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. Here we are Roy, another Tuesday at Betty's Real Estate Corner.
Roy Sakamoto: Betty's Real Estate Corner brought to you by Sakamoto Properties, number one in exclusive Maui real estate.
B: That's the story. We're trying to get you to check in at our website at SakamotoProperties.com. Also, you can find us on Twitter @MauiSakamoto with the Hashtag ?
R: Go ahead, I can't read it.
B: Betty Maui radio. So, check in with us. We're getting more and more into Twitter. We're doing our best to have a few Tweets here and there and having a bit of fun with it. But meanwhile, the biggest thing we seem to have going is that if everybody checks in on our website you can get to everything that's currently in the Maui Board of Realtors. So if you're interested in properties anywhere on the island, you're going to be able to get to them. You can put in a location, there's a whole lot that you can accomplish on there. There's also a spot that you can, more or less, shop the world which will allow you to go look at properties anywhere in the world that are currently in the LuxuryRealEstate.com site. So, we've got some amazing information on there and I think you can get a pretty neat little real estate education from it.
R: You certainly can, and it's www.SakamotoProperties.com brought to you by Meyer Computer.
B: Meyer Computer, they're the ones that have been doing their best to get us into the current world or web and Twitter, etcetera, etcetera. Now, they took us a little kicking and screaming but we seem to be able to do a little more, a little more, a little more. So, we're getting there. I guess everybody is, nobody just hops into it and is just an expert immediately.
R: Yeah, I'm still trying to get into Twitter or Tweeting or whatever, but ?
B: You don't have to, we're doing it for you.
R: Absolutely, thank you.
B: Well today we're going to, as always, come up with a couple of things that might interest you in regards to real estate. Maybe a little more education on why you want to be out there and what it would take to be out there and try to find a home for yourself. I think, Roy, we wanted to check in on a variety of our listings. And I think you also brought some information again in regards to the Board of Realtors: what's listed in there, what's currently under contract, recent sales. We'd love to hear it.
R: Yeah, well I do have some interesting stats for you. Right now, as of this morning there were 633 escrows and of these 268 are homes ? single family, residential homes ? 315 condominiums, 38 parcels of land, and 12 commercial properties for a grand total of 633 escrows on Maui. That is staggering, there's a lot happening out there.
B: It is an interesting figure and ironically we've been holding in that range between, let's say, 600 and 685 or 675 for quite a while now so that we keep coming up with figures. There's a lot of things that have closed in the last month but we're still back, well I mean two weeks since our last comment on this, but things keep closing and we keep filling it in with more escrows.
R: New escrows and lots more activity. These are all reported through the Maui Board of Realtors so why use a realtor, I mean that's a question that comes up often and we've got a good example. We have an associate who did not use a realtor, sold a condominium on her own, did not have to pay the realtor's commission, whatever the commission is going to be, and she actually lost $200,000 but she saved the commission.
B: That's interesting. You're saying an associate, a friend, you know, someone that we knew from where we lived that was all "bragadocious" about what they saved, what they did, they didn't need someone, they just mentioned it to a few people, and sold their place. Ironically, they sold it about $200,000 short of what they would have sold it for if they had come to one of us and have us sell it for them. So, instead of getting closer to $600,000 they were closer to $400,000. So again, if you had paid us 10% we would have made you money. Whatever the figure was, it would have been worth the commission and I think that everybody loses track of that and what the realtor is really doing for their money.
R: Oh, no question. And you know for a seller, a realtor can guide you as far as your pricing, what your place should be priced, and guide you through escrow. There are many, many steps in escrow that are confusing to a lot of people. A trained professional, a trained realtor will guide you every step of the way, and for a buyer as you're out there looking at different properties, a buyer can also tell you what the market rates are, help you with financing if you need help with financing. And again, more or less, guide you through all the steps of the escrow. You know, it's the way to go. It's the only way to go, use a trained professional.
B: You know, one of the things that really is critical today, is that in the state of Hawaii and pretty much across the country "disclosure" is the law. And, because you're just an owner, it doesn't take you away from having to disclose or doesn't solve the problem of disclosure for you. So, if you sell something to someone, you have a legal obligation to disclose to them all pertinent facts about the property. So, if you sold it to them for $200,000 less and if you didn't pay a real estate broker that doesn't mean when they discover that you didn't disclose something to them that they can't sue you. They can still sue you, and they probably will sue you, and you're out there hanging by yourself and I think that really is a difficult thing because stuff that you may not disclose is pertinent, and just because the seller or the buyer doesn't know, you're supposed to know, you owned the property. So, you're the only professional out there on the transaction. Your real estate broker can guide you into the disclosure, but it is still up to you, with whatever you're doing, you do need to disclose. But I think that's one of the things that your real estate broker will push you into and guide you to be sure that you take a look and answer all of the questions honestly, you get information where you need it. The realtor does not fill out the disclosure statement but we definitely can be sure that you get it done and you accomplish the task and that it won't be something hanging over you for the next, let's say, minimum six years that somebody would have to go after you.
R: Well, penalties are quite severe, including jail time. So, it's very, very important that you're more or less guided through this and a trained professional, a trained realtor, can be of great assistance to you. So don't hesitate, use a realtor by all means. And whether you're buying, and again, you'll receive a "Seller's Disclosure" statement and your realtor, your buyer's agent, will help you through all the different questions that come up in the seller's disclosure statement. Again, use a realtor, and by calling (808) 669-0070 we have a trained staff of realtors that can assist you whether you're buying or selling. And our website is SakamotoProperties.com
B: One of the things that you mentioned briefly there too was that when you are trying to buy some property, you're going to have to probably redo, I mean fortunately there are people around that are just paying cash for properties, it's great, and easy for everybody but that's not the norm. The norm is that somebody is going to need to get a mortgage, they need to figure out how much of a mortgage they can qualify for, there's so many things that you really need to do so that, again, your real estate broker is going to be your primary contact on that. Maybe even hooking you up with a couple of different lenders or asking you who you've worked with over the years. You might say, First Hawaiian Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Central Pacific, you may come up with who you've always done your banking with and that's a great idea. Go and talk to them, make them one of your first people to chat with and then we can also refer you to some mortgage bankers or brokers, you know, so you can get some other ideas. But, you need this information immediately, pretty much before you even take a look at the first property because otherwise you just set yourself up for being unhappy when you later find the perfect property, love the perfect property, but realize that you don't have the ability to pay for that property. It's important, nobody wants to be disappointed and there is a property out there for you today.
R: It's a trained team that will guide you through all these steps, so again, start with a realtor. Start with Sakamoto Properties (808) 669-0070.
B: Or of course, SakamotoProperties.com
R: How about homes in West Maui, while we're on the subject, the Board of Realtors currently, as of this morning, there were 110 homes in West Maui which is our area of expertise. These range from $250,000 and up. These are single family homes, some in great condition and some in not so great condition. But again, with your realtor's help and guidance, and your mortgage broker if you are using a mortgage company, you can qualify, you can find out how much you qualify for and then concentrate on different areas. For instance, if you're interested in the Napili/Kahana area you'll find that homes will start in this area at about $350,000 on up.
B: Yeah, taking a long, hard look at things, I think that a lot of people need to live in West Maui. We have somebody right now that we are working with that's lived on the other side of the island but spends over two hours driving every day ? an hour over, an hour back. So, he's beginning to realize that if you put that into other things that he needs to do between family things and his business, it's really going to save him a lot of money and he'll also be making more money. So again, you really do want to get a look at some of these properties and starting in Lahaina, I'm with you Roy, there's some great places. There's a really cute, little place at 427 Wainee listed at $580,000. It's new on the market, really worth looking at. Also in Lahaina, there's a property at 46 Ala Moana St and that's one of those streets that's down, it's just a short walk to Baby Beach, and I think that's a phenomenal little gated community and I believe that one, Roy, is listed at $995,000. It's a great, great place to live. You can walk everywhere that you want to go, perfect for a family, it's got a small ohana and it's really a property that's worth taking a look at.
R: It's a real easy walk to Safeway and Longs at the Lahaina Cannery Mall. It's close to downtown Lahaina so you don't need a car.
B: You don't need a car. Coming along the coast, obviously, as you get closer to Kaanapali, prices do tend to jump a bit. But again, I think that you can, right now, in the million dollar price range, still find a nice home. One place that I still love, Roy, is The Vintage in Kaanapali.
R: Right, the residential condominium. It's three and four bedroom homes, and two-car garages, well maintained grounds. You're surrounded by the Kaanapali Kai Course and there's great buys in there. I love The Vintage.
B: Yeah, I think that will never be, right now there's still a couple that are right on the million dollar range. But again, keep in mind that it has its own workout room, it has a great common area, a swimming pool. The workout room is common to the whole development, but it's a great spot. You can have a golf cart there, drive around, drive it down to the restaurants in Kaanapali. You can't use it on the golf course per se but everyone kind of figures out how they can shift around and get down to the restaurants. And it really is fun, and the owners who are there really love using those carts. It's a pretty clever thing.
R: Oh, no question. And you know, take your cart down to Whalers Village, go shopping, go have lunch, or breakfast, or dinner, and drive your golf cart back. How convenient is that?
B: It is pretty convenient and it's just different. It takes you away from where you've got to get in a car, and you've got to get down there, then find a parking space, pay for parking, etcetera. With the golf cart, there's a nice little spot that you can pull up and put your golf cart there. You can take the key with you, and come back when you've finished dinner, etcetera.
R: That's right, and we have a couple of listings there, just coincidentally, right around a million dollars. So, call us (808) 669-0070 or get on our website SakamotoProperties.com
B: Again, other spots, you know another area that I really like is when you first enter Lahaina on Front Street. There's a couple of really great homes that are listed for sale on the water. One of them is around $3,900,000 ? let's say ? I mean, that's properties that we really have listed but again, if you've been looking for a great property, there's a couple of them down there. One is 16,000 square feet of land and you could build something really, really phenomenal on it. So I think you've got to pay attention to some of these things if you've been thinking of oceanfront homes, get on it because you're going to be someone that, at the end of the next year, with the old "if only I'd invested then" theory.
R: What an old story that is.
B: Isn't that a great story?
R: Yeah, absolutely.
B: Yeah, I love that story. Are there any other, let's think for a minute of anything oceanfront because ?
R: There's one that I know Elizabeth from our office has listed in Kahana. It's as good as oceanfront, you're not paying the oceanfront price though. It's an older home, right across the street from the ocean, there's a beautiful sandy beach right down below you but you're not paying oceanfront price. You're paying only $1.3 million, that's the asking price, and what a location.
B: Yes, it's 4800 Lower Honoapiilani Road and there's no way that someone could build something on the road, you know, cause the road is in front of you ? the lower road ? which is, I don't consider, we have a home on the lower road in Kahana and I don't consider it to be overly noisy. I think it's really great because you don't have anything on the other side of the street beside the beach. You know, you are virtually oceanfront and on an amazing property. Amazing.
R: You can reach Elizabeth at our office at (808) 669-0070 and she'll be happy to make arrangements. I mean, this really is a one of a kind property, it's a great property.
B: Yeah, it's amazing and you lose sight of that. A lot of people will call it oceanfront even though it isn't technically sitting on the ocean as long as there's nothing that's actually in front of you. it's not a bad walk if you actually walked out to Kapalua. You can, you know, do a lot of things from the Kahana area. There's restaurants, great restaurants, everywhere. So again, somewhere out there between Kahana and Napili there's some great homes listed for sale. A couple of really good oceanfront properties and a variety of condos and you're close to everything from Kahana. You're not that far, you can hop in the car to go to Kaanapali, but you could get pretty much everywhere from right there in Kahana very easily.
R: For sure, and again the homes in West Maui are from $250,000. They're great buys, call us at (808) 669-0070.
B: If anybody is out and has their cell phone, visitors from the mainland it will be (808) 669-0070. And that way, without going the cell phone route to one of us, you'll get the office. Somebody will be around or our office manager will direct you to someone that's on their cell phone. But usually, one of us will be there in the office and be able to chat with you for a while at almost any time. Almost any time.
R: And how about condominiums in West Maui? Starting at $68,000 for a one-bedroom, one-bath.
B: Which one is $68,000? Fill me in on that one?
R: There was a listing at Hale Ono Loa, I'm not quite sure of the realtor, which realtor has this listing. But again, calling Sakamoto Properties we can arrange to have you see it. It's $68,000 for a one-bedroom, one-bath in Lahaina or Honokowai.
B: Hale Ono Loa is a great property. It's really, it's an oceanfront property that condo, at that price probably is not oceanfront and possibly is still leasehold because I know there have been a lot of higher sales in there. But we should take a look at that if you want us to we'll pull it up. But, I think, looking down your list, Roy, it really is an interesting time. You know, going on the far side of that, at Kapalua right now there were so many properties listed for sale, so many condos and we're almost, we're coming to the end of the market there from the standpoint of, let's call it the "lower end". And we're starting with, let's say, four something in The Golf Villas and the condo sales are up to $5,000,000 at Coconut Grove. But there's a huge span there and we can only find something for you and I can guarantee at the end of the year you are not going to see the prices that we're looking at for a Kapalua condo right now.
R: Inventory has shrunk considerably, so that's always a good indication of what is going to happen. And the Golf Villas have been a great buy.
B: They've been a great buy. There's been kind of a huge special assessment going on there which has really been the most phenomenal thing because everything in the last year has changed. They've done a building at a time, they're down to probably, maybe eight buildings left to still do. But, it is really phenomenal everything that's done from the roof to the landscaping and I think that's one of the reasons that these sales have really taken off like they have, don't you?
R: I know a lot of people will back away from a project just because there is a special assessment, but again, a trained professional realtor can guide you all through this. And the reasons for the special assessment, and what's going to happen after this special assessment is over and all the remedial work has been done. So, The Golf Villas has been a great buy and they still are.
B: They still are a great buy, and again, it's such a positive that all this work is being done and the majority has been paid for at this point. So, I think you're at the point where it's on the downhill side of that. I think the values are still phenomenal but you're really buying into something that I took some people the other day that had an offer in on the Golf Villas. I brought them up and we walked around everything and we went to buildings that hadn't been touched yet, then walked up to a building that's still under construction and then walked around one that's been totally done. It is staggering, the amount of work that's been done. The fabulous board of directors stepped in there and are really making everything happen. The new management, I think, it really is, it's the best, it's the best of the best at this point.
R: Absolutely, no question.
B: Any other specific listings?
R: Well, we've got tons of listings. But again, just looking at what is on the market at West Maui. Here's one, a Kaanapali studio for $150,000. That's a great buy. It's a great resort, it's right on the ocean in Kaanapali, on the North end of Kaanapali. Boy, I don't think we'll see prices like that again.
B: You know, right down in that same area we have a listing or two at the Maui Kai and that's a property that nothing, nothing, is more oceanfront than the Maui Kai. You know, they've worked, actually, on their shoreline for years but really it's an amazing, amazing property. Let's see, I think that really is directly on the water.
R: I think the whole thing is. It's an older development that's right on the oceanfront, it's got private tennis courts, it's a great location.
B: Great pool. The pool is actually when you first enter the property, it's before you come to the condos and the beach, then, is in front of the condos. And I think they did an amazing thing because most developments ended up putting the pool in front of the condos so any noise, excitement, kids playing, etcetera, is going right up to your condominium but here it's a totally separate building so that's relatively private when you're in there. It's a lot of fun but you also don't get the noise. You know, coming up onto your lanais, etcetera.
R: Speaking of oceanfront, great buys, how about Lahaina Shores?
B: I love Lahaina Shores.
R: Yeah, right downtown Lahaina, sandy beach, the shops, the 505 shops right next door to you, fabulous buy.
B: There's some great, great units there. You know, Roy, we are actually, believe it or not, winding down quickly.
R: Well, you know, the big thing going on this weekend is the Hotel Industry visitors' walk with I'm not sure how many charities. But it's benefiting many Maui charities. And your neighbor, your partner, many of you are walking in this, congratulations. Thank you for all that you do for Maui community, and thanks to the hotel industry for sponsoring this great event. It's a fun event and support your local charities. If you have not made a commitment or pledged to donate please contact whoever you favor as far as your Maui charity and they're probably walking in this and make a pledge to help out.
B: We'll fill you in on that. Call us at (808) 669-0070. We have a favorite charity and somebody in it who's been one of the top fundraisers for the last couple of years so call us at (808) 669-0070 or check out our website SakamotoProperties.com and Danny Couch is back.
R: Danny is back.