Tuesday, May 17, 2022 |
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• What will our children buy?
What will our children buy?
By La Verne Bessert
For several months, the question that many of us who have had our real-estate license since the late ‘70s and are native to Kaua‘i have been asking ourselves is, what can our children afford to buy on the island? In the present real-estate market, the answer to this question looks grim.
What is of more concern is that even with a college education, our young people who return to the island, due to the high cost of living, are faced with having to take on two jobs just to keep their heads above water.
College graduates today find themselves faced with paying back college loans along with the typical car and rental payments, leaving almost no money to be put towards a down payment on a home even if one in their price range existed.
What can we do? Probably the first thing that needs to be done is to make more housing available at a moderate cost. But who will be able to develop low-cost homes if the development cost is high?
If it weren’t for monetary donations, not even an organization such as Habitat for Humanity would be able to offer homes on fee-simple property or state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands parcels at prices that our local people can afford. And judging from the 400-plus names on a wait list that Habitat for Humanity has already received for the proposed ‘Ele‘ele Luna subdivision, there is a huge need for affordable housing on Kaua‘i at this very moment.
It is evident that the answer to the above problem can only be addressed by having government and the private sector work together to make the development of proposed subdivisions financially feasible, reducing fees so that ready-to-build-on lots or house-and-lot packages can be made available at prices that our young people can afford, This is not an impossible situation that cannot be solved by our big landowners and political leaders.
We can stop our young people from leaving our island if we want to. Or is it our desire to continue to make our island a home of “the haves and the have-nots?” I don’t think so. Our children deserve better.
La Verne Bessert is the principal broker with Maile Properties of Kauai.
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