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Old 08-04-2012, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Hilo, not Key West, despite what lying stalkers post
1,392 posts, read 1,295,246 times
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Also, you could possibly find a way to write off the trip as an investment expense. Ask your tax advisor. I'll bet a few forum regulars will pipe in with some answers to that.
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Hilo, not Key West, despite what lying stalkers post
1,392 posts, read 1,295,246 times
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Terrific local perspective, hotzcatz!
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Volcano
11,946 posts, read 9,715,604 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chudson470 View Post
Assuming that we would, do you see risk in purchasing a particular property in Puna vs one a half mile away that can't be determined without actually viewing it? I can't imagine that, but that is the whole reason I am posting on this forum, for your advice.
Yes, the risk is absolutely that great, even with lots that are next to each other, because there are so many variables involved. To pick one at random, you might have a lava tube (an ancient empty space in the rock that can collapse) or a rock fold or other geological feature that interferes with building. You won't know that without actually walking around, and possibly not even then.

Or another: the road to my property is a paved, narrow, single lane road. At the second lot uphill, the paving ends and it becomes a terribly rough, deeply potholed challenge to any car's suspension system. That doesn't show on any maps.

Or try this: at my place I get 4 bars cell phone reception, at my friend's house nearby I get barely 1 bar, if that. I get internet service, he doesn't. For me, personally, that could be a deal breaker.

And #1 among the Top 10 Reasons Not to Buy Property In Hawai'i Without Seeing It is:
You have no idea what's just next door!


I mean, chances are very good that if you have neighbors at all, they're probably good folks. Most are. But what if you get one of the other kind? Like somebody who raises fighting roosters or pitbulls? Or grows pakololo? Or runs a meth lab? It's not terribly common, but it's a real possibility in Puna. There were two driveby shootings at a house less than two miles from me about a year ago. And we're half an hour from the police station.

You don't find out about things like that without taking your time, checking around, talking to people, spending some time... morning, noon and night... on the property to see how it feels.

In addition, I don't feel there's any rush. The US economy is still in the tank, there's a large inventory of unsold property, and if you check the price trends, we're still headed downward, in my estimation. A few people have called "bottom" recently but I don't see it. So what's your hurry?
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:55 PM
 
Location: Volcano
11,946 posts, read 9,715,604 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotzcatz View Post
There are just so many variables that what looks really good online that there is a huge possibility that when you see it in real life it will just suck. You'll find something much better if you look at it first. You'll find something even better if you live in the area for six months first.
Ha! GMTA! But as usual, I think you said it better.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Volcano
11,946 posts, read 9,715,604 times
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Here's something interesting that touches on this discussion, from the community newsletter I just received. These are rainfall totals for June, as measured by local meteorology buffs:

N. Glenwood, 18.98 inches
Fern Forest, 14.95 inches
Royal Hawaiian Estates, 14.30 inches
Ohia Estates, 11.25 inches
Mauna Loa Estates, 11.93 inches
Volcano Village, 9.87 inches
Volcano Country Club, 2.5 inches

Note, these span a distance of maybe 10 miles along Highway 11. The distance between VV and VCC is only about 2 miles!
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:33 PM
Status: "More Hurricanes? Mainland conspiracy?" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Kailua
5,082 posts, read 4,089,521 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
Here's something interesting that touches on this discussion, from the community newsletter I just received. These are rainfall totals for June, as measured by local meteorology buffs:

N. Glenwood, 18.98 inches
Fern Forest, 14.95 inches
Royal Hawaiian Estates, 14.30 inches
Ohia Estates, 11.25 inches
Mauna Loa Estates, 11.93 inches
Volcano Village, 9.87 inches
Volcano Country Club, 2.5 inches

Note, these span a distance of maybe 10 miles along Highway 11. The distance between VV and VCC is only about 2 miles!
Wow - what a massive amount of rain in the "dry" season. To put it in perspective for those on the mainland - the wettest month in Portland Oregon which is December averages just short of 7 inches of rain.
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
5,771 posts, read 9,290,922 times
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Another question would be how much of this rainfall is in downpours (which racks up the numbers really quick and allows time for sunshine) versus mist and fog which take a long time and don't increase the numbers much? Hilo gets over ten feet of rain a year yet they have loads of sunshine, too. Volcano is cooler and misty and frequently overcast yet is has a lot less rain than Hilo.

For most of the Puna district (which is bigger than some states, I'd bet) there is very little actual soil. Most of the vegetation is growing in leaf litter on lava rock so that takes a lot of rain to sustain. However, the quantity of rainfall also leaches nutrients out of the leaf litter/1" of soil so a lot of Puna plants need fertilizer.
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Old 08-11-2012, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Puna
697 posts, read 620,045 times
Reputation: 547
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiloDiver View Post
Also, you could possibly find a way to write off the trip as an investment expense. Ask your tax advisor. I'll bet a few forum regulars will pipe in with some answers to that.
We were able to write off some of our travel expenses when we made a trip here to buy vacant land. A friend told me to save the receipts and we gave them to our CPA who did the magic. Then we wound up moving here and buying a different lot with a house on it the following year which is a whole new set of deductions.
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Old 08-11-2012, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Hilo, not Key West, despite what lying stalkers post
1,392 posts, read 1,295,246 times
Reputation: 655
Terracore, that rocks!
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Old 08-11-2012, 04:17 PM
 
7,935 posts, read 6,006,503 times
Reputation: 10933
I'm not a tax lawyer, but my understanding of it is that you can deduct expenses to "look at real estate" only if you actually buy real estate that is purchased as an investment. You can not deduct any expenses for any family that accompanies you, or any recreational type expenses, and you can't deduct for looking for a personal residence.

But hey, every little bit helps. Consult your accountant and don't take my word for anything that has anything at all to do with taxes. I don't know much and what I do know might be out of date.
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