About Jen McGeehan
Adventuresome / Dot Connector / Lover of Family & Home / Author / Realtor®
HOME ON THE HAMAKUA IS MY STORY
As a life long dot connector, multi-tasker, whirlwind of a wahine, my mantra is to leave for heaven with a suntan and a full daytimer! Retirement just isn’t in my vocabulary. I started, way back when, in the retail industry, was promoted into shopping center marketing, then focused on fine jewelry marketing as a consultant nationwide. Later, after two kiddos, one divorce and one re-marriage, I ended up in the resort mountain community of Big Bear, CA. Time to re-invent myself. I took the part-time, then full-time position of buyer/operations manager for non-profit gift stores on the San Bernardino and Angeles National Forests! I loved that job!!! Then the crash of 2008 hit full force.
HOME SWEET YURT
Can you imagine having your home on the market for over three years? With no viable offers? Heading down the sinkhole of debt that totaled over $600,000 in mortgage and credit card debt? This was our life together, Pat’s and mine! In September 2011, after four reconnoissance trips to the Big Island over the same number of years, we made the big oceanic jump, leaving the keys to our empty Big Bear home with our Realtor® and renting our Hawaii Realtor®’s vintage yurt in a tiny town called Paauilo on the Hamakua Coast. You know…a tiny house that sort of resembles an enormous tent! There is so much to that story, and you can read all about it in my book – My Year In A Yurt: God’s Hope & Healing in a Tiny House Lifestyle!
Suffice it to say, the oceanic jump was a re-invention of life as we knew it, transitioning to tiny house, off-grid living, a new culture, no job, and all that debt! We flew my 29-year old Palomino Appaloosa and 8-year old Nubian goat, and put all our worldly possessions in a 40-foot Matson container. The Mini Cooper and truck traveled separately. But when we finally made it to Home Sweet Yurt, we felt a peace, a serenity we hadn’t experienced in over three years. It was gorgeous, the rolling grass covered hills dotted with majestic Ohiʻa and Koa trees, cows and turkeys roaming untethered, and various types of colorful birds in conversation with one another. And that azure blue ocean just a few miles away? A sight for our sore eyes. Fourteen short months in that yurt taught us everything we would need to know to take our next step of faith.
EIGHT YEARS LATER
Fourteen months after moving to the Big Island and into the rented yurt, we moved out and into our own home only a half mile away…as the wild turkey flies. Our Big Bear home had short sold and we were completely out of debt. Truly miraculous! Our new, yet definitely used, hale included two ponds, a peacock, ocean view and an established orchard of various citrus and avocado trees. We were somewhat blind to the reality that it truly was a fixer upper!
Immediate and necessary exterior renovations included a new roof, water catchment, solar system, and addition of a proper place to house the horse and now two goats. Interior must-haves included refinishing the white oak floors, new carpet and a thorough home cleaning. Within a year we had added a much-needed master en-suite which included a closet, wood soaker tub from Indonesia, and the all important laundry facility. We cut back the overgrown shrubs and trees, tilled the soil, pulled the weeds, mowed, weed whacked and planted the numerous lava rock gardens with a cacophony of flowers and plants. Four years later we tore down the rotting lanai, replacing and expanding it with ohia posts harvested mostly from our property.
Pat had retired prior to our move with two back surgeries from work related injuries. Working around the hale created its own challenges when monitoring his back issues. But he loved the challenges and met them with amazingly creative methods.
MY FINAL ACT
To date, I have enjoyed a number of part-time jobs including six years working for Home Tours Hawaii www.hometourshawaii.com, serving cruise ship guest a lavish four-course meal while touring three unique island homes. While holding that part time, seasonal job, I starting Room2Room, my own cleaning and decorating business. Then, after one and a half years, I sold it and gained my real estate license, a career I lovingly refer to as my “final act”, and the culmination of all my years of life and professional experience. This is truly the business I was made for: to help others realize their dream of buying and sometimes selling properties not only on the Hamakua Coast, but island wide, finding creative ways to make it work, watching their vision become reality, whether vacant land, a condo, off-grid or all the bells and whistles.
I am an adventurer by heart, never letting too much dust settle under my feet. My latest adventure began in 2018, successfully merging over 46 years of varied work and life experience into a real estate career that focuses on the goals and dreams of my clients. Now, as a top 5% Coldwell Banker Realtor®, and two-time recipient of the coveted International President’s Circle award, I am so grateful I took that leap of faith!
LIVING THE HAWAII LIFESTYLE is living the dream! How can I help you purchase (or sell) a little slice of our heaven?