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

Asia Travel Log #2: Transportation

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After posting Christmas ~ Hanoi Style many people have asked for more info on my SE Asia trip. Yes, but how’s that relate to real estate and Hawaii, one may wonder? Well, I haven’t been able to come up with a good answer except one advantage of living in Hawaii is the somewhat closer access to new and interesting places you may not have considered otherwise. But I will say this:

“No matter where I go -and I’ve travelled a lot, I always look forward to coming back to Hawaii!”

Anyway, I’m going to break my travel posts up into segments to be more organized and also not to bore anyone too much. So first we’ll start with TRANSPORTATION. And while my inclination is to say US air carriers are inferior – at least from a comfort and service standpoint. My gosh, hats off to Sully the heroic pilot of US Airways who saved all those lives last week! Coincidentally my late father was called Sully (Sullivan is my maiden name) and he was a Phantom pilot too, so his performance hit close to home for me.

Not to beat up on US carriers too badly, I’ll just say JAL (our choice for the first leg of the trip) was super. When we could not get into Bangkok (in the midst of some political difficulties) JAL re-routed us at NO CHARGE! directly on to Hanoi. There was also no charge for baggage or food. And we had a choice of Japanese or American cuisine (neither included soggy chicken parts), complimentary beverages including wine, beer and liquor, and a movie console at every seat with a zillion choices of movies, documentaries, and audio. All important for a long flight!

Once on the ground in Vietnam however, all bets are off as far as a Western concept of transportation. You’ve never seen anything like it. Vietnam is progressing rapidly especially with more cost efficient vehicles from China. Where tuk-tuks and bicycles used to be the norm, motos (motor scooters) have now taken over the roads, at least in the cities. Consider this, Saigon has a population of 9 million, and 80% own motos! It was very common to see entire families sharing one moto. And what a great way to get around as a tourist. Just wave one down, hop on the back and away you go. We never used standard taxis except to and from the airport and then only because we’d booked them before we left home. We travel only with carry-on, making this is very do-able!

Besides the moto and bicycle, either of which serve as merely the frame for anything and everything they may be carrying, there’s all kinds of boat traffic along the many rivers. Vendors transport everything from live poultry (we spotted a guy with about 50 live chickens tied upside down and strung between parallel bamboo poles on the back of his moto), to the ladies who roam the streets with their portable kitchens, setting up virtual restaurants anywhere there may be hungry customers. The various modes of transportation are born of necessity and ingenuity for sure! If you’re game you can get around easily, inexpensively and have a lot of fun.

Aloha, Mike

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals

Michelle Kerr
(Principal Broker/Owner)

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

High Tech, Hawaiian Style

Verizon Wireless has been using palm tree look-a-likes on the Big Island to disguise some of their otherwise unsightly equipment, namely cell phone towers.

And why not? Who doesn’t love looking out and seeing tall palms silhouetted in the sunlight?palm-cell-tower.jpg These palms may not sway, but still they’re not bad to look at and most people will be fooled into thinking they are really trees, not cell phone towers. Okay maybe in some areas they would look out of place today in the dead of winter with negative temperatures, but still you’ve got to love it, I do!

But Kona is not the only place using trees to disguise their cell phone towers. I have seen pine trees for the same purposes on the mainland and they may just blend in a little better in say Minneapolis where it the climate is just slightly cooler than Hawaii (even with global warming . . . ;o) . . . . . I just wish HELCO(Hawaii Electric Light Co.) would take the hint and clean up that mess they created all up and down the highway near Kona!

Aloha, Mike

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals

Michelle Kerr
(Principal Broker/Owner)

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

How Low Can You Go In This Game of Limbo?

Although the sales process starts with motivation on the part of a seller (okay, some sellers may not actually be that motivated -despite what they tell you), but there’s always a unique set of circumstances surrounding each sale. Understanding those circumstances is key to getting the property sold. And lest you be lulled into believing Mr. Seller’s motivation is the same as Mrs. Seller’s, I’ll tell you “it ain’t that simple”. limbo.jpg

I’m thinking of a conversation I had just last week with a friend who asked me about dropping his price to below the $1M mark. There are several answers. The quick answer in this market is that a lower price is probably always better, but how much lower is the question. I told him if he’s just dropping it to get under the $1M threshold, it probably won’t make any difference, there just aren’t many buyers right now.

He was glad I said that because he didn’t think it would make any difference either. He mentioned he and his wife were of a different opinion, so I offered to give his wife a call and tell her about our conversation. Now understand these people are not my clients, but you know friends, right? (good thing I’m not a doctor!).

So here I go ~ ring-a-ding . . . . :  “Hello Mrs. Seller, I just spoke to John about dropping the price of your house just slightly to get it below the big $1 Million benchmark, but honestly I don’t really think a small drop will send a very exciting message. You know there are buyers but they’re hangin’ back still sucking their thumbs waiting for a real bargain.” And surprisingly she tells me:

“Well I think it’s John you need to talk to then, not me. You see I’m willing to drop it as low as we need to! It’s he who has had the price too high all along!”

Wow, was I surprised! Here she is willing to swallow the bitter pill so they can get on with their lives and it’s he still hanging on to the idea their house is worth what it used to be, you know a couple years ago. She totally gets it -when they move they’ll be downsizing and buying into a much lower level and likely recover much of their imagined loss. And she expounded further. They don’t have a mortgage and have just about $500,000 invested in the house, so they really can make some intelligent decisions. If they just would. Okay, this sheds a whole new light on the situation. Now that I understand the circumstances surrounding this sale my advise is very different.

I told them, you gotta knock the price so low it will be like a bucket of cold water to agents and also grab the attention of those buyers on the sidelines. You want every agent that sees the price reduction to pick up the phone and start calling clients, and you want every real buyer to call their agent to check this out. That’s the way to get this puppy sold. DO IT! Take some bold action and get ‘er done.

That’s my Tip of the Day!
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Aloha, Mike

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals

Michelle Kerr
(Principal Broker/Owner)

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

Christmas Shopping ~ Hanoi Style

Okay, I’m sure nobody missed me, but we went to SE Asia for 3 weeks and returned just before Christmas. The most wonderful thing about being away was not hearing about the dang bailout -version 65 or whatever it must be by now! Or thinking about the housing market. Let me tell you, WEALTH, RETIREMENT SAVINGS, HOUSING, EVEN EMPLOYMENT TAKE ON A WHOLE NEW MEANING IN THE STREETS OF VIETNAM, CAMBODIA AND THAILAND (most of which we missed due to that rather inconvenient political coup!).

Never mind that for now, back to Christmas. Though predominately Buddhist, Vietnam does celebrate Christmas and in Hanoi they even have what we called ‘Santa Claus’ Street. hanoi-christmas3.jpgEveryplace is a shopping area, and from the time kids are old to walk and talk they are hawking items on the street. They sell anything and everything from whistles to postcards. The merchandise varies depending on the age, ability and inventiveness of the vendor. But it seems they arrange the stalls or shops in the streets according to what is sold or offered. And being so close to Christmas there was no shortage of shops, stalls and vendors all in a row with Santa Claus suits, decorations and toys. I’m not sure what they morph into once the season is past. My guess is they adapt to the next ‘Hallmark’ occasion and carry on.

I will say, we saw very few beggars. Hardly anyone is just asking for a handout. They are all selling something or providing a service. Whether or not it’s something you want or need is another story. More than once we observed in restaurants when someone apparently ordered something on the menu but not available, the proprietor would take off down the street and find the item, bring it back and, voila, there it is for the customer. On one occasion standing on the street before we even know what was happening a kid around 9 or 10 years old had parked himself right next to my husband and was busy gluing the toe flap of his running shoe that had come loose. It did need repair and Mickey just figured he’d hit it with the glue gun when we got home. Next he was grabbing at Mick’s belt trimming up the belt tine holes (which also needed attention!). No problem, they see a job that needs doing and they’re most happy to do it. You do have to be careful not to over-pay for services rendered -especially unsolicited services, but my point is they will do anything in the way of commerce. And always with a cheerful smile!

The markets have everything you can think of and plenty you’d never imagine (think live frogs, snakes and eels). For Christmas shopping, it’s a delight. They say expect to pay between 50-60% of the first price they throw your way and that proved fairly accurate.

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Items available run the gamut from trinkets, Polo brand (wink-wink) golf shirts, cheap souvenirs right on up to fine tailor made silk clothing (yes, they take your measurements one day and deliver the clothing the next!) and high quality jewellery.

For a change of pace, it sure beats the Macy’s, Walmart, Sports Authority sort of Christmas shopping and was a lot more fun!

Aloha, Mike
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Mikie Likes It LLC
Michelle “Mike” Kerr (Principal Broker/Owner)
Realtor Referrals
Mike@MikeSells.com
MikeSells.com
Be informed – read my blog: WestHawaiiBlog.com
(808) 896-1943