Holualoa Short Sale – SOLD!

I love selling Holualoa real estate! I was raised in the beautiful town and live in the area currently. Over time, my property familiarity and the professional relationships I’ve developed have benefited many buyers and sellers.

I am happy to report  that  77-6128 B1 Mamalahoa Highway, closed recently!

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This short sale brought it all. The highs of multiple lien holder approval, and the lows that the bureaucratic short sale process can bring at times.

Along the journey, I put the property into escrow multiple times, and for one patient buyer, the dream came true. They secured a GREAT deal on a property, because of their patience and short sale preparedness.

The short sale process is changing dramatically right now as lenders are working to streamline their approval process.  As the listing agent of this property, I wanted to share topics of interest that were beneficial to the completion of our short sale . 

Proper Market Positioning

Different lenders are now establishing the list price of properties. One of Bank of America’s newer programs is their Preapproved Short Sale pricing. You and/or your listing agent contact Bank of America directly, and work with them to set the list price of the property. This is tremendously beneficial as it takes the guess-work out of what sales price the bank will accept. Check with your lender to see if this is something they offer. Be sure to emphasize that you want to hit the market competitive,  not overpriced!

Seller Financials

Be aware that the seller’s lender will require bank statements, retirement account information, tax returns, pay stubs along with any other financial documents that they see fit to examine. This is part of the process.

The sooner you can get these together for your agent to submit to your lender, the quicker your short sale will proceed.

Be prepared to update these documents as time goes by.

Buyer Preparation

As a purchaser, make sure you have a pre-approval letter from your lender certifying your purchasing ability. If  purchasing with cash, be prepared to submit “proof of funds”.  This can be a recent bank statement or letter from your financial institution certifying the funds are present and liquid. The listing agent will need either of these to submit the offer you present to the seller’s lender.

Realize that even as lenders work to expedite approvals, this transaction will take time. If you are in a rush to purchase, a short sale property may not be in your best interest.

Don’t forget, short sale properties do close. The better prepared all parties are, the more chance of a smooth and expeditious escrow!

Save Kona Coffee! Fighting the Coffee Berry Borer

Our beloved Kona coffee is under attack by a beetle that threatens to decimate our coffee industry if left unchecked.  

The Coffee Berry Borer is a beetle native to Africa that is found in most coffee growing regions in the world. Save Kona Coffee! CBB Information, Fighting the berry borer

First discovered on the Big Island in 2010, the borer has spread throughout the Kona area and has been found in coffee farms in Kau.

Adult berry borers are 1.4-1.77 mm in length, smaller in size than sesame seeds.

Females burrow into coffee beans and lay their eggs. Once the larvae hatch, they then eat their way out, destroying the bean in the process. Save Kona Coffee, CBB Kona, Fighting the Coffee Berry Borer

Destroyed beans are a total loss for coffee farmers. Less production equates to lost revenue while increasing the cost of cultivation. That loss is then passed onto the consumer in the form of higher prices.

This beetle has the potential to cripple the Kona coffee industry. Not just destroying a few beans here and there, but wiping out farms completely. The danger of the this infestation cannot be understated.

Industry wide, it is estimated that the borer does over $500 million dollars worth of crop damage per year.

Howard Dicus, a local television personality for Hawaii News Now Sunrise recently did a morning news piece with Melanie Bondera of the Kohala center. In association with Kamehameha Schools and the Kona Coffee Farmer’s Association, the Kohala center produced an instructional video with tips on combating the berry borer. Howard interviews Melanie on the production in the news clip below.

Howard Dicus Hawaii News Now Sunrise segment 

Staff from the University of Hawaii Manoa – College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources,  U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture have been working jointly to find the most effective ways to combat the beetle. 

Eradication at this point does not seem likely.  However, if coffee farmers and private citizens are aware and vigilant, the hope is beetle infestation can be kept to minimal levels.  

Please watch the video below and share with anyone who has coffee trees on their property.

Help save Kona coffee!  

For more information on the coffee berry borer see links below.

Coffee Berry Borer Information, University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

Department of Agriculture Coffee Berry Borer Page

Department of Agriculture’s Frequently Asked Questions on Coffee Berry Borer

Kona Coffee Farmers Association

Buying Now: How Interest Rate Increases Affect YOU

“Interest rates are at historic lows right now!”  I’m sure you’ve heard it, but how do interest rates affect you and your purchase?

Interest rates affect your monthly payment, and the amount you will have paid by the time your loan is paid off.

Minute increases in interest rates directly affect the amount a buyer ends up paying in the short and long-term.

Let’s run some numbers to better illustrate.

We have found your dream property, at your price point of $500,000.

The interest rate on your $500,000 dream home is 3.875%. For a 30 year, conventional mortgage you can expect your monthly principal and interest (P&I) payment to be  $2351  By the time the loan has been paid off, you will have paid $1,595,967.

But, you just aren’t certain. Prices have been going down, and you want to wait a week or two, see if the sellers reduce their price. What does waiting a week or two hurt, right? 

Unfortunately, when you next look at this purchase, interest rates have gone up. Now, the best rate you can get is 4.25%, and increase of .375%.

Your same property, now at 4.25%, is costing you  $2460 per month. Principal and interest payment has increased by $109.

Along with that the total amount paid on the loan which previously was $1,595,967 has now increased to $1,785,325, a difference of $189,357 over the life of the loan. Wow. 

The chart below illustrates how changes in rates will continue to affect you, at different percentages. 

Value     Int Rate         Term             P&I Payment        Total Paid                Difference

500K        3.875%         30 year           $2351.19             $1,595,967            From 3.875%

500K        4.00%           30 year           $2387.08             $1,656,749           $72.62/60,781

500K        4.25%           30 year           $2459.70             $1,785,325           $108.51/189,357

500K        4.50%           30 year           $2533.43             $1,923,849           $182.24/327,882

The question you should be asking yourself is, do you forecast the market dropping far enough to cancel out an increase in interest rates? Or are you ok paying an additional $70-$180, or more a month, to continue waiting on your purchase?

Interest rates are at historic lows right now make sure you take advantage of them!

Understanding Short Sales: Kailua-Kona Short Sale Information

Understanding Short Sales: Kailua-Kona Short Sale Information, Short Sale, Kailua Kona Short Sale, Kona Real Estate, Kailua Kona, Holualoa real estate,Holualoa, Hawaii Real EstateA short sale is a real estate transaction in which the lender agrees to accept less than what is owed.

For example: John Doe owes $400,000 on his mortgage, after discussing and listing his property with Marco, a buyer is produced at a $300,000 sales price. With lender approval, the sale is completed. The difference of what is owed vs what is paid by the new buyer is $100,000, hence the “short sale”. 

This difference in amount can be forgiven by the lender, or arrangements may be made for the seller to repay the difference. This a case specific decision, and can have tax consequences for the seller.

In all short sales, there must be a documented form of hardship on the seller’s behalf. This can be attributed to any number of things ranging from reduction in work hours, job loss, divorce, illness, etc that is affecting the seller’s ability to pay their mortgage. The lender will require this hardship to be outlined in detail in the form of a hardship letter.

Short sales are viewed favorably by sellers because there is less long-term damage to their credit as opposed to foreclosure. Also, lenders prefer short sales many times, as this is far less costly for them then going through the foreclosure process.

Navigating the short sale process can prove challenging as various lenders have different guidelines, requirements and lender specific forms to be filled out. Ideally, listing agents will have already been working with their sellers and the specific lender to accumulate necessary financial documents, etc that the lender requires before the property hits the market. 

After the buyer and seller come to terms, that agreed upon contract is sent off to the lender for their approval. The lender goes over the seller’s financials, short sale information packet, along with other pertinent information. The lender then presents that file to the investor and/or private mortgage insurance company (PMI) for their approval. If all agree to sales price, sale proceeds and terms, the lender will issue short sale approval!

Once approval is granted typically the buyer and seller have 45-60 days to complete the transaction.

Above all, patience is necessary. Institutions are overwhelmed with short sales these days as homeowners seek to avoid default. The above steps outlined can take anywhere from days to weeks, to sometimes months.  One of the key factors in the time a short sale takes is the seller’s preparedness and cooperation in providing their documentation.

Thankfully, as the process has gotten more streamlined, we are seeing quicker turn around times, which is great!

Currently I have three short sale properties in escrow, two of which I am the listing agent. Before you get involved in a short sale, be certain that you are working with a Realtor that has a firm grasp of the short sale process. In working towards sale approval, 80% of the work in a short sale transaction falls on the seller’s listing agent. You want to be certain the seller has their financial documents and short sale packet together and ready for submission, so their lender can approve the transaction!

I’ll be following up this blog with specific buyer and seller short sale tips on what and how one can successfully purchase or sell a short sale property, stay tuned!

Kona Real Estate HOT Buy: Beach Villas at Kahaluu #302

Kahaluu Beach, Kona Ocean view, Kailua Kona, West Hawaii Real Estate, Kona Real Estate, Hot Buy In Kona, Kona Real Estate Deals, Kona Property, Big Island Real Estate, Turnkey Kona Condominium, Alii Drive Vacation Rental, Kona Property Blog, Kailua Kona Real Estate,People around the world are recognizing the tremendous purchase opportunity West Hawaii’s condominium market is ofering right now.

Beach Villas at Kahaluu, Unit #302 located on the southern side of Alii Drive, here in Kona is the perfect example!

The Beach Villas at Kahaluu  is situated directly across from the world famous Kahaluu Beach Park,  a highly popular destination for snorkeling or just enjoying sand and sun.  The variety of sea life you’ll encounter is almost astounding, but be sure to keep a safe (and required) distance from our local Honu sea turtles which are considered a threatened species.  Looking for surf? You’ll find a great break on the northern end of the beach! Not too big, not too small….just right! Kahaluu Beach, Kona Ocean view properties, Kailua Kona Real Estate, West Hawaii Real Estate, Kona Property Blog, Kona Hot Buy, Big Island Property Deals, Kona Property, Kona Condos, Big Island Condos

The Beach Villas at Kahaluu is a 22 unit, newer (2004) project that has an exceptional pool/BBQ area and is vacation rental friendly.  Unit #302,  purchased in 2005 for $781,000, is 2 bedroom/2 bath drop dead gorgeous, turnkey furnished unit offered for purchase at $399,000.  That is correct, sold furnished at $399,000! Though the price has dropped by nearly 50%  than what originally sold for, it is my pleasure to note this unit is not a short sale or bank owned property!

With a gourmet chef’s kitchen, granite counter tops, top-of-the-line designer furnishings, air-conditioned comfort and impressive ocean views, the only thing missing to date is the lucky buyer that is going to pick up a fantastic unit at an amazing price!

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 Let me know if I can arrange a viewing for you!

West Hawaii Oceanfront: Kona Bay Estates 2 Parcel Offering

West Hawaii, Kaliua Kona, Ocenfront, Luxury, Kona, Big Island Real Estate,Kailua Kona, Oceanfront, West Hawaii, Big Island, Luxury, Kona Bay Estates, Kona Bay Estates is home right now to a tremendous oceanfront offering! 

My listing at 75-5444 Kona Bay Drive offers contiguous oceanfront parcels, TMK numbers   3-7-5-5-40 & 3-7-5-5-41 together for purchase! 
Live in your airy 3bed/3bath deluxe beach cottage that boasts ocean views from every room, while building the estate property you’ve always dreamed of next door (Lot #40)! Together these parcels combine for over half an acre of oceanfront living!

Lot #40 offers you 16,972 sq. ft. of prime ocean front property that is hands down one of, if not THE BEST parcels on the market!

Kona Bay Estates is a mature, private, gated, ocean front community that provides 24/7 roaming security, direct beach access & represents the truly exquisite Kona lifestyle.

Enjoy ocean front living at it’s finest in Kona Bay Estates!

Buyer Property Tips – Asking The Right Questions

When previewing property in West Hawaii remember you aren’t just looking at the home, condo or land, you are gathering valuable information. The quality of the information you gather will prove itself to be very helpful, when you are ready to make an offer. Simple questions you ask can save you thousands of dollars when it comes to the negotiating process!

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Often times listing agents of the subject property host the viewings. You will arrive with your buyer’s agent, and the listing agent will give you a tour of the property. On this tour you will have the opportunity to:

Ask pointed questions

Why are the current owners selling?

Moving off island? Job loss?  Illness in the family? Just testing the market? You will get valuable information into the sellers motivation, and how quickly the property needs to be sold. This simple question can speak volumes. Let the listing agent talk, as you listen and take notes.

How did you arrive at the current list price?

Each property is unique, with each seller having different motivations. You will at times run into a seller that is holding out hope for that one buyer that is willing to pay much higher than market value, believe me, I’ve run into them myself!

Realtors provide their clients with facts and figures, market statistics that illustrate where the market is and at what price the sellers are most likely to sell their property. Once presented, sellers embrace this information, or take into consideration and position their property differently. The listing agent will have provided this information, and if the property is $50,000-$75,000 overpriced, will have a hard time keeping a straight face.    What he or she will be able to do is provide neighborhood information, and give you the reasoning/facts as to their current price.

At the conclusion of the showing make sure you and your buyer’s agent discuss what the listing agent has relayed. Compare notes and fact check with your agent on what was presented in the showing.

Remember, you aren’t just looking or previewing, you are gathering valuable information on that property, and on that specific seller. Information that you can put in your buyer’s tool kit, that will help YOU when it is time to write-up an offer!

I’m off to show property in beautiful West Hawaii, stay tuned for more buyer property tips!

Alii Drive Oceanfront Cottage HUGE Price Reduction!

**Post Update** The below mentioned property SOLD April 1, 2012 for $650,000 CASH!

This stunning property was on my short list of HOT buys in West Hawaii, and this morning catapulted itself to the top of the list.

My phone rang earlier today, and with it came HUGE news! I was alerted that the below oceanfront cottage that was originally listed at $949,000 in May of 2011, reduced to $799,000 over the past year, had been reduced by another $100,000, offered for purchase now at  $699,000!

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78-6654 Alii Drive is an oceanfront lot a little over 9,000 sqft. The single level residence is a super cute 1bed/2bath cottage located on Keauhou side of Alii Drive. Seller has completed plans for an upstairs addition which I am in receipt of and am happy to pass along to interested parties.

Your view looks directly onto the surf break of Kahaluu Beach Park, giving you the option to go for a snorkel or grab your board and jump in!

West Hawaii, oceanfront, $699,000…unbelievable!

West Hawaii’s Newest Real Estate Blog!

As a West Hawaii resident whose profession is real estate, launching a blog devoted to property, lifestyle and island happenings I felt had the potential to be informative and helpful to persons interested in our own wonderful part of the Big Island, West Hawaii.

I have been an active, licensed Hawaii Realtor with Clark Realty Corporation since 2007 and with that has brought market experience, knowledge, along with a few absolutely hysterical stories!

Real estate isn’t just a “job” for me, it is something I personally enjoy. Being able to preview, show and sell amazing property in one of the most beautiful locations on the planet, truly is a gift.


Mahalo for stopping by, and be sure to check back frequently for updates!