Sakamoto Properties

Maui Hawaii Luxury Property & Community Spotlight
October 21, 2014

Betty Sakamoto: Aloha and welcome to Betty's real estate corner brought to you by Sakamoto Properties where prestige is our business, reputation our foundation. Here we are again, Betty's Real Estate Corner. My husband, Roy Sakamoto, is here and today we have David Freedman. David with Diamond Head Lending.

David Freedman: Aloha. How are you?

B: Aloha, all. We try to come up with a variety of things you're going to want to hear about today, but probably the biggest thing we want to talk about is mortgage loans. We have David. So, we've got him here to give us a whole lot of exciting details. He's been in the middle of doing some amazing loans for clients of ours, to facilitate closings that are happening. And it's really meant a lot to our company. So, we're really going to get him to give us some skinny on it all. But first, let's hear what Roy's got to say for today.

Roy Sakamoto: Well, I think Neil Everett, again the lead in with Neil Everett is awesome. Big voice with ESPN, national voice, national face with ESPN. For him, to again, dedicate his time and effort to help Lahainaluna is awesome. Thanks Neil, and how is the fundraising going?

B: It's going really pretty good. Pretty good.

R: Betty's on the Lahainaluna High School Foundation.

B: I'll tell you one thing we needed help with right now, and David Freedman has been offering to help us out on a Saturday. We've been trying to be in there, doing weed whacking, etcetera. We called it at one point, we were just picking weeds, and this is major up there, it's been major. They were supposed to be doing it Saturday but we were thinking we may possibly get rained out, so there will be no Saturday. But we will be working on it just because, again, as part of the fundraising question, there's only so much money. The stadium is so unbelievable, that if you haven't seen it, you need to go up there and look. It's the same field that the Dallas Cowboys have. So, these kids have the best of the best right now for a small school, Lahainaluna. When you see those kids playing great football, really excelling in track the last couple years, soccer, etcetera. A lot of it has to do with the fact that they have this field. And you're going to really be thrilled when you get up there, but right now there's been additional funding, everything keeps costing more than we're expecting, there's always something that needs to get changed. The American Disabilities Act came into play a number of times, we had to add additional facilities and widen some entries, but it's fabulous. Now, this whole landscaping question, being able to keep it up. Because, again, it's going to cost a lot of money, so I think for the foreseeable future it's going to take a lot of us helping out to see that it looks it's best. And I still believe there's going to be a game there this year.

R: Yeah, yeah, and you mentioned fundraising. There's fun(FUN) raising also, which sounds like the weeding project. It's kind of a fun project.

B: It is fun!

R: Volunteering.

B: It is a fun volunteer project. Last week when we were there, there were fewer people than everyone expected. But, you know, people get tied up, it's Saturday, it's a day off. And then we kept blowing out weed whackers, not that I was running any of the weed whackers. There were some amazing people that were up there. Obviously, Lanny Tihada is always one of the top, and Mark Tillman, and Jeff Rodgers, and I should probably...

R: Right, and a big Malaho to Mike Jones from Kapalua Golf.

B: Right Mike Jones. He showed up and brought with him, three weed whackers, after we had blown out others. And he put on, he was dressed for his office, had on great kakis, beautiful aloha shirt, normal everyday work shoes for him and he was getting down and dirty and handling one of the weed whackers. But truly, everybody had fun, we had lots of sodas and water. I survived three hours, but you know that was kind of at my limit for the Lahaina sun and then I had an appointment also, but still three hours, it was fun. I can't wait to get up there again and have the group together, and we're making a difference. We are going to see to it that the stadium looks good. Right now we can't afford to bring in a big management company, landscape company to make it look perfect, we've got to do it ourselves for a while and it's going to be great. You'll love every minute when you come up there.

R: The stadium is awesome. Have you seen it David?

D: I have, I actually walk my dogs up in the area...

R: Nice.

D: And you were a student there, so obviously you can see the change over the years.

R: Big time, yep.

D: I got to believe that's got to be the best view from any football field.

B: In the world.

D: In the world. If they did a calendar of the top ten vistas from a football field, it would be it. It's the best view, an incredible field, and it's part of our community.

B: It is our community. And, you know, Roy graduated from Lahainaluna High School in 1960.

R: Ohh.

B: My daughter graduated from Lahainaluna High School in 1982, which I should also go 'Ohh,' but she did, in 1982 and Roy's dad graduated in 1929.

R: Yes.

R:Perfect timing.

B: So, one of the fundraising projects right now is that for only $1,000, as Neil Everett said, you can buy a row of bleachers and you'll be able to put something on the sides of that. So, we actually purchased one and if you go to and take a look at it you can see what the different classes have done. So, Roy and I decided that we were going to pay the $1,000 for the first class, which was 1831. So, the class of 1831 is going to have their own bleacher. And so many people are coming in, there's the various classes have a big thing going on, struggling to get all the classes to participate, almost every class is. I think some of those other classes, it'd be fun, if somebody else thinks of the same idea. You know, where you might want to say, how a family for the class of 1832. You know, or whoever it is, somebody that you might want to honor in that way. Great idea for everybody.

R:Right, and you know the class challenge is out there. Our class, 1960, has so far raised two rows of bleachers and we're working on our third.

B: You're on the third.

R: So, any other classes out there, come on up, try to beat us.

B: You don't want 1960 guys to beat you, do you? Come on, bring it on. Bring it on.

R: You don't want 1960 guys to beat you, do you? Come on, bring it on. Bring it on.

R: Okay.

B: Okay.

B: One more thing is, while we're on community affairs, we were at a meeting with Wes Lo, the administrator for Maui Memorial Hospital, and it's big news now with the privatization, hopefully, of the hospital with Hawaii health systems joining or perhaps Kaiser. Healthcare Maui is big and it should be big. But with the cutbacks in Medicare and Medicaid our medical system, our health system is failing because of the economics. We need new blood, new money and a venture with Kaiser or Hawaii Health Systems would be great. So, let's keep our fingers crossed that this comes around.

B: We've been working for many, many, many years now with Hale Makua and Hale Makua, the same thing, it's one of the things that, as a community, we need to realize and understand that we do need to make contributions to almost all of these places, they can't run it themselves. You could say Lahainaluna High School is a public school but this field has not been funded by the government, it's been funded, primarily, by the community and by one person in particular. Now, the state has come up and has done, let's say, it's share also, or a small share. The same with Hale Makua, Hale Makua would have closed, I would bet years ago, if wasn't for your foundation and your group that have been funding and getting contributions.

R: Right, and we're still having financial difficulties, it's tough in today's world, but we're drawing at the hip with the hospital. So, hopefully, the hospital will right their ship and we'll be tagging along with them, Hale Makua will be. So, let's keep our fingers crossed.

B: And together that makes a big difference because if they're working together, if somebody is in the hospital that doesn't need regular hospital care at that point and they can get them easily because they're working attached at the hip with Hale Makua, the person can get to a better space for them a lot easier than they could have at earlier times.

R: Right, absolutely. So let's get on to financing, the world of financing is huge and it's tricky. You need a professional to help you. And David Freedman.

B: Let me give you one little thing on David. okay, David's phone number, if you want to call him, (808) 385-8558, David Freedman. And if you don't reach him right away, leave a message, he'll get back to you. But I think he's an amazing source of information, give us, you know one of the things that we've been talking about recently is how people can use, in some cases, a couple of properties. So, fill us in.

D: Okay, well first off I love hearing the two of you talk about our lives here on Maui. One of the things, you know, for the person who's driving and listening to this on vacation, this is a community. When you have someone who is touching the football field and retirement, assisted living, Hale Makua, I'm reminded, this is what makes Hawaii so beautiful. Right now it's Thursday and we have a potential tropical storm coming in and here we are sitting, and if the tropical storm becomes a little bit stronger you'll be glad to know that you pulled weeds with someone once and then if you see them after you go, 'remember me?' and they do. And that's part of the community. So, I just always love this show how it just goes across the board. For financing, I'd say interest rates are great, guidelines are opening up, people are allowed to use assets and collateral that they were no longer looking at for the last five years. This has opened up the doors. So, if you're in your home and you see another home you want to buy there might be a way to blanket of encumber the property you are living in to assist you in the purchase of a new property. If you had one property that was perhaps upside-down, the values were low, and you have another property that's done well you can see about setting the loan to value equity position. I think the key thing is, again, working with someone closely, being aware of what your goals are, and making sure that partner is the right person to help you achieve them. Communication is important. Credibility, obviously what we do with finance. The market, what rates are, are not created by me. In the overall market, the interest rates are considering to drop. So, we're seeing a thirty year fixed now back in the three's, which we haven't seen for two years. So, I think we'll see some activity towards purchase. And if you couldn't qualify, didn't think you could qualify, now's a good time to reevaluate your situation. There's some fantastic properties out there that I'm always going, 'how are people not seeing what I'm seeing?'

B: Absolutely, David. I think what he's saying is true. There's some great values, especially here in Maui. In West Maui there so few homes still available in a certain price range, let's say under a million dollars, certainly anywhere near $500,000 there's very, very few. So, if you want to get a place now's the time. There's no better time and you may be able to do it with a lower down payment, like David says, you may be able to use two different properties to get yourself going. Maybe, eventually you're selling one of them. But you need to get in now, because you're going to have a much better chance of qualifying for a mortgage under 4% than you're going to when they're back at 6.5% or, god forbid, 7.

D: Absolutely.

B: And it will happen.

D: Even if it happens slowly it will happen. I think the thing is once you actually step and take that transition into buying a home, whether it's your first home, second home, or whatever it is, the adventure begins. And what a better time, you can have long term financing, under 4%, great stability. I don't think we'll see payments much lower than that in the next 20 years.

B: Never, never and the other thing is, owning your own home, is there anything in the world greater than owning your own home? I mean, I will always remember the first place that I ever owned. Maybe, I'll always remember any place that I've owned, but it is such an amazing thing. A lot of people, my family never owned a home of their own. So, I think it's been a miracle to me that I've been able to, you know, purchase properties, own homes, that Roy and I have been able to have great homes together. Life to me is pretty amazing but any of you, when you own your first home, when you go in there, and go to Lowes or to Ace or somewhere and you pick up your paint and you go in and you can paint the walls red and blue and pink, whatever you want. You go in and you look at and you think, 'this could be so darling if only I owned it.' You can own it!

R: You don't need a landlord's permission, just go ahead and do it.

B: No, you can put holes in the walls. You just call David Freedman, (808) 385-8558. That's where it all starts.

D: And the thing to remember is, you're helping someone own their home by renting it for them or you can help yourself by owning your own home. When you own your own home you can paint it whenever you want. And if there's not a homeowners association, almost any color you'd like.

R: That's right.

D: I live on Lahainaluna and I've changed the color of my house several times.

B: He has changed the color of his house, it's fabulous. He happens to live in the home that Roy grew up in.

R: Yes.

B:Fabulous home on Lahainaluna, I love that home. But I love the property more than anything. But he's really made it his home and it's really amazing. There's great trees in the backyard, he had room for his boat, he could do almost anything there. It's really, it's your home.

D: And that goes back to the purpose of this show is, it think it's encouraging, we're people that have been in the community for a long time. Roy's born and raised here. I'm a transplant, Betty, I believe you are too.


D: And, it's one of these things where by putting work in, whether it's helping the football field, helping pull weeds, which is so simple, three hours, that's one movie. People aren't going to notice if you give up, but you're always going to remember if you do.

B: True.

D: And it's the community, if you're living here, if you're visiting here, it's not that hard to go ahead and make the transition to owning here and when you do you'll really feel a part of in a different way.

B: You're right, being at Lahainaluna High School helping out, pulling weeds it sounds silly, it sounds whatever, a lot of people wouldn't even realize how fun it was until you get up there and you're suddenly, 'I worked hard.' I mean, you know, I think it's hard being in my office and showing property, etcetera. All of the sudden I was out there really working as hard as I could to get, I mean, it was more than pulling weeds. We're talking pulling trees out, there was a point where Lanny Tihada is in there just tearing stuff out. I don't know, it really was.. Louisa Shelton. I tell you some of the ladies there, we worked harder than we've probably worked in thirty years. But it was all a lot of fun. It's going to be the next couple of Saturdays, we're going to start at 7 in the morning and go until noon. Again, I think we probably are going to get aced out this weekend but maybe not, we're not going to give it up until it's time to give it up. So.

R: So, do people just show up at 7 o'clock?

B: People just show up. I mean, if you happen to have your very own weed whacker bring it with you. There were a lot...I didn't have any tools to take with me. A lot of people brought multiple tools, you know, there was a hose, picks, gloves. Oh, and bring. I'm going to buy more gloves. Oh, David's got gloves. Alright, we've got him committed now. You need heavy duty gloves, just because I was getting. I started out with little prissy gloves that were use to pull backyard weeds, I was killing my hands and had to go down to Ace Hardware to get something because we were breaking the weed whackers. While I was down there I bought the heaviest gloves you have ever seen. So, I'm gloved now.

R: Okay.

B:So, we're going to have more.

D: And that's the way it should be, gloved. Correct?

B: We should be gloved, exactly, we should be gloved.

R: And if you need more information on this call our office, Sakamoto Properties 669-0070. And when you're interested in listing or selling take a look at our website, We can help you with all the inventory in Hawaii, not only Maui, we've got access to all of Hawaii and all of the world basically.

B: All of the world.

R: Yes.

B: We have great referrals almost everywhere. You know, one of the things David was talking about a minute ago about is actually being called cross-collateralization. And I think it's an interesting word, or pair of words, to really think about why it works. But I think, again, if you've got more than one property, like we have somebody right now that has a home in California and a home here, but buying a third property, they were able to, they kept putting it off because they couldn't quite figure it out and now all of the sudden, by utilizing that tool of cross-collateralization we're able to get that deal finalized and somebody's going to have the home they want. She can later, when the time is right, sale the other property or the mainland property and they...

R: Can you sum that up real quick?

D: Sure, basically what it is, is we all move through life and things change so today money in the bank is considered an asset and stocks in your portfolio are considered an asset. Free and clear properties, just recently were not, they were looked at as, 'oh, that's nice to have.' They, overall, optimistic outlook from the banks is that these are good assets. So, what they'll do is, they look at someone's overall picture and profile and they're now willing to encumber, or put a lean or a promise that the debt will be serviced and paid correctly, allowing the person to use the equity in the other property. It's a great tool the people have already paid for by owning the property. So, basically it's a great indicator, I believe, that the banks are optimistic about lending because they're really trying to go, 'how do we make loans work?' And a couple years ago I don't think that was the attitude.

R: No, no definitely not.

B: If anything, there was a point where, if you owned too many properties it was a bad thing. You weren't able to possibly borrow if you owned more than two or three properties. They were really watching you really closely, where as now they don't think that's a nightmare at all.

D: Not really. And, again, it's one of those things where we can talk about the storm, or some of the things that are going on in the world today and ultimately the older I get the more I realize it stays the same and the banks are ready to lend and we're in a great environment.

R: Yeah, they're in the business of lending money and that's how they make money. They don't make any money if everybody just sits on it.

D: Absolutely.

R: Good.

B: Everybody's got a job to do here.

R: Yes, yes. And ours is to sell real estate.

B: And ours is to sell real estate.

D: And to the person listening, it's your job to enjoy being on Maui and to realize that it's not that hard to move her and Sakamoto Properties and myself will help you do it.

R: Absolutely.

B: We're ready, willing, and able to get you here on Maui.

D: The greatest place to live. It just makes me scratch my head that people come here and actually want to get on the plane when they go back home, they don't just take the job, oh think they do, do that.

B: They do. Now, that is absolutely the truth, they do that, a lot of people do it. And probably, it's not for everybody. A lot of people are very committed. But, you know, there's nobody that I don't think that leaves here thinking, 'oh thank heaven.' You know, they're always sad. I think that's one of the sweetest stories of all on Maui, is people at the airport talking or the, you know often people will say if it rains the day you're leaving the gods are crying and you'll come back. And I think that really is, I think there's some many great fun stories around Maui but it is sad to leave. I don't think I've seen many people leave thinking joyously, 'thank goodness, I'm out of here.' Everybody is sad that leaves Maui. I'm sad if I leave Maui for three days.

R: But, you know what the best part is?

B: Coming home.

R: Coming home. Yes.

D: This is true.

R: That's right.

D: Absolutely. You leave and it's...

B: You get to come home, we get to come home.

D: Sand on the porch is a beautiful thing.

R: Yeah, in fact, we're leaving next week. We're on our way to Shanghai, our forth trip there, a marketing trip and we've developed some great contacts and look forward to it. And also, some great peking duck.

B: That's right. There are some people...

R: Bejing duck. Politically correct.

B: There's people all over the world that want to come to Maui and that's really pretty exciting. We still find that our buyers are coming from California more than anywhere, but they're coming from all over the world. We now, are however, at the one minute warning.

R: Wow.

B: So, let's think one thing, let's start thinking about the election coming up. So, if you want to, you may want to get yourself set up to vote ahead of time, which you can do absentee. So, do that, you know, pay attention to what's happening, read about all of the issues, and be ready. It's almost November.

R: Absolutely. Whether you like, say the GMO initiative, vote yes, vote no, whatever you're going to vote, vote.

B: Vote.

R: Or as the saying goes, no can grumble.

B: No can grumble. Well, pretty soon I think we've got Neil Everett coming back up and Danny Couch and I think it's time for us all to say Aloha.

D: Aloha.

R: Aloha.

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