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Archive for March, 2011


written by Ken Smith
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One side of Maui that does not get nearly enough recognition is Maui’s North Shore. There are some extraordinary properties on Maui’s North Shore. From beachfront homes to cliff-side retreats, Maui’s North Shore has a lot to offer the willing adventurer.

Today we’d like to bring your attention to a treasure of a location: Door of Faith Road. Door of Faith Road is about a 20 minute drive from Paia toward Hana. Green, lush, and private are just a few words to describe this wonderful hidden treasure.

Door of Faith Road—Maui’s Hidden Treasure

Here is where Door of Faith Road sits on the map of Maui.

Door of Faith Road is perfect for the individual looking to buy a property that offers privacy and views galore.

Here’s a sample of a few properties currently listed for sale on Door of Faith Road:

1. 328 Door of Faith Road— Vacant land. Two acres. Oceanfront. Need we say more? Build your dream home here. $995K.

2. 47 Door of Faith Road— Tropical Estate- 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath Tropical Estate. Live the good life here. $1.35M

3. 311 Door of Faith Road- Private and exclusive estate. Panoramic ocean and cliff views overlooking Waipio Bay. $2.99M

4. 336 Door of Faith Road- Oceanfront refuge perched on the edge of Huelo Point. $3.999M

Door of Faith Road is one of Maui’s great hidden treasures. We hope one day you’ll be able to experience these views in person. They are absolutely breathtaking.

Photo Credit: Nurseretta


written by Ken Smith
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Makena Maui
During the next month, we’ll be doing a series of blog posts featuring multi-million dollar estates on Maui.

Barron’s recently ranked Maui as the second most sought after location in the United States for a second home. Evidence of this can be seen by looking at Maui’s current real estate market. Since January 1st, 2011, there have been a total of 17 homes on Maui that have sold for $1 million dollars or more.

The largest transaction in terms of dollar amount so far this year on Maui has been the sale of 222 Plantation Club Drive in Kapalua Maui. This 11,399 square foot home sold for $14 million.

We’ll be featuring homes in Wailea and Makena, Kapalua, and in Spreckelsville Maui.

There is a phrase we often hear: “Maui No Ka Oi,” which means Maui is number one. Perhaps next year Maui will take the top spot. We certainly believe Maui deserves it.

Have a wonderful week!

Aloha,

The Smith Team

Photo Credit: Rosa Say


written by Ken Smith
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Cash Locks in Maui Real Estate Deals

More and more buyers across the United States are paying cash for real estate. In fact, the National Association of Realtors has stated that all-cash home sale transactions have risen from 14 percent in 2008 to 28 percent in 2010. Many of the housing markets that have suffered the most as a result of the economic downturn are now experiencing the highest rates of cash transactions. For example, cash transactions accounted for more than 50 percent of home sales in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area in 2010 and approximately 42 percent of 2010 home sales in Phoenix were for cash. With regards to Hawaii, 12 percent of single family home sales were cash transactions while 33 percent of condominium sales were cash transactions.

For Maui in particular, there have been 125 homes sales so far since the beginning of the year. 38 of those sales, or approximately 27 percent, were for cash. The percentage was significantly higher for condominium sales with 123 of 199 sales, or approximately 62 percent, being cash transactions. As for vacant land sales on Maui, 14 out of 18 were cash transactions. In other words, 51 percent of all Maui property sales that have occurred so far in 2011 were for cash.

While these numbers could be the result of economic recovery or stricter lending requirements, the fact remains that there are several advantages to paying cash for real estate. For instance, cash sales involve less paperwork and therefore take less time to close. Cash real estate sales also do not require any reliance on the bank, so there are no worries about financing falling through at the last minute. Another great benefit is the fact that cash buyers enjoy greater bargaining power and can often negotiate five to 10 percent reductions in asking prices.

Having the ability to pay cash for real estate also gives buyers a competitive edge when a property has multiple offers or the potential for multiple offers. Recent evidence of this can be found in the sale of the 10 most expensive single-family homes on Maui, seven of which were paid for in cash. Consequently, if a buyer has their heart set on a certain property or location, cash will provide a competitive edge and help to lock in Maui real estate deals.


written by Ken Smith
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In a recent article, Barron’s took stock of the national second home property market and found that market recovery was well underway. While the rebound has not been steady across the board, a general uptrend is certainly occurring. With prices in many popular vacation destinations having hit bottom and being ready to rise or already on the rise, there are many great deals to be found on the current second home property market. Such value was one of the main factors that Barron’s considered when choosing its top 15 best places for second homes. Other influential criteria included comfort, convenience and beautiful surroundings.

Maui Real Esate Market Trend

While all of the top 15 rankings can be viewed at the original Barron’s article, of particular note is the fact that Maui grabbed the second spot, outranking other highly popular destinations such as the Hamptons, Aspen and Martha’s Vineyard. Only outranked by Sea Island, Georgia, Maui is known for its exquisite sandy beaches, its relaxing atmosphere and truly spectacular views of the mountains, the Pacific Ocean and breathtaking sunsets. And with many luxury homes, resorts and quality amenities located on the island, it’s not surprising that Maui easily ticked the boxes of comfort, convenience and gorgeous scenery.

However, Maui also has many other excellent attributes, including the favorable current conditions of the property market. As noted by Barron’s, Maui home sales are beginning to gain strength, particularly in the beautiful coastal towns of Wailea and Makena. Sales volumes in these locations rose by 35 percent last year, with the total dollar volume shooting up 135 percent. The median house price for the Wailea-Makena area is currently $1.7 million but asking prices for oceanfront homes can go as high as $22 million. That said, it is possible to find some great deals on Maui. For example, Makena Place is an oceanfront community that provides all of the best that Maui has to offer for great value.

Anyone who is familiar with Maui will not be surprised that the island ranked so highly on Barron’s list of best places for second homes. Offering tranquility, remarkable natural beauty and practically endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, Maui is an ideal vacation and retirement destination. When that fact is combined with the current favorable market conditions, Maui becomes an even more attractive location for purchasing a second home.


written by Ken Smith
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Lanai HawaiiLanai in the foreground, Maui in the background

A 45 minute ferry ride from Lahaina Maui awaits the beautiful and pristine island of Lanai. Known as “Hawaii’s most secluded island,” Lanai offers 141 square miles of land to explore, 47 miles of coastline, and a population of 2,800 residents. The island of Lanai is 18 miles in length and 13 miles in width. The highest elevation on Lanai is Lanai’hale which is 3,370 feet above sea level.

Lanai is home to two of the world’s most luxurious and world class resorts: The Manele Bay Hotel and The Lodge at Koele. These two retreats consistently rank among the world’s best. Each resort centers on a world class golf course.

The Challenge at Manele, designed by Jack Nicklaus, offers 180 degrees of breath-taking coastal views at every hole. Just up the hill a few miles is the Experience at Koele, designed by Greg Norman. “The Experience” offers a very different experience than “The Challenge.” The Experience at Koele is a spectacular course framed by an assortment of beautiful trees, green valleys, and stunning views.

If golf is not your thing, Lanai offers a variety of outdoor activities including guided ATV tours, snorkeling, scuba diving, 4×4 adventuring.

If your desire is to own real estate on Lanai, then that vision can become a reality too. Lanai offers some of Maui County’s most remarkable real estate. Here’s a few of your options. And here’s a few condos on Lanai for your consideration.

Lanai is one great example of why Hawaii is such a special unique place. If you plan on visiting Lanai have any questions, please give us a call at (808)572-0866. We have several friends who live on Lanai full time who we’d be glad to connect you with.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Photo Attribution


written by Ken Smith
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Lanai HawaiiLanai in the foreground, Maui in the background

A 45 minute ferry ride from Lahaina Maui awaits the beautiful and pristine island of Lanai. Known as “Hawaii’s most secluded island,” Lanai offers 141 square miles of land to explore, 47 miles of coastline, and a population of 2,800 residents. The island of Lanai is 18 miles in length and 13 miles in width. The highest elevation on Lanai is Lanai’hale which is 3,370 feet above sea level.

Lanai is home to two of the world’s most luxurious and world class resorts: The Manele Bay Hotel and The Lodge at Koele. These two retreats consistently rank among the world’s best. Each resort centers on a world class golf course.

The Challenge at Manele, designed by Jack Nicklaus, offers 180 degrees of breath-taking coastal views at every hole. Just up the hill a few miles is the Experience at Koele, designed by Greg Norman. “The Experience” offers a very different experience than “The Challenge.” The Experience at Koele is a spectacular course framed by an assortment of beautiful trees, green valleys, and stunning views.

If golf is not your thing, Lanai offers a variety of outdoor activities including guided ATV tours, snorkeling, scuba diving, 4×4 adventuring.

If your desire is to own real estate on Lanai, then that vision can become a reality too. Lanai offers some of Maui County’s most remarkable real estate. Here’s a few of your options. And here’s a few condos on Lanai for your consideration.

Lanai is one great example of why Hawaii is such a special unique place. If you plan on visiting Lanai have any questions, please give us a call at (808)572-0866. We have several friends who live on Lanai full time who we’d be glad to connect you with.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Photo Attribution


written by Ken Smith
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Maui Real Esate Market Trend

Diminishing job losses, increased tax revenues, vigorous gains in the tourism industry, and a rebound in construction are the main factors which have led the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO) to predict a stronger future economy for the state. Still, most economic improvements through the recovery are being seen in Oahu.

While unemployment is still above pre-recession levels and economists predict higher unemployment levels until at least 2013, Neighbor Island unemployment should drop to around 6 per cent by the end of the year. Before the recession of 2008, the unemployment levels throughout the state hovered around 4.6 per cent. Unfortunately, job growth in wholesale, retail, finance, insurance, real estate, and agriculture will continue to be slow (less than 1 per cent), making it difficult to achieve employment levels from before the recession. Nevertheless, economists have noted gains in Oahu rail transit and have therefore included it in their forecast.

Other signs of good news come from increased tax collections of 8.6 per cent in the first 4 months of 2011. However, experts are cautious about tax revenues as a large gap of around $772 million over 2 years has been offset by stimulus money and the large cost of ending leaves for state workers. Indeed, estimates to reemploy these workers go as high as $158.8 million and combined with the tapering of federal stimulus money there will be an increased tax burden on the state.

Still, Hawaii has also benefited from an impressive rebound in the visitor industry. Again, pre-recession levels have not yet been reached, but this highly important segment of the economy continues to lead the recovery in Hawaii. Domestic flights are up 40 per cent since the recession hit (when total sales dropped from 2 million to 1.56 million) and visitor spending rose by more than 10 per cent by the end of 2010. Interestingly, the UHERO report suggests that this rapid recovery in the visitor industry is unlikely to continue with a 3.4 per cent increase in arrivals predicted for 2011 dropping to just 1.9 per cent in 2012. In addition, the UHERO report predicts a strong construction rebound, specifically in Oahu as a result of a multi-million dollar rail project.

As far as inflation is concerned, UHERO forecasts moderate changes averaging around 2.5 per cent in the most recent survey in Oahu. Consumer nondurables, food costs, and rising energy prices are reflected in UHERO inflation estimates of 1.4 to 2.6 per cent through 2014. On the bright side, personal income figures are rising faster than inflation making 2011 the first year since 2007 that actual personal income will increase.

So while the UHERO report points to a number of areas where economic growth will be steady, the report is also tempered by some less than ideal news. Most of the growth is focused in Oahu making it the best location in Hawaii for investment. In addition, three factors threaten future economic growth. First, delays in rail transit development may have a greater impact on economic forecasts because of the importance of this project for growth and employment. Rising energy costs and possibly rising interest rates should impact investment. And finally, rising inflation on the national level is causing some concern in Hawaii. Ultimately, while the Hawaiian economy is showing definite signs of recovery, growth is moderate compared to historic standards and jobs figures combined with other fiscal challenges continue to hamper recovery.