Jack Tyrrell specializes in Kakaako, Honolulu, Hawaii luxury condo projects.

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Honolulu named most livable city in the U.S. by The Economist Intelligence Unit

Photo: The Economist Intelligence Unit

Photo: The Economist Intelligence Unit

The Economist Intelligence Unit today released their annual Most Livable Cities Report, here.  According to the report, Honolulu is the Most Livable City in the U.S., ranking 17 globally. The annual report assesses cities across the world on the quality of living provided to its citizens.

The report explains, "Every city is assigned a rating of relative comfort for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure. Each factor in a city is rated as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable or intolerable. For qualitative indicators, a rating is awarded based on the judgment of in-house analysts and in-city contributors. For quantitative indicators, a rating is calculated based on the relative performance of a number of external data points."

Read more from Pacific Business News' report, below:

Honolulu has been named the most livable city in the U.S. and one of the top 20 worldwide, according to a new report.

The Economist Intelligence Unit on Tuesday released its annual " Global Livability Index" report, which assigns each city a score for over 30 factors across five broad categories – based on stability, healthcare, culture/environment, education and infrastructure.

Honolulu has been named the most livable city in the U.S. and one of the top 20 worldwide, according to annual "Global Livability Index" from the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The state's largest city was ranked No. 17 globally and No. 1 in U.S., beating out Washington, D.C., (30) and Boston (34) to top the nation.

Several U.S. cities have declined in score, due to, among other things, mounting civil unrest linked to Black Lives Matter and Trump policies, terrorism-related violence that undermine personal safety and an increase in mass shootings.

According to the 2017 report, cities that score best “tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density. These can foster a range of recreational activities without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure.”

The most livable city in the world was for the seventh year in a row Melbourne. The Australian city was followed by Vienna and Vancouver.

Australia and Canada dominated the top 10 with three cities each.

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Neighborhood News: Additional Bikeshare stops coming to Ward and Ala Moana area

Photo: Biki, Bikeshare Hawaii

Photo: Biki, Bikeshare Hawaii

Bikeshare Hawaii announced that the nonprofit is adding another 10 stations to increase access to its Biki bikeshare program.  They have been installed as of Monday, August 14, 2017, so please be aware.  Read more from the Pacific Business Journal, below.

The new stops, which will be located between Downtown Honolulu and Waikiki, will bring the total number of Biki stops from Chinatown to Diamond Head to 99, while the number of available bikes increases to 1,000.

"Biki users have requested Biki Stops in areas where there are gaps, and these new locations will help satisfy those requests," Bikeshare Hawaii said in a statement. "None of the new locations take parking spots."

More than 75,000 Biki trips have been recorded since the launch of the bikeshare program in late June. Bikeshare Hawaii says the program records between 1,800 and 2,100 trips per day.

Installation of the 10 new stations will take place on Monday. The new stations include:

Kakaako/Ala Moana Area:
·Pohukaina Street near UFC Gym

Ward Area:
·Ward Village in front of Real Gastropub
·Ward Village near the former Sports Authority
·Kolowalu Park

Downtown:
·Beretania and Punchbowl streets near Department of Health
·Fort Street Mall at King Street
·Fort Street Mall at Queen Street
·Punchbowl Street near Queen Street
·Beretania Street at Isenberg Street

Waikiki:
·Kalakaua Avenue between Ohua and Paoakalani avenues

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Industry News: Howard Hughes Corp. turns a profit as it recognizes condo revenue

Photo: BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM The Ae‘o tower at Queen and Kamakee streets will have a Whole Foods Market on its ground floor. The complex is 32 percent built and slated for completion late next year.

Photo: BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

The Ae‘o tower at Queen and Kamakee streets will have a Whole Foods Market on its ground floor. The complex is 32 percent built and slated for completion late next year.

The Howard Hughes Corporation has reported its Second Quarter 2017 results, which show an overall profit and approximately $150 million in condo sales revenue. The company sold an additional 35 units at Ward Village in Honolulu, increasing the percentage of total units closed or under contract at our four projects under construction to 85.1% as of June 30, 2017.

This past May, American investor Bill Ackman pitched The Howard Hughes Corp. at the annual Sohn Investment Conference, calling it one of the most attractive times in the history of the company to invest.

Read the Honolulu Star-Advertiser's report, below:

Close to $150 million in condominium sales revenue from four towers in Kakaako helped the developer of Ward Village turn a profit in the second quarter.

Howard Hughes Corp. also reported on Monday that it sold 35 more Ward Village condos in the April-June period.

David Weinreb, the company’s CEO, said in a statement that the sales results show “strong momentum” at Ward Village, where Hughes Corp. expects to begin building a new luxury tower called Gateway Cylinder later this year and start sales for a more moderately priced tower called A‘ali‘i this month.

Texas-based Hughes Corp. completed its first Ward Village tower, Waiea, in November and has three under construction — Anaha, Ae‘o, and Ke Kilohana.

Most of the additional sales in the second quarter were at Ae‘o, where a Whole Foods Market will be the anchor retail tenant. Since April 18, there were 29 more units sold in the building, bringing total sales to 321 out of 466 units. Ae‘o is 32 percent built and projected for completion in late 2018.

At Anaha, a tower to be anchored by a Peter Merriman restaurant, there was one more sale since April 18. Of 317 units, 302 have been sold. This tower is 91 percent complete and slated to open by the end of the year.

There were two more sales at Waiea, bringing the total number of units sold to 165 out of 174.

At Ke Kilohana, a tower with mostly below-market prices that broke ground in October, there were no new sales in the second quarter. All 375 below-market units were sold last year at auction. There also are 49 market-priced units being made available in increments. Of these units, 12 were previously sold and eight are available now from the $860,000s. Ke Kilohana is 21 percent complete and slated for completion in 2019.

Ward Village condo sale revenue in the second quarter totaled $148 million, but that isn’t wholly or only from the 35 recent sales. Hughes Corp. recognizes a portion of revenue from all pending condo sales in relation to how much of a tower has been built. Such sales won’t actually be completed with customers paying the developer, beyond initial deposits, until a tower is finished.

Hughes Corp. did not break down revenue by project, but noted that the second quarter was the first time the company recognized any revenue from Ae‘o. Starting next year, Hughes Corp. will discontinue this accounting practice known as “percentage of completion” and shift to recognizing condo sale revenue only when a tower is completed and sales close.

The company’s total revenue in the quarter was $309 million, up from $274 million a year earlier. Profit for Hughes Corp. was $3.1 million in the second quarter, down from $7 million a year earlier.

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Real Estate News: Oahu condo prices climb

Photo: Jack Tyrrell & Company, Inc.

Photo: Jack Tyrrell & Company, Inc.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser's Monday, August 7, 2017, front-page story reported on the continuous climb in condo prices seen on Oahu. The report looks at data from the Honolulu Board of REALTORS, which shows record high median sales price of $425,000 for Oahu condos in July 2017. The median price in Ala Moana-Kakaako for July spiked 88 percent from $370,000 in July 2016 to $695,000 in July 2017. Prices will only continue to climb, as demand outweighs supply, making it more important than ever to find the right Realtor to help you find the best location and unit, and to guide you through the negotiation process to ensure the unit doesn't slip away.  

Read the Star-Advertiser's report, below:

Oahu’s more affordable option for homeownership is climbing in cost as median sales prices for condominiums hit historic highs, as evidenced in July.

Previously owned Oahu condos sold for a median $425,000, increasing 6.3 percent from $400,000 in July 2016, according to resale figures released Sunday by the Honolulu Board of Realtors. The July median sales price for Oahu condos exceeded the previous record high of $415,500, set in April.

“Median sales prices for condominiums are the highest we’ve seen as prices have continued to soar,” Sue Ann Lee, president of the local Realtors trade association and a broker with Properties of the Pacific, said in a statement. “Condos and townhouses at midrange price points are a likely alternative when there is a lack of affordable single-family home inventory, causing the median sales price to shift up.” 

The median sales price for Oahu condos, which also include town homes, has been at $400,000 or above for five straight months. The median price is a point at which half the homes sold for a higher price and half for a lower price.

In July the sales of 475 Oahu condos closed, a 7 percent increase from 444 in the same month last year. As the number of sales rose, median days on the market declined. Sales of condos closed after 14 days on the market, a 22.2 percent decrease from 18 days on the market in July 2016.

Year-to-date, condos make up 60 percent of home sales, with 3,272 sales closed on condos, compared with 2,124 single-family homes.

The area with the most condo sales in July was Waikiki, with 77 sales, followed by Ewa, with 55. There were 45 condos sold in Ala Moana-Kakaako, according to a Wednesday report released by Locations, a major Hawaii residential real estate brokerage firm.

The median price of those sales in Waikiki was $370,000; in Ewa, $387,000; and in Ala Moana-Kakaako, $695,000, according to Locations. The median price in Ala Moana-Kakaako for July spiked 88 percent from $370,000 in July 2016.

As Oahu’s median sales prices for condos broke records, median sales prices of single-family homes saw a modest change. Single-family home prices rose slightly over the same month last year but came in below recent highs.

Single-family houses on Oahu sold for a median $750,000 in July. The July median price inched up 0.5 percent from July 2016’s $746,000.

“It’s like an escalator. It’s going up and up and up at a really constant rate. It has been doing that for about five years here on Oahu,” said Paul Brewbaker, principal of TZ Economics. “These numbers don’t seem to be that much out of bounds with what we’ve seen for a long time, at least since the summer of 2011.”

Despite increasing over the year-ago price, July’s median sales price of $750,000 pales next to the record $795,000 hit the month before. June’s record median sales price was $35,000 higher than the previous record of $760,000 exactly a year earlier. Brewbaker said the difference fits with current seasonality patterns, noting June prices are higher than July and May prices.

The number of single-family homes sold was up 4 percent, with 335 homes sold in July and 322 a year prior.

In July the area with the most single-family home sales was Ewa, with 70, followed by Mililani with 25. Tied for third was Pearl City-Aiea and Leeward with 22, according to Locations.

The median price of those sales in Ewa was $681,875. The median price in Mililani was $731,500. In Pearl City-Aiea it was $745,000, and in Leeward it was $517,500.

While the number of single-family home sales saw a slight increase in July, the number of days a home was on the market during that time surged. The number of days a home was on the market spiked 25 percent in July, with sales closing in an average of 20 days, compared with 16 days in July 2016.

In July, 481 new listings of single-family homes were added to the market. Only once in the last 24 months has the number of new listings been higher: in March, when there were 492 new listings. In comparison, the condo market last month saw 674 new listings.

According to Locations’ Wednesday report, the firm said it expects Oahu condo and single-family home prices to continue a steady climb as demand continues to outpace available supply.

“An uptick in new listings for both single-family homes and condos is welcome news for prospective homeowners; however, demand continues to outpace available inventory,” Scott Higashi, CEO of Locations, said in the report.

HOME SALES
The number of homes sold on Oahu in July with the median price and percentage change from the same month last year:

  • SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES

    • SALES MEDIAN PRICE

    • July 2017 335 $750,000

    • July 2016 322 $746,000

    • Change 4% 0.5%

  • CONDOS

    • SALES MEDIAN PRICE

    • July 2017 475 $425,000

    • July 2016 444 $400,000

    • Change 7% 6.3%

Source: Honolulu Board of Realtors

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Industry News: More Japanese travelers choosing Hawaii condos over hotels

Photo: Jack Tyrrell & Company, Inc. wardvillagerentalshawaii.com

Photo: Jack Tyrrell & Company, Inc. wardvillagerentalshawaii.com

New data from the Hawaiian Tourism Authority indicates that condo use by Japanese travelers has risen in 2017, accounting for 11.7 percent of the accommodation choices.  By contrast, Japanese tourists choosing hotels for accommodation has dropped 2.5 percent to 83.6 percent.  We have been closely following this trend for years.  As a property owner, utilizing the short-term rental market in Hawaii is especially lucrative, as tourism is the state's biggest industry with no signs of slowing down.  Contact me to talk story about how to best take advantage of this growing trend. 

For the full article, read more below:

While the majority of Japanese tourists still plan on staying in a hotel during their trip to Hawaii, the percentage who choose a hotel stay is declining as condominiums gain in popularity, according to data from the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

For the first half of the year, 83.6 percent of visitors traveling to Hawaii from Japan chose to stay in a hotel, which is 2.5 percentage points less than last year. Meanwhile, condo use by the Japanese traveler rose 1.9 percentage points to 11.7 percent, and those staying in a time share increased 0.6 percent to 5.4 percent.

“Japanese travelers are increasingly booking alternative accommodations because of the price point, and it offers an option for experiential travel,” Eric Takahata, managing director of Hawaii Tourism Japan, previously told Pacific Business News.

Hawaii hoteliers are noticing the rise of alternative accommodations, with the impact starting to show in 2016.

“Particularly in Waikiki, we saw the Japanese traveler buying down into lower accommodations, and repeat travelers are going through online travel agencies and switching from JTB, which caused a deterioration in hotel rates,” David Richard, regional director of sales and marketing, Hawaii and French Polynesia for Starwood and Marriott, previously told Pacific Business News.

From the Mainland, Hawaii’s main tourism source, rental houses are on their way to surpassing timeshares as the second most popular accommodation choice.

Of the visitors traveling to Hawaii from the West Coast during the first half of 2017, 50.3 percent planned to stay in a hotel, 11.5 percent planned to stay in a time share, and 11.3 percent planned to stay in a rental house. Time-share use declined 0.1 percent, while rental house use increased 0.9 percent.

From the East Coast, 60.7 percent plan to stay in a hotel, up 0.3 percent from last year; 9.7 percent plan to stay in a time share, down 0.7 percent; and 9.5 percent plan to stay in a rental house, up 0.6 percent from the first half of 2016.

Canada has the lowest mix of hotel use among the top four markets, and this use was flat in 2017, increasing 0.3 percent to 43.2 percent during the first six months of the year.

More than a third of Canadian visitors stay in condos, while 12.5 percent stayed in rental houses, a 1.5 percent increase from last year and 3.1 percentage points more than the time-share market.

Katie Murar covers tourism, restaurants, retail and residential real estate for Pacific Business News.

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The No. 1 reason home inventory is so low, according to Trulia

Photo: Jack Tyrrell and Company, Inc.

Photo: Jack Tyrrell and Company, Inc.

In industry report by Trulia has found that the number one reason  home inventory on Oahu is low is due to the lack of inventory. This fact highlights why becomes increasingly important to find a Realtor working to ensure they utilize all of their resources to find you exactly what you need and make the deal quickly work in your favor.

Read the full report from Pacific Business News, below:

The low number of single-family homes and condominiums for sale has helped keep Oahu’s housing market hot this summer, but a new report by Trulia found the main influence on housing inventory may not be what most real estate experts think.

Trulia reports there are five theories as to why there are so few homes on the market — investors are holding homes as rentals, high prices have made buying unaffordable, owners are reluctant to sell if they can’t buy another home, baby-boomer homeowners can’t or don’t want to move and owners looking to trade up can’t find a home they can afford.

But the No. 1 impact on inventory: Homebuilding, and not enough of it.

Trulia says that every one percentage point increase in housing stock in a market between 2010 and 2016 correlated to a 13 percent increase in inventory.

Trulia also found that investor ownership correlates with lower inventory, with every one percentage point of housing stock owned by investors driving inventory down by 2.8 percent.

According to Trulia’s data, 46 percent of homes in Honolulu are owned by investors, the eighth-highest percentage among the cities in the study. That figure was higher than 53 percent in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Here on Oahu, the latest report by the Honolulu Board of Realtors found there was 2.7 months of remaining inventory for single-family homes and 2.8 months of remaining inventory for condos, meaning that if no more listings came on the market, the homes would sell out in that amount of time. Those numbers have been less than three months for nearly a year.

Economist Paul Brewbaker of TZ Economics has been saying for years that developers are not building enough new homes to keep up with demand.

He told Pacific Business News earlier this month that the supply of housing “is as constrained as ever” but also questioned whether the demand was as strong as commonly thought, since prices have not risen as high as they should in such a tight market.

Other common reasons often given for constrained inventory don’t correlate as much to actual low inventory, Trulia found.

For example, the share of homeowners in a market who are age 55 or older has some effect on inventory, but not nearly as much as adding new homes to the existing housing stock. For every one percentage point increase in the share of homeowners 55 and over, inventory increases 3.4 percent.

Honolulu’s share of baby boomer owners — 57.4 percent.

The price spread between a homeowner’s current home and the trade-up home has a negligible effect on inventory. For every one percentage point increase in the price spread, there is only a 0.2 percent increase in inventory.

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Development to Watch: Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) centers on Ala Moana

Photo: Prospac Holdings Group, Inc.

Photo: Prospac Holdings Group, Inc.

With development in Kakaako in full swing, Ala Moana is the next development area to watch.  The City and County of Honolulu's Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Plans set forth land use and policy guidelines for the desired development in neighborhoods affected by the future Honolulu Rail project.  The Interim Planned Development Permit (IPDT) provides developers the opportunities for creative, catalytic redevelopment projects within the rail corridor before each station area is brought into the TOD special districts. Five IPDT permits have been submitted in the Ala Moana thus far, with the latest coming from ProsPac Holdings, Inc. regarding their project on Keeaumoku Street, perpendicular to Kapiolani Boulevard.

Kapiolani Boulevard is one of the busiest roads in Honolulu, and there are many development opportunities there to be had. With its convenient location near the Hawaii Convention Center, Ala Moana Center, and many amenities nearby, it will be a development area to watch closely in the next few years.

This article is authored by Janis Magin and originally appeared in Pacific Business News.

A 400-unit mixed-use condominium project planned for a site across from the Walmart store on Keeaumoku Street has filed an application to build the project under the City and County of Honolulu’s transit-oriented-development zoning regulations.

ProsPac Holdings Inc. is the fifth developer to submit an application for an interim planned development-transit permit in the area around Ala Moana Center, one of eight transit-oriented development zones established along the Honolulu rail project’s 20-mile route, each covering two or three of the 21 stations.

ProsPac Holdings plans to use TOD zoning for its mixed-use project on Keeaumoku Street.

One of the goals of TOD is to make communities more pedestrian friendly while adding more housing and encouraging the use of public transportation.

While three of the eight plans — Waipahu, Aiea-Pearl City and Kalihi — have been adopted by the Honolulu City Council, the Ala Moana area has seen the most activity and the only applications for zoning, even though the council is still considering the plan.

Since the plan has not been adopted, developers such as ProsPac Holdings are using the interim planned development-transit permit as a vehicle to propose transit-oriented development, or TOD, plans for lots of 20,000 square feet or more, said Harrison Rue, community building and transit-oriented development administrator with the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting.

“That allows them to negotiate with council for flexible zoning very similar to what’s in the draft zoning that hasn’t been adopted yet,” Rue told Pacific Business News.

What TOD gives those developers is additional height, up to 400 feet, and additional density under TOD zoning, he said.

The four other projects that have submitted applications are all mixed-use towers — Salem Partners’ Manaolana Place and 1500 Kapiolani hotel-condominium projects, Hawaii City Plaza on Sheridan Street and the Hawaii Ocean Plaza hotel-condo, planned for three parcels next to the Kenrock Building on Kapiolani Boulevard.

While most see TOD as an outgrowth of the rail transit project, Rue notes that the plans have been in the works for some 10 years. TOD is a long-term effort that requires community involvement and multiple public meetings over several years.

Planning began in Waipahu in 2007, but the area has yet to see any applications from developers, who are waiting to see what the City Council does on two affordable bills, Rue said.

Gail Jennings, the project lead for the transit-oriented development group at Colliers International Hawaii, said Waipahu is ideal for TOD because there is a lot of activity on the streets — and creating an active streetscape with retail, office, medical or wellness uses at the street level is at the heart of TOD zoning.

“There’s a reason that Kapiolani is attractive and the Ala Moana area is attractive. The scale of the development you can do will pencil out,” Jennings said. “In a place like Waipahu, it isn’t appropriate to have 200-foot buildings there.”

Jennings noted that the Waipahu Depot area is “an ideal walkable neighborhood” that has redevelopment potential. The TOD plan will add mixed-use zoning to areas that are currently zoned for industrial or apartments, which can add housing and retail to the mix.

Rue said there has been a “surprising amount of interest but no real deals from some smaller developers.”

“It takes time to get all the parties together and working cooperatively to create a cohesive neighborhood,” Jennings said. “You need a holistic approach.”

In the Aiea-Pearl City zone, multi-family investors have been buying property near the area where the Pearlridge station will be built, Jennings said.

“Our biggest hope is that the city’s commitment to doing public-private partnerships is carried through to the station there,” she said. A developer on a long-term ground lease could add retail, office or affordable housing near or on top of the station “and it could generate good revenue for the city.”

Closer to downtown, the Iwilei-Kapalama plan, which includes the redevelopment of the Mayor Wright Homes public housing project, envisions adding 3,670 units of housing in the first 10 years, with another 4,050 units in the five years after that.

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Honolulu ranks among top 15 cities to live, WalletHub study finds

Photo: Waikiki Beach

Photo: Waikiki Beach

The annual Best Big Cities to Live study by Wallethub rated Honolulu as the Number 13 overall in its 2017 list! The study ranks the 62 largest U.S. cities based on 50 key indicators of attractiveness. Honolulu ranked 2nd overall in "Economy", which factors in indicators such as unemployment rate and job opportunities, and 8th overall in "Education & Health" which looks at the quality of individual health and life expectancy. By contrast, Honolulu was placed 56th in terms of affordability, probably due to the high cost of living. High rankings in Economy, Education & Health, Quality of Life reflect the aspirational lifestyle Honolulu provides for its citizens. Whether it is being able to take a beach swim after work or the culture embracing time spent with family and friends, we really are #luckytolivehawaii.

Read more from Pacific Business News, below:

Honolulu ranks among the top 15 best cities to live, despite a low rank for affordability, according to a new WalletHub study.

Hawaii’s largest city is ranked No. 13 overall with a score of 58.46 on the analysis, which ranked that Virginia Beach, Virginia, No. 1 among the top 62 cities studied.

The study ranked the cities according to 50 metrics, including income growth — Honolulu was 11th — and job opportunities — Honolulu was 30th.

While Honolulu was ranked second for the economy, it had the fourth-highest housing costs, after New York, Los Angeles and Miami, which was ranked 62nd.

Honolulu had the third-lowest percentage of population living below poverty level — only San Jose, California, and Virginia Beach had lower percentages. And Honolulu was also ranked third, behind Boston and Washington, D.C., for the highest percentage of insured population.

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6 Reasons You Should Never Buy or Sell a Home Without an Agent

Photo: Credibly.com

Photo: Credibly.com

This article originally appeared on REALTOR.com.

It's a slow Sunday morning. You've just brewed your Nespresso and popped open your laptop to check out the latest home listings before you hit the road for a day of open houses.

You're DIYing this real estate thing, and you think you're doing pretty well—after all, any info you might need is at your fingertips online, right? That and your own sterling judgment.

Oh, dear home buyer (or seller!)—we know you can do it on your own. But you really, really shouldn't. This is likely the biggest financial decision of your entire life, and you need a Realtor® if you want to do it right. Here's why.

1. They have loads of expertise

Want to check the MLS for a 4B/2B with an EIK and a W/DReal estate has its own language, full of acronyms and semi-arcane jargon, and your Realtor is trained to speak that language fluently.

Plus, buying or selling a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. Realtors have the expertise to help you prepare a killer deal—while avoiding delays or costly mistakes that can seriously mess you up.

2. They have turbocharged searching power

The Internet is awesome. You can find almost anything—anything! And with online real estate listing sites such as yours truly, you can find up-to-date home listings on your own, any time you want. But guess what? Realtors have access to even more listings. Sometimes properties are available but not actively advertised. A Realtor can help you find those hidden gems.

Plus, a good local Realtor is going to know the search area way better than you ever could. Have your eye on a particular neighborhood, but it's just out of your price range? Your Realtor is equipped to know the ins and outs of every neighborhood, so she can direct you toward a home in your price range that you may have overlooked.

3. They have bullish negotiating chops

Any time you buy or sell a home, you're going to encounter negotiations—and as today's housing market heats up, those negotiations are more likely than ever to get a little heated.

You can expect lots of competition, cutthroat tactics, all-cash offers, and bidding wars. Don't you want a savvy and professional negotiator on your side to seal the best deal for you?

And it's not just about how much money you end up spending or netting. A Realtor will help draw up a purchase agreement that allows enough time for inspections, contingencies, and anything else that's crucial to your particular needs.

4. They're connected to everyone

Realtors might not know everything, but they make it their mission to know just about everyone who can possibly help in the process of buying or selling a home. Mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys, home inspectors, home stagers, interior designers—the list goes on—and they're all in your Realtor's network. Use them.

5. They adhere to a strict code of ethics

Not every real estate agent is a Realtor, who is a licensed real estate salesperson who belongs to the National Association of Realtors®, the largest trade group in the country.

What difference does it make? Realtors are held to a higher ethical standard than licensed agents and must adhere to a Code of Ethics.

6. They're your sage parent/data analyst/therapist—all rolled into one

The thing about Realtors: They wear a lot of different hats. Sure, they're salespeople, but they actually do a whole heck of a lot to earn their commission. They're constantly driving around, checking out listings for you. They spend their own money on marketing your home (if you're selling). They're researching comps to make sure you're getting the best deal.

And, of course, they're working for you at nearly all hours of the day and night—whether you need more info on a home or just someone to talk to in order to feel at ease with the offer you just put in. This is the biggest financial (and possibly emotional) decision of your life, and guiding you through it isn't a responsibility Realtors take lightly.

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President Bill Clinton dines at Nobu in Waiea, visits Hokulea

Photo property of @angelurena, Press Secretary

Photo property of @angelurena, Press Secretary

Buzz has surrounded former President Bill Clinton's visit to Oahu. He served as the keynote speaker at the Global Ball Conference, a gathering of worldwide employees of Flight Centre Travel Group. He also made time to visit with the Polynesian Voyaging Society and meet with five of its staffers, including Master Navigator Nainoa Thompson. He toured the Hokulea, which returned to Hawaii last month after completing a three-year journey around the globe.

He even time to make a stop in the Ward Village neighborhood, dining at world-famous Nobu on the bottom floor of Waiea luxury condo tower. On Saturday night, local resident and reporter Duane Shimogawa reported spotting President Clinton dining with Governor John Waihee and his wife. 

Hawaii News Now reports on Shimogawa's account, below:

The 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, was seen on Oahu this weekend giving a speech, dining at a presidential favorite spot, and touring the Hokulea.
The former commander-in-chief first addressed a crowd of about 3,000 people at UH Manoa's Stan Sheriff Center Saturday. Clinton was the keynote speaker of the Global Ball Conference, a gathering of worldwide employees of Flight Centre Travel Group. Clinton's speech reportedly lasted nearly two and a half hours long. 

Later in the evening, Clinton was spotted dining at Nobu in the Ward area with former governor John Waihee and his wife. 

"I heard his unmistakable voice when he walked in and then when I turned to see him, whatta you know, it's President Clinton," restaurant customer Duane Shimogawa told Hawaii News Now via text. 

Nobu is a favorite eatery of another former president, Barack Obama, who has dined at the restaurant both in and out of office during his trips to Hawaii.

Clinton was at the restaurant for a few hours with a light presence of Secret Service agents. Wife Hillary and daughter Chelsea were not in attendance. 

Restaurant employees tell Hawaii News Now Clinton ordered an array of food that includes menu items yellow tail jalapeno, sashimi salad, black cod, beef tobenyaki and shrimp tempura. 

As far as attire goes, former President Clinton reportedly wore an aloha shirt under his coat.

Shimogawa said he seemed "very happy" as he talked with several people, and paused for a photo with at least one man.

On Sunday, the Polynesian Voyaging Society confirmed Clinton toured the Hokulea with five of his staffers, and Waihee. PVS said it was Waihee's suggestion for Clinton to tour the respected wa'a.

It's unclear how long the former president will be in the islands.   

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