April 15, 2024

Are You Prepared for Hurricane Season?

Hurricane Season Hawaii

We've been pretty lucky on Oahu when it comes to hurricanes. Kauai or the Big Island typically take the brunt of the damage and we end up with relatively little. But just because that's been norm, doesn't mean it will always be so. I wasn't old enough to remember, but I know Hurricane Iwa, in 1982, ripped some of my family's roof off. And I remember Hurricane Iniki, which devastated Kauai and still did some damage on Oahu. Let's cross our fingers for an uneventful Hurricane season, but let's also be prepared for an eventful one. Here are five tips to prepare for hurricane season:

  1. Stay Informed: Hurricane season in Hawaii typically runs from June to November. Before the season even starts, sign up for your local emergency alert system to receive timely warnings and updates https://www.weather.gov/hfo/HPW2023mon. This way, you'll be on top of any approaching storms and know exactly what actions to take.

  2. Assemble an Emergency Kit: Don't wait until a hurricane is on the horizon to gather supplies. Build a comprehensive emergency kit that can sustain you and your family for at least 5-7 days without outside help . This should include non-perishable food, bottled water, a first-aid kit, flashlights, a battery-powered radio, a can opener, and a stock of essential medications.

  3. Plan Your Evacuation Strategy: If you live in a low-lying area or a place prone to flooding, plan your evacuation route beforehand. Identify potential shelters you can go to and choose two meeting locations – one near your home and another outside your neighborhood – in case you and your family get separated during an evacuation. Don't forget to factor in your pets' needs as well. Not all shelters allow pets, so make alternative arrangements with a friend, family, or boarding facility beforehand. Here's a list of Oahu Shelters: https://www.hero.radio/oahu-shelters

  4. Fortify Your Home: Protecting your property from hurricane damage is crucial. Trim any loose branches or trees overhanging your house and consider installing storm shutters for added window protection. Also, secure loose outdoor furniture and bring in any potted plants. Taping your windows was long though of as a safety measure but is no longer recommended. Instead, consider window security film or even plywood to protect your windows.

  5. Stay Updated on Insurance: Review your homeowner's insurance policy to ensure it covers hurricane damage. If you purchased your home with a loan anytime in the recent past you should be fine as hurricane insurance is required by lenders. However, if not, consider purchasing additional hurricane or flood insurance. It's always better to be financially prepared for the unexpected.

There's more that you can do to prepare for hurricane's but this is a great start. All the best and talk soon.



Jan. 24, 2024

Limiting Salt Corrosion at Your Beachfront Home

Salty Air Corrosion


Living near the ocean has its perks, but the salty air can be tough on your home. Here are 5 tips to prevent saltwater corrosion:

1. Embrace the power of water:

  • Annual pressure wash: Give your house a good rinse at least once a year. This removes built-up salt before it can corrode surfaces. You can rent a pressure washer or hire a professional, but be sure to use a gentle setting to avoid damaging paint or siding.
  • Frequent hosing down: For exposed elements like balconies, railings, and outdoor furniture, a quick hosing down every few weeks can do wonders. This also helps prevent sand accumulation, which can trap salt and moisture.

2. Be picky about materials:

  • Choose corrosion-resistant siding: Opt for vinyl, fiber cement, or engineered wood siding. These materials hold up much better to salt air than traditional wood or metal. In Hawaii, hardy board is one of the most popular siding options to resist salty-air corrosion.
  • Fiberglass for windows and doors: While more expensive, replacing wood or metal doors and windows with fiberglass offers superior salt resistance and thermal insulation.

3. Maintain a protective barrier:

  • Regular repainting: Apply high-quality exterior paint every 3-5 years. This not only refreshes the look but also provides a fresh layer of protection against the elements. Choose marine-grade paints specifically formulated for harsh coastal environments.
  • Seal all the cracks: Regularly inspect and re-seal any cracks or gaps around windows, doors, and siding. These entry points can allow salt and moisture to infiltrate, leading to hidden corrosion.

4. Minimize metal exposure:

  • Switch out hardware: Replace metal hinges, handles, and other hardware with corrosion-resistant options like stainless steel or galvanized steel.
  • Store outdoor furniture: When not in use, bring metal furniture indoors or cover it with protective tarps. This significantly reduces its exposure to salt and prevents rusting.

5. Keep it clean and dry:

  • Keep windows closed: While enjoying the ocean breeze is tempting, limiting open windows reduces the amount of salty air entering your home, protecting interior surfaces and electronics.
  • Clean windows regularly: Don't let salt build up on windowpanes. Wipe them down with a damp cloth to maintain clarity and prevent corrosion around the frames.

Bonus tip: Consider landscaping strategically: Planting dense shrubs or trees around the windward side of your house can act as a natural barrier, filtering out some of the salt spray before it reaches your home.


By following these tips, you can enjoy the beauty of your beachfront home while minimizing the harmful effects of saltwater corrosion. Remember, prevention is key – proactive maintenance will save you time, money, and headaches in the long run.

Hope that's helpful and talk soon,


Jan. 18, 2024

Enhancing Property Value

Oahu Beachfront RealtorEnhancing Property Value: The Power of Landscaping, Painting, and Decluttering

A home is not just a place to live; it's an investment. Whether you're looking to sell in the near future or simply want to boost your property's value, there are cost-effective and relatively simple ways to make a significant impact. Three key elements—landscaping, painting, and decluttering—can transform your home, making it more attractive to potential buyers and increasing its overall market value.

1. Landscaping Magic

Landscaping Beachfront Oahu Real Estate

The first impression of your home often starts with its exterior. Unfortunately, not all Hawaii homes pay much attention to this. Fortunately, that helps those who do, to stand out. A well-maintained and visually appealing landscape can significantly enhance curb appeal. Consider these landscaping tips to elevate your property value:

a. Low-Maintenance Greenery: Opt for plants and shrubs that are easy to maintain. Low-maintenance landscaping not only attracts potential buyers but also saves them from future hassle. Naupaka bushes are a great example of this and almost essential on the shoreline for those that don't have a sea-wall.

b. Define Outdoor Spaces: Create functional outdoor spaces by adding a patio, deck, or seating area. Well-defined spaces extend your living area and appeal to those who appreciate outdoor living.

2. A Fresh Coat of Paint

Fresh Paint

Paint is a powerful tool that can transform the look and feel of a home. Painting both the interior and exterior can provide an instant facelift. Here's how:

a. Neutral Tones: When choosing interior colors, opt for neutral tones. This allows potential buyers to envision their own style in the space. Neutral colors create a blank canvas and make rooms appear larger.

b. Exterior Refresh: A fresh coat of paint on the exterior not only enhances aesthetics but also acts as a protective layer against the elements. Stick to classic and timeless colors to appeal to a broader audience. As a side note, beachfront properties often accumulate rust spots. Whether on the house or other outdoor items, make sure to take care of these spots.

3. Decluttering for a Spacious Feel


A clutter-free home not only looks more appealing but also gives the impression of more space. Decluttering is a crucial step in preparing your home for sale. Follow these guidelines:

a. Streamline Spaces: Remove excess furniture and belongings to create open and spacious rooms. Buyers are drawn to homes that feel airy and well-organized.

b. Storage Solutions: Invest in practical storage solutions to keep items out of sight. This can include organizing closets, utilizing under-bed storage, and investing in attractive storage furniture.

c. Personal Touches: While personal touches make a house feel like a home, too many personal items can distract buyers. Aim for a balance, allowing them to envision their own life within the space.

In conclusion, increasing your beachfront property value doesn't always require major renovations. Simple yet strategic efforts in landscaping, painting, and decluttering can make a substantial difference. These enhancements not only attract potential buyers but also create a welcoming and comfortable environment. With a little time and investment, you can elevate your home's appeal and maximize its market value.

Oct. 30, 2023

Highly Rated Hawaii Contractors, Plumbers, Electricians & Handymen

Finding good, reliable help with projects around your home can be difficult. It often seems that service providers are so busy that they don't even have time for new requests. Well, hopefully, this list makes your search a little bit easier.

As a disclaimer, these aren't people that we've worked with so we can't recommend any of them based on prior experience and it's usually best to call a few if you're looking to get the best deal. This list is made up of some of the best rated services in their respective trades that you can find on Google and Yelp:


Name Phone # Website Site Rating Reviews
Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Water Cleanup (808) 846-1200 rotorooter.com Google 4.8 of 5 1690
Pipe Masters LLC (808) 396-7473 oahupipemasters.com Google 5.0 of 5 246
Steve’s Plumbing & A/C Service (808) 215-7860 stevesplumbinghawaii.com Google 4.8 of 5 2661
A-1 Budget Plumbing (808) 526-3747 https://a-1-budget-plumbing.business.site/ Google 4.8 of 5 1252
Rock-O-Rooter (808) 469-2355 rockorooter.com Yelp 4.9 of 5 158
Woo's Electrical & Appliance (808) 395-6866 wooselectrical.com Google 5.0 of 5 149
True Power Electrical Services (808) 670-6208   Yelp 4.9 of 5 80
Sparky and Sons (808) 342-8195   Yelp 4.9 of 5 78
Grand Hawaii Electric (808) 366-3839 grandhawaiielectric.com Yelp 4.9 of 5 59
Hale Kai Electric (808) 364-4187 halekaielectric.com Yelp 5.0 of 5 54
Kapili Solar Roofing & Painting (808) 621-7663   Google 4.9 of 5 273
Ohana Construction, Inc. (808) 219-0539 ohanaconstruction.com Google 4.9 of 5 155
HTM Contractors (808) 207-2816 htmcontractors.com Google 4.8 of 5 149
Hi Quality Construction (808) 757-9191 hiqualityconstruction.com Yelp 5.0 of 5 42
Amcor Construction (808) 470-6051   Yelp 4.9 of 5 54
Kama'aina Handyman (808) 393-1163 https://www.kamaainahandyman.com/ Google 4.9 of 5 323
ABC Handyman Hawaii (808) 722-1120 http://abchandymanhawaii.net/ Google 4.9 of 5 111
Rudenko Construction (808) 509-2056 https://rudenko.construction/ Yelp 4.9 of 5 44
Kailua Home Maintenance (808) 376-5365   Yelp 5.0 of 5 26
Handyman Services (808) 425-1573 https://website--1108725172205855381109-handyman.business.site/ Google 4.9 of 5 50
Ohana Repair Service (808) 769-3568   Yelp 4.9 of 5 31
Oct. 23, 2023

Can You Get A Sea Wall?

The really short answer is, "No." 

Oahu Sea Wall

In fact, unless your sea wall was built, legally, before 1999, you can't even repair it. I have heard of one exception where a property had a tree that was planted by Hawaiian Royalty long ago and qualified as a historical site. Even then, the process took years and years to approve from what I'm told. And, to be clear, this is 3rd party information. I never actually saw the sea wall go up so it's hard to verify.

So what can owners do? Well, burrito bags, the black bags filled with sand, are a popular temporary fix. And it is temporary. Placing big rocks in place of a wall is another popular one. But there can be big fines for both of those. One owner on the south shore is facing up to $80,000 in fines.

                                Circled above, is the home of Rodney Youman. He is facing a fine of $32,000 for allegedly piling rocks along the shoreline, forming a wall that extended onto the public beach.

Circled above, is the home of Rodney Youman. He is facing a fine of $32,000 for allegedly piling rocks along the shoreline, forming a wall that extended onto the public beach.

It begs the question, what good is a temporary fix when a permeant fix isn't possible? The only other solution I've seen people put in place is planting naupaka bushes along the shoreline. While definitely not as strong as a sea well, naupaka offers some measure of help in keeping the sand and dirt in place and is one semi-solution you won't get fined for. 

Realistically though, naupaka will only help in the least critical of situations. Unless you have an existing legal seawall, you're out of luck. This may seem harsh but it's the line in the sand that the state has drawn in this issue. I've seen a couple of homes be moved as far back on their lots as possible in a desperate attempt to save the home. However, even that is only buying time and not a true solution.

There have been talks of the state acquiring properties that are in danger of being eaten up by the ocean but that seems unfeasible as the issue is only becoming more and more common with rising sea levels and the state's budget seems to be less and less.

With no clear solution in sight, the issue of protecting ones oceanfront property is one of the hardest we have to deal with at the moment. I'm not trying to say, stay away from beachfront property. There are still plenty of properties that are perfectly safe. In fact, some properties have seen the beach build up even. I'm just saying be careful when looking for beachfront properties. 

And for those that already own beachfront property, take this into account. If you're expecting to sell at some point down the road and already experiencing the negative effects of rising sea levels, you should know that without a true fix, your property becomes less and less valuable as the problem persists. Some beachfront properties have become almost taboo, sitting on the market for years at a price that would see them flying off the shelf were the shoreline issues not present.

Just a little food for thought no matter which side of the issue you fall on.

Any questions or just want to chat about your property needs? Reach out today by phone at 808-428-1975 or email at jeremy@stapleshawaii.com.

- Jeremy Moncur, RB/MBA

Oct. 3, 2023

Is Your Beach Swim Safe?

Hawaii Ocean Water Monitoring System

Check your beach's water quality at: Clean Water Branch System Website

Hawaii's New Water-Quality Monitoring Website Makes a Splash!

Aloha, beach bums and wave riders! We've got some great news for all you ocean enthusiasts out there. Forget the old days of blindly diving into the surf, hoping you won't encounter any unexpected surprises. Thanks to the magical wonders of technology (and some cash from the EPA), you can now be a beach detective from the comfort of your own home or lounging poolside with your trusty smartphone.

Picture this: you're all set for a day at the beach in the beautiful Hawaiian Islands. You've got your sunblock, your favorite beach towel, and your snorkeling gear. But there's one thing you can't prepare for – water quality conditions. Enter Hawaii's latest superhero – the Water-Quality Monitoring Website!

Launched in November, this digital marvel provides you with real-time updates on the state of your favorite sandy spots. From active advisories to aerial photos that make you feel like a drone pilot (almost), this website has it all. It's like having a friendly lifeguard who also happens to be a tech genius.

But wait, there's more! Not only can you stay informed about water conditions, but you can also explore detailed maps that pinpoint specific advisories. It's like your own treasure map, except instead of searching for gold doubloons, you're on the lookout for the best, cleanest beaches. And if you're the forgetful type, don't worry – you can sign up for email notifications, so you never miss a swell update.

hawaii clean water branch website

According to Stuart Coleman, the Hawaiian Islands manager for the Surfrider Foundation, this website is a game-changer. He said, "People had no idea how to find out about water quality and where to go. Now they can see it visually and look at their local beach. It's much easier to understand." Well, Stuart, we couldn't agree more!

This website isn't just some digital window dressing; it's part of a comprehensive system upgrade. That means the diligent staff behind the scenes can quickly update advisories, keeping you in the know about the water quality at your favorite hangouts.

Here's the cherry on top: The Health Department secured a generous $265,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to make this program possible. It's all part of a federal act to ensure coastal water monitoring and public notification are up to national standards. So not only do you get clean beaches, but you also get a little piece of that federal love.

So there you have it, folks. The next time you're itching to hit the waves in Hawaii, just remember – the Water-Quality Monitoring Website has your back. No more guesswork, no more surprises, just good, clean fun in the sun. Surf's up, and safety is on the horizon! 🌊🌴

Check your beach's water quality at: Clean Water Branch System Website


Jeremy Moncur, MBA/RB

Sept. 14, 2023

King Tides

King Tides

"Riding the Waves: King Tides in Hawaii and Your Oceanfront Property"

Hey there, fellow oceanfront property owners in beautiful Hawaii! Today, we're diving into a topic that's as fascinating as it is important: king tides. If you've ever wondered what they are, when they occur, and how they can affect your prized oceanfront real estate, stick around. We've got you covered!

What Are King Tides?

Let's start with the basics. King tides are not royal beach parties, though they do come with their own set of splashes. These are the highest high tides of the year. Think of them as the ocean's way of flexing its muscles. King tides are not your everyday high tide; they're like high tide's big brother, swooping in to say, "I'm in charge today!"

When Do King Tides Happen?

The timing of king tides can vary depending on where you are in Hawaii, but they usually occur twice a year. These tides are a result of the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun, working together in harmony (or mischief, depending on how you look at it) to create these extreme tidal events. The University of Hawaii's Sea Grant College Program says:

"King Tides in the Hawaiian Islands tend to occur during the summer (e.g., July and August) and winter months (e.g., December and January) in conjunction with new moons and full moons. We see King Tides when:

The moon is at its closest point to the Earth in its monthly orbit. So the gravitational pull is stronger.

And, the sun the moon and the Earth are in alignment. Which means that the sun and moon’s individual gravitational pulls work together, producing the highest high tides of the year, or the King Tides.

Perigean-Spring Tide informational graphic

How Do They Affect Oceanfront Properties?

Now, the big question: How do king tides affect your precious oceanfront property? Well, they're a bit like Mother Nature's pop quiz for your coastal real estate. Here's what you need to know:

Coastal Erosion

When king tides roll in, they bring with them a surge of water that can creep further up the shoreline than usual. This extra water can lead to coastal erosion, which is just a fancy way of saying that it can gnaw away at your beachfront. Over time, this can threaten the stability of your property.


King tides can also mean flooding, especially in low-lying areas. Water levels can rise significantly during these events, potentially flooding your ground floor or any lower-lying structures. So, if you've got that ground-floor beach shack, be prepared to do some sandbagging!

Infrastructure Damage

Your beachfront paradise might come complete with a seawall or other coastal protection structures. But even these can be tested during king tides. The increased force of the waves and water can put extra pressure on these defenses, leading to wear and tear over time. So, don't forget to keep an eye on the condition of your protective measures.

What Can You Do?

Now that we've talked about the potential challenges, let's discuss some proactive steps you can take to ride out those king tides:

Stay Informed

Keep an eye on local weather and tide forecasts, especially during the king tide season. Knowing when to expect these events will help you prepare in advance.

Shoreline Stabilization

Consider investing in shoreline stabilization measures like bulkheads, seawalls, or beach nourishment projects. These can help protect your property from erosion.

Elevate and Protect

If you're building or renovating, think about elevating your structures to reduce the risk of flooding. Also, explore flood insurance options to safeguard your investment.

Beach Restoration

Participate in local beach restoration efforts. Healthy, thriving beaches are your first line of defense against erosion and flooding.

Embrace the Rhythm of the Tides

In conclusion, king tides are a fascinating part of life on our beautiful Hawaiian shores. While they can pose challenges to oceanfront property owners, they're also a reminder of the dynamic nature of our coastal environments.

By staying informed, taking proactive steps to protect your property, and working with your local community, you can continue to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Hawaii's oceanfront living while navigating the occasional king tide with ease.

So, here's to embracing the rhythm of the tides and cherishing our oceanfront havens in the Aloha State! 🌊🌴

Jan. 20, 2023

SB34 to Raise Withholding to 75%


Dec. 14, 2022

90 Day Minimum


Posted in Real Estate Tips
Oct. 21, 2022

The New 60' Shoreline Setback


Oahu shoreline Setback


Starting January 1, 2024, the shoreline setback will be pushed back a minimum of 20 feet from its current 40 feet to 60 feet plus 70 times the annual coastal erosion rate, up to a maximum setback of 130 feet. On average, Oahu coastal erosion is happening at a rate of 0.36 feet per year which means another 25 feet could be added to the 60 feet making an 85 foot setback according to averages. Of course, that amount will vary depending on your specific property. But, regardless, we can take sixty feet as a minimum.


Long story short, beachfront lots, to be buildable, will need to be deep. Often, not the case on Oahu’s East and North shores. 


There is some flexibility built into the new bill for lots that just don’t have the space but it’s no guarantee. When you don’t have the required 60’ + area or your remaining buildable area allows for less than 1500 sqft, the shoreline setback may be reduced to no less than 40’ and only the minimum amount to allow for building, parking, wastewater, etc…


But, what about existing homes?


Oahu Shoreline Setback


Existing homes that sit within the setback are called non-conforming structures. Non-conforming structures can still be repaired and altered, but only ways that doesn’t increase non-conformity. For example, adding a room on the ocean side of the house and encroaching further into the setback area.


Also, the cumulative value of the work cannot exceed 50 percent of the replacement cost of the structure over a 10-year period. For example, let’s say your house (just the structure) is valued at $300,000. Over the next 10 years, you are not allowed to put more than $150,000, or 50 percent of the home’s value, into repairs, upgrades, alterations, etc…


Now, let’s say your home is damaged by fire, flood, etc… There’s a rule for that too. If the replacement cost of the damage is valued at more than 50 percent of the home’s value, you can only rebuild according to the new, 60 foot, setback rules mentioned above.


The goal, of course, is to discourage building beyond maintaining and reasonable upgrades on non-conforming properties.


As ocean levels continue to change, erosion issues will grow bigger and oceanfront property will become more and more complicated to develop, own and maintain in light of government regulation. 


There’s not much else like falling asleep to the sound of the ocean or watching the sun rise or set over it. Unfortunately, the cost to do so is on the rise. Bill 41 isn’t law yet. But with overwhelming support within the City Council, we can all count on it being the new norm.



Have any thoughts you’d like to communicate?
Contact Your City Council Member:


BILL 41 (2022), CD1


Shoreline Change Study:

The shoreline is defined as: “The upper reaches of the wash of the waves, other than storm and seismic  waves, at high tide during the season of the year in which the highest wash of the waves occurs, usually evidenced by the edge of vegetation growth, or the upper limit of debris left by the wash of the waves.”


Sec. 23-1.4 [Shoreline] Establishment of the shoreline setback line.


until January 1, 2024, after which the shoreline setback line will be established at the following distances mauka from the certified shoreline:

(1) Sixty feet plus 70 times the annual coastal erosion rate, up to a maximum setback of 130 feet, on zoning lots within all development plan and sustainable communities plan areas except the Primary Urban Center Development Plan area.

(2) Sixty feet on zoning lots within the Primary Urban Center Development Plan area.

(3) Sixty feet on zoning lots where historical erosion data has not been collected for the Hawaii shoreline study, or its successor, where the historical erosion data shows coastal accretion, or where the historical erosion data show an erosion rate of zero.



Where the [depth of the] buildable area of a zoning lot[, as measured seaward from its inland edge,] is reduced to less than [30] 1,500 square feet, the shoreline setback line [shall] may be adjusted to allow a minimum [depth of] buildable area of [30] 1,500 square feet[;], subject to review and approval by the director; provided that [the]:

(1) The adjusted shoreline setback line [shall be no] may not be reduced to less than [20] 40 feet from the certified shoreline[.];

(2) The shoreline setback line may only be reduced to the minimum extent required to permit construction and repair within the reduced buildable area, including the minimum necessary area for wastewater treatment, parking, and other accessory structures;

(3) The proposed structure or activity is positioned in the farthest mauka location on the zoning lot;


Sec. 23-1.6 Nonconforming structures.


A nonconforming structure may be repaired or altered [in any manner which does]; provided that the repairs or alterations do not increase [its] or intensify the nonconformity[.], and the cumulative valuation of the repairs or alterations does not exceed 50 percent of the replacement cost of the structure over a 10-year period.

(b) If a nonconforming structure is destroyed by any means to an extent of more than 50 percent of its replacement cost at the time of destruction, it [shall] may not be reconstructed except in conformity with the provisions of this chapter and the shoreline setback rules and regulations, [or successor regulations.] as may be amended or superseded.


(c) Reconstruction of [such] a nonconforming structure within the shoreline setback [shall require a] area requires a shoreline setback variance. 

Posted in Real Estate Tips