December 27, 2008

To Buy or Not to Buy Now that is the Question….

If we only had a crystal ball.  If we may  have been able to prevent what the US is seeing in the housing crisis….but we don’t and we have to look at statistics, facts and figures to make our best educated guess on when and how this is going to turn around.   Currently what we are seeing is an inventory which keeps growing and is currently at a surplus meaning its a buyers market. 

Interest rates that are falling.  Expected to go as low as 4% or lower….now may be the right time to start planning the future for your family or just your investment portfolio.  What buying power does that reduced interest rate give you…the numbers below are a guideline but they WILL HELP YOUR BOTTOM LINE!

The information is 6.5% interest vs 4.5% interest on a 30 year fixed loan.  This means that you can save money on a monthly payment or just simply afford a home that may not have been in your price range prior to the rates dropping.

Loan Amount of $500K: $3,160.34 Vs $2,533.43 

Loan Amount of $250K: $1,580.17 Vs $1,266.71

Interest rates are low, now is the time to look at buying…your dollar goes much further. 
Have a safe, happy and fabulous New Year.

Much Aloha. 

Mary on Maui  Your Wailea Real Estate Agent.

C21 All Islands-Wailea

December 23, 2008

Support our local economy…

As the world is seeing the worst mass layoff’s since 1974 with 533,000 jobs lost in Nov and now over 10 million out of work its time to not order online, stop  going to large coffee chains, and supermarkets and start supporting our local business owners.  Buy buying local you are probably saving a bit of cash as well as helping your neighbors.  Some analysts predict that between now and 2010 that 3 million more jobs may be lost.  Batten down the hatches and plant a garden, help out a friend, recycle those used clothes and give them to Big Brothers Big Sisters….with a record 1 in 10 Americans with mortgages late or facing foreclosures we can only predict more pain ahead.  We need to support our politicians that are wanting to explore efforts to ease housing, credit and financial stresses.  If you need assistance call a tax professional who can legally guide you to your best solution.  Consult with a Realtor about where the current value of your home is…listen when someone is offering assistance.  There is no quick fix or easy equation to make this disappear…but take the time find out your best option.  Time may be the only thing we all have on our side.

Be well

Mary on Maui

c21 All Islands-Wailea  Your Wailea Realtor

December 18, 2008

The country’s “bailout” sparks a future for Maui’s Solar Energy!

Solar Tax Credits are growing as the 2008 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA) is getting established.  Prior to this solar credits maxed out at 30% or $2000 max and was due to expire at the end of this year.  However, with the interest of reducing the fossil fuel dependence that Hawaii is extremely dependent on the new legislation has provided much more appealing tax credits….there are important exceptions such as you can not install solar/photo voltaic systems to heat pools and still get the tax credit, check with your tax professional for all tax credit details.  Residential dependence of fossil fuel is costly and now the future of solar seems to be a little brighter with possible credits of a residential system that may cost $27,000 for a single family dwelling with up to $9000 or 30% be tax deductible.   Solar may be one of the safest investments right now!

Mary on Maui

C21 All Islands Wailea-Your Wailea Realtor

December 14, 2008

Our local legislation want’s to keep neighborhood character for new B&B laws

Local legislation to find balance and compromise in regards to B&B’s, the permitting process, the number of units allowed and the “house rules” to go along with them.  In hopes to promote locally based economic development this legislation is looking currently at B&B’s which is significantly different than the Transient Vacation Rental issues that Maui Co is also experiencing.  B&B’s have owners who live on site and officially share the residence with the guest.  Looks like this may lighten up and the owners will just have to be on property.  For the TVR’s or “vacation rentals” owners and or managers are living off-site.  The second issue is being deferred to the next Maui Co Council.  So where is the current focus going:

Limits B&B’s in the following areas to:  Hana 48, South Maui 100, UpCountry 40, Paia-Haiku 88, West Maui 88 and Central to 36 for a total of 400.

Provisions include no more than 6 bedrooms, owner must live on property, if on Ag land owner must show a crop of $35K per year, enforce “house rules”  for noise with the initial permit being valid for 3 years. 

Some still have concerns for the bill…I don’t blame them.  Its been years since the council has had this issue on their desks and we have all been waiting way to long for compromise.

Mary on Maui

Century 21 All Islands Wailea  Your Maui Wailea Realtor

December 12, 2008

Transient Vacation Rentals Press Release….our fragile economy still not supported.

I am not really sure how I feel about this.  For years and years Hana, Haiku, Paia and other parts of Maui Co. have been renting rooms and homes to accomodate the people in search of a true sense of the island.  These homes and rooms were catering to a specific niche market.  Tourists who did not want to stay in Hotels or Condos, people who perhaps had children with specail needs, people who enjoyed surfing the big waves on the North shore or windsurfing and did not want to spend time driving to these locations or just people looking for more of a budget vacation. 
It seems to me in these economic times when the Hawaiian Islands are suffering with little to no money in the budget for  much of anything…. that they would be looking for opportunites that helped the locals who are trying to make it here….

The current B&B issue has gone before the council….the TVR issue is going to be the next Maui Council’s task at hand.  The main difference between the two “types” is B&B owners are on property

December 10, 2008
Appeals Court Rules in County’s Favor on TVR Case

WAILUKU, Maui, Hi – On December 10, 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its decision in Maui Vacation Rental Association vs. County of Maui, ruling in the County’s favor.
The Maui Vacation Rental Association sued the County and its Planning Director in September 2007, seeking an injunction that would have prevented the County from enforcing its zoning ordinances pertaining to transient vacation rentals. When the MVRA’s case was dismissed by the U.S. District Court in December, 2007, the MVRA appealed.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the MVRA had no right to operate transient vacation rentals without the required permits while Maui County processes permit applications. The Court also ruled that the MVRA’s members could not require Maui County to “indefinitely maintain” enforcement policies put in place by previous administrations. “MVRA members operating TVRs without permits were on notice that their conduct was unlawful and that Maui County retained discretionary authority to enforce the permit requirement,” the Court concluded.
“I’m pleased that once again the County’s policies are validated before a high court that recognizes our responsibility to enforce existing laws,” said Mayor Charmaine Tavares. “My Administration has proposed several bills to update current laws, and the County Council has been working diligently to review and adopt appropriate legislation. We have maintained that the proper way to change County laws is through a public legislative process rather than by ignoring them altogether.”
The MVRA was initially represented by attorney James Fosbinder. After losing at the U.S. District Court level, the MVRA replaced Fosbinder with the law firm of Damon, Key, Leong & Kupchak in Honolulu. The County was represented by Deputies Corporation Counsel Jane Lovell, Madelyn D’Enbeau, and Mimi Johnston.
# # #

Mary on Maui

Century 21 All Islands-Wailea  Your Maui Real Estate Consultant

December 11, 2008

Mark you Calendars! December 13th from 3pm to 7pm Island Spirit’s Holiday Party!

Come on in and enjoy this social hour with food and beverages…… and a great island vibe. The girls behind Island Spirit in Kihei who are selling wonderful shell jewelery and more are taking the time to appreciate their customers.  If you purchase anything in the store for a total of $100.00 or more you will get to pick a pair of beautiful shell sandals for free.  Come on in and see what is in the store for you!

Saturday, December 13th  Island Spirit is located in Kihei right by Foodland and three doors down from Sansei Sushi!

From 3pm till 7pm with a Blessing of the store at 4PM
RSVP would be nice.

Much Aloha,

Mary on Maui-

Your Maui/Wailea Realtor

Century 21 All Islands- Wailea

December 7, 2008

Tonight! Dec 7th Local Fun. Billabong pro open at the Ritz

What is Billabong you may ask? bil·la·bongn. Australian

1. A dead-end channel extending from the main stream of a river.

2. A streambed filled with water only in the rainy season.

3. A stagnant pool or backwater.

Billabong a large surf clothing company… hosting an event here on Maui! 

Our island is surrounded by water and it brings many events to enjoy.  Tonight is one of those nights that you may enjoy here on the Upper West Side.  At the Ritz in Kapalua at 8pm there is a celebration for the Billabong Pro Maui Opening night.  Ticket’s to the concert that starts at 8pm, are $20 each and are available at the gate or at the Billabong store in Lahaina

The Tenth Annual Billabong Pro Maui presented by Hawaiian Airlines, with a holding period of December 8 – 20, the $85,000 prize purse promises to provide plenty of incentive for those invited to compete.

The Billabong Pro Maui delights in having Honolua Bay’s perfect right point as a stage and is free to the public. From the 8th to the 29th drive up to Honolua Bay for the free event, waves willing!

Enjoy the day!

Mary on Maui 808-283-4688

C21 ALL ISLANDS-WAILEA…..Your Maui Realtor!

December 6, 2008

If you aren’t making enough money, you aren’t helping enough people!

In the current economic times and with people all around the world feeling the stricture of the world financial crises it is now the time to pay attention to the people who may need help.  Buyers and sellers are looking for a professional who can help them achieve their goals both immediate and long term with investment opportunities.  Price points, income potential, forecasting the market shifts, providing past data, and often times just listening are all key factors in providing a service that clients can feel confident in. 

I know so many people who are needing loan modifications, to sell, to qualify for a loan…the list goes on and on.  If you think you may need some help..  Need help finding a price point for selling your home, need a great loan officer…..anything Just ask!  I will try to guide you to the right professional for your needs.  Mangum Mortgage in Kihei is soon to open up a loan negotiation program to help out with modifying loan terms and rates.  Call Steven Mangum today to see if he and his team of experts can help you.  808-891-0415

Mary on Maui 808-283-4688 

C-21 All Islands-Wailea  Your Maui Real Realtor

December 2, 2008

For the love of sharks….Jawz that is. Jawz with a Z in Kihei

I love Mexican food.  I have my old favorites and my new favorites…they all serve a purpose.  The favorites have to have good fresh food…..and I can have more than one because of the many distinct areas here on Maui.

Another “favorite” reason is ”that one dish” that I can’t live without.  For the freshest of the fresh in Kihei and the largest portions, the best Salsa bar….and my favorite taco salad ever!  Piled high with fresh cabbage, lettuce and more….. YOU HAVE got to go to JawZ.  I am telling you…you will not be able to compare “the others” in town once you have eatin’ whatever you order with the huge amount of stuff from the large salsa bar that you can pile on high—including the avocado sour cream!  They are on South Kihei Road.  1279 S Kihei Road to be exact.  AND if you are on the go you can hit up one of the lunch trucks on the side of the road in Makena.  MMMM good.  Open 11-9pm daily. 

We have to support our local spots.  And the ones we don’t want to see get eatin by the big sharks (no pun intended) we need to speak up for.  WE ALL KNOW that if we stop going to our favorite spots….they will not be there for long.  So as I look around at store fronts closing left and right in small towns like Paia I have to stop and wonder if I had ever gone in there and how much of their business was tourism.  If they are closing or have closed you know that they have not catered to the “locals”, as well as,the tourists.    Our regular slow time here (off-season) has been multiplied by the over all economic slow down and if you have a choice of going to a chain restaurant  or a local favorite  please do the latter. 

So the next time you are craving something really good, go to Jawz or some place like it that is your favorite…by doing this you will help our small businesses here on the island stay in business…. 

Mary on Maui!-

Your Wailea Realtor!