Interesting Facts About Hawaii – The Big Island – Dr. Plastic Picker

Interesting Facts About Hawaii – The Big Island

| Posted in Personal Finance Blog - Financially Free to Save the Earth (FISE)

Lava Zones. By Dr. John G. Van Hoesen – Previously unpublished. Provided directly to me for uploading., CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

May 16, 2021

by drplasticpicker

My family member and I (our two families) put in an offer for a 25-acre ranch on the Big Island of Hawaii. It’s surprising that even with the hot real estate market, there are only two financial entities in the world looking for a 25 acre ranch on the Big Island in that particular lava zone. Yes we have to know about lava zones if you are buying on the Big Island. As always we are trying to get a reasonable deal, so offered lower than the asking price. We will be the back-up offer as they accepted an offer already. But it is contingent on financing and selling another property. With real estate, many many things can happen to derail a transaction. We are experienced buyers in a strong position who can get the deal done. This is reflected in our lower offer though. So we will wait and see, and if it happens – it happens. If it doesn’t, than that’s the market and we move on.

It’s been so much fun thinking about the two properties. I’ve purchased a lot of real estate before, but it’s the first time I’ve looked at a property so large and during a pandemic. We got to do two facetime tours of each property. The views from the 6-acre one was phenomenal, but we passed as the living space was actually kind of small. The property itself was also on a weird elevation and the land was actually quite sloping. I guess we won’t own those lychee orchards. The promised “lychee” orchard wasn’t that many trees anyway.

I’m curious to see if we end up going through the the Big Land deal. It has 15 cows, did I tell you that? They are foster cows so we will not eat them. There are two separate houses on the 25 acre Big Island property, so we could easily rent out one of the houses for $1500 a month. If we do that, and try to generate no other income from this property – then the other house and grounds is available to use and will cost us our half just under $7000 a year. But of that $4200 will be equity. So it will actually “cost” us about $2800 a year for 25 acres on the Big Island. That is super crazy. There are a lot of ifs. I don’t at all recommend this for the faint of heart. You need to have a HUGE emergency fund to able to weather vacancies, repairs. But more importantly, we are not buying this as an investment. We are buying it as a second home with our eyes wide open that if it costs up $20K a year to maintain, than that is fine. But as with everything with Dr. Plastic Picker, I’m pretty sure if we get it – I’ll find a way to make it pay for itself and help the earth as well.

But here are just some fun things I’m learning about the Big Island of Hawaii in case we end up owning a 25-acre ranch there.

Five Interesting Facts about the Big Land of Hawaii – Since We are Looking At A Ranch

  1. There are lava zones. Lava Zone 1 is the MOST HAZARDOUS and Lava Zone 9 is the least hazardous. There are 5 active volcanoes on the island of Hawaii. This property is on Lava Zone 3 “Zone 3 – Areas less hazardous than zone 2 because of greater distance from recently active vents and (or) because of topography. 1-5% of zone 3 has been covered since 1800, and 15-75% has been covered within the past 750 years.” That is not bad odds. This is just for insurance and mortgage financing reasons.
  2. Island Vegetarian : Vegetarian Society of Hawaii. There are vegetarians on the Big Island, actually a lot of them. This property has 15 foster cows and we are not going to eat the foster cows. An Ecosia search for foster cows led me the Island Vegetarian. There are chapters on each island, but not the Big Island. Mr. Plastic Picker and I could become the chapter presidents for the Big Island. The only program is that we are just plant-based and not really vegetarian? But we’d love to get to know them more and are supportive of their efforts. There are discounts!
  3. Hawaii Cow Rescue. There is a “Hawai‘i Cow Rescue began its first rescue round in early January 2019” after the last volcano erupted and a bunch of homes were destroyed. I’m wondering if we have foster cows if we can become part of the rescue? I think that would be really fun to add to my environmentalist resume! My friend Dr. DK would really like that !
  4. Kona Coffee Farm! I guess the Big Island is the perfect environment to grow coffee! We may seriously start doing that. That would be great fun. But it looks like only the climate on the western part of the Island Kona is ideal for coffee growing, and we would be on the eastern side You can get to Kona Coffee Farms from our (hopefully) ranch in 1 hour 50 minutes. We plan to leave our 2012 Prius there. It would be a daytrip but with beautiful oceans views the entire trip.
  5. Koa Trees: Koa trees are one of the most valuable trees on the planet! Since our ranch is generally deforested land, I wonder if we could grow Koa Trees? “Koa is the largest native tree in the Hawaiian Islands reaching heights of about 115 feet (33 m)! Commercially, koa is one of the most expensive woods in the world. It is used to make furniture, veneer, and crafts. Most koa is harvested from remnant individuals or stands in pasture lands.” After reading more about the Koa Tree and since we are at the appropriate elevation, higher, if we get this property – we will definitely be planting some Koa Trees!!!

And that is it. The truth is that we put in an offer into a ranch on the Big Island, and don’t know if we will be accepted. We do know we can close the deal. I know that it is not a stretch financially for us, as we are FISE (Financially Independent and want to Save the Earth). And otherwise I had a great time getting to tour via FaceTime two properties and got to learn five interesting things about the Big Island as I’m trying to envision life there. We are definitelty going to compost as well especially since there are going to be 25 acres! Eventually we hope to split the lot into two equal parcels for each family.

Aloha from us!

Is Hawaii ready for me?

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