Betty Sakamoto: Aloha and welcome to Betty’s Real Estate Corner, brought to you by Sakamoto Properties, Coldwell Banker, Sakamoto Properties. And today in the studio happens to be Casey Fukuda. Now there’s some of you out there that will remember Casey, who lived here and worked with us at Sakamoto Properties for a lot of years. But he got a little independent and decided it was time for him to go back to actually where his family was as they needed his assistance at the time. He never sold his home here. Move back for how many years, Casey?
Casey Fukuda: I’ve been back for two years now.
BS: How long were you on the mainland?
CF: I was gone eight years.
BS: Eight years. And we all kept in touch always. Fortunately, he’s back in Maui and has been for two years.
BS: We all got back together again, and it’s been super. He’s going to be here with me today. We’re going to talk about real estate, maybe a little bit about voting, getting people to really realize it’s all about you, it’s all about you. If you vote and I vote, then it’s all about us.
CF: Can I just say that it’s great to be back and great to be back on the radio show. Thank you very much, Betty, for allowing me to be a guest on your show again.
BS: I’ve been trying to get you on here for two years, but you got too busy right away.
CF: Yeah, I had to get the business going again.
BS: Hotshot realtor.
BS: It’s been great. You have a new listing too that we want to be sure we don’t forget to talk about.
BS: Why don’t we start it now and then we can keep it going?
CF: That’s great. There’s a property at the end of Kaanapali Shores place in Honokawai called the Mahana. My listing is Mahana 305. It’s a great direct oceanfront vacation rental property. It is actually a zoned hotel and so it will keep its transient vacation status for a long time to come.
BS: Great, great beach there.
CF: Great beach. This one’s a unique property. It is one bedroom, but it has two full bathrooms, which is pretty rare at the Mahana. There’s only maybe about 20 out of the 200 units there that have two bathrooms.
BS: That kind of makes it function as a two-bedroom in the vacation world because people who can’t really afford a two-bedroom if they end up with a one-bedroom, two-bath, and everybody has privacy to sleep.
BS: It does make a huge difference.
CF: There’s a door to the hallway and to the bedroom that gives you an on-suite bedroom, just like a hotel room. And then on the other side of that door is the kitchen and had a bed couch.
CF: A second kind of living area out there.
BS: People get pretty clever about how they make that living area so that it’s sleep double.
BS: Yours is spectacular.
CF: It’s a great property. It’s got a really nice view and the Mahana is a special place. The grounds and the property itself, tennis courts, ocean view, swimming pool. These particular units, 856 square feet. It is listed at $1,395,000. If you have questions about that or the properties on the West side, please give me a call (808) 264-5362.
BS: Perfect. Well, we got that out and I think we want to mention it again in a little bit because it is a newer listing and it’s already popular among realtors.
BS: Casey and I, as we got together today, one of the things we talked about was the market and how everybody, not everybody, but a lot of people want is, oh, the market’s slumping, the market’s crashing, the markets whatever. Well, I don’t totally see it that way. I understand why a lot of people do, but I think the whole thing is we’ve run out of listings, so surely things are not happening. A lot of the properties coming on the market right now are the ones that need work and they’re going to need a lot of work in order to get back up to standards. People have been renting them short-term and or long-term, whatever it is, all across Maui and Hawaii. It’s a time that it’s going to be hard. I still think it’s the market and it is going to be I mean, we are going to be across the nation, and let’s call it a mini-slump or whatever we want to say. Again, I think for here in Hawaii, part of the thing is that we’ve just run out of inventory. I think people will still be selling and people will be buying. We’re still talking to people. We’re making offers on things. So, again, talk to your favorite realtor. Call Casey at.
CF: 264-5362 and of course, that’s an 808 area code 264-5362.
BS: Or call Betty (808)870-7062. Casey is fabulous and perfect.
CF: Thank you very much, Betty. You know what, I agree with what you say. We have seen a reduction in actual closings if you compare this year to last year. Our inventory levels are at record lows, and they seem to be shrinking even more every month.
BS: You can still only have so many closings.
BS: If nothing’s for sale. If you get down to it, I can’t remember the number but 100 properties are for sale in West Maui. Let’s say there’s not going to be 100 recordings or probably 50 right now. I think it’s hard.
CF: Well, that’s a good segue into the stats that I brought to the show today. Pre-pandemic, this is three years ago in 2019. September of 2019 we are down 43% of the single-family homes for sale on the market, which is over half. And then as far as condos were down 63%. So, there is very little inventory.
BS: That’s right. And again, we’ve sold more properties than anyone would have ever dreamed with. There’s not a realtor, I don’t think, or a property owner that hasn’t been thrilled almost everyone that the market went up as fast as it did. Sales have been huge and interest rates made it all work pretty good which gets us and now onto the interest rate question which still right now interest rates are a lot higher than they were, especially for a 30-year fixed. There’s still are loans available for you with that are going to be adjustable. That will be, let’s say, 5% to 6%, probably fixed for 6 to 8 years. And hopefully, by that time, interest will come down. But still, I mean, if you do even an interest-only loan, the odds are you can come up with a loan that you can afford. Rentals are so high that I don’t think anybody should totally think no zero chance of buying. It’s still a possibility.
CF: There are rental products out there excuse me, loan products out there called ARMS. The way they structure them is they have them a fixed rate, a pretty good fixed rate. Then after so many years like the one I’m thinking of is a 71 arm where the rate is fixed for seven years. Right now, I think that rate is about 5.35 which is pretty good because since everything else is getting to that 7% rate. Then after seven years it then has an adjustable component of it, and it will address based on the market for loans at that time in seven years from now. Hopefully, you could refinance at that time, too.
BS: Absolutely. I mean, you just watch it closely. You could possibly pay us some points. Mortgages also do go down in rate. We had an adjustable-rate mortgage when we first got into buying real estate ourselves. We’ve never would have qualified at the time if we were going for the perfect loan. We were able to get an adjustable-rate mortgage that was really good and get into real estate that way. It was interest only, so we weren’t paying anything on principal. Again, even at that time, it was a great investment to be able to do that. You talk to Casey is one was really great with lenders, and he’s been working closely with a couple of the Coldwell people. Give them your number again if someone just wants to call you to get information on financing, you can get them directed.
CF: Yes. Please give me a call (808) 264-5362. I am a property investor. I had six rental properties at one point in time in my portfolio and personally, I have refinanced over a dozen times, maybe even 20 different times on different properties. I’ve got a lot of experience when it comes to how do you read your disclosures and what are you actually going to pay for your loan. I can point you in the right direction to find a person that could loan you or get you a mortgage on a property today.
BS: That is quite it’s a totally different business than our business. It’s really important that you’ve hooked up with a lender that you understand and trust. They can come up with some really amazing products for you that will make you able to buy. We’re also hoping, Casey, don’t you think, to come up that we’re going to be seeing more and more and more housing for residents. That we’re going to see workforce housing or there’s so many different names for it, but it does look like everybody is on board that we need more housing.
CF: I thought I saw a project that’s going to be coming up. It’s all supposed to be affordable and or workforce-type housing around the Kapalua Airport. Do you have you seen that?
BS: Well, that’s I think Pulelehua is what they’ve named it, but I don’t know that it’s really ready.
BS: It keeps coming up and coming up. And if Roy is listening to us, call us if you know anything, call in. Call in. I don’t know if you have the number, which I don’t think I’m going to give right now because it’s too complicated. Text me. My phone’s on. That would be interesting to know, but I’m not sure. But I think there’s so much. Politically this year we were just saying earlier, Casey and I were talking about voting, getting out the vote. Everybody has to vote this year. If you think you don’t know enough to vote, you probably do talk to family members. If you see some sort of a political meeting that you might go to hear some candidates, although we’re getting close to Election Day. Maybe you don’t feel qualified to vote on everything, but you probably are as qualified as anybody is.
CF: Yeah, voting is going to be happening in a couple of weeks. If you aren’t informed, you could go to your party website and they’ll give you recommendations on who you should vote for, who they recommend you vote for. I think it’s worth your while to do a little bit of studying and find out what are the candidate’s platforms you’re standing on. What do they want to promote if they are elected and see if they line up with your beliefs and then get out there and cast a ballot because we need everybody to vote. It’s a very important privilege for being a person in our community.
BS: Absolutely. I know that there were times many, many years ago when I was young wondering the same thing. Should I be voting? I mean, am I smart enough to get educated enough, etc.? It’s a hard one. We all are.
CF: I think if you look at the last election cycles, your vote matters.
CF: They were very close.
BS: Very close
CF: Very close.
BS: You know, Casey, Dr. Estin, Norm Estin is on the line with us. I think he’s going to try to give us a little bit of information about what’s going on virus-wise or any change that we should all be paying a little bit of attention to. Are you there, Norm?
Dr. Norman Estin: I am, good afternoon, Betty and Roy and everybody out there.
BS: No Roy here. That’s Casey Fukuda.
CF: How are you doing, Norm?
NE: Aloha. Hi there. Mostly good news out there. It’s a gorgeous day. The trades are back, it’s less muggy, and I think we’re looking better from the coronavirus point of view. If we get back to normal now that the pandemic acute phases are over, but COVID is not, and we don’t expect it’s going to go away totally for a while and for a couple of reasons. It takes 4 to 5 years for a respiratory virus or infection to affect the entire population of the world. This is immunity and there’s nothing we can do to change that. The vaccines help a lot from an individual point of view, but not from the world. This is a great example of how we’re all connected because these viruses spread in the air and while we only have one atmosphere in the world, and so a disease anywhere is a disease everywhere. That’s different from something, let’s say like Ebola, which is spread by direct contact or staph, which is spread by direct contact. Respiratory viruses and bacteria and germs are in the air, so everybody’s going to get to them.
BS: Casey and I talked about Norm a little while ago that what we need to all keep our masks with us. I mean, if you go into a place where you’ve got a lot of people hacking and coughing, let’s do it. Even if it’s not just the virus, it could be the flu, it could be colds. Let’s not catch things that we don’t need to catch.
NE: I think that’s a great suggestion. That’s part of what we all need to do. I think, the stages of going through this pandemic on an individual or society level in terms of our response, first, we deny that it’s really bad and then we get anxious about it and then we adjust to it and then we kind of reevaluate it and eventually we get to a new normal. We’re not at the new normal yet. We’re still in the kind of reevaluation phase where we don’t really know what to do or how to treat strangers, or what do you do in public, what do you do in a plane. I think what we’re going to wind up is in public situations or in large, crowded situations. I give an example, a grocery store or Costco or a jet way you get on and off a plane. It’s going to be useful to have a mask on to prevent infections going both ways. Then the more people that wear a mask, the better. Again, it’s not going to protect you in terms of immunity, like a vaccine will or gradually getting exposed to. It’s going to cut down on the possibility of one, you’re getting sick or two, you’re spreading this. This we’ve known before, and as I experience dealing with the pandemic around the world, has shown that the other good news that we have is we can monitor things really well now. I know there’s a swarm of variants of this. Omicron virus on the way. We know that happening every day there’s another variant. They’re not going to be really serious, and the vaccine will help protect us against it, but not 100%. We have to be prudent. We have to be careful. And if you haven’t had the new Bivalent booster yet, please, please get it. Even if you’re not up to date on your boosters, just go straight to this one. Remember, it takes probably two weeks to kick in to give you full protection so, try to plan now as opposed to waiting until December. The same thing for the flu shot to help protect you. We live in a global environment and again, we’re dependent on people coming in on airplanes every day. We’re going to get exposed to them. We’re going to get exposed to whatever they’re bringing in. We have to protect ourselves.
BS: Perfect. Hey, Norm, I think we are going to get back to a tiny bit of real estate. I’m so happy you called in, because Casey and I just before the show started, I started saying, you know, I should have gotten Norm to call in. It’s perfect that you checked in with us today. Thank you so much.
CF: Thank you, Norm.
NE: Fantastic. Good to hear both of your voices. We’ll talk to you soon.
BS: See you soon. Lunas coming up this weekend.
CF: Are they undefeated?
BS: Absolutely. Thanks, Norm. Aloha. I thought you had kind of had a couple of other listings that you were talking about maybe tossing out there. We have still one listing at Pineapple Hill at 1010 Sunset Place listed at $1,100,000, which is actually a great value, a very private lot of homes around that have already been built, which is a good thing. Obviously at Kapalua. Again, 1010 Sunset Place. Call Roy Sakamoto (808) 870-7060.
CF: I’d just like to mention my good friend Elizabeth Quayle, who works at Coldwell Banker Island Properties with us, has a listing on French Street, 1133 front. It’s a great deal at $2,000,000 actually, it’s $1,995,000 and a lot of room there. I actually have said open house there and it’s in a great location just off.
BS: Baby Beach.
CF: Yeah, right on the Baby beach.
BS: Baby Beach. Yeah. That has to sell quickly because it’s a perfect home for anybody. It’s you could walk to Baby beach. You could walk to every restaurant in Lahaina. It’s a great home. It’s got a lot of space and it’s a good home.
CF: Another property listed by Coldwell Banker is 10 Puamana Place. I’ve sat open house at that property too. It is actually three units, three opportunities for income. It has a cottage, and it has a main home that’s actually split up where there’s an upstairs unit and a downstairs.
BS: Is that actually legal? I have to wonder about that, frankly. Is that acceptable to have?
CF: I think the main house is it could be a nonconforming use because they did close off the stairwell.
CF: Up and down stairs. But currently, it is.
BS: It’s a great home. I know the home but I’m not quite sure it’s going to actually, we can all figure that one out. That’s not Elizabeth.
CF: No, that’s Ray Chin.
BS: Okay, let’s get to Ray Chin and we’ll find out the answer to that. And if he didn’t put it in the listing, probably. Maybe it is okay.
BS: Again, you had given me some information because you were doing some great research on what’s going on market-wise. It really is an interesting time, but like you and I talked about there’s only so many listings.
BS: It does seem we do. So many visitors are here all the time.
BS: They are still looking at properties and buying properties. It’s going to be an interesting year.
CF: Well, Betty, I believe that no matter what the economy’s doing, there’s always an underlying demand for real estate because of things that happen in people’s lives. People get divorced, they get displaced, people pass away. Now, 1031 exchanges are pretty popular, too. There’s this demand for people to buy. And when the available inventory keeps shrinking like it has been, that’s going to help keep the market propped up as far as values in your home.
BS: We’ve even seen people here that have lived in their homes for a long time but are making a decision to rent their property for two years in order to be able to sell that particular property as a 1031 and purchase income property without ending up with the tax liability. Now, that means they also would have to be living somewhere else, whether that’s a rental, etc. and those are difficult decisions to make. But I think we are seeing some very creative things. And again, talk to your realtor who if you got someone you worked with, chat with them, call one of us, call Casey, spit that number out again.
CF: Phone number (808) 264-5362. Thank you, Betty. And I do want to just mention that this 1031 number that we’ve been discussing in the last couple of minutes, it is a vehicle for an owner of a piece of property, and it needs to be an investment property that has the ability to sell it and purchase another property without having to pay capital gains on that transaction.
BS: That’s why I’m saying people have made the decision recently to move out of their home, rent it, put it in the rental market for two years, and I think it’s two years that will qualify them for being able to utilize it then as 1031.
CF: Yeah. And that basically defers your capital gains tax. Eventually, when you do sell that property Uncle Sam does on capital gains taxes on it. Yeah.
BS: Absolutely. Okay. Now here’s the thing where and Pulelehua, which is the new property that Casey was mentioning it does look like it’s going to be a go. He had heard that I was behind on that. But Roy just got to me, and he’s been following up on a lot of those things. So again, that should be I think it’s a variety of usage there, but I think it definitely will have enough product in it that will be considered to be workforce or affordable housing. We’re down to we have a two-minute warning happening. We’ve got if you can think of any one thing, let’s get it out there for people to think about.
CF: I think that just really quick, if you are hesitant to put your house on the market or if you are hesitant to actually start looking for a piece of property right now, there’s two good reasons or there are good reasons for you to think about selling because right now our inventories are so low. You’re there’s still a lot of value in your house. And then there are still some very good buys out there even though the inventory levels are low. You just need to kind of get a good real estate agent to help you find that.
BS: Absolutely. And think about it a lot. I think we’ll have Danny Couch coming back on now probably in 30 seconds. It’ll be fun to hear him. For me, he is my favorite Hawaiian singer. Love that he let us use this all these years.
CF: Betty, thank you so much for inviting me on your show.
BS: Well, now you’re going to have to come again.
BS: Okay. It’s been great to have Casey here, so call us. Aloha.
CF: Thanks, Betty. Aloha.
Coldwell Banker, Kapalua. Aloha.