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
****************
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

On The Road Again!

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I always loved that Willie Nelson song, but more than the verse, I love to travel.

“Get Your Motor Running”

I like that song too. Maybe I was Born to Be Wild! So we’re off again. To SE Asia this time.

Originally we were headed for just Vietnam but you pretty much have to go through Bangkok to get there (that is if the airport reopens !#$&*!) and all those countries (Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam) are so close we ended up planning a circle route touching on them all but spending the majority of our time in Vietnam.

A big circle I might add. Honolulu – Japan where we overnight to regroup before proceeding on to Bangkok for 3 days, next embarcing on Hanoi in North Vietnam. We’ll work our way down south stopping a 2-3 spots along the way eventually ending up in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon), from HCMC to Siem Reap in Cambodia to visit Angkor Wat.

Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage Center, is a centuries old temple complex whose construction spanned 4 centuries! I can’t wait and will report back after I’ve seen these wonderful places live and in person.

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals

Michelle Kerr
(Principal Broker/Owner)

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

Detroit, Housing Experts & Grocers Too

I noticed something interesting in the paper this morning in the food adverts. You know the insert that comes on Tuesday showing all the stuff that’s going to be on sale starting tomorrow. How many times I’ve caught myself in the checkout line handing my coupons to the cashier a day before the special -ugh, not again. Why do they do that?

But what struck me as bizarre was a coupon special for Cool Whip. Four tubs of Cool Whip for $5. Turning the page I noticed a similar one for Philly cream cheese; 4 for $6 or whatever it was. I mean, I don’t know about you but Cool Whip and Philadelphia Cream Cheese just don’t seem to be things most people want to stock up on these days.  cool-whip.jpg

I understand they need to move stock, but these are times that call for loaves of bread or jugs of milk on special. That’s what people want and need. It’s like offering free gas for a year to entice you to buy that guzzler car, OR PRE-PAID MAINTENANCE FEES IF YOU’LL JUST TAKE THIS CONDO OFF OUR HANDS.

You see, it’s no longer about the enticements, we’re down to the hardtack here. Detroit should not get more federal dollars to keep doing the same thing inefficiently at an ungodly price. My husband is from Detroit (see It’s A Guy Thing), he put himself through college working in the Ford Mustang plant. He said then, and that was donkey’s years ago,

“You could train a monkey to do most of those jobs with fewer call-backs and for a lot less money.”

Of course turning back the albatross is the conundrum. Detroit has to now figure out how to make reliable cars that people want to buy and do it at a profit (there’s a concept), just like developers need to create housing more sustainable, functional and far less costly and yes, the whole mega pharma/corporate/food formula needs to be revamped. You can’t keep picking food before it’s ripe, transporting it miles and miles away wrapped in expensive nonbiodegradable packaging. It too expensive, what fewer and fewer people want and it’s proving inefficient too (remember those beef recalls and what about the bad lettuce or was it peppers?). You get my point, we’ve got to THINK LOCAL!

I admit I don’t know the answer. I do know this is the CHANGE WE NEED.

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

Trouble Brewing Over Electric Rates

It’s a problem when you have a virtual monopoly and an inefficient Public Utilities Commission to boot. Being an island in a small group of islands further away from any other land mass than possibly anywhere else in the world does foster some problems and not just with electric service. (I know, I shouldn’t say things like this, but hey I gotta be honest. It’s that old paradise tax again, and even though it’s my choice, I can still “witch” about it.)

The old phone company, Hawaiian Tel had as their slogan, “Beyond the Call” but the reality most customers experienced was far short of the call.

When I opened my new RE/MAX franchise in Waimea about twelve years ago we’d planned the transition down to a T, with every possible contingency in mind, or so I thought. The phone installation was scheduled for Friday afternoon, but long story short I knew I was in trouble when the installer showed up (late as usual), took one look at our phone system and said he was not familiar with that type and didn’t know why they sent him to install it.

Yikes! There I was. The best laid plans out the window. To be fair, the installer really dug in and tried his best to make my system work. I don’t know how much overtime he got, but it was after dark when he finally left.  He was able to jury rig it so we could receive calls, we just couldn’t call out. Sweet. We did survive (with extensions brought in from home so we could call out) until they properly installed the system about a week later, but if I didn’t lose a few years off my life, I know it did contribute to my grey hair! . . . ;o).

Anyway, the monopoly getting under most people’s skin these days is HELCO. To raise rates they must get the nod from the PUC, but they are able to add surcharges for fuel and non-fuel costs and there’s the rub. Going to the HELCO website in researching this blog post I tried to get a simple kwh rate, but it was impossible.

After flipping through page after page which all seemed to refer to other sources, I still could not get a figure and I think this is intentional, but the bottom line with all add-ons and surcharges for my 2-person household my electric cost for a month was $0.46/kilowatt hour. Ten months ago it was 34.9 cents/kwh, a sizable jump in less that a year. Most recently we have seen pleas in the news from Cathy Barrett of Kailua Candy Company who has had to let go 25% of her staff and reduce remaining staff hours by 20% to help pay their electric bill saying:

“Our bill monthly is more than our lease rent on our 6,000 sf property.”

Residential customers are screaming too and even with Governor Lingle’s energy goals, we’ve got a long way to go!

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals

Michelle “Mike” Kerr
(Principal Broker/Owner)

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

West Hawaii October Sales Stats are Spooky

Everyone likes a fright at Halloween, but these numbers are downright spooksville! ghost.jpg

TODAY IN WAIMEA:

  • 99 homes on the market
  • 15 are less than or equal to $400,000
  • The least expensive = $236,075
  • The most expensive = $4,299,000 (new kid on the block, listed today!)
  • The highest days on market (DOM)= 980 (from $875,000 original price)
  • Sales in the past 90 days = 18
  • Sales in the past 30 days = 7

IN WAIKOLOA:

  • 93 homes on the market
  • 23 are less than or equal to $400,000 (still climbing)
  • The least expensive = $307,500
  • The most expensive = $875,000
  • The highest days on market (DOM)= 446
  • Sales in the past 90 days = 24
  • Sales in the past 30 days = 4

IN KOHALA:

    ** NOTE** Kohala data pertains to the entire district of North Kohala, including the coast and resort properties 

  • 82 homes on the market
  • 10 are less than or equal to $400,000
  • The least expensive = $229,000
  • The most expensive = $15,000,000
  • The highest days on market (DOM)= 673
  • Sales in the past 90 days = 2
  • Sales in the past 30 days = 1

IN SUMMARY:  Gasp, gasp. Sales have declined since last month (which by itself was dismal), down by 7.6%. Prices are still dropping, but I think we’re not deep enough into this yet to really pull buyers in with much excitement. Stand by to stand by!

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals & Mortgage Freedom

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

Waikoloa Bedroom Community?

Well, I used to think Waikoloa may qualify as a bedroom community.  After all, there’s no real town, it’s more like a suburb. In fact, I used to think it was so strange sitting out there seemingly in the middle of nowhere but visible from everywhere. Living the previous 20 years or so in Waimea and Kohala, after almost 4 years in Waikoloa, I now have a better perspective.

IT’S WAIKOLOA’S LOCATION -IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, THAT MAKES IT SO CONVENIENT! It’s a virtual hub; not much more than 30 minutes from almost anywhere you want to go. Costco, Kailua-Kona, Keahole Airport or Waimea. Let me tell you with the price of gas and traffic these days that’s a good thing. 

What is surprising though are the goats, donkeys, turkeys and bufos! That’s right, bufos in Waikoloa! My husband, warrior that he is just pulled #4 out of our ‘Peace’ fountain at the entry to our condo last evening. peace-entry1.jpg

He loves calling me outside to see his lastest prize.bufo-_41.jpg

“Hey, come here and take a look at this!”

Of course, I thought he was calling me to look for the fire that must have broken out (again) somewhere nearby as we’d been hearing the helicopters going back and forth the past hour. He holds up his prize and tells me it’s my turn to “relocate” this one. Of course, he’s dreaming. I won’t touch the thing. That is one of his jobs!!! I hate to be sexist and all, but I have to draw the line somewhere.

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals & Mortgage Freedom

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

ConCon or No ConCon?

Not to be confused with “If can, can. If no-can, no-can”, the laid-back pidgin saying which basically means if you can do it okay, and if not, well that’s okay too.

The ConCon is a constitutional convention and Hawaii hasn’t had one in 30 years, way overdue IMHO. The ConCon allows us to amend the State Constitution. Delegates are elected from all the islands to review and revisit the laws and make improvements and changes to our state government addressing things that never seem to get done by our legislature.

The short story is the that local and national teachers’ unions as well as the sitting majority in the State Legislature are all against a ConCon. Any time you have big money from outside paying for ads against something you probably want to look closer and see what they are fighting so hard to protect. I’ll tell you in 2 words:

“turf and power!”

Some of what proponents of a ConCon would like to do it is decentralize the Dept of Education. One DOE and BOE for the entire state located in Honolulu and totally Oahu-centric is simply out-dated. It’s inefficient and our schools and the kids pay the price.

And what about term limits for judges? HOW ABOUT TERM LIMITS FOR EVERYONE??? (would be my suggestion after watching our Congress perform so brilliantly of late), or balanced budget initiatives, there’s a concept, huh? And what about protecting our environment and agricultural lands? The point is, if we have a ConCon we get to decide what issues are important, if not, the legislators get to decide and we see where that’s taken us over the past 30 years!

And the ConCon vote which was mandated every decade to give the people a vote is rigged against us anyway. When it last came to a vote in 1996, it passed. There were more “yes” votes than “no” votes. So what did they do? They changed the rules. They got our corrupt State Supreme Court to strike down the people’s choice by declaring that any blank votes would be counted as “no” votes.  Well that sort of takes away any reason to vote doesn’t it? But it happens here in Hawaii and they get away with it.

Can you believe it? I couldn’t then and I’M STILL AMAZED THAT THE BLANK VOTE BULL-CRAP (sorry, there is no other way to say it) still stands. In fact that ruling carried over to all ballot initiatives since, and if you think it’s hard to inject change into this “old boy” system you are RIGHT!

 So I say, let’s have a ConCon and see what the people want for a change.

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals & Mortgage Freedom

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

Well, Well, Well, What Do You Know?

Hawaii ALWAYS lags mainland economic trends. After the Gulf War the mainland came back a full two years before Hawaii did, so it’s no wonder now to see Hawaii’s foreclosure rate suddenly though surprisingly to some, catch up with national trends.

Get this, in Hawaii there were approximately 1,300 foreclosures filed in all of 2007. In September 2008 alone, there were 594! This is according to RealtyTrac, the research firm that tracks foreclosures nationwide.

All you have to do is take a drive through condo-town at the Waikoloa Resort and this is just one example. Check out all the empty buildings just sitting there. Oh sure, they’ll get a bump in a few weeks with the high season, winter, the holidays and all, but overall there’s a lot of underutilized inventory just a sittin’.

Some of them are developer units that never sold, some are legit second homes that folks never intended to live in full time and a very few are owner occupied. But probably the most worrisome of the group are those bought on spec (pity the fools), the owners expecting to flip them after a year or two of the high life. This is the group that is gonna keep adding to those foreclosure figures.

And who can blame them? Say you bought at the top of the market, got the NINJA loan (no income, no job or assets) like so many did, and now you can’t rent the place to even offset your mortgage. You can’t afford to get your butt here to use it yourself, and oh yes, the maintenace fees have skyrocketed because of rising electricity, etc., etc. Many of those borrowers had very little skin in the game, so they’ll be walking sooner or later and you will see Hawaii’s foreclosure figures start to catch up with other places.

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals & Mortgage Freedom

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

It’s a GUY Thing!

Note:  Read no further if you’re expecting any real estate comment today -we need a break!!

My husband loves SHINY RED CARS. That’s all there is to it.

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If you ask him, he’d say not necessarily, but if you look at his cars over the years, 90% of them have been RED! And where does the shiny come in, you might ask? It comes from being born and raised in the Motor City -Detroit, Michigan!

But he takes the best care of our cars of anyone I can imagine. Sometimes to the degree that it drives me crazy. I mean how many times can you polish one spot? He sprays grease (if that’s the right word) on the tires, WORRIES AND FUSSES OVER EVERY TINY LITTLE FLAW IN THE FINISH and has every part looking absolutely brand new! Yeah, it’s true. When I bought my VW Beetle last year (42 miles to the gallon, highway, thank you very much!) he declined a free detailing from the dealer because he said they would do a lousy job! So I guess you’d have to say he maintains our cars better than brand new! And no, my new Volkswagen is not red! I had to settle for silver because the only red one was a standard shift which I didn’t want.

Anyway, his string of shiny red cars started with this BEAUTIFUL SHELBY COBRA REPLICAR. He saw a couple one day on the lot at McKenna Motors when we were on Oahu and never shut up about it till he had his own! I do admit it was beautiful. And there is nothing better than an afternoon drive on the Kohala Mountain Road just as the sun is setting down Kawaihae way!

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals & Mortgage Freedom

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

Hawaii Island’s Fiscal Stupidity

Sad to say, fiscal stupidity is not contained at the national level, but alive and well in Hawaii County too. I don’t know about you, but the word BORING always comes to mind when I see a photo of developers and County officials leaning on the “golden shovels”.  golden-shovels.jpg

Don’t forget Kamakoa, the Waikoloa workforce housing project and where that’s now headed.

Get this, Public Works Director Bruce McClure, known for his infamous quip to West Hawaii commuters:

“Let them bicycle if there’s too much traffic”,

is requesting $500 to $1,000 from each Council member’s contingency fund to pay for the West Hawaii Civic Center groundbreaking. This extraction of $4,500-$9,000 would go towards a luncheon for 125 people consisting mostly of county officials, dignitaries and the contractors. Yet they have no problem telling us they don’t have staff to keep the pool open during peak weekend hours, can’t repair beach park bathrooms or fund more Hele-On type public transport. How many of our County’s really needy people could use that money directed toward the Food Bank?  

Sad to say the real belt tightening fiscal responsibility required at every level of government is sorely lacking from UNCLE SAM STREET to the State DOE (which perfers cutting JV sports instead of trimming their very top-heavy administration) to our own County who deems it prudent to spend untold thousands of dollars on another groundbreaking ceremony. Oh yeah, don’t forget the County Police Cars at $65,000 a pop. 

What’s a reasonable person to do? It’s enough to make you scream!

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals & Mortgage Freedom

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

September (Kemakemapa) Listings Data

Due to my fixation with the NATIONAL MELT-DOWN LAST WEEK, this post is a little late. These stats are for the month of September representing a snapshot of the market on Sept. 30th and the previous 30 days. 

foursalessigns.jpg Sept 30th in WAIMEA:

  • 102 homes on the market
  • 13 are less than or equal to $400,000
  • The least expensive = $248,5000
  • The most expensive = $5,390,000
  • The highest days on market (DOM)= 952 (This Seller must be waiting for the re-opening of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel)
  • Sales in the past 90 days = 19
  • Sales in the past 30 days = 6

IN WAIKOLOA:

  • 89 homes on the market
  • 17 are less than or equal to $400,000 (4 more than last mo)
  • The least expensive = $289,800 (an REO)
  • The most expensive = $875,000
  • The highest days on market (DOM)= 418
  • Sales in the past 90 days = 23 (30% were developer sales)
  • Sales in the past 30 days = 6

IN KOHALA:

    ** NOTE** Kohala data pertains to the entire district of North Kohala, including the coast and resort properties 

  • 87 homes on the market
  • 11 are less than or equal to $400,000
  • The least expensive = $259,000
  • The most expensive = $15,000,000
  • The highest days on market (DOM)= 645
  • Sales in the past 90 days = 4
  • Sales in the past 30 days = 1

IN SUMMARY:  As you can see, we’re dying here. Thirteen residential sales in West Hawaii the past month is not paying anybody’s bills. It’s a good thing we have beautiful weather and great beaches. All I can say is there are worse places to ride this out!

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals &
Mortgage Freedom

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

Crybaby Citigroup Cries Foul

I have been nauseated recently by those begging for the bailout as if it’s the only answer to opening credit lines and getting houses selling again. Don’t be so self-serving. THE WHOLE SYSTEM NEEDS AN OVERHAUL! money4.jpg

This would be funny were it not so true! But it’s a done deal now. Our gutless leaders (ha- that’s a misnomer if ever there was one) have sold us and future generations down the river. Why when seemingly most of “Main Street” was against this did they do it anyway? Why someone please tell me, why did $100,000,000 in earmarks added to it after the first failed vote make it more palatable?

Houses are not selling because they are priced too high-period. Let’s face it, somebody -a lot of somebodies as it turns out, just got caught without a chair when the music stopped. Everybody; buyers, sellers, lenders-yes Realtors were rushing around those chairs hoping and praying the music wouldn’t catch them with no place to park their butt.

And it’s not like there weren’t warnings. Sellers were insisting on (many still are) ridiculous prices, many of whom could have gotten out whole. Buyers were taking loans they knew would snowball in the future. Lenders knew they were building a house of cards too.

Okay for all you free market bashers- you know, the “we’d rather have government bailouts” crowd, HERE’S AN EXAMPLE ALREADY OF WHY THE BAILOUT WAS NOT A GOOD IDEA.

Just this morning, Citigroup who had tendered an offer of 2.2 $Billion to acquire Wachovia’s banking arm is now crying foul as Wells Fargo has stepped up willing to pay 15.1 $Billion for it!

What does that tell you? It tells me if the government would get out of the way, investors, entrepreneurs and the many, many sound companies remaining in the world would see opportunities all over the place in these failing banks and Wall St. firms. And they would pay a much better price and tender better offers to those companies and, this is the key thing – they would also get far more back for their shareholders than Uncle Wall Street will ever recoup for us taxpayers.

If we’re looking at Mavericks like JMcC or change agents like Barry-O to do what’s right for us we’re in a heap of doggie-do.

That’s my Tip of the Day!
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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