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, Roy Sakamoto, my husband is here with me in the studio and we're coming up with, I hope, some things that will interest you in real estate. I've got a couple of little thoughts on mortgages. Roy's got a couple of fabulous thoughts for the day. So, let's get ourselves started Roy.
Roy Sakamoto: Absolutely. Good morning all and aloha and welcome to Betty's Real Estate channel.
B:I'm not sure exactly what's our direction today but we did at least have time to theoretically prepare on the way over here. We were coming up with some thoughts. We were thinking we've been spouting off too many prices, and too many individual properties. So we're going to try to go a little bit differently, although we're going to have some condos, but Roy tell me what were a couple of those thoughts that you had from that "Bits and Pieces" magazine.
R:Yeah, we subscribe to a great little magazine that's called "Bits and Pieces" and I have the February 2013 issue. Janelle, if you're listening in at our office, Janelle is our office manager and she loves this little book ? you'll get this after the radio show Janelle. Anyway, a couple of things here that pertain in particular to buyers who are out there in the real estate market looking to buy something. One little phrase is, "Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye". So, basically follow your instincts when looking at real estate and what's going to be right for you. There's another saying, "Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out". That's another great saying for a prospective buyer. You'll never get ahead in real estate if you just stay in your shell, so go ahead, stick your head out and buy real estate.
B:I think that's really a great statement because we've talked about this off and on , especially through the recession we've been in and coming out of. I think that it is time, I mean sometimes someone does keep their head in their shell and they won't step up at all. And I think that I have talked to a couple of people recently that are here, they're making money, they're working hard, and they pay a huge rent and getting to them the idea of "This is it, the time is now. You need to buy something today". I had a great conversation last night with someone that's in the construction business and I think that he could really make a great purchase and one of the things that I've talked to him and a couple of other people around recently is the idea that sometimes you may need a little help. Maybe going to a parent, or an aunt or uncle, or a grandparent, someone that will help you out with the down payment or help you with qualifying. But if you don't get in today, you're not going to get in. So I think, call your real estate broker, call us at Sakamoto Properties (808) 669-0070 or of course our website SakamotoProperties.com. It's very informative today, our website, wouldn't you say Roy?
R:It's very informative. For instance, I checked our Maui MLS system this morning before heading over before the show and there are actually 618 properties currently in escrow on Maui and this breaks down to 239 residences, these are homes. These are homes anywhere from $169,000 up to just about eight and a half million dollars. The average price of these homes in escrow currently is $737,000 and the median price is $499,000. The median price is basically the halfway mark, half of the homes in escrow will be above $499,000 and half would be below $499,000. As far as condominiums, there's 327 condominiums currently in escrow, anywhere from $25,000 to just under five million dollars. Again, average of $432,000 ? the average condominium price ? and the median price is $299,000. Vacant land parcels: 40 in escrow right now ranging from $45,000 to $2.5 million, average of $576,000 and a median of $473,000. Even commercial properties are really warming up. There's 12 in escrow right now, anywhere from $229,000 up to just under eleven million dollars. That's a great sign that we're seeing progress in the commercial market. So, over six hundred properties in escrow on Maui, that is huge.
B:It is huge, and you know Roy, one of the things that we've talked about ? and we have talked about it on the show from time to time ? is that inventory is really the key to any real estate market. As the inventory starts to drop, and it's definitely dropping, you're going to see prices go up. It's all supply and demand and you've all watched that in any number of recessions that we've gone through. It's an interesting thing and take heed of it and make some decisions on your own behalf because when you hit that point in the market where there's very little inventory, and that's already started to happen, you're going to cycle that prices are going to move up and Maui is one of the classic places for it. You're going to see prices go up in a hurry and I think that a lot of the properties that are, right now, properties that I believe would be typical owner-occupant here, there's still some good values in condos and homes, it's time to do it. I think it's time to step up Roy.
R:And again, we've never seen the combination of affordable prices and low mortgage rates. So, ordinarily when there's lower prices we've got higher mortgage rates and vice versa so it's an interesting anomaly that we're going through and a great time to buy, great time.
B:You know, you brought up the interest rates and I've got to admit ? I hate admitting this ? but I can't say that I totally understand exactly what happens when "boom" the interest rates are up. I only know that I love Maui, I love the real estate here, but I'm not a good predictor of when it's going to happen but it's got to happen. The interest rates cannot stay like they are forever and the tragedy is going to be that as the prices go up all of a sudden we're going to see the interest rates going up and then a lot of us will be blocked from even being able to get into the market. So, it really is time now to take a good hard look at this and while the interest rates are good, let somebody help you. At least you'll have a chance. Again, call us (808) 669-0070. One of our agents in the office, or you're certainly welcome to ask for us, Roy or Betty Sakamoto, and we'll direct you in the best way to go. Either working with us or working with someone that's a little closer to the area that you might want to purchase. But, give us all a chance because we'll get you talking to a lender right away to see what you can afford and I think that's going to be the answer for you. Let's figure out what you can qualify for.
R:Yes, absolutely and we'll direct you towards whatever professionals in the mortgage business and work with you. It's a very easy process.
B:It is an easy process. You know, another one that a lot of people have been calling and asking us about is refinancing ? is it time for them to refinance. A lot of people will look at only the interest rate and make that decision, like, "well the interest rate is very low, etcetera". But, there's a lot of other things and you should talk to your banker, talk to a professional lender, talk to mortgage brokers, talk to a real estate agent. One of the things, there's a couple of things, and one is ignoring the age of your old loan when you're refinancing. There's a point that you're into the loan and a lot more is going to pay off your actual principle balance and less is going to interest. So there's a point that you're going to add a lot of years on to your mortgage payments. So again, you want to look at everything in doing this. You don't want to make a really fast plan. If your primary goal is to free up some cash in your current budget then you might want to be opting for a mortgage shorter than thirty years. There's a whole lot of different ideas and if you want to do that talk to the appropriate people. A good source is whoever your real estate broker is, chat with them about it and get into it. I think that right now there's so many ideas for you that circle around mortgages. So either buying another property, selling your existing property, or buying another one, I just think that it's time. Real estate is key right now for a lot of us in building our wealth.
R:No question. And this is a great time to also look at upgrading. So, if you're in a property and your eyes are set on a bigger home or a bigger condominium it's great timing right now. It's a great time to sell and a great time to buy so don't wait.
B:You know, that's a good point Roy. One of the things too is a lot of our market in Maui, for everybody, is the second home market. And we do get a lot of phone calls after the show from people that own something here that are asking us questions. But, the same thing applies right now to the second home market. You may own a one-bedroom in Kaanapali but you've been dreaming about having an ocean front home in Lahaina or a Kapalua larger condo, you've got an idea in your head. You know, well we are still finding that for people who are ready to trade up, there are people available that will consider taking what you currently have and exchanging with you plus cash. So typically, when somebody is trading up it can work for them so I think that's another thing to get in your head. There's a lot of ideas so don't assume that you can't do something just because you own a property already. Get in there, call us and let us help you out with the whole idea.
R:Yeah, actually I think that about half of our showings right now with our clients are people looking to upgrade. So, whether you're trading in a one-bedroom or two-bedroom condominium for a house or a smaller home to a larger home, it's a great, great time to buy.
B:You know, one of the things that we were talking about when driving over, Roy, was the whole condo market. I think it is an interesting one and we don't have everything with us but a couple of places that I think are interesting, one would be the Vintage. There's listings, I believe, starting at $85,000 and going up to a $1,300,000 plus or minus. But, that's a fabulous place because they are individual homes and you've got a nice oversized two-car garage. It's free standing but it's a condominium setup. So somebody's taking care of your roof, your exterior, there's a separate building that has a fabulous pool and workout areas. So, somebody takes care of everything so if you're living there all the time and you both work a lot, it's a perfect answer for you. If it's a second home, it's also perfect because you don't have to worry about it when you're not here. If something's going wrong, you've got management there, a fabulous manager Paul, and I think it really is worth taking a good look at a property like that.
R:Right, it's a gated community, you're surrounded by the Kai Course at Kaanapali, and great ocean views from most of these Vintage units. You're in the hillsides of Kaanapali looking down to Lanai and Molokai. Sunsets all year round, the whole Kaanapali Resort down below you, great views, and great location.
B:What about The Masters? Also a gated community, in the heart of Kaanapali not far from The Vintage, really more of a standard condominium set up. But properties, one, two, and three-bedroom condos starting, I'd say right now at around six something. I don't have all of them in front of me right now, Roy, but again, don't you think that's a great, great spot?
R:The Masters is great. It's great for a second home, it's great for owner-occupants, I think about half the owners are owner-occupants in The Masters. We just happen to have a couple of great listings at The Masters. Both of these are two-bedrooms, very, very highly upgraded, and great views. Again, call Sakamoto Properties (808) 669-0070 and we'd be happy to show these to you.
B:Right Roy, and I do think one is listed under a million dollars, and the other just over. But amazing two-bedroom, two-bath properties. And there's a lot of additional inventory that we can show you, going down, again, to the one-bedroom, one, two, or three. So let us talk to you, (808) 669-0070 or SakamotoProperties.com.
R:That's right, head over to our website and our website will allow you to get into all of the Maui MLS system and look at properties throughout Maui and whatever questions you have, call us at (808) 669-0070. We have a great team of professionals waiting to help you so, again, (808) 669-0070.
B:Let's see Roy, The Whaler ? there's another interesting Kaanapali ?
R:You're right, it's ocean front, adjacent to Whalers Village Shopping Center. Two twin towers and I don't think you can find a better location oceanfront at Kaanapali.
B:Yeah, I agree with you Roy. It is an amazing, amazing location it has everything and it's a beach that's always been our favorite beach. When we were younger and all the kids were younger we hung out there all the time so it is really fabulous. So let us show you one of those and we also happen to have Elizabeth from our office has a number of the timeshares. Elizabeth and her brother Hank have some of the timeshare units available so even take a look at that. For the visitor that really wants to have a little something, that'll get you back to Maui over and over so way worth looking at.
R:Actually, you know, a lot of people start off buying a timeshare or a time interval, then they start spending more and more time here, then upgrade to condominiums and/or homes. So, it's a great way to start.
B:You know, we did keep saying this whole idea for some of the condos when we were driving over here and thinking about some of the different prices ranges that are available. We have another listing at Maui Lani Terrace, listed at $149,500. It's a really perfect unit, move-in ready, tiled kitchen and bath, really nice counters, Pergo flooring throughout the unit. Again, for somebody looking to get in for a first time thing: $149,500 and you own your own apartment. It's a little smaller, it's a small one-bedroom, one-bath but very livable and for any of us that have lived in one-bedrooms, you know that you can do it and home ownership makes a difference.
R:It's a great starter unit for the young couple or the single individual ? it's a great starting unit and again $149,500 and mortgage rates are great. Call us at (808) 669-0070.
B:Another interesting person that we've had looking at things like this are some of the recent retirees that still have a home on the mainland but they want to get something over here. They want to spend but they don't want to be in a classic resort setting but they want something where they can walk to beaches, walk to things, and I think that's a great price range and you can live there. So I think that you can live there for a couple of months, it's not a short term rental property, you close it up when you're gone. So, there's a variety of things in these lower price ranges if somebody wants to have a place here but they're not ready to give up their home on the mainland. We've had a variety of Canadians here too, doing the same thing, they're going to be partially retired. I think there is a price range, Roy, that isn't already half a million dollars that can get people into the market.
R:No, it's a great starter again ? it gets you to Maui.
B:It gets you to Maui.
R:What's better than that?
B:Nothing that I can think of. Again, well I hate when I feel like we ramble from one thing to another but, Maui Kai 904. Listed at $549,000 and nothing, nothing in Hawaii is more ocean front than Maui Kai.
R:You are directly ocean front. You can throw a golf ball out the window and you're in the ocean, it'll land in the ocean.
B:It'll land in the ocean. But, it is great. There's nothing better. I love the fact that the pool is so private. Most places have the pool sitting right out in front of the development which makes it also a little bit noisy if you're in and resting whereas this they've got a separate building that has the pool in it. It's behind, it's wonderful. It's sunny all the time, it's a great place for having a small function. So Maui Kai is one of the most special properties that I've ever seen on Maui ? I love Maui Kai.
R:It's a smaller complex, and not many people are aware of it. It's one of the older ones but it's immaculate, it's in great shape, it has a great homeowners association, and it couldn't be any more oceanfront.
B:Okay, what about condos at Kapalua?
R:Oh okay, how about the Bay Villas?
B:Bay Villas, fabulous, oceanfront.
R:Mitch from our office, Mitch Mitchell, has a great listing. It's a one-bedroom, one and a half bath, it's in building fifteen, and it's listed at $975,000. It's a townhouse type floor plan, very highly upgraded, and it's listed, again, at $975,000. You can reach Mitch at (808) 669-0070.
B:We've also had, recently, a variety of sales at the Golf Villas. We have one right now 23 ? oh, I can't find it so I'm not doing it ?
R:Yeah, 23P one and two. "P" as in "Patty", one and two. It's listed by Marcy Rhody, from our office, and it's a great listed price $689,000. It's completely furnished, about fourteen hundred square feet of living area, great views of Lanai and Molokai and sunsets. Again, Marcy can be reached at (808) 669-0070.
B:Well, I'm not sure what else we want to do, if we want to stay in this whole range. Kaanapali Maui Eldorado, recently they've had a variety of things going under contract and I think that it's a leasehold property. But it is really, an amazing place, great cabanas sitting out on the beach, and we've often thought that we should buy one before things go up much higher just so that we have access to the cabanas. So, I think there's a whole lot of different reasons to buy something like that Maui Eldorado. Huge acreage, I think there's four swimming pools, if I'm not mistaken. Four swimming pools, one of them is on the top of the garage, so it's huge , there's lots of shuffleboard, and owners that actually get together and have a lot of fun together.
R: Yes, a lot of owner occupants actually at the Maui Eldorado. The whole complex is about 200 units and it's spread out over 10 acres. It's a great location, easy walk to Whaler's Village, the Kaanapali Beach Hotel, the Royal Lahaina Hotel, the Sheraton Maui, and the beach walk at Kaanapali is also great.
B:Yeah, anytime you can do that where you can walk from one side of Kaanapali Beach to the other side, you're pretty much walking from the Sheraton on the great beach walk to the Hyatt, maybe a little beyond the Hyatt actually . But it is a great beach walk, anytime that somebody wants to do that, go down there and find a parking place, you can park at Whalers Village usually. Get out there and walk around, it'll give you a little shopping time, you can go up and down the beach, get some great exercise, have some fabulous lunch or breakfast or dinner along there. Kaanapali Beach is pretty amazing, Maui in general Roy, Kapalua Bay, Kaanapali Beach, I mean we have the best beaches in the world.
R:Don't we though? Absolutely. Elizabeth actually has a great listing, speaking of beaches, right on Lahaina Town.
B:Oh, Lahaina Shores. We have a great listing at Lahaina Shores, fabulous studio, amazing, and again the same thing. You will not be any more oceanfront ever. There's a fabulous beach there. Roy and I were in the middle of moving a few years ago and we still had one of our kids living with us but we ended up living there in between when we were trying to get another property together. It was the best, you could do everything from there, you could be at movies, you could walk up and down the street, we did things at night there that we've never done.
R:And we haven't done since.
B:And we haven't done since, exactly. It looks like we're winding down. I think we're at our sixty second warning.
B:Nope, I think it's happening again. Any other final thoughts you've got as we come back to Danny Couch?
R:Again, remember the turtle. The turtle never went anywhere until it stuck it's neck out and now's a great time to buy.
B:So buy ?
B:Stick your neck out, stick your head out. Anyway, I think it is time, so call us at (808) 669-0070 or get on our website SakamotoProperties.com. We've got Meyer Computer working like slaves trying to keep us set up, so we're really proud to be part of Meyer Computer's organization and we're working hard to come up with a website that will service our community. So give us a call.
R:And you can also follow us on Facebook.
B:Follow us on Facebook, and "Like" us. We want to be "Liked". We want to be "Friended". We want it all. Aloha, thanks for checking in with us today. Thanks, Danny Couch.