Jan. 4, 2017

Kailua Bay Resort: Great Location & Value!

Downtown Kona Gem: Kailua Bay Resort Unit #5102 | MLS: 602362

If you’re a first time home buyer or a savvy investor looking to buy a valuable Real Estate property right in the heart of Kona, this 1 Bd / 1 Bth unit at Kailua Bay Resort offers just that. Located off Kuakini Hwy, this condominium is tucked away in its own private pocket of town, yet is only minutes from grocery stores, restaurants, beaches, shops and some of Kona’s delightful attractions

Priced at $225K, this well maintained, ground floor condo sits directly across from the pool, spa and BBQ area, allows for pets (either a small dog or 2 cats) and can be rented for either long term or a short term vacation rental. Also, Kailua Bay Resort offers reasonable monthly maintenance fees compared to other condo complexes and includes water, sewer, trash and the maintenance of the exterior grounds and amenities.


For More Information:

This unit offers value, location, convenience and the potential for various rental opportunities! To schedule a showing or for more information on this property or any other Big Island properties, feel free to contact Kurt or Kirsten Carlson at CarlsonTeam.com

About The Carlson Team:

As one of Hawaii's premier Real Estate Teams, Kurt and Kirsten Carlson shares with each client their enthusiasm for Island Life and a strong knowledge of Kona's Real Estate Market.

Nov. 30, 2016

Spotlight: Carlson Team Listings

Carlson Team Listings on The Big Island


If you’re looking to buy Hawaii Real Estate, we have some great listings on the market right now!  Perhaps you’d like to build your dream home in paradise and watch whales from your lanai? Or you’d like to own a vacation rental with great amenities next to the ocean? Here are just a few of our listings that you could own.


1) Kohala By The Sea - Honukai Pl. | MLS: 292045

Enjoy Whale Watching and sweeping ocean views from this 1.02 acre parcel in Kohala By the Sea. This property is located approximately at the 300' elevation, at the end of the cul-de-sac of a private palm tree lined street. Beautiful scenic views of Kawaihae Harbor, the observatories atop Mauna Kea, Maui off in the distance, and beautiful starry night skies. Perfect lot for your dream home here in Hawaii.

2) Royal Sea Cliff Unit #524 | MLS: 600878

If you’re wanting to own a condo with all the amenities, look no further than The Royal Sea Cliff located in Kailua-Kona. This upgraded Luxury Condominium Suite is located oceanfront and is currently an active vacation rental with Outrigger, the on-site property management company. This condo features newer stainless steel appliances, natural tile floors, granite countertops, 2 bedroom suites, each with upgraded full bathrooms and vanity dressing area and wall mounted Sony flat-screen TVs in living room and master suite. Close to shops, beaches and fun ocean activities in Kona.

3) Heights on Hualalai - Koiula Pl. | MLS: 294626

Savor the panoramic views on this ready-to-build lot in one of Kona’s upscale neighborhoods. Heights on Hualalai is everything you could want in a subdivision- surrounded by beautiful, custom homes, tropical breezes, in a cooler elevation and breathtaking views!

For More Information:

Contact Kirsten and Kurt Carlson at CarlsonTeam.com to receive more information on these properties or if we could help you find another great property here on the Big Island!


Nov. 23, 2016

Kona Hospital ICU Boosts Patient Care With New Accuvein Device

Kona Community Hospital Auxiliary- Dedication to Comprehensive Health Care

As a member of the Kona Community Hospital Auxiliary Board of Directors, I’m able to manage several fundraising activities to help raise funds for Kona Community Hospital (KCH). These funds provide a number of nursing scholarships and continuing education for KCH nurses as well as help various hospital departments acquire un-budgeted necessities. 

One of our fundraising initiatives, “Art at the Pavilion,” was held earlier this year and featured artwork by more than a dozen Big Island artists. The proceeds from this event went towards the purchase of an Accuvein Vein Finder for the Intensive Care Unit at KCH. This essential vein illuminating device helps healthcare providers at KCH accurately locate veins, saving valuable time on intravenous procedures while lessening patient discomfort. AccuVein Inc. is a global leader in vein visualization technology and its devices used in more than 3000 facilities worldwide. 

(Photo Credit: Kona Community Hospital)

For More Information:

To learn more about the Kona Community Hospital Auxiliary, visit their website at www.kchauxiliary.org

Kirsten Carlson

Posted in Communities
Nov. 10, 2016

46th Kona Coffee Cultural Fest: See What All the Buzz is About

Kona's Thriving Coffee Culture

Kona Coffee

One of our favorite parts about living in Kona is being able to celebrate the traditions and diversity that make Hawaii special. This week it’s been all about celebrating Kona Coffee and its historical significance at the 46th Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, being held through Sunday, November 13, 2016.

Coffee continues to have an economic foothold here in Kona, with approximately 650 farms cultivating coffee in the Kona district and representing approximately 95% of the coffee produced on the island [source: konacoffeefest.com]. To learn more about Kona’s coffee industry and festival events visit this website or schedule a coffee tour with one of the many coffee farms here in Kona.

Kona Coffee Business Opportunity 

Kona Coffee Farm

One of our leasehold listings on Old Poi Factory Road (MLS:297096 pictured above) in Kona is located on 19.17 acres, of which 9.5 acres of established coffee are ready for the new owner to harvest. Two acres are ready to be planted with approx. 1000 coffee trees for new lease and future crops. The property also includes gardens, a citrus orchard along with livestock sheds and other fruit trees including: bananas, orange, guava, mountain apple, starfruit, loquat, all spice, mandarin orange, lemon, lime and grapefruit. There are 15 different types of ginger, Koa trees, and more.  

More About Team Carlson 

As one of Hawaii's premiere Real Estate Teams, Kurt and Kirsten Carlson bring their enthusiasm for Island Life and a strong knowledge of Kona's Real Estate market. Visit us at CarlsonTeam.com.

Posted in Hawaii Lifesetyle
Oct. 24, 2016

8 Reasons We Adore Waimea, Hawai`i Island

Kamuela Country Living

View of Waimea from Kohala Mountain Road

We recently listed a home in Waimea on the Big Island of Hawaii (also known to most of us local residents as ‘Kamuela’), and were reminded of all the wonderful treasures found in this quaint Island town. Drive about 40 miles North, North East from Kona, heading towards Hamakua, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by lush green pasture land- herds of cattle grazing, much cooler weather, with 360 degree views of Kohala Mountain, Mauna Kea, and Hualalai. There truly is no other place like it and because we’re in Waimea more often, we don’t mind indulging in the country life one bit. We’re sharing some of our favorite places and information on what makes this place such a unique gem on the Big Island.


1) The Best Farmer’s Markets  

On any given Saturday, get some reusable bags ready and head into town early for some of the most freshest produce and food products found on the island. From fruits, vegetables, bread, honey, jams and crafts, there is strong community support for local farmers and artisans.Tip: Check out Waimea Town Market at Parker School and Waimea Homestead Farmer's Market. On Tuesdays, head to Kekela Farms from 2-5pm.


2) Kahilu Theatre

This 490-seat theater was a legacy left by the late Richard Smart, who wanted to share and advance his love for the arts. Today, it serves as our island hub “where community, creativity and inspiration thrive.” Here is a list of upcoming events to see both local and international artists perform.


3) Top Ranking Private Schools in the State

According to niche.com, a company which takes into account key factors such as experiences, reviews, test scores, SAT/ACT scores in assessing private schools, they ranked two schools located in Waimea at #3 (Hawaii Preparatory Academy) and #4 (Parker School) out of almost 30 in the State. 


4) Fun Community Events

We love the diversity of events as well as the Paniolo traditions deeply rooted here in Waimea. Three annual events that stand out are the Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival held in February, the Parker Ranch 4th of July Rodeo, and the Waimea Christmas Parade in December. Other notable mentions include a Ho’olaulea held in September and the Kohala Pumpkin Patch in October.


5) Adventures Off the Beaten Path 

Some locals will share with you some of their favorite spots for adventures. They might mention a walk down through Mud Lane, bike riding ventures through Mana Road or this amazing spot.


6) Tutu’s House 

In Hawaiian Tradition, your Tutu (Granparents or wise, elderly person) was a person you could go to for wisdom or healing. Tutu’s House, located in Waimea, combines various services from physicians/health care professionals and community organizations, who offers a wide variety of educational resources that support people in their health and wellness journey. Visit their site to learn more about their programs.


7) Great Restaurants

With the freshest ingredients grown right in Waimea or sourced locally on island, it’s no surprise that Waimea has some of the best restaurants. Try: Village Burger, Lilikoi Cafe, Hawaiian Style Cafe, Merriman’s Restaurant or Red Water Cafe. For dessert, stop by Tropical Dreams in Lalamilo Farms for a pint of the most deliciously crafted ice-cream.


8) Feels like Fall…

Although people say there are no seasons in Hawaii, we beg to differ. Waimea goes through some of those seasonal changes we miss experiencing on the Mainland, especially during the Spring and Fall months. We will make the trek to see the blooming jacarandas or cherry blossom trees. We have an excuse to wear boots and sweaters here in Hawaii and every once in awhile, we get to observe a snow capped Mauna Kea or Mauna Loa.


More About Carlson Team Hawaii:

As one of Hawaii's premiere Real Estate Teams, Kurt and Kirsten Carlson bring their enthusiasm for Island Life and a strong knowledge of Kona and Waimea's Real Estate market. Visit them at CarlsonTeam.com.

Posted in Communities
Oct. 6, 2016

Ironman Kona: Where to Stay for all the Action


It’s Ironman week here in Kona and to say that town is busy seems to be an understatement. Triathletes are everywhere, either riding their bikes along Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway, sprinting through Ali’i Drive or swimming at the Kona Pier. Just a few days remain until 2000+ athletes compete in what is considered one of the World’s most challenging races- a 2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run through the most grueling conditions. For visitors coming to cheer on friends and family members, finding a place to stay can be a challenge! We’ve compiled a list of places to stay if you want to be near all the action for next year (Oct 7, 2017). Most of these places are located along Ali’i Drive where the race starts and ends or near Ali’i Drive. Book early to secure your spot!

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Posted in Island Life
Sept. 20, 2016

Heights on Hualalai: Idyllic Island Living with Expansive Ocean and Sunset Views


Heights on Hualalai

MLS: 294823 

Enjoy captivating 180 degree, panoramic views of the Kona coastline, as well as cool trade wind breezes from this custom-built 3 bd (with extra bonus room) / 2 ½ bath home located at the Heights on Hualalai on the Big Island of Hawaii.



Built in 2007, this 2300+ sf home incorporates an open floor-plan that seamlessly blends indoor and outdoor living space.  The remodeled kitchen includes solid AJ Brown granite counters, a custom monkey pod tree wrap around wood bar top and also upgraded appliances. Pocket wood panel doors easily slide into the walls leading you out to a large covered lanai, a solar heated saltwater infinity pool and magnificent ocean views.


Monkey Pod


The Master Bedroom also leads out to the lanai, pool and the endless blue ocean views. The large Walk-in Closet has custom built shelves providing ample storage. The master bathroom includes dual sinks, a large soaking tub, glass block accents in shower, and travertine counters. 


Master Bath


More Noteworthy Features

Other noteworthy features include custom water features, lush tropical landscaping custom stained driveway, an oversized garage with extra storage and plenty of parking space. Located at approximately the 700 ft elevation, residents at The Heights on Hualalai enjoy slightly cooler temperatures and are still minutes from Kona’s premier shopping, dining, beaches and amenities.



For More Information:

Contact Kirsten or Kurt Carlson at carlsonteam.com to schedule a showing today.

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Sept. 7, 2016

Best Affordable Restaurants in Kailua-Kona

A night out for dinner in Kailua-Kona doesn't have to be an expensive proposition. You just have to know where to go and what to order when you get there. 

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Bongo Ben's Island Cafe serves up generous portions from its extensive menu. The popular oceanfront restaurant on Alii Drive attracts both visitors and residents. Some appetizers are large enough to share between three people, like the half Seafood Platter for $13 laden with beer-battered fish, coconut shrimp, calamari strips, peel & eat shrimp, and coconut onion rings. Compared to other restaurants along Alii Drive, Bongo Ben's prices on fresh catch seafood cannot be beat. Grilled ahi served with sauteed veggie and a side is prices at $21.95, compared to neighboring "resort" style restaurants that might charge up to $40 for a similar offering.


Located across from King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel, Splasher's Grill is a great spot to enjoy an upstairs view of Kailua Bay while feasting on an enormous juicy burger and fries. Happy Hour at Splashers offers some great deals from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. For under $7, you can get everything from spicy ahi poke and crab-stuffed mushrooms to tequila lime sweet shrimp and cheeseburger sliders. $5 mai tais and margaritas are available during happy hour.

Another nice restaurant for sunset dining, Don The Beachcomber at Royal Kona Resort offers the absolute best view of Kailua Bay. Instead of getting a table at the restaurant, however, just grab a seat or at Don's Mai Tai Bar and order from the happy hour menu (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.). Discounted items include the house salad, coconut prawns, Hawaiian chicken wings, baby back ribs, and Don's Beach Burger. 

Located at Keauhou Shopping Center, Bianelli's Italian restaurant offers pizza by the slice that you can pair with a delicious house salad. Another must-go destination for pizza is Kona Brewing Company. The best special (not shown on the regular menu but advertised on the restaurant's blackboard) is the slice of pizza and a side salad, priced at under $8.  

For the absolute best value for the buck, Denny's at Crossroads Shopping Center offers the $2, $4, $6, $8 Value Menu featuring great deals like all-you-can-eat pancakes for $4, or a Southwest Turkey Sandwich and cup of soup for only $6. Priced at $8, the Country-Fried Steak and Eggs includes a beverage! Denny's Kona also presents a unique, local menu that  includes popular island favorites like the Loco Moco.




Posted in Island Life
Aug. 7, 2016

Ahualoa, Then and Now

Located on the Hamakua Coast 13 miles from Waimea, Ahualoa is an unincorporated rural area originally settled by Portuguese ranchers and Japanese farmers to serve the once-thriving sugar plantations in the region. A little-known fact about Ahualoa is that coffee production took place there before Kona became the center for Hawaiian-grown coffee. Some of the older homes in Ahualoa still retain sliding roofs once used for drying coffee.

Below the highway, neighboring Honoka‘a was once the most populated town in Hawaii in the 1890s, thanks to the sugar cane industry. Although there were no sugar plantations in Ahualoa itself, the community served the industry by providing firewood that was carried by wagons to the nearby plantations. Ranching was also undertaken there. Until recently, the JJ Andrade Slaughterhouse had been operating in Ahualoa for 100 years. 

One of the wettest areas on the Big Island, Ahualoa is known for its abundant rainfall sometimes lasting for weeks on end depending on the season. In recent decades, a "back-to-the-land" movement attracted new residents into Ahualoa. Small farms and cottage industries began popping up throughout the lush, remote area. Producing macadamia nuts and other products, Ahualoa Farms also grows 100-percent Hamakua coffee that features a full-bodied flavor thanks to the rich, deep soil. Another Ahualoa-based farm, Mauna Kea Tea offers private farm tours and tastings. Maker of cheese, Hawaii Island Goat Dairy boasts a fully automated milking system especially for goats. Long Ears Hawaiian Coffee gets its name from the Nightingale donkeys that used to transport bags of coffee cherry on Hawaiian farms. Making beef jerky out of Big Island-grown beef, Barefoot Farms raises hogs in the natural homestead style.

With many five-acre lots developed in recent years, Ahualoa presents a remote, close-knit community amid a spectacular setting of forests, winding roads, beautiful countryside. It's only minutes away from the commercial center of Honokaa, and less than a half-hour away from the upcountry town of Waimea. 

Hawaii Island Goat Dairy

Photo: Hawaii Island Goat Dairy

Posted in Communities
June 24, 2016

Lava Headed Toward the Sea

For the first time since August 2013, lava from Kilauea’s Pu’u O’o vent will soon be entering the sea. Currently, the flow is advancing down the east rift zone headed toward the abandoned subdivision of Royal Gardens. According to USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the flow front is advancing on average of 330 feet per day, which by most estimates, means it should reach the sea in just a few short weeks. 
Residents of Pahoa are breathing a sigh of relief now that a separate flow that had threatened the community two years ago is officially inactive. That flow, known as the “June 27” flow, came just mere yards from the town of Pahoa before mysteriously stopping just shy of the transfer station. Petrified lava “waterfalls” can be seen embedded on the berm above the transfer station. The Japanese cemetery farther up was also inundated with lava, although some of the headstones were spared. 
The fact that the new flow is headed back into Royal Gardens, however, should come as no surprise, as the subdivision has been inundated many time through the years ever since the Pu’o O’o vent began continuously erupting in 1983. In fact, Royal Gardens was the place where the first house to be claimed by the Pu’u O’o flow was destroyed in March 1983. Lava flows of the past have traversed Royal Gardens relatively quickly, because the subdivision was built on a very steep hillside, rising 1,400 vertical feet in just two miles.
Kilauea is the youngest and most active volcano on the Big Island, located right next to and below the mighty Mauna Loa. The current flow is 5.1 miles long and first broke out from the flanks of Pu’u O‘o on May 24, 2016. According to USGS, if and when the flow reaches the coastal plain and then the ocean depends on the “evolution of a tube system and constancy of lava supplied from the vent."
Anyone who wants to view the lava flows from above should book a tour with Paradise Helicopters or with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, or by via a Cessna Caravan turbine-engine jet-prop plane with Big Island Air Tours. The flow is not located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, but it is always a good idea to consult with a ranger before attempting to hike to any area where lava is occurring. 
lava flow map


Posted in Communities