If you want to own one of Hawaii’s top expensive homes, it helps to be in computers or investment banking. Using public records collected by Title Guaranty Hawaii, we’ve compiled a list of Hawaii’s expensive homes—exclusive compounds filled with sprawling swimming pools, personal tennis courts and stunning oceanfront views, places for which the annual property-tax bill runs a cool half-million.
The Top-10 Club turns out to be a who’s who of tech CEOs, venture capitalists and other financial-service barons, almost all from out of state. These are people not only rich enough to afford one $20 million house, but several of them, in different parts of the world.
The distribution of these palatial properties is also illuminating. Oahu has some famously expensive neighborhoods, such as Kahala, Portlock and Lanikai, but they don’t appear in the top 10 spots on our list. In fact, there are only six Oahu properties on the entire list. When it comes to outrageous real estate, it’s all about the Big Island, where you’ll find nine of the 10 most expensive homes in Hawaii, all strung along the Kona Coast.
We assembled a similar list in 2005, limited to the City and County of Honolulu. Expanding the scope to all of Hawaii has raised the stakes considerably: While the top property in 2005 was assessed at $15.2 million, that number wouldn’t even get you on the bottom rung of this year’s list. The bar starts at $16 million and goes up from there.
The dollar amount listed for each house is the county’s most recent assessment of its value, for tax purposes. In most cases, the property details are also based on publicly available city and county data. One note: We restricted this list to single parcels as defined by the county tax offices. That kept things simple, but meant overlooking a few fabulous estates that comprise multiple parcels, such as the 174-acre Tara Plantation on Kauai, which sold in 2009 for $28 million.
7 bedrooms • 8 full and 3 half bathrooms • 14,680-square-foot interior • 68,825-square-foot lot
This diamond of a property belongs to Bandel and Paula Carano. Carano has been a heavy hitter in the venture-capital scene since the 1980s, when he became partner at Oak Investment Partners. These days, he’s also on the board of directors of Kratos, a federal defense and security contractor, as well as a laundry list of other public and private corporations. Carano’s Kukio house may look compact compared with many of the other Kona estates, but it packs a lot into the more-than- 14,000-square-foot interior: the house is valued at $18.2 million, almost five times as much as the land on which it sits.