone who has an interest in Habitat to check out the national website or the local website. Their list of accomplishment is vast and their management of resources is impressive.

As with most non-profits, they need to fund raise. Houses are not built for free, even though a lot of materials and most of the human power is donated, there are still costs.

One way you can support Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii is to eat at the Kona Denny’s this Sunday from 4pm to 9pm. During this time, 100% of tips to the special guest servers and 20% of all food and drink sales will go directly to help Habitat with their next build project. All you have to do is eat! How easy is that!

Hope to see you at Denny’s this Sunday night!

habitat-banner-dennys

 

 

J-A’s Auto Detailing in Kona, Hawaii

At Kona Impact we love working with entrepreneurs. There is nothing more satisfying than helping entrepreneurs–young and old–with the tools they need to succeed. We love to see hard-working people succeed and grow their businesses.

One person we’ve helped recently is Jon from J-A’s Auto Detailing.

When he came to us he had already attempted to put together his own website, but he quickly realized he could do much more with some professional help. The first thing we did was to get him a domain name that was easy to remember, describes what he does, and would do very well on the search engines. We settled on KonaAutoDetailing.com. After that we worked with him to develop a website that showcased his work–auto detailing. That, to be honest, was not that difficult as he quickly assembled a strong portfolio of before and after shots of his work.

Here is his website

Kona Auto Detailing

Kona auto detailing

After working with Jon on his website, we were all impressed with his drive, dedication and commitment to do things right, so we hired him to detail two of our vehicles. Though we expected nothing less, we were highly impressed by the cleaning he did on a truck and a car. (The car was often used to transport a dog; after Jon’s cleaning we were unable to find even one dog hair in the car!)

Jon’s detailing business is mobile and he serves the Kona-Kohala areas of Hawaii Island. We cannot recommend him more highly. Visit his website and give him a call!

Earth Day at Kona Impact

We certainly do not claim to be a “green company”, but we like to say that we seek to reduce our impact on the environment. Here’s what we do:

1. All green waste–coffee ground, filters, banana peels, apple cores, etc.–is composted and used in our gardens

2. Paper waste is shredded and used in our worm farm, which then becomes nutrient-rich soil for our gardens.

3. All cans and bottles are recycled.

4. All newspapers are shared in the office (reusing) and eventually bundled and recycled.

These are the every day habits that are really “no brainers”–easy to do.

W also take a wider perspective on what we do.

As a wide format printer we make a lot of signs for businesses in the community. One thing we try to do is to recommend ways that banners can be re-used; for example, for a yearly event, we recommend just changing the date instead of buying another banner. We also make our banners out of top-quality materials, so that they will last a long time and need to be replaced less frequently. The same goes for our signage; focusing on quality is better for our clients and better for the environment.

We also feel that we can be greener if we fix instead of replace equipment. This often has a huge time cost, but it does seem to be the right thing to do.

Lastly, as online marketers and website builder, we feel that we provide tools and experiences for people to have less impact on the environment: virtual publishing versus printing books, shopping online versus going to a store, providing information that allows one to find it at home versus driving around and looking for it. Perhaps the best tools we provide are tools that allow others to communicate and collaborate at home.

While it’s not what many people think of as green activities, we believe that reducing what we use, using less, working smarter and having less of an impact on the environment are important.

Make Your Vehicle a Mobile Adverstising Platform

If you are a service-related business, especially one that drives around town, one of the best investments you can make is vehicle graphics. Simply put, a vehicle with graphics gets noticed, whether it is a vehicle magnet, applied vinyl or window graphics.

Here is a window and cut vinyl install we completed a few days ago.The material on the window is see-through, so the driver can see clearly out the back window and there are graphics visible to passer-bys. BTW, if you are looking for a top-quality cleaning service, you should give Kona Professional Housekeepers a call. There reputation is excellent in the community.