Maui Real Estate Blog
The Hester Prynne of Hawaii Real Estate
The scarlet letter of Hawaii Real Estate isn’t A. It’s the letters LH. Seeing the land tenure leasehold on a listing causes many buyers, and agents for that matter, to bypass a property. Just as the puritans wrongly ostracized Hester Prynne, leasehold properties don’t deserve to be shunned. For the right buyers, leasehold ownership provides a great opportunity. This is particularly the case in an era when inventory and options remain limited.
Lower Acquisition Costs
First and foremost, it’s worth highlighting the biggest advantage of leasehold. Acquisition cost. Leasehold properties cost significantly less than comparable fee simple properties. Plain and simple, you get more bang for your buck. Higher monthly fees are the tradeoff for lower acquisition costs. In addition to the maintenance fee, leasehold properties come with a monthly lease fee. If you have less cash in reserve for your purchase, but strong monthly income, leasehold could be an interesting option.
A Few Other Things To Consider With Leasehold
There are some other factors that can enhance the appeal of a leasehold property.
- Does the property offer something unique? There are a handful of leasehold properties that offer something unique or at least less common in the Maui market. Alaeloa is a truly one of a kind development in the Napili area. The combination of low density, a beautiful shoreline and the mix of stand alone and duplexed beach cottages is unlike anything else on Maui. Maui Eldorado in Ka’anapali has its fantastic beach cabana. Kamaole Nalu is one of a handful of direct beachfront condos in South Kihei.
- Does it have a longer lease term? A longer term lease is particularly appealing. It takes away uncertainty about the future of your property and it opens financing options. If it is in excess of 35 years, it allows for a conventional 30 year mortgage. More than twenty years left on a lease means you can get a fifteen year mortgages. You need five more years on the lease than the term of the mortgage to get financing. Once a lease term shrinks to less than 20 years, both the smaller pool of buyers and increased uncertainty may impact resale value.
- Can it be converted to fee simple? In some cases, the lessor shows a willingness to convert the property to fee simple. That could enhance the condos value over the long term. The caveat here is that fee conversion costs money. In almost all cases, the financial outlay for lessees is significant. Typically, somewhere in the six figures significant.
Discover New Options
Again, leasehold isn’t for everyone and not all leasehold is the same. It requires some extra due diligence and there is a reason that leasehold properties come with their own unique disclosures. That said, there are some great leasehold properties on Maui and that list extends beyond the three developments referenced above. Don’t stigmatize a condo just because of its land tenure. Any condo on island whether its leasehold or fee simple is going to have its strengths and its weaknesses. If you evaluate the condo development on the plusses and minuses as a whole, you might just find leasehold fits your needs. We look forward to assisting you with the evaluation process.
Interested in Buying a Maui Condo?
Maui Real Estate Blog
Old Hawaii Charm Updated for Modern Living at Alaeloa 41
It was about 15 years ago give or take a year when I did my first showing at Alaeloa. The moment I stepped on the property, I knew it was special place. Charming cottages with shake roofs, a dramatic stretch of coastline and mature landscaping. I always wanted to sell a unit in this beautiful Napili development. I finally have the chance. Introducing Alaeloa #41.
Alaeloa 41 is a two bedroom, two bath unit with 1,347 square feet of living space. Originally built in 1965, its previous owners remodeled and updated it throughout the years making it well suited to modern living.
This condo features a spacious kitchen with granite counters, central island, and a Bosch oven, induction cook top and dishwasher. It has a good sized island with bar seating and plenty of cabinet space.
The kitchen opens to the living room. Large jalousie windows and a sliding glass door bring in abundant natural light. The slider opens to a covered lanai with big ocean and Molokai views.
The primary bedroom is spacious. Two large closets provide plenty of storage and room for your wardrobe. A previous owner enclosed a portion of the lanai area creating a sun drenched sitting area. Views from the sitting area include the Ocean, Molokai and even the North end of Lanai.
The bathrooms feature walk in showers with beautiful stone work, built in cabinets with even more storage and granite counters on the vanities.
The second bedroom is a good size. Wall to ceiling jalousie windows let in the trade wind breeze and offer soothing views of the tropical landscaping.
Other notable amenities include split system a/c units in the bedroom, travertine flooring throughout the home, Sapele Wood Doors and a great laundry room with plenty of storage and counter space.
With good sized rooms, a large kitchen and bedrooms, and abundant storage space, this is a condo that definitely lives like a home.
Outdoor attributes include a one car carport and outdoor storage area.
More About Alaeloa
Alaeloa is a low-density condo complex situated in the picturesque Napili area. With only 42 units on just over 13 acres, this development offers incredibly low density. Enjoy the lush landscaping with soaring coconut palms, monkey pod trees, plumeria, and there’s even a mango grove! Most of the shoreline is elevated and rugged, but there is a small bay and a crescent shaped cobble stone beach. Take a dip in the heated saltwater pool located just above the beach, or entertain guests in the clubhouse equipped with showers, bathrooms, and a kitchen area. Store your kayak or paddleboard with ease, and enjoy peace of mind with gated access and an onsite manager.
Learn Even More About Alaeloa Unit 41
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Maui Real Estate Blog
Wailea Condo Market Snapshot January 2023
I wanted to take a quick look at the Wailea condo market now that we are a month into our “peak buyer season”. I spent some time looking at the current inventory and I was left with four observations and one question about the current market dynamics.
Wailea and Makena Condo Inventory
At the time of this post, there are 27 active condo listings in Wailea. While that’s a far cry from the half dozen active listings we saw briefly in early 2022, it’s still well below normal. There are four condo complexes in Wailea with no active listings. There are six condo developments with just 1 active listing at this time. None of the Makena condo developments have any active or pending listings.
The Highest Price Points have the Most Condos for Sale
The two condo developments with the most listings are Wailea Point and Wailea Beach Villas with 6 and 4 listings respectively. In addition to the condos at those two respective developments, there is also a top row Ho’olei and a rare Andaz listing. If you are shopping at higher price points, you have a lot more options to choose from.
Prices Remain High
The second half of 2022 saw prices decrease in a number of markets on the mainland. The situation on Maui is more nuanced. Small segments of the single family home market saw values decrease. Other segments held value or even increased in value. Wailea is one of those areas where values held or increased in the second half of 2022.
This is reflected by the current Wailea inventory. Seventeen of the twenty-seven active listings are seeking new record high sales prices for their development or at least their particular floor plan. That isn’t too much of a surprise considering the fact the values are at all time highs. That said, not all of the condos seeking record high prices have the location, view or the finishing to merit those lofty numbers.
Buyer Activity Is Low
Thus far, busy season is off to a slow start in Wailea. There are 5 condo resales under contract currently. Only 3 of the 5 went under contract since Christmas. This level of activity is well below the same period of time during the past two boom years. It is quite a bit less than recent pre-Covid years. In fact, this is the lowest number of Wailea condos to go under contract to start busy season since the winter of 2013/14.
Wailea is not the only spot on the island seeing a quieter busy season. While pending sales are increasing, they are still well below normal for this time of year. Looking at Kapalua, there are three pending sales with only one new pending since the start of busy season. Ka’anapali is the busiest of the resorts with only five pending.
While Wailea’s slow start is part of a broader trend, it may also be a reflection of some of the ambitious asking prices. Which brings us to my last question…
Who Blinks First?
With low transaction volumes, it seems like something is going to have to give for us to see an increase in sales activity in Wailea. Will sellers reduce their prices? Will buyers bite the bullet? Or do we see a little bit of both?
On the sell side, the dynamics are interesting. We are seeing some price reductions, but in many instances the new asking prices are still above record highs. That tells us that the sellers truly missed the mark on their initial pricing. The sellers are also getting some mixed signals. The low transaction volume is a suggests prices should be reduced. On the other hand, inventory remains low, and there are still the occasional sales with eye popping prices. The question is whether sellers are trying to find the market or that elusive solitary buyer willing to pay a premium.
For buyers, the record high prices may be increasingly hard to swallow. That is especially the case for second home buyers coming from markets where decreases in value are common place. On the other hand, if you are seeking out a condo in one of the developments with little or no inventory you may be inclined to jump when something comes to market that checks all of the boxes. Further decreases in mortgage rates may also bring some buyers off the fence, but the impact of lower rates is not going to be as significant in the Wailea market. Keep in mind, 62% of all transactions were cash in Wailea and Makena last year.
Contact The Maui Real Estate Team
We will continue to monitor the Wailea Condo market as we progress further into buyer season. Stay tuned for more updates. You can see the active inventory of Wailea Condos for sale on MauiRealEstate.com. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team with questions or for assistance buying or selling Wailea Condos. We look forward to being of service.
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Maui Real Estate Blog
Maui Market Musings Volume VII
This week’s market musings takes a look at one sign of resilience evident in the market and the latest Redfin report on the second home market. Without belaboring the intro, here are the latest market musings.
Anecdotal Signs of Market Resilience
Entry level condos in Kihei experienced some of the steepest declines during the last real estate crash. I remember the turning point for that market pretty well. During the Summer and fall of 2005, places like Southpointe, Kihei Villages and Keonekai Villages experienced rapid price increases. Condos in these complexes jumped in value 25% or more in a span of about 6 months. The rise in prices occurred during a period of low rates (for the time) with rates forecast to increase. Inventory during this period was low.
A pretty drastic shift occurred in the market in early 2006. A number of the buyers who purchased the condos in the second half of 2005 were pure speculators. They planned to make some very rudimentary improvements prior to flipping the condos. In some cases, they were just naked flips where they purchased the condo and flipped a few months later with no improvements made. By early 2006, the inventory ballooned from a handful of listings in entry level complexes to as many as 25 units in a single development. A rate increase between .5% and .6% caused demand to cool. Sellers who didn’t have the reserves had to adjust their prices. Thus started a precipitous decline that grew worse as a number of sellers found themselves underwater.
The contrast with present conditions is pretty significant. Recent mortgage rate increases are far more drastic. We are looking at an increase of 1.5% in the span of less than 6 months. That said, inventory levels remain low. At the time of this post, there are only 4 active listings in the “entry level” condo complexes in Kihei. Buyer demand continues for the limited inventory. Four non-vacation rental condos in Kihei went under contract within the last few weeks.
While market conditions may continue to shift depending on further rate increases and/or the overall economy, this segment of the market isn’t the house of cards that it was in the mid 2000s. There are fewer speculators and the financial position and loan terms of borrowers are stronger. The market conditions that caused the calamitous collapse in values just aren’t present currently. That’s why we continue to see buyers despite the significant rate increases and much higher prices.
The Second Home Market Slows Nationally
Recent data presented by Redfin indicates that second home demand hit its lowest point since May of 2020. While it is still up from pre-pandemic levels, the decrease in demand is notable. Redfin cites affordability as one factor in the decreased demand. Some of that stems from price increases and some from rate increases. The Federal Housing Financing Agency also announced an increase on upfront fees on second homes starting on April 1. The fee increase is between 1.125 percent and 3.875 percent, tiered by loan-to-value ratio. That’s a pretty hefty number for those borrowing substantial sums.
Will we start to see this reflected in the Maui market? I haven’t seen signs of a clear decrease in the second home market on Maui. Demand appears to remain strong with inventory limited. We also have a lot of cash in the market. Of the vacation rental condos that sold over the last month, 44% were cash transactions. That might be a low number as it doesn’t include 1031 exchange purchases using cash. The lack of inventory may also make it harder to detect changes in buyer demand. If we start to see anything that shows Maui reflecting national trends, we will report it in the Musings
A Little Bit of Maui Beauty to Brighten Your Day
Contact The Maui Real Estate Team
If you are reading some mixed messages in recent musings, that’s because information on market conditions remains pretty mixed. On the ground, buyers are still facing bidding wars and properties are still selling for premiums. That said, there are more headwinds brewing with the rise in rates. Current market conditions call for quality representation. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are considering entering the Maui market as a buyer or seller.
Maui Real Estate Blog
Sugar Cove Building 6, The Guest Suite
Last month, our broker Billy Jalbert and agent Martin Lenny listed a truly extraordinary property. This is the first time a whole building at Sugar Cove on Maui’s North Shore came to market. The owners combined two of the three units into a truly luxurious primary living space. The sellers opted to keep the third unit separate as its own guest living space. Today’s blog focuses specifically at the guest unit and its many amenities that make it a condo of distinction and luxury in its own right.
The guest suite or unit C offers four bedrooms. Two of the bedrooms include en suite baths, Two bedrooms share a bath. There is also half bath downstairs along with a laundry area, a writing / desk space in the living room and complete high-end kitchen.
The kitchen includes Hans Grohe Fixtures, imported granite counters, custom maple cabinetry and gourmet appliances. The views from the kitcken over the living room aren’t too shabby either.
Two of the four bedrooms offer stunning ocean views. The ocean view bedrooms also have ensuite bathrooms and access to the second story lanai. The two non-ocean view bedrooms are spacious and comfortable. They share a bathroom. Vaulted ceilings, recessed lighting and a bamboo ceiling treatment enhance the vibe of all four guest bedrooms. While there may be a few arguments about who gets the rooms with ocean views, even the most finicky of house guests will be hard pressed to complain about any of these bedrooms.
The bathrooms include custom maple cabinets, imported granite and Hansgrohe fixtures.
The beautiful wood work throughout the home is apparent from the moment you walk up to the custom Koa front door. The flooring in the living room kitchen and bedrooms are Cumaru wood. As mentioned above, the custom cabinetry and shelves throughout the home are Cumaru and Maple. A stunning custom, hand made Cumaru staircase leads to the second floor. The lanai area decks are beautiful and durable Ipe.
In addition to the visually compelling features of the home, there are a number of features that keep guests comfortable throughout their stay.
- Triple glazed low-E windows for storm integrity, soundproofing, and energy efficiency
- Walls and attics insulated for comfort and energy efficiency
- Central Air Upstairs keeps the bedrooms cool and comfortable
- Programmable water recirculation systems for instant hot water
- Energy efficient & programmable water heaters
- Water filtration & RO systems
- High speed wi-fi and smart-house systems throughout; Lutron lighting; Sonos audio
- 2 large screen TVs
These are just some of the high quality upgrades made by the owners.
If guests enjoy ocean sports, there is plenty of space to keep all of their toys. There is storage for 18 surfboards & windsurfboards and 10 rigged windsurf sails. With the wind and waves of Sugar Cove right out the back door, there is ample opportunity for fun.
The whole building 6 of Sugar Cove is offered for sale for $17,000,000. Take a 3D tour of the guest quarters and the rest of the building here. Check out the Sugar Cove Building 6 listing page for additional photos and details. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team to discuss the property with one of our agents.
Maui Real Estate Blog
Sugar Cove Building 6, An Unprecedented Beachfront Offering
Sugar Cove Building 6 is an unprecedented beachfront real estate offering on Maui. With only 11 reported sales on the Maui MLS all time, listings at Sugar Cove are rare in their own right. Never before has a whole building in the development been offered for sale. For that matter, we believe this is the first time that a whole condominium building came up for sale on Maui. Add in an exquisite top to bottom remodel, the consolidation of two units in to a single fantastic primary living space, an additional “guest” space and you start to get a sense of how extraordinary this opportunity is for a beachfront luxury home buyer.
Building 6 Overview
- Two separate living spaces.
- Eight total bedrooms, seven bathrooms, three half bathrooms.
- 5,950 square feet of interior living space plus extensive lanai space.
- Complete renovation including the replacement and upgrade of all structural elements.
- Six designated parking spaces plus guest parking.
- 15.6 kw of net metered solar panels.
- Security alarm systems in both units.
- Tons of storage for surfboards, SUP boards, windsurf boards and rigged windsurf sails.
Units 6A and 6B
The owners combined Units 6A and 6B to create a single primary living unit consisting of 4 luxurious bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms including 2 owner’s suites. In addition, there are 2 half baths; 2 laundry rooms; an oversized kitchen, living and dining area, an office, and a huge utility / storage room that is perfect for storing all of your Maui toys and a little bit of wine as well. There is also a large, insulated attic with additional storage. The 4th bedroom is currently utilized as a home fitness center. There are an additional 1,300 sq ft of decks creating a fantastic indoor/outdoor living space. The kitchen / living / dining room area includes over 70 feet of beachfront windows to take in the stunning views.
To complement the primary space, there is a connected 4 bedroom guest unit. Two of the bedrooms include en suite baths, 2 bedrooms share a bath. There is also half bath downstairs along with a laundry area, a writing / desk space in the living room and complete high-end kitchen.
About Sugar Cove
Sugar Cove is a boutique 18 unit condo complex located in the heart of Spreckelsville on Maui’s North Shore. The low density, six building complex features spacious lawn areas dotted with soaring Coconut Palms. There is a community club house, a pool and a pickle ball/ tennis court. Gated access offers security. World renowned wind and water sports can be found just offshore. Owners love being able to paddle out or launch from their back yards.
Contact The Maui Real Estate Team for Additional Information
The asking price for Sugar Cove Building 6 is $17,000,000. Check out the MLS listing for more pictures. Take a 3D tour for more interior details and a better sense of the floor plan. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team with questions or to arrange a tour. There are too many details and outstanding features to this listing to cover in one blog post. Stay tuned to our blog for more posts on this special listing.