Banana-fanna fo-fanna- The Name Game

This morning I received an offer from Florida via email from an agent I did not know on a Florida property I am not familiar with. I replied back that it must have been meant for someone else named Mike with a similar email address and I was right! Who knows how the offer was mis-directed to me, but stranger things have happened out there in cyberspace.

In fact this name confusion happens a lot and I guess I am partly responsible since I deliberately use my nickname MIKE, though my given name is Michelle. And that’s a story in itself. I am a twin and when my parents learned they were having twins they named us “Pat & Mike” even before we were born. You have to know my parents to understand this, but to give you a clue we also had a big German shepherd dog called “Kitty”!

My website and email monikers seemed the most logical since I peddle real estate, hence the, however I soon learned of a company in Dayton, Ohio with a very similar URL (one little dash difference) which sells potato chips! That company started in 1910 when Daniel W. Mikesell went into business becoming one of the very few potato chip manufacturers in the country, using peanut oil for frying their chips. Daniel W. Mikesell did a play on words with his name and his company became Mike-Sells Potato Chips. mike-sells-party-size.jpgWith the similarity in our URLs, I quite often got company email notifying me of sales meetings, conference calls, etc. It got to be spam, so I joined in on one particular conference call and identified myself as a Realtor in Hawaii and asked that they be more careful to use the dash in their company emails so I would not be included in the future. Everyone sort of got a laugh out of it, but all ended well. We even exchanged potato chips. I sent them some of our famous Kitch’n Cook’d, Maui Potato Chips and received some of their Mike-Sells chips (Maui’s are way better, but don’t tell them). You cannot get Mike-Sells chips here on the Big Island, but you for sure can get Maui Potato Chips all over the place, so be sure to try them next time you are here!

Aloha, Mike

In Hawaii: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943

Fishing ~ Local Style

I had the pleasure of joining a friend and her awesome family this past weekend & got a first hand glimpse of what it takes to be a part of a shoreline fishing tournament. They have participated the past 2 years and vow to make it a family tradition, “catch or no catch” as she put it. This was all very new and exciting as I am not an avid fisherman.

As my family and I followed her down the Kawaihae Coast to their “secret spot” you couldn’t help but notice the tents set up and the many fishing rods (it least 7) wedged into the rocks just waiting for the catch to set off the bell (which I can hear now just talking about it).


The Tokunaga Fishing Tournament was started by the Tokunaga family of Hilo who also own a fishing supply outlet called S. Tokunaga Store. My friend tells me that they carry all of the fishing supplies you would ever need.

For a $60.00 entry fee you too can be a part of this growing event but like any tournament there are rules. For example:

1) Your prey is the Ulua fish and all fishing is from the shoreline, no boats involved.

2) You can fish island wide though weigh in takes place in Hilo.

3) The tournament starts on Thursday at noon and ends the following Sunday at noon.

4) You’re not supposed to swim your line out or use plastic bags to have the wind help carry them out.

At cut off time everyone races to Hilo to weigh in their catch & check out what everyone else caught. She tells me that it’s all in the weight you choose to use on your line. When I ask about bait, she tells me “that’s the BIG secret, you don’t want to let that one out and risk the chance of someone copying what works for you” – talk about serious business!

Serious or not my family and I had a blast! We enjoyed sitting fireside, eating all the other good stuff we were able to catch and talking stories anticipating the sound of the bell attached to each line. We did get to experience the ringing a few times watching the men drop whatever they were doing and run straight down a steep hill to their poles as if they were running on sand and not black, sharp lava terrain. Though they didn’t end up catching any Ulua to weigh in, she smiles and reflects on the other great fish and sea creatures they did catch and enjoy.

picture-045.jpg This is the Menpache (squirrel fish) we caught this year.

One thing for sure….I’m there next Year!

For more information on the tournament you can contact S. Tokunaga Store at (808) 935-5161 or email

Heidi K. Perreira

In Hawaii: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” phone: 808-987-8299

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Billboards!

Sign of the times? No pun intended, but as a further indication of the faltering real estate market, developer D.R. Horton-Schuler late last week erected illegal signs at 2 locations around town directing traffic to their project claiming “People were having a hard time finding our subdivision”. Signs located other than at the project site make them billboards and billboards were banned in Hawaii years ago. The illicit signs were hawking their Luala’i project located near Waimea Elementary School.
lualai-1-of-5.png lualai-2-of-5.jpg
Two of 5 models to choose from

During their phase 1 sales in 2003 there was so much interest they had to select buyers by lottery, but now it seems people can’t find them. Go figure.

It is a great subdivision though, and very centrally located. With the incentives now offered, there’s no better time to buy!
Aerial view of Lualai’i surrounded by the beautiful Waimea pasture land

But back to the billboard ban; many people don’t know it, but The Outdoor Circle was largely responsible for Hawaii’s billboard ban and we can all be thankful for that. In 1926 the Outdoor Circle purchased the last billboard company doing business in Hawaii and then shut it down. (Ya think that would fly in California??) In 1927 advocating for a cleaner, more beautiful Hawaii, The Outdoor Circle was instrumental in passing legislation to rid the Territory of billboards. Today only 4 states ban billboards. They are Alaska, Hawaii, Maine and Vermont and it’s no accident that these states are known for their natural beauty. We want to sell houses, but we want to retain Hawaii’s natural beauty too, so no stinkin’ billboards please!

Aloha, Mike

In Hawaii: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943

The Yin and Yang of Home Prices

I get this question all the time: “What does an average home around here cost?”

And I could reply by giving them the average home cost, but it wouldn’t mean much because our communities are so dissimilar. In fact some individual streets even, have a wide range of homes as far as age, quality, price, etc., so there is no quick, meaningful answer to that question. The size of the home and land area, proximity to the ocean as well as the view and micro-climate (there are reputed to be eleven on the Big Island), all have a huge bearing on price.

view-mls-174766.jpg wine-seller-mls-174766.jpg
Let’s face it when you see a home-an estate really, of almost 16,000 sf on 2.5 oceanfront acres including a wine seller, a media room, a gym and a poolroom, just to mention some of the highlights, with an ocean view framed in by swaying palms overlooking the infinity edge pool, versus your very basic 2 bedroom, 1 bath starter home of 696 sf on a tiny lot on the “green side” of town (read rainy), wetside-ext-mls-185606.jpg you begin to understand why that ‘average cost’ question is so hard to answer.

I thought it would be fun to illustrate the least expensive and the most expensive home in a particular market area along with some other stats to give you an idea of price ranges, etc. I will update it on a regular basis so you can follow the market. For illustration purposes I’ll just show the single family residential category, but if you’re interested in land, condos, commercial or whatever –just let us know.

Today in Waimea (also known as Kamuela, but that’s another whole post) the figures look like this:

85 homes on the market
24 are less than or equal to $500,000
The least expensive = $345,000
The most expensive = $35,000,000

In Waikoloa:
82 homes on the market
16 are less than or equal to $500,000
The least expensive = $425,000
The most expensive = $865,000

In Kohala:
51 homes on the market
9 are less than or equal to $500,000
The least expensive = $334,000
The most expensive = $25,000,000

Check this category (The Least Expen$ive & The Most Expen$ive) regularly to track prices or note any trends. We’ll make you an expert in the market so you can buy or sell smarter!

Aloha, Mike

In Hawaii: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943

Raiderettes in Town!!

cat-on-shore.jpgOverheard just this morning at my favorite hair salon, “On Stage Salon” in Waikoloa Village Shopping Center – according to a crew member on the Red Sail Sports catamaran, the Oakland Raiders Cheerleaders,, known as the Raiderettes, were recently spotted in town, actually off shore aboard a sailing cruise reportedly for the purpose of filming next years calendar! A good time was had by all!

When you next visit the Big Island -or even if you already live here (we locals love it too) be sure to take a catamaran ride. They have sunset and whale-watching cruises, dive cruises, snorkle cruises, and lots more.

I’ll have to say too, not only does Red Sail Sports and Ocean Sports too, for that matter, provide great ocean opportunities for tourists and locals, they contribute a tremendous amount to the community in the way of complementary tickets and cruises for just about every charity event you can think of. They never seem to say no.

See you on board the catamaran!
Till then-
Aloha, Mike

RE/MAX Pacific
In Hawaii: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943

Shoes or Slippahs?


This is something I always forget to forewarn my clients about until just before they get in my car to go off tromping with me to look at property. Of course then it’s too late, so here it is- shoes or slippahs?

Slippahs defined by renown Waimea artist, Mary Spears,, is the pidgin word that describes the footwear worn most frequently by locals in Hawaii. Some places they are called flip-flops, shower shoes or slippers.

Understand for the purposes of looking at property, it’s not a matter of conforming to a social or cultural expectation, it’s purely utilitarian -function over form. If we’re looking at homes and/or condos, by all means it’s gotta be slippahs, especially if you are on a time crunch, like you have to catch a flight home that afternoon (begging the question, why oh why wait until the last day on the island to look at property??). If you have to untie and re-tie every time we go to another house, you’ll never make the flight, sunset, dinner reservation or whatever. With slippahs, it’s a flash dance, in and out quick ‘n easy each time.

Now if it’s vacant land we’re looking at you need covered shoes or even gum-boots depending on what kind of land you are seeking. Haole feet will fare better with the Keawe thorns, lava, hitch-hikers and the like, if you have real shoes on! At any rate if you see this, then I won’t have to remember to tell you, you’ll know!

Till then-
Aloha, Mike

RE/MAX Pacific
In Hawaii: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943

What’s for breakfast today? Papaya!

How they grow!

I love papaya and have it everyday for breakfast.

You can get papayas at any grocery store, and they come in various stages of ripeness from mushy (time for a smoothie) to so hard it will take a week to ripen, but they sell by the pound and the buggas can be heavy so I prefer to buy them at any of many farmer’s markets scattered around the island.

Also, I’d rather support our local farmers over some unknown agri-business, if you know what I mean.

Con-Agra, did you ever think about that name even? Did it start with conning small farmers out of their land and livelihood or is it conning the consumer to think shrink wrapped, hard, wax coated fruit and vegetables are somehow better for you?

I like being able ask the farmer how they produced the fruit, where it came from and what if any fertilzers or pesticides they use. They also offer hints for trying new things and great recipies! (Check out the recipe category on my blog). Waimea’s market is the Homesteaders Weekly Market every Saturday from 7 AM-noon at Kuhio Hale. Don’t miss it!
3 for $1.5-15-07

But back to breakfast -I like to do a mixed fruit with yogurt and ground flax seed, and the fruit with the leading role are the aforementioned papayas and apple bananas -also found at any farmer’s market. Man you haven’t lived until you try apple bananas. They are smaller than Chiquitas but taste oh so good! Okay anyway, I gotta go. I have a job and still have to get my workout in before I make it to the office!

Grilled Corn with Avocado & Papaya Salad


½ t ground cumin
1 t pureed garlic
1 t salt
6 T lime juice (about 1 med sized squeezed)
¼ C olive oil
2 avocados, pitted and sliced
1 ripe (but not mushy) papaya sliced and arranged
on platter alternately w/avocado
2 ears of corn, grilled (yeah right) I use fresh frozen organic
from Costco and grill in my toaster oven
8 radishes, diced to show as much red skin as possible
¼ C diced red onion


• Prepare dressing of cumin, garlic puree, salt, lime juice & olive oil.
• Mix radishes, corn and red onion with about 2/3 of lime juice dressing.
• Peal + slice avos and papaya and arrange on platter. Dribble remaining
dressing on top.
Mound the corn mixture with dressing in the center of sliced fruit.

Happy eating!
Aloha, Mike

In Hawaii: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943