Phyllis runs the Real Estate Book of Hawaii and Oahu, www.treb.com.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your community.
Hawaii Kai is in the city of Honolulu, on the eastern side of the island of Oahu. I have a business here selling advertising to realtors.
Where are you from?
I’m from Colorado, my husband is from Minnesota. WE met in Iowa. WE lived in Iowa, Minnesota and Oregon. WE moved to Hawaii Kai because WE wanted to. Before WE moved to Hawaii Kai, WE lived in Kaneohe, where it rains a lot.
How did you come to Hawaii Kai?
WE had an opportunity to start a business here. WE didn’t need to. WE were living in Oregon. WE weren’t really retired. The house was paid for and WE watched the traffic go by. Here, WE had this opportunity and WE decided to become part of the traffic (laughter). Now WE are the traffic. We’re not watching it anymore.
I worked in Hawaii in the 90s and really loved the people here. Everybody talks about the weather, but that’s not the deal for me. It’s the people. People are wonderful.
Describe the people.
They’re very embracing and allowing. Not judgmental people in any way. Very accepting of everyone and interested and they embrace you and include you as a part of their ohana (family). The spirit of aloha is what the deal is. People are nice to each other. People drive very differently here than on the mainland. If people are trying to merge into traffic everybody stops and waves them on. If there’s a four-way stop it’s like it’s a giant contest about who can wave the other person on the most. It’s aloha. They’re very respectful. It’s very nice.
What do you like most about Hawaii Kai?
I like the people the most. And I love the weather. I like our community. WE live on the marina with our kayak. I never thought I could live here. When I worked here in the 90s I thought it was only rich people who lived here. But here I am (laughter).
Hawaii Kai is very private, quiet and on the dry side of the island. WE have trade winds here in Hawaii that cause a lot of rain on the windward side of the island and on this side WE get just enough rain.
What do you like dislike about Hawaii Kai?
(After a long pause). There’s only one road in and one road out. If there’s a car accident on the road it’s a long time getting home. But WE have great shopping, great restaurants, and great weather.
Have there been major changes since you’ve moved there?
We’ve only been here since 2006, so there have not been many major changes. WE live on the marina. There are many mountain valleys that that extend up from the marina into the mountains. There are a lot of houses up there. So there are mountain people and water people. We’ve got Costco, Safeway, Ross.
WE have lots of ocean sports. Kayaking, parasailing, jet skiing, water skiing in the marina, fishing, surfing, body boarding, and snorkeling. There’s a famous snorkeling place about five minutes from my house and is called Hanauma Bay, the beautiful bay that’s the marine preserve. It’s maintained by the state and has lots of beautiful fish. This is where Obama was body surfing when he was a candidate. (Can’t do it while he’s president). Surfing, body surfing and hang gliding. There are mountains and wide open areas to land your kite off a cliff. Why would someone do that? They do.
Are there many non-Hawaiians?
Yes. There are a lot of stories about Hawaii Kai and why Hawaiians have lost their land and have been marginalized from their land. But there’s no ethnic majority in Hawaii Kai, no majority group. There are a bunch of minorities. Roughly, Caucasians are about 30%, Japanese are about 39%, and Chinese are probably about 27%. There are revolving bunch of ethnicities who import here for about one or two decades. Many people are now coming from Brazil. Asians probably dominate in numbers. There are lots of military people on Oahu. However, African Americans are not heavily represented.
What’s the family makeup?
Total households are about 10, 700. There are 8,400 family households. There are 3,400 households with children. There are more people like me, just me and my husband live here. More older people. Lots of retirees.
Is the cost of living high?
Yes. Very high. A townhome with about 1,350 square feet on the marina costs about $700k. It costs less to live in the marina in Hawaii Kai than on the ocean anywhere else, where homes can cost over $1 million. The only downside is that it’s expensive to live in Hawaii. To live on the ocean in Kaneohe would cost over $1 million.
“I love Adrienne and her crew. I am always impressed by how much they care about their customers and the time and effort they put into the care and feeding of all of us. I also am humbled by how much Adrienne does for the local community and those in need. It is just a relief to let Adrienne and her crew take care of you. Lori and Dennis Bennett”
“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!”
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“I am a retired, disabled veteran. In the summer of 2013, I faced significant financial, professional, and personal challenges. At the center of these challenges was the fact that my home was under water and I could not continue making payments. I had previously worked with three other real estate agents on island (two from major companies and one independent) and could not better my situation. Facing the brink of foreclosure and financial ruin, I called Team Lally on a recommendation from a friend. From that moment forward, I was able to take comfort in the belief that these people would achieve the best possible outcomes for my circumstance. While all Team Lally members went above and beyond to help me, I would like to highlight a few.Adrienne Lally, President/Team Lally – Simply the best real estate professional I have ever worked with. Within 36 hours of first contact, she had personally assessed my home and situation, and developed a cogent, strategic plan for presentation, foreclosure avoidance, and best-pricing. Her knowledge of the Hawaii real estate market is beyond reproach and she repeatedly took the time to answer every question and concern that I had. As a veteran herself, she offered unique insight on my circumstance and developed a rapport I found with no other real estate agent. Most importantly, she maintained consistent contact throughout the process via weekly updates, even after I left the islands. I was never just a number to Adrienne Lally. If I am e…
“Team Lally sold a condo-hotel unit for us in Hawaii. We live in California and did not actually know or observe what was happening with the sale. They took care of the showings, finding buyers (3) and negotiating with the bank. They took care of all of the paperwork – sending us what we needed and arranging for docusign whenever possible. We were kept in the loop as much as possible and as much as we needed to be. It was a very stressful time for us and they (patiently) explained procedures to us, since we often did not know what was necessary or what the next step was. Team Lally was very professional in all dealings with us and we are very grateful for their consideration of us as stressed absentee sellers and for negotiating a great deal for us.”
“Team Lally is an excellent team! They know their stuff, they are true professionals, and they care about their clients needs before they care about making themselves that extra $$$$. They treat you like family even after the sale of you home!”
“Adrienne Lally and the team are absolutely wonderful. Adrienne exudes excellence and knowledge in the real estate field. Customer service and great communication skills are just a few of the qualities that Adrienne and the team take pride in. She looks out for the best interest of her clients and makes sure that the buying and selling process is easy and pain free! I would strongly recommend Adrienne and the team for the purchase or sale of your Hawaii home or condo.”
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