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. As we start today I want to say a couple of thank-you's. One to Neil Everett, I mean, he is such a lover and a Lahainaluna want to be just like I am that it's amazing that he did that for the school and that we're able to play it and it's bringing lots of people to talk to us about being part of the stadium bleacher campaign. And it's only $1,000, you get your name on a whole bleacher row so it's pretty great. Then, of course, Danny Couch - love Danny Couch - and I'm really thankful that we're able to use his music every week. And I love Hawaii, and I think it's one of the greatest Hawaiian songs of all time because we do love Hawaii.
Roy Sakamoto: Yes, we do. And having Neil Everett to step up and do this for Lahainaluna is huge. Neil Everett, one of the great sports broadcasters on ESPN and boy, it gives me chicken skin every time I hear that. B: (laughter) Howzit, I love when he starts with that.
R: Yeah, and contribute. Right now. (chuckle) B: Anyway, today here we are, myself , Betty Sakamoto and my husband, Roy Sakamoto. Trying to bring you a little bit of real estate information. Trying to let you know of what some of what we think are important things in the community, things that we need help with, and things we should all think about. One of the biggest things in our community today, and I think it's going to be for a lot of years to come - and I know you agree, Roy - is that everybody needs to step up and help to take care of the things that are important to them. Whether it's Hale Makua, or it's the Lahainaluna High School Foundation, or if it's Baldwin, or Maui High. Whatever the things are, that maybe it's just the young people that need help with a project graduation. But, you know, we aren't going to the all the help we once had from any government funding because, as we all know, that government is running out of money. So, what we need to do, is we all need to and help in our community and do it - Right now!
R: Yeah, Maui has a great history of helping non-profits and all these great causes. I don't think there's a better community than Maui in stepping up to the plate and supporting all these various charities. We just finished a huge three-day tournament, a golf tournament at Kapalua. It was a benefit for Special Olympics - Maui Special Olympics - and for the Lahainaluna Golf team. Hopefully it raised a lot of money, I haven't heard numbers as yet. I'm still trying to work through this with a leave and everything else, I'm not used to playing golf three days in a row (laughter). But, great cause, it's one of the big tournaments on Maui.
B: It was a fabulous tournament and it was more than three days of golf because Jim St. Jone and Roy Sakamoto saw to it that they'd practice and/or play a few holes everyday for, let's say, the week before. So, I think by the time...
R: Two weeks.
B: Two weeks before, okay. (laughter) So, by the time they go to the end Jimmy was sick, Roy was exhausted, and both of them probably have a bad back right now. But, I think we're going to make it through somehow.
R: But, again - a great cause - Maui Special Olympics, Lahainaluna Golf team. Again, to have Neil Everett step up and support Lahainaluna - awesome, it's really awesome.
B: You know, a minute again Roy said that, you know, Maui has an amazing history of stepping up and helping and I've always had a little bit of a story, which I'll try to stay briefly, about Hale Makua and how it started. I probably make it a little bit more something than it really is, but this is how I saw it and it's such a fabulous chicken skin moment of what a community did. During the war, when the hospitals were being utilized for service men they ended up, the Buddhist churches, and/or church - but I'm going to say my side of the story - churches stepped up and realized that they needed places for our "frail and elderly", people that could not be kept in the hospital anymore but they needed a place. So, I picture it that these men, let's call them the elders of the church got together and said, "look, we could do this, we could use the basement of the church and we can do this," and someone said, "I got sheets, I got cots, I've got this, we can bring in coolers, we can take care of this. We can move these people from the hospital, they've got nowhere to go and we will take care of them as part of our community." And from that Hale Makua was born. Now, Roy is on the Hale Makua Board.
B: And he has been for the better part of 30 years now. So, it really is amazing. But, again, it started kind of as a grass roots thing. It started because there was a need. And I think we should all look at what we can help with in our community this year, and let's help. Let's all help, "right now," as Neil Everett says.
R: Absolutely. Again, there are many, many causes out there. We have some of our pet causes, Hale Makua and Lahainaluna. You know, kind of the top of our list, as well as support many other charities. In fact, we're supporting the big Fourth of July Firework show in Lahaina this year.
B: Yeah, that'll be great because they'll have the firework off the Lahaina Harbor and from anywhere on Front Street you get to see them. So, we've got family here. We've have Julie Ehu Flynn is going to be here with her family. Her husband and three kids. Roy and I will be down on Front Street trying to see the fireworks with everybody else.
R: Fun times.
B: It'll be exciting.
B: It'll be really super.
R: Now, one more thing as far as non-profits and as far as Hale Makua. Big luau coming up, September 27th.
B: In West Maui.
B: It's not going to be in Wailea this year, it's going to be the Sheraton Luau, Kapena?
B: It's going to be really exciting.
R: Hawaiian entertainment, Kapena. September 27th.
B: I'm almost sure Gary here, our engineer, is going to be there. At the Hale Makua Luau.
B: I'm sure.
R: We'll make sure he is.
B: Chris...Chris Meyer, Meyer Computer. You know, we promised him we'd kind of support Meyer Computer and give them free advertising if he would show up. And he's all over it, he'll be there. It's going to be a good year.
R: Yep, yep. Big luau for Hale Makua, September 27th and in the coming weeks we'll be talking more about it. But, mark your calendar, September 27th.
B: If you want to donate to the stadium bleacher campaign you can call 661-5332 or go to lahainalunahighschoolfoundation.org. So, think about that. It's only $1,000, you get a row. A lot of people are going together as a group, a lot of the high school classes. If you go to the website you can actually see if your class is already in the middle of it and I think there's a way for you to put in for your class. You know, say $100, $500, $20 and that's going to all work out. So, let's say the class of 1960 will have a bleacher seat, you know, a bleacher row. It's an exciting and great idea.
R: What a great way to commemorate your class, your class year, and help the community.
B: It'll be great.
B: Well you know Roy, we do have to do a little real estate here.
R: Yeah. Our website again, www.sakamotoproperties.com and our phone number (808) 669-0070.
B: You know, this last week I had somebody giving me a hard time that had listened to the radio show, you will remain nameless, but he was kind of joking that we represent people that buy second, third, and fourth homes. We do, and I mean that's an amazing thing and it's fascinating. We've met some amazing people from around the world and we're really proud of it and it's great that we get to do it. However, we do a lot of different deals and within the last week or so we've had some interesting things. We've had a couple of new listings, one in Wahikuli, a great small home in Napilihau, which is going to be a fabulous home for someone. We've just listed a new Lahaina house, what's the address of that? 15...?
R: 15B, as in boy, Ui Place. Just listed, it's a three bedroom home with an Ohana. Listed at $625,000. It's, maybe, 200 feet from the ocean. Not quite an ocean view, but boy, you can hear the surf. It's a great location, between Front Street and the main highway. You're far enough from the main highway that you can't hear the highway noise. It's a real jewel tucked away in Lahaina.
B: You know it is interesting. I see these as they should end up being an owner occupant house. Now, I hope it does end up that because I think the Ohana helps everybody to be able to step it up and afford something like that in that close...
R: Yeah, it will help you qualify for mortgage, it's a great way to go.
B: And I think that's where it should be. But we have seen this year, different places in Napilihau Villages, the small condos up near our office, where people have come in and bought one as a second home. The second home market is not so much anymore that people are buying half a million to two million dollar properties. In a lot of cases, they'll come over and they'll find a great, sweet, little place that they can have. They can come over here, they're going to play golf anyway. They're going to do all the things they're going to do as tourists but they can get from all of these different places. Whether it's Waiohuli home, Lahaina home. I mean, these places, we're guessing will end up being residents and it may be somebody's first home.
R: Chances are.
B: Yeah, chances are. But it is good for anything so that we aren't only doing - so, let's take that away - that we only do second, third, and fourth homes. We pride ourselves in really working hard with any owner or occupant that wants to come to our office and have us assist them in buying their first home or trading up to a home, or whatever it is. Because everybody wants to have a home, it's the American dream and for most of us it's the greatest thing in the world. We want to help and we can help, so call us (808) 669-0070.
R: We've got a great team ready to help you from mortgage lenders to escrow company, we'll walk with you the whole process. It's very, very easy. So, call us, again 669-0070 or look at our website, sakamotoproperties.com.
B: And Roy's right. It is easier than you think. Right now there's some amazing loans that are available, there's some that are federal loans, that Lahaina is considered, from the Federal Government, to be a rural community. So, there's some loans and everybody won't qualify for them, it's one of those things that I think you can't make too much money and yet you can make. You can make too much and you won't qualify and if you don't make enough you don't qualify, so it's a little bit of one of those gap things. But I think it's very low interest rates, it's excellent interest rates and low cash to get it.
R: Awesome financing for, especially for first time home buyers. But if you're an existing homeowner and you're looking to step up, sell your existing home, and buy something a little larger, boy, there's easy programs for you to qualify on that too. So, again, call us, 669-0070.
B: So, back a little bit Roy, we were saying some of these properties, the Lahaina homes, etc. I think those are easy right now, we can get you in to see some of these fairly quickly and the price range, let's say, is going to be from, let's say, right around 450 up to probably 750. We just happened to get a great little assortment of properties and we'd love to be able to show them to you.
R: I just checked our MLS system this morning before we drove to the studio. There's right around 500 current escrows in Maui, that's a lot of people buying a lot of properties. So, hurry up.
B: That's a great statement Roy, because over the last months of the show we've checked and almost every time that we come to do the show, that's every two weeks, you look at that and we've had escrows like 500 escrows, 600 escrows. I don't think we've been down under 500 for a while.
R: No, we've been right around that 500 level. There's a lot of homes that closed and record and new escrows open. So, 500 plus.
B: 500 plus.
R: It's pretty much the norm anymore.
B: So it's an exciting moment for Maui Real Estate. We've had a variety of people that have come back and bought another property. And I know, I don't want to say again, second, third, and fourth. But, we're seeing people that live here that are out looking for an investment property and they're trying to figure out that the rents do matter. But they're just looking , thinking, it's a great time to be doing this and if they've got some cash available, you know, maybe it is the time that real estate, in the end, I think is always one of the safest investments. Yes, be careful. I mean, don't start doing things way above and beyond your means. We don't recommend to you that you take your home and go out to refinance it to buy another property. It could work for you, but in a lot of cases you can get yourself so buried, and that's how a lot of people ended up losing homes.
R: Yeah, we recommended against people doing that, drawing out equity and so fourth when financing was really easy a few years ago and then the bubble burst and the house of cards came tumbling down. But, we were strongly advising people to stay away from refinancing properties and drawing equities out because there's a day of reckoning sooner or later. B: There is. R: Unfortunately, it happened and a lot of people were hurt. But we're seeing the market now. It doesn't take a genius to know that if you've got 500 escrows, people are buying. If you average 500 escrows in any given set time period. It's a great time to buy and what's happening is we're starting to see prices creep up, in some places, by leaps and bounds. Hurry up and buy. Whether it's your primary residence, investment property, second home, third home. Again, not to down play the second and third home buyers, but they're buying, it's happening. B: Yes, it is.
R: And so, we're seeing appreciation all across the board. So, as Neil Everett says, buy, 'right now.'
B: You know, one of the listings that we've had at the Masters in Kaanapali, number 1402, fabulously upgraded two bedroom two bath. Listed at $1,150,000. I think it will be a great, the people that live there right now it is a principal residence, I believe.R: What a great location. Wow.
B: It is one of the only ones you walk in there and the kitchen has a view, the master bedroom has a view, straight across huge view, right on the Kaanapali Golf Course, huge ocean views and it got extensively remodeled, perfect to live there. It is one they don't do short term rentals in it typically.
R: Which is nice.
B: Which is nice.
R: Yeah, right.
B: So, people are renting. But I think typically they're doing it for six months and I think in some cases it will be the people that will do the six months starting, maybe, November and then they're here at different times themselves. But I think great property, great people that live there. We're talking about 1402, large living space and it's really one of the best views in the whole Kaanapali Resort.
R: The Master's is one of the best kept properties anywhere on Maui, I think. If you're not familiar with it we can for sure tour you around and show you the Masters, and especially 1402. So, call us, 669-0070 or look of the photos of us on our website thanks to Meyer Computer, www.sakamotoproperties.com. Look at the Masters 1402.
B: It's easy to transition through our website. So, if you get in there and your look around a while. I have actually met people looking at one of our listings with another broker and then they tell me, "oh gosh, we love your website." And I always say, "why didn't you call us?" (laughter) but it's kind of cute. And they just say it's the easiest website. You know, I've known, let's say, a Bill or someone and I've found your website and somehow Meyer Computer has set it up for us so anybody can get in there and flip through and start to find properties. So, we're really happy with it, and it's easy for you. Again, like Roy says, sakamotoproperites.com. Get in there, look around. It's really pretty amazing.
R: It really is. Again, come see our website. In today's electronic age, it's really, really easy to navigate. Just for kicks, if you even want to look at properties in Bali, what properties are selling for in Bali. You can head to our website and it'll take you to Bali if you want.
B: Search the world.
R: Yeah, absolutely.
B: You can click on something that says, 'Search the World' and it hooks up with all of our luxuryrealestate.com brokers. And like us, everyone says luxuryrealestate.com, but that doesn't mean you aren't going to find some other properties or if you find a broker there and you send an e-mail to that broker and you say, "I'm really thinking I'd like to be coming to Singapore, Shanghai, London, wherever and this is my price range." They'll get back to you and let you know whether it makes sense or it doesn't. But, again, great website for you to look at, sakamotoproperties.com and we're very proud of it.
B: What about Alaeloa? That was the other one that I kind of. The owners of it have left here, it's a great property, it's two bedrooms.
R: Very easy to get in and see.
B: Three full baths.
R: What a great little location.
B: Huge views. It's a duplex actually. So Alaeloa is more or less single family and they're very cottage type places. This one is two together so it's really spectacular. The views are great, it's meticulous. When you sit outside there it's like you're in a world all your own. It's leasehold. A lot of acreage.
R: A lot of acreage. What a great community, a pool, a rec. room.
B: The beach there, fabulous. Did you notice we've suddenly had the two minute warning, which seems to come faster and faster every time we do the show.
R: I know, I know.
B: We are going to have Neil Everett come back on. I know for us, we're so proud that Neil Everett was willing to do this for Lahainaluna High School that we wanted to put it on our show to share it with you. And to realize, Neil Everett, who says in the beginning of this he's not a Lahainaluna graduate, he's not even married to a Lahainaluna graduate, but he's proud of Lahainaluna. He thinks it's an amazing community based school and the pride of the kids. Roy is a graduate, I'm not sure if I'm supposed to say what year.
B: No, but it's 1960. He's an amazing graduate and he's supported his school. My daughter graduated, she's arriving here today as I've said, Julie Ehu Flynn Sherlock, she will arrive today. She graduated, I believe, 1982. She loves her school. We're really proud of Lahainaluna.
R: It gets in your blood and it's just something that is there, you know. Comradely with fellow classmates and fellow alumni is awesome.
B: And the Lahainaluna wannabe's like me.
R: Yeah. and Neil Everett.
B: And Neil Everett, I'm saying he's a Lahainaluna wannabe. So, we're going to come up pretty quickly to Danny Couch and to Neil Everett and thank you all for taking your time to listen to us. I talked to someone this week that I never would have thought listened to our radio show and he knew so many things that I say. So, it was kind of, for me, a sweet moment. So, thank you all for paying attention and listening.
B: Aloha from us and listen to us the next time, and the next time and check out our website if you want to see more of it. We'll have it on our website, this show probably within a couple of days. So, I think that's it for us. Aloha, and Danny Couch. And...
R: And Neil Everett.
B: Neil Everett