Maui Real Estate Newsletter


Some of you, I know, really enjoy looking at statistics when evaluating the status of Real Estate markets.  That’s why I began including a link to our Multiple Listing Service statistics on a monthly basis some time ago.  For me, while I appreciate the value of taking that approach, my intuitive sense of the marketplace has always served me well and been a factor, I believe, in my success as a Realtor.

While statistics, under scrutiny, would certainly support the market overview I’m about to share, here’s a “wrap” on the Real Estate market in south Maui (Wailea/Makena) “according to Michael”. 

You’ve heard the expression, “What goes around comes around”.  Well, I recall that back in 2006 there were only two 2BR condos under $1 million in Wailea that were zoned for short-term rentals.  Of course, unbeknownst to most of us, that became the high water mark which would not be seen again for many years.

Fast forward to 2018 and there are a total of three 2BR short-term rental units in Wailea under $1 million.  The difference this time, though, is that the market has not been artificially inflated by no-documentation financing and rampant profit-taking by short-term profiteers.  The economy, in general, is on a much more secure footing than in the years from 2006-2008.

In addition, while shortage of inventory has been an issue driving many markets around the country, I have not considered it to be a factor here on Maui (although others have).  When I have worked with willing, able, and motivated buyers over the past few years we have always found something to fit their needs.

That may be changing, though, as there are only 33 single-family homes for sale in the Wailea/Makena area (about 35% less than typical) at this time.  Only 7 of the 33 are under $2 million with a median price for all 33 ever-so-slightly under $3 million.

What does it all mean?  Of course, trying to predict the future is always a Fool’s Folly, but the combination of a strong economy, high demand, and a dwindling inventory would suggest to even the layman that conditions for the short-term will continue to push things higher.

Click here for complete May statistics.

To give you a better feel, here are three upscale Wailea homes in the median price range.  Please enjoy the 3D Virtual Tours associated with these fine properties:

MLS #376414—The 2,828 interior square footage of this pristine 3BR/3BA home is only part of the story.  Add the 573 sq. ft. lanai and the expansive pocketing doors that open the entire living and kitchen area to the beautiful Hawaiiana landscape that surrounds it, and you have something very special here.  $2,895,000!!!

MLS #376843—This custom designed 3BR/4.5BA 3,762 sq. ft. SMART home will appeal to your sense of design and your geek-dom at the same time!  From the time you pass through the hand-crafted iron double doors until you clap your hands to close the blinds and turn out the lights at night you will appreciate top-of-the-line everything!  $3,199,000!!!

MLS #376934—Situated on a prime lot in the prestigious Golf Vistas gated community, you will be treated to features such as Italian marble flooring, Golden Onyx counter tops, and Thomasville cherry wood cabinets in this 3BR/3.5BA 2,739 custom home.  Not to be missed!  $3,300,000!!!

Hard to believe, but this June 13-17 Maui will be hosting the 19th annual Maui Film Festival.  Regarded as one of the premiere film festivals in the country for many years now, I doubt that any of the competitors can offer an experience comparable to sitting under the stars at the incredible outdoor Celestial Cinema watching a first-run movie on Maui.  As always, our festival will showcase many Indie films featuring new and up-and-coming very talented actors.  Some of the films will then make it to the local theaters, but many will only be available (to us) at the Festival.  I have been to many through the years, recalling the first one that I attended in 2004 and watched “The Notebook” featuring James Garner, Gena Rowlands, and a young Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling.  Not a dry eye in the house.  If you will be on island for that weekend, be sure to get your tickets.

Summer is here, let’s all give a cheer.  Bring your bathing suits, sun hats, and sunscreen and spend some time on Conde Nast’s “Best Island in the World”!  Call me; we’ll get together and talk Real Estate.

Much aloha,

Michael Blaz


Recent Newsletters have described what I call the “Wow” factor (April 2017), and the return on dollars spent on upgrades before selling your home (March 2018).  But for the budget-minded seller, good old-fashioned “staging” may pay big dividends.

You’ve heard the expression, “You only have one chance to make a first impression”.  Well, this is only partly true when referring to real estate.  Of course, it all begins with curb appeal—what will your prospective buyers (and their agent) see when they park in front of your home?  Then, as they pass through the entry and open the front door, what impression will they get?  Studies have shown that kitchens and bathrooms are front and center in the decision-making process.  How about the garage and backyard?  All rooms matter!

Here’s where common sense and a few tips to head you in the right direction can be very helpful:

1.  At the very least, let’s get that house pressure washed, or if it’s badly in need of painting, here’s where money spent will reap big returns.  Sure, the front yard may be just short of a disaster area, but all eyes will be on the house itself as that car slows to a stop in your driveway.  I have encouraged more than one seller to invest in a new exterior paint job—keep it neutral and tasteful--and those homes have sold in a very short period of time.

2.  Now let’s look at the yard because that will be the second thing buyers will evaluate.  Professional landscaping would be nice but may not be in the budget, so spread some seed to replace the dead spots in the lawn, pull some weeds, and plant some flowers around the front of the house to add color.

3.  Three steps up to the front door across a small porch or deck?  Replace old and splintered boards; make sure the steps and porch are included in that paint job and use a real deck paint that won’t chip and peel two months after the new owners move in.

4.  When that front door opens, the rubber really hits the road.  These kind folks and their agent didn’t come to see your home and how you live; they came to see what might become their home.  De-clutter!!! Give them space to see their things in the home.  Have a yard sale; donate to Goodwill; give things to your newlywed children—whatever it takes to make less, more.  Then, if you have no flair for it, ask a talented friend or perhaps your Realtor for help in re-positioning the remaining furniture pieces.  Think open space; move things away from the walls; place sofa/chair settees at angles in the room.  Create interest!

5.  Again, think “paint” here.  While conventional wisdom will always recommend neutral easy-on-the-eye colors, pick an accent wall or two that can give the room new life with a little “pop”, and not require a complete paint job.  Trust me when I say that paint is the least expensive thing you can do for the greatest return—and it’s so simple!

6.   Next, the kitchen!  While last night’s garlic chicken may have been a family hit, offensive odors will not help sell your home.  Recently, I had a client who would set a saucepan on the range with a little water in it over a low flame with 2 or 3 cinnamon sticks in it.  Most everyone loves the smell of cinnamon and it even masked odors from Fido, as well.  Again, get rid of clutter on the counters—less is more!  Remove the notes, magnets, coupons and pictures of the kids from the refrigerator.  Make sure appliances (even inside the refrigerator—people will look) are sparkling clean and orderly.  Replace the burner plates on the stove with shiny new ones.

7.  Hang new shower curtains in the bathrooms.  Buy new accessories (soap dish, toothbrush holder--but leave out the soap and the toothbrushes), bath mats and towels—fold them in clever ways to be eye-catching.  Even replace an old toilet with a new low-flow one–piece unit.  Again, no clutter!  And, of course, no odors!

8.  Remove (hide) pet dishes and litter boxes.  Since you’ll want to be out of the house anyway during the showing (the worst clutter is always owners hanging around while your agent is trying to market your home), put Fido on a leash and take him for a long walk around the neighborhood—it will do you both good!  Put Max the cat in his carrier and let him take a nap in the back seat of your car—be sure to leave a window open.

Hopefully, by now you’re getting the idea—less, less, and less!  Make sure the beds are made and all closets are neatly organized.  Add a headboard to dress up an otherwise plain bedroom.  Pack extraneous stuff in packing boxes and stack them neatly in your organized garage—it will save you time when you’re ready to move!  And if that garage floor is stained from years and leaks, including a gallon of heavy-duty garage floor paint in that painting project.

Now that your home is in escrow, it’s time to follow that dream and find your place in Paradise!
This month’s Featured Properties will hopefully get those wheels turning:

MLS #376008—A lovely starter home in a south Kihei subdivision built in 2013, the 1,852 sq. ft. the interior lives large due to an open floor plan and vaulted ceilings throughout.  You’ll be impressed by the quality construction and finishes this home offers.  Photovoltaic roof panels and solar water heater will minimize your energy bills for many years to come.  $1,250,000!!!

MLS #376045—Sorry, this is not a home—it’s a compound covering a perfectly manicured ½ acre directly across the street from the ocean with impressive views and beach access.  Four separate dwellings are secured by a gated entry system and offer a combined total of 10 bedrooms and 8.5 baths.  The possibilities are endless.  A great value at only $2,690,000!!!

MLS #376165—If direct oceanfront is your thing, look no further.  One of the finer homes located on the iconic stretch of beachfront homes on Halama Street, your electronic gate opens to a tastefully upgraded 3BR home with a separate 600 sq. ft. 1BR/1BA cottage—perfect for your year-round caretaker during those months you will be spending away.  $4,295,000!!!

MLS #377484—Those who are familiar with the luxurious oceanfront gated community of 10 homes in Makena would agree that the Tim Farrington designed house #10 is the hands-down jewel.  Not only does the gentle surf lap just outside your doorstep, but it is tucked in at the far end of the complex with no neighbors to your left.  Watch the whales breach and the dolphins frolic.  $13,975,000!!!

Click Here to view complete April statistics

While the summer months are running a close second, our “high” season--when the most visitors grace the island—runs from Dec. 15 to April 15, so things have quieted down a bit.  For the fourth consecutive year, though, record visitor numbers and revenues are being reported.  By my own observation, I found myself thinking that we have almost reached a breaking point where the island simply cannot handle any more visitors.  Traffic, lodging, dining, recreation, all seemed to be nearly maxed.  An article in last week’s Maui News confirms a 7.2% increase in visitor numbers over 2017’s record year and is worth a read.

If you’ve been on the fence about purchasing a vacation rental property in Maui, the increasing demand should push you over the top.  Marriott just opened its new Residences in Wailea last year with 400+ rooms and is already breaking ground for another boutique hotel of 200 rooms on an adjacent parcel to the Residences.  And for the first time ever, Southwest Airlines will be adding Maui to their destinations later this year and bringing even more people!  Plus, with higher demand, we’re seeing nightly rates increase for the first time in many years since the Vacation Rentals by Owner sites caused competition to drive them down.  I’m always happy to run some numbers for you if you are interested.

Well, time for me to grab my surfboard and hit the beach (ha-ha).  Eat healthily, stay happy, and don’t watch the news too much.  Until next month, a hui hou!

Mahalo nui loa,

Michael Blaz
(808) 283-9093


For those of you living on the West coast, get out the rain gear because the infamous Pineapple Express is about to bring some wet weather your way.  In fact, it will probably be there already by the time you are reading this Newsletter.  We have been experiencing unusually wet weather over the past few weeks, with just enough sunny afternoons in between to keep the visitors happy.  The island is looking very lush and green as a result, and ready to share its aloha with you all.

Every now and again I like to feature a very special property in my Monthly Newsletter.  Usually, though, I stay within the parts of the island I am most familiar with.  But while searching my brain for an interesting topic for this my 212th (really) consecutive monthly newsletter, a listing magically appeared in my inbox that said, “…take me, take me.”  So let me take you for a visit to an amazing sanctuary in Upcountry Olinda.  And just to put you in the right mood, give a listen to Canned Heat’s “Going Up the Country” in the background!

If ever there was a time when mere words seemed inadequate, this magical oasis nestled into 4.22 acres of Mother Maui’s finest expression may be the time. The property is actually two adjacent parcels that include two separate water meters, two electric meters, and 3 septic systems.  The gated entry opens to a ¼ mile long driveway escorting you back to a most private and tranquil lifestyle.

One parcel hosts the recently upgraded 3BR/2BA 2,685 sq. ft. main house with detailed teak wood architectural features and spacious rooms including a library and billiards room.  Zoning for the area would allow an additional cottage up to 1,000 sq, ft. to be added. 

The second parcel features two very sweet and charming-to-the-max Lover’s Retreat cottages, both continuing the teak wood theme with just enough difference between them to offer a unique and enchanting experience.  This parcel has a legal short-term rental license with rates starting at $239/night, and demand for these special getaways is high.  Visit their website at  Should one prefer, a second main house could expand on or replace one of the cottages.

MLS #377983 Additional structures include a story-book Gazebo, private Yoga studio, sauna, spa and secret hidden deck. To complete the offering, this well-hidden Upcountry jewel showcases organic and meticulously cared for grounds, numerous mature organic fruit trees, honey-producing bees and other delightful edibles. $3,195,000.

If this property appeals to you but it’s a little more than you can wrap your arms around, this month’s Featured Properties offer options with that country feel, but a bit more approachable.

CLICK HERE for March Statistics

MLS #377719—Sweeping ocean views from the West Maui mountains to Hookipa Beach make this two-acre parcel with a 2,918 sq. ft. 4BR/3.5BA make this Haiku property extra special.  The manicured grounds include a swimming pool and large pool deck for sunset beverages and entertaining.  Rock walls and mature landscaping add a nice touch to it all.  $1,675,000!!!

MLS #375085—Located on the ocean side of Hana Highway just past Paia town on 1.5 view acres, this large 5BR/3BA main house and non-conforming (due to its size) 4BR/3BA cottage currently generate $14,000/month in rental income.  Continue to cash in on this investment property or convert to a fabulous family compound.  $1,800,000!!!

For those of you who have frequented Maui over the years you no doubt have had the opportunity to enjoy one of Hawaii’s most iconic entertainers, Uncle Willie K.  Few guitarists can match his interpretation of the blues and of course Hawaiian music, and his quirky stage presence makes for a fun evening time and time again.  A few weeks ago we received the bad news that he has been diagnosed with lung cancer and is receiving aggressive treatment at this time.  Even in his weakened condition he is still performing occasionally and will no doubt make an appearance at his special Willie K Benefit Concert scheduled for April 21 at the outdoor A&B Amphitheater at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.  If you’re on island at that time, you may want to catch this concert; it’s sure to be a memorable evening.

As always, a big “mahalo” for following my Monthly Newsletter.  Sales are continuing at a torrid pace here on the island, but when you’re ready I promise the perfect property will be here for you!

Mahalo nui loa,

Michael Blaz
(808) 283-9093

Blogs for June 2018

The Wailea/Makena Market; Strength in the Lack of Numbers!!!

Posted on June 01, 2018


Some of you, I know, really enjoy looking at statistics when evaluating the status of Real Estate markets.  That’s why I began including a link to our Multiple Listing Service statistics on a monthly basis some time ago.  For me, while I appreciate the value of taking that approach, my… Continue Reading