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." Thanks for listening in with us today, in the studio there happens to be here, David Freedman of Island Mortgage. Okay, David is one of the top mortgage brokers in Maui and he's been gracious enough several times to come here and discuss what's been going on in the mortgage market with us. A quick "hello," David?
David Freedman: Hello, how are ya?
B: "How are ya," I think that means, "Aloha!"
D: Of course.
B: Of course it does. Anyway, just a couple of things to get started with: You can find us on Facebook and on Twitter using MauiSakamoto, and you can connect with us using the hashtag, #BettyMauiRadio. So, we're getting more and more in the thick of it, so you can track us down anywhere. Our website is SakamotoProperties.com. And as easy entry into the multiple listing service for Maui County. And you can also get in there, we've got an icon that says, "Search The World," and that gets into LuxuryRealEstate.com and there's properties from around the world that we actually can help you with. So you can look them up in there, come up with something that you're interested in, give us a call, we'll hook you up with a broker. I think you can probably get straight through to them on the site. I haven't tried it recently. So, there are a lot of ways to find us. Our office is 808-669-0070, and you can track us down there. I think for our?because I have David here, I think our main topic is going to be, somewhat, mortgages, and I'm going to tell David something that he mentioned last night, that he probably doesn't quite remember, and I talked to another mortgage lender this morning from the mainland. And one of the comments seems to be that you've got to find a way if you're looking to buy a home and you need a mortgage, that number one: You find a lender that you can work with. You can find a mortgage broker, like David, that really is going to be interested in you and help. This person said to me today, and, I think, David, in something you said last night, her point was, you need to embrace the process. You're going to get a list from David, or any lender, of things that you need. And it's critical today, and, in a way, as I have talked about this to a couple of people, it's almost critical for all of us because we don't want another mortgage crisis. We don't want you or anybody else to be in foreclosure again. So, the bottomline, no matter how irritating, how annoying it is, you want to give the lender all of the information. So that at the end of the process, it's less painful to begin with, but also that you get your loan and you don't get a loan that you're truly incapable of paying back. So you take the list and you start there. So that's?I wanna throw that out to you. What do you?
D: I'll pick up from there. And what's happening is the standard of qualifying has become harder. And so what they're doing is, the banks are insuring that you won't get in trouble. What we've just gone through 5 years ago, if you go look back 50 years, we've gone through, not as bad, but similar cycles. And so it's traditional after what we've come through, the banks are going to be a little bit more careful before they lend and give the money out. It's normal at this time to actually have a process prior to approval of, let's take a look at your tax returns, let's see what your income is, you might need to structure something a little bit differently. And so, the broker aspect, the bank aspect, if you go to a bank or broker first, you'll know where you stand. But a broker is usually a little bit more willing to work with someone over a period of time as opposed to a bank is a little more traditional in or out. The list that you talk about, the "Needs List," it's not unusual for us to work with someone for 2-3 months prior before they're actually qualified. Sometimes they'll have money coming in from parents that have to be gifted properly and seasoned in the account. The banks are making sure that when they give that money out for that mortgage that you, the borrower, are in a good place. And so if you embrace this process, when you have your home, when you're making your mortgage payment, you won't have to have that fear anxiety of "Oh, my goodness, how did I ever get this money. Put it together." Those days are gone. Now, the person who is responsible, pro-active, embraces the process, when they get their mortgage and move into their house, they're going to be going, "Isn't this great? Let's go to the beach." So, either suffer upfront, do a little bit of leg work, or suffer on the other side and I think most people would rather do the upfront suffering and then know that when they do get into it, it's virtually something that they can manage and live with for the term that they expected to.
B: You know, you're right. What we're saying to you, and I hope it is kind of feeling comfortable or clear, and we probably could have somebody call in today with some mortgage questions. The number here is 242-7800. Now, we may end up, depending on the question, saying you're going to have to call us in our office because we only have about 20 minutes going here by the time the show gets started. But it's just a thought, if you've got a particular question that we might be able to answer, either on the air or give you a call afterwards that would be great. But I just think it's a critical thing right now for anyone that does need a mortgage, we knew a variety of people over the last 5 years that lost their homes and in a lot of cases, they shouldn't have. I mean, maybe they shouldn't have gotten the mortgage to begin with and I think too many people were buying things on the idea that they were probably close or they had something. But they were really thinking that they would flip it eventually, not live there forever, make a bunch of money, and then figure it out at that time. But I think what's going on today, is that between the federal government, the lenders, etcetera, they're taking?making you take a long, hard look at exactly what you're doing. And, David, the last time you were here, we also talked about if you're thinking of buying a property right now, certainly, I am a realtor, I want you to see your real estate broker. But if you're not even ready to do that, call a mortgage lender. You can walk into your bank and ask them. But if you call someone like David, what's the best number for you now, David?
D: As always, it's been area code 808-385-8558. If I can touch on something, you know, as you said, you mentioned that key word, "longer." And what's happening is the approach that's being taken by the banks and the fed is for a stabilization of the market for a very long period of time. These are basically the analogy I would say is they're now checking ID's at the front door for the night club and you have to be 21. And what it creates is that atmosphere, once you're in, of a more stable market. You know, when people are coming in with 30 and 40% down, and their neighbors are doing that, that's a long-term relationship. That's not someone who's looking at "Where am I going to be in 2 years?" The market, from what we've seen, is very healthy. If, you know, I've been walking Kapalua the past couple of nights, and I would venture to say, nobody can see the future, but my goodness. Can you believe you can actually buy a property there and live there? And see the whales, see the sunset, walk down on the point, have an experience, still be in America?there is no other place like it in the world.
B: Well, I totally agree with you. I mean, whether it's Kapalua, or wherever it is in the world-
D: Kapalua is nice.
B: We happen to be fortunately living at Kapalua, which I would have said at a certain time, there would be no way, I would ever have a life like that. I'm from Buffalo, New York and I grew up with a family?we didn't even have a car. So when I think about where our life has gone and how it's happened, my husband's parents were born and raised here on Maui, worked at the Pioneer Mill, so, I mean, it's kinda like something that we really, really worked hard. And we've created an unbelievable life. For me, I can still barely believe it sometimes. But it really is?living in Maui, anywhere, I don't think there's a bad place. If you're going to buy a place on Maui, I don't think there's anything that I would call really "bad." So there is something for you and there is a mortgage you can get. You know, when you were just saying, David, the 30-40%, which I think, you're right. That is going to make a much more stable market. But I also think that you can get a loan today, with very little down. You know, by utilizing a number of different programs. The hardest part about that on Maui, is finding a property that qualifies and a property that, with a very small down payment, you're actually able to afford the payments. But I still think, "Don't quit." I mean, call David. I mean, 385-8558. Call him and at least ask him a couple of questions and see where it goes. I mean, he may say, "Look, if we spent a year, we can help you clean up some credit, we can do this, we can do that." But the odds are, if you want to have a home, you gotta start now, whether it takes you 30 days, 90 days, a year, or it's a 5-year out plan. But we all want to have a home.
D: And with that, what the banks are doing is part of the profile is they're looking for longer term file process. People who are going, "I'm going to be here for 5 years," not for 6 months. And there is 10% down still available out there. But, a lot of the time, what we're seeing is people come here from the mainland and they're going to buy a second home, and for them to put 30% down and get what they get, I think we lose perspective of living here. You know, it's like having that wonderful thing next door and someone tells you how great it is when they've never seen it before and you're like, "That old thing? I see it every day."
D: And so, you know, just 10 minutes drive north, for me, I get to walk in Kapalua and with my dog, and just go, "Oh my goodness." I may live in Lahaina, and not, you know, the highest, most expensive neighborhood. But you know what, I can be, in 10 minutes, be walking the most expensive neighborhood and love it.
B: You are in one of the most wonderful homes?
D: In Lahaina.
B: In Lahaina. It is really a great home. You know, speaking of Lahaina, you know, to me, one of the greatest things in the world is to be in Lahaina in the morning. You know, sometimes, I mean, it's only because maybe I'm coming down to the grocery store early. I wanna go to Safeway or I'm on my way to the other side and I stop for coffee at "Starbucks." But you know, you walk around anywhere down there, especially early in the morning, where it's still cool. It is absolutely one of the greatest little towns in the world. Breakfast at Longhi's; I love it.
D: I have to toss in "Maui Grown Coffee" right there because?
B: Oh, yes.
D: You know, again, go back to we are here "under the guise" of you're a realtor, I'm a mortgage lender but I think we really get together to talk about how much we love living here in Maui.
B: I agree.
D: You know, I'm always happy to hear the person who comes and gets a second home here because they really remind me of?I get to go to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world in 15 minutes at the end of the day. I get to walk a town or go to the top of the volcano to see something that people, once they've come here, once always talked about coming back for the second time. And most of the time they do. And after a period of time and you see the generations and the families keep coming back here, it's a good reminder. It's an incredible place. Tomorrow the surf's going to be quite big, there's this energy and electricity in the air, of everyone going, "Oh, where are we going to go look at it?" And so you have access to the greatest raw nature. It's?someone should almost kind of remind us every once in a while, "Go live somewhere else," so we go, "Oh, no."
B: You know, there's a great expression around here: Lucky we live Hawaii. And we are all so lucky we live Hawaii. As we're getting older, of course not you, but Roy and I are certainly getting along there and every-so-often someone will say to me a question like, "Would you ever live somewhere else?" You know, for this, for that, and they'll come up with a variety of reasons. And interestingly enough, for me, I cannot imagine, in my wildest dreams, not living in Maui. We may not always live exactly where we live today. You know, we may make changes in our life as we go along for different reasons. But I love being here; my family are in Buffalo, New York. My sisters are still there?I mean there's certainly something, but I can't live in Buffalo anymore. I don't remember how to drive in snow. I've been here for almost 40 years. I think I'm the most fortunate person in the world. You, too.
D: Yeah, I agree with you. You know, I was watching the news on the cold weather and the lake effects and the snow coming in and the 6 foot snow drifts in Buffalo, thinking of you?
D: But, again, I think our neighbors, our neighborhoods that we have?this is what's part of?what makes it so unique. It's not unusual for someone who's a part-time resident to be living next to a full-time resident; to have that bond. And I'm reminded when I come over here, as I drive from the Westside over to Central Maui, how beautiful it is. You know, I look at the Haleakala as the absolute, "Wait, this is where I live." And if I can tie back to the actual concept of living here, once you have a good source of income, employment, self-employed, own your own business, why wouldn't you stay here? And when you own a home, it does feel a little bit more that you're tied to the community. Just the other day I had someone come up to me and he's like, "I have a question, you've owned this home?" and I said, "Yes," and he actually knew Roy's dad. And so they asked what I was doing in a Sakamoto house. And after 15 minutes we had a nice conversation and the guy now, I see him and he waves to me. And this is our community. It's a neighborhood, it's a community, it's a way of life. I hope that everyone remembers that it's the people who comes and visit us, they have something to bring which is very valuable: the perspective of how wonderful where we live and treat them very nicely. Because sometimes they end up being our future neighbors.
B: There's so many great things in Lahaina. You know in Lahainaluna where the senior citizens group is where the?okay. We went down there the other day and we used to, before Roy's dad passed away, we would take a cake there for the month of his birthday. So we would take it down for the lunch, which is pretty amazing, and we would put "Happy Birthday Hiroshi" or "Dad" and all of the other seniors for that month. Well, recently, Anita Yamafuji, you know who she is? She created the Lahaina fried soup. You know, her family did. They had a restaurant in Lahaina. and she just had a birthday in January, and we did last year and we did this year we took a cake again to the Lahaina seniors, and put "Happy Birthday, Anita" and other January seniors. And when I got there, I mean, frankly, I could certainly be at the luncheon. But I tend to work all the time. So, it's just not in my nature at the moment. But to be there and see all of these people from Lahaina, and for me it was like, old home wake. Even though Roy's dad's been gone, they were the younger group when he passed away. But they're all there and they're so friendly and they're so happy to see me. It's like, I am truly part of a huge community as you are. You live right there on that street. Such an amazing group of seniors. I mean, they're happy. Anita goes and plays at the harbor for the boats coming in. She dances hula, she plays the ukulele. They go to certain hotels and they do the same thing. They're not getting paid by everybody, they do it because they're part of this huge picture of Lahaina.
D: There's different levels that we see as we're here longer. And one of the things that we see is?it is sharing the experience with the quote, unquote, Malihini. You know, again, we come here to talk about real estate and financing, but really, it's about the wonderful community we live in. And I didn't recognize Anita, but when you said "Lahaina fried soup," everyone knows that.
B: Everybody knows Lahaina fried soup. She brought it out for one of the years and she may have done it last year, too. The smokestack thing that's going on. The Lahaina?
D: The Plantation Days.
B: The Plantation Days. Anyone that hasn't done that, should do it. Speaking of plantation days, Lahainaluna High School Foundation. Let me see if I have a phone number here: 661-5332. You know, everybody knows that the stadium, one person pretty much donated all the money for the stadium. You know, so they were at the point that the athletic field is done. But now there's still work to be finished. You know, they're getting the bleachers in, they're getting?so there'll be a press box, and there's a lot of work left to be done. And it appears right now that there's going to be a shortfall that could end up because it's taken time for the permits, it's taking time for this. Everything is taking time, so it kind of needs another infusion of funds. And I'm hoping that if there's any of the Lahainaluna graduates out there, if you could each think about a way that you might be able to make some sort of a donation to the Lahainaluna High School Foundation for the completion of the stadium. And I think that would really mean a lot. Not just for Lahaina, not just for the community, not just for the young people, for everybody. But it will get it finished in a way that we will be able to host games in Lahaina and the person who donated the majority of the money, Mrs. Cooley. She thinks that you are all the best and she never says that she did it. She always says it's a community effort and she's totally respected every dollar that anyone gave to this. So I'd sure like to do like a?let's call it a shout out?to anyone, especially Lahainaluna grauduates, let's make it happen. You know, if you donated anything, theoretically, if we could find 500 people that could donate $1,000 each, but I know that's not in the cards because most can't do that. But I think it's at the point that if anybody could give $10, $20, $50. And I didn't bring everything with me, but let me?do I have?the website is LahainalunaHighSchoolFoundation.com and you can go on there and find a place to do it. Or call Jeff and I think the best number for him is 661-5332, Jeff Rogers. You all know Lanny Tihada. He is on the Lahainaluna Foundation. He'd never quit working with football. And this stadium is not just football?it's football, it's soccer, it's everything. So just a little request from me for a little help for Lahainaluna so we can get that finished.
D: You know, once again it goes back to the community. You mentioned the graduates or parents of potential future students. It's a great way to feel part of the community. I know Mr. Tahada, he just keeps giving.
B: He just keeps giving.
D: And he's one of those people, you see him he's always doing something. Whether it's a fundraiser, a barbecue plate lunch in the parking lot, he's always doing something to continue to help that arena; very nice man. Again, if you're a Malihini, if you're new, do something that gets involved in the community. And this is the high school, this is the future of West Maui.
B: It's the future. And you're right, Lanny is an amazing, amazing man. He was the face of Lahainaluna football when he played football there.
D: And police.
B: And he was one of probably the finest Lahaina ever saw. I think he is an amazing man. His kids have played football for Lahainaluna?one of his kids is currently the coach. And I think he always has a position, he's always helping at football. The kids respect him so much. We had a meeting a while ago with the person who had donated the money and we had come up to the school. And the team, apparently Lanny ahead of time had told the kids about this person, Mrs. Cooley and what she had done, and most of the kids didn't even realize it just wasn't always there. I mean, these are kids now that are Freshman, and they're kind of listening. The Sophomores, and they're really quite taken with it. Then we came up, and the kids came over and they had heard that it meant a lot to her when she first heard the team sang the Alma Mater. And they came over and they kind of stopped and got themselves into their little singing position, and they sang for her in the biggest, boldest, most fabulous voices the Lahainaluna Alma Mater and then each one of them walked up to her and touched her shoulder, touched her hand, and thanked her. And it was all, "Thank you, Aunty", "Thank you, Misses", "Thank you, Aunty". There wasn't a dry eye in the house as these young men, perfect gentlemen, took a moment to say, "Thank you."
D: Okay, now just because it's a prerequisite, you have to tell me about your favorite listing up in Kapalua. Please, this is a real estate show.
B: Oh my god, okay. Now, I think, we should look at 210 Crestview.
D: Tell me about it.
B: New listing, listed at 3.5 Million, 3 bedrooms, 4 and a half baths, it's just an amazing view, a fabulous place. We've had just a limited number of showings, but we have two people that were thinking?actually three, that could be putting an offering on it. It's just a great listing, a great place. It's going to be sold unfurnished, everything is perfect, and it's a relatively new house. But, I think, we're now at the 2-minute, probably 1-minute warning, believe it or not. So, if you want to get a mortgage, call David Freedman?
D: I'm right here.
B: 808-385-8558. If you want to find Sakamoto Properties on Facebook and on Twitter, use "MauiSakamoto" and connect with us using hashtag BettyMauiRadio. Call Sakamoto Properties at 808-669-0070 and David thank you so much for being here.
D: Also, just a reminder, if you're in the Napili Market, go up to the second floor and say "Hello," say hi to Mitch, say hi to Betty, say hi to Roy?
B: Come on in. We have a... it's a little crazy there sometimes.
D: It's worth it, trust me.
B: Actually, we've had the best two days, the best weekend and up to today, that we've had for a long, long time.
D: It's a good, healthy market.
B: It is.
D: Let's really... it's ok to say that now. Don't be ashamed. Hey, we had some problems in the past, but right now the market is great; it's healthy.
B: There's over 400 and somethings in escrow, on Maui, right now. Aloha, Danny Couch is back.