To help cope with the grief of losing her husband Tom to cancer last year, Elisa Manning of Midland, Texas decided to pay tribute to his memory by purchasing a family vacation home on Molokai.
The couple had vacationed here in the past and Tom’s previous wife Donna was from Molokai. Elisa has four daughters from a previous marriage and Tom has three sons. Although the children have grown, Elisa said she wanted a place that would, “start the healing process for the family.”
The cable network Home & Garden Television (HGTV) found the story compelling and chose to feature this family as they hunted for a Molokai home on the show House Hunters.
The episode originally aired May 12 on HGTV and was recently rebroadcast on July 4.
Local Realtor Mickey O’Connell of Friendly Isle Realty was then contacted by Elisa Manning. Eventually, her partner Susan Savage worked with the Manning family when they came to Molokai to look at three West End condos — two at Paniolo Hale and one at Ke Nani Kai. The show takes the audience through the viewing and decision-making process that leads to the purchase of a two-bedroom condo at Paniolo Hale.
Originally, Savage was reluctant to host HGTV. “At first I said no thanks,” said Savage, when the show’s producers approached her last August. After some encouragement from community members, Savage agreed to work with the Mannings and the show’s three-person crew when they came to Molokai in November.
“I’m real sensitive,” said Savage, concerning the issues of growth and development on Molokai. Savage said she was mindful of a perception that might lead people to think, “oh great, another Realtor selling the island. But that’s not the case, I wanted it done right.”
Savage said she felt the Manning family would be well suited to the West End with its three existing condo developments. She said she would not have encouraged building a new home or bringing the Mannings to another part of Molokai that is not tourist oriented.
Of course the Mannings were treated to real Molokai hospitality when the Deluna family helped to host a luau for the visitors. Lyndelle Deluna helped organize the event and Loke Lindo helped with the food and decorations. Providing the live music were Hanale Lindo, Raymond Hiro and Heli Silva while Kanoe Paleka and Kalak Bicoy danced hula. Also helping with the luau were Lyndell Corpuz, Hayley Mae Greenleaf, Benny Boy Deluna and Keani Acasio.
“I wanted to do Molokai Molokai style,” said Savage. “We hosted a wonderful luau, it was disappointing that producers just put a little blip at the end.”
Savage said she wished the show had paid more attention to the luau and other aspects of local culture, but the half-hour program focused primarily on Elisa and her three daughters. The episode did display the setting around the condos and a few surfers at Kaluakoi but the emphasis was definitely on the real estate.
The Mannings viewed a Ke Nani Kai condo listed at $310,000, a one-bedroom Paniolo Hale unit for $360,000 and a two-bedroom Panioloa Hale condo $370,000. The two-bedroom unit that best fit the Manning’s large family was purchased for $300,000.
To view the full program on HGTV, click here.