Win Essay House and Weird Ties to Castle House?

I received the following email from a friend  a  few months ago and I figure since the Win Essay House contest people are now starting to target us locally… I’ll throw this out on the table for anyone that wants to look it over

I’m pretty much tired of this whole gambit but it’s a slow news day and I feel the need to let folks know what could… or could not be going on:

I did a little research on the Castle guys; they have a blog , and it looks like this post

Friday, November 21, 2008


Fact: this project (THE CASTLE) has been five plus years in the making.
Fact: it is no secret that the money to finish this project is tied up in another project, a “work of art” the builder, my husband (Castle John-more on nicknames in a future post) created. This “other” project was completed at the beginning of this year JUST as the real estate market took a dive.

Everyone is always asking, “when will the castle be finished?” My answer, “my crystal ball broke” or “how much money are you willing to give or lend?”

I’ve been focused on trying to discover the vehicle that would enable us to finish the castle.
It’s on our vision board. My obsessive and constant thought: be creative, pro-active, daring. I wish we could raffle off this “work of art” (we call it the sweetheart cottage or gingerbread house). Actually, I saw a “piece” on TV on a couple who did just that in Maryland. Well, no, we cannot. That’s illegal in Hawaii – unless you are a non-profit organization. Then an attorney told me a contest of skill is LEGAL. Ok, fine… I’m developing a plan. A brainstorm. My husband would say, “be careful, it’s in a strange place.” A solution and an answer to a prayer. We will give the home as a grand prize. Without forgetting to give back to the community. After much soul-searching we decided to benefit the future – the children. Our local schools are so much in need during this time of “budget cuts”. And in exchange for this gift, kokua (help) from them – Judges! Perfect – teachers (and especially retired teachers who HAVE time) will be the judges for the contest of skill. An essay contest. Essay 101. The teachers “judge” essays and give grades all the time! Tithing as well. We believe (the builder and I) that tithing is a no-brainer. This won’t be easy, but it will be soooooo worth it! Stay tuned. It’s gonna be big! The idea is filling my heart with aloha as I type. I’m blessed-out anew.

So check out the sweetheart cottage – imagine winning it for $101!

…shows when they came up with the contest idea, but questions still remain:

– Is their B&B is licensed? (A few calls to the county should get the answer). If not, shining a light on that ought to make ’em squirm a little.

– I sent an email yesterday from the essay site requesting the TMK # for the ‘cottage’, but no reply.

– They claim their names are ‘Sherri Smith‘ and ‘John Williams‘, but there are no owners of any Kalapana Seaview Estates (KSVE) properties with those names. Knowing approximately where the ‘castle’ is, I used some TMK maps and my MLS program to figure out where these properties are.

– The properties (Castle & Cottage) are owned by Robert & Melody Williams of 641 Undercliff Dr. in Hazelwood, MO…so are they the parents of one of the essay people? Or the kids? Or aliases? I don’t know…

The “Castle” TMK 3-1-2-34-16 (click the TMK# to see the Public Record info, and look at the attached Castle Building Permit.pdf file to see what permits the county has on record). Interesting to note that the tax record for this property shows “Robert Williams, a married man…in Hazelwood, MO as the owner).

The “Cottage” TMK 3-1-2-41-8 (click the TMK# to see the Public Record info, and look at the attached Cottage Building Permit.pdf file to see what permits the county has on record). The tax record for this property shows “Robert & Melody Williams” of the same Hazelwood, MO address as the ‘castle’ owners, yet the building permit shows “John Williams” as the “lessee” of the property.

The final inspection / approval for the construction was issued 2/12/2008, however the Public Record data does indicate any dwelling and it seems as though they aren’t being assessed / taxed properly yet.

But that’s not the strangest part…the vacant lot (before the cottage was built on it) was listed for sale in Jan. 2006 for $50K, then withdrawn from the market after 90 days (on 4/21/2006) when it didn’t sell; then less than 2 months later on June 5, 2006 it sold for $50K to “Casey Francis”, with a simultaneous transfer (the same day) to Robert Williams for $250,000 !!!!! WTF? (the deed was actually signed by “John Williams” who apparently had power-of-attorney to sign it).

A vacant lot has NEVER sold in Seaview for that much, let alone one like the cottage is on….Lots nearby the cottage were selling for $50-$60K in 2006, and are currently for sale in the $20-$50k range….something is very strange about that sale…it could be an typo / error, but I don’t know. Money laundering? Maybe there’s nothing to it, but it sure is weird.

The cottage is way up at the top of Seaview, backing up to State land. (Picture cut off due to blog format)

So here’s where it gets really bizarre..I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before…and it kind of makes the whole “essay contest” look like flat-out FRAUD: Once I figured out what TMK it is, I searched for any listings on the property, and guess what? The house has been listed for sale on the MLS since September 10, 2008 (over 4 months)  for $445,000! (It’s ridiculously overpriced….my guess is that it would appraise for only $250-$300K)

Sherri did say on KGMB9 that the house has “been on the market for about a year” (maybe they were trying to sell it “by owner” before listing it in September), and is clearly currently for sale on the MLS…so that means that any day — today, tomorrow, whenever — someone could make an offer and actually BUY the house (and everybody who entered the “contest of skill” would have wasted their fucking time & money). I can find no mention of this on the contest website, nor in any of the BIW or blog articles, nor on ScamWick’s website. The fact that they haven’t disclosed the “active-for-sale” MLS listing seems like a serious issue….(maybe I’m wrong and I’ve missed some “disclaimer” somewhere? See if you can find anything).

Not to mention the fact that the MLS listing doesn’t mention anything about the “contest” either!

MLS # Tp St DOM Taxkey Tnr Price Display Location Land area Details Listed by
204480 RS A 11 3-1-2-41-8 FS $445,000 Kalapana Sea View Estates Lot #:254 7,500 sqft 1,296 3/2 Rachel M Nack – R(S) / Aloha Coast Realty, LLC

Click on blue camera icon to see the photos….

MLS DataMLS DATA: Residential Property MLS # 204480
Property Type: Residential TMK # 3-1-2-41-8 Status: Active DOM:11 Price: $445,000
Address: 12-6989  KAMOAMOA ST Tenure: Fee simple
Sub/Neigh: Kalapana Sea View Estates Zoning: A-1A Land Area: 7,500 sqft
Block: Lot: 254 District: Puna Easement:
Utilities: Catchment Water, Overhead Electric, Telephone Service Flood Zone: X
Waste Disposal: Septic Roads: County, Paved
Schools: Check with BOE Record Sys.:
Bedrooms: 3 Addl Rooms: Dining Area, *See Remarks, Work Space Year built: 2008 Pool:None
Baths: 2.00 Living Area : 1,296 Other Area: Disclosure Form: Yes
Exterior: Lanai Exterior Area: 960 View: Golf Frontage: No
Inclusions: Ceiling Fan, Dryer, Disposal, Drive, Dishwasher, Floor Tile, Laundry, Refrigerator, Range, Rock Walls, Storage Area, Smoke/Heat Detector, Security, Washer Oceanfront: No
Design: 1Story Exterior Finish: *See Remarks Roof: *See Remarks
Car Storage: Garage Garage/CP Size: 400 Substructure: Post & Pier Basement Type:
Remarks: The brand new “Sweetheart Cottage” is an exceptionally crafted custom home with many features and amenities that are bound to impress you.

Located the very back of Seaview Estates in a lovely setting, this 3 bedroom/2 bath home has 1,296 sq ft of living space plus a garage with workshop AND a 960 sq ft lanai to enjoy your indoor/outdoor living. This is a one-of-kind property that does not come around very often. The attention to detail will amaze you!

EXTERIOR Features and Amenities include:
Hardi plank siding with stain, so there will be no maintenance in future
50 year Manufacturer’s Warranty on the slate roof
Copper Gutters and downspouts surround the house.
Catchment tank is built into the foundation for cleanest water and easy maintenance
Cupula for maximum air circulation throughout house

Security system

INTERIOR Features and Amenities include:
Huge kitchen! Granite counter tops with lots of cabinet storage and island bar
Marble flooring throughout
Hand crafted and carved wood trim around all doors and windows. WOW.
Large ceiling fans in each room, including the lanai
Open ceilings are tongue and groove, adding warmth and open space to your environment
Bedrooms have mirrored closet doors and large picture windows

This is a “must-see to appreciate” property. Vacant and easy to show.

Current Taxes: $345 Home Exempt. Amt.: Spec. Assess.: Spec. Assess. Amt.:
Terms Acceptable: Cash, Conventional Road Maint. Amt/yr.:
1st Balance: $0 1st Assumable: Min. Down: Interest Rate: %
2nd Balance: $0 Existing Loan Type: Term: Max. Loan Amt.:
LH Rent: LH Exp. Date:
Reneg: Fee Avail:
Assoc. Dues/mon.: Common Area: No CC&R’s: No
CSB: 3 Subagency offered: No Restrictions: None of the Above
Listor: Rachel M Nack Realtor Type: R(S) Listor Phone: 808-965-9678 Listor Fax: 808-934-7644 Email Address: Listor ID: 55640
Office: Aloha Coast Realty, LLC Office Phone: 808-934-7600 Office Fax: 808-934-7644 Office ID: 19604
Office Address: 330 Kamehameha Ave.  Hilo, HI 96720

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