11/30/15 6:58pm

THE Kailua view of the Mokulua Islands

Welcome to secondshelters.com’s month-long editorial luau focusing on the Hawai’ian island of Oahu. I’m on the ground and writing up a storm on the second home potential of the 50th state. We started our coverage exploring the cross-pollination between Berkshire Hathaway Hawai’i and Dallas’ Allie Beth Allman (recently acquired by Berkshire Hathaway Home Services).

In the coming weeks I’ll showcase the most expensive real estate Oahu has to offer as well as some of the most reasonable. I’ve detailed the past 30-years of median prices for homes and condos so you can see the appreciation and pitfalls of owning a patch of paradise.

From new (and yet to be built) condos to decades-old homes in established communities. I’ll be here to cover it all and give you the low-down.

By the end of the month, you’ll be wanting to get lei’d like never before!

Remember: Do you have a secondshelters.com location you’d like to see featured?  I travel quite a bit and enjoy poking around real estate.  Realtors, have clients who’d like to document their second home journey?  Shoot Jon an email. Marriage proposals accepted (they’re legal)! sharewithjon@candysdirt.com


11/24/15 10:59am

Berkshire Hawaii Small

Out on a morning walk, I saw a sign for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Hawai’i and decided to give them a call. I wanted to get the insight into what Allie Beth Allman’s crew have gotten themselves into. A few days later, I met local president Tracy Bradley at that first-seen home’s open house. The short answer is that others in Dallas real estate should be a bit worried by the Berkshire firepower and savvy.

The Honolulu real estate playing field was at one time dominated by local brokerages that over time were acquired by national brands like RE/MAX, Prudential and such. Often what was gained in national presence was lost at the local level with layers of mainland management out of touch with the islands. Also, like many conglomerates, technology tools were not the best. Bradley told me of one of her agents who had been screaming for years for a way to embed a video into an email – no link, no Dropbox. Spoiler alert: now she can film a property on her phone and embed the impromptu tour into an email to her client from her phone.

1,820 oceanfront square feet. A snip at $4.69m

1,820 oceanfront square feet. A snip at $4.69m

One of Berkshire’s first real estate acquisitions was Prudential. Apparently, franchisees had the option of opting out and that’s what Hawai’ian offices did. With no presence in high-priced Honolulu, Berkshire approached Bradley and a select group of agents to be their start-up in Hawai’i. Little did I know how timely my meeting would be.


11/20/15 5:27pm


I’ve often dreamed about owning a vineyard and winery. My husband sometimes jokes that I’d need a pretty big one if I wanted to make all the wine I drink! Touche, sweetheart. Touche.

I bet he won’t be laughing once I show him this sweetheart of a deal in Canton. It’s a cute little farmhouse with the makings of a great little vineyard and winery, all for less than $400,000.

Yep, you read that right. And the seller, the founder of the successful Los Pinos Ranch vineyard, will hand over a business plan and blueprint to make sure your winemaking dreams become a reality.

“There is something wholesome about being able to wash off the day when the sun sets, and to enjoy the fruits of one’s labor,” says listing agent Amanda Taylor. “It isn’t an experience that many people in our modern society ever get to have.”

It’s an experience you can have should you be the dreamer to purchase Jeffrey Cellars in Canton.



11/10/15 2:33pm
Leeds at the Cafe Charlot where we met

Leeds at the Cafe Charlot where we met

You’ve undoubtedly seen the often beret-wearing Adrian Leeds traipsing around Paris on HGTV’s House Hunters International. She helps sticker-shocked expats retool their Parisian dreams to focus on what’s important. After that, it’s time to get down to business.

If Leeds’ accent sounds pretty American, it’s because she’s New Orleans-born, living the Paris dream for 21 years and counting. Interestingly, she has Dallas family connections, too. Her résumé shows a marketing and PR pro with experiences ranging from corporate PR to television and print. Understanding communication and reading client needs are good tools for any real estate agent. But how’d she wind up in Paris and how’d she wind up as HGTV’s de facto representative for real estate in the City of Light? I met with Leeds on a recent trip to Paris to find out.


11/07/15 12:56am

Oakhurst 1

Golf history was made in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia October 16 as Jim Justice, owner of the world-famous Greenbrier, brought together, for the first time, four Hall of Fame golf icons: Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Lee Trevino.

The four will collaborate on a first-of-its-kind championship golf course, Oakhurst. The Greenbrier is, of course, one of the foremost destination golf resorts and vacation home residential communities in the country. It is also home to the annual PGA Tour FedExCup event, The Greenbrier Classic.

The four golfing legends joined Jim Justice in breaking mid October on the new mountain course. With its dramatic elevation changes and spectacular vistas overlooking the historic
Oakhurst Links course, the moment was the first-ever course collaboration between these four golf legends. Their combined experience will be the centerpiece of Oakhurst, the newest real estate neighborhood planned for The Greenbrier Sporting Club Subdivision.

Oakhurst 4


10/09/15 2:19pm

Candy Grand Vie Ranch

Just about every real estate brokerage has a farm and ranch division now, which is a far cry from not long ago when you couldn’t pay people to move to the “boonies,” Candy says in her latest column inside Grand Vie: Luxury in Living. Now there are some amazing, luxurious, and enviable ranch properties on the market that are worth a look.

Take the amazing equestrian facility in Athens, the Honey Hole Ranch, or Mustang Ranch. All of these properties give horse lovers what they want, with excellent soil, beautiful vistas, and heart-achingly luxurious appointments throughout.

Jump to see the incredible video Candy starred in for this issue of Ebby Halliday’s and Williams Trew’s fabulous glossy mags.


09/16/15 11:18am

Bunk 1

Like many mundane things that have been made “cool” these days (from Haute Dogs to Lobster Mac & Cheese), it’s now possible (as Candy wrote)  to have cool bunk beds. I don’t know about you, but if I had the ceiling height, it would be soooo fun to have half the set pictured above in my bedroom. Every night I’d be thinking, “Hmmm, do I want to sleep up or down tonight?”

… and then I could post naughty “pin-up” pics to the underside of the upper bed like when I was younger. (OK, perhaps I’ve grown up at least that much since then … but not much.)

Alder and Tweed is run by sisters Lynsey and Heather Humphrey who come by their design chops naturally with parents who founded the largest lighting company you’ve never heard of.   Their firm specializes in creating memorable interiors (translation: house porn) for big-time vacation homes. Many of their clients fall out of the pages of Fortune and People. Their work results in the kinds of interiors most of us slobber over in hopes of finding some trinket we can use in our more modest homes. The Utah-based sister-designers get around with projects and offices in California, Mexico, and of course Utah.


09/08/15 4:51pm
Boot Ranch 20
If you’ve imagined yourself on the links, by the pool, or gazing out into the endless vistas of Boot Ranch, now is the perfect time to make that daydream a reality.
For the month of September, Boot Ranch is offering special purchase incentives on select estate homesites and luxury overlook cabins. Considering how hot the Hill Country is right now, this might be the deal you’ve been waiting for to buy your little slice of heaven in one of the most sought-after second home locations in the state.
  • Estate homesites included in this special property release range from 2 to 18 acres, many with building locations strategically located to maximize the beauty of the hill country.
  • Overlook Cabins on half-acre homesites along the Palo Alto Creek accommodating personally selected homes from 1,800 to 4,000 square feet, with architectural plans included for your custom configurations.
You and your family can own an amazing Overlook Cabin at Boot Ranch!

You and your family can own an amazing Overlook Cabin at Boot Ranch!