Archive for the ‘elsewhere’ Category

Looking for a real estate investment? What if I had an investment for you that …

  • Had no annual property taxes
  • Had little or no insurance costs
  • None of those annoying extra costs, such as landscaping or HOA fees
  • No concern regarding theft or vandalization of empty property, because the property had no appliances, or anything else to steal! (including toliets)
  • And, bonus, this empty concrete shell is considered desirable and new!!


Well, if you are a Chinese national, this is an compelling investment opportunity! See you don’t have much else to invest in and real estate never goes down, right?

Forget that there are realms of empty, investor owned properties (in fact a whole city of them), all across China. Chinese economy is strong, right? Prices always go up. Surely the real estate bust that wiped out thousand of US investors can’t happen in China, right? Buy China!

And BTW, read this.

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I recently returned from 5 days on the lovely island of Maui. I have been to other islands in Hawaii but not Maui. I still like Kauai and the big Island better, but I enjoyed my time in Maui.

You forget how far to the west it is until you fly there, 5 hours over the Pacific seems like a long time. When you land, despite the American shopping landscape, the scenary makes you feel that you have transported to a different world. Although I was raised in the tropics, Hawaii seems alien to me. The consistent angle of the smooth and folded slopes are nature’s math equation. The rainfall and wind patterns. And of course the crown of clouds that envelop you as ascend and visit the little piece of mars tucked inside the crater.

The Hawaiians used to live in the rain belts, because things were easy to grow there. However most of the development is in the dry parts, where nothing really grows, because the tourists love the sunny weather.

As part of the package I got, I had to endure a timeshare .. no .. vacation ownership presentation. The sales person was awful. I decided to pump her for some information about the local market. I found out the average price of a SFR is 900K. That there is little buildable land. That affordable housing is an issue (this last bit came from the newspaper .. she was actually not very helpful and extremely painful to endure).

Later when I walked the Kaanapali beach walk I passed booth after booth of “vacation ownership” salesmen. Would you believe $100,000 for one week a year of an oceanfront condo? That this condo actually had trees, a path and people between it and the water? Amazing.

I found Maui beautiful but also very expensive for everything, food, land and activities.

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