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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What $250K Buys You in Waikiki

What $250K Buys You in Waikiki

A street view of the Niihau Apts. building on Beach Walk Ave. in Waikiki.

You know when someone tells you, usually in a hushed, conspiratorial whisper, about some too-good-to-be-true deal and you think, ‘Yeah, sure, right. As if?’ That’s pretty much how it went when a friend recently tipped me off that the Niihau Apts. building on Beach Walk Ave. in Waikiki had fee simple condos listed for less than $300,000. And pigs can fly and I own a unicorn, or at least that’s what was running through my mind as she told me. But, lo and behold, the Niihau does exist, and there are currently a few active listings for units in the building, all for less than $300,000.

The Niihau is practically hidden in plain sight; a nondescript, beige-ish building located a few doors down from the Embassy Suites-Waikiki Beach Walk and about a three-minute walk from the beach (maybe five if you’re taking it easy). The property, which was built in 1960, isn’t exactly a shiny, young thing, but what it lacks in gloss it makes up for in value. The one-bedroom, one-bath units are cozy (realtor speak for a little on the small side), around the 480- to 600-sq.-ft. range, with full kitchens, bathrooms and family rooms. Of the current listings, unit 504 (MLS# 1005921) includes a small lanai (about 85-sq.-ft.) with city view (read: neighboring buildings) and could use a little updating, particularly in the kitchen. However, for $265,000 you could definitely afford to upgrade and, says listing agent Rachel Barnette, this fifth-floor condo "has the charm of old Waikiki, with lots of natural sunlight." Unit 302, also listed by Barnette, is currently in escrow, while #802 (MLS #1009997), which is listed at $249,500, also has a smallish lanai and lower monthly maintenance fees (about $260 vs. $280), but could benefit from a decorator's touch.

But there’s always a catch (or two), and here they are: A.) There's only one elevator, so prospective buyers may want to inquire about its recent maintenance.  B.) There’s no parking. As I understand it, monthly parking can be had for about $140 per month at Fort DeRussy, which, given how much you’d be saving on your monthly mortgage payment, isn’t too shabby.

For more information: For  listings, visit
To inquire about unit 504, pictured here, contact Rachel Barnette, Prudential Advantage Realty. 738-3637,
To inquire about unit 802, contact Tracey Stott Kelley, Stott Real Estate, 254-1515,


Posted on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 in Permalink

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About This Page

Honolulu Real Estate focuses on the Hawaii housing market, condos and homes for sale, Hawaii rentals and general news about real estate in Hawaii. It also includes stories on apartment living, home decor and profiles.

Melissa Chang graduated from the University of Hawaii with a degree in journalism and has been blogging since 2007, mostly on food and travel. She works primarily in social media, so you can find her online @Melissa808 on Twitter and Instagram.


Jaymes Song is a real estate agent at Prudential Advantage Realty in Kahala. Jaymes is in the top 7 percent of Prudential agents nationwide. Previously, Jaymes was at The Orange County Register, Honolulu Star-Bulletin and rose through the ranks to overseeing news and operations for AP in Hawaii and the Pacific Rim. Jaymes lives in the Portlock area and loves his real full-time job of being dad to two curious kids.

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