Tuesday through Thursday each week, WSJ editors choose a distinctive property for sale to feature as the House of the Day at WSJ.com/News/RealEstate. On Fridays, readers vote for their favorite. From Dec. 14 to Jan. 4, readers voted among the winners from the last two weeks of 2019 and the first 50 weeks of 2020 in a series of head-to-head matchups. In total, 293,180 votes were cast.
The winning house, shown above, is located on the coast of the Hawaiin island of Kauai, and was originally asking $18.75 million in February, 2020. The price was reduced to $12.85 million in December and sold this month for $10.5 million.
The previous house on the property sat on a scenic point overlooking the ocean—until it was destroyed by Hurricane Iwa in 1982. The saltwater pool that juts into the Pacific Ocean is the only original feature left. For almost 20 years, the roughly 2-acre plot remained empty while the family considered what to do with it. The owner reimagined it in the late 1990s after selling off portions to raise construction funds. Today, the house sits on roughly 0.75 acre and has about 500 feet of ocean frontage.
Here is an aerial view of the property today:
The 3,324-square-foot home was completed in 1999 and complies with updated hurricane standards. The foundation was raised to 13 feet above sea level, and 92 caissons—which are concrete columns—support the structure. The corners of the house are reinforced with steel columns and hurricane tie-downs attached to the roof. The property has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and one half-bathroom. There is no air conditioning in the house; ceiling fans enhance ocean breezes.
It’s quite a house, but I don’t think I could live or stay in Hawai for an extended period of time. We have been fortunate to visit Hawaii several times since one of our sons lived there for several years, and we loved every trip we made there. But it seems like the island would get small after a while, although our son just loved living there. Now I guess you could go island hopping, but if I was going to get on a plane, I would want to go somewhere different than where I currently was. While I am sure each Hawaiian island is unique, they are still Hawaiin islands, and so have a lot in common.
I wish the new owner the best with their house in Paradise…