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Another Advantage of Owning Your Own Home


We all heard the term “cash poor and house rich,” here in Honolulu, this is a statement that a lot of us can relate to.

But if you think about it, being house rich may not be such a bad thing after all. Thanks to our continuous real estate appreciation, home values in Honolulu has been on the rise historically. That means your home equity is growing at the same time in most of cases.

One of the advantages of owning your own home is having the ability to borrow money using real properties as collateral. Generally, interest rates will be a lot lower than on personal loans or credit cards. And you’ll have a better chance to borrow large amount. Also, the interest payments are normally tax-deductible.

This would be perfect if you have a big ticket project like home improvement. With a home equity loan, you don’t have to wait for your savings to reach your goal. You can also fix up your home to maximize its value before your house sale by using a quick borrow loan with low interest rate.

Of course, it is always a smart practice to consult your financial/tax professionals to understand your options first.

ホノルルではキャッシュプアー、ハウスリッチ(財産(持ち家)ばっかりで、現金無しの意)という表現 誰もが一度は必ず聞いたことがあるフレーズ。





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Double Rainbow

2013.10.13 Mineko @ 7:16 pm | Honolulu,ハワイ ライフスタイル

Hawaii’s weather is unique in that it’s dominated by multiple microclimates. The weather can vary greatly over short distances.

But that’s what adds to the beauty of living in Hawaii.

When you turn toward the ocean, you see beautiful sunny skies. When you turn around to the mountains, you see an overcast sky with some rain clouds. When you mix them both together, you get amazing rainbows.

Look at this beautiful double rainbow!



言うまでもなく ハワイの天気はとてもユニーク。こんなに小さな島でも少し移動しただけで天候ががらり。海を見ていると綺麗な青空が広がっていて、ビーチを楽しんでいる人が見えたと思えば、今度海に背を向け山側を見ると、雨雲が掛かっている。そんな晴れと雨が重なると、虹が顔を見せます。


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Honolulu is the Go-To Place for Family Vacations

Family Vacation

Honolulu was voted the 6th among the “10 Best Cities for Family Vacations” in the U.S. according to the Family Vacation Critic site.

The top five cities are:

1.    New York

2.    Washington DC

3.    San Francisco

4.    Chicago

5.    New Orleans

I have either visited or lived in all the top five cities above and my response is: REALLY?  In my opinion, Honolulu can cater to families better than any other city in the U.S. Hawaii’s number one industry is tourism. Just take a look at Waikiki… anyone walking in Waikiki will see numerous children and families with strollers on any given day. And every destination in Hawaii is accompanied with the Aloha spirit, no destination outside of Hawaii will ever be able to match that.

These voters either haven’t vacationed in Honolulu before, or they factored in the cost of traveling to Hawaii which can be cost prohibitive for most families and not family “budget friendly.”

10 Best Cities for Family Vacations(ファミリーバケーション ベスト10シティー)にホノルルが6位に選ばれました。







このトップ5の都市 住んだこともあるし 一度は旅行に行ったこともある。


ホノルルはこのどの都市よりもファミリーバケーションにふさわしいと思いませんか?ハワイの一番の産業は観光。観光に関してはプロ。ワイキキひとつとっても、乳母車を押している家族ずれの旅行者が のんびり歩いている光景を必ず目にする。ハワイのどの目的地に行ってもアロハ精神で迎えてくれて、対応してくれる。 ほかのどの都市をとっても見られないですよね。


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A Touching Story

2013.10.03 Mineko @ 4:10 pm | Buyers,Clients,Real Estate

It’s extremely rare to work with someone in this business who isn’t motivated by money, and shows kindness and generosity to a complete stranger.

I was fortunate to work with such a person.

First, a little background:
The current real estate market in Hawaii is brutal for buyers, as we’re dealing with low inventory and too much competition from other buyers. If you’re a first time buyer, with a limited budget, it’s even more difficult to compete when prices are driven up due to the high demand. In today’s market, it almost doesn’t make sense to make a full asking-price offer, when everyone else is offering above-asking price, and all-cash offers. What seller wouldn’t take this opportunity to make extra money in addition to shortening the transaction duration?

My client:
I was representing a first time home buyer who was ready to give up. After seeing multiple units and getting discouraged after every offer was getting beaten over and over. We began to lower expectations and started looking at units that were not ideal for him.

Then one day, we found a unit in Makiki that he fell in love with. It was priced at the higher end of his price range.  He felt there was no way he could compete with the above-asking price offers. We decided to pass this opportunity.  Two weeks later, we learned that neither offers that Seller was going to work with didn’t work out.  In these two weeks, the interest rate jumped.  My client was in worst position to make an offer than two weeks earlier.  We took a chance and submitted his very best offer anyway.

The seller:
After explaining his situation to the seller in a cover letter, my client’s offer was selected! Even among these two higher priced offers. The seller was touched by my client’s situation, and his perseverance to be a homeowner. He wanted to give him a chance to own a home. In addition, the seller purchased a home protection program (insurance) for one year for my client.  And earlier today, I received a note from the seller’s agent that the seller bought a closing gift for my client, a 40” flat screen television!

What makes this story more endearing is that the seller is not a wealthy person with numerous properties. He was just selling his home  and wanted to do something nice… for a complete stranger.

I always feel a sense of satisfaction when I help a first-time home owner, but this transaction was made even more special by the kindness of a stranger.

I believe all this kindness came in a place because my client buyer is a sincere person.  I feel so lucky to be able to represent him and I earned his trust and friendship.

この仕事は大きなお金が関わる取引を扱っているので 普段見えない人の欲深いところをよく垣間見る、お金に動じず まったくの他人に誠実に優しくできる人は残念ながらすごくまれな事。


まずは、少しばかりのバックグランド:現在のハワイの不動産市場は買い手にとってかなり厳しい市場。売り出し物件の低迷化が続く一方、購入希望者の増加。初めての購入希望者にとっては、限られた予算内でどんどん吊り上っていく価格とにらめっこをしながら、他の購入者希望者と競争し勝ち抜かないと家は手に入れません。売り手の希望価格でオファーを入れても、他の購入希望者がそれを上回る価格や、全額現金購入でオファー提出してくるのだから、あまり意味がない世界。売り手にとっては、時間がかかるローン購入者より 取引が短くリスクの低い現金購入者 ローンでもより高くで売却してくれる人に売却が理にかなっている。

私のお客様:何度も何度も色々な所に足を運び オファーを出すたびにがっかりして ほぼ購入自体を諦めていました。妥協の繰り返しばかりでした。

そしてある日、マキキのある物件に一目ぼれ。価格は予算上限ぎりぎり。 絶対にオファーを入れても選ばれるはずがないと、当初は諦めました。2週間後、他の買い手希望者2組ともと上手くいっていないことがわかりました。でもその2週間で貸付金利率が大きく上がり、さらに厳しい状態になりました。よりよいオファーを出すどころか、売り手の元希望価格よりかなり低くしかオファーが出せませんでした。それでもお客様にとってはベストなオファーでした。






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Construction, Ready Set Go!

2013.09.30 Mineko @ 6:35 pm | オアフ島,ホノルル,不動産,不動産売買


The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach held their ground-breaking ceremony on August 28th. The completion of this project is expected to be sometime in 2016. This is yet another condominium development in Honolulu’s building boom. There will be 22 high-rise condominiums in Kakaako alone according to their master plan.

Even if you are familiar with all the upcoming new building developments and their scheduled completion dates, each project is unique, and it’s difficult to keep track these differences. The Ritz Carlton Residences will join Trump International Hotel and Tower as a luxury branded residence in Waikiki. They will also claim the title of the tallest building in Waikiki, which will change Waikiki’s skyline

リッツカールトンレジデンス ワイキキビーチの起工式が8月28日に行われた。このプロジェクトの完成予定は2016年。





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Mega Sale on Kahala’s Oceanfront

Pacific Business News confirmed rumors of Kahala’s recent mega sale. Japanese billionaire, Genshiro Kawamoto, who owned most of ocean front parcels on Kahala Avenue, in Oahu’s most prestigious neighborhood, decided to sell off a big chunk of his Oahu real estate holdings, along with some neighbor island lots at the bargain price of $98 million.  The tax assessed land value from Honolulu City and County is close to $120 million.

The buyer is Kamaaina developer, A&B Properties, Inc. This off-market transaction has already taken place.  A&B plans to sell off their newest property acquisitions over the next three to five years, after making capital improvements to the properties to increase their value.  Some estimates place the value of the properties at $200 million.

億万長者で事業家の川本源司郎氏が所有しているオアフ島カハラアベニュー海辺沿い物件27件と隣島にある数件を 合計9,800万ドルで売却した事が パシフィックビジネスニュースの記事で明らかになりました。



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It’s not just the interest rates

2013.09.03 Mineko @ 12:06 pm | Buyers,Interest Rates,Real Estate

BenjaminsInterest rates are not the only reason people are rushing to buy real estate now.  All cash buyers are increasing in numbers. July marked second highest since March, 2012 (53% of all transactions were cash purchases).

If you have been seriously in the market to buy, you may have experienced the cold reality…  not just with super low inventory (not enough houses for sale) or with the increase in buyers tying to grab last minute opportunity of historical low interest rates, but with the increase in cash buyers. They’re responsible for the brutal competition in this already tough market.

According to Realty Trac, 35% of all residential real estate sales were all-cash buyers in June 2013, and 40% of July sales.  It’s slightly behind the record high (53% on March 2012), but the numbers seems to be growing.

Goldman Sachs is now estimating that all-cash buyers would contribute to 57% of all residential sale this year. As most of us can recall, our last hot real estate market started in 2005, but cash buyers were only 19% of all sales. The interest rate was record low back then, but not as nearly as low rate we have.

It’s nothing short of AMAZING how more and more cash buyers are investing U.S. real estate. So where are these cash buyers? If you know of any, have them give me a call.

購入者にとって とても厳しい現不動産市場の要因は 記録的な貸し付け低金利だけではないようです。意外にもローンを組まずに現金のみで購入する現金購入者が増加しています。7月のデータによると、昨年3月の記録(全体の53%が現金購入)に続いての高い比率が出ています。





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Locks of Love

2013.06.28 Mineko @ 6:54 am | Hawaii Lifestyle,Real Estate

After years of growing out my hair, I decided to finally get it cut.

My hair was long, the longest I’ve ever grown it… I don’t even remember the last time I stepped foot in a salon. I wondered if I had enough to donate. I checked out Locks of Love and learned that the minimum length to donate is ten inches. Did I have enough hair to donate 10 inches without having to get a crew cut? It was a little unnerving.

Here’s the last photo of my long hair before it was cut.

Long Hair:  Locks of Love

Here’s what it looked like afterwards.

Short Hair:  Locks of Love

I ended up cutting off 12 inches, and still had enough to keep shoulder-length hair. Yay! I couldn’t believe how heavy it felt just holding it in my hand. I was actually carrying this around on my head.

Chopped Hair:  Locks of Love

In addition to feeling like a huge weight has been lifted off of me, I feel good knowing that my hair will be used for a great cause.  Are you thinking of donating your hair? Check out Locks of Love and see their hair donating guidelines. I just sent my hair today.


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One Ala Moana Construction Begins

A few weeks ago, I started hearing loud construction noises near my office.  It’s an unavoidable part of urban life, and with all the road construction in this area, I didn’t really pay attention to it.  Just when I’ve grown acustomed to the construction sound, I realized where it was really coming from… One Ala Moana!

This is the view from my office.  One Ala Moana will be right next to our building.  My office is located on 15th floor and this photo gives you some ideas of what the views will be from One Ala Moana.

If you zoom into the photo, you can see a white line on the roof top.  I believe it’s the projected building’s footprint.  Am I the only person who thinks it looks a bit small?

What do you think?

アラモアナショッピングセンター ノードストローム駐車場上に出来るワンアラモアナの建設風景。

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Ritz and Glitz in Waikiki リッツカールトン ワイキキ

2013.04.29 Mineko @ 8:15 am | Buyers,Clients,Waikiki,ワイキキ,不動産,観光,買手

The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach

Luxury travelers and homeowners will have more choices of where to stay in Waikiki in 2016. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is set to make a splash with their first property on Oahu with what will be the tallest building in Waikiki.

The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach will be located at 2121 Kuhio Avenue, next to Luxury Row (Tiffany & Co.). All rooms will be oriented toward the ocean while offering studios to three-bedroom suites. Sales have been already begun and it’s selling at a steady pace. Prices start at $500,000. After the purchase, you can either live in your unit, or you can rent the room through Ritz-Carlton for their hotel guests. If you are interested in living in a tower that will change Waikiki’s skyline, please contact me.

ファーストクラスの滞在をワイキキで求めている人に朗報。2016年にリッツカールトンホテル社よりオアフ島初、そしてワイキキで最も高い建築物ができることが決まった。リッツカールトン レジデンス ワイキキビーチは2121クヒオ通りに位置し、ラグジュアリー ロー(テファニー)の隣にあたる。 すべての部屋は海側に面しており、スタジオタイプのお部屋より3寝室あるスイートまで用意されている。部屋の販売はもうすでに始まっており、着々とした売れ行きを見せている。価格は$50万より。購入後は、住居用に利用したり、リッツカールトンに委託してホテルの一室としてホテル客に貸し出しすることができる。リッツカールトンの部屋購入にご興味のある方は、私までご連絡ください。

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