Maui Real Estate Newsletter


Sure it’s only October, but I’m about ready to pull a Rip Van Winkle and go into a slumber—not for 20 years, but until 2020 and call 2019 a “done deal”; wake me when it’s over! Enough already! There’s the daily news constantly filling the air waves with the way the Constitution of the United States and our very political system are getting tested to the max. Constant warnings of imminent climate change seeming to come from all parts of the planet. Storms that have become bigger and more devastating than ever. The economy and how the housing markets will faire moving into 2020 (an election year). Oh, that…let’s stop there and focus on what this Newsletter is, and always has been, about-Real Estate!

For some time now I’ve tried to expand the scope of this Newsletter by including interesting and relevant links for you to read. My reporting data tells me that less than 20% of those who read the letter actually click on the links. Understandable, I guess. But here’s one you may not want to miss.

Austin, TX

“The Ten Trends That Will Shape Real Estate in 2020*”, described as “…find(ing) some direction within a fog of uncertainty” is a must-read. To pique your interest, here are a few of the ten trends anticipated:
·     Who’s Afraid of a Recession
·     Capital with No Place to Go
·     The Rise of Hipsturbia (can you guess?)
·     The “Silver Tsunami” of Senior Housing
·     The Potential, and Pull, of Principled Investment

Personally, I’m pleased to see trends moving towards sustainability, energy efficiency, clean transportation, and environmentally friendly technologies. “Look up at the mountain, I have to climb, oh yeah, to reach there” **

Moving right along, here are some great Featured Maui Properties for your viewing pleasure separated into categories to satisfy every preference and budget!

Vacation Rental Condos from $445,000 - $950,000

MLS #384141, MLS #384447, MLS #384429, MLS #382512, MLS #383080, MLS #382990 Click Here to View Listings

Vacation Rental Condos from $1,055,000 - $6,250,000

MLS #382731, MLS #383928, MLS #383204, MLS #383648, MLS #383867, MLS #384449 Click Here to View Listings

Single-Family Homes from $675,000 - $975,000

MLS #384244, MLS #381908, MLS #384293, MLS #383716  Click Here to View Listings

Single-Family Homes from $1,175,000 - $29,750,000

MLS #384066, MLS #383119, MLS #383963, MLS #381831 Click Here to View Listings

Click here for complete September statistics.

Maui icon Kris Kristofferson and his band The Strangers will be performing a benefit concert at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center’s Castle Theater on October 19th. Kris is not only a great musician but he can still spin a good story or two when he gets a microphone in his hand.  Kris, and his good friend Willie Nelson, are both full-time residents on Maui and are very gracious with their time when it comes to supporting worthwhile causes. I know most of you will not be here to catch this show but here’s an insider tip: Check out Charley’s Restaurant and Saloon in Paia for a late breakfast some morning and you just may run into Kris or Willie talking story with friends at a nearby table.

As always, thanks for taking time to read my Monthly Newsletter. I hope in some small way it helps keep that dream of owning Maui Real Estate (someday) alive.

Mahalo nui loa and a hui hou!

Michael Blaz
(808) 283-9093

* Urban Land Institution’s Annual Report by Patrick Sisson
** Cat Stevens, Miles from Nowhere/Tea for the Tillerman


At the risk of sounding a bit self-serving, I came across a well-written article on the value a Real Estate agent can bring to a transaction for both buyers and sellers. After 30 years in the business, I still flinch a little when I hear comments that all we do is drive around in our Mercedes’ and BMW’s and charge exorbitant fees (fees are always negotiable, BTW) for very little work. Or the tried and true joke, “What does it mean when you find a Realtor buried in the sand up to his/her neck?” “Someone ran out of sand!” (This was a joke I originally heard describing Attorneys, but it transitioned nicely).

I have a contractor building a new spec home on a lot right next to my house. The lot became available when a fire destroyed the home that was on it a year+ ago. Needless to say I have had conversations with him suggesting I would be an excellent choice to list and sell the home for him when it is ready. His response was that a) he has an inactive(?) license; b) everybody on Maui has a Real Estate license (??); and c) who better to describe the features and sell the home than the person who built it? That’s like suggesting that when you get the flu, rather than go to a doctor go to the guy you caught it from. Proof in the pudding, as they say, is the fact that two homes on the same street were recently listed with Realtors and they were both in escrow within one week. He has had a shabbily written For Sale By Owner sign in the front yard for three months without an offer.

Although the vast majority of U.S. home sales involve real estate agents, the notion in the industry that consumers would be fine buying or selling a home without one is not really a new one....
Read More

For the sake of simplicity, I am going to feature just two very special properties this month.

MLS #384043—I have selected this sweet little 2BR/1BA condo as “special” because it is very near and dear to my heart. The first time I ever visited Maui in 1985 I stayed in another unit in this building that to this day is owned by friends of mine. The complex is small (18 units), quiet, homey, and without the hustle and bustle of the larger vacation condo complexes in south Maui. It is positioned right across from the Mana Kai hotel that features the 5 Palms Restaurant and a great happy-hour in the bar, and is situated at the gateway to Wailea. To me, it offers a taste of what Maui was like 30 or 40 years ago, before the big hotels, big box stores, etc. The five-minute walk to one of Maui’s most iconic beaches, Keawakapu, will take you to a beautiful grassy lawn area replete with showers, restrooms and a nicely stocked deli, and a stretch of white sandy beach that goes on for miles. Lather up with SPF 30 and spend a day at the beach, grab a cold beverage or lunch at the 5 Palms bar or restaurant and breathe in all that Maui has to offer. $595,000!!!

MLS #383928—And if “across the street” from all of the above isn’t good enough for you, then check out this designer-decorated 7th floor 2BR/2BA beauty at the Mana Kai itself! Again, right in my wheelhouse of things, places, that mean so much to me on Maui; so much of my free time having been spent lounging on the lawn of this iconic property over the years. The current owners have cherished this special condo since 1999 when they first purchased it. Many a memorable time was spent enjoying this unit with the kids and friends in the early days. As time has passed, the kids have grown and now the owners are willing to pass it on to others to enjoy. As an owner at the Mana Kai you can take advantage of all the amenities of the property—daily yoga classes indoor and out; a well-equipped private fitness room; BBQ grills for owners and their guests only, and a large swimming pool with sundecks to get that awesome Maui tan. Click here to enjoy a video that can tell the story better than I can.

But that, in fact, may not be the best part! The Mana Kai is a very popular vacation destination property, and while the owners no longer use it themselves, they have created a successful business renting the unit out that they will pass on to the new owners! For the past several years, they have grossed over $100,000/year (please see “Associated Docs” link by clicking on the listing). Make your Maui dreamin’ come true! $1,590,000!!!

Click here for complete August statistics.

Opening at the Iao Theatre in downtown Wailuku this month is the classic favorite The Graduate, running from Sept. 27 to Oct. 13. Maui has one of the best amateur theater programs you will find anywhere, so this is sure to be a fun show. Come check it out if you will be on island during those weeks—and be sure to give me a call to get together for a coffee or glass of wine—wine preferred! Is there a Mrs, Robinson out there?

Mahalo nui loa and a hui hou!

Michael Blaz
(808) 283-9093


One of the recent news items that impacts Real Estate is the announcement that the Feds are cutting interest rates to as low as 2%.  Sighting “sagging business confidence, concern about trade disputes and tariffs, and slower economic growth” the move was made in an effort to get out in front of a possible recession.

 Surprisingly, The Fed has not cut interest rates since 2008 (seems like just yesterday).  Mike Fratantoni, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association says, “The statement signaled that the Fed will continue to be data dependent, and that this cut does not lock them into a path of future rate cuts—but we expect they will cut rates once more this year and once in 2020.”

Of course, lowering the cost of money can be a boon to big corporations and businesses, but oftentimes has little if any effect on mortgage rates.  In fact, the current 30-year fixed rate of 3.75% remains unchanged.  That could change in the future but not likely. Your interest-earning accounts may suffer a bit, though.

To read the article in its entirety, click here .

And while we’re on the subject of economic news as it relates to Real Estate, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic/Case-Shiller indices rise in home prices slipped just slightly year-over-year from April’s 3.5% to 3.4% in May.  Indeed, not a significant difference, but the increase in the country’s 20 major markets was a softer 2.4%.  Nuances from city to city can be significant though, as Atlanta and Las Vegas, for instance are chugging along at 4.7% and 6.4% respectively.

Perhaps most unexpectedly, Seattle experienced the first negative year-over-year change reported in a major city in many years.  Could this be a trend that will spread to other cities? 

Not likely.  “The U.S. housing market cooldown continued in May, signaling the longest period of price growth anemia since the Great Recession,” says Ralph McLaughlin, deputy chief economist and executive of Research and Insights at CoreLogic. “However, coupled with the recent drop in mortgage rates and incomes rising faster than inflation, the transition to a more balanced market should allow the industry to enter a period of sustainability into the foreseeable future.”  In other words, nothing to worry about quite yet.

To read the entire article and see where your city ranks among the top 20, click here .

Let’s get a little closer to home (my home) and take a look at some Featured Properties for August.  In case you missed last month’s Newsletter, this new format allows you to peruse more offerings and in categories more specific to what you may be interested in.  Please enjoy the following selections in Vacation Rental Condos over and under $1 million, and Single family Homes over and under $1 million.  As always, if you have something specific in mind, don’t hesitate to ask.

Vacation Rental Condos under $1 million

MLS # 381917 , $450,000
MLS # 383123 , $490,000
MLS # 383628 , $499,000 *
MLS # 383736 , $687,000
MLS # 383706 , $695,000
MLS # 381711 , $849,900
*exceptional income click here

Vacation Rental Condos over $1 million

MLS # 383302 , $1,195,000
MLS # 383114 , $1,795,000
MLS # 382742 , $2,725,000
MLS # 383748 , $3,388,888
MLS # 381430 , $4,495,000
MLS # 382029 , $10,800,000

Single Family Homes under $1 million

MLS # 379384 , $630,000
MLS # 383744 , $649,000
MLS # 383755 , $744,769
MLS # 383146 , $765,000
MLS # 383271 , $900,000

Single Family Homes over $1 million

MLS # 382685 , $1,598,000
MLS # 382923 , $1,798,000
MLS # 383119 , $2,190,000
MLS # 380695 , $2,989,000
MLS # 383405 , $12,900,000

Click here for complete July statistics

We are getting our fun summer weather here on Maui and the first two “Tropical Storms” large enough to get named just passed us by, one to the south, one to the north.  Always a little stressful these times of year but land masses (islands) above and below seem to keep Mother Maui well protected.  I will be heading to sunny (and HOT!) Scottsdale next week to help celebrate my best friend’s mom’s 104th birthday.  I think of her as my Hanai mom—a term in Hawaiian that means “adopted” of sorts—not of blood but a special kindred spirit.  She is truly an amazing woman.  The Personal Trainer she sees three times a week would no doubt agree.

Mahalo for checking in on my Monthly Newsletter, and may your days be warm and your nights cool. 

A hui hou,

Michael Blaz

Blogs for October 2019

Real Estate Trends for 2020

Posted on October 01, 2019


Sure it’s only October, but I’m about ready to pull a Rip Van Winkle and go into a slumber—not for 20 years, but until 2020 and call 2019 a “done deal”; wake me when it’s over! Enough already! There’s the daily news constantly filling the air waves with the… Continue Reading