The Kauai Real Estate Blog

What you can do to Help with Affordable Housing on Kauaʻi

Our Island Home is experiencing a “Gradual Tragedy” !

Unfortunately, it’s not very noticeable.  Unless you look for it.   It has been called “Gentrification”Our Island people are literally being over-run by those who want to move here from everywhere in the world.  We understand why – – and we don’t judge them for it . . . but, in simple terms, our local people just cannot compete with them financially, to insure that they have a place to own or rent !   Many of our very close-knit families are being torn apart because people cannot find any housing and many people whose families have been here for generations are being forced to move off Island, against their will.   


We must radically change the paradigm – now – and figure out how to provide TRULY affordable housing !  


  1. If you have rental property . . . lower your rent if you have local tenants.  We know.  It’s expensive.  And hard to be a landlord.  But try to imagine what it’s like for local tenants – many of whom are being forced to leave the Island.  And you can take advantage of the property tax discounts for long-term rentals.  (Check County Guidelines)
  2. Buy property or a home.  There are soooo many advantages to it – above all, not being at the whim of a landlord. If you think you can’t afford it, ask us about it.  We can’t pull a rabbit out of a hat    but we’re committed to being your local source for home-buyer information, financial and mortgage resources.
  3. If you have property or moneydevelop, convert or buy property now and do your best to provide affordable housing for people who have spent their life here.  Contact us and we will offer suggestions of how to save money on construction.  
  4. If you want to sell property – do your best to help local people – if they wanna buy it.   
  5. Call your County Council Members and tell them how you feel.  Contact List Below
  6. Call your State Representatives and tell them how you feel.  Contact List Below
  7. Bring this up in conversation with everyone !    This is an Island !   If you know any very wealthy people who might be willing to help the Island . . . put them in touch with us.  They can even make money if they want.
  8. Check out our suggestions below (researched and compiled by 10 local people) and visit our Kauai Affordable Housing blog  often for vital information, to take part in the community conversation and for ideas for “Truly” Affordable Housing in HawaiiFeel free to use any points from this information to bolster your efforts to communicate with others or in your conversations or Emails.
  9. Build a rewarding career in Real Estate, helping your friends and families own, or rent property.  It may not be as glamorous or as lucrative as Luxury Real Estate sales but you can be proud to represent Buyers and Sellers in your community who don't always get the attention and patience they deserve !  We especially encourage anyone who has strong relations in any of their own ethnic communities to step forward and build a career helping the people of your Island.  Call Jim Edmonds, Principal Broker, to talk story about a rewarding career.   (808) 443-8868
  10. If you are a Real Estate Agent now . . . start focusing on helping the local people.  You will feel great about what you are doing for your community.  Or . . . just come join the fun and dedication at Emerald Isle Properties.

Join the Conversation and/or support the work . . . 


Contact Taylor Kaluahine Reid, RS – - (808) 634-7250 to talk about what you can do to help with the Affordable Housing situation or how we might be able to help you find a home – even if you think you can’t afford it.

We may be the only Real Estate Brokerage in the World that has chosen to focus on helping to solve this nearly impossible problem – but we are driven by the need !

GENTRIFICATION:  We call it the “Gradual Tragedy” !   Scholars define this shift of more affluent visitors in our neighborhoods as “Amenity Migration” ~ People (who often own multiple homes across the globe) seeking part-time or permanent residence in areas where they can gain on-going access to higher quality natural and/or cultural resources . . . 

  • Effects:  unanticipated, growth-related stress on the capacity of local social and health delivery systems, environmental and cultural resources and residential house supply.
  • In Hawai’i the specific accommodation needs and purchasing power of “Affluent Amenity Migrants” creates housing prices and accommodation costs that override normal market conditions. This stifles the ability of the local people to become homeowners – or even to find anywhere to live. 
  • The implications of this pattern can seriously threaten the normal vibrancy, local history and ‘sense of place’ of formerly close-knit resort communities – especially in the resort areas. 
  • Example:  Hanalei town – Formerly close-knit and sleepy little surf community --> tourist trap, only 15 years later ! 


County Council Members:

Mel Rapozo – Chairman - (808) 241-4095 -

Ross Kagawa - (808) 241-4094 -

Arthur Brun - (808) 241-4096 -

Mason K. Chock - (808) 241-4098 -

Arryl Kaneshiro - (808) 241-4093 -

Derek S.K. Kawakami - (808) 241-4097 -

JoAnn A. Yukimura - (808) 241-4092 -  

Legislators who represent Kaua’i:

Senator Ronald D. Kouchi  - President - (808)-586-6031 -

Representative Nadine K. Nakumura - (808)-586-8437 -

Representative Dee Morikawa - (808)-586-6280 -

Representative James Kunane Tokioka - (808)-586-6270 -


Is Living Small, Living Big?

gallery 1471984230 landscape 1431372471 llano exit strategy 32Tiny homes, micro apartments, and mixed use communities are all the rage for 2017. They are popping up all over the US with places like Washington DC, Austin, Texas, and Portland Oregon leading the way…   

This so call “Tiny House Movement,” is somewhat of an “anti-establishment movement” wherein “need overshadows want and relationship is valued over consumption. In other words, people are choosing to trade square footage for a simpler less expensive lifestyle. 

The typical American home is around 2,600 square feet, whereas tiny dwellings are between 100 and 700 square feet. They come in all shapes, forms, and functionalities but all enable simpler living in a smaller, more efficient space.

 Hawaii is just beginning it’s tiny home revolution, last month House Bill 1373 was introduced and describes allowance for Counties to “grant zoning exemptions for alternative dwellings… that can be built by private parties”!

If this bill is approved it would substantially increase the opportunity for affordable housing options and potentially speed up the lengthy permitting process for larger mixed use communities projects. 

AA exterior 3Although, there are a few highly creative individuals and businesses that were ahead of the tiny house curve. For instance,  the Women of Habitats Hawaii create custom tiny homes, like their not so tiny Ano Ano model to the left! Cute right?!

At 20 ' x 9 ‘ this classic island home includes a covered lanai and beautiful bamboo feature throughout. According to their site, depending upon what the individual(s) choose for  finishings, the Ano Ano would cost around $65,000! 



A $325,000 difference from the average price to build a new home in Hawaii ($135-$250/x 2,600 square ft)!  

With that being said there is no doubt this is the more affordable route, especially for individuals, couples, very small families, or even open-minded retirees.The Movement makes alot of sense across the Aloha State, we have ample agricultural properties and we basically live outdoors already!

If your interested in the idea of living in a tiny home take these points into consideration.

Consider what you could be giving up by living tiny. Personal Space, Bills, Bigger Objects you Love, Clutter

Consider what you could gain by living tiny. Financial Freedom, Simplicity, More Time Outdoors, More Free time

Consider your Priorities in a home. In a tiny home, you can't have it all, so it's important to be intentional about what you prioritize.

Consider your priorities in your life. Think about the bigger picture for a moment and consider what is most important to you in life. Do you want to have a family? Do you want to start your own business? 

Consider the Climate. Living in a tiny home in North Dakota or Alaska is much different from Hawai'i. Before wanderlusting about your tiny home decide home much of an impact your environment would have on the construction, livability, and preservation of your tiny home. Since we have pretty consistent weather in Hawai'i, many tiny homes feature outdoors showers and entertaining spaces. 

Consider accessibility. Can you easily move around in your tiny home? Do you wanna live in a loft? This design is popular in tiny homes, but for most it is impractical. A mindful architect can design a space that is functional and accessible. 

Consider your lifestyle. Mentally walk through your typical day... Where do you spend the most time and least time in your home? What kind of meals do you like to cook? Also consider your work, do you have a home office or do you commute?

Consider the law. Although tiny home popularity is increasing, building codes, permitting, and zoning restrictions in Hawai'i is still emerging. Call you local county planning and permitting departments to get a better understanding of the current laws. On Kaua'i, check out the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinances

Consider a property's potential. If you are choosing to buy land to build your tiny home consider the layout, sustainability, and efficiency of the property. Do you want to plant a garden, or have separate dwellings like an outhouse, outdoor kitchen, or mini guesthouse? Do your friends what to live tiny too? What about a tiny home community with your besties?! Fun. 


For more information about tiny homes and the latest design trends check out these great sites:

If your ready to start looking for property to plant your tiny home and live the dream. Contact Taylor Kaluahine Reid 808 634 7250

3 Days On Kauai

The majority of visitors to Hawaii rarely commit to staying on one island. For most “first-timers”, it is the toughest decision they have to make: Which Island do I want to visit the most? 

This becomes increasing harder as you browse through the popular page on your social media, seeing snapshots of mystical bamboo forests, hidden waterfalls, and sherbet colored sunsets. I don’t blame yah, even locals like myself have difficultly choosing where to spend my days off.  

Do I wake up early and watch the sunrise from Kealia or atop Sleeping Giant? Should I get an organic locally sourced acai bowl or ahi poke burrito? Or maybe I should longboard Hanalei bay and walk Ke’e beach at sunset?… Ughhh so many activities, so little time….


Screen Shot 2017 01 25 at 12.03.01 PM

Well my friends for those of you who commit a fews days on Kaua’i during your vacation….you’ve made the right choice! Kaua’is unparalleled beauty, lifestyle, and close community is like no other place in the world… 

This is quickly realized as you fly into Lihue airport, catching a glimpse of Kauai’s Southeast coastline and the Haupu Mountain Range.

Depending on what side of the island you stay on, I highly recommend renting a car! You have A LOT of ground to cover over these next 3 days…

Where to stay: The Northeast side of the island from Kapaa - Ha’ena. As for accommodations, Kaua’i has options for all price ranges.

AirBnB: Being that you are only here for 3 days, AirBnB is a great option, there are only a handful of places and they book quickly! Get on it. 

Hotels: We have the luxurious St. Regis Resort in Princeville ($$$), The Westin Princeville ($$), or Hanalei Colony Resort ($$). 


Day 1 North shore 

Morning: Rain or shine wake up early, grab a coffee and walk the beach. You wont regret it! 

Depending on where you are staying I suggest coffee at Hanalei Bread Co. and walking Hanalei bay (Park at the Pier).  Option 2: venture a little further, stop at Napali Art Gallery and Coffee House and head to Tunnels Beach.

Breakfast: Acai bowl to-go from Aloha Juice bar (don’t forget to add dates, coconut flakes, and local honey!) or sit down at Wake-up Cafe, they have tasty morning favorites and gigantic cinnamon rolls. 

Afternoon: Pack a cooler, Sushi to go from Hanalei dolphin Fish Market or custom sandwiches from Hanalei Gourmet, and head to Hawaiian Surfing Adventures for a stand-up paddle lesson on the Hanalei River. If the weather is nice, keep the paddle boards and set up shop to the left of the Hanalei pier.   

Evening: Head over to the St. Regis Bar in Princeville and watch the sun go down over famous Bali Hai, with champagne in Hand. Then make your way down to Kaua’i Grill for an eclectic island inspired meal from Michelin awarded Jean-George Vongerichten. 

For a more casual Dining experiences, try Postcards Cafe in Hanalei, the appetizer sampler and Wasabi Crusted Ahi are AMAZING !

Day 2: Westbound

Morning:  Wake up even earlier and starting driving east, your headed to the glorious Kokee State Park on the West side of Kauai (2 hr drive). Pack your camera, water, lunch, clothes to hike in, swimsuit/towel, gripped tennis shoes, and a light jacket. 

Grab a quick breakfast from Java Kai in Kapaa Town or if you can wait I highly recommend hitting up Kalaheo Cafe, try something light and fresh like Anahola Granola with Fruit, or go “all in” with their Bonzo Burrito or Double Bagel Benny. Keep in mind you are going for a hike…. so chose wisely ; ) 

Driving up along Route 550 into Kokee State Park there will be many chances to pull over and check out Waimea Canyon and panoramic views of Kaua’is Westside and Ni’ihau Island.  Just past marker 15, you will see the park meadow and Museum to your left.  

IMG 0566

Kōkeʻe Museum is the spot to plan hikes and the rest of your park visit. 

Knowledgeable staff and volunteers are happy to help you decide on the trail(s) for you and advise you of current conditions and hazards. 

Depending on the weather, I recommend: Alaka’i Swamp Trail (moderate-difficult), Canyon Trail Black Pipe Loop (easy-moderate), Berry Flats (easy-moderate)


Evening:  After surviving the hike you can shower off at one of the camp bathrooms, ask the staff at the museum to point them out to you on the map. 

It will probably be early-late afternoon when you finish up. If its early ditch the shower and start heading down the mountain to Sunny Poipu. Take a dip Prince Kuhio beach or Brennecke’s Beach. 

Dinner: Making your way back to the North shore, reserve a table at Dukes Festive beachside eatery at the Kauai Marriott. Serving both island favorites & American eats.

Day 3

Sadly it is your last day on the rock, you have conquered the North shore, traveled East to West and taken a dip on the South… Now its time to see the Spectacular Napali Coast… The only way to truly appreciate the Napali in all of its majesty is by boat, So I highly suggest making a reservation after you have confirmed your trip to Kaua’i 

They fill up quick! Also be note that Napali boat tours don't run all year round do to high surf in the winter time (Sept.-April) but please check with the Reservationist to confirm!


Since you are staying on the North shore there are only a 2 companies that leave from Hanalei, which are Napali Coast Hanalei Tours and Napali Catamaran. Being that you likely leave today or early tomorrow morning. I suggest taking the Morning tour the ocean is usually calmer and I have seen more dolphins at that time then in the afternoon. 

hawaii kauai na pali coast state park


In additions, be take the necessary precautions before taking the tour (i.e. did you take your dramamine? ; ) ) Bring snacks and water, sun protection, and a ocean friendly camera. 

After returning from your AMAZING Napali experiences, your probably hungry and tired. Kalypso Restaurant in Hanalei is a great choice to fill up and soak in the awe of this morning! 


If you have a little bit of time and energy before heading to the airport. Grab a juice from Kaua’i Juice Co. in Kilauea, their libations are packed with Vitamins and Nutrients necessary to cure and protect you from the ills of travel!

And Viola! You have just spent 3 action packed days on Kaua’i ! At this point you are probably juggling around some ideas, “ How can I live here?”, “How is the housing market?”, “Where can find an experienced and professional agency to help me?”… You are on the right blog page! 

Come hangout with us our office located at the Historic Kilauea Plantation Center, near Kauai Juice Company!

A HUI HOU.... Until we met again ALOHA from EMERALD ISLE PROPERTIES 


Affordable OUTLINEIt's almost impossible for a local person to buy a home on Kaua'i !

We plan to change that !   And THIS is where we're going to coordinate the effort !  Please return to this blog often - and also Email us your suggestions and connections who might be able to help get things moving.  With the help of many people, our wealthy neighbors and the County, we choose to make a difference !  

Our Mission Statement is: To coordinate and aid the efforts of the local people, participating non-profits, our wealthy “Neighbors”, and the County, State and Federal Governments – to reduce the impact on our people – of the difficulty of finding decent and affordable housing and the pressures and discomfort of income and opportunity inequality on our tiny Island home.

We are already working to help get local people into properties . . and – to be proactive - we also really want to move the bar on affordable housing !

We are approaching this on many fronts and will periodically update our efforts on this Blog.  

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