Betty Sakamoto: Aloha and welcome to Betty’s Real Estate Corner, brought to you by Sakamoto Properties, Coldwell Banker at Kapalua.
Roy Sakamoto: Yeah, Roy and Betty Sakamoto.
BS: Here we are again, another Betty’s Real Estate Corner. It kind of makes us chuckle sometimes. It’s been a lot of years now that we’ve been doing this. I remember, the first having no idea what we were going to talk about but somehow it happened, and I was just myself, I think, and Cindy Paulos was here that day. And then eventually Roy and I would become the ones that are usually here, and we come up with a whole lot of different ideas. Today, one of the things we really want to talk about as we come up to the holiday season, we want to talk about giving, helping to take care of people from the smallest level where you take care of your neighbor around the holidays, where maybe you help someone just take care of their children for a few hours will they get to go shopping or food shopping or whatever it takes to just make their life a little bit easier and better. But a couple of the larger ones, the Maui Food Bank. Roy brought some information on that and then Hale Makua. These are places, that as the holiday approaches, they do need a lot of they need more money. I mean, they need donations. They need a way to continue to do what they do for the community.
RS: Yes. Maui Food Bank, for instance, we had on their website this morning and it’s incredible the amount of money that goes into the good for the community. For every dollar that you spend for Maui Food Bank and feeds four people. So for $10, it feeds 40 people. If you donate $25, it feeds 100 people. And that’s what a great cause. We had some more stuff off the website that very well-read.
BS: Well, part of that really is interesting because, like you say, a dollar would be four meals and that can almost sound like that’s impossible. That’s not going to happen. What they’re doing is the way they work and the way they get the community to work with them. If you’ve ever gone to something where they are working to feed people and realize that it’s not always I mean, we picture that being only, let’s say, the totally homeless or the people with nothing but that’s not the case. A lot of these today are hard, hard-working people that are still just can’t totally make a living and they don’t have a home or a place that’s large enough for them to be able to, let’s say, have a Christmas meal or a Thanksgiving meal. When they go there and if you’ve ever gone to one and checked it out, you’ll see that there are so many people that are there, but they’re all in a way, for that moment, that day, a family. And that’s a family led by the Maui Food Bank.
RS: Yes. Many of these are families with young children. Parents are working as just tough to make a living here in Hawaii, especially Maui and there are other issues. There’s affordable housing and so forth. Obviously, housing and food are two of your basic needs. And then again, off the mauifoodbank.org website. Here’s an interesting statistic for the month of September, there was 3,565 volunteer hours that were served. 3,565 hours by volunteers just for the month of September. Then where does your dollar go? For every dollar that you donate $0.96 goes to the program services. 96% goes back into program services. There’s 3%, $0.03 out of every dollar for fundraising expenses, and only 1%, $0.01 out of every dollar for fundraising expenses, which is almost unheard of in today’s world of fundraising. And so, $0.96 out of every dollar goes into the program services through Maui Food Bank.
BS: One of the things also on there was that the Hawaii State Department of Health revealed that the people living in Maui County are at serious risk for having one of the highest rates of food insecurity in the state. And 65% of the people that benefit have an income level below the official poverty guidelines. 37% are working households, and they’re working as hard as they can to be able to be self-sufficient. We have all at different times in our life, needed help in different ways. And when you go on with this almost 50% of the people that they serve are single moms and one in five children in Maui County is currently still at risk of going hungry. This is a 62% increase in the last decade alone. It’s just something let’s all think about it for the holidays. If there’s something that we can do and maybe it isn’t the Maui Food Bank, maybe it’s by helping a neighbor, picking up things for them, giving them something that you have when you know that they need. Let’s just all help one another.
RS: We are a community. We are a village. So absolutely. Here’s another shout-out to Hale Makua. As many of you know, Hale Makua serves the frail and elderly of Maui. And here’s an interesting statistic. Almost $2.5 million went into health care and support services for the frail and elderly and disabled who couldn’t afford it. So just about two and a half million dollars of the Hale Makua services were to people who couldn’t afford or disabled. There were 545 people that were helped through occupational and speech therapy rehab. There’s home health tended to 631 patients in their homes. There were 272 individuals in our facilities with long-term care needs. I want to give a big shout-out to the board of Hale Makua. The Board is chaired by Ed Romson. Also on the board is Alec McBarnet, who’s the secretary of Alec of Maui Oil Company. Grant Chun from Hale Mahaolu. Mike Munekiyo from Munekiyo Hiraga. Wes Lo is our CEO. Rich Kishaba is the chair of Ohana Pacific Foundation. Eileen Wachi is the former HR of Maui electric. And Karen Oura, who used to be the head nurse at Maui Memorial Hospital. A big shout out and thanks to the board of Hale Makua.
BS: Also, on the board of Hale Makua is Roy Sakamoto, who’s been on the board for probably a better part of 40 years. It started a long obviously long, long time ago. But I can personally say this board as a working board, they put a lot of time and energy in, and phone calls and meetings and then zoom meetings and everything that they can do. It is our frail and elderly. When you say that there’s also often that you’ve got a very young person in there that’s taken care of as a patient, and many of them have been able to eventually walk out of there. It could have been a tragic accident. It could have been an early stroke. It could be any of us. It could be our children, our grandchildren. So, again, let’s all support, Hale Makua.
RS: Yeah. There is some exciting news to share. With the help of Maui County, we will be taking over a portion of the Kahului Community Park and we will be building a new facility for rehab and probably relocating our laundry and kitchen facilities to this new site. A small portion of the Kahului Community Park. So, stay tuned for further news on this. It’s really, really exciting and will help Hale Makua continue to offer care to the frail and elderly of Maui County.
BS: Anyone who has ever walked into Hale Makua to visit a family member know how important it is and how the people who are working there are so thankful to be there and to be able to do what they do. And they will welcome you with open arms to visit your loved one and see to it that you have privacy if you need it. I think it’s actually the staff there are spectacular, Roy. Each and every one.
RS: No question. Absolutely.
BS: Each and every one.
RS: And you know, we’re not quite a real estate show, even though it’s Betty’s real estate corner. How about talking about voting?
BS: Oh, yes. Now we’re down to just a few days, just tragically a few days. And the thing is, we all need to vote. And so often I’ve talked to someone and partially even myself sometimes I look at something that on the ballot and most of us have gotten the ballot by mail and I don’t understand something. You still have a little bit of time to talk to one another, talk to your family members, but don’t be swayed. If you really want to vote for X, Y, Z, you should probably vote for X, Y, Z. You watch television, you talk to people, you’re out there in the community. Whatever our ages are, whether we’re young or older, you have a right and an obligation to vote. And then when it’s over, let’s all continue to be happy. Let’s love one another and support whoever it is that we voted for because if they got the majority, they’re the winner. So, let’s support them, whether it’s for two years, four years. Let’s all really take care of it. It really matters.
RS: Absolutely. And that’s what democracy is all about.
BS: It will never be perfect. I said one of the things that we were talking about, it seemed a simpler thing when I was growing up and watched my parents vote, they voted, they talked about it, and maybe in the end, whoever they voted for didn’t get elected, but they supported that person. They didn’t try to make it miserable. They didn’t try to fight with one another over it. Sure, you hear a heated conversation, but they supported it. Were Americans. We’re a democratic world. Let’s all take care of one another.
RS: Yeah. Unfortunately, our political climate has changed a bit, but we still need to get out there and vote and vote and respect whoever wins. They won fair and square let’s respect the winners.
BS: Well, I think, again, that’s so true, Roy. We just got to all of us, each and everyone, let’s support the winners and the losers. I mean, like we’re going to also run into them, and if we feel like we’d love to see them in, support them if they’re going to run again and then maybe help more with their if it matters to you. Again, for right now, election’s over. Let’s support whoever the next person is.
RS: Absolutely. Yeah. And even those that have lost they’ve brought forth some great ideas, good food for thought. Who knows, perhaps in two or four years, they’ll be running again, have a little bit more experience. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your efforts with the rest of us. Even though you lost. Nobody likes to lose but thank you for your efforts and for your thoughts.
BS: Well, I think, again, Election Day, it’s almost here. So, let’s all continue, talk to one another, get ready to vote. And I think in many places you can actually walk in and vote.
RS: There are a few places.
BS: I don’t know where that is right now, but I think that someone else on the radio today will be telling you that. But or make a phone call. Call the county, call your friends, call the radio station, call anywhere, but find out. And but again, you still will have time to get your ballot in. Election Day is still.
RS: Absolutely, important thing, get out and vote.
BS: Get out and vote.
BS: You’ve got something there or we’re going to try to do maybe one or two real estate things. What about interest rates?
RS: Interesting. They’ve been bouncing up and down overall, we’ve seen the real estate market kind of slow down a little bit, but not necessarily a whole lot. We have not ground to a halt. We’re actually actively looking for listings since inventory is way, way down. If you’re interested in selling your property, no matter where it is, you could be Upcountry Kula and think, why am I calling an agent in Kapalua to talk about my listing up in Kula or something. Call us and we’ll direct you to the right person to talk to. You can call Roy (808) 870-7060 or Betty (808) 870-7062 or hit on our website. That’s thanks to Meyer Computer. We’ve got a very active website and it’s still under our old company Sakamoto Properties. Go to sakamotoproperties.com and you’ll have access to all of our information. You’ll have access to everything listed in the Maui multiple listing board but contact us. We’ll be happy to talk to you, even though you’re not necessarily in the West Maui area.
BS: And also keep in mind that as Coldwell Banker Kapalua, we also have offices Upcountry. We have offices in Kaanapali, we have offices Kihei, Wailea, etc.
BS: There are more of them than I can name right now.
RS: Coldwell Banker Island Properties. We actually have offices on the Big Island.
RS: In Kauai and actually we have a big happening tomorrow where we have 20 of the top agents from the Coldwell Banker office on Oahu coming to visit Maui and to see what we have to offer. They’re having the same issues there. They have a lack of inventory, good inventory, but people are still buying. It’s great to welcome these 20 agents from the Honolulu office of Coldwell Banker and we look forward to working with them.
BS: When somebody says the market is slower now or they’re not quite as busy now, part of the reason, obviously, is because there are fewer homes for sale, but there are still properties for sale. Interest rates have gone up in some cases we’re seeing you may find a seller who would be willing to do some seller financing for a couple of years as we watch interest rates, hopefully, change again and go down. There are so many possibilities. There are ways that we can work with you and within our company, we can find we have a Makai mortgage that’s also right now doing some great loans.
RS: Yeah. I mean, all of the various banks and mortgage companies have some great rates out there. You just have to contact them or call us. Again, it’s Roy at (808) 870-7060 and Betty at (808) 870-7062.
BS: We can again help direct you to a person that probably is more within your sphere where you’re living, etc. let us help you. We’re happy to do that. We can help direct you or tell you a little bit more about getting loans and how it works or the possibility of owner financing. And that’s not going to happen always, and you have to probably have something down usually, but it does happen. So, I think that there’s a lot of ways to get into the real estate market, so don’t give up. And the other thing is talking to someone like Ethan Kaleiopu from our office, whose phone number I don’t have in front of me right now. Ethan is spectacular and he’s done a thing where he’s worked with buyers and will get them started in the right direction where somebody will check in with him. He’s a Lahainaluna High School graduate, but he cares about the community, and he will see to it that you learn everything you can about how to clean up your credit, what to do, the moves to make, and to be able to buy. If not today, maybe it’ll be next year, maybe it’ll be three years. But he’s really doing a great job of helping the community, Roy.
RS: He’s done a lot with the first-time homebuyers. How old is Ethan? Probably 22 to 23.
BS: Probably. It seems people are getting old fast.
BS: We’re leading that.
RS: Ethan started when we had Sakamoto Properties. He was a high school senior at Lahainaluna. He called one afternoon and asked if he could, as a senior project, learn more about real estate and kind of intern under us. I told him to come on in, let’s chat, and see what we can do with this. He came into the office. We had Sakamoto Properties then in Napili. He came into our office, sat down and I said, why would you want to go into real estate? And I figured a 17, 18-year-old kid would be saying, I want to make the big bucks and he floored me with his answer. Ethan said I want to help people find their homes.
BS: And he truly, truly meant it.
RS: Was not anything related to making the big bucks. He wanted to help people find their homes and he’s done a great job over the last four or five years that he’s actually been in the business. And I think you have Ethan’s contact.
BS: I do. You can reach Ethan at (808) 269-8033. He has actually there’s another number (808) 868-8123. Now that probably made it complicated and that will be the best. The best one thing is (808) 868-8123. We’re going to be winding down fairly soon, Roy.
RS: Yeah. So, we can talk about a few listings. Again, if you would like us to chat about your listing, you’re thinking about putting your property on the market give us a call and we’ll sure be happy to talk to you if we do have the listing or if Coldwell Banker has the listing. So again, Roy at (808) 870-7060 or Betty (808) 870-7062 or go to sakamotoproperties.com.
BS: You know Roy, Kahana Reef is an oceanfront property one bedroom one bath Steve Fuller with our office has a really great oceanfront listing there. You can reach Steve at (808) 283-2420. Great property listed at $950,000 oceanfront. Now unfortunately I only have a few of these with me today.
RS: Oh, that’s okay. Here’s an interesting home. That’s Maluna Kai Estates. It’s four bedrooms, three and a half bath and the actual address is 5045 Lower Honoapiilani Road in Napili. It’s actually in the Maluna Kai Estates and Mary Anne Fitch has this listing. It’s a four-bedroom, three-and-a-half baths, single-family residence, and a great little community. Maluna Kai Estate’s listed at $1,995,000. Mary Anne can be reached at (808) 250-1583. And I’ll tell you, I don’t know if you’ve worked or have talked to Mary Anne, but she is willing to go the extra mile for her clients. Great, great lady. Mary Anne Fitch (808) 250-1583.
BS: Here’s another one. This one is at The Breakers in Lahaina, listed at 469,000. It’s a studio apartment, so it’s obviously a smaller property, but again, it’s livable. It’s in the heart of Lahaina. You can walk so many places. You can get anywhere you need to go. It’s listed by Rick Kepler from Coldwell Banker. Rick can be reached at (808) 283-3729. Now we are within the two-minute warning, Roy, so I think we can either go back to our charities a little bit or kind of think about it again, getting ready for the holidays.
RS: And getting ready to vote.
BS: And getting ready to vote. That’s got to be right now for the next six days. Is it? No, four days.
RS: It’s pretty quick.
BS: I know.
RS: It’s happening.
BS: I was thinking it was longer than it was, but we only have so much time and let’s use that time. Use it appropriately. It really matters.
RS: And again, respect the winners and respect the losers. Whoever wins or whoever loses in the elections. Thank you for participating. We all need to get out and vote.
BS: Use your time. Remember the thing I had, Roy, about a minute. I’ve only just a minute. Only 60 seconds in that forced upon me. Can’t refuse it, didn’t seek it, didn’t choose that. But it’s up to me to use it. I must suffer if I lose it. Give account if I abuse it just a tiny little minute. But eternity is in it. And right now, let’s use those minutes to get the vote out.
BS: Let’s all vote it’s we can do it we’ve done it. Everybody in the room that we’re in right now has done it. We’re all proud of each other.
RS: Get out and vote. Don’t forget to support Maui Food Bank and Hale Makua, two awesome, awesome charities here on Maui.
BS: And again, anything else I mean, I think sometimes as the holiday’s approach, the littlest thing, your neighbor, someone that you know needs something and you pick it up for them and it also helps. And we have Danny Couch coming back on check out his music. It is still some of the best Hawaiian music. I love Hawaii. Danny Coach. Aloha.