Are Hawaii’s Tall Buildings at Risk?

Last month’s collapse of a condo building in Florida is bringing up questions about building safety and insurance in Hawaii. Tower collapse risks are extremely low. However, Hawaii buildings are affected by salt air and close proximity to the ocean- some of the same stresses that might have contributed to the Florida collapse. Unlike Florida, large structures in Hawaii are not required to be re-inspected or certified after they are built and approved. This gap has surfaced in the past, including [...]

Hawaii’s 2021 Hurricane Season Is Here- Be Prepared

There is a near- or below-normal hurricane season predicted for the Central Pacific this year, according to NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center and NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, divisions of the National Weather Service. The outlook predicts a 45% chance of near-normal tropical cyclone, and also a 35% chance for below-normal activity, and 20% chance of an above-normal season. However, as NOAA’s director of the Pacific Hurricane Center points out “It only takes one direct hit, or even a c [...]

Hurricane Planning? Don’t Forget the Elevator!

Elevators are a major investment for a property. According to Taylor Ronnander from OTIS Elevator Company, properties are wise to take appropriate action prior to a major weather event to protect the elevator equipment and prevent shutdowns. Examine your property insurance coverage to see if you are fully covered for a hurricane, including elevators. Here are other preventative measures Ronnander recommends for elevators. BEFORE A HURRICANE Weather stripping around doors should be checked, and r [...]

Sunny Skies and Green Energy in Hawaii

Solar photovoltaic permits are up 40% statewide for the first six months of this year compared to 2019, according to data compiled by Marco Mangelsdorf, president of ProVision Solar in Hilo. Across the state, there were 3,028 PV permits issued over the first half of 2020 compared to 2,161 last year. This includes huge growth for Maui County. One reason? Federal tax credits are scheduled to decrease from 26% this year to 22% in 2021. Industry professionals predict the second half of 2020 should c [...]

Condo and Homeowner Association Questions During COVID-19

Emergency orders due to COVID-19 result in many questions for HOAs and Condominium Associations. Here is a general guideline for frequently asked questions. Question: How does my association conduct an annual meeting during the COVID-19 Pandemic? Answer: It’s difficult but not impossible to meet your Annual Meeting requirement. An annual meeting is meeting of the association of owners, not a regular board meeting, and operates under a different set of restrictions. This includes the date or ti [...]

Protect Your Property and Yourself in a Storm

Some hurricanes, or tropical cyclones, pass by the Hawaiian islands with little or no damage. But then there are storms, not even labeled as a tropical storm or hurricane, that take a turn for the worse, leaving roads a mess, utility lines down and causing damage to homes and businesses. The island-wide storm that hit Maui February 9-11th, 2019 is a good example. Emergency weather alerts were for a winter storm or wind events. With winds up to 160 mph on Maui's highest peaks, many residents an [...]

Hawaii’s Recent Cesspool Law

Cesspools in Hawaii are a growing issue because of the effects on ground water and coral reefs. A law enacted last year says residents must convert their cesspools by 2050. Many property owners turning out for public meetings say they just can't afford to make a change. Around the state, cesspools release about 55 million gallons of untreated sewage into the ground each day. This translates into as much as 23,700 pounds of nitrogen and nearly 6,000 pounds of phosphorus going into the ground da [...]

Why Maui condos generally don’t test for radon

Radon is a colorless, odorless, cancer-causing radioactive gas. It forms naturally from the decay (breaking down) of radioactive elements, such as uranium, which are found in different amounts in soil and rock throughout the world. Radon gas in the soil and rock can move into the air and into underground water and surface water. In many parts of the country, radon emanates from concrete so can be especially prevalent in condos. Radon can also move from the ground to upper floors of condos via [...]

Saving structures in balance with protecting the environment

Sea levels are rising, with a 3.2-foot increase on Maui shores projected by 2100. The 304-page “Sea Level Rise Vulnerability & Adaptation Report,” released in December 2017 by the state Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands, identified West Maui, Waihee, Hana and Kihei as communities most susceptible to rising ocean waters, resulting in flooding, submerged lands, coastal erosion and new wetlands. Residents in vulnerable areas are already dealing with ocean waves lapping at their doorste [...]

Market Report through June 2018

Maui County’s June real estate statistics are great news for condo sellers, not so great for median income home buyers. According to monthly figures released by the Realtors Association of Maui, the median price of a single-family home in June was $727,500, down 1.7 percent from the $740,000 posted in the same month last year. However, at the same time last year, home prices had topped $700,000 four times in the year ending in June. This June, housing prices have gone over $700,000 five times. [...]

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