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
July 27, 2021

Painting Before Selling Pays


If you’re thinking of selling your home, painting it is one of the easiest and most cost effective things you can do to help it sell faster and for more. I think most people understand that painting will help but most sellers I come across don’t give it a second thought. However, there are some numbers to back up the claim.


HomeGain did a survey in 2012 that suggested that painting the interior of your home results in a 107% gain on your cost and the exterior in a 55% return. If both are done, that’s a 162% gain above your costs. Put in $1.00 and get back $2.62. 




Don’t Have or Don’t Want to Spend the Money?


Sometimes, having the money to paint in the first place is an issue. Well there are painters and handymen out there willing to accept partial payment up front and then the balance of the payment through the sale of the property. In fact, I just had that situation for one of my sellers. 



Real World Cost/Profit Example


Without the paint and other work done, it would’ve been a really hard sell. It was an older house in a so-so neighborhood (even being right on the ocean). Their painting costs for the interior and exterior were $12,000 but only 30%, or $3,600, was paid upfront. The rest, they agreed to pay at closing to the painter. According to the survey results, they got back $31,500 (162% gain) for a profit of $19,500. That number sounds right to me.



Your Home Will Sell Faster Too


Let’s go back to the comment “it would’ve been a really hard sell.” As it was, we were dealing with unappealing neighbors and a “so-so” neighborhood. I had recently seen properties in that small association sit for over a year without selling. Unless we had priced ourselves extremely low, we would’ve been there too. As it was, it took us about 2 months to find a buyer. Not bad by the community baseline.


That was a somewhat dramatic example of a house that was pretty rough and not in the best neighborhood. A lot of people are dealing with a house that looks ok and in an ok neighborhood. Guess what? It works just as well for you. Even if the difference isn’t as dramatic, if your house, interior or exterior could benefit from a fresh coat of paint, you should do it! Even if you’re not getting the full 162% return, your house will appear cleaner and more desirable which will help it to sell faster and for a higher price.




Interior Colors to Use/Avoid


Admittedly, this is more of a general range instead of a specific list. For the interior, light and neutral colors are the way to go. That means, whites, tans, grays. Since they go with a broad range of furnishings it’s easier for buyers to envision their stuff in your home.


There are a couple of tricks here. If you want to make a room seem bigger, go with a light color and match the trim with the wall color. If you want to make it smaller, paint the room a warmer or darker color. To give it a little pop, you could also go with white trim against a different color wall. That may not be the pattern to follow for the whole interior, but a small reading nook for example, with that white trim and different color walls can create a memorable space in a buyer's mind.


So, the interior color scheme depends in part on your goals with the space. While the light and neutral colors are your go-to's, there’s room for more.




Exterior Colors to Use/Avoid


For the exterior of your house, the commonly accepted strategy is no more than three colors. For example, the main part of your house would be one color, the trim and garage door a different color and a third color might be used on your front door to give that bit of pop to your house.


This advice is more often followed in the mainland and less so in Hawaii. We tend to see two toned color schemes a bit more often here. As mentioned above, the difference between two and three colors in your exterior scheme is usually a pop of color on a door to give the house a bit of character.

As far as color’s go, the exterior is open to a wider variety of colors. So, instead of a range of colors to use, it may be more useful to use an avoid list. In this case, bright and pastel colors are usually not a good idea as the main colors for your house. Most buyers aren’t looking for the same colors they use to paint their kids Easter eggs. It’s not that bright and pastels can’t look good in the right situation, but if you’re painting to sell, you’re trying to appeal to the largest group possible. Sticking to light, neutral, or dark colors usually works best for that purpose. 



A Final Note


This advice should do you well for a while. But remember that color trends change. I don’t see them changing all that dramatically anytime soon but it’s a good idea to get on Google or Pinterest before you paint and take a look at what’s going on in the house color world.


Lastly, Hawaii tends to stick to the two toned patterns that I mentioned so it’s not incredibly difficult to stand out with just a little pop of color somewhere in your home. Talk with your painter or again, look to Google and Pinterest for ideas. A little character can go a long way when it comes to selling your home.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Oct. 29, 2020

Luxury Auctions are the New Way to Sell


Luxury auctions are quickly becoming the next big way to buy unique properties. But what exactly are the benefits and why do people love them?  For one reason, it’s quicker than the traditional process. On top of that, luxury auctions provide fair pricing for both buyer and seller, making sure that the value of the property being passed on is well maintained. It makes the buying process just as exciting as if you were to go to any other auctioning process. 


As Staples Realty and Concierge Auctions strive to choose one of a kind, luxury homes, these properties are often highly valued and greatly appreciated without sitting empty. Through this process, within 60 days, most of these modern mansions can be sold and the key handed to the new owner! With a database of over 650,000 potential buyers and testimonials from many who have enjoyed this new style, it’s no wonder that luxury auctions are gaining popularity.


Staples Realty and Concierge Auctions provide the way for a headache-free, fun to try method for selling your home. Still have questions? Get in touch with Staples Realty through our website today! 

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Dec. 1, 2019

EASY Home Improving Tips Holiday Edition

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Oct. 24, 2019

5 Tips And Tricks To Keep Your Home Cleaner Longer

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Oct. 12, 2019

Getting Your Home Ready for Trick-or-Treaters


Getting Your Home Ready for Trick-or-Treaters


Figure 1



As we settle into fall, many of us start looking forward to Halloween. It’s a holiday adults can enjoy as much as kids. But, homeowners do have one serious obligation on this fun night: If you expect trick-or-treaters, you must make sure the path to your door is a safe one.


Take no trips

Inevitably, some giddy ghosts and ghouls will race excitedly to your door. Be prepared.


In the full light of day, inspect your lawn, driveway and front path for trip hazards like exposed tree roots, cracks in concrete or missing pavers. Make repairs where possible, or, at the very least, cut off access to unsafe areas.


Meanwhile, if you’ve decorated the front yard with decorations like light-up pumpkins and animated figures, keep electrical cords away from your walkways.


Light the way

Make sure the path to your house is bright enough for trick-or-treaters to approach safely.


You don’t need to install a full suite of year-round landscape lighting simply to accommodate visitors on Halloween night. There are plenty of temporary and affordable options for illumination, from glow sticks to tea lights.


And although it may seem more in keeping with the mood of this spooky night to switch off your porch light, it’s much safer — not to mention more inviting — to keep it on.


Resist flammable decor

Whether vandals or accidents are to blame, there are many more fires on Halloween than a typical October night, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Holiday decorations are often quite flammable, involving materials such as paper, hay and dried cornstalks.


If you can’t resist adorning your home and yard with such potentially dangerous items, then be sure to keep them away from candles and other heat sources. If jack-o’-lanterns or luminaries figure into your celebrations, illuminate them using LED tea lights, not open flames.


Curb your dog

Chances are yours is a friendly dog. But if some Halloween costumes are convincing enough to frighten small children, those same get-ups could be equally disturbing to your pooch — particularly on such a high-energy night.


It’s good sense to contain your dog in an indoor space that’s comfortable and secure.


A festive parade of goblins and ghouls, princesses and superheroes will soon be marching to your house. Do your part by clearing the path and lighting the way. Be safe out there, and have a happy Halloween!




Posted in Real Estate Tips
Sept. 28, 2019

Preventing Killer Homes

Posted in Real Estate Tips