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Kona Coffee Farm For Sale
27 September 2010


UPDATE: This property has been sold and is no longer on the market.  I do not know any of the details because I am a coffee farmer, not a realtor.  For more information you should contact a real estate agent.  For more gossip and random speculation about this and other Kona coffee farms for sale, click here.

We're not exactly Mr. Rogers but that doesn't mean you can't be our neighbor.  The Kona coffee farm next to us has gone through foreclosure and was recently up for auction.  I don't have any spare money and I already have a Kona coffee farm but I decided to attend the auction anyways, just for fun.

Here in Kona property auctions are held "under the flagpole at high noon."  That's not an exaggeration, it's probably been done that way for decades.  So I went to the flagpole (outside the Hale Halawai building) at high noon to see what this auction stuff was all about.

The auction was surprisingly dull.  There were two different auction commissioners.  The first simply read a postponement notice then left.  The second read about a dozen postponement notices followed by two auctions.  For both auctions, the dialog went something like this:

"The property is 1234 Something Street, located in Kailua-Kona, with tax map key as noted."  The auction commissioner held up the sign she was reading.  "Bidding will start at $600,000.  Do I hear any bids for this property?"


"Going once, going twice, going three times.  This property will revert back to the bank."

The auctioneer read her script in a quiet, slow, monotone voice.  The same process was repeated for each property.  The audience consisted of me and about four other people.  None of us said a thing the entire time.  Apparently that is typical.

Foreclosures aren't the great deal that many people think they are.  In order to bid at the auction, you have to be preapproved with a cashier's check for 10% of your maximum bid.  Little things like title insurance, financing and any actual knowledge of the property are totally up to the bidder.  None of these are provided at the auction.  So almost always the auctioned properties simply revert back to the bank which then lists it for sale at market prices with a normal realtor.

Tree In the case of our neighbor's property, I don't even know if it was actually auctioned.  I was standing right there and it was supposed to be on the list but since there were no descriptions of the properties, and I don't know the property's address or tax map key (it's on a street with no name), I couldn't tell which property was which.  I think the auction was postponed but I'm not sure.

Assuming the bank will eventually offer the property for sale at current market value, I'm guessing it will sell somewhere in the range of $300,000 - $500,000 dollars, maybe as low as $200,000 although I doubt it.  Anything below $500,000 would be a deal so that's probably what the bank will ask.  If I had the spare cash, and could get a good price, I'd seriously consider buying the place.  We don't want a second house but taking care of the coffee would be easy since we're right here anyways.

The property is a five acre parcel with a small A-frame house and a separate barn.  The property is planted with coffee.  The coffee trees are about four years old.  That means that even though they are a bit overgrown and neglected right now, with a little care they will easily come back and produce vigorously because Kona coffee trees are in their prime at four years old.

The land is fairly level and mowable.  Compared to many properties here in Hawaii, being able to mow the entire farm is a big advantage.  Once the property is brought back, it could be easily mowed with a small riding mower instead of a full sized tractor.

Corral The buildings on the property are a bit old and definitely need some work.  In the past the barn has been living quarters for farm workers.  With some cleaning and repairs, it could once again server as storage, a workshop area or maybe a shed for livestock.

The property has a small horse pen.  It's right next to our property and we've seen everything in there from horses to sheep, goats, wild pigs and a stray cow and her calf.  Right now there's nothing in there but six foot tall grass and weeds.

We've been in the house but not recently and only briefly.  I don't even know how many bedrooms it has.  It looked clean and nice to me.  It's not a big house.  It would be a bit cramped for a family but perfect for a married couple with no kids.  There's a huge deck right outside the main living room/kitchen area.

We've had several different neighbors at this house.  Since it is right below our property, pictures of it have appeared on our website before.  Click here for a picture from when the coffee trees were first planted.   Click here for a picture taken a year ago and below is a recent picture as seen from our porch.  The blue house is barely visible through the trees to the left.  The property on the right is a different parcel.


The coffee farm is currently sitting vacant.  I hate seeing an abandoned farm like that.  I do worry some that those neglected coffee trees will attract pests and disease which may then spill onto our farm.  If nothing else, it's kind of an eyesore.  Maybe I'll call the bank and ask them to mow the lawn.

New Hampshire If you're not interested in becoming a Kona coffee farmer, we recently saw another property being auctioned.  It's our old house from when we lived in New Hampshire.  It was a decent house then (about seven years ago) but I have no idea what condition it is in now.  Judging from the pictures, it still looks fine.  It was about a half block away from a beautiful lake.  I miss that lake.  I don't miss it that much though because now I have an entire ocean instead.

This is certainly a buyer's market right now.  I've heard that the foreclosure rate has stabilized but it will still take some time before the backlog is reduced.  In the mean time, I'll just keep growing Kona coffee so I can keep paying the bills.  If you aren't sure about buying your own Kona coffee farm, you can compromise and buy some of our Kona coffee instead.  It sure is easier than trying to grow the coffee yourself.

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