Chapter 25 – Lynn Woods
Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I am a co-owner of a Keller Williams realty franchise on Maui. My husband is the other owner. We have lived here 28 years. We started in real estate when we first moved here. I took an 11-year hiatus to run the Maui Chamber of Commerce.
Can you tell me what brought you to Kula?
Kula is at a 1,300-foot elevation on the mountain of Haleakala. It’s very rural. So we chose to live in upcountry because we were also raising parrots and we needed to be in a rural zone. It’s very private. We live on a private road. There are larger lot sizes the further up the mountain you go.
How did you go about choosing where to live?
We had visited here a number of times, and when we decided to come we already knew the area we wanted to live in. Maui is quite rural, and even the major centers of population on Maui are pretty small. Kula is famous for soil and farming. It has seasons where down at sea level you only change 4 degrees a year. Up the mountain you get colder temperatures in winter and so you get seasonal changes and seasonal flowers.
What other areas were you drawn to?
I always knew I wanted Kula, but I think as people move here the choices are two-fold. Lots of people are attracted to the ocean and want to live closer to beaches and water activities. And usually that’s their first choice. After a year or so they begin to move away from those areas and into the residential areas. After a while you tend to move away from visitors.
What do you like about living in Kula that was a surprise to you?
I think the consistency of the weather. It’s just pretty much always the same. It’s warm all the time. I never have to think about snow; I never have to buy snow tires. I don’t have to wear boots. It’s gentle on your soul. You don’t have to worry about extremes unless you have a tsunami.
What sort of people would like living in your neighborhood?
I think it’s best for people who don’t mind commuting a long way. It’s great for people really looking for privacy. I’m 30 minutes away from most things. As you go up into the rural area, it’s more private.
What is your favorite way to spend a weekend here?
I think, I would say when I first moved here my favorite activities were diving and hiking. We have incredible hiking on the island. We have a lot of Hawaiian cultural events, which are wonderful to partake in and are important to develop an ear and taste for local culture. I really enjoy and appreciate the Hawaiian culture.
What sort of cultural activities are available to you?
We have quite a mix of cultures here. We have a very strong and large Japanese and Chinese population. There is also quite a large Filipino pop. Because of that there are tons of Japanese festivals and Filipino celebrations.
How is the commute? Is there much traffic?
We just started getting 4 lane highways. We don’t have freeways. If we do have an accident, it can tie traffic up for a long time. Our roads don’t go straight from one place to another. It’s 45 minutes to my office even though I can see it from my home. The original roads that were built aren’t a straight line. It’s a slower way to travel here.
If you could, what would you change about Kula?
I don’t think I’d change anything. Maui has been really, really good to me. In Maui it is all about community. We live on an island in the middle of the Pacific; we have to look after each other, and I think we do a good job of that.
What advice would you give someone considering a move to the Maui area?
79% of people who move to Maui are gone within 16 months. It’s very expensive to live here, and that includes taxation. The state of Hawaii taxes everything it can get its fingers on. So we have a general excise tax on everything—medicine, food, commissions,; and there is a state personal income tax. To buy what you need to exist is expensive because it’s almost all brought in. We have a high cost and it shocks people when they move here. The other thing is if you are close to your family, it’s very isolated. Once you get here and if you are raising a family it’s too expensive to get to mainland. People who are close to families get homesick.
Do you visit the other islands often?
I do because I do business on the other islands. It’s always fun to go to another island. Each island is very different. It’s probably close to $100 one way to another island. When you go back and forth for business there are passes you can buy.
What do you do to stay out of the way of the tourists?
Just go home. I live in an area where the tourists have to be more adventurous and want to explore. The visitor industry is our economic engine. I want to see it be successful. We have the Aloha attitude. People are coming here and having a good time and we can all make a living because of that.
How are the business opportunities? Would you recommend moving here without finding work first?
It’d be difficult to find work first. People wouldn’t hire you from the mainland. Typically it’s a case of people moving here, and sometimes their career exists here and sometimes it doesn’t. Moving here requires that people have savings to live off of for a while. Many jobs in the service industry are not high paying. The best success in Maui is entrepreneurism.
What’s your favorite local event?
I love whale season. We are where the humpback whales breed and calf. They are remarkable, and there are many opportunities to go on whale watches. We are a whale sanctuary. I go out every year to see them. They are here during winter, which is our high season. They’ll be here until May. There are hundreds and you can just stand on side of the road and watch them breach.
Are there activities for children and families near you?
Where I live I find a lot of people with children try to get closer to activities down the hill. Up where I am is more populated by senior citizens or farmers.
How is the cost of living, compared with other areas you have lived?
I think the cost of living was similar from Toronto to here. We are probably about 25% higher than mainland. It costs a lot to live here. We are about as expensive as the Bay Area.
I think something I’d like to talk about is in terms of how you move here. There are three ways: You sell everything you own and you come; you store everything and come; or you bring everything and you come. Selling everything is the burn the bridge approach. You stay longer because you didn’t leave anything behind to influence you.
If you store everything you have the pull back. If you have that attitude, you don’t tend to be as committed to making it work. Because you still have everything packed away If you bring everything, it costs you so much money you’ll sell it all before you leave. A lot of people here furnish from huge garage sales that happen every weekend. We have such turnover there are always people selling stuff.
“Adrienne and Atillio knew the urgency in selling our home and worked so quick that at times I was overwhelmed. When they got a buyer, their team Member Howard Nett was so helpful in keeping us informed and updated as to how things were progressing and things we needed to do, that it made this whole process comfortable for us. We are VERY satisfied with their services. We recommend Team Lally when you are looking to sell your home.”
“Adrienne and her team helped tremendously with the sale of our home. I had relocated to the mainland on short notice due to a job and my wife was left with the daunting task to prep and sell our home before she could follow. Adrienne helped her get the property ready and advised her along the way. The sale closed pretty close to the schedule that Adrienne estimated and soon after my wife was able to join me on the mainland. Thanks Adrienne and Team Lally.”
“Team Lally is really quite exceptional. Each time we have been to the office we have had a personable and helpful experience. The connections they have with other businesses are also extraordinary. Team Lally doesn’t settle for less and they will work hard on your behalf.”
“We found Team Lally a credit to us and our Family. They were professional, up to date, honest, helpful and willing to help in anything. They began to help us find a house in 2011. With up to date data and phone calls, emails and appointments, we were able to find our perfect house within a few months. Now we look at Team Lally as Friends. They were not only professional but they took the time out to get to know the family and help us with all they could. Thank you Team Lally again.”
“Team Lally are great. I have not had the chance to buy a house yet but I know that whenever we walk in the office we are considered not only a valued customer but as family. I am lucky to have them on my side.”
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“I am Adrienne Lally’s Real Estate Partner. If you think I’m a little biased. Your are correct. But I would challenge any one to say I’m not being totally honest when I say that Adrienne is the hardest working Reatlor I know. She cares for clients like family and always puts their interest first. I’ve personally seen her generosity in action. If you are looking for a true professional, a great Mom, a Veteran, an Athlete, a former gymnast, a Roller Derby Lady, a Military Spouse, a talented and experienced Realtor who leads the number one Keller Williams Team in the State with production making her one the top 50 Realtors that do 90% of the business in Hawaii look no further. There are Realtos who are great at internet marketing with no track record and those who are great at internet marketing and a top producing Realtor. Adrienne Lally is the later.”
“My esperience working with Team Lally was outstanding! The entire team collaborated with me, even though I was 12 time zones away! Working together, we were able to focus my search on the selected properties during my inital 8 day visit to Oahu. Team Lally helped me understand the local market, while listening to, and addressing my concerns all along the way! The outcome was the right house, at a great price! We even closed on the property before my final arrival on island! My thanks to all! Team Lally is truly a customer focused team!”
“Awesome experience with TEAM LALLY! We sold the home faster than expected with professional service from TEAM LALLY. I’d recommend their services to anyone coming or going to Hawaii! The team concept was what sold us on the service they could provide. It’s nice to know that every aspect of the process is covered by people who specialize in that area. Buying Agents just focus on the buyers, Listing Agents just focus on selling your home and understanding the market at the time, processing agents become your main contact after you are “under contract” for specialized customer service. Howard was very responsive with all our questions, it was as if he never left the office! Thanks TEAM LALLY!”
“When it comes to Team Work, Team Lally is the best!. Great communication and customer service. Adrianne and Attilio kept us updated during the entire process of selling our home. The entire helped us through the process and gave us great advice. Thank you Team Lally!!!”