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The Coconut Chronicles

The Newsletter.

Volume 15 » page 2 ...

Billy and Pete’s Buyer’s Guide

This month we decided to switch things up a little bit on the format of the newsletter, this is a special feature dedicated to home buyers. Here are a series of tips that may be of help if you are just starting the home buying process or considering buying a home on Maui.

1) Get Prequalified/Choose a Lender

The first thing to do when you are purchasing a home is to get a good understanding of your financial positioning. While we all might want to have a Cadillac home, the reality is that our budgets may only allow for a Chevrolet. Lenders can provide pre-qualification letters in a very short time with some basic financial information. The prequalification process provides an opportunity to determine how much you can spend. It may behoove you to take it a step further and obtain a pre-approval letter. While this will require more detailed financial records, it is a better indicator of any pratfalls you might encounter in securing a loan and a clearer sense of your financial picture. It also will help to present pre-approval letters if and when you make an offer on a property. A pre-approval letter provides a seller a measure of reassurance regarding a buyer’s ability to purchase a property.

The notion of choosing a lender and getting a pre-qual or pre-approval letter is something of a chicken or the egg question. While almost any one will suffice for the generation of a pre-qualification letter, it is important that you are comfortable with the lender who will be providing the loan on your transaction. If you are a first time home buyer, it is worth making sure you have a lender who will take the time and effort to review the process and the type of loan packages that are available for you. If your financial situation is more complex, you may want to consider a lender has more experience in complex transactions or has access to a full complement of financial institution loan programs.

We work with a variety of lenders who have provided quality service to our buyers. We would be happy to give you a list of lenders who may be able to suit your needs. There will find two things in common amongst our list of lenders. 1) They all have a commitment to service. 2) They are all Maui based lenders.

Our preference for local lenders is based on the peculiarities of the Hawaii real estate market. There are zoning laws and types of ownership that are unique to our state. Lenders who are unfamiliar with the terminology and intricacies of our transactions have a far higher rate of putting deals on the rocks.

One thing worth noting when determining your budget is that there are a number of homes in Maui that have guest cottages and or attached apartments. If you are comfortable with having a tenant, these apartments and cottages can be a mortgage helper allowing you to expand your budget.

2) Selecting a Realtor

Buying a home, whether it be a primary residence, vacation home or condo or investment property is one of the largest financial transactions most people make in a lifetime. It is important to select a Realtor / Real Estate Team that you are 100% comfortable with. Some people will select a Realtor first and then a Lender. Others will do the reverse. The bottom line is that your Realtor and your Lender are two essential components to your successful purchase of a home. There are many real estate practitioners on Maui. How do you know which one is right for you? We have a few suggestions for you.

  1. Make sure your real estate agent is a Realtor. A Realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors. The NAR has a strict code of ethics which every Realtor must follow.

  2. Determine his / her experience level. A home purchase is a large business transaction. Ask your person his or her level of education, business background, track record as a real estate practitioner. With the booming real estate market over the last several years, there are many “new agents” in the field. Unfortunately it is quite easy to get a real estate license. Ask your Realtor about his / her business experience / qualifications. Make sure they understand and make good use of technology.

  3. Full time or Part Time? Select a full time Realtor. I have learned the Real Estate is one of the most detailed and challenging professions today. A good Realtor is part sales person, part negotiator, part service employee, part business owner and part psychologist. The depth and breadth of skills required to be an excellent Realtor is incredible. Entering the real estate profession as a former CEO, I am still humbled on a regular basis and will continue to learn and improve my craft on a daily basis.

  4. Ask a friend. If you have a friend who has had a good experience with a Realtor, this may be a great source. We get lots of business from referrals, as our goal is to make every one of our clients a customer for life.

  5. Get comfortable. A “test drive” isn’t necessarily a bad idea. Sit down with your prospective Realtor and have a conversation. Find out what motivates him or her. See if they are qualified. Make sure you trust them. If they meet all of the “paper credentials”, trust your gut.

3) Searching for your Home

Once you have found a Realtor and determined your budget, it is time to get out and start looking at properties. Prior to rushing out the door, we sit down with buyers to get a better sense of their property preferences. We value your time and our own and want to make sure we are focused on the homes that are most interesting to you. In addition to budget, we will review your preferences on square footage, beds and baths, acreage, location, schools, views, privacy and any additional amenities that might be a priority. Once we get a sense of your parameters, we will search the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and other sources for properties that may fit your needs. We make it a point to know local For Sale By Owner properties. We will set up appointments for as many homes as possible at a pace that suits you and your urgency.

Sometimes the first property you look at will turn out to be your dream property. There are other occasions, where the home that best fits your needs is not on the market. We have worked with clients over a period of months or even years to find their dream homes. We have also submitted offers on properties that are not on the market. We are committed to working with you over the long haul to find the right property for you and your family.

4) Writing an Offer

When you have settled on a home that will fit your needs, your agent will work with you and his broker to draft and submit an offer. The state of Hawaii uses a contract called a Deposit Receipt Offer and Acceptance or DROA. This is a legally binding contract that stipulates the terms and conditions of the sale of real property. The following are a few of the important items that are covered within the contract:

  • Identifies the subject property
  • Discloses agency of Realtors and Scope of Services for Realtors
  • Determines the length of escrow
  • Determines the purchase price and the structure of deposits on the property
  • Outlines contingencies for the purchase of the contract including
    Financing contingency
  • Disclosure contingencies
  • Inspection contingencies
  • Condominium and/or subdivision document review

It is worth noting that the contingencies provide opportunities for buyers to cancel the contract without penalty. The Hawaii DROA is a well crafted document that does a good job of protecting both buyer’s and sellers. It is important that the buyer take the opportunity to review the contract thoroughly. If there are any questions about the content of the DROA, please do not hesitate to ask for clarification.

5) Escrow

When an offer has been accepted by a seller, your real estate agent will open an escrow account with a local title company. The escrow company fulfills the following roles in the transaction:

  • Checks for deposits are made out to escrow. The escrow company will hold and disperse funds as necessary.
  • Compile documents and ensure that they have been executed properly.
  • Order title search
  • Help with the process of clearing title if and when necessary and possible.
  • Help the buyer with their selection of title insurance.
  • Work with the buyer in the selection of tenancy

Duration of escrow varies. Most escrows in Hawaii run 45-60 days with escrows of 30 days or less possible on homes with no financial contingencies. When escrow is opened the escrow company prepares a timeline that serves as a guide to both buyer and seller on contingencies and contract milestones. It is our practice to create our own timeline to ensure that the timelines created by escrow accurately reflect the contract.

If you are a first time home buyer or even a seasoned home buyer, the escrow process can produce questions. Never hesitate to ask questions. We will do our best to answer any questions you have or put you in touch with the most qualified resources to answer those questions.

Buying a home can be both an exciting and stressful process. Our goal is to make your home buying experience as enjoyable as possible, while doing our best to mitigate and negotiate any challenges that may arise during a transaction.

Taste of the Tropics

Grilled Hawaiian Chicken
3 broken fryers - split or quartered
½ cup catsup
½ cup Aloha Regular Soy Sauce or Aloha Lower Salt Soy Sauce
½ cup chicken broth
1/3 cup white wine
¼ cup frozen pineapple juice concentrate.
1 teaspoon of ginger - minced
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce.
Wash chicken splits. Mix remaining ingredients in bowl. Brush mixture over chicken. Grill over barbecue, turning and basting with sauce until it is done (about 40 minutes). Serve with white rice.
Recipe from

Coconut Cultural Calendar

The month of July brings nationally renowned performers like Damon Wayans and Michael Buble. Check below for the list of cultural activities at Maui’s two epicenters of the arts Hui No’ Eau and the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.

The MACC Presents…
July 2 – 30
Maui artist and filmmaker Tom Sewell’s fascination with Hawaii’s sugar mills has compelled him to create a multi-media installation project, complete with industrial video production, music accompaniment and large sculptural elements. Projected images of gigantic sprockets, gears and vats of boiling sugar, synchronized with a polyphonic symphony of machinery, fill the gallery space for a unique exhibit.
Schaefer International Gallery, open every day for this exhibit, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm; also open before Castle Theater shows and during intermissions. FREE Admission.

Hui No’Eau
Solo Exhibitions 2006:Deborah Nehmad and Abigail Romanchak

Exhibition Dates: June 23, 2006 - August 12, 2006
drawn glass
works on paper by Deborah Nehmad
Deborah's work offers a richly inflected fusion of perspectives on the eloquent mark. Treating paper like skin, and by extension, the body itself, Deborah works the paper into a visual meditation.

prints by Abigail Romanchak
Abigail's new body of large-scale prints and installation contrasts contemporary property boundaries with Maui’s twelve traditional land districts and ahupua`a (smaller land divisions) within.

Gallery Hours: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, Monday - Saturday, closed on Sundays.

Shows at the MACC
TOTOY BIBBO with Rachelle Ann Go
Tuesday, July 4
7:30 pm, Castle Theater. Don’t miss the fun. Tickets: $45, $63, $78.

Manhattan Mama’s Coconut Cabaret presents
PS69 starring SUSAN JEREMY
Thursday, July 13
7:30 pm, McCoy Studio Theater
Tickets $18
Light dinners, desserts & beverages available starting at 5:30 pm in the courtyard.

Maui Academy of Performing Arts presents
PIECES XXIV: Strike A Pose
Saturday-Sunday, July 15-16
Castle Theater
7:30 pm, Castle Theater
Tickets: $15 adults, $12 seniors and students

Symposia on Sustainable Workforce & Housing
Saturday, July 20
6:00 pm, McCoy Studio Theater
Hosted by the Kihei Community Association, this evening forum is the culmination of a week-long series of meetings with local developers, politicians, planners, and citizens. The focus of these efforts will be on housing for a sustainable workforce; the execution of policy; traffic; staffing; and other workforce-related issues consequent to community-wide housing. FREE and open to the public.

Saturday, July 22
7:30 pm, Castle Theater
Tickets: $10, $25, $30 1/2 price kids 12 & under... tickets available June 17
Light dinners, desserts & beverages available starting at 5:30 pm in the courtyard.

The Laugh Factory presents
Sunday, July 23
Castle Theater, 7:30 pm
Note: Show may contain adult subject matter and language
Tickets: $35, $45 reserved seating… available Sat, June 17

Friday, July 28
7:30 pm, McCoy Studio Theater. Tickets: $15.

Saturday, July 29
1:00 pm, Castle Theater
Hawaii Jaycees’ host this annual concert featuring performances by Marlene Baldueza and Wasabe … a ‘mahalo’ for Maui’s support to the Jaycees, who support numerous community projects. Admission is FREE!

Saturday, July 29
7:30 pm, A & B Amphitheater
Tickets $45, $55, $65
A production of Goldenvoice and Tom Moffatt.
Tickets on sale to MACC members Saturday, June 10… priority selection for one week only!
Tickets on sale to general public Saturday June 17.

Islands of the World IX Conference -2006: "Sustainable Islands"
Monday-Wednesday, July 31- August 2
8:30 am - noon, Castle Theater
FREE and open to the public.


Classes and Events at the Hui No’ Eau Visual Arts Center

Adult Classs

Ancient Pottery Making and Primitive Firing
Jennifer Owen
Thursdays, 7 weeks
July 6, 2006 - August 17, 2006
9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Beginning Jewelry Making
JB Rea
July 12, 2006 - August 16, 2006
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Teapots, Teacups, and More
Adam Field
Mondays, 9 weeks
July 17, 2006 - September 18, 2006
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Extruded Ceramics
Jeff Johnson
Tuesdays, 7 weeks
July 18, 2006 - August 29, 2006
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Abstract Oils
Tony Walholm
Mondays, 6 weeks
July 24, 2006 - August 28, 2006
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Introduction to Photoshop
Rick Allred
Thursday - Sunday, 4 days
July 27, 2006 - July 30, 2006
Thursday: 6:00 - 9:00 pm, Friday - Sunday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Beginning Glass Fusing and Slumping
Joshua Cox
Saturday & Sunday
July 29, 2006 - July 30, 2006
10:00 am - 4:00 pm


Art Camp 6-8 Session IV: Half Day
Age: 6-8
Pam Hayes
Monday - Friday
July 3, 2006 - July 7, 2006
9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Art Camp 9-12 Session IV: Half Day
Age: 9-12
Amelia Hankin
Monday - Friday
July 3, 2006 - July 7, 2006
9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Skateboard Building: Custom Street Decks
Age: 9-17
Ted Hunter
Monday - Friday
July 3, 2006 - July 7, 2006
9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Art Camp 6-8 Session V: Full Day
Age: 6-8
Pam Hayes & Tanya Delury Wilson
Monday - Friday
July 10, 2006 - July 14, 2006
9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Art Camp 9-12 Session V: Full Day
Age: 9-12
Amelia Hankin & Connie Adams
Monday - Friday
July 10, 2006 - July 14, 2006
9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Ceramics Camp 6-8
Age: 6-8
Sarah Metz
Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays, 2 weeks
July 10, 2006 - July 21, 2006
9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Ceramics Camp 9-12
Age: 9-12
Betsy Brandt
Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays, 2 weeks
July 10, 2006 - July 21, 2006
9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Art Camp 6-8 Session VI: Half Day
Age: 6-8
Tanya Delury Wilson
Monday - Friday
July 17, 2006 - July 21, 2006
9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Art Camp 9-12 Session VI: Half Day
Age: 9-12
Amelia Hankin
Monday - Friday
July 17, 2006 - July 21, 2006
9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Skateboard Building: Long Boards
Age: 9-17
Ted Hunter
Monday - Friday
July 17, 2006 - July 21, 2006
9:00 am - 12:00 noon


Portfolio and Career Development
Sheila Kriemelman
July 1, 2006
2-hour sessions by appointment

The Joy of Watercolor II
Sheila Kriemelman
Wednesday - Friday
July 5, 2006 - July 7, 2006
9:00 am - 4:00 pm

The Joy of Watercolor III
Sheila Kriemelman
July 8, 2006
9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Intensive Intaglio Workshop
Paul Mullowney & Amelia Hankin
Monday - Saturday, 6 days
July 24, 2006 - July 29, 2006
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Volume 15 » continued in Real Estate Market Update...