Fred's Maui Real Estate Blog

When was the last time you took a day trip?  Whether you're visiting Maui or are a longtime resident, it's refreshing to take time to enjoy what Maui has to offer.  With all the fun activities to do it can be hard to enjoy it all unless you make a point of it.  Before making plans, it's helpful to figure out what you'd like to experience.  If you're looking to experience laid back island style, Upcountry may be the place to go.  This includes the towns of Makawao and Kula.  These areas are mostly pastoral land of orchid, protea and lavender farms, wineries, charming shops, artist studios, galleries, cafes and restaurants with majestic Haleakala Crater in the backdrop. 

Here are a few popular places to consider while visiting the Upcountry area:

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Owning a second home is a dream for many and can be reality for some. It's wonderful to imagine a place to vacation, retire to place you love or perhaps a place to generate income.  There are many reasons to want to buy a second home but also considerations to make beforehand. If you already enjoy time away from home in another place you'd love to one day spend more time or possibly retire, owning a second home may be a wise decision. 

To help you look at the issues of second home ownership, here are a few highlights to consider:

Some Benefits:

Prepare for Retirement- Besides creating wonderful vacation opportunities, a second home in a place you love allows you to create community ties before retirement.  It will help you decide if this

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Maui has a diverse climate and geography that allows much outdoor activity.  The island naturally offers trails and hikes for exploring the rain forests, lava formations, mountains and valleys. Each area has a place to get outside for the day and trek around.  You can be an experienced trailblazer or just enjoy taking walks, there's something for you.  Some of the best areas for hiking are Haleakala, Hana, Kipahulu and Upcountry.  These are the cooler regions but South and West Maui also offer great hikes, although drier and more arid.  

Here are brief descriptions of some of the favorite places:

Haleakala- There are more than 30 miles of hiking trails in Haleakala National Park.  The visitor center has a half mile guided hike twice a day.  With

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Interest Rates & Mortgages

Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases someone can make in life but securing a mortgage loan doesn't have to be difficult.

                                    

What is a Mortgage? A mortgage, or mortgage loan, is a legal agreement where a lender offers money to a borrower to purchase real estate in exchange for interest.  The loan is secured by the real estate, so if the borrower fails to repay (defaults) the lender can foreclose, selling the property to pay off the loan. 

Mortgage rates are mixed today. Rates on mortgages change daily, but overall, they are historically low.  If you are looking to purchase or refinance, it's a great time to lock in a rate. Be sure to shop around for the best mortgage rates.

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Credit Score Information You Need To Know

So you're interested in buying a home? Now is the time to start preparing for the home buying process. There are many steps to take and the sooner you begin, the sooner you'll be in your new home.  The first step is to take a look at your credit score, also called FICO score which is a simplified calculation of your payment history of debts and loans.  If you're borrowing money to buy a home, lenders want to know you'll pay them back in a timely manner, and a credit score is an easy estimate of that.

Get your score:  There are three major U.S. credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, that each release its own credit scores and reports.  Their scores are pretty much similar yet they are pulled

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Renovations can be a great way to improve the value of your home before selling.  We've discussed the benefits of hiring a licensed contractor for the bigger projects but you can also do some things yourself and save money. Here are a few of both that you may want to consider before listing your property.

1. Kitchen Upgrades- There's nothing like walking into a kitchen with new appliances. Spending a few thousand dollars will pay back when the buyers happily walk in to a kitchen with a clean, up to date oven, stove and refrigerator. 

2.  Small Things- Grab a few gallons of paint and give your front door a fresh coat. While you're at it, place a few potted plants next to the front door.  You can also stop by your local garden shop and pick out

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The Importance of Curb Appeal

When you decide to sell your home, it is important that you prepare to have it look it's best before putting it on the market.  There are some simple things you can do to increase the interest of potential buyers on your home.  House appraisers will tell you that the exterior upgrades create the most value. The first thing buyers notice when approaching your house is the curb appeal or how it looks from the street.  For starters, the entryway is the number one thing sellers should focus on when planning to clean up.  The front door needs to be free of clutter, preferably with a fresh coat of paint and new hardware.  These are simple things that can make a big impact.  You could also go for a statement entrance by

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The Final Walk-Through

One of the most anticipated days during the home buying process is when you have your walk-through which is usually scheduled sometime right before closing of escrow.  This step happens when you as the buyer and your agent explore your home-to-be and check to be sure it is in the condition specified in the contract. It's probably the first time you've been back in a few weeks or so and it's empty now of the seller's possessions. It's going to look and feel much different without furnishings and probably won't have that "live in" feel but it will be easier to envision yourself in the space now.  The seller is responsible to have the place empty unless there were some things included in the purchase contract in writing.

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Paia: North Shore

If you're looking for fun and sun while experiencing eclectic style, Maui's North Shore is it. Probably the hippest small town on the island, Paia has both a local and international vibe. From young surfers to traveling retirees, this town has been known as a windsurf capital for many decades. Beginning as a sugar plantation camp over a hundred years ago, Paia has become one of the top destinations in the world. 

It's a quaint bustling town filled with great places to eat. You can find a healthy delicious snack at Mana Foods, a fresh fish plate from Paia Fish Market or an international flavored meal from France or Brazil at one of the other restaurants.  It's also relaxing to sit and enjoy a cool margarita at Milagros while

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Aloha,

Many of you know that art is alive on Maui.  From paintings, sculptures, to dance performances, live theatre and concerts.  We are blessed with many established touring and resident artists but also emerging artists.  It so happens that my lovely daughter Meryl, is one of them.  She is classically trained in painting and sculpture from the Art Academy of Florence in Italy.  Using this education as a solid base, Meryl has created her own beautiful style to express herself.

I'm very proud to say that she has been selected into the prestigious exhibition of Art Maui 2016.  This is her second year being recognized from a large pool of artist to display her work.  It will be in the Schaefer International Gallery at the Maui Arts and

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