Maui County Legal and Illegal B&B,s, and Vacation Rentals


I have been in the Tourism Industry for  many years and it's great to know when people are enjoying their stays and explorations.

I share history, offer friendly advise, suggestions for safe adventures, and protocol for visiting areas, while also respecting the aina we call home.

I think it's only fair to let folks know that once again, illegal vacation rentals are on the rise on Maui, and that could spell problems for Guests during our  high season.

Maui went through  tough stuff in order to craft and enforce policies  and regulations about vacation rentals, and bed and breakfasts. Heated debates finally ended up with something that everyone could live with, and that the County and State would benefit from in Visitor's room tax.

I was seriously one of the very first bed and breakfast on Maui, and I went through the wringer as bills were crafted and the issue was addressed and hashed out. There was fear and tension about how this "new" industry would affect the quality of living on our island.
The large hotels were the only show in town for many years, and a new industry meant venturing into the unknown.

The legalization process was so cumbersome, that many chose to continue to operate without licenses.  It has since been streamlined and clarified and people can apply now, and licenses are still being issued to those who fit the criteria.  

A few on -line booking sites have become popular world wide, and with that popularity, a host of issues have arisen. They get their cut and have no investment in the community and really do not care whether a host is legal or not.

Our County Council, and most recently, State Tax Dept. have taken notice of this growing problem with council members citing " it is unfair to legal permitted operations who pay taxes, and also cuts into our long term rental pools".

Because the council and state are taking  issue now, there will likely be enforcement starting up again in the near future, and it would be really unfair for a Visitor to pay the price.

A few years ago, a previous Mayor worked on shutting down all the illegal vacation rentals after it had been allowed to go on for several years, and it was very harsh for all involved, as folks were counting on the income to offset their payments.
Guests who had no idea what was happening, had to scramble for accommodations during their stay or close to their arrival.
Maui did not look very welcoming ,and that was a sad state of affairs.

If you want to get more information about this subject, check out the  Maui News. you may have to subscribe  online in order to do so.

So, if you are planning a visit to the Valley Isle, and want a different experience from the hotels or condos , for your own peace of mind, please make sure the accommodations are licensed.

Here's to having a smooth and relaxing vacation on Maui.
We look forward to your visit.

With Aloha,

Maui Real Estate on Sale now!


With so many *headlines* concerning Real Estate changes  lately,this should clarify the  Maui News reporting a few days ago.  Record low interest rates and the lowest Median price on Maui in 5 years, makes it a great time to hop off the fence and think more seriously about a Maui Real Estate purchase. This year, your Maui ownership dream can become a reality.

*"Housing Indicators are Up!"
On May 24th several housing indicators came out: apps, prices, sales. And all were up! - Reuters

*"The national median home price rose for the third straight month in April" - HG Housingwire

*"Hawaii ranks #1 in House Price Appreciation"
Federal Housing Finance Administration’s Purchase-Only House Price Index

*"Oahu Home prices near 5-year high!"
Honolulu Star Advertiser 6/8/2012

And yet on June 11, 2012 the Maui News wrote…

*"Single-family homes at ‘sale’ prices on Maui"
Median price hits 5-year low in May

The median price of single-family homes in Maui County dropped last month to its lowest level in at least five years. Coupled with record-low interest rates, real estate professionals say the Maui home market is at one of its most affordable levels in nearly
 a decade.
"It sounds cliche, but Maui's on sale right now," says the president of the Realtors Association of Maui.... Maui's May numbers are the reverse of what the Honolulu market experienced last month. Those in the industry say because Maui has a much smaller inventory of properties than Oahu, a handful of low-priced homes can skew Maui's averages downward and vice versa.

Why are prices going up on Oahu but Maui is 'on sale'? Just a few months ago we wrote that Maui’s real estate market was starting to turn. The above headlines make it clear that this is a fact in Honolulu as well as in other parts of the country. While Maui tends to lag behind Oahu and the mainland, sometimes numbers can be deceiving.

The real estate market on Maui is turning, with different parts of the market behaving differently. In May, 36% of the closings on Maui were short sale or bank owned, and 25%  sold for under $299,999. Also, 13 of these lower priced homes  went into escrow more than 4 months ago. So the numbers would indeed be skewed to reflect this brisk activity in the lower end of the market and cause statistics of the overall median price to decline. But, this end of the market is seeing multiple offers and increasing prices, so don't be deceived by the statistics. When inventory is low and multiple buyers vie for the same properties, prices go up.

An important secondary factor in the market picture on Maui is the low inventory. The number of units on the market is down almost 40% from a "normal" market, and this will impact prices.
Conventional wisdom says.... You will not see a market like this again for at least 12 to 15 years. Maui is indeed “on sale”. And it won't be long before Maui's market catches up to Oahu and the rest of the country.

I look forward to helping you with your Real Estate needs.

With Aloha,

Cherie Attix R(S)
Windermere Valley Isle Properties
Paia, Maui