Sakamoto Properties

Maui Mortgages and Short Sales
January 17th, 2012

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 is going to be a little bit quiet in the studio; I don’t have a guest sitting here with me, but got a couple people who I think are going to be checking in by phone. And then I kind of want to just come up with a couple things that might be worth talking about in between a couple of call ins that I’ve got happening. So bear with me today, I’m not sure exactly where we’re going to go. I’ve got some thoughts about what’s going on with mortgages right now, and short sales, and why the owner of the property can’t get a short payout instead of selling it to someone else with a short sale. And if anybody’s got comments on that, send it to me at, Because think about that a minute, why is it that if you’ve got a mortgage and you’re upside down the lender will allow you in most cases to do a short sale, and okay the lender does lose some money on that, but he won’t come to you and say “okay Mr. borrower, I will instead give you $100,000 reduction in principle. I’ll give you today’s interest rates and allow you to stay in your home and raise your family, etcetera.” So I just think that’s an interesting thing. One of the things worth talking about today is that we have all turned out right now to be unbelievably busy. And I think it has to do a little bit for us in West Maui, and definitely in Kapalua, based on what went on last weekend with the golf tournament. The golf tournament was fabulous and I’ll give you a little more information on it but right now we happen to have somebody checking in with me. Hello, you’re on the radio.

Roy Sakamoto: Good morning.

B: Hey it?s my husband, Roy Sakamoto, my favorite call-in.

R: Yes, thank you dear. Thank you.

B: Thanks for checking in.

R: Sorry I couldn?t be on the radio station with you this morning but a lot of things are going on in our office right now.

B: That?s a good thing. Well I?m happy you called in. it?s always a little hard to suddenly be here alone because I?m not used to it so -

R: Oh absolutely.

B: It?s great that you?re checking in.

R: Yeah. First thing I want to say, hey, how about Johnson Wagner huh?

B: We were just talking about Johnson Wagner. And I was talking about the fact that it was the first time my husband won this particular Pro AM.

R: The first time for Hyundai.

B: The first time for Hyundai, exactly. So Roy Sakamoto was the big winner at the Pro-AM and when asked he, of course Mr. Cool, someone said to him ‘have you won this tournament before?’ and he said ‘Hm, the Hyundai?’ and the person looked, kind of smiled, realizing. And he did also win the Mercedes one year, his Pro AM team, and the Lincoln Mercury, and the Isuzu, and the World Cup of Golf, etcetera. So congratulations Roy Sakamoto and team.

R: Thank you dear, it?s all a team effort. So you were out there caddying for us and you know the whole team really just fit well together.

B: The team was great. And Johnson Wagner, what about him? He went on and won the ?

R: This last weekend, the Sony in Honolulu. So that will bring him back to Kapalua next year for the Hyundai and he might be stuck with our team again.

B: I think he will, he actually, in an interview he actually told someone that if he could take the Pro AM team with him on the road he would take them in a minute.

R: Oh absolutely, we cut him no slack. He hit kind of a goofy shot on thirteen, and I looked at him and I said ‘you’re a professional right, what the heck was that? That looked like one of my shots’.

B: Yeah, it was a great tournament.

R: Yeah, we were laughing and giggling the whole round, so good fun.

B: Well it looks like, or I think I was just starting to say or in the middle of saying, I think the tournament has brought our office some almost unprecedented interest in real estate and phone calls and people looking for rentals and homes to buy here. Are you thinking that?s what?s going on?

R: No question. Our desk, we have that desk, the real estate information desk, right outside the Pro Shop at The Plantation. And that?s brought in tons of inquiries, and both people interested in buying and also people interested in selling. So the tournament has done very good for Sakamoto Properties.

B: It?s been super, and that?s an interesting thing, if any of you are out there at The Plantation Course, seven days a week we?re sitting there at the desk. It?s kind of like our little, mini side office; we sit right outside the Plantation Pro Shop and right across from the restaurant. But one of our agents is there, so if you?re looking to sit down and chat a bit about real estate, you know, come on out there and talk to us. Our office is in Napili, maybe a little bit of an easier spot to check but come on by and see us.

R: Oh absolutely, and I know you?re going to get into our listings and so forth but I have a special guest in our office: Joel Greenfield. And I?m going to put Joel on the phone with you.

B: Perfect

R: Okay, hold on.

Joel Greenfield: Good morning.

B: Good morning Joel, you?re on the radio.

J: I?m on the radio, well that?s what happens when you walk in and you say hello to old friends.

B: Well that?s what happens. Joel is primarily from New York but has lived a good, off and on; let?s say maybe 6 months a year here in Maui. He?s one of our most favorite people, and it?s always a pleasure. What are you up to today Joel?

J: Well actually I came in here to use your printer.

B: Well that works for us; you can use our printer any time.

J: But it?s always great to come back. As the tournament brought me back and as usual everybody here in Kapalua put on a great show for everyone. I don?t think the course ever looked more beautiful than it did with all the aerial shots that were used for the first time.

B: Yeah, that airplane did a great job, and that Troon Golf, I think Troon Golf has pulled off and really got this course into one of the best golf courses in the world.

J: I?ve been coming here and I?ve been with you guys since 95, and I don?t ever remember the course being in better shape.

B: I don?t either Joel, and that is the best thing to say. You know, we?ve been good friends, and we?ve worked together, and different things over the years but since 1995 and Joel is definitely part of our lives so thank you for taking a minute on the radio.

J: Yeah well you guys are extended family. So although I have nothing to buy or nothing to sell right at the moment I?m always looking for something and I?m always going to be a client, and your friend, and extended family for the rest of my life.

B: Oh, thank you Joel.

J: We love you guys.

B: Thank you, we love you too. And Joel and his wife took care of us this year when we were in New York. We got to hang out with them a little bit and walk the streets of New York and it was really fabulous. Thanks again Joel.

J: Anytime, anytime.

B: Well let me have Roy back on for just a minute and then we?ll get on with what we?re doing over here.

J: Good luck, thanks again, always a pleasure to talk to you. Especially on the radio.

B: This is pretty fun.

J: I hope my voice sounds good on the radio.

B: I think you sound fabulous. Aloha.

J: Aloha.

Roy Sakamoto: Okay, before I lose your interest: how about talking about a couple of our listings at the Plantations?

B: Absolutely.

R: Okay, one of my favorites is the 102 Honolua Place.

B: That?s an amazing one. CC&D Builders, Ted Taylor, you know, it was built to be his private residence so it?s the best of the best.

R: Oh the quality is unbelievable and the view is right overlooking Honua Bay. And especially in the winter time and the northern swell is coming in and you?re looking at the surfers out there it?s unbelievable.

B: It is, it?s one of the best properties. It?s a large home, it has fabulous rooms for almost everything, very, very designer, some of the best granites that I?ve ever seen in the world. And Patty Taylor does a lot of the specific work in locating the granite, etcetera, and she really tied this together. It?s, I think, one of the best that we?ve seen and we?ve seen some pretty fabulous houses.

R: We do have a couple of people really looking at this but it?s still on the market as we speak and it?s a 4-bedroom, 6-bath home with a connected 1-bedroom, 1-bath ohana which is perfect for a house keeper or in-laws, it?s got a full kitchen. It?s really a great setup.

B: The home in general, everything about it, is pretty amazing. It?s listed at $9.9 (million) Roy?

R: Yes, $9.9 (million).

B: And I think it?s a great value. I mean $9.9 (million) in today?s market; I think it really is a great value based on everything that?s included with it. The owners are at the property but they?re very good about allowing us to show it so if you happen to be listening to this and you want to take a look at some of our Plantation properties, you know, call us today. We?re going to be showing some of them later this afternoon, so check in with us at (808) 669-0070, and as long as I?m on this don?t forget to check out our website at and you can look up and see the Plantation Course or see Pineapple Hill and take a good look at what we?re selling, what we?re marketing.

R: There?s also, don?t forget, 231 Plantation Club Drive. Which is the land size alone is almost 7 acres.

B: It?s 7.25 (acres).

R: Right, yes. And fantastic location, it?s kind of on its own island, surrounded by the golf course at the Plantation. And it?s very easy to show also.

B: It?s been easy to show, and the way it?s setup you actually pretty much have ravines all around you going up to the golf courses so you?ve got the ultimate privacy. And the entry is really, really fabulous. There?s a totally separate building that they set up to be used as some offices and kind of some fun entertaining type rooms and it has its own garage. You know we?ve often, you know some of the people that have looked at it recently are thinking they would probably set that up as an additional guest quarters or because most people look at this house as kind of a family compound. And this separate building could be used for so many things. It?s got a pool table, ping pong, it?s got its own huge wine cellar, a big, big area to store mainland clothes, etcetera. The closets in it, it?s actually a whole room set up, where you can store furs or whatever you might need if you are travelling a lot out of this property. So-

R: A lot of possibilities, a lot of possibilities. Right next door to that is the home owned by one of the best PGA Tour players: Jim Furyk. And we have his home listed at $6.9 million.

B: That?s another one, really great property. It?s a 3-bedroom home, two of the bedrooms are actually major master suites, the other bedroom also does have its own bathroom. Huge office and a separate 2-bedroom, 2-bath ohana. So again, the same thing, I mean these are really fabulous properties that can be utilized in a lot of different ways.

R: And very easy to show also.

B: We?ve been able to arrange so that we can get into these properties pretty easily. So between Roy and myself almost anytime we?re available to meet with you and get you into the property. So again (808) 669-0070 is the easiest number, it?s our office. You can also try Roy?s cell phone at (808) 870-7060, my cell phone (808) 870-7062. And when we?re talking about these multi-million dollar listings we don?t want you to feel like we aren?t handling the rest of the market because we are. We?ve got some amazing listings right now at Napili Point. A new one that just came in C-12, it?s close to the front, really nice property, listed at $950,000. And we?ve got another one, C-27, listed at $795,000, which I think is an unbelievable value. So you know we?ve got a little bit of everything.

R: The Napili Point units overlook Honokeana cove which is kind of a private, little inlet, and especially lately, full of turtles, it?s a great snorkeling little cove, fantastic.

B: Yeah I think Napili Point has been, and it’s one of those properties that’s almost the “old-style” you know, where they do their best to really get people gathered together. Or they’ll have, from time to time, kind of a “managers’ cocktail party”. So they’re doing a little bit of everything there and it makes it even though you’re there typically on vacation, fabulous rental program, and they really do their best to gather people together and make it a fun, fun time.

R: We?ve known the manager there for many years and he?s done a fantastic job.

B: That?s true, Rod Kelly: he runs the rental program and manages the property. And he is an amazing, amazing manager. He?s done so much for the owners and takes care of all of their needs. He?s in the middle right now of helping someone who?s moving that this has been their second home for probably thirty years and they for different reasons realized that they can?t continue and the property we just happened to have sold that property, and are getting ready to record. But he has been such an amazing man in stepping in and helping this couple who are a little older now, you know, be able to actually get moved and get their stuff shipped back that they want to ship.

R: It?s a true ohana at Napili Point, Rod makes it so.

B: Rod does make it so, you?re right about that. Can you think of, you know, a couple of other things. We?ve got you know, talking about listings, so that we don?t sound like our only listings are really high, we actually still have a listing at Napili Point which is $40,000 leasehold and I know that the fee is available for about $120,000.

R: You?re talking about Napili Ridge.

B: Napili Ridge, sorry did I say Napili Point? Oops, okay at Napili Ridge. And Elizabeth Quayle, one of our agents, is the one that?s handling that. But she?s taken care of a lot of those people, with the Napili Ridge, and helped them get them sold and get the people that are coming into them get the fee purchase incorporated into it and those are a great home for someone or it?s also a perfect second home for someone that wants to come here and retire but doesn?t need or want to end up with a huge place.

R: It?s perfect.

B: I think those are perfect.

R: And the pricing is just awesome also. I need to jump off here and get back to some work here.

B: Okay, that?s good. Okay well we?re going to, we?ve got a lot of different things that we?re chatting about. I?ve got on a little bit of the whole mortgage thing that?s going on these days so we?re going to do that. And then, you know, you and I were talking today about some of the things sellers can do to help stage and make their place look better. So I?ll see you later.

R: I?ll talk to you later.

B: Thanks for calling in, aloha. Okay, well now we’re back to just kind of randomly going through a variety of things but I happen to have glanced at something today that I think we went through this on the radio a few times but sellers call us and they say “what can we do? What could we do? What is the biggest thing that could make our place sell faster?” and often, the person saying that, it is their residence, they’re living in it. And we all know that we’ve got a lot of stuff, you know, so when we’re doing that and there’s a lot of stuff we’ve got to declutter you know. The only way that you can make your place show the best and often once we talk someone into doing this they almost want to keep their house but I think you almost need to have three huge bags or three huge boxes and go through and number one take everything that is true clutter and needs to get thrown away and put it in the garbage, get rid of it completely. And then there’s the other things that you know you don’t need right now and they should just get stored and ready to move to your new home. Any personal photography or things that are just hanging around, it’s got to all get stored so that you end up with a place that when someone walks into it they really want to live that way. It’s how we all want to live, whether we can do it or not on a day to day basis is a totally different question. But I think when you take a look and you start doing things and decluttering and the other thing is just take all your personal items out and then clean. And again it’s one of those things, we all do our best, but when you walk into a house that you want to buy, if you just clean it, clean it, clean it, clean it, all of a sudden it sparkles and when somebody walks in they want what you’ve got. Now I hate to carry this any further but: the garage. The same question applies to the garage. If you can make everything in your garage neat, it also makes you realize that there is room. I mean, you can put so many things and so many things can be stored and put away neatly that again it gives someone advice on how they can live and how they can get their things organized. But it just, it makes someone realize that there’s a lot of space in the garage. So if, like a lot of us, you’ve got bags of things that are sitting there or things that should be getting out the door to Goodwill, or to the charity of your choice, again you want it all clean. You want to see to it that what you do is really clean. And there’s just so many different things but you have to if you’ve got something that’s one of the best things about your property - whether it’s the view or the kitchen or family room or TV room - you want to play it up so that when somebody looks at it they can see what makes it really fun and nice. Lights should always be on. Sometimes the television, with the volume down, but turned to there’s some local Hawaii channels that I think look really great but you know just a couple of thoughts. Meanwhile, back to my mortgage question. I’ve watched this for a long time, and there’s so many people right now in Hawaii that are hurting because of their mortgages. And we have a similar issue going on with someone very close to us on the mainland trying to work out and stay in their home. They bought it the peak of the market, that one case in particular, bought it at the peak of the market, totally qualified for the loan, put the full 20% down, which at the time people were putting nothing down, and then upgraded it. That didn’t save them from anything now that the market slipped so much, and this is a particular one that is in California. But all of a sudden their mortgage is so upside down which means that they owe way more on the mortgage than the value of the house but they’d like to keep their home. They’ve got kids, they’re tied to the neighborhood, Girl Scout leaders, they take care of the kids are all playing soccer, so what they want to do is find a way to hang on to their home. Well they can go to the lender and in most cases end up doing what’s called a “short sale”. So let’s say you owed on a mortgage $800,000 but the house is now worth $400,000 the lender will often allow you to sell it to another person for $400,000 and they refer to that as a short sale and in most cases you just go away, you have no deficit on that, the other person gets the property and there’s $400,000 that they’ve paid instead of your $800,000 mortgage. So if that’s the case, why then can’t the current person who’s living there raising their kids who’s done their best to make a great investment why won’t the lender let them come in and give them the benefit of a short mortgage or a short payoff if they can come up with someone that would maybe fund them, a family member that would help them pay off the mortgage, or any way that it could be done but give the home owner that’s desperately trying to hang on to that property the benefit of the short sale without having to sell it to someone and walk away from their home, you know walk away from their improvements, walk away from their neighborhood. It just doesn’t seem fair to me and I don’t know where to go with it and I think everybody needs to maybe direct letters to their congressmen that’s in the situation or understands the situation. Certainly your local senators, whoever it is ,whoever we can I think we should send letters and make clear that we’re looking for help for every body, not just trying to sell properties by a short sale so that the next person gets the benefit. Well I guess I’ve yapped away enough that somehow what seemed like it was going to be a long time, isn’t so we’re goint to wind down pretty quickly. It looks like we’re at the two-minute mark. You know, I’ve been reading to you off and on a procrastination thing which I think I can do in 2-minutes.

"I hesitate to make a list.
Of all the countless deals I've missed.
Bonanzas that were in my grip -
I watched through my fingers slip:
The windfalls which I should have bought
Were lost because I over thought.
I thought of this, I thought of that,
I could have sworn I smelled a rat.
And while I thought things over twice
Another grabbed them at the price.
It seems I always hesitate,
Then make up my mind much too late.
A very cautious man am I
And that is why I never buy.
How Nassau and how Suffolk grew!
North Jersey! Staten Island too!
When others culled those sprawling farms
and welcomed deals with open arms-
A corner here, ten acres there,
Compounding values year by year,
I chose to think and as I thought,
They bought the deals I should have bought."I hesitate to make a list.
Of all the countless deals I've missed.
Bonanzas that were in my grip -
I watched through my fingers slip:
The windfalls which I should have bought
Were lost because I over thought.
I thought of this, I thought of that,
I could have sworn I smelled a rat.
And while I thought things over twice
Another grabbed them at the price.
It seems I always hesitate,
Then make up my mind much too late.
A very cautious man am I
And that is why I never buy.
How Nassau and how Suffolk grew!
North Jersey! Staten Island too!
When others culled those sprawling farms
and welcomed deals with open arms-
A corner here, ten acres there,
Compounding values year by year,
I chose to think and as I thought,
They bought the deals I should have bought."

Without finishing this because I think I'm going to run out of time, the ending of this is:

"At times a tear drop drowns my eye
For deal I had but did not buy:
And now life's saddest words I pen:
If only I'd invested then!"

This was in the Farm and Land Realtor Magazine in October 1917 and it?s still the same today. So, no more procrastination, call us (808) 669-0070 and 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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