Real Estate Opportunitues aboud in an ailing market*

Who says housing on Maui is unaffordable? Just snatch this gem before it gets away! A steal at $150,000:

“Tucked in to a valley bottom with no utilities, this place takes you back to nature. The little shed on the property is tiny with a sleeping platform and it keeps you dry. Included is a new 5,000-gallon catchment water tank. This property is extremely private and is surrounded by old taro patches and fronts Honopou Stream.”

That’s creative marketing. Another way to describe the property might be:

“Quarter-acre lot, mostly under water. No electricity, half a bath. Closet-size (128 square feet) shack. Only $50,000 down.”

It is picturesque. A slide show can be found at the Maui Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service at www.ramaui.com. This listing – not the lowest in price, by the way – is MLS 343234.

A real estate market in distress produces some odd opportunities for the venturesome and flush. Take MLS 342595, which is in Kihei. It’s a five-bedroom, 4-bath, modern home, a bargain at $319,900, considering that the county assessed valuation is $633,500.

However, the sales description is firm: “This bank-owned home is being sold AS IS, SIGHT UNSEEN, without Disclosures and Cash Only.”

It further advises: “Seller may not be able to convey possession at the time of closing.

. . . Consult an attorney regarding your responsibilities as a landlord and research eviction laws in Hawaii.”

MLS listings have always hinted at domestic dramas in the past, and they have become more interesting as disclosure standards have expanded over the years. What disappointment lies behind MLS 339328?

“This property is being sold with a 20 percent completed home. . . . The seller is not finishing the house currently under construction. . . . In the event the buyer chooses to finish the 20 percent complete existing house, it is a two-story large home with four bedrooms, four full bathrooms, two half-baths, with a very large family room and tall, tall ceilings! The house has . . . four-car detached garage.”

Then there is MLS 333331, a ” two-bedroom, two-bath plantation style home, 2750 square feet, built in 2004,” only $65 million. It comes with an extensive yard, called Hana Ranch.

The most expensive offering this week that does not include 1,200 cows is a 1-acre beachfront place at Kaanapali, MLS 332824.

The description, which seems aimed at agents rather than buyers, says: “With over 11,000 square feet of living space, this magnificent beachfront home has stunning ocean and sunset views. The outstanding craftsmanship is visible throughout the two master suites, six guest suites, media room, library, office and separate caretaker’s quarters. The warm sandy beach and azure Pacific are the backyard of this Kaanapali Estate. All of your client’s needs for health and well-being will be met with the oceanfront pool, Jacuzzi, yoga pavilion and exercise room. This extraordinary masterpiece property is the reason your clients have chosen to live on Maui.”

Asking price: $23.8 million.