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(Hawaii News Now)   In sign of economic recovery, people show up prepared to stand in line for four days - not for the latest iThing or Droid, but for high-rise ocean-view condos right by Hawaii's biggest mall, starting at a half-million bucks   (hawaiinewsnow.com ) divider line
    More: Unlikely, Ala Moana Center, Droid, Hawaii, economic recovery, full page, advertising, condos  
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1052 clicks; posted to Business » on 08 Dec 2012 at 11:58 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



25 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2012-12-08 10:22:53 AM  
One way to get that asian money back in the US, sell them high end condos.
 
2012-12-08 12:08:55 PM  
Is it normal to sell condos before actually building them? If you sell it all ahead of time, what incentive do they have to build a quality product?
 
2012-12-08 12:35:21 PM  
people show up prepared to stand in line for four days
Silly boy, I don't stand in line, I'll send on of my lawyers interns to do that, after all they are on a hefty retainer.
 
2012-12-08 12:39:55 PM  

nytmare: Is it normal to sell condos before actually building them? If you sell it all ahead of time, what incentive do they have to build a quality product?


I remember living in South Florida at the height of the real estate bubble, and this was happening with all the new condos. If you didn't buy pre-construction, you missed out, because they'd all be sold by the time the building finished (in some cases, before the building even started).

It's not that people WANT to buy a condo in a building that doesn't exist. It's that high demand forced them to do it or not buy.
 
2012-12-08 01:42:15 PM  

Generation_D: One way to get that asian money back in the US, sell them high end condos.


This. Or even better, timeshares.

(CSB time: A Japanese friend who has a timeshare by the ocean about 90 miles from us along with her boyfriend disappointed me last night by saying they wouldn't be visiting in a week or so after all, then surprised me by saying that my family could stay at their timeshare for nothing more than a $5/day tax, if we wanted, as a Christmas present. We're doing lots of work around our house - I'll be spending the day repairing some floor damage and touching up thin spots on the newly repainted living room - so 3 nights in a resort condo for $15, plus the gas to get there and back, is a pretty nice surprise.)
 
2012-12-08 02:18:23 PM  

nytmare: Is it normal to sell condos before actually building them? If you sell it all ahead of time, what incentive do they have to build a quality product?


Breach of Contract.

/most banks won't lend money for a condo project without a certain percentage of the units already sold
 
2012-12-08 02:51:08 PM  
I'm going to guess that whoever accidentally allowed the advertisement to run in the newspaper ahead of schedule is in a wee bit of trouble.
The company should at least get free ad space next time. Even though its salespeople had to mobilize for a good cause, i.e., sales, the newspaper should still offer to make up for the hassle it caused.
 
2012-12-08 07:41:24 PM  

stiletto_the_wise: nytmare: Is it normal to sell condos before actually building them? If you sell it all ahead of time, what incentive do they have to build a quality product?

I remember living in South Florida at the height of the real estate bubble, and this was happening with all the new condos. If you didn't buy pre-construction, you missed out, because they'd all be sold by the time the building finished (in some cases, before the building even started).

It's not that people WANT to buy a condo in a building that doesn't exist. It's that high demand forced them to do it or not buy.


Which Florida real estate bubble?
 
2012-12-08 08:39:52 PM  
just imagine all the chinese and middle eastern people in line
 
2012-12-08 08:52:28 PM  
Uh, that mall. Much better places outside of Honolulu.

I predict these will be on sale for 1/3rd the price in 3 years.
 
2012-12-08 09:58:48 PM  

lelio: Uh, that mall. Much better places outside of Honolulu.

I predict these will be on sale for 1/3rd the price in 3 years.


I doubt it. During the real estate meltdown in 2007/2008, home prices in Hawaii dropped the least out of all 50 states. The home prices in Manoa where I live were stagnant during the recession, but have really taken off in the last year. Hawaii real estate prices are very resilient.

Ala Moana is a good place to live for those who like luxury shops and the beach close by. I certainly wouldn't ever want to live there, but I can understand why others might find it appealing.
 
2012-12-08 10:38:34 PM  

Generation_D: One way to get that asian money back in the US, sell them high end condos.


We'll have traded our homes for cheap plastic crap, just like the previous inhabitants of our continent.
 
2012-12-08 11:18:56 PM  
They will have a lovely view of hundreds of tourists Waikiki Beach.
 
2012-12-09 12:08:05 AM  

Atomic Spunk: Manoa where I live


I've noticed earlier that you're a CPA and now that you live in Hawaii. I've got an internship with a Big 4 firm (I'll be a CPA in about a year and a half) and I've always wanted to live in HI. How do you do it with such a high cost of living, etc.?
 
2012-12-09 01:56:15 AM  

Pythagorean Thermos: Atomic Spunk: Manoa where I live

I've noticed earlier that you're a CPA and now that you live in Hawaii. I've got an internship with a Big 4 firm (I'll be a CPA in about a year and a half) and I've always wanted to live in HI. How do you do it with such a high cost of living, etc.?

Congratulations on your internship! After I graduated, I worked for several years at PwC. The experience was incredible. Which firm are you with?

Yes, Hawaii is a pretty expensive place to live. I'm used to it though, because I've been here all my life. I'm also lucky because my wife's family is financially very comfortable, and they bought my wife the home we currently live in. Luckily, we have no mortgage, but as you know, everything from food to gasoline is much more expensive than the mainland.

If you're a CPA in Hawaii, you may find some pretty decent job prospects because there seems to be a shortage of CPAs in Hawaii. After leaving PwC, I worked in a couple Controller/CFO positions and my license and Big 4 experience really helped in getting employers interested enough to get me in the doors. I'm now self-employed and my wife manages our office. We have no employees, which is great because we have a lot of flexibility with our schedule. However, if we actually had to pay a mortgage, I'd really have to work a lot more hours because homes are so expensive here.

I don't know if you've spent much time here, but if you haven't, you may want to think about spending a few weeks living here before you decide to move. Take a look at the types of homes for sale or rent within you're price range. I've known a lot of people who moved here, but left after a year or two because they got disillusioned. Hell, if my wife and I didn't have all of our families here, I'd probably be living somewhere in Seattle or Portland.

If you plan to stay in public accounting, please know that we no longer have PwC here, but Deloitte, KPMG and E&Y are still here. Grant Thornton also has an office here. There are a fair number of smaller, local firms here as well.
 
2012-12-09 04:22:34 PM  

nytmare: Is it normal to sell condos before actually building them? If you sell it all ahead of time, what incentive do they have to build a quality product?


With condo presales you also have the option to select some finishing details, such as floor/cabinet/countertop colours.
 
2012-12-10 12:24:56 AM  

Zoidfarb: nytmare: Is it normal to sell condos before actually building them? If you sell it all ahead of time, what incentive do they have to build a quality product?

With condo presales you also have the option to select some finishing details, such as floor/cabinet/countertop colours.


Actually this is true of a lot of new homes, isn't it? When you go visit the "model home" you can spec out lots of different options. (Unless you're moving into a neighborhood that they're trying to make super-"affordable")
 
2012-12-10 05:05:24 AM  
This really isn't surprising. I've lived in Hawaii for five years and while $500K sounds expensive, it's really middle class here. I was paying $1,100/mo. for a 450sf studio near the University. What I can't fathom is being able to save up enough money living here to make a down payment.

One of my friends though, decided to become a slumlord. He buys these crappy apartments around town. He only buys units that are less than $150,000, which is pretty much a unit in an older walkup building. He then rents them out for a little profit and lets a management company run the leases. He makes enough money from those units to cover his own mortgage...
 
2012-12-10 12:20:22 PM  
Atomic Spunk:

Sorry I haven't responded. I've been buried in studying for finals.

Congratulations on your internship! After I graduated, I worked for several years at PwC. The experience was incredible. Which firm are you with?

I'm with PwC. I start my internship in June doing Risk Assurance (I'll get my CPA even though I'll be focusing on IT stuff for now but hope to do a little financial auditing). I'll be in Salt Lake City.

If you're a CPA in Hawaii, you may find some pretty decent job prospects because there seems to be a shortage of CPAs in Hawaii.

Salaries on Glassdoor seem to float around 50k, which for Hawaii is darn near poverty. Is that part of why there's a shortage? I figured I should wait at least until I'm a manager with PwC to even think about transferring to either another Big 4 or other firm there in Hawaii, but I wonder if that's the best route.

I don't know if you've spent much time here, but if you haven't, you may want to think about spending a few weeks living here before you decide to move. Take a look at the types of homes for sale or rent within you're price range. I've known a lot of people who moved here, but left after a year or two because they got disillusioned.

Because my dad was a pilot for Delta and we scored free airfare, I've been on vacation a LOT there, as in I don't remember how many times exactly. I love the ocean, the climate, the culture, and I plan on being a scuba diving fool. In the long run, my dream when I retire is to own and operate a tour boat company that takes people out scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, whale watching... Anyway I just love Hawaii, but I know I have to be realistic when it comes to the ridiculous cost of living.

If you plan to stay in public accounting, please know that we no longer have PwC here, but Deloitte, KPMG and E&Y are still here. Grant Th ...

I thought GT shut their HI office down recently. I was entertaining some prospects with E&Y in Honolulu, but the Wife and I decided that we couldn't quite handle the costs just yet, but perhaps after I get my manager title. We'll see. Thanks for responding.
 
2012-12-10 07:41:02 PM  

Pythagorean Thermos: Salaries on Glassdoor seem to float around 50k, which for Hawaii is darn near poverty. Is that part of why there's a shortage?


Probably. This is by no means limited to accounting - if you put the entire population of all the Hawaiian islands into a city, it'd only be about #10 in the country, and Honolulu by itself would be probably somewhere in the 30s - so it's a fairly small market. There are few fields where you're going to find better pay or better opportunities in Hawaii than on the mainland, and even then you have to factor in the higher costs of real estate on most islands, the additional cost of goods due to shipping, etc.

Even so, thousands of people move to Hawaii every year - and a slightly smaller number move away, some of them people who gave it a try and realized it just wasn't for them. I've been here for 13 years (2 different islands in that time) and am fairly settled, but my wife's a newbie and isn't sure she wants to spend her whole life here.
 
2012-12-10 09:06:27 PM  

Pythagorean Thermos:
Salaries on Glassdoor seem to float around 50k, which for Hawaii is darn near poverty. Is that part of why there's a shortage? I figured I should wait at least until I'm a manager with PwC to even think about transferring to either another Big 4 or other firm there in Hawaii, but I wonder if that's the best route.


Wow, I didn't know salaries were that low. I was hired by PwC (they were Coopers & Lybrand when I was first hired) in '97 and they started me off at $47k, so I thought starting salaries would be somewhere closer to $60k by now. I guess not. The shortage of CPAs is partly due to the fact that Hawaii enacted the 150 hour requirement in the late 90s, which made that career track less appealing because of the additional class hours involved. In addition, I've heard that Hawaii's experience requirements for licensure are pretty stringent compared to many other states.

On Oahu, we have less than 1,900 CPAs for about 1 million people. Of those, maybe 1/2 have a Permit to Practice. For those without a PtP, their numbers may be decreasing soon because I've heard that Hawaii will soon be imposing continuing education requirements even for CPAs who don't have a PtP. That will probably cause a lot of CPAs to just give up their license altogether.

One of the things you may find odd in Hawaii is that pay rates are very different compared to the mainland. Professionals in Hawaii seem to earn a lot less than their peers on the mainland. However for blue-collar workers, they usually earn a lot more.

Pythagorean Thermos:
I thought GT shut their HI office down recently.

 

Oh, you're right. I forgot about that.
 
2012-12-11 02:43:03 AM  
Atomic Spunk:

The shortage of CPAs is partly due to the fact that Hawaii enacted the 150 hour requirement in the late 90s, which made that career track less appealing because of the additional class hours involved. In addition, I've heard that Hawaii's experience requirements for licensure are pretty stringent compared to many other states.

I'll have my Master's and plenty of college credits, so I won't have to worry about that I don't think. In addition, I should have 5-6 years under my belt and the Manager title to go with it. Any idea what managers make in CPA firms (or CPAs with 5/6 years experience)?

One of the things you may find odd in Hawaii is that pay rates are very different compared to the mainland. Professionals in Hawaii seem to earn a lot less than their peers on the mainland. However for blue-collar workers, they usually earn a lot more.

I do find that odd. I wonder why... Maybe I should just be a low-voltage wiring technician or cable guy since I have plenty of experience in those fields (haha). Also, any idea what IT auditors or IT security professionals make there? Glassdoor doesn't seem to provide much feedback.
 
2012-12-11 01:59:46 PM  

Pythagorean Thermos: Also, any idea what IT auditors or IT security professionals make there?


IT security professionals with clearances are rather in demand due to the presence of all this stuff.
 
2012-12-11 04:40:43 PM  

dbirchall: IT security professionals with clearances are rather in demand due to the presence of all this stuff.


Interesting. Are there commercial jobs or just military jobs? I suppose the military could contract out that kind of work...
 
2012-12-11 10:59:31 PM  

Pythagorean Thermos: dbirchall: IT security professionals with clearances are rather in demand due to the presence of all this stuff.

Interesting. Are there commercial jobs or just military jobs? I suppose the military could contract out that kind of work...


Lots of civilian contract work. I had an offer from one back in '99 but got another offer somewhere else and didn't take it. I presume there are plenty of military folk working at those places, too.
 
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