May 23, 2014

In Escrow after 2 days - $1,295,000 Renovated Hawaii Kai home with pool MLS 201408933

We just opened escrow on this beautiful $1.295m pool home in Hawaii Kai. Located in Kealaula Kai, a neighborhood that many are not familiar with, that is just behind Anchorage.  It has 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a huge covered lanai, on an 8793 square foot lot. 
With a beautiful tile pool, hot tub, sauna, and this amazing outdoor living space, this home is a great example of the great properties Hawaii Kai has to offer. 
Notice the photovoltaic panels on the roof?  This home has 40 of them, which allows the owner to live nearly off the grid. Year round sun here means solar power is the way to go!
 Outdoor living is just as important in Hawaii as indoor space, since the average temperature is above 70 degrees all year. Check out this large lanai with a complete dining and living set, ceiling fan, and refrigerator.
View of the lanai  from the pool side.  It is basically a living room outside.  This is why you can have smaller homes in Hawaii that live larger than the same size home on the mainland. 
 After you're done swimming, come inside to this amazing wide open
kitchen, featuring soft close cherry wood cabinets, black galaxy
granite, stainless appliances, and beautiful travertine tile floors. 
We do also value our indoor space, and this home features new wood floors and this spacious  living room. 
Posted in General
April 22, 2014

8 ways Hawaii real estate is different from the mainland

  As I begin this, I would like to remind my readers that I'm referring mainly to the island of Oahu.
-Insulation/HVAC The first difference would be that homes are not made to withstand low temperatures like on the mainland. The lowest temperature I've heard about happening here was about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The lowest temperature that I've actually felt while living here in my nearly 3 years, is about 70, and let me tell you, that's cold when you're used to 78-83 degrees everyday. With that being said, there is no reason to insulate a home here. There are also very few homes with central HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems. You would only see this in a newer home/subdivision and/or a condominium complex with limited air ventilation. I have yet to see, or hear of a furnace.... Most homeowners rely on the trade winds to cool their homes. Although, you will see window unit AC's and built in AC units in some homes' main living areas. At first they seem tacky looking, but you get used to them.

-Garage/parking Parking is a serious business here! The cost of land is high and that includes the cost of land for parking lots. Parking spaces are small and its difficult to find spaces in high traffic areas.  With the weather being as beautiful as it is here in Hawaii, there is not a huge need for completely enclosed garages. You will find some middle-high end homes with carports instead of fully enclosed garages, and this is normal here. Honestly, most high end properties will (and should) have fully enclosed spaces in order to maximize full equity potential, but don't be surprised when you pull up to a $700K home that doesn't have a garage. However, this could be a great opportunity for a buyer to make some immediate equity by converting a carport into a garage!

-Laundry Laundry rooms....well, Ok, let me specify...the area that you conduct your laundry duties. Lets face it, square footage is expensive here in Hawaii, so we want to make the most of it. With the weather (again....the weather. This is a recurring theme. We're proud of our beautiful weather.) being as wonderful as it is here, it only makes sense to maximize your living space by putting your washer and dryer.....well, anywhere! I've seen W&D's outside right up next to the house, in the carport/garage area, in the kitchen (just like in Europe....Hmmmm, fancy!), and even in bathrooms. Needless to say, your lucky if you find a home with the laundry facilities shoved into a closet!

-Quality of products used and single wall construction. With our slightly humid air and bright sunshine, you will find that some products just don't hold up around here. i.e. metals, wood, darker colored carpets, etc. There is also a premium price on certain products in regards to shipping and storage, so you will find that laminate flooring and plastic replace some finishing's. Not only that, but the price to build and renovate are high, so these make affordable choices. Some homes are constructed with what is called "single wall construction". They are constructed with only a single exterior wall. The original purpose of single wall construction was to save on costs because most building material had to be shipped in from the mainland. It was also originally made from cedar and/or redwood which help deter termites.

-Year round buying season. Here we go with the weather again....But seriously, its never 'too cold to move'! You always have ready, willing and able buyers waiting for new inventory to pop up on the market. I wouldn't suggest putting your home up for sale 2 weeks before Christmas, but I also wouldn't tell you that you couldn't sell it either!  You really cant go wrong when deciding to sell your home.

-International buyers.... Hawaii is a melting pot of cultures, which makes it an amazing place to raise a family, and/or retire. There are so many different restaurants, shops and grocery stores that cater to many cultures because of this. And a lot of times, tourists become buyers. People from all over the world love our sandy beaches and green mountain tops, so why not be a part of the Aloha spirit and call Hawaii home?

-Land tenure: Fee Simple and Leasehold.  Maybe you've heard your mom say, "There are 7 Japanese guys who own all the land in Hawaii." Well, this is simply NOT true! It may have been that a few billionaires owned big plots of lands many years ago, but now on most real estate transactions, you will be the owner of both the real property and the improvements on it. And this is called Fee simple ownership.

However, there is an ownership opportunity called leasehold ownership. This is when you own the improvements on the land, but you LEASE the land itself from the land owner. Its a similar theory to owning an office building, but paying a lease on the land. Its not a bad thing, it can actually be a great thing for a buyer! Most times when a home or condo is for sale as leasehold, it is much less expensive than what the comparable properties would be for a fee simple ownership. This gives buyers more buying power. If you're considering using a conventional loan (or any type of loan), there are certain rules about how long the lease has to be. Your loan officer can help you with these details. But remember that you will have a mortgage AND a land lease payment and any other monthly/yearly fees on your property if you own it in leasehold. Leasehold tenure is not for everyone, but it has many benefits for some people.

 -Happy city, USA. Honolulu is listed in many surveys as being one of the happiest places to live. A few of the reason's why are: The multi-cultural community feel, good healthcare rates and healthy lifestyles, and the beauty and the ability to enjoy the outdoors year round. The sense of Aloha is everywhere and the more you give, the more you will receive.

   In spite of some of these differences, good and bad, I have to say its AMAZING to be able to see the ocean daily, the bright clear blue sky and spot double rainbow's out your window during a rain shower. And when I see the beautiful jagged peaks of the Ko'olau's, I still pinch myself and say, "WOO HOO, I live here!!!"

-Chelsea Pferschy, RS#76072


Posted in General
Jan. 30, 2014

SOLD! Kalele Kai #1611, $740k Hawaii Kai marina front condo

Just SOLD!  $740k condo at Kalele Kai. My very happy client has been waiting for a good unit in this building for quite some time.  

It's 2 bedrooms,  2 baths, 1427 square feet with a huge lanai and some marina view. 

Check out the great open kitchen with modern cabinets and counters.


 The building sits over the marina, and owners get to have a dock for their boats.  What a great location!


The complex has a beautiful resort like setting, and this luxurious pool featuring palm trees as part of the lush landscape.


Congratulations and thanks to my client on her great new condo!  



Posted in General
Jan. 7, 2014

Pocket listing in Hawaii Kai - 3 bed marina front town home

A client of mine is going to be listing this beautiful 3 bedroom marina front town home in Mawaena Kai. It should be ready in a couple weeks.  Here is a preview.  It is an end unit with a large extended lanai and a huge loft inside. Probably the best location in the complex.

Posted in General
Dec. 17, 2013

15 Ridiculous Photos by Oahu Real Estate Agents

Oahu has beautiful eye popping luxury homes all around.  With panoramic ocean views, sandy beaches, and gorgeous sunsets, it's easy for us real estate agents to get amazing photos of the properties we sell on this beautiful island. 

But every now and then as I'm browsing new listings, I come across a picture that is so bad that I save it in a folder I have labeled, "ridiculous."  Now that I have enough to share, I thought my readers might find these funny.  All of these photos are from actual MLS listings that appeared on the web.


1. This one was pretty recent, and is actually taken by someone I know.  I
guess this is a picture of a blurry pool, but all I see is the free
camera strap that apparently comes with the condo.   No time to take
another photo I guess.  

 camera strap



2. "Mrs. Seller, I'm going to take a picture of your house, can you hold
still so I can get just the top of your head in it?   No don't worry, I
won't crop you out later."




 3. I'm pretty sure these are not the sellers of this house, but rather a couple different groups of people looking at it.  "Hello boy, do you want to be on the internet? NO? Too bad."  



4. Ok so this one wasn't on the MLS, but I had to include it. I took this at a $1.2 million house I was showing. The listing agent used her own belt to help secure the house. No kidding, she asked me to put the belt back on after we left.  Is this a safe neighborhood?  Well... as long as you have an extra belt around, yes.



5. Purse? Check. Half of some guy's shirt? Check. Bowl of noodles next to your purse? Check.  Ok we are ready to take the picture and sell this house! 



6. You should highlight the features of your home.  If one of those features is a big stack of books "for dummies," then definitely show that in your listing pictures.  You wouldn't want buyers to think you are some stuck up smart guy.




7.  Wow. Just what are we seeing here? Some kind of indoor tent in a half finished "under the stairs" type of room? Fire hazards everywhere but somehow there is a fire sprinkler in this place?  I'm sure this house sold to a nice family of hostage takers.


8. This house comes with a storage shed, which you can either put things inside, or just sort of near. Good thing the tarp is nearly covering up these valuable items or someone might take them.



9.  Not funny, just dark and blurry.  Perfect for your clients with poor eyesight, and/or who like to hold a seance to summon their relatives with bad taste in curtains.



10.  Fire hazard + child height stove = the perfect selling point for this house.  "Your kids will love cooking plastic and paper!"



11.  We have 4 trashcans.  That's 4!




12. Would you like to live near this guy?  Too bad, he's riding away so we don't know who he is.  This agent must have been in a REAL hurry, because he didn't have time to get out of his car or wait for this guy to be out of the shot. At least he rolled down his window.



13.  Someday I would like to take photography lessons.  I think lesson 1 is, if there is a toilet, a dog, and a tackle box, you have good "composition."  



14. There is a lot going on in this picture.  Let's play a sort of "where's Waldo" with it.  I think there are up to 5 people in it. Can you spot them all?



15. And The Winner!  Where do I begin?  I guess this agent didn't have time to get out of the
car. Worse yet, you can see the University of Hawaii hat reflecting in
the windshield.   This house was listed for almost $700k!  For a
commission on $700k, I would be willing to roll down the window or maybe even get all the way out of my car to take
the picture. 



Posted in General
July 19, 2013

The Maui real estate market has been going crazy

The Maui real estate statistics are out by
Realtors Association of Maui, Inc.The numbers are huge.

Single family Homes

Sales increased by 45 units to 485 homes sold, a 10% change YTD.  The Highest Price Sold was a $9,700,000 Kapalua residence. The average sold price increased to $817,232, which is up 15% YTD.

The median price increased to $542,000, 20% YTD.


Sales increased slightly to 672 units sold, up 4 units. Average sold price increased to $536,021, up 13%!

The Median Price increased to $372,500, up +6% YTD.

Inventory is low:

There is a 5 month supply of Single family homes and condos on the market.

The market in Maui is pretty much mirroring the Oahu market.  Inventory low, prices up, but starting to slow down a bit. 

Posted in General
April 15, 2013

Home Buying Infographic: You vs Your Parents

I often hear from young adults today that they are finding it difficult to establish themselves in the housing market. Owning your own home is a central part of the American dream, and a pretty important milestone in any person's life, so it's bad news if young people today are having a tougher go at it than we did. But are they really?

I decided to dig up the statistics all the way back to 1979 to find out how affordable a home has been for the average American over that time period, based on median home price, median family income, interest rates, debt levels, and more. The results were both surprising and complicated, so I decided to present them in infographic form to make it easier for my readers to make sense of all the data I looked at.

Whether you're a young professional eager to buy your first home, a parent who's about to send their first child off to a college, or a real estate professional trying to make sense of current trends, pay close attention because it's time to take an honest look at how the average family has fared over the past three decades. 

Home Buying - You vs. Your Parents













Posted in General
March 27, 2013

911019 Kaiko st, Ocean Pointe MLS 1303360 Just listed

Check out my new listing in Ocean Pointe for $690,000.  This beautiful 2446 sqft house has 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a detached studio with wetbar. It has a great corner lot!


Great room with new stainless appliances !



Large living room lead to even bigger back yard


Large open lanai


Posted in General
March 16, 2013

Biggest Price Drop Ever in Hawaii Real Estate!

With an asking price of $24.9 million, the exquisite property of 210 North Kalaheo Ave. in Kailua is currently the highest priced home for sale in all of Oahu. But what's most stunning about this home, other than its gorgeous design and countless luxury features, is that its original asking price when it went on sale in 2011 was $36 million. That's a reduction of $11.1 million - probably the largest price drop in Hawaii real estate history! Luxury buyers should take note, because as far as top-tier homes in Hawaii go, this one is a serious bargain.



With countless features and amenities to boast about, one hardly knows where to begin when describing this incredible piece of real estate. With an 11,000 square foot estate which includes a primary residence as well as a separate guest house, plus 1.5 acres of beachfront land situated right on Oahu's desirable windward coast, this property is perfect for those who enjoy hosting friends, family, and business associates. The 8 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms (5 each in the main home and 3 each in the guest house), plus 3 powder rooms (2 in the main home and 1 in the guest house), all but guarantee that space won't be a problem, even for large families. For those who appreciate fine automobiles, the main residence's 1,000+ square foot garage is sure to be appreciated, as are the 16 separate parking stalls available throughout the property. The custom-designed media room makes the concept of "home theater" ring truer than ever before, while the full-sized library offers a perfect opportunity for tranquility and research. The total lot area is over 65,000 square feet, all situated on some of the most prized real estate in Hawaii.



Designed by the extremely talented duo of Kerr Michaels Design, and listed by Tracy P. Allen of Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties, 210 North Kalaheo Ave. is a genuinely luxurious property that simply can not be beaten at this price. If you'd like to inquire further about this fine home, feel free to reach my office at (808) 395-5776.







Posted in General
March 1, 2013

Just Listed - Remodeled Hahaione Valley Home With Ocean View

This 2324 sqft, 4 bedroom 3 bath home was just listed yesterday. At just under $1 million, it is the ONLY home available in Hahaione Valley right now.  Check out this long driveway with room for several cars.


 And some nice ocean view from the living room and dining room. 


 Kitchen has new Corian counters and stainless steel appliances with a gas stove.


 And flat yard for kids and pets!


Posted in General