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.
“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 is one of a kind . They have advocated well for me and helped me navigate the scary world of short selling. It was an uncharted territory for me but they”re so keen of putting me at ease by answering all my questions. (redundunt may it seems)with remakable patience. During the whole process I felt confident that somebody in Hawaii is looking out and working hard for my best interest. Now that its over I can truly say that I can enjoy the holiday with peace of mind. More power to you guys…God Bless.. Thank you so much again….”
“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.”
“I walked away from my property three years ago and assumed that it would get foreclosed upon or just disappear….Three years later I was contacted by a tenant that was being rented the condo from a company that was operating illegally and claimed to have ownership of it….I contacted Team Lally and they were able to navigate these very difficult waters: me not having paid my mortgage for three years, a company claiming ownership, the condo association not happy because they were not paid for three years…Team Lally worked through all of this to complete a short sale of the property and I paid virtually nothing…I worked with other real estate companies in the past and Team Lally blows them away, I would highly recommend them for all your real estate needs”
“Team Lally did a fantastic job in every aspect of my home buying process. Adrienne was always quick to respond to any and every question I could come up with. She and her team did every thing they could to make sure my home buying process was successful. Adrienne also proved to be a great resource for recommending local contractors after I bought the house and needed a bit of work done to it.”
“I purchased my first home with Team Lally. Cathy was an absolutely fantastic agent and I would recommend her to anyone! We had very specific needs for our home, and Cathy helped us meet every single one of them. We also were in the need of moving in within 45 days of moving to the island. Cathy made that happen! Team Lally is fantastic. Buy a house!”
“Team Lally definitely earned our business. They took pictures of our house and gave us a detailed pictorial guide of what we could do to get our house ready for the market. Everything they recommended was doable, concrete, and incredibly helpful. They are consistent, very professional and we’d highly recommend them!”
“Adrienne and Howard and their team were amazing for us. We both bought and sold our home thru them, and they helped us through every step, every time. They were understanding, knowledgeable and professional. they made what would have been a grueling process easier, and I can say how much we appreciate all their hard work! Highly recommend!!!”
“Loved working with them! They completely understood the Military lifestyle and our needs and concerns! They were there to answer every question and help us work out any issues that came up resulting in an Excellent Sales Experience!”
“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”