A massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Chile put the entire State on Tsunami alert. Some people were abruptly woken by the civil defense sirens at 6am. And some people made a mad rush to gas stations and super markets around the island to pick up last-minute supplies.
People evacuated tsunami inundation zones and police closed access to coastlines. In this photo, you can see an normally busy Kalanianaole Highway eerily empty. All access to Hawaii Kai was rerouted due to the tsunami threat.
Traffic cam at the corner of Kalanialaole Hwy and Laukahi
Thankfully we can all breathe a sigh of relief, the tsunami alert was canceled as of 1:45pm. I’m glad we have this warning system, and I’m thankful that we all take tsunamis seriously (which is a way of life for residents here).
Some great advice in US News & World Report… the top 10 mistakes of first-time home buyers.
1. Not checking your credit report and score
2. Not getting preapproved
3. Not creating a long-term budget
4. Forgetting about the hidden costs
5. Not using professional help
6. Picking your real estate agent and lender blindly
7. Thinking you’ll get everything on your “wish list”
8. Not keeping your feelings in check before hiring a home inspector
9. Not researching your neighborhood
10. Not considering the resale value of your home
If you avoid all these mistakes, you will be in much better shape. Your transaction will be smoother, your stress level will be lower, and your expectation level will be more in alignment with your results.
Hawaii grabbed the top spot in a poll of the happiest place to live in 2009, beating out former #1 Utah. 350,000 American adults were interviewed and scores were averaged over six sub-categories: life evaluation (self-evaluation about your present life situation and anticipated one in five years); emotional health; work environment (such as job satisfaction); physical health; healthy behavior; basic access (access to healthcare, a doctor, a safe place to exercise and walk, as well as community satisfaction). This is in contrast to another happiness poll where States were ranked by economic poll (Hawaii ranked 21st).
I think happiness is subjective and difficult to quantify, and it’s pretty silly when you think about actually ranking States by an emotional expression. I guess I’m happy that Hawaii came in #1, and got a little publicity, but I feel bad for the States that ranked low (especially when you consider how little the scores varied). The complete ranking can be found here.
This blog entry is not about Hawaii real estate, or about life in Hawaii, but I watched this video and it was so interesting that I wanted to share it. This is Evan Williams, the founder of Twitter speaking at the TED conference giving his insight to the 140-characters-or-less information-sharing site.
According to the Pacific Business News Home sales on Oahu were up in January 2010, compared to January 2009. There were 162 single-family homes sold, compared to 122 homes sold last January… a 33 percent increase. Great news, but then again, everything is relative… according to a Star Bulletin article published a year ago, experts called January 2009 “very weak” for single-family home sales.
Here’s how the numbers stack up over a 3-year span: