Maui, Hawaii

Category: condos

Kamaole Sands 2-206 Progress

Here’s an update on our Kamaole Sands 2-206 progress: our renovations are progressing a little slower than I was wishing. I had hoped we’d be finishing this weekend and then have a few days to clean and set everything up. We are planning on September 22, 2019.

Here is where we are at. The appliances have all arrived and been installed. We ended up purchasing a full-size washer and dryer, as opposed to the apartment-size washer/dryer that was in the condo. This will make doing laundry a lot better for guests and the cleaners.

Kamaole Sands renovation
This kitchen is nice and roomy. Love the glass tile back splash

Paul the shutter installer came by today to install the big plantation-style shutters. He will need to do a little tweaking as the window isn’t entirely square. Paul has a plan! I can’t wait. In the mean time the headboard (a matching barn door) is hung. I have a comfy Casper California King mattress for the bedroom.

Kamaole Sands renovation
the bedroom – waiting for the plantation shutters

We are expecting Brad and team to come and install the split A/C handlers next week.

Armando and his crew have a few small things to take care of yet, but they are basically done.

Kamaole Sands remodel
the entry cabinet, barn door into the main bath and living area in the back

Lifestyle Maui will deliver the sofa Wednesday morning. Once the shutters are installed, my teenagers will help me bring and set up the rest of the furniture. I look forward to parking the vehicle in the garage again, rather than using it as a temporary furniture warehouse!

Here are a few pictures from this evening. My oldest and I brought the hallway and TV cabinets to the condo and set them up.

Kamaole Sands 2-206
main bathroom with new washer and dryer, waiting on the custom glass shower enclosure
Kamole Sands remodel
the view from the lanai – love that the tile from the living room continues onto the lanai

Availability at our Kamaole Sands 2-206 condo

Our website isn’t quite updated yet, however if you do an availability search, it will show you if our Kamaole Sands condo is available for your dates. To date we have 3 bookings for fall 2019, with Christmas and high season completely open.

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A few Kamaole Sands renovation pictures

I stopped by our new Kamaole Sands 2-206 condo this afternoon. I had picked up another bathroom and hallway mirror at Lowes. Here are some updated pictures! Enjoy!

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RENOVATION photo 8/30/2019, looking into the living area
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RENOVATION photo 8/30/2019 kitchen and look down the hallway
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RENOVATION photo 8/30/2019 kitchen sink with backsplash tile
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RENOVATION photo 8/30/2019 peeking into the bedroom (the plantation shutters will be installed next week)
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RENOVATION PHOTO 8/30/2019 the bedroom with peek into the master bath
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RENOVATION photo 8/30/2019 bedroom with peek into the master bath
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RENOVATION photo 8/30/2019 the hallway nook
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Is my vacation rental legal and should I care

Vacation rentals are gaining in popularity world-wide as vacationers discover the advantages to renting a condo vs staying in a hotel. However with this increased popularity there is also an increased amount of concern regarding vacation rentals and the impact they have on communities and neighborhoods.

Disclaimer: ALL five of our vacation rentals are legal. They are located in designated resort zones surrounded mainly by other vacation rentals. Each one is classified as a short-term rental by the County of Maui based on their zoning. These condos are located in areas frequented by tourists, the buildings generally too expensive to buy and maintain for long-term rentals. We pay the short-term rental property tax rate to County of Maui and collect and submit transient accommodations and general excise tax to the State of Hawaii as is required by law.

Does Maui have legal vacation rentals?

Maui County has two types of legal vacation rentals. Those in approved zones (hotel/business/historic) and then those that are outside of the designated zone and have applied for and received a special bed & breakfast (or TVR – transient vacation rental) permit. There are 400 of these permits available in Maui County. When you are renting one of these properties, they should be displaying both their permit# and their tax ID on all advertising. (Source: Maui County website and here)

How do I determine if my Maui vacation rental is legal?

If you are renting a place that is NOT in an apartment building, ask for the Maui County permit number. If they can’t produce one, don’t rent it.

If your vacation rental is in an apartment building or larger resort, there is a very handy website called MauiPropertyTax.com. On it you can search by address or owner’s name. Make sure you select the correct unit number. In the assessment page it will show you what the condo is classified as – it should say ‘short term rental’. Note, short term rentals pay a significantly higher property tax than owner-occupied or even long-term rentals (zoned ‘apartment’).

What happens if I rent an illegal vacation rental?

Best case scenario – nothing. You come on vacation, everything is fine.

Worst case scenario – you arrive and realize your vacation rental has been shut down and you have no place to stay. You are out thousands of dollars and scramble to find another rental. If this happens during high season (Christmas through early April, you may end up camping in your rental car).

What are other things owners need to do to have a legal vacation rental?

Besides zoning, there are other requirements by the State of Hawaii. Owners/property managers must collect a total of 14.4167% tax from their guests and submit to the State of Hawaii. Their GE/TA tax ID numbers must be listed on all advertising and rental agreements.

Legally we also must have an on-island contact person and our guests must have this person’s phone and email address so they can reach them when there is a problem. In our case, that on-island contact is me (Cara). When you rent with us, my email and cell phone number is included in both the rental agreement and check-in information. It is also posted in each condo. When we do travel, we always provide you with an alternate contact person (the cleaning company manager).

Current real-life State of Hawaii example of what can happen when you rent an illegal vacation rental

Let me preface this news story: each County in the State of Hawaii has its own vacation rental legislation. There are numerous counties: Maui County (encompasses Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe), Hawaii County (also known as ‘Big Island’), City of Honolulu (this is the island Oahu – home to Honolulu, Waikiki Beach etc), Kauai County.

The City of Honolulu (Island of Oahu) is currently in the news for clamping down on illegal vacation rentals. Part of the problem is that they have not issued vacation rental permits since 1989. Since then many illegal vacation rentals have proliferated unchecked as the island’s government has purposely ignored the problem. Effective August 2019 the City of Honolulu has decided to clamp down on illegal vacation rentals and issue fines. This is causing a lot of vacation rental chaos ON OAHU as owners, threatened by steep fines for rentals of less than 30 days, cancel existing bookings and pull listings.

Note, this enforcement action does NOT affect Maui vacation rentals. Different county, different rules. However, as the owner of five LEGALLY operated vacation rentals on Maui, I do support Counties’ enforcement of current rules. Illegal operators put legal operators at a disadvantage. I pay the higher property tax rate, insurance costs, collect and submit the 10.25% transient accommodation tax and 4.167% general excise tax as required to the State of Hawaii. Illegal operators do not do these things and have an unfair competitive advantage.

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Kamaole Sands Renovation

As reported in June, we are proud new owners of Kamaole Sands 2-206. We bought a one bedroom two bathroom condo with a beautiful ocean view. The inside of the condo was in pretty original condition and this meant – renovation time!

Everything must go. We told our well-connected realtor to please pass the word that everything in the condo must go, and so it seems some hard-working housekeepers came and helped themselves to furniture, appliances, dishes, linens etc. Yes, I suppose I could have hauled it home and done a garage sale, but I just didn’t have the time or energy.

We went on our own family vacation in June and then once we got back, our contractor Armando got started on the renovation. Armando was our contractor at both our Palms at Wailea and Maui Kamaole renovations and he is awesome. Great with communication, on schedule, on top of things. We are honored to have him on our project again.

They tore out the tile flooring and cheap laminate, the shower/tubs, toilets and cabinetry. They’ve covered over the popcorn ceiling, dropped the kitchen ceiling to accommodate can lights, added some in the bathrooms and hallway nook. They’ve put in new plumbing, a new walk-in shower and a new corner stall shower in the two bathrooms. The A/C people have ducted and re-insulated the wall for the two split-system A/C units (one in the living room and one in the bedroom). The painters have primed the condo, now just waiting for the chosen paint color to be applied.

Late this week they’ve been installing the new white cabinets. I can’t wait for the cabinets to be finished so I can better visualize the living room space. It’s hard to plan furniture when you’re not entirely sure where the kitchen/bar ends and the living room begins. Is there space for a dining table and chairs, or will we just go with the bar area? This is a question yet to be solved! Yesterday my son and I measured everything extensively and I think I have a better picture of what will work.

We are planning to have our Kamaole Sands renovation to be completed within the next few weeks and the condo ready to rent after Labor Day weekend. How about it? We’d love to have you! The condo isn’t listed on our website – yet – but you can shoot me an email and I’ll get you information. To date ALL dates are available. Rent September/October 2019 for the bargain rate of $159/night plus cleaning ($150) and 14.417% tax.

Why Kamaole Sands?

We have been looking at this condo for several years now. It is a popular resort across from Kamaole 3 beach, just 2 complexes away from our Maui Kamaole condo.

Kamaole Sands is located in sunny South Kihei, across the street from Kamaole 3 Beach Park. This is a 15 acre property with water fountains, a common pool/hot tub, gym, 4 tennis courts and Hawaii’s largest living orchid wall. It comes complete with a 24 hour desk, on-site concierge, and a complimentary Wednesday mai-tai party.

We hope to welcome you here soon!!

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We just bought a new condo!

Yesterday we closed on our new Maui Oceanview Condo – Kamaole Sands 2-206. First order of business, a number of hard-working housekeepers came and took all the furnishings included in the purchase. Happy to help local families out! Out with the old!

It’s official! I have the key to Kamaole Sands 2-206!

Next order of business: many many renovation-related decisions. The cabinets and floor tile have been selected. I’m humming and haw-ing about the quartz counter tops and bathroom shower options…

Our contractor has submitted his plans to the Homeowners Association…. Once approved, construction begins!

This is so exciting! More details and pictures will follow in the coming months.

All dates are currently available for rent. Including Thanksgiving, Christmas, whale season, spring break…

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Our new Kamaole Sands condo

We are excited to announce that we are purchasing a new Maui Oceanview Condo! We close on our new Kamaole Sands property next Monday (June 3, 2019).

This is a 1 bedroom 2 bathroom oceanview condo in the popular Kamaole Sands complex in South Maui. Kamaole Sands is located across the street from Kamaole Beach III, a short walk from our Maui Kamaole condo.

The condo will be undergoing a complete remodel in the next few months.

On our to-do list:

  • Remove all existing flooring, cabinets, bathrooms.
  • Remove popcorn ceiling texture.
  • Install tile plank flooring throughout.
  • Install new white kitchen cabinets with light-colored backsplash, quartz counter tops and all new appliances.
  • Install new walk-in showers and bathroom cabinets.
  • Install a new split A/C system (livingroom and bedroom) and ceiling fans.
  • All new furniture and art work, 2 new wall-mounted TVs.

The condo will be available for rent starting late August 2019. In the next few weeks we will have a new condo link on our website complete with calendar and pricing. As of right now ALL dates are available. Yes, that includes Christmas, whale season, spring break…. the calendar is OPEN!

We won’t have beautiful condo pictures available for a few months, but I promise to post updated pictures as we progress through the remodel.

Kamaole Sands
the view from our new Kamaole Sands condo
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Kihei Surfside review and recommendations

Kihei Surfside
Another sunset at the Kihei Surfside – love this place!

This past week we had repeat guests who had previously stayed at our Palms at Wailea condo with their family stay at our oceanfront Kihei Surfside condo. They wrote us a lovely Kihei Surfside review in our guestbook, together with some of their experiences while on Maui:

Cara & Sig,

Location Location Location!

This is our third stay at one of your condos. First time at Kihei Surfside. We thought the first two times at the Palms at Wailea were amazing, but WOW! Do we love this condo!

We spent our 30th anniversary here celebrating with the luau at Te Au Moana at the Marriott. Highly recommended.

Our favorite things to do: we bought snorkeling equipment at Snorkel Bob’s at South Kihei Kamaole Center – Corey was fantastic! Kihei Caffe for breakfast, gotta try the cinnamon buns and Mac Nut Banana Pancakes (portions are huge, share). Moose McGillicudy’s, Fabiani’s on Lipoa – awesome Italian and bakery. Cool Cats Cafe in Lahaina – great fries.

Most of all we ate here at the condo, enjoying the beautiful view. Lots of activities to do especially the Glow Bocce Balls at night. Rent them out of the office (office staff is amazing!!). Just loved the community here – meeting people at the BBQ, listening to the men blow the conch shell. Enjoying beautiful sunsets, laying and relaxing on the beautiful green lawn by the ocean. Very peaceful and stress free!

We can hardly wait to come back again!

Snorkeling – Makena Bay, Makena Beach Landing, Kapalua Bay, get there by 8AM.

This condo is a must! Sig and Care once again you’ve outdone yourselves! Thanks so much for everything. God bless you and your family. Mele Kalikimaka, L & G.

~ Mahalo for the Kihei Surfside review. We are so happy you had a great anniversary trip!

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Last minute opening at Palms at Wailea #503

Palms at Wailea #503 lanai
Your huge wrap-around lanai, the large lawn and an oceanview in the distance

We’ve had a cancellation at our lovely 2 bedroom 2 bathroom Palms at Wailea condo from November 8-19, 2017! We’d love to have you!

This fully remodeled ground floor condo is a 10 minute walk from Keawakapu beach. It is fully stocked with beach gear, linens and dishes and even includes a Vitamix for your tropical beverages of choice!

The discounted rate is $239/night, if you can stay 7 nights or longer, I’ll rent at $229/night. Rate is plus cleaning and tax! Book now and come to Maui for a last minute getaway!

Palms at Wailea #503
Welcome to our condo, Palms at Wailea #503, the spacious living and dining room

 

Palms at Wailea #503 bedroom ensuite
Master bedroom with master bath which includes laundry

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Coming in 2018…. an increase in the transient accommodations tax

I’ve had many a discussion with our kids about taxes and why one has to pay them. Yes, we all like to complain about taxes, but in truth, if noone paid tax, we’d have to find another way to fund the basics we all want to have taken care of for us.

Yes, even in paradise (or should I say especially in paradise) we pay our share of taxes. State lawmakers have been struggling to find a way to pay for Oahu’s light rail transit system especially since costs spiraled out of control. Yes, it turns out it has been a bit of a boondoggle. Opinions range from ‘shut the whole thing down’ to ‘raise taxes’ and various versions in between. After failing to deal with it in the spring legislative session, lawmakers came together in August for a special session specifically to deal with the light rail transit system.

Did I mention, this rail system is only on Oahu? Sigh. Oahu is smaller than Maui but with a population of over a million, and it is known for its traffic congestion. In fact, one of their highways is in parts 6 lanes across. I don’t begrudge them a transit solution. I guess I just wish our guests’ tax dollars went towards funding one of the many special projects we need done here on Maui instead.

The end result of the special session is an increase in the State’s transient accommodation tax (TAT) from 9.25% to 10.25% effective January 1, 2018. This is Hawaii’s version of a hotel tax and applies also to all vacation rentals. Just FYI, time shares pay a higher percentage still.

In addition to the TAT, you also pay general excise tax (GET) on everything purchased in Hawaii (all goods, services, and yes, also your vacation rental). The GET is 4.167%. So the new total tax goes from 13.417% to 14.417%.

How much will this really affect you? If your vacation rental is $1000/night, the added tax works out to $10.

In the overall scheme of things, it could be worse (lawmakers had been discussing increasing the TAT by 5 points instead of the 1 we got). I suppose we should be thankful.

So remember, should you make it to Oahu – go ride their light rail transit system! Once it’s finally completed, that is. Current estimated completion date is sometime in 2025. Maybe.

Can you avoid paying the tax?

All legal vacation rentals in Hawaii by law have to submit both taxes (the TAT and GET) to the government. By law they need to post their tax IDs on all their advertising (look for it). If you come across a landlord or property manager not charging the tax, be very careful. Chances are great this is a scam – an illegal rental (which could be shut down at any time) or a con-man trying to get your money. Wouldn’t that be an awful way to start your vacation – arriving on Maui with no place to stay!

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Four things that will make or break your vacation rental business

It’s hard to believe that it’s been seven years since we dove head-first into the vacation rental business, buying four condos in five months. At the time we knew rather little about what we were doing. Sure we had been long-term rental landlords for years, so we knew about property management. But vacation rentals are a completely different ball game. There are many lessons learned in the past seven years.

We were fortunate to have several people guide us as we entered the world of vacation rentals. The owners of Kihei Surfside and Sugar Beach each gave me an information download over lunch of what they had learned in years of vacation renting. The first year we worked closely with a vacation rental company at Kihei Surfside – they were a great resource. Very importantly we were fortunate to retain a fantastic cleaning lady from day one who has brought her expertise and knowledge to our business.

Four things will make or break your vacation rental business

Cleanliness and Maintenance

Guests want the condo to be clean and they want it to be well-maintained. This is really a no-brainer. But did you know the majority of condo owners live off-island? Both cleanliness and maintenance slip big-time when you don’t have a hands-on on-island owner to check and stay on top of things. As on-island owners we walk into our condos between all bookings. Our wonderful cleaner Cindy has been cleaning our condos for seven years now. She is a perfectionist and together with Beth (an amazing artist – we have a number of her paintings hanging in our condos) does her best to keep our condos in top shape given the time constraints she works within. Sig (my husband) is our maintenance man – also a perfectionist he enjoys going into the condos and making little (or big) improvements, tinkering with things to get them ‘just right’ for the next guest. If you stay at one of our condos and something needs fixing, please call him and if urgent, he will take care of it within the day, or add it to his ‘to-do list’ for the next check-out.

Sig & Cara Birkholz
Cara & Sig – owners of Maui Oceanview Condos

Good Communication

In today’s online world we expect quick and good communication. I try – I really do try to respond to your inquiries as quickly as possible. Sometimes life happens, but do know that I am on it.

Integrity

Isn’t this key with everything in life? Please read our reviews (on this website, our web listings and our guestbook entries). They speak for themselves.

Do we have it all together? Does anyone ever? We do try our best with our vacation rental business and hope that you have a wonderful vacation when you stay at one of our condos!

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