October 2010

Found 11 blog entries for October 2010.

Via Advertiser: News yesterday that Southwest Airlines might begin flights to Hawaii!

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CEO Gary Kelly said the company will make a decision before the end of the year on whether to add larger Boeing 737-800 airplanes to its fleet, which would "bring us the opportunity to consider a destination like Hawaii."  Kelly said the earliest Southwest could take delivery of the 737-800s would be 2012.

State tourism liaison Marsha Wienert:  "With their network of flights, especially in the Midwest, it opens up a whole new market that has been virtually untapped for some time," she said.

"Keith Vieira, senior vice president for Starwood Hotels & Resorts in Hawaii, echoed the sentiment.  "This opportunity with Southwest will enable us to better reach their

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The interest rate on my first home loan was 9.875%.  In my early 20's I bought my first condo and was happy that my loan was not over 10%, since I had no credit and little job history. 

To put it in perspective, if you borrowed $500,000 at 9.875% on a 30yr loan, your payment would be $4341/month.  At today's 4.5% rate, the payment is $2533/month. That's a difference of $1808. 

Now home prices are about double what they were 10 years ago, but the cost to own a house is only 31% higher, not 100% higher, due to the lower interest rates. 

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Average 30 yr mortgage rate (Reproduced with permission  Mortgage-X.com)

Today           = 4.25%

Oct 2000     = 7.875%.

Oct 1990     = 10.25%. 

Oct 1984    = 13.5% !!!

Let's see how that

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kailua condoIn June I listed this nice 2 bedroom Kailua condo at Poinciana Manor $350,000. This morning the patient buyer finally closed for $356,000, the price approved by the lender. 

People always want to know how long short sales take, and the answer is apparently.... about 4 1/2 months.   I've had some short sales take about 8 months, and others about 6.  This is actually the fastest I have ever had one close. 

To be able to buy a renovated 2 bedroom condo in Kailua town for $356,000, just a few minutes bike ride to the beach, is pretty amazing. 

Congratulations to my sellers, who are thrilled to be done with this saga.  Various financial difficulties meant that the short sale was their best opportunity to be get out from under a mortgage they no

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The Harris poll released their latest results and found that Hawaii is the 2nd most desired State to live in. 

From their site: "Notwithstanding its economic and political problems, more Americans would like to live in California than in any other state. For the seventh time in a row since 2002 California tops the list of states where the most people would like to live if they did not live in their own states. The next most popular states are Hawaii, Florida, Colorado, Arizona, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, New York and Washington."

Well, since California will be bankrupt soon, and overrun by illegal immigrants within a few years, I think it's safe to say that Hawaii is probably the place that most Americans would like to live.  Not

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The Star reported this morning that a new study confirms Vog (volcanic fog) causes resperatory problems, among other things. 

"The risk of upper respiratory problems increased significantly on the Big Island during high vog events -- and children were the most sensitive to the bad air -- according to a new study that compared clinic visits in communities hardest hit by volcanic emissions before and after a new Kilauea vent opened in March 2008."

"It found that during thick vog there was a sixfold increase in the number of people with acute airway problems that required emergency care, up to 300 percent increases in severe sore throats and headaches, and a 56 percent increase in people with coughs."

Bottom line - people have been moving away

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I've written about the Waikiki Landmark before, but after spending nearly an entire week viewing Waikiki Condos with a client of mine, I think the Waikiki Landmark is back at the top of my list.

You might think of Waikiki as full of condos, but if you're looking for something very nice or luxurious, there aren't too many choices.  First of all, if you're thinking of Ko Olani, Hokua, or Nouru Towers, or Yacht Harbor Towers, those are all in Ala Moana.

This week we viewed several units in the $600k-$800k range, with at least 2 bedrooms, 2 full baths, 2 parking stalls, and 1100 square feet.   We visited several buildings including Waipuna, The Windsor, the brand new Allure, Lanikea, and a few others in Ala Moana as mentioned above.

After much

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Kona Coffee is one of my favorite truly locally grown Hawaiian products. The good folks at Kona Comfort coffee help me get out of bed in the morning with their freshly roasted Kona beans, and I thought I might just give a little help to a company I really believe has a great product - way better than anything you can buy from a big nationwide brand.  

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Kona coffee is grown on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa in the North and South Kona Districts of the Big Island of Hawaii. It is, in fact, the only place that coffee grows in all of America as it is the only land we have that falls in the coffee belt. The incredibly rich volcanic soil combined with Hawaii's sunny mornings and cloudy afternoons creates just about the best environment this world has

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I just got a call from a client that has owned a house for 25 years.  He plans to sell next year and asked what he should do - leave the house has is or do some remodeling and then sell?

The answer is almost always to do some inexpensive remodeling. If the house is in the median range between $500k and $1 million, you will almost always get more money by spending some money. That's because buyers want to get paid for their time if they have to remodel a house after they buy it. They don't just add the cost of the work and subtract from the market.

But another important factor is the time it takes to sell.  A home that is in good condition will usually sell faster. A home that need a lot of work may never sell at all.   Listings that sell fast also

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Congratulations to Rick and Pat on the purchase of this beautiful ocean view property at the top of Hahaione.  With over 4000 square feet and 6 bedrooms, this awesome house has plenty of space for their soon coming wedding party.  This property borders the preservation land above Hahaione, so you have no neighbors in the back, and acres of tree lined forrest to enjoy. Check out the view from the living room!

hahaione real estate

There is even a detached cottage for their daughter to live in, with its own kitchenette, full bath, and separate laundry.  I was very happy to  deliver their keys this week as they move in to their great new home! 

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In May of 2009, I called the bottom of the Hawaii real estate market, and in January through May of this year, I posted several times about the coming market rise.  Well, the September sales numbers are out for Hawaii homes, and the numbers are pretty impressive. 

Here are some highlights:

  • There were 274 sales of single-family homes on Oahu in September, an 8 percent rise compared to last year.
  • The Oahu median price of single family homes was $622,450, up 3 percent from $605,000 last year.
  • The median condo sale price rose to $335,000, also an 8 percent increase from last year.
  • The average home was on the market less than 30 days! 
  • Year-to-date, the number of sales is up by more than 20 percent!!! 

 My prediction for the Hawaii market going

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