Owning vs. Renting

Own Rent
Equity Every payment you make puts you one step closer to owning the place outright. The money you give your landlord pays for their mortgage.
Taxes You can deduct mortgage interest & property taxes. You cannot deduct your rent on your tax return.
Control You can be secure in knowing that your family or relatives will have a place to live. You may not always be able to renew your lease.
Stability By choosing a fixed-rate mortgage, you’ll pay the same monthly principal and interest for the entire term of your loan. When your lease is up, the landlord can raise the rent.
Cost With the money you’ve saved and the low interest rates, buying a home could be affordable for your family. You think you cannot afford a house because a lot of extra expenses are involved.
Mobility You own your home. You decide when it’s time to move. You are at the mercy of your landlord. You could move often.

Maui Property Tax

Classification Taxable Land per/ $1,000 Taxable Building per/ $1,000
A. Residential $5.54 $5.54
B. Apartment $6.32 $6.32
C. Commercial $7.28 $7.28
D. Industrial $7.49 $7.49
E. Agricultural $6.01 $6.01
F. Conservation $6.37 $6.37
G. Hotel & Resort $9.37 $9.37
H. Time Share $15.43 $15.43
I. Homeowner $2.86 $2.86
J. Commercialized Residential $4.56 $4.56

Pre-Qualification Vs. Pre Approval

These are guidelines and general descriptions only; the actual processes are substantially more detailed and results may vary on a case-by-case basis. The terms pre-qualification and pre-approval can often bring confusion to many people who are looking to purchase a home. In a market where homes are selling quickly, it is important to understand the difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval. When you begin shopping for a home, you will want to know how much you can afford. More importantly, your real estate agent and the home seller will want to know that your loan is in place.


  • Based on a simple calculating process performed by a lender or real estate agent to provide an affordability guideline for buyers
  • Provides an estimate of how much you can borrow
  • Based on information you provide on your income and assets
  • Lender is not bound to make a loan. No approval or commitment.


  • Formal process which includes a credit check and perhaps even an employment verification.
  • Provides proof of loan approval to real estate agent and sellers
  • Based on verification of your income, assets, and credit
  • Requires satisfactory property review upon purchase and no substantial change in your financial condition to obtain final approval

Questions for Prospective Homeowners


How much can you afford? It can be discouraging to find that your salary won't stretch as far as the home you want to own. However, sacrificing a huge part of your income just to pay the mortgage can very quickly make home ownership a burden rather than a point of pride. It's better to buy a modest home now and look at purchasing your "dream home" in a few years.

What is your debt-to-income ratio? This is something that lenders take very seriously. Your overall debt should not be more than 40% of your income, and your housing debt should not be more than 32%. What 32% of your income will buy depends on where you want to live. In rural or downtrodden areas for example, it can buy a very comfortable residence and ample acreage. In highly sought-after urban areas however, it may not even buy a 400 square foot bachelor suite.

What do you want? Do you like the idea of cleaning your own gutters? Do you shudder at the thought of lawn care? Would you rather just pay a fee every month and have everything done for you? Would obeying rules about when you can have your garbage cans out bother you, or do you want to live in a neighborhood where everything is 'just so'? The answers to these questions can help you narrow down the search for the right type of property for you.

We Can Help! You need a good agent who will work hard for you. Our real estate team is dedicated to helping you find the right home, at the best price. We want you to find the home that will make you happy and successful in real estate ownership. When you hire us to help you buy your first home, we want to know what you want and how much you can afford.

Keep your objectives in mind when visiting a home. Sometimes the idea of owning a home can overwhelm your practical sense, so keep your feelings in check. Keep a list handy of the features that you need and want in a home, and judge each home by the list instead of by details that could distract you from your goal. When you're alone with your agent, you can go over the pros and cons of each home. We can help you stay on track while still keeping our eyes out for a great property.

Make the offer. We will prepare the paperwork and go through it with you before submitting it. Remember, the seller may reject or counter your offer, so even at this late date, avoid setting your heart on the home you hope to own. You'll probably have to write a deposit check to the seller's broker that proves the seriousness of your offer.

Get all necessary inspections done. A home inspector will check for signs of harmful materials like asbestos, lead paint and mold. They'll also check for evidence of pests, faulty wiring and leaks. This is a crucial part of the home purchase. Not getting an inspection done means that you could be stuck in a home with a bad case of black mold and no recourse other than to pay for its removal. Inspections will cost a few hundred dollars, but again, this is more than worth it in the end. There are several inspectors in the area that we'd be happy to recommend. (link to partners page)

Do a final walkthrough before  the closing  date. We'd be happy to do this with you to make sure that everything agreed upon is completed prior to the final signing.

From the first interview that determines your requirements to the moment that you receive the keys, we can help you with the complicated process of buying a home. Don't hesitate to contact us to find out more about how we can make the home buying process easier.

How to Have a Great Garage Sale

You’ve done your spring cleaning and cleaned out your closets. Here’s a great way to recycle those unwanted goods and turn a profit!

What to sellShoppers like to see a little bit of everything. Never underestimate the value of absolute junk. If you haven’t used some-thing in the past year, sell it. Dealers and antique collectors frequent garage sales, so clearly display one-of-a-kind items. Dressers, bookcases, baskets, tables, toys, and tools attract traffic. Make sure appliances work. Have an outlet handy so items can be tested.

How to price: Tag all items. Customers may assume that unmarked items are out of their price range. Be prepared to haggle. Most garage sale experts say 10 to 30% of retail is a fair price.

How to advertise:

Place an ad in a newspaper. If you partner with neighbors, you can usually split the cost. Make bold, bright, neatly lettered signs. Place them in order to direct traffic to your house.

(Don’t forget to take them down when the sale is over!)


Advertise your sale!


Maui News:


Lahaina News:  808-667-7866

How to display: Clean everything. Dirty dishes fetch a far lower price than their clean counterparts. Large items bring the most foot traffic. If you sell a couch or table early in the day, ask to keep the item with a “sold” sign on it until the end of the day. Hang a line in your garage or buy a portable rack. Clearly mark your sales area. If you have a sale in your garage, cover anything you want to keep.

When to sell: Saturday is often the best day for a sale, but in some places, people favor Thursday and Friday sales. If you are new to an area, ask around.

What to do with leftovers:

Store them for another day. What didn’t sell now may be in high demand next year. Give them away. Have them picked up by a charitable organization. Keep a list of donated items for your accountant at tax time.


Donate leftovers to charity:


Big Brothers-Big Sisters Foundation, Inc.

Goodwill Industries of Hawaii

 The Salvation Army

Women Helping Women.

Count Down to Moving Day…

Eight Weeks Before

  1. Call moving companies for estimates remove and dispose of unnecessary possessions
  2. Start compiling an inventory of your possessions
  3. Get a floor plan of your new home to help you decide which furnishings you want to keep and which room they will go
  4. Start a file of moving related papers and receipts
  5. Locate schools
  6. Healthcare professionals and
  7. Hospitals in your new location
  8. Arrange to transfer your children's school records and family medical records

Six Weeks Before

  1. Secure off-site storage if needed
  2. Choose a mover and sign contract
  3. Connect contact your homeowners insurance agent about coverage for moving and secure more if necessary
  4. Contact insurance companies (auto home insurance medical and life) to arrange for coverage in your new home

Four weeks before

  1. Create a list of important papers such as: auto insurance, license registration documents and title; if any medical, dental or school records; birth certificates; wills, deeds, stock certificates and other financial documents.
  2. Notify the following of your change of address (post office, banks, credit card companies, relatives and friends, insurance agent, lawyer tax financial advisor, magazine subscriptions )
  3. Notify utility companies to date to discontinue transfer service and or establish service in your new home. Also arrange for final readings and billing, including: refunds unprepared services electric, heating oil, internet service, natural gas, telephone, television, trash collection, water.
  4. Notify state DMV of your new address
  5. If moving from an apartment arrange for a refund of security deposit

Three Weeks Before

  1. Discontinue additional home services housekeeping, gardener, lawn service, and pool cleaner, if applicable
  2. Start using up things you can't move such as perishables.
  3. Make travel plans if necessary
  4. Make assignments with condo or homeowners association to reserve elevator usage time of moving into or out of a new high-rise building
  5. Arrange to close existing bank accounts and open new accounts in new area arrange to close existing
  6. Arrange for childcare on moving day

Two Weeks Before

  1. Arrange special transportation for your pets and plants
  2. Contact a moving company and review arrangements for your move

One Week Before

  1. Pack moving essential boxes - important documents, travel clothes, personal items and prescription medications

Checklist to Move Your Pet to Hawaii