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. Today my husband Roy Sakamoto is here with me and we've come up with a number of things that we hope you're interested in today and if not send us an email and let us know what you might like to hear us talk about the next time. You can reach us, look through our website SakamotoProperties.com or you can go to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org . Call us, (808) 669-0070 and let us know if there's something you'd like us to be talking about on the show or give us an idea that maybe we haven't thought about. It would be really great. So Roy, welcome.
Roy Sakamoto: Thank you and good morning all and yeah, we'd sure like to hear from everyone as far as what topics, what real estate especially, specifically, you'd like to know and we can help you with. So let us know, again, www.SakamotoProperties.com or (808) 669-0070 and ask for Roy or Betty.
B: And anything we can help you with, any different ideas, or if you've got some real estate questions let us know and let us know the things that we might be able to do on the show. Today we're thinking we ought to at least comment on the Maui County Fair and my first comment is: it's fabulous. It's kind of, in theory, a small town fair but it's got everything that a big town fair has except that it only lasts a few days instead of a few weeks. But when you go there, and Roy and I went for a while, we had a great lunch, we hung around, but just watch the families. I mean, I really applaud the families that are there with their kids and the kids are crazy, they're running around and screaming and wanting to really do everything and it's got to really be hard because it's Saturday and I know a lot of the parents would've loved to have a day off and not be at a fair or anything but they all look like they were having a great time and entertaining their children. There were so many things the kids could learn there and just have fun. The rides to them are as great as any Disneyland ride or any amusement park in the world, don't you think Roy?
R: Oh, no question and our hats off to all the volunteers also. A fair like this would never come about if it wasn't for the volunteers, so mahalo volunteers and great job. I love the malasadas and what else did we have?
B: We had a really great teriyaki steak plate lunch.
R: Oh yeah, that was good.
B: We had malasadas. I think we had, well I think that's really it.
R: Yeah, we passed on the cotton candy this year. It looked good though.
B: We almost, some years we go there and by the time we get through eating it's hard to drive home so we tried to not do that this year but it was all fun. And speaking of, again, volunteers, that kind of moves us into something else. We just finished the Hale Makua Luau this year which was really, again, pretty fabulous and maybe Roy would make some comments but the first thing that was kind of interesting to me, for years I'd talk about Hale Makua and how it got started and I've always said that it started during the war when the service, the hospital, was needed for servicemen, etcetera. But I read something the other day that I thought was really interesting about key events and Hale Makua's timing and what happened. In 1941 the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor creating a community crisis for men of Japanese descent who were living in the plantation hospitals at this time on Maui. They were immediately discharged by the FBI, I never knew that. I just thought it was the servicemen, I don't know how I assumed that happened, but the thing that we did always know was that the Hogan-ji temples responded and housed the frail men in their community halls. And again, we all know that the hospitals were needed for the warriors, they were needed for all of our servicemen that were returning and injured, etcetera, and the all the people that were injured at Pearl Harbor, but still I don't know. I mean, I was stunned to realize that the FBI, and I suppose whoever was in there at the time, there would have been more men of Japanese descent. But, a great concern.
R: I know, and that really was the genesis of Hale Makua and flip forward a few years to 1946 and that is when Hale Makua was formally structured as a non-profit organization under the 501c3 rules and regulations, and that's really when the formal beginning of Hale Makua started.
B: Interesting, I mean the whole thing, at that point I gathered the Salvation Army assisted to provide some administration support which I'm sure everybody needed at that time because it was new I'm sure for Maui how you get the whole thing together. And then by 1947 community volunteers with the local hospital and contractors helped to build a home for persons in need of 24-hour care and that had no family and that started in Happy Valley which I'd like to, one of these days, just drive there and take a look at where that was started. And now with the help of Roy, who's been on the board a long time, and Mitch Mitchell and a lot of other people that Roy could maybe name a few of them that have been so dedicated to Hale Makua. And now they have two different facilities and an Alzheimer's wing which is vitally important today in our community. So again, I don't want to kind of hang on this forever but thank you to everyone that supported the annual Luau and it was, again, a fabulous event. I had a really great time and thank you Roy for all you've done for Hale Makua.
R: Thank you dear, and you've helped a lot and this year Hale Makua honored the Nobriga family from Maui Ice and Soda for all they've done for Hale Makua and really for the community. And speaking about the Maui County Fair earlier, I noticed that Maui Ice and Soda was very prominent again. So thank you Nobrigas, great job, and you're fantastic for the community.
B: No question, Maui Ice and Soda, at every event that Hale Makua has ever done and Roy, I mean, we have all been involved in it for basically thirty years and when you take a long hard look at it, when it was just a small golf tournament happening from our standpoint to benefit Hale Makua, Maui Soda and Ice, they were there. They were there delivering ice or delivering sodas or delivering whatever was needed and making every event a success. So I agree with you that they were honored at this last event and they deserved to be honored as a family and as a business.
R: Oh, they do so much and again, thank you Nobrigas, we really appreciate it.
B: Well I guess we could think about some of the real estate needs that we have and it's an interesting time, again, in the real estate arena.
R: It really is, excuse me for butting in for a second.
B: That's okay, go for it.
R: If you're looking at some of the statistics for Maui and whenever you're buying or selling use a realtor. And why should you use a realtor? A realtor is really trained and can help you through all the stages of the transaction. It's not a matter of saving a commission or trying to buy from a seller on the side and so forth. A realtor is a professional, they subscribe to a strict code of ethics and there's 20 hours of continuing education required every two years. So your professional realtor is a well-trained professional and please use a realtor. And of course, please think of Sakamoto Properties (808) 669-0070.
B: Or SakamotoProperties.com. But Roy is right, talk to realtors. Typically everybody knows someone in the real estate business. It may be a neighbor, it may be someone you've met in a different walk of life, but talk to them. And if it's not comfortable or it doesn't feel good, talk to somebody else. But there is a realtor out there that you're going to feel connected to that maybe works in the area that you want to buy in. You don't want to necessarily hire a realtor in Hana to buy a property in Lahaina you know, you want to find someone that's really familiar with each market that you're interested in looking in. There's probably someone that can help you through all of the different locations that you want to consider. You know you don't have to find two or three different people but I think it is worth it and they are a fountain of information for helping you get a loan, helping you consider the type of loan that's best for you. So again it's time and we are finding statistics, let's go back to that Roy for a moment, because I think that we did find some very interesting statistics.
R: Very interesting, and we've been talking over the last several months about the market slowly turning and so forth. Here's some proof, in September of last year, September 2011, there were eight hundred and forty residential homes on the market here on Maui and in September of 2012, one year later, six hundred and sixty one. So almost two hundred less homes on the market now compared to a year ago. For condominiums there were over eleven hundred condominiums on the market in September of 2011 and we have cut that inventory now to just over nine hundred. So again, about 200 reduction in inventory. For vacant land we have five hundred twenty eight parcels listed in September of 2011 and currently there's four hundred and twenty eight. So something's going on, there's a big undercurrent of activity in the market, there's well over five hundred properties currently in escrow on Maui and I think it's a great time to buy. What was that saying you have dear?
B: A recession is a terrible thing to waste. And we've said that over and over but you know we're going to be out of this all of a sudden and a lot of people are going to remember that statement and realize that they did waste the best recession of their life if the point of that was to try to find a way to buy a home right now. Interest rates are low, prices I think when you look at prices in three years you're going to realize what great values happened today. And even if it turns out there was a little slip in prices, I don't think we're ever going to see a further slip in interest rates. So I think if you can figure out with your real estate broker getting in now, there's a value that will work for you and an interest rate that you will never get again.
R: Now we've said that several times in the past, never before in our history have we had low prices and low interest rates and what a great time to buy.
B: Right, I mean actually, and this is another funny comment but I've heard this a number of times, just this statement: you will never again see low prices totally collide with low interest rates. So I think this is the point you've got to get in.
R: Quite an anomaly and a great chance to take part in the upswing.
B: First time homebuyers, an area of the market that there's so many programs that are available right now, and I think again talk to your real estate broker, but so many people that have bought this year never thought that they would ever own a home on Maui and all of a sudden this is a low point in the market, low point in interest rates, you've got to be able to do it. You may learn that you can't do it this minute but we, or your real estate broker, will get you together with a lender, we'll see to it that what happens is you talk to the lender, you know what you can qualify for, we'll get you out looking at properties. Or maybe you'll discover that you've got a few glitches in your credit and they'll counsel you, the lender will counsel you on what it's going to take to clear up your credit. And by the time you realize, in six months or maybe three months, they can assist you in what it takes to clear up enough of your credit that you're going to be able to buy. There's also possibly owner financing available. Maybe you've got a little cash set away that you could use for the down payment or family will assist you with the down payment. I think there is some way that you can figure out buying right now and you've got to do it before it's too late.
R: And that's why again, realtors really help you, a realtor can point you in the right direction for lenders, and just help you all the way through the transaction. So again, use a realtor and hopefully it's Sakamoto Properties, again (808) 669-0070.
B: Let's see, what else do we have for today: Sellers. I think that's an interesting thing right now, talking to sellers, doing our best to see to it that prices are realistic. There is always going to be an area, whether it's, let's stick to condominiums for right now. You know, you look at a condominium in a property and there's one that's $500,000, it's a two-bedroom, and you look at another one in the same development that maybe is a million dollars. Seems totally out of line, well it possibly isn't because the one that's a half a million more is right on the ocean or it has a huge view or somebody spent $300,000 fixing it up. There may be a little exaggeration there in how much fix up but again we're hitting that time in the market where, yes, you could buy the one for the lowest price and it's probably perfect because you'll have the time to fix it up, especially if you're going to live there. For somebody else coming in, the second home buyer, they may want to step in and go ahead and buy the one that has the best view. Maybe it's going to be a rental unit for them, but there's a whole lot of different reasons why different people come in and what they choose. So you know, I think again, that you've got to be looking, you've got to be working with your realtor.
R: That's right, absolutely. How about a sampling of some of our listings?
R: How about the Bay Villas 15B3.
B: That's a pretty fabulous unit, it has about 1,100 square feet in the interior, one bedroom, one and a half baths. It's a townhouse, huge views, beautiful ocean views, great Molokai view. The upstairs loft was extended so it's really a huge, large bedroom suite with its own outside lanai. You know, nice upgrades have been done, listed at $975,000,000. We'll do our best to get you in there if you want to but again I think you'd want to come over and take a look at the Bay Villas with us. Give us the chance to show you Kapalua's first oceanfront property and there's some great values in there. We have a couple of them listed and different prices, different ideas, but it really is a great time. We have a fabulous totally oceanfront Bay Villa 30G3,4,5 which is listed at just under a million seven. Stunning ocean view, single level, two bedrooms, three baths. Again if somebody wants to come to Kapalua, they want to be ocean front, they want to be in one of the world's greatest resorts, $1,695,000 is a great deal.
R: A great location, there's, once you're in the apartment, there's no steps, they're all on one level and it's two bedrooms, three baths. So it's huge, around 1,500 square feet, air conditioned, comfort.
B: There's no question, great. There's three swimming pools there, you have access to the resort. There is two championship golf courses at Kapalua, there's ten tennis courts in a garden setting, with lots of things and lots of activities directed at owners. There are currently owner's rates at the golf facilities and at tennis. Troon Golf has made some really great ideas and have seen to it that the owners continue to be really taking care of it at Kapalua. Golf in general has never been better, it is absolutely the finest under Troon Golf then it's been for probably thirty years. It's really the best.
R: It's made a huge difference and of course we have a Hyundai Tournament of Champions coming up in January. So you'll see the PGA Tour winners from this current year participating in the Hyundai Tournament. So come buy a Kapalua condominium and come call Sakamoto Properties, again (808) 669-0070 or look at our website SakamotoProperties.com.
B: The Hyundai Tournament, in case anybody doesn't know, is at Kapalua's Plantation golf course. And at Kapalua, the Plantation, there is fabulous homes and lots available on the Plantation course: Plantation Estates Phase I and II and there's also there, Honolua Ridge. Again, fabulous, unbelievable home sites, large lots, you know I don't know what the largest is, but you can easily get one with 5-acres. Plantation has some really, we have a lot at the Plantation. Our home on the lot and it's 7.25-acres. So the Plantation golf course at the Kapalua Resort has some of the largest lots that you'll ever see in a resort setting. So again, while there's some that are available at this point, I think it's a great time to be getting into that market. So in general wouldn't you say Kapalua has great values everywhere?
R: Oh, no question. And going back to the Hyundai Tournament for just a second, don't forget who won the Pro-AM last year ?
B: I forgot.
R: This year actually.
B: Oh, what am I saying? Roy Sakamoto. The Sakamoto team won the Pro-AM, that was a pretty fun moment. I was listening and hearing which "pro" won, I have no idea which pro won, but I do know the amateur team led by Roy Sakamoto was fabulous. It was really an exciting moment. What's more fun than getting a little more crystal to put in our office?
R: Well we played with Johnson Wagner, a great professional. Johnson actually went on and won the Sony Tournament the following week so he'll be back at Kapalua this year and we will play him again.
B: Johnson was a great winner for Kapalua. Everything about him was great, great family man, and he loved Kapalua. He loved every minute of what was going on.
R: No question. And that's one other thing about the Hyundai Tournament, you can get up close with the professionals. It's not like the, for those of you that watch the Ryder Cup that just completed, it's not so good for the U.S. but there thirty, forty, or fifty thousand people on the golf course and there's no way to really see the action. At Kapalua, the Hyundai Tournament, you're up close and personal, right next to the professionals, seeing the best golfers in the world.
B: You know what was great about it, I mean I hated that the U.S lost because I really was so cheering for them that it was really difficult, but one of the things that I'd like to say on all sides and for the moment because they were the losers from the standpoint of the United States, I've never seen a better spirit. When somebody was losing, I feel like, they all did the right thing from the standpoint of how you would lose and learning how to lose in the way that they accepted defeat. And each person was really sad when they didn't get their match but I think that from the standpoint of kids who watch sports I think they saw a spirit that really is our country. It is an American spirit when you can see to it that win or lose you're going to be a gentleman, you're going to really be able to walk over and shake the other person's hand. You walk away and maybe you've got some big tears in your eyes but that's okay too because you were playing for your country. Don't you think, Roy, when you watch everybody there Jim Furyk, I mean, what a gentleman and so many of them, I think I feel the same way. They just exuded what I would consider to be the American spirit.
R: Oh it was a crushing defeat but as Jim said later, as long as you tried that's as good as anybody can expect. I know he was thoroughly disappointed. Jim happens to be a friend of ours, super, super guy. Anyway, crushing defeat for the U.S. but we'll be back next year or two years from now I guess.
B: Two years and that will be back in Europe. Well you never know, it will be more fun to go over there and win it and take it back and bring it home. That'll be great.
R: We've got time for one or two quick picks so how about a Napili Point one.
B: Napili Point is always a great one, I think we've got some great values at Napili Point right now. There's one and two bedroom units, they're directly on the water, great rental program, and it's a spirit of Hawaiiana that I think doesn't exist in all properties. So I think that really is one worth seeing.
R: It's a low rise right on Honokeana Cove and for those of you not familiar with Honokeana Cove what a great place to go snorkeling. There's turtles, you'll see turtles every day. Fantastic location right on Honokeana Cove, Napili Point. Again, (808) 669-0070 for Sakamoto Properties.
B: We're winding down, we've got less than a minute left here. These days do, when we're doing the show, a half hour does kind of go rolling by but whatever the property is, Kaanapali, Lahaina, Napili, Kapalua has been somewhat of a specialty. You know we can advise you in almost anything, but give us a call at Sakamoto Properties, look at our website SakamotoProperties.com it will take you anywhere. Danny Couch is back on and I love Danny Couch. Buy some of his music, it's fabulous. Aloha.
B: Thank you all.