Sakamoto Properties

Lucky We Live Maui
September 17th, 2013

Betty Sakamoto: I love Hawaii. Aloha and welcome to Betty's Real Estate Corner brought to you by Sakamoto Properties where prestige is our business, reputation our foundation. Thank you for listening in today. It's just a glorious day and I love Hawaii. Every time I hear Danny Couch it makes me want to smile and laugh and sing and dance and whatever, so it's a good day. And a nice welcome here to Mitch Mitchell, just back from a little quick trip to San Francisco for the weekend and welcome home and welcome back to the radio show.

Mitch Mitchell: Thank you Betty, it's great to be back here in Maui, a wonderful, wonderful island. It was kind of interesting being on the plane sitting next to honeymooners coming out here to enjoy, you know, all the great things we have to offer. "What about Haleakala, what about Hana?" Well I said, "You've got to do it all".

B: You've got to do it all. You know, there's so many times for any of us who live in Maui. We do all know how lucky we are to live in Hawaii, lucky we live Maui. But being on an airplane coming home, you can't wait to get home. I don't care where you live on the island, if you live in the smallest Ohana or the biggest house, when you're coming home to Maui, you know how lucky you are. And the visitor who's flying with you and he's talking or the couples, or the groups and they're all so excited to get to Maui for the first time or the hundredth time. You know, we are the fortunate few in the world to live in Maui.

M: These newlyweds, Betty, they were sitting next to me and I think he was going to the University of Hawaii and he was a baseball player. He had emailed his coach of many years ago asking him what to do in Maui and he had quite a list. It included Guriguri in

B: Lahaina.

M: No, in Kahului. And I thought, "Oh wow, that's great". He really had a pretty concise list.

B: I think that Lahaina is the top place in the world for Guriguri.

M: Really?

B: I think so, but you know, the Kahului one, you're right. That's the one that Roy barely goes that's Roy Sakamoto, my husband he barely can go to Kahului without Guriguri at that place at the Maui Mall back there. He loves it, and I think that his heart was broken when they stopped putting beans on it.

M: Oh yes.

B: Beans, azuki beans. Yup, azuki beans on it. I don't get it. I did try my best to eat that for a long time but fortunately they took it away so I can just have

M: I think he introduced me to that about twenty-five years ago. Oh my God.

B: Yes, we've all done our best. There's some amazing things, Roy every so often, will say to me, "Can you imagine that you ever thought, or even the people from Buffalo New York or Binghamton New York", right now came from and through that you would be eating whatever it would be. I mean, there's so many things that I have learned to love here in Hawaii that surely no one in Buffalo has ever considered that they might be eating. So, it's pretty fun Mitch.

M: It was great. In San Francisco at a couple of restaurants they tried to get me to eat sashimi. They said, "Oh, you've got to have this". And I'm thinking, "No, this is San Francisco. I'll have the crab. I'll have my sashimi when I go home to Maui".

B: That's right, Maui is the best so we are all pretty fortunate here. You know, we kind of want to catch you up a little bit on what's going on in real estate. It's an interesting time. The market is definitely moving up which is really great. And I think, again, I've said this so many times but we're seeing it happen right before our eyes. The inventory is getting somewhat depleted. I saw something that said that the number one in the paper the other day real estate sales slowdown a bit, but the prices jumped. One of the reasons that the sales are down a little bit, the number of sales, is because the inventory is getting depleted. So, you can only have so many sales. I mean, people are looking; we don't have tons of properties to end up showing. So it really is a pretty interesting moment in real estate and I think it's the time and we keep telling you that but I think it really is. So call us and let us help you start thinking about what you want to do or at least get you in the position so that you can buy real estate. Call Sakamoto Properties at (808) 669-0070, of course check out our website, find us on Twitter @MauiSakamoto, or connect with us using hash tag #BettyMauiRadio. There's a lot of ways to get to us so do it and let us help you. If you don't get in now, it's really going to be somewhat difficult. Mitch, you know, when we're talking right now, we've said that we're trying to get away from just list and list and list of what's on the market but what's your thoughts on the idea? Inventory is starting to get depleted and

M: Well everything I hear, Betty, and you know everywhere in the country, it's a great time to buy because the interest rates are going up. I doubt if they'll ever be this low again. You know, you can get some great talk to the lenders or the banks or whoever you're with. You know this newlywed couple I was sitting next to bought something in the Bay Area and they were able to get a four-point one or two thirty-year fixed. Oh my gosh. What an opportunity that is to get in the market. I just think that you really need to work on it. Do it now before the inventory gets tighter and the prices go up or interest rates go up. So I think it's a really good time to at least get out there and give it a shot.

B: Give it a shot and talk to someone. One of the first things we keep telling everyone is that what we've got to do is number one: get your attention, get you to call us and talk to us about what your wants and needs are. Then let us see what we can find for you, if it's a first purchase it's not going to be your forever place. It's going to be the place that gets you through the next five years or ten years until your family changes or just your wants and needs change or income changes. There's so many possibilities. I would talk to wherever your money is right now, whatever money you've got, whatever funds you have. Go in and talk to the person at that bank that's doing loans. We have a couple of great people: Fran from First Hawaiian Mortgage. Her phone number, I believe, is (808) 661-8886. Another person, recently, David Freedman who is (808) 385-8558, I think. But if that isn't right, call us at Sakamoto Properties (808) 669-0070 and we'll get David's number. He's a mortgage company as is Fran. They both come up with some great programs and I think that's going to be your jump off places to figure out what you can really afford and then how we can help make it happen.

M: You know Betty, I just really think we need to make the first step. You've got to get out there and maybe you can't qualify right now but at least they'll tell you what you need to in order to be ready when the place does come along. You know, we could think about all of these things we want to do but I know that if I don't open the door it's never going to happen. So, you know, just give it a shot.

B: Absolutely. We had somebody walk into our office yesterday that we've been working with for a couple of years. He owns a property on Maui but actually it's family that lives in it, but he purchased it a while ago and had a couple of loans on it that were a little bit high. But we had him talk to lenders off and on when he comes into town because he needs to refinance it so that it's a little more affordable. But interestingly enough, he's done just that. All of his debt will zero out in a couple of weeks, he's always kept payments up, etcetera. But now he's going to be in a perfect position so that he can refinance that, come up with a lower payment and possibly buy a house that he'll be able to have here should they retire one of these days. So they're really working towards some goals but what we're saying is exactly what he did. He started working with some lenders, the lenders were directing him that he had a great credit score but probably not good enough to spread out what he wanted to do. But once he paid off credit card debt and other debt he's going to be in a position to do anything that he wants. So it's kind of an exciting time for him and I think it should be for you also. You know, talking about inventory is an interesting thing also at Sakamoto Properties. We have a lot of great listings and fortunately for us, they are selling now. We're at a moment that things are starting to really move. There's in Maui right now 568 pending sales.

M: Wow that's great.

B: Yeah, that's great isn't it? You know, since the first of the year, I think there have been probably somewhere around 1900 or more closings. So again, I think that our statistics are getting pretty fabulous. There's never going to be another time like this. Interest rates, I think, are good. They were starting to edge up a little but I still think that prices are good and it's time. So wherever you want to be, it's time to get into it. We have a couple of really great properties and maybe we should do a couple of those quick picks that we've done but we have a great oceanfront home at 5205 Lower Road in Napili. It just had a price reduction to, I think, it's $6,995,000. So again, fabulous place. When you go out there, there's a great sandy beach and there's turtles around all the time and a really, fabulous, amazing home. Don't you think that one's a pretty, great quick pick?

M: I think it's a fantastic house. It's glass windows look straight out at the sunsets year round. It also has an Ohana and a garage out front. It's a spectacular property. Spectacular. But you know Betty, the Bay Villas at Kapalua has been getting a lot of attention lately and Dean and I have a two-bedroom ocean front, I mean this is like right on the cliff. I remember friends of mine years ago owned it and I'd go out there for lunch and in the winter when that big surf comes in and crashes over the rocks it would just cover their screens with mist. It's absolutely fantastic. It's a little difficult to get in but with a little notice we can.

B: Get in because of rentals.

M: Rentals, yes. It's rented quite a bit of the time. It's listed at $1,695,000 which I think for a two-bedroom, three-bath right on the window, it's pretty spectacular.

B: It's really spectacular and what Mitch is saying is the rentals there are really great. So in a lot of cases that's probably going to be a second home buyer. And the second home buyer can keep it in the rental program of his choosing or he can rent it out himself if he chooses too. It'll be an interesting moment when somebody takes a look at something like that. Rentals are getting better and better. We know because we're the ones fighting to get in there between check out and check in, or the maids if the maids are there. So I think really, it is a good time you know, to be able to see something like this. So give us a call, we'll work you in. But, take a look at it the Bay Villas. There's some other properties that I think are pretty amazing there. All of Kapalua right now, all of Kaanapali. I mean, you know, the inventory everyday is changing. So if you're listening to this, you're here on vacation, and you're thinking we should be doing something, come on, let's do it.

M: Actually Betty, there's one that could be long term or permanent residence as well as having it as a second home. That's the listing that you and I have in the Masters at Kaanapali. It's listed at $1.1 million, it's beautifully refurbished with stone flooring and you know, it's for those of you that know the Masters this is one, it's 1402. It's down in the fourteen building and it kind of sticks out, it juts out, so that you can look through the kitchen or any of the other rooms and not really see any other buildings at the Masters. It's really spectacular.

B: View wise I agree that it's totally one of the best views. And when they did the remodel of the unit, they made a major change in the bathrooms. They made a great change when you come in. They changed where the wall was so that they could, they made more of like a little defined entry. They made the entry a little smaller and I think that really works because they also put in this great closet. And for anyone, even whether it's a second home or a first home, we all need closet space. You know, we've all got stuff. They have a fax machine set up in the entry closet so that it's quiet for them if things are coming in at night. But again, way worth looking at. I think it's one of the biggest views, most private units at the Masters.

M: You know, they also have their surfboards and bicycles in there.

B: Right, that's right.

M: So, it's a great place to store inside your house and keep everything in good shape. And you can lock it up and go on a trip and come back and it's all right there. It's really a pretty phenomenal place.

B: Yeah, in that closet she has her stand-up paddleboards. So that closet really holds a lot.

M: Yes, as well as your Costco stuff.

B: That's right. We all need our Costco stuff living on Maui. That was probably the biggest change in all of our lives, what we pick up at Costco. Thinking of some other things that are going on right now, again, Kapalua. I think if you're going to buy, there's some great values there. We've got some great listings at Pineapple Hill, we have some amazing properties at the Plantation Estates. I think that we're starting to see offers again on some of the bigger properties so I really think that it is time for everybody to figure out how we're going to do this. Again, contact us (808) 669-0070, is our website, it's great because it really gets you into the whole Maui Board of Realtors. Ironically, a lot of people get to us on our website and aren't asking about our listings but they're asking about anybody else's listings. They're growing through and looking at Kahului, Wailuku, Kihei, Wailea mostly people tend to find us because we are West Maui and that's what they're looking for. But get in there and take a look at and don't forget the Twitter @MauiSakamoto and connect with us using hashtag #BettyMauiRadio. So we're looking forward to chatting with you and seeing what you're thinking right now about real estate and the direction it's going and hopefully continues to go.

M: Betty, I have something else I need to talk about.

B: Yes?

M: Hale Makua Luau. The Family Luau is coming up and I know this year it's going to be back at the Marriott in Wailea and we're actually having the luau. We've taken over the luau grounds for the evening and I think that it starts at 5:30 on the twenty-eighth.

B: September 28th.

M: Yes, the doors will open at five o'clock, we'll have a silent auction. I believe we will have the Country Store again and we'll be able to see the luau show again which is a phenomenal show and have the same great food. There will be free self-parking so be sure to bring your ticket in so that we can get you credited for the parking. Come have a great evening and help us

B: Make some money for Hale Makua. You know when Mitch said the Country Store, the Country Store let's explain it a little bit Mitch. It has a lot of fresh baked goods and a variety of different things.

M: Plants and flowers.

B: Yeah, they usually have some great orchids. There's a whole bunch of things you buy and somehow the money ends up with Hale Makua. So I think that will be really fun and the whole thing is a great fundraiser. There usually will have a few of the residents there which is really great because it's an opportunity for them to be able to come out for the evening. And it's, I think the luau has always been great. Mitch is the Master of Ceremonies from time to time. Probably this year not as much because the luau itself will be a little, I think it will have a lot going on.

M: They'll have their own.

B: But that's always been fun.

M: You know, this is a kokua for our kupuna. So you know, as money tightens up and so forth, there's so many that need help and it's very hard for us to keep everything running at Hale Makua. So, this is a great way to help give back to your community and help our kupuna and frail and elderly here on Maui.

B: You know, Mitch is right. One of the things that is going to be happening in our future and it's a very sad thing to understand but I think that we have all depended on the Federal government and State government for a lot of funding for things. And I think in the next year it's going to get harder and harder and harder and I think our communities are going to have to pull together more and more. So I think we've all got to step up and pay attention to these things. There's a lot of people on Maui that have someone at Hale Makua right now receiving help. So don't forget that. You know Mitch speaking of receiving help, I think that we should all say a little something about the people of Colorado and how they're suffering right now and what a difficult time it is. I think that everybody should give a special prayer for them and hope that there aren't any more deaths and that people have a way to get their homes put back together. It's going to be really hard and we have some good friends that are there in Estes Park. I know that their hearts are broken for a lot of their friends and neighbors and so far their home is okay. But again, these horrible tragedies happen and on Maui we've been somewhat insulated and let's just hope that always happens. But let's remember right now, we need to help one another and there's so many issues, so many things that happen here. Let's remember to give, whether it's to the girl scouts or to the neighbor kids who are doing a car wash to raise money to go to Honolulu for something. Whatever it is, we've got to help one another because we're a small community and if we don't then Maui isn't what we all know Maui really is. So let's help Maui, let's make Maui always the best.

M: Thank you Betty. You know somebody said something to me that I thought the charity walk this last year, you know. I have always made a big push for that for Hale Makua. All the employees that have worked so hard to raise money. We didn't get first place this year, which was a little disappointing but we still raised great money and the thing that I really loved was that everybody was out there. So there was so much money coming in that it was fantastic.

B: Next year Mitch, we're going after that title.

M: We're going to try it again. But I just hope that it keeps everybody working so hard to raise money for all the charities on Maui.

B: You were amazing on that because it was like four years in a row, or five. But Mitch was number one and Hale Makua was number one. So it was really great. Call us though, I mean remember Sakamoto Properties (808) 669-0070 and check out our website and Mitch how do we tell someone how to buy tickets for the luau. Should they just call us there or do they have any other way? If you call us at the office we'll help you figure it out.

M: Yes, we also have a Hale Makua website. You could do it on the website which I didn't bring with me, I left it in the car.

B: Well Google "Hale Makua", I think it's actually

M: Oh I believe it is.

B: I'm not sure. Oh there's a link on our site.

M: There's a link on our site, of course.

B: Somebody just reminded us. That was one of those "duh" moments. You know, there's a link on our site that'll get you there and you can buy tickets. It is a lot of fun. Every year that we've done it has been a lot of fun and everybody leaves there happy.

M: That someone that helped us is Chris from Meyer Computer and he helps us a lot. He and the whole crew over there at Meyer Computer kind of keep us rolling. So thanks Chris.

B: Speaking of Meyer Computer, they have a thing that's going to coming up again. Coming towards Christmas which Mitch, I believe, is going to be playing Santa Claus again.

M: Oh they haven't asked me to come back yet.

B: Oh they have so get over it. Well we're hitting that two-minute warning so I'm going to ask Chris who's here right now can you take one of our microphones for just a second and tell us about that fundraiser and what it is and how it happens. Chris Meyer: It's not completely set up yet but it will probably be at First Friday in Wailuku. Last year we did it at Kamaaina Properties Office, we had a picture with Santa. It was very inexpensive and all proceeds went to, last year, Maui United Way.

B: Wow that's great. C: We're going to try and do something similar this year.

B: And Mitch then was in pictures in almost every house. In Wailuku, Lahaina, every kid had a picture with Santa Claus.

M: That's bothersome. C: Yeah, we had printed pictures and the .jpeg sent to them so that they could have it.

B: Oh that's really cool because then again, the parents can send that off. You know, everybody should remember to do that. Check it out and come out for that fundraiser. Call Meyer Computer or check them out at and probably there will be a link to this at some point. Chris is kind of smiling so there'll be one tonight hopefully. But call us anyway (808) 669-0070, check out our website and we have Danny Couch coming back on. You might just think that he's my favorite Hawaii entertainer and you might just be right. Hey, you know what I'm looking for though, if anybody knows where to find Ben Mason, he's supposed to be entertaining again in Honolulu and I've been kind of looking him up on Google and a couple of places. But I'd love to know where he is on Honolulu and I'd love to reach him. But here we've got Danny Couch and "I Love Hawaii".

M: Aloha.

B: Aloha and thanks for being with us.

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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