West Hawaii Listings and Sales Wrap-Up for July-(Iulae)

Okay, we’ve got around 90 days till the election! Ugh, Can we stand three more months of the political blather? AND SPEAKING OF BLATHER, HOW ABOUT SOME MORE HOUSING STATISTICS? Here’s a wrap-up of the July listing and sales data for West Hawaii (Waimea, Waikoloa & Kohala).

TODAY IN WAIMEA:

  • 114 homes on the market (inventory still climbing)
  • 16 are less than or equal to $400,000 (that’s 14% of the total market)
  • The least expensive = $275,000
  • The most expensive = $5,390,000
  • The highest days on market (DOM)= 888
  • Number of homes sold in July = 7 (over 16 months worth of supply)

IN WAIKOLOA VILLAGE:

  • 97 homes on the market (down from 109 last month)
  • 14 are under $400,000 (14.4% of the inventory)
  • The least expensive = $325,000
  • The most expensive = $799,000
  • The highest days on market (DOM)= 510 (a home in Kilohana Kai)
  • Number of homes sold in July = 4 (Only 2 years supply)
    IN KOHALA:** NOTE** Kohala data includes the entire district of North Kohala, including the coast and residential resort properties.

  • 80 homes on the market (holding fairly steady)
  • 3 are less than $400,000 (less than 4% of the inventory, making Kohala the least affordable area of West Hawaii)
  • The least expensive = $350,000
  • The most expensive = $15,000,000
  • The highest days on market (DOM)= 581 (in The Heathers at Kohala Ranch
  • Number of homes sold in July = 3 (a modest 26 months of inventory!)

IN SUMMARY: Inventory is holding pretty steady with only a very gradual decline in prices, though you may note I am quoting number of homes less than $400,000 in each market now (as opposed to homes under $500K which I did when I started reporting over a year ago, since that benchmark has moved down. Bottom line though, with an average of OVER 22 MONTHS OF INVENTORY AVAILABLE, there’s got to be some more aggressive pricing or we’ll be at this a long, long time!

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals & Mortgage Freedom

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

Big Island Mayoral Prediction

After attending the Mayoral forum Thursday night sponsored by the Waikoloa Lions Club, I have a prediction as to who our next Mayor is gonna be -Billy Kenoi. Note -he is not my choice, but he is who I believe it will be.

Why do I say that? He’s a glib, articulate, nice looking, local boy made good (went to college on the East Coast, then went on to graduate from the Richardson Law School at UH), and he moves quite easily between “SHAKA-KINE LOCAL BOY” and East Coast educated island kid returned home from Oahu after graduating from law school with a few years work under his belt.

Here’s a line he used to describe his law school aspirations which I liked:

“When I told people I wanted to become a lawyer, they told me, ‘hey you goin’ need one lawyer- not BE one!’ “

He is quick on his feet and I can see where he will appeal to a lot of people who may not look much further. The big thing I don’t like is his pledge to carry on where Harry Kim leaves off. Let me tell you after 8 years of Harry, who did nothing for the West side of the Island, that’s the last thing we need!

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

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals & Mortgage Freedom

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

Comer is a Goner – Revisited

Okay, sorry I couldn’t really finish my blog post this morning after dropping the bombshell that Jeff Comer (short lived CEO of North Hawaii Hospital in Waimea) had resigned. I try really hard to get to my yoga class twice a week. Not that it’s hard, it’s actually very convenient right here in Waikoloa, but I do have to get off my computer and go. You know I need my BREATH OF JOY FIX! It takes me out of New York City (my brain on the treadmill) and brings me back to Hawaii . . . ;o).

But back to Comer, the goner. The community prevailed and it looks like the situation is turning around. Word on the street is that the Board of Directors will be stepping down too but the parties orchestrating this are working furiously to assure the community and it’s many, many disgruntled supporters that it’s can be done. They don’t want the board to exit en masse because that would leave the incoming new board at a distinct disadvantage playing catch-up. Financial supporters have indicated they will get the hospital over the current budget shortfalls (reputed to be several million$) if things go per their wishes.

How did we get to this place, many people wonder? It’s almost as if Jeff Comer was hired to be the hatchet man, with programs cut and 59 positions eliminated last week, but it’s really part of a bigger problem with health care and reimbursements (or lack thereof) by HMSA (Hawaii Medical Services Association). They cover 60% of health insurance in the State and they kinda-sorta have a monopoly-or at least they do a good job thwarting any newcomers in the market. HMSA also receives special treatment in that it is exempt from state premium taxes because it was set up in 1938 as a mutual benefit society-don’t ask me. Gee, maybe it’s time to revisit that one, ya think?

But when it’s all said and done, Jeff Comer had planned to “spend his career here”. It’s a terrible shame it did not work out for everyone. In a quick and cursory search of the MLS system, I did not find that Comer had purchased a home here, but even if he didn’t, it can’t be easy to relocate here thinking you would be here a long time in the future and have it end up like this. I feel for him and his family. But now it’s time to try to fix our hospital!

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals & Mortgage Freedom

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

Another One Bites The Dust

North Hawaii CEO, Comer resigns!!

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last 2 weeks or maybe off the rock, you know North Hawaii Community Hospital has been in turmoil lately, perhaps initially most apparent when Earl Bakken abruptly severed ties with the hospital and board, and most recently with the resignation of Jeff Comer.

Comer was hired only in May, but amid huge public and community outcry finally stepped down Tuesday evening.

I must apologize – if I finish this blog post right now, I am going to be late to my yoga class, so tune in later today and I’ll fill you in!

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals & Mortgage Freedom

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

Confessions of a Retroactive Criminal

If the DLNR only knew. Over 25 years ago I was secretly married on the beach at Malaekahana Bay on the North Shore of Oahu. No, I don’t mean we eloped, but we didn’t feel compelled to let the DLNR (as in Department of Land & Natural Resources) in on our plans. It wasn’t secret either, just your typical beach wedding; you know outdoor tables laden with ono grinds, under the blue tarp, sand between your toes, ocean in the background, flowers and fresh sea air, beautiful, simple and also not particularly costly. beach-weddinga.jpg

Well, fast forward a quarter of a century (OMG- just think about that aspect! Was it really that long ago?? Yes, well at least we beat the stats -still married after all these years) and now the State feels like they want some control over who uses the beaches and other resources. LET’S FACE IT, IT’S JUST A MONEY GRAB! They’ve figured out that a lot of people, locals and tourists by the literal boat-load, just love getting married on the beach in Hawaii. Not only because of the aforementioned natural setting and beauty but because it doesn’t break the bank to get hitched! That’s right, now under the guise of “Strengthening laws to protect Hawaii’s resources” according to Laura Theilen, DLNR’s chairwoman,

“Effective August 1, the Department will step up its enforcement of required permits for commercial beach weddings taking place on state beaches and unencumbered lands.”

Boo, hiss, Big Brother all over again, some say, and what constitutes a commercial wedding? And even more ridiculous is the cost of the permit, 10 cents/sq foot. I can just see those State workers gathered on the beach to process the permits -and measuring the sand to determine the required fee!

I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT I’D MAYBE RATHER THEY SPENT THE MAN/WOMAN POWER ELSEWHERE, LIKE THE BELEAGUERED BUREAU OF CONVEYANCES FOR STARTERS.

In case you have forgotten, the Bureau of Conveyances is charged with recording ALL land transactions in the State, including land, homes, condos and time shares and is so bogged down with union squabbles and petty in-house feuds between the Land Court and Regular title recording systems staff they are months and years behind in this critical department. But let’s face it, if you as a State Department head had the tough choice of revamping, streamlining and making one of your own departments functional or going to the beach to “count sand” in the words of the late Brother IZ, which would you choose?

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals & Mortgage Freedom

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

No Tickie, No Washie

Yep, they got their negotiated 7% raise -which they deserve. My husband taught in Hawaii for 35 years, so I know the vast majority of teachers deserve every cent they get and more, but come on. When they agreed as part of the new contract granting the raises, to finally submit to random drug testing they ought to hold up their end of the bargain.

The pay increase has already taken affect, but now that the deadline for drug testing has come and gone, Donna Ikeda, Chairwoman for the Board of Education, whines that it will cost half a mil$! Yeah, can you believe it? THEY CAME TO THE GOVERNOR AND ASKED FOR $523,723 JUST TO SET UP THE PROGRAM!

In typical bureaucratic style, the BOE wanted nine new employees and additional office space. Naturally, they refused to find funds in their own $2.3 billion dollar budget, and low and behold, by gosh, by golly what are they going to do when they get a teacher who tests positive? How would they handle that? My, oh my, what then?

“How ’bout fire their butts?” say I,

but it will never happen. That makes too much sense, so okay give them a chance to straighten themselves out, but let’s uphold the contract they all agreed to.
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Kudos to the police and other organizations who have long ago submitted to the real world reality of work-place drug testing and chimed in on the highly inflated requested funds. KITV found that the Honlulu Police and Fire Department (both currently recruiting, BTW) spend only a combined $75,000 for their annual testing.

So it’s time for the State Board of Education to get with it. Quit dragging your feet and do it already.

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals & Mortgage Freedom

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

Uh Oh, Trouble in River City

Let’s start with the fact that Earl E. Bakken is known as a POWER PLAYER and the man who literally created the medical technology industry when he co-founded Medtronic, Inc., after developing the first wearable, external, battery-powered, transistorized pacemaker in 1957.

In my opinion, this new employee (as in the just appointed Ceo!) of North Hawaii Community Hospital has quite simply -stepped in it. AND NOW SOMEBODY NEEDS TO CLEAN IT UP!

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He’s miffed a lot of people, cut positions and programs including Dr. Bakken’s pet project, the Hawaii Heart Brain Center and quite possibly worst of all, just plain alienated Dr. Earl Bakken, a longtime supporter of North Hawaii Community Hospital. According to this morning’s paper, Bakken has severed all ties with the Hospital as of yesterday. He has decided no longer to be involved with the hospital’s management or its board of directors. Ya think he’s just a little upset?

Waimea in particular, Where Dr. Bakken has chosen to retire and the Big Island in general is VERY, VERY, VERY lucky to have him in our midst. According to the Medical Institute for Biologic Engineering,

“In retirement, Bakken has headed the Board of Directors of the Five Mountain Medical Community (now known as Five Mountains—Hawaii) in the development of the North Hawaii Community Hospital; Tutu’s House, a Community Resource Center; Jobs and Careers; Education Incentives; Care Reimbursement; and Measurement of Health Outcomes, in order to improve the health of the people of Northwest Hawaii and to serve as a 21st-century healthcare model for the world.”

He’s a living legend in medical and humanitarian circles anywhere you go – in the world. One tiny example, I was visiting my mother in California last year and went with her on an appointment to have her pacemaker checked and recalibrated. The nurse or medical technologist (I plead ignorance in not knowing which) introduced herself as being “from Medtronic in Minnesota”. Well, being from Waimea and very familiar with some of Dr. Bakken’s numerous achievements I asked her if she knew Earl Bakken. Well, I’ll tell you, her eyes lit up and her face broke into the biggest display of admiration I have seen in a long, long time and she said, “No, but I’d sure love meet him. He does come back to Minnesota frequently and really special employees are sometimes rewarded with trips to Hawaii to see what he’s involved in on the Big Island.” She went on to say that she hoped to make that milestone someday in her career.

All I can say is,

“There’s gonna be “Trouble in River City”

Maybe Mr. Comer should have built a few bridges, made a few friends, learned a little local history before he did what he did. Stay tuned to see where these chips will fall, but I bet there are more than a few of the hoy paloy of the hospital ranks and the board who may be mending fences this holiday weekend!

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

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals & Mortgage Freedom

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