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Uniquely Hawaiian Real Estate Terms and Phrases

Boost your confidence and savvy by learning uniquely Hawaiian terms in your real estate search.
July 29, 2016

Uniquely Hawaiian Real Estate Terms and Phrases

Diving into the Maui real estate market can be a dream come true for those who love the island. Beautiful real estate abounds, and you'll find no shortage of uniqueness in their designs or in the landscapes that surround them. Hawaii is dramatically different from any other place in the world, and that is what makes it special. That being the case, it follows that the real estate market has its own special set of nuances that set it apart from its Mainland counterparts.

If you're thinking about buying real estate on Maui, learning the unique terms and phrases can go a long way to building your savvy and your confidence. To learn, we recommend exploring our Maui real estate glossary, but in the meantime, you can read on to get started.


Condominium hotel - This is a condominium building that is run like a hotel, featuring things like housekeeping and front-desk services, but its units are individually owned and often used for vacation rentals.

Fee simple - A purchased property or inherited estate which the owner has the right to control, use and transfer at will. This is the kind of ownership that most buyers are familiar with, as opposed to leasehold, which we'll list below.

Lanai - Originally, this was the same thing as a porch or veranda, being on the ground floor, but as architecture grew in height and number of floors, it became used synonymously with balcony as well.

Leasehold - A leasehold owner doesn't own the land, but has a right to use it for a fixed amount of time, and even build structures. When it expires, the buildings and structures may revert to the lessor's ownership, depending on the lease. Should the land change owners, the new owner is bound by the terms of the original lease. Of course, this kind of arrangement is much cheaper than fee simple ownership, although the financing requirements are stricter.

Leeward - The southern and western parts of the island that are sheltered from the prevailing winds, known as the trade winds, which come from the northeast. These areas tend to be drier than the opposite side of the island.

Makai - Toward the ocean.

Mauka - Toward the mountain.

Ohana - Typically refers to a living area not attached to the main house; i.e. an adjoining small studio or cottage.

Upcountry - Maui's higher elevation region on the slopes of Haleakala, generally characterized by cooler temperatures, pastoral land, and rural neighborhoods.

Windward - The northern and eastern parts of the island, which are facing the trade winds. These areas tend to be rainier and therefore greener than the opposite side of the island.


These are just a handful of common examples of terms you're likely to encounter in your Maui real estate adventures. For a more thorough explanation of our market's nuances, you'll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Buying Hawaii real estate is a big decision, so why not make sure you're as informed as possible? We look forward to assisting you through every step of the rewarding process of finding and buying your Maui home or condo. Mahalo!

Sansei in Kapalua Earns Wine Spectator Restaurant Award

Sansei and other exceptional Maui restaurants win awards for their excellent wine lists.
July 22, 2016

Sansei in Kapalua Earns Wine Spectator Restaurant Award


Photo(s) Provided by Sansei Kapalua: SanseiHawaii.com

Wine Spectator recently released its 2016 Restaurant Awards, which named 16 winning restaurants on Maui, including Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar here in Kapalua. Sansei was one of the Hawaii restaurants to earn the Award of Excellence, for its well-chosen collection of wines from high quality producers and for matching those wines to its menu in theme, price and style. We think of it as just one more reason to enjoy owning a Kapalua home, where quality establishments like Sansei are never far away.

Speaking of which, Maui had more winners on the list than any other island in Hawaii, with a total of 16. After Maui came Oahu with 12 winners, the Big Island with 5 and Kauai with 3. They were selected from 3,595 restaurants throughout all 50 states, plus 72 countries.

The winners are a great place to start for those of you who love good wine, and good meals to pair them with. They include the following restaurants.

  • Fleetwood's on Front St.
  • Gannon's
  • Gerard's
  • Hali'imaile General Store
  • Honu Seafood & Pasta
  • Humuhumunukunukuapua‘a
  • Mala Ocean Tavern
  • Morimoto Maui
  • Pacific'o
  • Pulehu, An Italian Grill

There was another category, which was the Best of Award of Excellence restaurants, featuring establishments with the most extensive selections from many regions. Five of the eight Hawaii winners were on Maui. They are as follows.

  • Merriman's Kapalua
  • Lahaina Grill
  • Longhi's Lahaina
  • Longhi's Wailea
  •  NickNick's Fishmarket

To make it more convenient to find award winners wherever you are, you can also download their free Restaurant Awards app for iPhone and iPad, which should be pretty convenient. Aside from providing helpful location information, it also provides info on cuisine, wine and pricing, which is nice.

For all of you prospective West Maui home buyers, we hope the list of these winners turns out to be useful to you as you get to know the area and the best restaurants on the island. If you need more information, you can visit www.winespectator.com. Mahalo!

Montage at Kapalua Bay Named Top Hotel in Hawaii

The results are in from Travel + Leisure magazine's "World's Best" Awards.
July 15, 2016

Montage at Kapalua Bay Named Top Hotel in Hawaii

Kapalua is an extraordinary place, whether you're here to visit or to stay. But you don't need to take our word for it if you're already searching for real estate in Kapalua, in which case you've already discovered its charms. Still, we often find cause to celebrate this special part of Maui, and we're not alone. On July 6th, Travel + Leisure named the Montage at Kapalua Bay as Hawaii's "Top Hotel" via their "World's Best" Awards.

The Montage also had the honor of being the only Hawaii hotel in the "World's Best Hotels" category, where it landed the No. 4 position, among its prestigious competitors. It seems the resort's recent $15 million renovation has done its job to provide an exceptional experience to its guests. Of course, the striking natural beauty of Kapalua can only enhance this appeal.

This was the resort's first appearance on the "World's Best" Awards list. Among Hawaii's winners were several Maui hotels, including: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea as No. 5, Fairmont Kea Lani as No. 6, Hotel Wailea as No. 9, Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua as No. 10, and Andaz Maui at Wailea as No. 15.

If you're curious, the winners were chosen by T+L readers via the magazine's World's Best Survey. Travelers provide their opinions on top hotels, islands, airlines, resorts, cities, and other categories. As for the islands category, Maui maintained its 2015 rank of No. 7 for best island in the world, with Kauai close behind at No. 9.

Here on Maui, there are many wonderful places to explore, but if you'd like to celebrate the charms of Kapalua permanently, we'd be happy to assist you in finding the right Kapalua real estate to meet your needs. You'll find our contact information at the bottom of the page if you need us. Mahalo!

Beachfront Coconut Grove Condo in Kapalua

Luxury, beachfront Maui living that's free from the fuss of short term renters.
July 08, 2016

Beachfront Coconut Grove Condo in Kapalua

This week, we'd like to spotlight a remarkable Coconut Grove condo with a beachfront location. But first, some background on Coconut Grove. This peaceful condominium community is located on Kapalua Bay, where you'll find a beach that many consider the most beautiful on the island. In fact, it just won No. 3 on Top 10 Beaches 2016 by Dr. Beach. The waters here are partially encircled by two headlands that were formed by ancient lava flows, and this shields the beach from wind and wave action, making it as tranquil as it is beautiful.

Coconut Grove condominium owners get to make the most of this unparalleled location in luxurious style. The community is gated for privacy and security, featuring nine classic buildings of just four residences each. Amenities include an exercise room, pool, whirlpool spa, wood deck, and a scenic cabana with barbecue and kitchen facilities. Merriman's Kapalua restaurant is conveniently situated adjacent to the property, if you'd like to treat yourself to some wonderful fine dining, and world class golfing is no further than a five minute walk.

The units at Coconut Grove provide the finest in luxury Maui resort living. Floor plans range from 2,500 to 2,900 square feet of breezy, elegant interior, and the property itself is spread out on 12 acres of lush coastal land. Short-term rentals are not allowed at Coconut Grove, which helps to cultivate the exclusive, peaceful environment that its owners enjoy. If you're looking for a relaxing retreat beside a gorgeous West Maui beach where you can watch flaming sunsets over the neighboring islands of Lanai and Molokai, these condominiums are probably your best option.

As for the Coconut Grove listing we mentioned, it's a gorgeous ground floor 3 bed/3.5 bath unit fronting the shoreline. Here, you'll be just steps away from the beach, which tends to feel even closer, thanks to the three sets of disappearing pocket doors that bring outdoor living indoors. When the clean ocean air is so fresh and balmy, it's a shame to close yourself in with the AC. Step outside these doors to lounge on the unusually large lanai, bordered by lush emerald lawn and tropical landscaping. The master bedroom opens to sweeping ocean views and the gentle sound of the tumbling waves, while the luxurious master bathroom provides a soothing view of a mossy grotto with a charming stone wall for privacy.

If you'd like to learn more about this remarkable property, or this listing, you'll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo!

Hotel Occupancy Increases Only on Maui

Hotel occupancy fell on every island but Maui during the week of June 12.
July 01, 2016

Hotel Occupancy Increases Only on Maui

In the past, we've pointed out some great opportunities to own Maui real estate, whether as a full-time residence or an income property. For those of you most interested in income property, our little island in the Pacific has shone brighter than the other major islands once again. They say Maui no ka oi, which means Maui is the best, but it's especially gratifying when there's statistical evidence to back it up.

According to a weekly report by Hospitality Advisors LLC and STR Inc., hotel occupancy fell on all major Hawaiian islands. That is, all except Maui, where occupancy increased by a small increment. While Oahu, the Big Island and Kauai all saw lower occupancy during the week of June 12 compared to the same week last year, Maui stood alone against the trend.

Occupancy fell by 2 percentage points statewide to 82.8 percent full. Oahu saw a drop of 2.9 percent to 88.8 percent. Big Island hotels saw a 3.9 percent decrease to 67.2 percent occupied, and Kauai saw a 2.1 percent drop to 74.5 percent occupied.

After Oahu, Maui had the highest occupancy, at 81 percent, with a gain of 0.6 percent compared to the same week in 2015. Oahu has traditionally held the highest occupancy rate because there are many more options in accommodations, some offering much cheaper rates than what you'll find on Maui, and yet Maui's occupancy is slowly edging closer and closer to Oahu's occupancy rate.

To grasp how remarkable this trend is, just consider the hotel room rates of this same week of June 12. The average daily room rate on Oahu increased 1.8 percent to $232.30, while Maui's increased by 4.6 percent to $314.90. By comparison, Big Island rates increased by 2.1 percent to $237.07 and Kauai room rates jumped 5.7 percent to $263.20.

Most of Hawaii's visitors come from the U.S. West, followed by the U.S. East, which tells you something else about these numbers. Vacationers wouldn't be flocking to Maui, the most expensive island to visit, if they were suffering financially. If that were the case, they would opt for an island with cheaper rates. Hopefully the recent years have improved for you as well, giving you the leverage you need for a Maui income property. Mahalo!

Blogs for July 2016

Uniquely Hawaiian Real Estate Terms and Phrases

Posted on July 29, 2016
Uniquely Hawaiian Real Estate Terms and Phrases

Diving into the Maui real estate market can be a dream come true for those who love the island. Beautiful real estate abounds, and you'll find no shortage of uniqueness in their designs or in the landscapes that surround them. Hawaii is… Continue Reading

Sansei in Kapalua Earns Wine Spectator Restaurant Award

Posted on July 22, 2016
Sansei in Kapalua Earns Wine Spectator Restaurant Award


Photo(s) Provided by Sansei Kapalua: SanseiHawaii.com

Wine Spectator recently released its 2016 Restaurant Awards, which named 16 winning restaurants on Maui, including Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar here in Kapalua. Sansei was one of the Hawaii restaurants to earn the… Continue Reading

Montage at Kapalua Bay Named Top Hotel in Hawaii

Posted on July 15, 2016
Montage at Kapalua Bay Named Top Hotel in Hawaii

Kapalua is an extraordinary place, whether you're here to visit or to stay. But you don't need to take our word for it if you're already searching for real estate in Kapalua, in which case you've already discovered its charms.… Continue Reading

Beachfront Coconut Grove Condo in Kapalua

Posted on July 08, 2016
Beachfront Coconut Grove Condo in Kapalua

This week, we'd like to spotlight a remarkable Coconut Grove condo with a beachfront location. But first, some background on Coconut Grove. This peaceful condominium community is located on Kapalua Bay, where you'll find a beach that many consider the most beautiful on… Continue Reading

Hotel Occupancy Increases Only on Maui

Posted on July 01, 2016
Hotel Occupancy Increases Only on Maui

In the past, we've pointed out some great opportunities to own Maui real estate, whether as a full-time residence or an income property. For those of you most interested in income property, our little island in the Pacific has shone brighter than the… Continue Reading

Mailing Address:
Sakamoto Properties
P.O. Box 10068
Lahaina, HI 96761
Contact:
Phone: (808) 669-0070
Fax: (808) 669-1234
Info@SakamotoProperties.com
Office Address:
Sakamoto Properties
Napili Plaza
5095 Napilihau Street #203
Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761
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