We live in Puna, albeit in the ma uka (upland), and in my opinion, much nicer part of Puna. Hawaiian Paradise Park has always had a wild-west feel too it. Buy a lot and build a house in the wrong area and you’re likely to find it burned to the ground some day by your pakalolo (marijuana) growing neighbors. When we are shopping for property around 7 years ago we look at HPP and said “Thanks, but no thank you very much.” Lots could be had in the $5,000-10,000 range even then.
Nice for current land and home owners in the area, including us, but as with the rising price of real estate throughout the state, pretty depressing for the next generation.