Monday, December 15, 2008

Are You IN the Middle of a Rip Current?

After reading the warning sign and taking precautions by standing back a few feet from the warning tape I looked up to see big breaking waves on the shore and the whitewater rushing back out to see. Rip currents are DANGEROUS. The powerful, channeled currents of seawater flowing away from the shoreline, through the surf and past the breaking waves will take you out to sea quicker than you can bat an eyelash.

There is no doubt that conditions change and we need to take heed to the warning signs.
The housing market and real estate industry is constantly changing and has been for some time. Though it is known that the market is LOCAL and every area has different statistics I think I can safely say that there is no housing boom going on.

In October, there was Good News! October Statistics for Oahu's Housing Market! Then, The Ripple Effect From Our Hawaii Tourism Industry took a dive and many restaurants and industries are closing down. For the month of November, our home sales declined but our prices here on Oahu are still stable and hopefully this decline will last just a short while.
Needless to say, the Rip Currents are dragging many out to sea and everyone is out there trying to grasp at every straw to stay afloat:

  • Buyers are backing out for no reason ....or maybe they were just too embarrassed to say why. (i.e. family problems, lost jobs or whatever the case may be)

  • Loan Officers are promising the world and can't deliver when it comes time for processing. (giving a preapproval without taking everything into consideration hopes it goes through)

  • Realtors® are nagging at sellers to list their home. (Who knows how they got the private cell number of the owner....yes this just happened to my seller)

  • Realtors® are giving bad advice to the buyer for the sake of a sale. (i.e. bank owned and no warranties, inspections or recourse)

  • Sellers are thinking that it's still a great market (and thinking that they can play hardball when there are few and far between buyers)

The majority of us have kept afloat with great marketing skills and a niche we have created for ourselves. We listen to our clients and only after listening to their needs first do we give back sound, straighforward information and advice. We follow our Code of Ethics which can be compared to our every day behavior following our personal beliefs, morals and values in this game called life. We hold our heads high and sleep VERY well at night knowing...we lived each day right and didn't step on anothers toes to get there.

The rest will be sucked out to sea by those dangerous rip currents.
And You?
© 2008 Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman, All rights reserved

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Market DEPENDS on the Circumstances Doesn't It?

The National News surely depicts an overall picture (so does NAR) of the housing market that is unrealistic. Why? How can anyone believe that this nationwide report will be the same for every state, county, city and neighborhood? It is unrealistic to report that 'nationwide' it is a beautiful market to buy or sell just as it is unrealistic to report that 'nationwide' it is a bad time to buy or sell. It depends on a wide variety of points doesn't it?

How about this?

  • Your Realtor ® will give you a clearer picture of the current market conditions in your specific area. Bad choice to have your loan officer, friends and family pretending they are the Realtor®. Might as well just watch the news right?

  • It depends on your circumstances if you are considering selling your home. Relocation to another state? Downsizing? Tragedy in the family?

  • It depends on your circumstances if you are considering buying a home. Relocation to Hawaii? Benefits of ownership vs. renting? Retiring? Downsizing?

  • It depends on the county, the city & the neighborhood for better market conditions to sell. Your Realtor ® will provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis for these specifics.

  • It depends on the county, the city & the neighborhood for room for negotiations for the buyer. Your Realtor® can give you a breakdown of the areas that you are considering.

    As of February of 2008 the Oahu Housing Market has slowed down 40% in NUMBER of sales. The Oahu Housing Market has increased in prices since last year BUT ARE NOW STABLE. The table below will show you an increase/decrease in sales and prices to give you a better idea of our market on our Island of Oahu in HONOLULU COUNTY. (These statistics DO NOT include new home sales)


    February 2008 $599,000 / 163 $335,000 / 321
    January 2008 $600,000 / 228 $324,000 / 324
    December 2007 $610,000 / 240 $320,000 / 353
    November 2007 $610,000 / 245 $315,000 / 379
    October 2007 $655,000 / 265 $322,500 / 423
    September 2007 $650,000 / 255 $335,000 / 414
    August 2007 $650,000 / 381 $325,000 / 495
    July 2007 $640,500 / 339 $335,000 / 457
    June 2007 $685,000 / 338 $334,000 / 547
    May 2007 $650,000 / 357 $325,000 / 543
    April 2007 $665,000 / 342 $325,000 / 527
    March 2007 $643,500 / 330 $321,000 / 541
    February 2007 $614,500 / 272 $320,000 / 402

    Stats: Yr-Yr -2.5% / -40.1% 4.7% / -20.1%

Our inventory on OAHU is still modest due to fewer homes/condos being listed on the market. For this reason it gives us a positive outlook because the inventory has NOT ballooned as in previous post-boom periods.

Just keep in mind that this too is an overall picture of our market in Honolulu County. (Which is the island of Oahu) and neighborhoods differ as well. For example, the prices for homes/condos in Mililani are stable whereas the prices in Ewa Beach have decreased a little and have a higher inventory overall. The number of Short Sales in Ewa are high whereas there are very few in Mililani. Newer, Older, Sq. Ft., Land Area and so forth are also to be considered.


More Statistics on Neighborhoods:
Relocating to Hawaii? Ewa Gentry & Ocean Pointe Communities
Ko Olina Resort & Marina: Can't Get Any Better Than This!
Oahu, Hawaii Relocations: The Waipio Gentry Community, Oahu, Hawaii
Hawaii Relocations: The Mililani Community on Oahu, Hawaii

FYI: Honolulu Board of REALTORS® was established in 1922 and is one of the largest of 1,600 boards of REALTORS®. With over 6,000 members on our island alone the Honolulu Board of Realtors ® is the largest trade organization on Oahu. The above statistics are from the Honolulu Board of Realtors ® and are taken from our Multiple Listing Service site.

If you're Relocating to Hawaii (regardless if it's near future or just wanting to be proactive for the future) contact me for a Hawaii Relocation Packet or Military Relocation Hawaii Packet!

Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman, RA, e-PRO / Century 21 Liberty Homes, Mililani, Hawaii

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Preservation & Conservation: Military Land Use on Oahu Hawaii's West Coast

Military Relocating to Hawaii rotate in and out of Oahu year round and they surely play a big part in many of our communities. The military & veterans make up about 10% of our population in Hawaii ( 3.5% are active duty) and following is some interesting info on military land use on the Waianae Side of Oahu.

The Military Land Use in Waianae:

Lualualei Valley: Navy owned land consisting of 14.4 sq. miles and has 255 above ground storage capable of storing 78,000 tons of ammunition. Kolekole Pass (closed to the public) extends from the Waianae Coast to Schofield Barracks going up and over the Waianae Mountains. The public has to drive around the range to get to other areas of the island.

Makua Valley:
US Army uses about 6.5 sq. miles for live fire training programs since World War II. The leased land of 1.2 sq. miles from the state is up in 2029 and the ceded land of 5 sq. miles is also leased from the state. The entire training area extends from the Waianae Ridge Line to Kaena Point (partial view in picture above). After a lawsuit was brought against the military they now allow the Hawaiian people to travel through the area due to the cultural and historical heiaus found in the area. Because of the concern over the preservation of the natural and cultural resources in the valley the Army is now taking measures to develop an ecosystem management plan.

Brief history of ‘ceded lands'.

Ceded land is the land taken shortly after the overthrow of the Republic of Hawaii by the United States in 1893.

  • In 1898 Hawaii ‘cedes' land to the U.S. and it is to be held in trust (education and other public purposes.) and include Crown land (formerly known as Government land)

  • 1959- The State of Hawaii becomes trustee for 1.4 million acres when Hawaii is admitted into the union as a state.

  • 1978- The Office of Hawaiian Affairs was created by way of voters and funded with a share of some of the money that came from the use of ceded lands.

  • 1980- The share was set at 20% by the State Legislature.

  • As of January 31, 2008- The Supreme Court ruled that the state is not allowed to sell or transfer the Hawaiian Monarchy lands (known as ceded lands) until the Native Hawaiian claims for the land have been resolved.
    More News Here.......

    Kaena Satellite Space Station is the Air Force Space Station on the West Coast of Oahu and is a remote tracking station for tracking satellites in orbit. This tracking station opened in 1959 for a satellite program (called Corona) and they say that the presence of the satellite may have sped up the statehood of Hawaii. Hmmm.
    The ‘randomes' atop the 1500 foot ridge are radar domes that are big weatherproof enclosures to protect the antenna inside. At first sight it looked to us to be a big golf ball. The picture to the right shows this big randome sitting on the ridge with a background of beautiful blue Hawaiian sky.

    At the base of the ridge is the Yokohama Bay State Park and a hiking trail around Kaena Point to the north side of the ridge to the Mokuleiea Beach on the North Shore of Oahu.

  • On the Kaena Point Satellite Station grounds there are many hunting trails and Peacock Flats camping site that is inland about 10 miles and of course you need a permits to hunt, hike or camp on the station.

    Obtain Permits at: The Department of Land and Natural Resources in downtown Honolulu. Address is Kalanimoku Bldg., 1151 Punchbowl St., Rm. 325, Honolulu, HI 96813 Phone: (808) 587-0400

    To sum up this story on Military Land Use: It is this writers opinion that the military play a big part in protecting our Hawaiian Islands out here in the Pacific Ocean and their presence is a great comfort to many. The military does understand the importance of the preservation and conservation of our land and taking precautions to care for the land while they are using it. We can work together to protect and serve as well as preserve and conserve.

    Other stories of interest:

    The Legend of Makua Cave: Northwest Coast of Oahu, Hawaii
    Preservation of Hawaiian Culture, Land and History
    HAWAIIAN LEGENDS: Kaena Point, Waimea Valley, and Two Heiau's
    Waimea Valley: History Uncovered, Preserved and Protected

    Need more info on Military Relocations to Hawaii? Would you like a Hawaii Relocation packet?

    Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman, RA, e-PRO

    Century 21 Liberty Homes, Mililani, Hawaii