Maui Real Estate Blog

Support Maui Farmers

Maui Farmers need support now more than ever. With many island restaurants closed and others limited to take out only, a key market for local farmers dried up. The best way to support local farmers at this time is by purchasing CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) boxes.

One of my personal silver linings coming out of Covid-19 is my family’s purchase of CSA boxes. I always wanted to eat more locally. I knew CSAs were a great way to do it. For one reason or another, we just never subscribed. It took Covid-19 to change things. We are now eating really fresh produce every day.

I put together a list of local farmers and agribusinesses that offer box pick ups or delivery services below. Some farms are seeing pretty strong demand and only have wait lists. I included links to the Instagram profiles of a number of farms. That seems to be one of the best ways to find pick up information and availability.

Maui CSA Boxes

  • Kumu Farms. My family ordered Kumu Farms Boxes over the last few weeks. We typically receive a variety of greens and vegetables, fruit, locally grown coffee and a choice of ground local venison or beef. The box we purchase costs $50. They have fruit boxes starting at $30 and general fruit and vegetable boxes starting at $40. Kumu Farms Instagram Page
  • Okoa Farms. Okoa Farms is well known to those who attend the island’s Upcountry or Central Maui farmer’s markets. Their boxes can be customized. They have a minimum charge of $50 for delivery or $20 for a box at one of their pick up locations. Okoa Farms Instagram Page.
  • Kahomoku Farms This farm also happens to be run by Grammy Award Winning Hawaiian Musician. Boxes of fruits and veggies start at $25. George Kahomoku on Instagram.
  • Island Fresh Delivery This CSA offers all vegetable options, fruit and vegetable options and Juices. You can also include add-ons that range from CDB to Macadamia Nuts. Boxes start at $30. Island Fresh Delivery Instagram
  • Pono Grown Farms Located up in beautiful Olinda. They provide a variety of vegetables and fruit in their boxes. Boxes for pick up start at $25. Pono Grown Farm Instagram
  • Keokea Fields Fresh greens and veggies. $30 for a box.
  • Kupa’a Farms A Kula farm offering local vegetables and fruit. Their CSA is currently full and are taking people on a wait list. Kupaa Farms Instagram
  • O’o Farm Fresh greens, herbs, vegetables and fruits. Available for pick up in Kula and Lahaina. Boxes are $40
  • Maui Grown Organics Organic fruit, vegetables and herbs. Boxes range from $40-$333.
  • Lapa’au Farms Another Olinda based farm offering vegetables and fruit. This farm is unique in that they are also offering Oyster Mushrooms that they grow at the farm. This CSA is full and taking people on their wait list. Lapa’au Farm Instagram
  • Moku Roots This West Maui vegan/ zero waste eatery is offering produce boxes including local fruits and vegetables for $35.
  • Ono Organic Farms This East Maui farm offers fruits and vegetables. They have farm box pick up at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center. They also run a farm stand out in Hana. Ono Organic Farms Instagram
  • Coconut Information This Haiku farm/cooking school is offering weekly CSAs with Coconut Milk, Coconut Oil, Coconut Water and miscellaneous produce. Boxes are $75. Coconut Information Instagram
  • Volcano Medicine CSA This Kula CSA has a few spots left. They are asking for a ten week commitment for $350. Produce boxes will include local fruit and vegetables.
  • Graze and Sprout Farm Sunflower shoots, microgreens, pastured eggs and sourdough bread. $25 for a box. Pickups in Kihei and Makawao.

Farmer’s Markets

There are still Farmer’s Markets happening on the island. Here is a list and scheduled times. These are great places to support not just farmers but some of the islands other food businesses. Markets are using a variety of means to try to ensure a safe experience for shoppers and vendors.

  • Wednesday Farmer’s Market at Waipuna Chapel, Kula 8:00 AM-1:00 PM
  • The Upcountry Farmer’s Market is one of if not the largest farmer’s markets on island. The last few weeks, they were doing a drive through farmer’s market. It sounds like they are going to be trying a different set up this week that allows pedestrian traffic. All attendees will be required to wear masks. The market runs from 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM behind Long’s Drugs at the Kulamalu Town Center.
  • The Saturday Market at Oskie Rice Arena in Olinda. The market runs from 12:00 PM-4:00 PM.
  • Queen Ka’ahumanu Shopping Center Farmer’s Market. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
  • Lipoa Street Farmer’s Market Check their Facebook page for items that can be pre-ordered for Saturday Pick up.
  • Napili Farmer’s Market Wednesday and Saturday’s 8:00 AM-12:00PM.

This is a list of Farmers Market that I am aware of that are still operating during stay at home and social distancing restrictions. Send us a message if you are aware of other Farmer’s Markets on island continuing to operate.

Maui Fish and Meat

Other Local Agricultural Products Available

These are some of the other Maui made products available at this time for pick-up or delivery.

  • Stacey’s Garden Delivers offers delivery of their own products as well as products from Pono Pies, Maiden Hawaiian Naturals, Maui Tonics, Maui Wild Cultures, Maui Raw, Firmiana’s Cultured Vegetables, Maka’alae Kombucha and Farm Fresh Eggs. We ordered products from Stacey’s, Pono Pies, and Maui Wild Cultures and they were all delicious. The breadfuit and chorizo tamales from Pono Pies are not on the menu, but worth inquiring about.
  • Haleakala Creamery allows you to pick up goat cheese, goat yogurt and goat ice cream right from the gate of the farm.
  • Maui Tonics offers delivery of a variety of tonics using local tumeric and ginger.
  • Broth Box from Alive and Well A variety of broths and cold pressed juices. The box may be customized with produce, meats and more. Available for pick up and delivery.
  • Haleakala Supah Shots Locally made elixirs including a spicy mix of chili pepper water and juices.

Other Resources

I found a lot of these farms and vendors on the Eat Local Maui Facebook Page. There are smaller farms that pop up on this page here and there that don’t seem to have any webpage or social media presence. It is worth keeping an eye on this page for more local produce options, farmer’s market information, food truck information and more.

The list above is not 100% comprehensive. While I spent a fair amount of time putting it together, I am sure there are others that I overlooked. Contact the Maui Real Estate Team if you are a local farmer or business that would like to be added to this list.

I know Covid-19 is bringing a lot of attention to local farms. Let’s hope that local interest and support persists when this pandemic passes.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

A Quick Follow Up to Our Mortgage Relief Post

This is just a quick follow up on the mortgage relief post I wrote on April 4th. Yesterday, I read an NPR article about issues with mortgage relief . It featured a couple from Maui. Like many island residents, the couple is experiencing a massive loss of income due to the impact on COVID-19. They are one of the many homeowners pursuing mortgage relief that are finding the terms offered by their lenders to be onerous.

In the case of the Maui couple, their loan is through Freedom Mortgage. While the lender offered to defer their loan payments for three months, Freedom Mortgage required a balloon payment at the end of that period. Even under the most optimistic scenarios, it seems unlikely that the borrowers would be able to come up with that balloon payment.

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau website indicates that federally backed mortgages should be able request forbearance for up to six months. The CARES Act creates mechanisms to move deferred payments to to the end of the mortgage. Freedom Mortgage originally claimed that the balloon payment was the only option they could offer for deferred payments. They claimed they could not defer the amount of the forbearance to the end of the loan. NPR brought this to the attention of federal regulators. On a subsequent follow up, Freedom Mortgage changed its tune with NPR. The Maui Couple is still trying to get clarification on their options.

Takeways

To be clear, not all borrowers are running into the roadblocks encountered by this Maui couple. A number of lenders are making adjustments that allow for six month deferments with deferred payments at the end of the mortgage. That said, borrowers should expect prolonged long wait times and filing an application to get the forbearance. Forbearance terms can also vary depending on your loan program.

The biggest takeaway is that borrowers should be cautious if they are seeking mortgage relief. Make sure you read the terms of any relief offer closely. Reach out to a housing councilor (800) 569-4287 if the terms offered by your lender are confusing or not financially feasible.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

Potential Mortgage Relief

Maui depends on tourism for a significant part of its economy. Covid-19 and the ensuing shut down means a big loss of income for a number of Maui homeowners. If you are a Maui resident unable to pay your mortgage, there may be some mortgage relief options for you based on the CARES act.

Eligibility

To be eligible, your mortgage needs to be federally owned or backed by a federal agency. Relevant federal agencies include:

  • HUD
  • USDA
  • FHA
  • VA
  • Fannie Mae
  • Freddie Mac

It’s pretty clear when your loan is HUD, USDA, FHA or VA. Fannie and Freddie back over 50% of the nation’s mortgages, but not all homeowners know or remember who backs their loan. You can check to see if your loan is backed by Fannie or if it is backed by Freddie.

Forbearance

If you are unable to pay your mortgage due to financial difficulties related to Covid-19, you can contact your mortgage servicer to request forbearance for 180 days. Forbearance allows you to pause or reduce your mortgage for that 180 day period. To be clear, this does not reduce the principal on your loan. You would still need to pay off the missed payments or the difference on the reduced payment in the future. You may apply for an additional 180 day forbearance if your financial situation does not improve by the end of the first 180 days. Your forebearance options may depend in part on your loan program. If you are concerned by impacts on your credit score, servicers must not report to the credit agencies a Borrower who is on an active forbearance, repayment, or trial period plan due to COVID-19 related hardship.

Foreclosure

If you are facing foreclosure due to existing loan challenges, your loan servicer or lender may not foreclose on you for 60 days after March 18th. The CARES Act forbids beginning either judicial or non-judicial foreclosure proceedings. The Act also prohibits finalizing a foreclosure judgement or sale during this period.

Still Confused or Need Help?

The Consumer Finance Protection Board offers a guide to Coronavirus mortgage relief options that gives advice and provides a lot more detail. They provide important suggestions like questions to ask your mortgage servicer. You may also find your nearest housing councilor by calling by calling (800) 569-4287. If you don’t have a federally backed mortgage and you are not able to pay your mortgage, you should still contact your mortgage servicer to see what options they may have available to you. Last, but not least be wary of scams. Unscrupulous Sleazeballs will try to take advantage of the current situation. Lean heavily on the advice of the CFPB.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

Great Ways to See Our Listings While Staying Home

In the last week, county and state government reclassified Realtors as “essential” workers. That means we can now show property. But let’s be honest, not all sellers want to invite buyers into their home right now. Not all buyers want to be going into someone else’s home. Quite frankly, as an agent I haven’t entirely wrapped my head around the idea of showing property. It’s ok to have concerns and to want to stay home.

It is also possible to stay safe at home and still “tour” some of our listings. Between videos and 3D tours, technology makes it a lot easier to see property while you aren’t even wearing pants. Check out videos and 3D tours for our listings below.

707 Puniawa Road, Haiku, HI

Nine acres in a quiet valley bounded by streams that come together at the edge of the property before running into the ocean. Two homes, two pools, an artist’s studio, an orchard, a kitchen garden, an off the grid power system and tremendous privacy. This property blends stunning natural beauty, sustainability and understated luxury. Intrigued? Check out the video tour below.

Find additional details on the property on the listing page for the Haiku Sanctuary.

1949 West Kuiaha Road, Haiku

The barn and some of the 30 acres of pasture land at 1949 West Kuiaha Road

Thirty-nine acres of pristine land with a deluxe barn, a story-book cottage and a small Christmas Tree Farm. Looking for a place for your horses? The property includes thirty acres of grassland with six gated paddocks, a round pen and a tack room. You can take a 3D Tour of the cottage here. Check out the listing page for additional photos and details for 1949 West Kuiaha Road.

886 Pakele Road, Wailuku

A restored 1943 Plantation Cottage set in a grove of soaring Coconut Palms right by the ocean’s edge. This place is a feast for the senses with the sounds of the ocean and rustling palm fronds, the smell of salt air and the stunning beauty of the Pacific. Take a 3D tour of the Cottage By the Sea. You can also check out this video for more sights and sounds from the property.

Check out the 886 Pakele listing page for additional details on the property.

61 South Lanikai

As one of a couple of land listings that we have in our inventory, these lots are something that we could show pretty safely while keeping a healthy social distance. That said, we also realize some of our potential buyers may be staying at home on the mainland. This listing is actually three contiguous two acre lots. The lots have water and ocean views. Check out the video below.

Check out the 61 Lanikai listing page for additional details on the property. One of the three lots is also available for purchase individually. 21 South Lanikai is a two acre lot. It is the lowest priced non-CPR lot with water in Haiku at this time. Photos and details on that individual lot are available here.

63 S. Lahaole Place Wailuku (Maluhia Country Ranches)

As another parcel of vacant land, this is another property that we could potentially show while practicing social distancing. This lot included 5.68 acres of land, big ocean and Haleakala views, gated access and underground utilities. You will be hard pressed to find this combination of views and land at this price point.

You can find additional details on the 63 S. Lahaole Place listing page.

In Person Showings and Other Resources

Contact the Maui Real Estate Team if you have questions on any of the properties above.

We realize that not all properties have good videos or 3D tours. If you see a property that is listed that lacks a tour or the video lacks important detail, let us know. We would be happy to look into the possibility of obtaining video of the property. Needless to say, if we list additional properties during the current pandemic, we will be leaning heavily on 3D tours and or video.

As mentioned at the top of this post, we are permitted to do showings. That said we are doing our best to stay at home. If the seller is amenable, we are willing to do showings under extraordinary circumstances. We will need to follow social distancing protocols throughout the showing. In the interim, we hope the videos and tours above provide a better feel for some of our beautiful listings.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

Maui Real Estate in the Time of Covid-19

March 26, 2020

With Maui under a stay at home order, I thought this might be an opportunity to get back into the swing of things with the blog. It is only appropriate to start these efforts by looking at the current impact of Covid-19 on Maui and the Maui Real Estate market.

What is the Current Impact on Maui?

As mentioned above, the Mayor of Maui County issued a stay at home order. The order closed non-essential business. Schools are shuttered through April 30th. Tourism is for all intents and purposes shut down. Last week, the governor requested that vacationers postpone their visits to Hawaii. Hawaiian Airlines made plans to stop long haul service to the islands. As a result, there was a substantial drop off in passengers flying in to Hawaii. The governor now requires residents and visitors flying from outside of Hawaii to quarantine for fourteen days.

This week, a number of the island’s large resorts announced that they would be closing their doors through the end of April. The fields of unused rental cars outside the airport are a surreal byproduct of the drop in visitors. Needless to say, the closures also idled a substantial chunk of the local workforce. This will be a tough time financially for quite a few Maui residents.

Fortunately, Covid-19 is not widespread on the island at this time. Local authorities reported the first case on island on the 14th of March. On Monday, the district health office began drive through testing in Wailuku. As of today, Civilbeat is reporting 14 cases on island. At this time, none of the cases locally stem from community transmission. Hopefully, the stay at home measures keep those totals low going forward.

What is the Impact to Date on The Maui Real Estate Market?

Needless to say, the Maui Real Estate Market has not been immune to Covid-19. On February 26th, there were 630 properties under contract on island. That was the highest number yet for this market cycle. As of today, the number of pending sales stands at 497 properties. This drop can be attributed to a variety of reasons.

This chart shows pendings vs sold on a monthly basis for Maui since January 2019. The number of pending sales dropped substantially this month due to the impact of Covid 19 on Maui.

First and foremost, a number of the properties under contract in February have since closed. There are still properties going under contract, but those numbers have dwindled. New pending sales are happening at a much lower rate than closed transactions. Last but not least, we are seeing some deals cancel. I don’t have accurate numbers, but anecdotally I am seeing a couple of cancellations happen on a daily basis.

Are We Showing Property Right Now?

Real Estate agents are deemed non-essential workers under the current stay at home/ work at home decree. While our local Realtor association has not mandated that we stop showings, they did recommend that all open houses, in person showings and caravans cease.  Even prior to the stay at home order, some sellers were opting out of showings. The best bet for those who really want to see a property is to inquire as to whether the property has a good video or 3D tour. For examples, check out our 3D tour of the Cottage by The Sea in Wailuku or this video tour of the Haiku Sanctuary.

Are Buyers Still Submitting Offers?

As mentioned above, we are seeing properties go under contract. Our office put one of our listings under contract today. There are some buyers putting in sight unseen offers. Our office received a sight unseen offer on a listing a couple of days ago. It will be interesting to see how much the stay at home order impacts additional contracts going forward. I have seen quite a few sellers decide to pull their listing off the market. Some of that may be due to the lack of opportunity to show their property. Some may stem from general concerns about showing their property.

During this period of social distancing, contracts can be put together without a face to face meeting. Docusign was already a key part of our day to day business prior to the pandemic. Buyers and sellers should be aware that they may also need to sign a Coronavirus Addendum. There is no standardized Coronavirus addendum for purchase contracts as of yet. That said, individual brokerages are creating their own addenda. Most of these addenda are a variation of a force majeure clause that allows for extensions or cancellation due to circumstances out of a buyer or seller’s control.

What About Deals That are Under Contract?

As mentioned above, we are seeing both cancellations and sales. While there are additional challenges, it is still possible to close a transaction. The biggest hurdles involve any contingency or contract term that involves visits to a property. A transaction typically includes a visit from a home inspector, an appraiser, and a termite inspector. Home and land sales will typically include a surveyor.

An unoccupied property is going to have fewer issues than an occupied property for third party visits. I have seen one e-mail from a home inspector this week indicating they are still doing inspections. That said, the inspector outlined new protocols including one that prohibits the buyer from attending the inspection. Title companies are trying to do as much of the signing as possible via docusign. In person signings that require wet ink signatures include social distancing measures. One local title company is even offering a drive through signing process.

Future Impacts and Updates

At this point, I think it is far too early to begin prognosticating about the overall impact that Covid 19 will have on the Maui Real Estate market. A lot of really smart economists are scratching their heads as to what the future holds. For that matter, there are a lot of really smart medical professionals and researchers trying to wrap their arms around controlling this pandemic. There is just a whole lot of uncertainty in our world.

I will try to take advantage of my time at home to keep providing updates on events on the island, the local real estate market and the overall real estate market. Contact the Maui Real Estate Team if you have any questions on the Maui Real Estate market. We are here to help. Until the next update, I hope everyone stays safe and healthy. Stay home and flatten the curve!

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

Cottage by The Sea

This is the place you think of when you dream of a home in Hawaii. The beautiful Pacific Ocean is a short distance away. Its sights and sounds providing a feast for your senses throughout the day. A lawn dotted with soaring coconut palms casting shadows as they dance in the trade winds. Lush, steep, vibrant green mountains create a stunning backdrop. The home itself is a classic 1943 Plantation Cottage. Meticulously maintained and updated with modern amenities, it makes for a charming and comfortable cottage by the sea.

A stunning little cottage by the sea in the Waiehu area of Wailuku.
The cottage at dawn.
Early morning light on the exterior of this cottage by the sea in Wailuku
The cottage in the early morning light.

The Cottage Details

The two bedroom/one bath cottage offers 846 square feet of living space. It lives larger than its size thanks to an open living and kitchen area, an indoor/outdoor bathroom and an enormous lanai area.

View from the lanai through a grove of a coconut palms and out towards Kahului Bay.
Looking off the lanai towards the sun rising over the ocean through the coconut palms.
The living room of the cottage cast in a soft morning light.
The living room of the cottage

While the home maintains the charm of the era of its construction, modern conveniences abound. The original fir floors are beautiful. The plumbing and electrical are updated. The roof is new. The lanai uses Trex decking well suited to the ocean environment. HardiePlank siding replaced areas where the original wood siding showed signs of rot. New doors and windows open easily to bring in the trade winds. They include a large sliding door that opens up from the living room to the large lanai. When the trades don’t blow, central a/c keeps the home cool. The modern design kitchen features a gas range with a view that makes cooking a pleasure.

The living room and the kitchen
Another shot of the living room with the kitchen in the background.

There is also a deluxe detached storage shed and a detached garage with laundry room.

A great view from the kitchen
A stove with a view

The land

The lot is .64 acres in size. A narrow parcel of county land separates the property from the ocean. In addition to soaring Coconut Palms, the landscaping includes rock walls, lush gardens, a small orchard, bananas and an herb and pepper garden.

Pakele Bathroom Tub
The indoor/outdoor bathroom includes an outdoor shower and a great soaking tub.

The location

Pakele Place is a quiet, dead end street with just a handful of homes. Under the radar, but beloved by those who know it. The location also offers incredible convenience. Downtown Wailuku is less than five minutes away. Concerts and performances at the MACC are just a few minutes drive. Sand Piles surf spot is right nearby. Kiting and windsurfing are 11 minutes away at Kanaha Beach Park.

Looking toward the lights on Haleakala at Dawn.
The spa on the lanai with the ocean and Haleakala in the background

The Lifestyle

Smell the salt air and listen to the sound of waves breaking along the shoreline as the sun rises over the ocean. Enjoy a meal with friends and family on the large lanai. Pick fruit in the orchard. Take a nap in a hammock under swaying palm trees. Soak in the hut tub under the stars. This is a property that will bring years of relaxation and enjoyment.

The Details

The list price for the cottage by the sea is $2,300,000. Check out a 3D Tour of the cottage to see more of the interior and to see the floor plan. Check out the listing page for more photos and additional details about the property. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team with questions or to arrange a showing of the property.

Pete Jalbert