The Citi Run-Around

I’ve basically retired from real estate doing only referrals when past clients and customers call. When they do, I put them in touch with Heidi Perreira of Lava Rock Realty (808-987-8299).  She’s in the thick of it every day, knows what’s going on, is honest and will work in your best interests. Consequently I haven’t written much here and what I am doing is very different.

I’m fighting for our liberty.  This is what I feel is more important than anything else right now. I have another blog: GetOffYourButts.net. Check it out and if you like it bookmark it and share it unless of course, you like the way the country is heading.

But what compels me today is a disturbing experience I had with CitiMortgage. I’ve refinanced recently to an interest only loan. I like the ability to make principal payments on my own when I have managed to stash a little cash.

With an interest only loan, the payments are considerably lower than they would be with a fully amortized 30-year loan, like $204.51/mo in my case. Actually it would be more of a savings because the rates on the 30 year amortized loans are never as low as an interest only loan.

An extra $205 a month applied yourself in extra principal payments adds up a lot faster, but YOU DO HAVE TO HAVE THE DISAPLINE TO DO IT! Obviously there are lots of considerations for doing an interest only loan, but it is worth exploration.

But back to my point, the Citi Run-around did not refer to running errands but to the vilgilence required to make sure your payments are applied as intended. They first told me that my payments would remain the same each month even after extra principal payments. So not true! Another beauty of the interest only loan is that your payment is automatically lowered on your next payment. Neverless, I had to insist on a chat with her supervisor to get this straightened out.

Then to add insult to injury I noticed after a couple of extra prinicipal payments that they were taking interest out and only applying the remainder of my check amount to principal. This is when I had no regular payment due and I sent the extra principal payment on a coupon they provided me specifically for that purpose! The words “principal only pmt” were highlighted on the memo line of my check. Go figure how can they be so, well yes, dumb??

I got the ole “computer” excuse, but was fianlly able to get it on the right track. So my advise to you if you have an interest only loan is to monitor it regularly and call them right away if it doesn’t look right.

That’s my Tip of the Day!
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Aloha, “Mikie”

 

Michelle Kerr
(Principal Broker/Owner)

(808) 896-1943
eMail: Mike@MikeSells.com

my other blog: GetOffYourButts.net

Hikers Beware!

If you or someone you know are in the unfortunate situation of losing your home to foreclosure, BEWARE!

You have probably all been touched by it. People you never thought would lose their homes to foreclosure are finding themselves in that horrible, horrible position. My own brother is one of them, so I know it’s widespread, and don’t think for a minute we’re through it yet.

I don’t care that the Federal Govt. has extended the $8,000 tax credit for first time home buyers and is now even offering up to $6,500 for repeat buyers -after all that’s what they do best -GIVE AWAY MONEY WE DON’T HAVE!

If you you look yourself in the mirror and tell the truth, these tax credits are quite possibly putting more under-qualified buyers in homes they very likely will get in trouble with later. And worse, these artificial blips in the housing numbers due to govt giveaways just prolong the agony of the recession. Look at Cash for Clunkers. Car sales fell flat the minute that giveaway ended.

But I digress. My Hikers Beware has to do with people walking away from their homes with foreclosure looming only to learn that the bank never followed through on the foreclosure action and they are still on title as the legal owner.

In otherwords they’re on the hook legally if it turns into a crack house or someone gets hurt on the property. If it’s in a subdivision or association, they’re still liable for maintenance fees and/or association dues. And they can’t qualify for other housing (senior subsidized rental housing, for example) while still an owner of the property they walked away from, and on and on.

I wish I knew how to advise you to get your name offthe title if you’ve found yourself in the unfortunate walkaway situation, but just be advised the problem exists and try your best to get your mortgage servicer to follow through on the foreclosure getting you off title!

That’s my Tip of the Day!
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Aloha, “Mikie”
Mikie Likes It LLC
Michelle Kerr
(Principal Broker/Owner)

Phone: (808) 896-1943
eMail: Mike@MikeSells.com

my ‘Grassroots’ blog: GetOffYourButts.net

Beware of County Fathers in Sheep’s Clothing

I’m using ‘Fathers’ in the rhetorical sense here with no intended slight to Brenda Ford and Emily Naeole, but I’ve been wondering all along how the heck the County Council, more particularly certain members of the East side block (Ikeda, Yoshimoto and Onishi) along with Mayor ‘Big Boy’ Billy Kenoi think this is a good time to sell off County land when the market is down and probably will be for quite some time.

Imagine the cheek to actually count on those funds to balance the budget! It’s nice to consider other options before raising property taxes or giving up some of the unfilled but conveniently funded county positions (so the money stays in the budget creating a nice little slush fund for the mayor), or God forbid, going to layoffs or furloughs -gasp, gasp!

The headline on the front page of today’s West Hawaii Today, “Sell, sell, sell” is captioned with ‘HAMAKUA LAND SALE DECISION PREDESTINED BY COUNTY OFFICIALS’.

Now I understand after attending the Talk Story session at Waikoloa Village Association the other evening (our own version of Town Hall meetings sponsored by our popular Association Manager, Jim Whillock) and it’s becoming more clear all the time. Councilman Pete Hoffmann in attendance, opined that they (the East side block) might already have a buyer in the wings. Let’s see, a buyer positioned to acquire prime agricultural lands at historic low prices due to the current economy and ailing real estate market. Who could that be?

I’ll give you a hint as to who it may be -Monsanto. We’re talking over 3,500 acres for around $8 Million (less than $2300/acre). In case this doesn’t ring a bell, Monsanto is a multinational bio-tech corporation in the business among other things of producing and promoting genetically engineered seeds. GE Seeds as they are known, boast better yields, more uniform and disease-resistant crops and supposedly help the starving world and provide a boon to small farmers.

However independent studies have shown links to GE crops and organ damage, increased use of petroleum based pesticides and eventual guaranteed contamination of neighboring farms and crops. And according to OpEdNews.Com,

“the real problem with them (GE-Seeds) are the patents they come with. The bio-tech companies are monopolizing seeds themselves, actually privatizing the DNA of life. They sell the GE-seeds at many times the price of normal seeds.”

Not only do they sell the seeds at much higher prices, they engineer the seeds to be sterile after one generation so after wind born contamination, neighboring farmers can no longer produce their own seeds. They have to buy from Monsanto. Monsanto and other bio-tech corporations have bought up all the normal seed companies tightening the screws for farmers.

Does this sound like a good direction to go here on the Big Island? I don’t think so. It sounds like another nail in the coffin for diversified agriculture and devastating long term effects in exchange for a quick buck now to balance the county budget. Call the County Council members now and tell them you don’t want this land sale to Monsanto or any other GE-Seed company.

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals

Michelle Kerr
(Principal Broker/Owner)

Phone: (808) 896-1943
eMail: Mike@MikeSells.com
website: MikeSells.com

my other blog: GetOffYourButts.net

Auwe to Mauna Kea Chef

Auwe to Executive Chef Matthew Zubrod from Monettes, the new fine dining restaurant at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Same goes for management at the hotel. You will remember from previous posts, the long awaited re-opening of the Mauna Kea after repairs and remodeling needed as a result of our 6.7 earthquake in 2006. Well it’s open now and the big brag I guess beyond the deep, deep, British Open deep, bunkers on the golf course is the famed Monettes.

They claim to be combining a bit of refined Rocky Mountain cuisine with fresh island specialty foods and they boast “The beverage roster is first-rate and all fruit juices are fresh squeezed to order for cocktails.”But as I say, Auwe, because they’re also proud to present their lamb from Colorado, cured meats from Arkansas and Kobe beef flown in every week from Japan! How’s that for island flair? And not too green either. Not that I am particularly taken by the global warming thing and I hate to be pc, but just economically, what happened to fresh and local?  slow-food3.jpgslow-food.jpg

I mean what, we don’t have good beef right here on island? I think so. Okay, what about Kahua lamb? And they better be getting their veggies locally because Kamuela right up the hill has a ton – make that tonnes (if you must be continental) of the best and freshest organic vegetables you could find anywhere.

I don’t know about you, I just think they could do a better job of supporting our local farmers and put out fare that’s just as good if not better with the surfeit of local fresh ingredients available right here on the Big Island.

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals

Michelle Kerr
(Principal Broker/Owner)

Phone: (808) 896-1943
eMail: Mike@MikeSells.com
website: MikeSells.com

my other blog: GetOffYourButts.net

To Get Really Agitated

All I have to do is read the morning paper to get really agitated. So I have decided to write a new blog. I still have my real estate blog, but I find myself more compelled these days to write about what’s happening in America with our liberties and values.

Too many things (change we better pay attention to) are being rammed down our throats. We’re all busy. underwater.jpgLet’s face it with trying to pay the bills, feed the kids and keep our nostrils above the waterline and with so much coming down the pike, people feel powerless.

My contribution is make you more aware of these issues. I’ll provide links, videos and other ways you can quickly jump in and participate in what’s going on and give you a chance to voice your concerns. ** pay attention to underlined, highlighted or bolded words – these are action items **

As an example of things I will cover, did ya know CONGRESS HAS MADE THEMSELVES EXEMPT FROM ALL VERSIONS of the Health Care Reform currently before that body? Sort of begs the question – If it’s not good enough for Congress (and their federal employees and their families) why is it so great for the rest of us? THAT’S JUST WRONG!  But here’s what you can do. Congressman John Fleming of Louisiana has proposed a bill, hr-615.pdf that gives members of Congress a chance to put their money where their mouths are if they vote for the bill, by agreeing to enroll themselves in the same plan they are pushing down our throats. Go the the link here to let your representatives know how you feel and see who has signed on to it so far.

That’s it for now!

Respectfully yours,
Mikie

Now Get Off Your Butts!
Bookmark this blog, use it to make your voice be heard & share it.

Bla, Blady, Bla, Bla

It’s all blather -government saying they’re going to protect us against unscrupulous lenders. You know, make them disclose everything. If only we could require the same of them.

“Yeah, no more taking advantage of people! “

I’ve blogged about this before in “Clamp Down on Mortgage Lenders?” back in 2007 when the subprime meltdown was just starting. But obviously I need to say it again.

We are in the process of refinancing our mortgage through Bank of America (a Big recipient of TARP funds after agreeing under pressure from then Treasury Secretary Paulson to buy Merrill Lynch), so as soon as we got credit approval and all our paperwork passed muster we receive a HUGE package. I’m talking $8.70 in postage huge!

The bundle included a 75-page book called Application Disclosure Handbook, a copy of our appraisal (this part is totally good-everyone who pays $665 for an appraisal should get a copy of it!), and all the documents that relate to our application, 27 more pages. So I say to myself,  this is probably good, everything you need to know all right here for sometime when I have about 3 hours dead time or a bad case of insomnia! But as soon as I start reading it I am bombarded with blatant mistakes right from the first page!

First of all, the address is wrong. Despite having corrected it on the application from the very beginning we can’t seem to get that across to anyone. The interest rate does not match what we have locked our loan at, but what’s a half a percentage point among friends? Next, we have applied for a 5-year interest only loan, but the paperwork says the term is 30 years. Later I find out this is because it becomes an adjustable rate ARM after 5 years. Oh yes, and the loan amount is wrong. They include 3 TILs (Truth in Lending) Disclosure Statements -3 copies of the same thing, all wrong. And an amortization schedule which is incorrect, and on and on.

I could just scream!!!!  pulling-hair-out.jpg

WE JUST NEED THE BASICS. I mean who is going to read over 100 pages from their lender and understand it – especially when there are blaring mistakes from the get-go? Nobody that’s who. Mission accomplished I guess. They don’t really want to make it understandable, they just want to say they are making it understandable, you know so they can say they did something.

So I said it before and I’ll say it again. KISS, keep it simple stupid. This is all we really need to know.

  1. What is my loan amount?
  2. What is my interest rate?
  3. When do I have to pay it off or refinance?
  4. How much do I pay every month?
  5. When will the interest rate adjust?
  6. Is there a pre-payment penalty and if so, how much will it cost me?

Just the facts mam. ALL ON 1 PAGE, IN BOLD PRINT about 16 point font.

That’s my Tip of the Day!
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Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals

Michelle Kerr
(Principal Broker/Owner)

Phone: (808) 896-1943
eMail: Mike@MikeSells.com
websites:

GetOffYourButts.net
MikeSells.com

Somebody Finally Got It Right!

Honestly getting up early in the morning for my first and most likely only cup of coffee, and reading the newspaper with my husband (after my quiet time and yoga at 5:30) is how I love to start my day. Don’t ask me why, because the news is rarely good these days. But finally somebody got it right!

Bank of Hawaii in partnership with Hawaii Island Community Development Corp., (HICDC) based in Hilo, have started construction on the new Ainakea Senior Residences in Kohala. And believe it or not, these homes will be affordable to those who need them.

Almost always in the past, affordable housing was anything but affordable. Most developers with the friendly assistance of government . . . ;o) . . . naturally seem to bungle the concept so badly the projects cannot be completed or worse, if they are nobody can afford them. The Waikoloa Workforce Housing project comes readily to mind.

That project was doomed before they ever came close to completing it. And why, you might ask?  Affordable? NOT! Well because they couldn’t break the mold of trying to build market homes, just calling them affordable, and expecting the targeted buyers to be there with the money. Most of the intended buyers, having to meet certain income and other criteria cannot even qualify. Let’s face it, the standard 3/2 home with a garage on a decent sized lot can only result in homes priced way above anyones “affordable” definition. Land costs are so high that alone can push the project into the upside down category.

But the Ainakea Senior Residences will be composed of 30 one-bedroom, one bathroom apartments and they will be available on a monthly rental basis (yes, it’s true -not everyone has to own a home) with residents having to meet income criteria. HICDC executive director Keith Kato said with similar projects in the past especially in conjunction with rental assistance,

“Most of the tenants have paid less than $200 per month out of pocket and everyone has been very, very happy with their apartments.”

Now that’s good news!

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals

Michelle Kerr
(Principal Broker/Owner)

Phone: (808) 896-1943
eMail: Mike@MikeSells.com
website: MikeSells.com

Realtors Contribute to State’s Unemployment

Well, it’s no surprise to me, but it’s now official- there are more than 21% fewer real estate licensees in the State of Hawaii as of the end of the 2008 renewal period.

According to the Bulletin, the official newsletter for the Hawaii Real Estate Commission, of the 21,984 licensees (brokers, brokerages, individual brokers, salespeople and branch offices), only 17,325 renewed their license this last go round.

The breakdown of those who decided to throw in the towel looks like this:

  • 3,976  Salespeople
  • 645     Brokers
  • 38       Branch offices

The upside is those that remain may be more dedicated to the task. A number of part-timers were undoubtly weeded out, and so when the market does come back there will be fewer licensed agents to divide the spoils.

The downside is a significant loss in revenue to the State in the way of license fees (at around $180 a pop = a lot of doe-ray-me!), not to mention fewer people taking those oh so interesting continuing education classes (10 classroom hours every 2 years costing between $35-$55 each). But it’s a cyclical thing and it is what it is!

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals

Michelle Kerr
(Principal Broker/Owner)

Phone: (808) 896-1943
eMail: Mike@MikeSells.com
website: MikeSells.com

New Property Tax Assesments Are Out

And yes, the assessed values are down. My principal residence is assessed at 89.2% of what it was last year. The county of Hawaii vowed not to raise rates (a popular shell game that often goes on; when the assessed value goes down, the rate goes up so likely as not, you end up paying the same), and they kept that promise!tax-stamp.jpg

One logical question though, is how much real value has my property lost? Somehow I got a hunch it may be more than the 10.8% decrease reflected in the lower assessment. But since I can’t do anything about the market, I’ll take the lower taxes.

If you are curious, here’s how the property taxes are calculated.

Net Taxable Value x Tax Rate / $1000 = Taxes Due

Of course, there’s a lot more that goes into understanding the property tax levied on a particular property so I have included a copy of the Real Property Tax General Information here. 2008-2009-real-prop-tax-rates-info.pdf

The basics to understand is that if you are a homeowner (defined as owning the home and occupying it more than 200 calendar days/year), your’re eligible for the lowest tax rate available (unless of course, you’re a Charlie Rangle, Tim Geithner or one of the special people). It doesn’t happen automatically though, you must notify the county of your declared owner occupancy status on or before December 31st or June 30th of the year it becomes your principal residence, or you’ll automatically pay the higher (“Investor” rate) non-owner occupant rate until you do notify them. That could be an expensive mistake if you miss the deadline as the higher rate is currently $8.10/$1000 of assessed value vs the Homeowner rate of $5.55/$1000 of assessed value.

Some other items taken into consideration to arrive at your particular ‘net taxable value’ are:  age, whether or not you have certain disabilities (sight or hearing impairment or Hansens’s Disease, for example) or if you are a totally disabled veteran. At any rate, nobody likes to throw money away (considering they spend it so wisely . . .  ;o) so it definitely pays to check it out. If you have any questions, call (808) 961-8282, the County of Hawaii’s Real Property Tax office.

That’s my Tip of the Day!
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Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals

Michelle Kerr
(Principal Broker/Owner)

Phone: (808) 896-1943
eMail: Mike@MikeSells.com
website: MikeSells.com

Thars Gold in Dem Dar Hills!

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Mauna Kea, that is. According to a recent news article in West Hawaii Today (as in yesterday’s), Yale University plans to pay $12 Million for observatory time on KECK‘s telescopes atop the tallest mountain on earth.

That’s right Everest (29,035 ft), is often called the world’s tallest mountain but Mauna Kea (33,465 ft measured from its base), on the Big Island is actually taller by almost three quarters of a mile! Nearly 20,000 ft of Mauna Kea’s height sits below sea level. But why the hefty price tag, you might ask?

Well, you may not realize it but observing time is meted out very sparingly. Various Time Allocation Committees (TACs) review proposals semi-annually and time is awarded based on the scientific merit of each proposal. After all, there are numerous scientists, entities and organizations worldwide that would love the opportunity to view the heavens in arguably the clearest, cleanest sky anywhere in the world, but with only 365 nights a year, it’s competitive. And what if your night turns out to be cloud covered? Well, don’t quote me, but I think it’s tough luck baby. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Yale’s deal though is for 15 nights of observing over 10 years so while a cloudy night would be costly to the bottom line, they’d still get another shot at it and it’s a chance they’ll take just for the opportunity. Access to our mountain they feel, gives them a leg up on other top astronomy programs and Mauna Kea won out over the 3.5-meter WIYN telescope on Kitt Peak in Arizona where Yale used to do their celestial explorations. Their loss, our gain!

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals

Michelle Kerr
(Principal Broker/Owner)

Phone: (808) 896-1943
eMail: Mike@MikeSells.com
website: MikeSells.com

I Never Thought I’d See This Day!

The Waikoloa Village Board of Directors finally approved a vendor for the old Clubhouse Restaurant which has been defunct for the past 2+ years or so following a major “whizzing match” (not what I wanted to call it!) between the Board and the previous vendor which resulted in a lawsuit, counter lawsuit and beau-coup wasted dollars. But alas, the lease has been signed, there’s light at the end of the tunnel and after the 90-day build out and completion of all liquor license requirements, hopefully cold beer will be flowing again to quench your thirst after a round of golf!hawaiian-beer-waitress.jpg

Oh yes, AND THE WINNER IS . . . . TRES HOMBRES, dba:  SPIKES. Apparently they have some new partners, and a new chef and are closing down their Kawaihae restaurant after many, many years and moving mauka! Don’t despair, they’ll be serving Mexican and American food so there should be plenny-kine variety.

I actually served on the restaurant committee, though our first choice, (Cronies) after interviews and the normal screening process ultimately backed out fearing a new venture in these economic times (okay maybe they also feared a heavy-handed board breathing down their neck a teensie-weensie bit too). Anyway, stay tuned here for a review of SPIKES after they’ve opened and worked out a few kinks.

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals

Michelle Kerr
(Principal Broker/Owner)

Phone: (808) 896-1943
eMail: Mike@MikeSells.com
website: MikeSells.com

Asia Travel Log #3: Food

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Take a trip with me for a moment back a few years (okay, quite a few if you were in my play group) and recall if you will, your favorite snack or meal. For many it was probably A GOOD OLD PB & J SANDWICH, right?  Mine too. Chunky peanut butter and Welch’s Grape Jelly. Now contrast that against a place where there are not even any supermarkets (or those annoying plastic car-carts American moms squire their little darlings around in).

The Vietnamese eat fresh! As I said there are no supermarkets. REFRIGERATION IS A LUXURY OFTEN CONSISTING OF A RAPIDLY MELTING ICE BLOCK, the water from which somebody will constantly splash over their fish catch in hopes of conserving it until they can sell it. Several people are fully employed in the planting, harvesting and getting to market or the end user, a wide variety of fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and meat. This selection includes many things we have never even seen and most would certainly never eat.

A market we visited in Hoi An, south of Da Nang must have had ten different type of eggs. Some white, some brown, others speckled, and both big and small. There is delicacy consisting of an egg in the embryo form and I am told the most delicious is in the stage just before the feathers are formed. Yikes! Okay, so imagine a young child brought up in Asia turning up their nose at a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I don’t know, somehow it doesn’t wash but I guess that’s just my cultural bias at work. 

What we really did love was going to the night market where in addition to hundreds and hundreds of merchants selling anything and everything, food vendors set up from scratch beginning every afternoon, complete kitchens, prep areas, tables for seating and even bars serving beer, wine or liquor to compliment whatever you are eating. Everything is brought in fresh (in one particuluar instance live frogs strung one on top of another chuckin’ and jivin’ oblivious to their fate), fish in tanks to be cooked to order on outside grills and a ton of different noodle dishes and salads. This market we favored and went to several times in Saigon made a point in print to assure us that all fruit and vegetables were washed with purified water. Same for ice in the beverages. We also had a virtual floor show of activity going on in the street that fronted our table often providing our evening’s entertainment.

Bottom line, you can get almost any kine food in Vietnam or Cambodia -at least in the cities, from the aforementioned street fare (some good some not), right on up to fine dining. It just takes a little adventurism with a dash of common sense to have a great eating experience in Asia and we did!

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals

Michelle Kerr
(Principal Broker/Owner)

Phone: (808) 896-1943
eMail: Mike@MikeSells.com
website: MikeSells.com

Oh, If Only We’d Only Heard You Last Year!

Heard what? “You know when you said don’t buy yet, prices are still going down.”

Oh yeah, I did say that didn’t I? Yep and with good reason. I was seeing it in the MLS every day. The figures were going one direction only and there was no reason to believe otherwise. After all, except from maybe the National Association of Realtors who have to keep up a happy face, the news EVERY day on TV and the radio and in print was if anything, continually more grim than the day before. So I told them don’t buy yet. Prices are going down. That condo you just have to have because it’s walking distance to the beach is gonna be less expensive 6 months from now, and less than that a year later.

Well, they bought it anyway. From me? No, they went directly to the seller’s agent (who naturally, and legally bound by the laws of agency, encouraged what was in the best interest of their client, the seller) and bought the dream condo near the beach.

Okay, fast forward to now, a year or so later. One day recently with some time to kill, I called my friend/client to invite her for a coffee or lunch. She declines, too busy she says, since she’s starting a new job. And then she says:

“If only we’d heard you last year!” i-cant-hear-you.jpg

Yes, our neighbors just sold the same condo for $100,000 less! And our tenants are leaving at the end of the month and now all of a sudden for the first time in years, my husband has no work lined up!”

YIKERS! Well to every cloud there is a silver lining. TALK ABOUT AN OPPORTUNITY FOR A BUYER NOW! That’s right. The market is what it is, but there are some very real buying opportunities (as evidenced by the bump up in sales in December that surprised many) if you are astute enough to recognize them. With the help of a good Realtor who has your best interests in mind (that agency thing again), and who has been closely following the market, you can find these things, and sadly perhaps to someone else’s dismay, score a property that has your name on it.

That’s my Tip of the Day!
happyfaceunderpalm.jpg
  

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals

Michelle Kerr
(Principal Broker/Owner)

Phone: (808) 896-1943
eMail: Mike@MikeSells.com
website: MikeSells.com

Waikoloa BOD Lowers The Boom on Walkers

If you’re a golfer and you’re a homeowner in Waikoloa Village on the Big Island, and you’re a walker as opposed to riding the cart, you’re gonna spend more money to play golf at the Waikoloa Village Golf Course starting YESTERDAY! Yep, it’s a fact. And some people are not happy about it! 3-stooges.jpg

Effective February 1, 2009 golf rates for walkers at the Waikoloa Village Golf Course increased by 33%. Several of us attended the board meeting January 27th and tried to reason with them, but we did not prevail. Now instead of paying $15 + tax for 18 holes, walkers now paying $20 + tax = $20.80. I know,

“Cry me a River”

but hey, since the homeowners already pay fees ($584/year) to the Waikoloa Village Association (WVA) I think they ought to get some break as compared to non homeowners when it comes to the golf rates.

But the fact of the matter is there probably is not one single golf course on the island (or most places for that matter) where the golf course actually makes money from their golf operations. They generally make it on real estate. Waikoloa is a little different because it’s truly a neighborhood owned course and there are no developments on the golf course that would in any way net a financial benefit to the Association or it’s member, other than the perceived notion that property values are higher because the community has a golf course. This is great for resale value, but it’s an intangible figure and many refuse to consider it. The rub seems to be that according to WVA board only 12% of the property owners play golf so the Association subsidizes the rest.

Being a Realtor, I know it’s true. A lot of people who buy property here love the fact that there’s a golf course right here, and a good one too. Though it’s a public course, THE RATES ARE GREAT COMPARED TO THE RESORT COURSES! It’s also a boon for the time share condos. Those buyers become deeded property owners and thereby qualify for the best rates. Bottom line though, is the debate will continue and I think we’re going to see a further chipping away at our cheap rates as these economic times drag on.

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals

Michelle Kerr
(Principal Broker/Owner)

Waikoloa, Hawaii
Phone: (808) 896-1943
eMail: Mike@MikeSells.com
website: MikeSells.com

2nd Annual Lions Classic Car Show

Dubbed a ‘Blast from the Past”, the Waikoloa Lions Club held their 2nd annual event Saturday, January 24th at a new venue this year. lions-classic-car-poster.jpgHaving outgrown the Waikoloa School parking lot they moved this year to the Queen’s Marketplace at the Waikoloa Resort. This year’s event had the added attraction of live music by Robbie Yamanoha and the proximity to the food court at the Queen’s Marketplace.

Okay, the event is still peewee compared to similar events on the mainland. “Cruise Tuesdays” at Fuddruckers is alwaysa must on our list whenever we go to the mainland to visit my mom. I don’t know which I enjoy more, the big ole, juicy, sloppy hamburgers you get there or the oh so, way-cool cars in the parking lot afterwards. It’s a draw and until I figure out which I like better, it’ll stay right there at the top of my list.red-rear-end.JPG

But I predict this Lions Classic Car & Truck Show is a keeper too and will continue to grow every year, so if you’re in town be sure to support it and have some fun!

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals

Michelle Kerr
(Principal Broker/Owner)

Phone: (808) 896-1943
eMail: Mike@MikeSells.com
website: MikeSells.com