ATTENTION Sellers!

If you are one of those lucky sellers whose property is under contract, in escrow and due to close soon please don’t forget to pay those HOA due$, property taxe$, and any other assesments related to your property!!!

You are responsible for making timely payments even if your property is in escrow! All of those items will be prorated during the escrow process to the exact date of recordation so you’ll be credited back any overages. Overlooking these items or leaving them for the new buyer could be costly in fees and penalties should you encounter any delay in closing!

That’s my tip of the day and I’m sticking to it!

Until next time, dream BIG and set goals!

Aloha,
Heidi K. Perreira ;o)

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In Hawaii: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-987-8299
http://www.MikeSells.com

23rd Annual Kohala Country Fair

Okay, you’ll want to open your day planner, palm pilot, calendar- whatevers, right now and reserve October 6th, 2007 for this years upcoming Kohala Country Fair. Location as usual is under the Banyan tree in Hawi. There’s no mistaking it on fair day, just watch the flow of traffic and snag a parking place wherever you can, but DON’T MISS IT!

Besides the ono-licious food booths of all variety (Teri beef plate, shave ice, Hawaiian food, Korean style short ribs,  Portuguese bean soup, salmon & halibut tacos, malasadas, musubi and more!) there’s all kinds of fun and games in the way of contests and craft booths. One of the favorites has to be the lua decorating contest which in the past inspired such winning entries as “Harry’s Potty” with a $500 cash prize going to The Friends of Bond Memorial Library for their book inspired creation. Then there’s the Spam carving contest and bubble blowing to name just a couple more of the popular ones.
spam.jpg SPAM-Man

Oh, and don’t forget the great music. Kohala’s own John Keawe and Kindy Sproat are always regulars but never lack a crowd under the trees.

 It’s all for a great cause -raising money for the North Kohala Community Resource Center which sponsors numerous community improvement projects including, but not limited to statue maintenance for the King Kamehameha statue and the Kamehameha Day Celebration, the Kohala Art Academy, the Living Journals project preserving the life stories of our kupuna (elderly), the North Kohala Community Chorus, Kohala Coalition Against Drugs, and the Kohala Ditch Restoration-so badly needed by our farmers and Yoga Ed, to name only a few of the very worthy projects NKCRC supports and sponsors.

So, see you there?
Aloha, Mike

RE/MAX Pacific
On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
http://www.MikeSells.com
http://www.NorthHawaiiBlog.com

Fixer-Upper Strategy

I think everyone agrees, it’s better to get your home in show condition before you put it on the market, after all, let’s try to put your best foot forward. Most Buyers don’t have the vision to see what the house could be like if it were remodeled or sparkling clean and likewise, most Buyers won’t pay for a property’s potential.

But let’s face it, not every Seller has the money it takes, or the skills needed, or the time to really get a house in primo condition for a sale. That’s the bare reality of it. So when this is the case, I have found it’s best to tell it like it is and take advantage of the fact that there is a certain segment of the market who like fixers. In fact, some love fixers and wouldn’t buy anything else, so if you’ve got a dog -market it as such. My ad headline would read: “Bow-Wow Fixer! Don’t miss this opportunity!”. Of course, you have to also price it like a fixer. Like I said, no one if going to pay for that un-tapped potential. But if you price it right and market it right, you will get a a realistic price and a quicker sale!

That’s my Tip of the Day and I’m sticking to it!
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Aloha, Mike

RE/MAX Pacific
On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
http://www.MikeSells.com
http://www.WestHawaiiBlog.com

Yoga Ed Project in Kohala Schools!

This is huge! This new program, YOGA ED, meets all of the Physical Education standards of the DOE (dept. of Education) for the State of Hawaii. The support from teachers, principals, students, directors and counselors has been terrific. Yoga Ed, has been made available in part through a grant written by school Principal, Ellie Laszlo and from funds donated by the North Kohala Community Resource Center and other sources, will be in Kohala Elementary School this year.

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Led by certified yoga instructor Jacqui Pailing, the project is fully funded to provide yoga classes for every elementary school classroom this fall as well as the after school A+ program. Christine Richardson of NKCRC has been Jacqui’s mentor and both are proud of this accomplishment.

According to Dr. Dean Ornish, M.D., Founder & President of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute of SF, Calif.,

Yoga is a powerful system for helping children stay focused, centered, and peaceful which, in turn helps them concentrate better, learn more, and gain physical and mental health throughout their lives. Highly recommended.”

Jacqui has targeted the Middle School at Kohala next and her ultimate goal is to get Yoga Ed,  in all the public schools. The project can receive donations through the North Kohala Community Resource Center by calling (808) 889-5523 or email, nkcrc@wave.bicv.net.
Aloha, Mike

RE/MAX Pacific
On Hawaii: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
http://www.MikeSells.com
http://www.NorthHawaiiBlog.com

Monthly Re-cap of Least & Most Expensive

Wow, it’s not even 10:00 AM yet and the first thing I noticed when I logged on this morning to update this category for my blog is that 100% OF THE STATUS CHANGES THIS MORNING ARE PRICE REDUCTIONS! That’s right, 100%. The first 8 status changes were all price drops. That’s something. But it has to happen as more and more people get “upside down” in their mortgages Sellers are finally realizing they’d better get the property sold before they can’t sell it for as much as they owe on it. If you check the category “The Least Expensive & Most Expensive” on the sidebar of this blog you will definitely see the way things are going. The numbers below reflect this too:

TODAY IN WAIMEA:

  • 92 homes on the market
  • 32 are less than or equal to $500,000
  • The least expensive = $345,000
  • The most expensive = $35,000,000
  • The highest days on market (DOM)= 555

IN WAIKOLOA:

  • 101 homes on the market
  • 28 are less than or equal to $500,000
  • The least expensive = $419,000
  • The most expensive = $895,000
  • The highest days on market (DOM)= 671

IN KOHALA:

  • 49 homes on the market
  • 7 are less than or equal to $500,000
  • The least expensive = $334,000
  • The most expensive = $25,000,000
  • The highest days on market (DOM)= 774

For more information on any of these areas or to fill in the blanks between the least expensive and the most expensive, just call or email me!

Aloha, Mike

RE/MAX Pacific
On Hawaii: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
http://www.MikeSells.com
http://www.WestHawaiiBlog.com

Roads in Limbo, and More

There is actually a category of roads on the Big Island known as “Roads in Limbo”. This means neither the State nor the County claim ownership of the road because neither want to be responsible for maintaining the road. How’s that for stepping up to the plate and taking responsibility on behalf of your constituents? Gotta love it!

Developer roads are something else again. Developer roads are located within a subdivision and are usually intended to be dedicated to the County once the street improvements are completed assuming the roads are built to county engineering standards (of a certain quality, width, depth and other various requirements) before the County will take them on for future liability. 

Private roads is another category in the ‘Buyer Beware’ department involving various private parties co-owning the road and also sharing in the responsibility for its maintenance. However, unless there is a maintenance agreement formally drawn up and recorded, it may have no teeth and be useless in case of needed road repairs.

 It’s a good idea, but not always possible when buying property to determine ahead of time who owns the road that provides access to your property.

That’s my Tip of the Day and I’m sticking to it!
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Aloha, Mike

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
http://www.MikeSells.com
http://www.WestHawaiiBlog.com

Vaccum The Attic?

Huh? Who the heck does that?

Well, you might want to in the future if your home ever had termites requiring fumigation. Here’s what happened recently.

My clients were in escrow selling their home which had been fumigated before they bought it – like six years and two sales previous to their purchase. Okay, that’s pretty much SOP (standard operating procedure), no big deal. And they wisely chose to have a continuing maintenance contract with regular termite inspections, always a good way to protect your investment. But the previous owners never cleaned the droppings from the attic after the tent came off when the fumigation was completed. Who’d a thunk? Probably nobody. Vacuuming the attic is just not normal behavior, I don’t care how good a housekeeper you are!

Now fast forward to the present; my client’s buyers are having their pre-purchase Home Inspection as a part of their due diligence. Well it is an older home, so there are several maintenance recomendations and the need for some minor repairs noted by the inspector, again, no surprise there. But mention in his written report of “termite droppings and some damage to the rafters in the attic” along with a very graphic photograph (you know how high tech today’s inspectors are) turned out to be a DEAL KILLER!

Naturally, I followed up with the termite inspector who had been doing regular checks for termites and he verified there was no live, active infestation.
termites.jpg Swarming termites
termite-droppings.jpg Termite droppings- not always a sign of live infestation

What he said was the termite tunnels in the rafter were exposed and visible indicating old damage (and not structural in this case), but the old droppings were still there because, though people generally clean up after a fumigation (unless collecting specimens for biology class), you don’t think to head up to the attic for some vacuuming!

Long story short, the droppings in the attic were still there years later and the home inpector wanting to be very thorough in his report, raised the possibility of live infestation, though there was none and he is NOT a licensed pest control operator (as they’re they’re called in Hawaii) but it raised a red flag for the buyers and they walked! This seems extreme I know, but in Hawaii, buyers have the opportunity to cancel a transaction (within a certain time frame) based on the home inspection findings with full return of their deposit money.

The pictures of the termite tunnels were very graphic and the specter of structural damage, or expensive repairs tipped the buyers over the edge. Doubt was created and once buyers head down that path it’s sometimes impossible to bring them back.

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So if you’re planning on selling, the next time you have a few extra minutes, why not head up to the attic with the “Hoover” and take care of business to insure this won’t happen to you?!

That’s my Tip of the Day and I’m sticking to it!
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Aloha, Mike

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
http://www.MikeSells.com
http://www.WestHawaiiBlog.com

Save Hundreds on Property Taxes

Buy an owner occupied home and save hundreds of dollars on your first year property taxes! Of course, if you plan to be an owner occupant and qualify, these savings will continue every year, but even if you are an investor or 2nd-home buyer, it is possible to realize these savings the first year.

How does this work? Well property taxes in Hawaii County are based on the zoning, and homeowners, owner occupants that is, get the preferred rate on residential zoned property. The owner occupied tax rate is $5.55/$1,000 of assessed value after all exemptions. All others will pay the higher rate of $8.10/$1,000 of assessed value. And by the way, I should add that properties are not re-assessed at the time of sale, nor are property taxes frozen as long as the ownership does not change, as I think happens in some areas of the country like maybe California.

On the Big Island owner occupant buyers must notify the County of that status in order to get the preferred homeowner rate. If you fail to file, you automatically pay the higher rate. But it can take several months after a sale for the changed status to kick in because we pay property taxes twice a year (in February and August) but we are only billed annually.

If you are a 2nd-home buyer or an investor and buy a previously owner occupied property that qualified for the preferred rate it could take several months for the billing to reflect the higher amount now due. This could result in hundreds of dollars of savings in the first year of ownership –which is often a time when you are spending money on repairs or upgrades, so enjoy the windfall!

But, there are 2 sides to every coin. If you qualify for the preferred rate but you buy a non-owner occupied property even if you notify the county of your status, it may also take several months for the new lower rate to take effect. ;o(

If you don’t fill out the appropriate owner occupant papers notifying the county of your status when you close on the property, be sure to check with your Realtor or the Property Tax Dept., www.hawaiipropertytax.com and make sure it’s done as soon as possible if you intend to be an owner-occupant.

That’s my Tip of the Day and I’m sticking to it!
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Aloha, Mike

RE/MAX Pacific
On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
http://www.MikeSells.com
http://www.WestHawaiiBlog.com

No Huhu Over da kine Fees

No huhu over da kine fees! No worry or get upset over maintenance fees without understanding how they equate to normal homeowner maintenance and upkeep expenses. Now, notice I did not say “don’t investigate maintenance fees” because this should be a normal part of your due diligence, when buying a condominium, www.hawaii.gov/dcca/areas/real/condo_ed/condo_gen/, but let’s put maintenance fees in perspective.

The best way to do this is sit down and enumerate exactly what is covered in the fee. It could be any or all of these things:

  • common area electricity
  • garbage service
  • exterior maintenance of the buildings
  • common area and/or individual use of water
  • basic cable services
  • security
  • maintenance of the pool, spa or exercise facilities
  • liability insurance
  • hurricane insurance
  • earthquake insurance
  • landscaping maintenance
  • reserves for future repairs

Okay, now that you have a list of what is covered, take that list and calculate what each of those items would cost you if you solicited bids and contracted individually for all these services in a single family home.
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And living in a condo means you don’t have to join a health club or have your own pool – these are amenities available to you without the higher individual cost to say nothing of the “hassle factor”. Keep in mind that you are getting a certain economy of scale by having all the other condo owners cost share in these items. Of course, there is a happy medium between the number of units or owners sharing the expenses and simply having no control over costs because there are just too many owners.

Other things to consider would be the quality of the association management, the age and condition of the buildings and the checks and balances in place to control costs. Are board members qualified people with solid business backgrounds, or the power hungry type with too much time on their hands? I’ve seen both and I’ve seen boards come and go too, so you can always get involved and contribute what you can to make your condo a better place to live and your maintenance fees something you can live with!

That’s my Tip of the Day and I’m sticking to it!
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Aloha, Mike

RE/MAX Pacific
On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
http://www.MikeSells.com
http://www.WestHawaiiBlog.com

Hawaii seen through the eyes of my 12 year old!

Most of these photos were taken by my daughter Kendra-Marie who has become fascinated with the everyday beauty we experience from the Big Island & place we call “Home”!

~Hualalai Mountain from our Home~

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~Mystical Clouds above our Home~

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~Sunset from our Home~

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~Another Beautiful Sunset from our Home~

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~Dusk at a beach on the Kohala Coast~

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~From Puako Road, Maui in the Background~

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From Mountain to Sea, come and experience the beauty of Hawaii!

Until next time, dream BIG and set goals!

Aloha,
Heidi K. Perreira ;o)

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In Hawaii: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-987-8299
http://www.MikeSells.com

My Haul at the Waikoloa Farmer’s Market!

Saturday is Farmer’s Market day in Waikoloa Village. Woody & Erlinda Young who operate the market are up very early, rain or shine, leaving their farm in Lalamilo Farm Lots to get to the market and get set up for the opening at 7:15 AM.
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My haul this week included:

  • a dozen and a half antherium -mixed variety with greens
  • 3 sprays of dendrobium orchids
  • 1 head green leafy lettuce
  • 2 packages green beans
  • 8 tomatoes
  • green onions
  • apple bananas (the best in the world!)
  • 7 papaya (enough for half each, every morning)
  • 3 big zuccinni
  • 1 package of carrots

The bill? $28.
Can you believe it? It’s such a nice experience too, an outdoor market, not the freeze your buns grocery store. I get to see my friends and neighbors, talk story, trade recipes, etc., all before 8 AM! If you’re really lucky Woody will pull out his ukulele and pretty soon somebody else has a guitar, and there you go!  Lucky you Live Hawaii!

Saturday I like to sleep in, but job-one each week, even before my coffee, is to get my rear end to the Farmer’s Market! It’s a small market, but they have everything, but they run out too so you have to go early. They have the best curly leaf lettuce (dollar each) and they don’t spray or use fertilizers, yummy yum! And flowers, oh my gosh. The best antherium-even the broad leaf “obake” variety, and orchids too.

I love it when I have a dinner party planned for Saturday night because I know I’ll have scads of choices for the menu and beautiful flowers too, all so fresh! So be sure you get up in time to make it to the Saturday Farmer’s Market every week!

That’s my Tip of the Day and I’m sticking to it!
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Aloha, Mike

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
http://www.MikeSells.com
http://www.WestHawaiiBlog.com

You Have To Be In It To Win It!

You’ll never win the lottery if you don’t first buy a ticket.

In the course of selling a home, most Sellers will get at least one offer they don’t like. It’s easy to get on your high horse, get high and mighty (or Pee O’d) and wad up an offer that falls short of your expectations, but saying “NO” ends the game right there. Keep it going.

ALWAYS counter an offer even if you despise it. Many, many times I have worked with Buyers who are serious, capable and truly intend to buy a property but for some unknown reason believe the way to approach it is to low-ball it. It’s the job of a good Realtor to make you understand it’s just part of the game and you’ll never win it if you’re not even in it.

That’s my Tip of the Day and I’m sticking to it!
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Aloha, Mike

RE/MAX Pacific
On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
http://www.MikeSells.com
http://www.WestHawaiiBlog.com