Attention Hawaii First Time Home Owners & Buyers w/Ethan Kaleiopu - Sakamoto Properties

Attention Hawaii First Time Home Owners & Buyers w/Ethan Kaleiopu

Home » Betty’s Hawaii Real Estate Corner » Attention Hawaii First Time Home Owners & Buyers w/Ethan Kaleiopu
June 15, 2023
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Betty Sakamoto: Aloha and welcome to Betty’s Real Estate Corner, brought to you by Coldwell Banker Sakamoto Properties. Here we are, another day at the office of KAOI. We have Meyer Computer here recording so that you’ll be able to look at this on the website. Any of the other shows that we’ve done, you can search on there and find them. A lot of people have had fun doing that, if nothing else, but to call and give us a hard time. Today, Ethan Kaleiopu is here with me in the studio. Ethan is a real estate broker. He worked with us at Coldwell Banker for a while and has recently taken on a new affiliation. But today we want to talk about buying property. We want to talk about the first time homebuyer and a variety of things like that. Ethan is going to be doing a seminar of sorts within the next couple of days. So I’m going to have him fill you in on what it is. His company is…well, tell them what your company is right now.

Ethan Kaleiopu: So I’m with the Ohana Real Estate Team of Compass, and this Monday on the 19th we’re going to be hosting, not a first time homebuyer seminar, but a first time home owner seminar. Still welcoming buyers as well, those who are interested in purchasing. But really educating homeowners, first time homeowners, how to leverage their property and purchase their next, if it’s upgrading to something bigger, if their family has grown, or if they wanted to get into real estate investing. As well as educating potential first time homebuyers, the possibilities of owning real estate and how it just unfolds from there after your first purchase.

BS: It is amazing. But you are right. Once you’ve made the first purchase, it does seem like you get into it and you learn that there is a way that you can do that. You can possibly rent out the one you purchased and get some income coming from that and then kind of look at what you would buy next and something can just drop in your hands that you really would have never thought you could have done. But I think the first time homebuyer getting started, is really one of the most amazing things of all time, how you get started.

EK: Right.

BS: That really makes a difference for everybody. Elizabeth Quail from Coldwell Banker is going to check in with us also in a little while because she was also with us earlier talking about the whole idea of, first time homebuyer, and how that all works. She came up with some thoughts that, I’m glad I haven’t had to think about them for a while, but think about the time that all of a sudden interest rates, a regular mortgage was like 15%, 16%, and people bought real estate. They just did it. Whether if you were going to live in it or whatever you were going to do, because there are certain things you can still write off and we can fill you in on that. But you’re seminar that you’re going to do, I’m sure you’re going to touch on all of that.

EK: Absolutely. And we’re going to kind of touch on the different mortgage options and programs that there are more available now that not many people are educated about, making homeownership easier to get into. Of course, there still zero down loan programs. The FHA, three and a half percent, First Hawaiian Bank also just announced or re-announced a new first time homebuyer program that they’re doing with about 3% or 10% down. And they actually have the possibility of waiving the mortgage insurance, which is huge. That’s a big savings for many first time homebuyers, that’s a huge chunk of money that they can save. And I think that makes it easier for people to acquire some type of property.

BS: Well, you’re right. That really makes a huge difference by itself, just the idea of saving the mortgage insurance. And again, you need to sit down with the right people, think about talking to Ethan and get together with his group or give us a call, Roy and Betty Sakamoto, 8088707060 for Roy and 8088707062 for Betty. You can call Ethan at…

EK: 8082698033.

BS: And yes, we are different companies, but we’ve all worked together for a long time and Ethan and I were together today and just thought, let’s get this together. We’ve got a lot of things that we’ve been talking about and let’s just talk about them on the radio. It’ll make a major difference to a lot of people.

EK: Absolutely.

BS: We should have Elizabeth Quayle checking in here pretty soon, but I think we’re probably about 5 minutes off. You have a new listing?

EK: I do, yeah. We did just list 95 Kahili Place right here in Lahaina town across the Aquatic center, a beautiful property tucked in a cul de sac. It’s a four bedroom, two bath, single family home with a permitted detached cottage or ohana. Both are rented as of right now, but great potential property for someone who’s looking to live in one and rent out the other. But we’re listed at one five as of right now.

BS: That makes a major difference. I mean, the ohana idea is really spectacular. I don’t know how somebody… I think we have Elizabeth Quayle. We have Elizabeth Quayle. Let’s do that first.

EK: Good Morning.

BS: Good morning.

Elizabeth Quayle: Aloha.

BS: We’re a little out of control here and we’ve given Ethan too much coffee.

EQ: Well I am drinking a decaf cappuccino just to save you from being stabbed over the top.

BS: Oh, perfect. Okay, that sounds good. We’ve been talking about you and the conversation that you and I had a little while ago about the first time homebuyer and the interest rates. When you and I were talking about that, I realized we’ve got to let people know that this isn’t the first time this has happened, where all of a sudden inventory is down and you’re trying to figure out who can buy real estate now.

BS: Well, everybody can. It’s a matter of making the decision and watching the market closely.

EQ: That’s right. That’s all very, very important things to keep in mind. But the most important thing is to have somebody that will hold your hand through the process. It’s really I mean, thank goodness you’re there with Ethan, because now you’ve got the seniors and the juniors who really have brought this business together so well.

BS: And who are the seniors here?

EQ: Well, I am.

BS: Okay, me too. Just kidding.

EQ: I’ll take Senior any day.

BS: Yeah me too.

EQ: Get a discount?

BS: Yes.

EQ: I took a continuing education class not too long ago and it was specifically about financing and the saying that I learned in that class, which I wish I would have made up, was, “marry the home, date the interest rate”

BS: Yes, that’s a great statement, fabulous statement.

EQ: The inventory is so limited, whether it’s a little adorable condo or an entry level home, or if you’re just somebody looking to get a loan. You’re looking at things 15 years fixed a little under 6%. So then, of course, if you’re buying something that’s a condo or something, your interest rates are going to be higher. There are so many ways to do this. If you can’t qualify yourself, get friends or family members to do it with you. Speak to lenders that have different programs. There are some loans that you can get as first time homebuyers if you’re making enough income that you can get in like an FHA loan, 3% FDA loans.

BS: And you can actually get 3% on FHA right now? Oops. Ethan is nodding his head to okay.

EQ: Three percent down.

BS: Oh, 3% down. Okay.

EQ: Yes.

BS: I thought you were taking interest rates.

EQ: Some first time homebuyers can get in with no debt. Of course, your income has to be able to qualify for that.

BS: Hold on one second. Ethan, what have you heard in the same type loans from the standpoint of interest rate, if you could get in at 3% down?

EK: Right. Well, kind of to add to that right now, I think many people have seen on social media and on the Web that recently they’ve announced that people with lower credit scores are actually getting priced with better interest rates than those who have higher credit scores. And that was pretty much the Feds trying to cut inflation and get first time homebuyers into homeownership.

EK: So that’s been pretty awesome as well. But yeah, definitely, like Liz said, there’s many different loan programs that cater to first home homebuyers at 3% FHA, three and a half percent, like she said, USDA, which is 0% down. Of course, you’d have to qualify with your debt to income ratio and income, but there’s quite a few options out there.

BS: Elizabeth, we should tell your telephone number so everybody has it right away is 8082766061. And then we’ll let you keep talking.

EQ: I’m happy to go over any questions we have.

BS: Well go back to what you were saying when I interrupted you, to be sure that that I understood because I was thinking you were trying to say the 3% interest rate versus 3% down. Got it.

EQ: No the interest rates are pretty similar across the board. The type of loan you get and of course the way you can approach it. Sometimes these first time buyer loans don’t allow you to have ten family members on the mortgage with you. So that’s something that you definitely need to discuss with a good mortgage broker and again, that’s part of us holding your hand. Probably and you guys will agree with this, one of the most important things to remember when you’re buying property in the state of Hawaii, whether it’s your first property or your second or 50th property, the mortgage must be financed through a licensed Hawaii lender. And so you have a lot of people on the mainland saying, hey, I’m going to go to my guy. Well, if he’s licensed in Hawaii, it’s great. Otherwise, you’re generally going to broker it to somebody licensed in Hawaii. So you just have to know to whom you go for the correct help to help you get what it is that you want to accomplish. And there are a few great little products, if you’re a first time buyer on this island and Ethan will know just as well. I just closed a little Kihei village, two bedroom unit for under 600,000. I just closed the little two bedroom at Napilihau Villages for under $600,000. So there are starter properties that can put that little family into their own little home or condo and they don’t have to worry about getting evicted or the rent changing. They finally get that dream. We all want that dream.

BS: Absolutely.

EQ: You know, the American dream.

BS: Just about the time we got you on the phone, Ethan was about to tell us about a property that is over an across from the pool.

EK: Across the Aquatic Center.

BS: Yeah. So give us that one again, because we kind of skipped, at the end.

EK: No worries. 95 Kahili Place. Right in a nice cul de sace, kind of right by shark Pit, which is really nice between Front Street and the beach. That’s a really nice location. It’s a great little property, has four bedrooms, two baths and a permitted detached ohana cottage which is great about that is, you know, you can live in one and rent out the other, and because it is permitted, on your mortgage application, you can apply and add the rental income to help qualify. So that’s a big help as well for those who are trying to get into that price range and being able to use rental income to qualify for the mortgage.

BS: That is a huge, huge thing. Like you’re saying, I hadn’t even thought about that. The Ohana has to be qualified so that you can use it. It’s got to be totally legal. And then what a big difference that can make in your life.

EK: That’s a great opportunity.

EQ: And that’s another thing about getting a mortgage. If you’re buying something that isn’t permitted, it probably won’t appraise and it probably won’t insure. So there are certain things, there are a lot of people that have gone out and made their own little places without permits, which was very common in the past. What Ethan is discussing and offering is the ideal purchase. No boo boos, ready income for you. The location is so close to Front Street. It’s just a beautiful place to live in Lahaina. Really, really sweet spot.

BS: Unfortunately, we aren’t quite in the low interest rate or the low purchase price on this, but it is a spectacular property and will work for someone. But we’re just excited to talk about it actually.

EQ: I know and it’s a great location. Anybody looking for a good place to live. It’s a beautiful place to live.

BS: Have you seen any, either of you, agreement of sale documents for a while?

EK: It’s been a while.

EQ: I haven’t done any for a while, but I’ve certainly done some in the past.

BS: Yes, I have, too.

EQ: I think the most important thing within agreement of sale right now is you have to have enough cash to induce the seller to carry it for you.

BS: It seems that way. It used to be also do you remember, though, there was a time that you would have someone, maybe a senior, that had a great property, they couldn’t really stay in it and there were maybe going to be living in a different type of atmosphere coming up. But the reason they did it was for the income. And it is a great way to keep some income going on.

EQ: Absolutely. And if you’re the buyer, if they agreed to do maybe a three year agreement of sale, and if you’re just trying to get yourself back on your feet, fix your credit, that should give you enough time so that you can turn around and refinance it. After that period and cash out the seller and get yourself, a new mortgage, depending on, what you can negotiate for yourself.

BS: Is that one of the things you’ll be talking about, do you think, Ethan?

EK: Absolutely, at our seminar on Monday.

BS: Yes, at your seminar, Monday.

EK: I mean, kind of covering the different options, of course, and how to leverage those different mortgage programs and your house itself, HELOCs, refinancing, cashing out.

BS: Purchase money mortgage.

EK: Purchase money mortgage, seller financing, all the different options. I think it’s important bringing those out of the woodworks since they haven’t been used for so many years. That’s right. Or not many people are, be re-educated about it, so definitely.

BS: Tell our listeners where that’s going to be and how it’s going to operate.

EK: It’s going to be 6:30 at Fuegos here in Kahului, right off of the bypass. We’re going to be partnered with Fidelity National Title as well as with Loan Depot and ourselves, the Ohana Real Estate team. So we’ll be there with your partners, educating homeowners and potential homeowners on the possibilities that they have with their current home and with their future purchases.

BS: Some people, I think you hit a point that you just don’t think there’s ever any way that you can buy something. And the first place that Roy and I purchased together here on Maui was on an agreement of sale. And it just happened and with somebody that we more or less knew, that wanted to get it off his inventory right away and we were willing to do it.

BS: We didn’t have a lot of cash, but we wanted it and we ended up putting it together and paid them off within a couple of years. And that’s how it works. I mean, all of a sudden something comes up.

EK: I think something else to add to kind of what Elizabeth was talking about, having a great mortgage broker. That’s the keyword, mortgage broker. I think many people run to, their local banks that they bank with and the most important thing to understand is if you walk into one of these, independent institutions like your local banks, if you’re applying for a mortgage, majority of the time, they’re offering you exactly what they’re offering you in house. You either fit in Box A or Box B, whereas if you were to get yourself a mortgage broker, they’re able to take your application and fit you with multiple different banks to see exactly, who’s the best fit for you. And I think that opens up more opportunities for people. And many people directly go to their bank and that’s where they’re shut down with the noes. And truly, I just don’t think that it’s always a great fit for them. So finding a great mortgage broker, like Liz said, especially being licensed in Hawaii, will definitely get you better answers and more yeses.

BS: Well, I think he’s totally right. Aren’t you, Elizabeth?

EQ: I’m just sitting here swelling with pride and joy, listening to my Ethan.

BS: Yes, I agree with you.

EQ: What the youth who have dedicated themselves to being fantastic professionals can accomplish for you. There is so much hope in this business, do not give up on buying a house. You run into somebody like that little youngster, Ethan, grab him, kiss him, use him for the rest of your life.

BS: Now, Ethan has been, we’ve all known him since high school and your family kind of knew Roy.

EK: Yeah.

BS: Somewhat anyway. But it’s been an amazing relationship and we both, we all love our Ethan.

EQ: We love our Ethan. He got his license at the same time as Jacob did. They were 19 years old.

BS: Yes.

EQ: Fresh out of high school. I could not be more proud of these young men, if they were my kids. And they are.

EK: Yeah, well, we have to share thanks to both of you for teaching us and educating us. There’s many times that I’ll write purchase contracts and the way that I verbiage or write things, they’re like, “who taught you that?”

BS: That’s pretty funny.

EQ: We’re lucky to be surrounded by a great, great amount of professionals and don’t give up on buying property. Somebody can help you. There is some way to do it for you. Watch the market, learn about what’s best for you and dip your foot in that water and jump. It is Hawaii, people only dream of living here. We can help you.

BS: Totally, right. I mean, absolutely, totally right. And right now what you’re both saying, Elizabeth and Ethan, is to find yourself a real estate broker, find yourself a mortgage broker at the same time, probably talk to your realtor and find out who he or she works with or call Ethan. What’s your phone number again?

EK: 8082698033.

BS: Or call Elizabeth at…

EQ: 8082766061.

BS: Perfect. But I think that it really is a great setup.

EQ: I just want to do another shout out besides my Ethan, Roy and Betty, my husband, Dave Barker, my stepdaughter Gina Pool, my son in law Clint Parola. Jake, and myself. You have realtors that are related and care about you every where on this island. So please allow yourself the pleasure of becoming a homeowner and know that we’re all here to be of help to you.

BS: And be sure you find someone that I’m going to say, “gets it”, because there is a point where people have been working in a certain market and they’re going to say, “there’s no way you can do that”, and it might be that it will take you a year to pull it together. You’ll maybe have to clear out some debt. But again, I think what Ethan’s going to be doing and Elizabeth has worked on a lot of things like this, is taking the time with people sitting down with them, opening the file and then being available for them, for the next couple of years or the next six months or whatever it takes to pull off.

EK: And if someone is telling you “no”, you’re talking to the wrong person.

BS: If someone is telling you, “no”, that’s a great statement…

EQ: That is right.

BS: …you’re talking to the wrong person and it is hard.

EK: Yeah and if it’s not now, it’s later and definitely get in contact with one of us and be able that we can create a game plan for you.

BS: Yeah I think it is. You’re right it’s a game plan.

EQ: It’s never too late to learn.

EK: Absolutely.

EQ: Don’t feel that it’s an overwhelming thing and you’ll never be able to learn it, because that’s why we’re here.

BS: You know, another thing that Ethan and I, toward the end of our ride over here, started talking about, was Mitch. So many people, yeah Mitchy Mitch, he did so much for so many people here and passed away recently. Mitch Mitchell, he worked forever with Hale Makua. He was involved with so many community things. He just took care of so much and so many. And he was a real estate broker for as long as I knew him. So that was how his business worked. That’s how he did it. But having him take care of people and at the same time he did so much for Hale Makua, that at his celebration in life, Hale Makua executives were there and it was really quite spectacular. And we sure are missing, Mitch Mitchell.

EQ: We’re missing Mitch.

BS: Our Mitch.

EQ: He will always be our Mitchy.

BS: Yeah, it is. He had moved away a couple of years back, maybe five or six now. It seems like yesterday. But he had moved away and had retired, was traveling and he really had created a wonderful life. And we sure all miss him. If anyone hasn’t heard from Mitch for a while and is wondering where he is, call us.

BS: It’s Donald Mitchell. But we all called him Mitch Mitchell and if you’re looking for him, call one of us and we’ll help you at least know where he is and what’s happened. I guess we don’t totally understand where he is, but he’s passed. So anyway, that is all. He’s with us.

EQ: He’s everywhere.

BS: Well that’s how I feel sometimes if I come up with something, it’s kind of, “What would Mitch say about that?”, Or we’ll all kind of laugh about what Mitch would do about it. It’s been pretty amazing. So that’s our Mitch.

EQ: I’ve got Roy Sakamoto on my brain a lot. What would Roy say?

BS: What would Roy say? Yes, we can do that. There’s always, “what would Roy say?”. He can come up with some quick ones. We just need to get his attention.

EK: Right.

BS: Yeah, that’s the only hard part there.

EQ: Well, the voice of sanity usually comes from Roy or Dave.

BS: That’s good. If we have a sane person in our life, it always works. So anything else we can all think about? You had that one property that you were mentioning on the phone earlier, Elizabeth, that you felt like you had a Masters for a first time homebuyer. A studio.

EQ: For somebody who can’t afford, a million two house or whatever the entry level homes are. I mean, even our little homes in Napili Kai are over $1,000,000 now. This two bedroom Masters unit I have for sale, it’s a ground floor unit. My client specifically bought it because she has pets. She has dogs and she had several vacation rentals here and she would come over with her dog.

EQ: Well, now she wants to sell it because, of course, her dog passed away and buy another vacation rental. It is a ground floor unit, beautiful views. You’ve got dogs or grand kids. The Masters is just one of those magical places. If you haven’t been there before, residential condominium.

BS: It is spectacular. Another great, great place.

EQ: It’s a great place. I’ve had people looking for homes and I’ve showed them the condo and it’s like, oh goodness, these are ample, these are lovely. So you know that’s vacant and easy to show at any time, unit seventeed zero seven.

BS: You know, Ethan… Oh, go ahead.

EQ: I’ll make this really quick because this is going to be listing a little studio at $475,000, that’s in Napili Ridge, upper unit that’s been renovated beautifully. So anybody interested in something special, three blocks above Napili Bay, give us a call. I’m happy to go over the information with you.

BS: Ethan just showed me we had a recording today. Now, this takes us off the charts for what we’re all talking about. But at the plantation Estates, 205 Plantation Club Drive, recorded this morning at seven million six eighty, wonderful home, spectacular and some amazing people that purchased it, so they’re thrilled to death.

EQ: That’s a great house. Congratulations Kapalua.

BS: Kapalua, that’s right. But again you’re heading to where there is not much inventory in any price range. So get to Ethan’s thing.

EK: Monday the 19th at Fuegos, 630.

BS: And they should call you ahead of time.

EK: Yep. 8082698033.

BS: Ask for Ethan. That’s your cell phone, right?

EK: Yep.

BS: But do that, because I think if you’ve even got the smallest interest, you might get so fired up and be ready, willing and able, within a week or two, and you’ll just have to do things. And here we are. We are off the charts again. Aloha and thank you, Danny Couch. Aloha, Danny.

EK: Aloha.

BS: Thank you Elizabeth.