From Renters to Homeowners - Helping Local Community with Ethan on Betty's Hawaii Real Estate Corner - Sakamoto Properties

From Renters to Homeowners – Helping Local Community with Ethan on Betty’s Hawaii Real Estate Corner

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February 17, 2022
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Betty Sakamoto: Aloha and welcome to Betty’s Real Estate Corner brought to you by Coldwell Banker Sakamoto Properties, Roy and Betty Sakamoto. Today, here in the studio we have Ethan Kaleiopu back with us. I’ve told the story of Ethan a few times, so I’ll try to keep it a little bit brief. He graduated from the Lahainaluna High School in…

Ethan Kaleiopu: 2017

BS: Okay, 2017 and was headed off to college when he decided. He kind of decided because he was interning at our office. Roy Sakamoto they were running the streets together, learning real estate for him, and he was helping Roy with everything that he needed. It was a really great relationship and then Ethan decided he is going into real estate. Long story short we felt when he was starting, that he should really go with a bigger company like Coldwell Banker that had a lot of training. He eventually did that and then a couple of years passed we stole him back with us. Now, at that point, we had become Coldwell Banker and he had moved to Honolulu and left Coldwell Banker. We at Coldwell Banker Sakamoto, have now Ethan Kaleiopu who is amazing. He is become an extremely successful realtor both in Honolulu and Maui and has done transactions in every price range. One of the things I wanted to talk about with him today and it’s not the primary thing that he does. He did something that I think has been an amazing service for the people that know him. It helped them over a period of years. He is been selling real estate to go from renting and having nothing. To work on a plan that would get them on a path of homeownership. Let’s see if I can toss this on Ethan and see if he can give you a little bit about what that journey takes.

EK: For sure. Right when I got my real estate license, I was kind of trying to figure out how to kind of help all categories in the real estate purchasing world. I would say I went ahead and created KCG also known as Columbus Consulting Group which is a full-service financial consulting company where we assist eager homebuyers who want to purchase a property here in Maui but don’t know exactly how to do it, where to start or even have someone to hold their hand and do it. What we did was we created a program for them. It has been truly one of the best things that have helped our business and helped our community to really educate the local community on the resources that they have, the potential that they have within themselves. Kind of the things that we do is meet a new client who may share with us.

BS: Let me ask a question that we’ll kind of make this a little bit simpler for people. Let’s say somebody might call Ethan thinking they want to buy a property now. Pretty quickly they discover that that’s not going to happen. They don’t have their ducks in a row, their credit is not a number one so they really need a process to do. If Ethan would identify that, in some cases, somebody might call him because they’ve heard that he does this. They know that they are not ready to buy right now but he can direct them to the company that he formed.

EK: Most definitely. We have a few coaches. Our main coach right now is Stacey Pang. She is a licensed financial advisor as well as a financial coach. She and I would meet together with the client. We pretty much collect as much information as we can, what their goals are in real estate and in their financial status as well. Create a game plan from lowering their debt to income ratio, to getting them in alignment to apply for a mortgage. There are so many things that go in between that not many people understand. They just think I need good credit and good income but there are so many things you can implement like proper banking procedures and stuff to really put their best foot forward when getting into the market to purchase something.

BS: Absolutely and what you just said proper banking procedures. There’s a lot that would go just with that by itself. Probably, be good to establish a bank actually walk in meet the branch manager etcetera.

EK: For sure

BS: Become known in the community.

EK: You definitely want to create that relationship with whatever financial institution you are with because down the road it would be a great asset to you if you are looking to buy more properties down the road. Eventually, they are going to offer you more offerings for a mortgage or credit lines and so forth. That’s also really important. We encourage and help our clients find the right place for them.

BS: I also think coming up hopefully first because everybody is so frightened right now that they will never buy a place. I still think that we will see enough properties that come on the market that will be generated for first-time home buyers and for obviously local residents. They call them instead of first-time homebuyers now would it’s I can’t think of the name that the programs that they are talking about today. It’s kind of affordable housing but workforce housing.

EK: Workforce housing.

BS: That really means a lot to the whole community because for everything that we are all doing anyone that’s working at the banks or the escrow companies etcetera all needs a place to live. It’s becoming right now a nightmare. People do have to step up and I think Ethan I guess the reason I wanted to start this is that I don’t think anybody really does this in a way that you established it.

EK: Thank you. The biggest thing really is there are many people out there who don’t even know their potential or what they could even qualify for or they just kind of just passes them. Being able to sit with them and really show them on paper what they can do it’s always eye-opening to them and sometimes it’s much easier than they really think it may be.

BS: You are right. One of the things that you are kind of saying now is that you may go and take some time talking to Ethan and discover that you are in a way better position than you thought you were because there are good programs available for working people. You are in a certain price range which again is fine. There are state programs, county programs, and good lending.

EK: Really good example we met a potential client. She was referred to us just about a month ago, so I met with her in our office. We sat down the husband now is 26 and she is 24 born and raised here in Maui. They said that they are looking to purchase here. They wanted to kind of grade a game plan for the next year to maybe 2 years, 3 years and they thought it was really far out. After kind of looking everything over, I kind of realized I think that you might be in a better position than you really think you are. They have a child and a newborn coming and so I said let me pair you with one of our amazing mortgage brokers. Let’s get you kind of analyzing your finances and so forth what your goals are. We did do that within the first 2 days after we met. By day 7 the end of that week they were pre-approved for over $800,000 more than they could ever imagine. It was just implementing proper banking procedures and really showing them on paper what they could do and of course, there were some things. Financially they could improve on and they were totally open-minded but when they see that even more. It was a kick in their butt to really work towards it. Now, we are showing property and they possibly could be going on the contract later today.

BS: Fabulous. That’s so great.

EK: They had no idea even that they are even qualified or able to do that. They’ve been employed working hard since they are in high school and kept the same employment.

BS: Lahainaluna?

EK: Lahainaluna

BS: That’s so great.

EK: Really good stuff coming.

BS: That’s so super. I think for anybody that’s got that in mind check in with us. Ethan, what’s your phone number?

EK: (808) 269-8033

BS: Thank you. You can call Ethan. You can call Roy or me if it’s easier to track us down. Ethan is in our office. He is not necessarily there all day every day none of us are because we are all showing property or outdoing all the other things that we do as realtors. We are all kind of busy, but we are not too busy to get together with you and help. Ethan’s plan is spectacular and the ability to be a part of that will really make a big difference in your life.

EK: Thank you.

BS: There are so many other things going on right now. Everybody knows and is complaining about the prices going up etc. One of the things and its part of again our direction today is that interest rates are still low enough they’ve definitely gone up a little. You are at a place that you could buy more than you think you could buy. Your payment is going to be excellent. It will be a payment and if you are here and you are a lifer as I say call it now. You want to stay on Maui you are never going to be sorry if you can afford the payment. You are going to be here for the rest of your life. It takes you 30 years to pay it off. You can just take care of your home. Eventually, if life throws you some good things you may end up upgrading but you will always have your home. We know people right now that are moving all the time and it’s so hard for them to even find anything that they can afford. It’s got to be home-ownership and then get someone like Ethan that will pay attention and watch the new programs coming out that are going to be for affordable housing and or workforce housing. It really does make a big difference. I think we have Dr. Estin calling in to give us a little quick update on what’s going on today with medicine and in particular with the virus etc. Are we on Doc. Norm?

Dr. Norman Estin: We are. Aloha.

BS: Aloha. Ethan is here today.

EK: How is it going Doc?

BS: Ethan Kaleiopu

NE: All good news out here. The virus is receding into the background. It’s not disappearing but our numbers are great compared to 3 or 4 weeks ago when we were all sick. We have fewer people getting sick. We have fewer people being positive with fewer people going into the hospital and of those going into the hospital fewer going into intensive care around the ventilators. To give you a couple of numbers about 3 or 4 weeks ago when we were testing, we had 40% or 50% people positive for the omicron variant and now we are running about 1%.


NE: Dramatic change. If you look at the previous spike like the delta spiking if you think of that as shaped like let’s say the hump of a camel. This particular spike with omicron is shaped like an ice pick so it went up really quickly. It didn’t exist before December. Went up December January now. Early February it’s going away and by the end of this month, there will be very few of the omicron variants. That’s all good news.

EK: Some good news.

BS: That’s perfect. That’s everything that we all have been hoping for. You are going to have a little more time on your hands Dr. Norm we hope.

NE: Well, it’s very good. We are still testing. We are still screening. There are fewer people sick which is good. We are opening up the island just like the rest of the world is opening up to travel, losing the restrictions. Canadians still have to test before they go into the country probably for the next couple of months. Other countries less. What we wind up doing here in Hawaii who knows right now for people to come in. They just have to be vaccinated with 2 doses. They don’t have to have a booster to get into the state even though having a booster really helps protect you especially if you are older. It’s getting better. We are going to see mask mandates disappearing in public areas and likewise, we are going to see public events, high school football, MIL school football. Sporting events like that allow people to come in and crowd so that’s good. It’s still prudent to be wearing a mask, and be careful indoors when you are with a lot of people, especially a lot of people you don’t know.

BS: Perfect. I think that answers lot of our questions for today Dr. Norm. Norm is doctors on call. Has several offices from Wailea basically out to Kapalua. He is been really an amazing person in the medical community for 40 plus years. Thank you for everything you’ve done and for coming on the radio and giving everybody some information. It’s been perfect.

NE: We’ve been very fortunate here in Maui and in Hawaii in general. We have fewer people, we live outside, and we eat outside. We are dispersed, we don’t crowd into busy elevators or public transportation. We are very fortunate from that point of view. Again, we all have to be vigilant. This is not going to go away. There’s only been 1 virus in the history of the world that’s been eradicated in other words totally gone in that small box. This omicron and the coronavirus the family of ours is going to be with us forever. It will be part of the background every year. It’s going to come and go especially during the flu season. It will be one of the bad cold viruses and occasionally there will be people who get really sick. The way to protect yourself from this is again vaccination. I’m sure most of your listeners have had 2 as well as the booster and if not please go and get the booster. Be careful when people are sick. Mask in public places if there’s a lot of people are on transportation like airplanes and buses and ships etc. It’s always going to be with us. The question I’m asked is there going to be another booster? Yes, there will be another booster not right away nobody needs a 4th booster unless you have some underlying illness that makes you have a hard time fighting off infections mean being immune to compromise is the medical term. Those people need a 4th booster but otherwise we will all get a tiny booster when we get the flu shot in the fall. It will be a combination vaccine and we hardly recommend that everybody get that to stay healthy next

BS: Perfect. Thank you again for calling in. We are going to go ahead and try to sell some real estate to somebody. What about you? You must need a 2nd home here.

All: (Laughing)

BS: No, you’ve got the perfect place already. He is the best.

NE: Very good

BS: Best place in the world

NE: Aloha out there.

BS: Aloha

NE: Thank you

BS: See you real soon.

EK: See you soon

BS: Aloha. One of the things that I was thinking about and I kind of was looking at something here that we’ve all been kind of down a little bit. This has brought us all into the doldrums and I think it really is time that we congratulate ourselves on how fortunate we all are. We’ve come through this and I feel like Maui came through it as a village. People really worked hard to be a village to help one another. We watched a lot I mean we would pick up a lot of take-out food. Now, we would feel like that was okay because we were helping the community. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to cook. It was just we were trying to be a part of it in a way. I feel like we were. A lot of people did stuff like that. They did a better job of buying from Maui. I got to admit I’m not the one who’s always good about that but I’m trying harder because we should all do stuff like that right now. Remember that amazon is fun and it’s easy but again we are going to someday not have the people here with the goods that we need on a day-to-day basis. That’s just one of my little things.

EK: Keeping local businesses in the business.

BS: Yeah, it really works. Can you think of any particular listings right now that you might want to give a little shout-out to someone looking right now?

EK: I’m trying to think.

BS: Okay, I’ve got one.

EK: Go for it.

BS: Okay, at the Ironwoods at Kapalua. We have a listing there at $6,300,000 now I’m drawing a blank on the exact price but that’s okay we can figure it out with you. It’s spectacular. It has an ocean view from everywhere. It obviously doesn’t most of us are never going to afford a property like that but somebody’s listening that realizes they’ve been looking for it they’ve been trading up over the years. If you are thinking that come on by. Its owner-occupied. They are really great helping us to get in to show it because we have had a lot of interest. It is at the Ironwoods and we would love to show it to you. 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, and the view are unbelievable.

EK: It is beautiful.

BS: What else is there? What about right in Lahaina? Is there anything in particular? Everything is sold.

EK: Everything is sold.

BS: It is scary when we run certain things right now. We are finding that nothing comes up. With the board of realtors, if you look at the total number of homes for sale on Maui, I don’t think it’s more than 30.

EK: We listed 3 beds, 2.5 baths, town home in Kamalani Kihei and that went under contract within 24 hours.

BS: It’s amazing right now what’s happening. It’s time to step up and think about it. Even if it turns out everybody’s asking most of us what do we think is going to happen? Is the market going to continue like this? Are we going to see a drop? Is this going to happen? Is that going to happen? I wish we knew but none of us know and to be able to protect that would be magic if nothing else. If you are thinking about home ownership and with the stuff that we were saying a little while ago about qualifying etc. It’s a great time to talk to one of us. Talk to Ethan. Talk to my husband Roy, and myself, and give us the opportunity to fill you in on what it could take. If nothing else if the market does come down and that’s what you wait for then so be it. You will find a really great deal. You will be ready to do it. If the market goes up the same thing you are going to find a way that you will be able to step into the market because you will have really learned so much about what it takes for home ownership. You are going to learn that you don’t want to be a renter forever and those of us that want to stay in Maui for the rest of our lives. I’ve been here for over 40 years. I hate to say the exact number, but it is a long time. Roy born and raised here. We don’t ever want to leave Maui. There’s nowhere that I want to go. We are going to stay home-owners whatever it takes. We would like all of you to be able to do the same. What else can we think of for places to buy right now? What about the place in Napili? It keeps not opening. It is workforce housing right across from the Napili Market.

EK: That one?

BS: Right. Do you know anything that we don’t know?

EK: Haven’t been updated on that one for a while.

BS: We haven’t either.

EK: We will bring an update next time.

BS: Okay, let’s be ready for that one because there’s got to be somebody with the information. They keep going in there and like painting or doing something which at one point I kind of looked and thought it was trying to just keep the building permit active. They don’t seem to finish.

EK: Yeah

BS: It’s looking better all the time. It’s not looking really bad. Great location, really so close to Kapalua, close to Lahaina.

EK: Supermarkets right there.

BS: Supermarket is right there, everything. Doctors on-call are not that far away. We have kind of got everything in the neighborhood. Kapalua there are a few places for sale. The same thing wouldn’t you say going under contract pretty quick.

EK: Really quickly.

BS: Yeah. It’s been amazing. We are coming down actually right now to the 4-minute warning, so we’d better come up with something. Is there anything that you can think of? Any property that you would say to start looking at? What did you just sell? What about another one of those?

EK: We just got at IAO Parkside that one other contract as well. That one is awesome. It’s another Lahainaluna graduate.

BS: Is it? Super.

EK: Super excited for her. We may possibly have another IAO Parkside unit coming up. It’s 2 beds, 1.5 baths. We are looking to list probably within the next 30 to 40 days just getting it prepared.

BS: Pay attention to those. Again, IAO Parkside great place because you are in the middle of everything. You can get to Lahaina. If you are working in Lahaina, you can get all around.

EK: It’s a great property for first-time home buyers. You have the USDA option and FHA. Great loan programs to use in there with little to low money down as well. Great starter home.

BS: That is really great. We had some people years ago that bought one for their daughter who was going to college here. She graduated here. She was in the Culinary School. She has had a great career.

EK: Steppingstone for some of ours.

BS: A lot of good things here. We are running down right now maybe a 2-minute warning. Think about anything. Think about one another. We keep trying to come up with different things. Let’s remember that we are a community and every time we help one another with the littlest thing.

EK: It goes a long way.

BS: It goes a long way. Someone that just needs a tiny bit of help. Sometimes that’s just a smile. You see someone struggling they don’t want your help necessarily but if you give them a great smile their day has been made. Back to Danny Couch almost. He is my favorite Hawaiian entertainer. He come out to Maui a couple of times for Hale Makua and did our luau.


BS: Really exciting. He is such a nice man. He is one of the greatest of all time in my mind. The greatest of all time Hawaiian entertainers. There are so many. There’s just so many of them. Anyway, we are back here with I love Hawaii and we love Hawaii. Love our Danny Couch, love our Lahainaluna High School, and looking forward to being back at the sports arena next year. Aloha.

EK: Aloha