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". If anybody doesn't already know it, that was Danny Couch singing "Mele Kalikimaka". He has a fabulous Christmas album, probably a couple of them and everybody should get it because you will love it for the next hundred years. Well today in the studio I have Elizabeth Quayle here who is one of our best agents and she's going to share quite a bit of information and in addition, my husband, Roy Sakamoto is here. So we're going to have a lot of fun. We want to talk about holidays, Christmas, the things that we think we could all be doing that might help one another through a stress-filled holiday season ? because no matter how much fun it is, it is still stress-filled. So Elizabeth, a little quick hello?
Elizabeth Quayle: Hello, and Mele Kalikimaka to everybody. I am in a Sakamoto "sandwich" as we speak and thrilled to be here.
B: And Roy?
Roy Sakamoto: Good morning, Merry Christmas, Mele Kalikimaka, and I think we're going to have a great and exciting show.
B: I think it is going to be. It's going to be a fun day; we have a variety of different ideas to talk about. We wanted to talk a little about land in Maui and what it takes to get in right now and buy whether it's the low end of the market or the top of the market and build your piece of paradise to live in full time and raise your children or because you're retiring and you decide that you want to live in Maui. We're seeing people retire at a lot of ages, not just sixty-five, we see a lot of people here on Maui that, through a variety of reasons, they're able to come here for an early retirement and that's really a lot of fun. But it's more fun when we see someone building their dream house to raise their family and that's really pretty great. Elizabeth has some information for us on an end of the market that we haven't been talking about as much but I think that she's had a lot of fun this year selling properties to people who aren't looking for the top of the market but they may be a second home buyer and they just want to buy something so that they have a little piece of paradise but their budget is a little restrained. But what are some of those properties Elizabeth?
E: Well, in West Maui particularly we have more affordable inventory so for those people that are accustomed to being on that side of the island you really do have some great opportunities ? all the way from as affordable as $40,000 for a one-bedroom leasehold in Napili to a direct oceanfront down at Lahaina Shores, a studio in the mid three hundred thousand. We've got properties like the Maui Kai which is a great little boutique property right on Kaanapali Beach, direct ocean front, one-bedroom for $500,000 up to Royal Kahana Studios up in the mid $200,000, two-bedroom penthouse, two-bath in the mid $500,000. So within a ten-mile area you can go all the way from spectacular Kapalua to Kaanapali and spend millions or stay in West Maui and spend substantially less. So you have a pretty good variety of choices, last year you probably had a few more steals than you do this year, but they're still out there. So if you've been waiting and looking, this is definitely the time to start searching because we do have a limited inventory.
B: You know, an end result of what the steals are, I think there are properties today that are a "steal" and you may not realize at this minute but a year from now, or two years from now, anything you're buying will be classified as a "steal". So get in there while you can cause it's going away really quickly. Roy, you were thinking about some of the properties right now, not just the Plantation but the Plantation and a variety of other places, where somebody is going to be building right now. Or homes, but I just think that we talked a little about the plan to build today.
R: Right, but I'll say this as far as inventory, there's over 500 properties on Maui in escrow right now, over 550 I think, and the trend is definitely that the market has turned and if you're waiting for the market to bottom out, you're too late, it's gone. We're headed back up, slowly, but we are headed back up. And before we get into land and so forth, how do people get a hold of you Elizabeth?
E: Well the best way to reach me is on my cell phone, direct of course, (808) 766-0261 or at Sakamoto Properties, we always have somebody in the office readily available to find me as well and that number is (808) 669-0070.
B: We're all pretty easy to reach.
R: Very easy. And our website is SakamotoProperties.com and on our website you can look at Elizabeth's listings or listings for all of our office. Contact any one of our sales people, they're all listed on website. Again, SakamotoProperties.com or our office number is (808) 669-0070. Before we get into real estate, you know, we always do a little public service announcement. We're coming towards the end of the year, it's the time, it's the season for giving and a lot of non-profits, needy non-profits, are on Maui. And they range from Boy Scouts, to Girl Scouts, to Boys and Girls Club, Hale Makua, the Hospital Foundation, I mean you name it, there's many, many worthwhile charities here on Maui and they all need our donation dollars. So we can write it before the end of the year and get a tax write off for 2012 and so I urge all of you out there to go ahead and contribute to your favorite charity whether it's five dollars, a hundred dollars, whatever it is it'll come in handy.
B: Keep in mind, when we're talking about that, that between this year and next year, federal funding is down and will probably be down more. We need to take care of our own. So whether it's Maui or anywhere in the world, it's more critical than ever that we all step up and make donations to charities like these. And we do get to write it off, at least today we do and I think that's going to be fabulous for us. But we need to take care of our own, don't you think that's really the key?
E: We live in a place where everybody matters. We live in "Mayberry". Everybody is a person here, everybody gets attention and they deserve it. I was going to mention, also, things like Women Helping Women, because if you're a professional and you're cleaning out your closet there are women out there who really need a job and would love to have something nice for their first interview. And that's going to help them, and their children, and their neighbors, everyone touches everyone. So there isn't anything that's too little and we all really need to pay attention to contributing in any way that you can.
B: You know Elizabeth, what you just said, I read something a while ago that was directed to women, more like we are, and I think it's time we all heed this. We all have things in our closet that we're not wearing and probably the reality is that we're probably never going to wear but they're all in great shape and we hang on. Those are the things right now that we should donate to somebody today. Whether it's to an individual that we know is looking for a job or Women Helping Women, or Big Brothers Big Sisters, wherever it is while it's still in really great shape because then it's really giving you know versus waiting until it's sat in the closet for so long that it's got spots on it. So don't you think, I mean, let's all do that. And we'll donate our husband's things too.
R: Oh, yeah, thanks. Oh absolutely, no question. And what about our trip to Shanghai though? We just got back from Shanghai a couple of weeks ago.
B: Actually, a week ago.
E: Oh, you jet setters, you.
B: But it was pretty amazing and as I looked there, I mean there's so much to say about it but one of the things that struck me when I saw the poverty there and people who are hurting, it struck me that the difference between our society, Maui, and almost anywhere in our country, is that there is something, there is some place for these people. And whether it's because we all help with funding these charities or our government has worked strongly, whether it's the federal or the state or the counties, they see to it that people get something. They make sure that people don't have to be begging on the streets, and I think that it is vital. But having said that little thing, we were in Shanghai a year ago and a week later, and now it was a week earlier and Christmas is everywhere. Everywhere, don't you think Roy?
R: Well countries change, no question. Last year at the airport was the first time that we were aware that Christmas music was playing and this year I mean, it's everywhere: department stores, and on the street. I mean, it was great. The main purpose of our trip to Shanghai was to establish some marketing contacts, which I think will help us in our business and so forth. But, as a little aside, we learned more about the society there and the middle class is getting stronger, democracy is on the rise. It's still a communist country, China, but democracy is definitely on the rise and Christmas is definitely a good example. I mean, look at Christmas from a year ago to today.
B: That was really quite a visit and I'm thrilled that we were able to do that and it did give me a whole different perspective on, which anything like that does make you realize how lucky we are. Another quick thing on Christmas and things we can do to help. We all think on these big levels, at least most of us do, some think, "Well I can't give because I don't have any money. I don't have this. I don't have that." So we can do the things we just said, but also, very simply, almost all of us could give something in our neighborhood to our neighbors, to a child, we could help someone that needs to go Christmas shopping or has some appointment. We could just dedicate over the holidays giving a little bit of our time. Maybe we'll go read to some children, or come to Hale Makua and read to some of the elderly people, or a school. I mean we could think of a hundred things that we could all do if we just step up and try to help, not give money. Whatever it is, there's so much that we can all do.
R: We are one big ohana so we take care of ourselves, let's take care of our neighbors.
B: Let's all remember that because Elizabeth said that first today, and I think it's Mayberry. And I think if we all really see to it that we are nice to one another, through the holiday season when we're all crazy. I'm sure I've said this to everybody, I said this last year on the radio show, but I think the huge thing would be to just spread aloha, spread Merry Christmas, remember in the grocery store when the person in front of you is saying, "Back in 'Oshkosh' I only pay 25? for that and it's $2.00 here?" You know, if you just kind of talk to them, and wish them a special Merry Christmas and say, "Well, that's our life here but we're lucky we live Hawaii so we're okay." But just be happy, and say Merry Christmas, say aloha, and spread the aloha.
E: There isn't anywhere that I, personally, can go on this island, and you probably are totally aware, that you don't run into somebody that you know. You can be in line anywhere and you're probably going to get a hug because you see somebody that you know. And that is so incredibly important to me, my family, and that's one of the main reasons that I moved here. It is a very family oriented environment and we are a great example to the rest of this country.
B: Seriously, I think you are absolutely right. Go to Costco, you probably are going to get eight hugs before you get through the door probably, go to Safeway, wherever it is that we all go and we all spend our time racing through, most of us at least take that moment when we see a face that we know, to give a hug or to stop for a minute and say Merry Christmas. Well, let's expand that group, let's expand it, the three of us and everybody listening. Expand that group of people that you say Merry Christmas, or aloha, to and the Christmas spirit will be alive and well during.
E: Well, in everybody that you touch, not only does it make you a happier person, it could change their day. Even if it's just a hug and a smile, much less a giant hug and a big smile.
B: Perfect. So do we want to do anymore real estate here?
R: Well sure, absolutely. We were talking about vacant land and so forth, ready to build on and we've got some right at the Plantation Golf Course. The Plantation, in about a week or two weeks, will be the site of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, and the tour winners, the PGA Tour winners of 2012 will be there and I think there's commitments from 30 of the professionals so I think it should be a fun time at the Plantation. Around the Plantation Golf Course is the Plantation Estates, and these are a minimum 2 acre sized lots, and many of these lots have already been built on. We do have so many homes for sale, but there are also some vacant parcels, some vacant land parcels and they start from $1.2 million for 2.9 acres. Awesome view, great views of Lanai and Molokai, sunsets between Lanai and Molokai up the channel, all year round ? just awesome. And that's $1.2 million for just under three acres. One heck of a buy, I think.
B: You know, one I think is also a fabulous buy based on the size of the lot, it's 4.39 acres and listed at $3.9 million. Huge, mostly flat, adjacent to the seventeenth tee at the Plantation Golf Course, and one of the keys, I think, as you and I talked coming over, is that there's a lot of contractors that are ready, able, have their men in line, and ready to start a house. So there's some fabulous architects that are ready to work with you, Dennis Harmon who has an office right next to where we are in Napili, I think he's fabulous. He's also done a lot for his community, he's done some fabulous things for Lahainaluna High School, he's built some unbelievable homes, and I would say that he's ready to step up and help you build your Plantation home or any home. And there's others, I mean I'm just throwing something out because I saw him this morning, but I think that everybody, the architects, the builders, everybody right now is ready to work. I think you can build a house for less money than ever and it's time to do it.
R: Great time to be talking to architects and builders. What else do we have at the Plantation now? This five-acre lot is fantastic, it's easily the most buildable lot by far. A good four acres of it has to be flat, and is just ready to build on.
E: And this is one that's right above the Clubhouse.
R: Right, it's just behind the gates, right next to the seventeenth tees. You'll be able to see it on television when the tournament is televised.
E: Another thing about construction here in Hawaii is that you're not restricted by snow, I mean, occasionally you may have a three day blessing of rain, but generally that isn't going to hold up getting your piece of paradise completed.
B: Well somebody can start now, I mean again, you're going to have the process of getting the home put together, and getting the architects, and the permits in place, etcetera. But you can really be moving along quickly, you can get somebody working fairly quickly on the land, and what needs to be done. So I think nowhere else, or almost nowhere else, in the world do you have the weather that we have here. So when you're ready to build and that's what you choose to do, you can pull it off in a hurry, you just need to get the right people alongside you ? the right architect, the right contractor. And we can help you with all of that, with pointing you to the right people, getting appointments set up for you so you can interview people, you know, so when you're ready and you're buying your land from us we'll see to it that we can help you in every possible way.
R: Yes, and again, our phone number is (808) 669-0070, our website is SakamotoProperties.com and to reach Elizabeth directly, her number is ?
E: (808) 276-6061 and I just wanted to add a little something about the building and the inventory. If you look down at Lanikeha, Laniaupoko, and move up the coast you'll see these lots that have been sitting vacant for a few years, then they really come up game busters and it's just good to see that someone is building. The homes are fabulous, the location is incredible, and it's a dream. It's a fabulous dream that we all get to live.
B: You know, another one, the Coffee Farms, Kaanapali Coffee Farms, we have some listings at Lanikeha, we had some people recently that bought a Coffee Farms lot that I think is really fabulous. And they still have those developer lots, they're still available, I think the prices are substantially lower than they were early on, we've got a listing in Kaanapali Golf Estates at $695,000. Lanikeha, I know there's some great prices, I don't have the whole list with me. Kaanapali Hillside, I think there's still one lot. The Plantation, or Pineapple Hill, we're forgetting Pineapple Hill, around $1.2 million, I think, is the best, the only or one of the only listings in there. I think there's only two for sale. But again, you can build. It's time to do it.
R: One more, about land, we do have that one big parcel Upcountry. It's just under 3,300 acres, it goes up to just shy of the Observatory up at Haleakala. That's 3,300 acres, and we have it listed at $17.5 million, it's one unique parcel. Very unique.
B: You know, that one is called Arrow One Ranch. Arrow One is "nowhere" backwards, and there's an older Tudor home on it that is really one of the most amazing homes. It's old and I'm sure it's got tons of problems but it is one of the sweetest, neatest homes on this island, and at this point I don't know if someone's going to figure out about rebuilding it or if it'll just come down. But if somebody's buying that then it is something really worth seeing.
R: We've actually had a couple of people looking at the parcel and thinking about restoring the home so hopefully that happens.
B: I would love to see that happen.
E: Does that back up to conservation land or ?
R: The top 1,100 acres is zoned "conservation" and actually we've got wild silverswords planted there, the Hawaiian Geranium plant that they thought it only grew on the slopes on the mountains of Chile. So we've got some wild habitat up there, very unique.
R: Yeah, venison.
E: For my hunting husband and sons.
B: Yeah, my understanding is that the property starts around the 4,000 foot elevation and goes up to about the Observatory at the top of Haleakala. Is that about right, Roy? I was kind of just trying to look through some of this so we can get some additional information.
R: Yeah okay. Now, coming back to Lahaina Shores. What's happening with the listing at Lahaina Shores? It's ocean front and it's a studio.
E: We have Unit 213, Betty has co-listed with me. It seems to be direct oceanfront so if you or somebody that wanted to go in there and spruce it up, you could do so quite easily and the location will never change. They have a great on-site management program there with Classic Resorts who also manages the Kaanapali Alii, they do a fabulous job. You have just, you're oceanfront, you're in West Maui, you're on the water.
B: Absolutely and that is a fabulous property and you're right. Probably somebody will do some upgrading in order to keep in rented more but for right now, you can walk in there with your toothbrush and it would be pretty great.
B: You know, we are quickly here winding down, we're at our one-minute warning, and it has come up. Let's think about what we've got to say, maybe it's a Christmas message, maybe throw something out. Maybe Roy, what have you got for our final message?
R: Well, my final message is be kind to one another, Merry Christmas to all, and again, remember our local non-profits, our local charities in this time of need. And next year is going to be an even needier year for our charities. So remember, five dollars, a hundred dollars, whatever you can afford, or maybe it's just a matter of volunteering fifteen minutes a week or whatever you can to these charities.
B: Well I think we have, you want to say a quick goodbye there?
E: Goodbye, and smear as much lipstick on anybody's face that you can these holidays.
B: Okay, we've got Danny Couch back with our Mele Kalikimaka. And Mele Kalikimaka to all of you
E: And thank you for having me
ALL: Merry Christmas