Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hawaii Kai Restaurants Win Hale 'Aina Awards

Voted best O'ahu Restaurant in the 25th Annual Hale 'Aina Competition of Honolulu Magazine, Roy's Restaurant, 6600 Kalanianaole Highway, 808-396-7697, wins yet another prize.

Roy Yamaguchi opened the first Roy’s in 1988 on the island of Honolulu, Hawaii. Today there are over 37 Roy’s locations around the world – 28 in the continental US, seven in Hawaii, one in Japan and one in Guam. The restaurant was designed around a unique experience through spacious dining rooms, an expansive lounge and Roy’s signature exhibition kitchen in full view.

Roy's web site continues, "In Hawaii there are two things of equal importance – food and the 'aloha' spirit. The blending of these two dynamic principles is how Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine was born. European techniques and Asian cuisine meet Hawaiian hospitality to create a fine dining experience unlike any other. Where the "aloha" style of service comes straight from the heart, and where any occasion becomes an unforgettable evening." This sounds like marketing-speak, but anyone who has eaten at the original Roy's in Hawaii Kai is a firm believer in their quality of service and outstanding cuisine.

Roy's also won the Bronze for Best Place to Take Visitors, and the Bronze for Best Dessert.

Another East Oahu restaurant to win a prestigious award in this competion is Le Bistro, voted Gold winner in the category, Little Restaurant You Love. Located at 5730 Kalanianaole Hwy, in the Niu Valley Center, 808-373-7990, the eatery also won in the category, Best Bistro/New American Cuisine. I couldn't find their web site, but here is a review from TripAdvisor, written this New Year's, "We had our new years celebration in the warm and friendly restaurant. The food was unreal, everything melted in our mouths, I felt in one of those movies where everyone closed their eyes to enjoy every bite. I highly recommend this restaurant."

Come visit Hawaii Kai and enjoy these 2 outstanding restaurants. While you are here, contact me for suggestions on the outstanding buyer's market we have now in the Islands.

Barbara Abe, REALTOR

Monday, January 19, 2009

HBR Economist Explains our Oahu Housing Market

According to Harvey Shapiro, research economist for the Honolulu Board of Realtors, the mainland housing prices have been dropping by double-digit percentage points, and some cities have dropped over 30 percent in just one year. But in Honolulu, our housing prices are stable.

"We're off about 25 percent from last year in terms of the number of sales, but prices have been pretty flat," Shapiro explained. "I know it's hard to believe, but we have very limited housing out here. And even with the small demand that we're seeing in the market now, the prices have been holding steady."

In the mid-1990's, prices decreased and we saw foreclosures and short sales, and then the market rose until its peak in 2005. "We had an over eight-year unprecedented growth in the Oahu housing market, and rates got so low in the early part of this decade that it fueled housing price increases," he stated. "Because we had such high demand for our housing and not that much housing available, the prices were bid up. That cycle ended in the third quarter of 2005, and since that time, our sales have dropped off," Shapiro continued. "It's the normal progression of the market."

Jack Leslein, owner of East Oahu Realty, adds, "The best advice I can give is to work with people who are knowledgeable and experienced, and check with a reputable lender or realtor."

With more than 20 years living and working and representing sellers and buyers of Hawaii Kai real estate, I can help you deal with the market. Call me with any questions or concerns.

Barbara Abe, REALTOR

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hawaii Kai and American Well

Hawaii Kai has its share of senior citizens - the state as a whole has a large population of seniors because the weather is so welcoming, the state offers facilities to provide for seniors, and the fabric of family life engenders longevity.

Now American Well, a new service launching in January, makes doctors available anytime through the internet and an Hawaii insurer is one of the first to include the service. The Boston company offers physicial consultations via their web site. You go online or phone into the system, specify the type of doctor you want, select one from a list of specialists who are members of your health plan, and begin the consultation.

Members have a copayment, and nonmembers pay $35-45 for 10 minutes. Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Hawaii now offers the service.

Here's the intro from the company web site: "American Well™ is a new healthcare marketplace where consumers and physicians can come together online, to acquire and provide convenient and immediate healthcare services. Using the latest technologies in Web communications and digital telephony, the Company extends traditional healthcare services to the home setting. American Well is committed to supporting health plans in meeting consumer and employer demand for affordable, efficient, and immediate access to quality care.

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, American Well was founded in 2006 by Drs. Roy and Ido Schoenberg, and is the founders' third venture in the healthcare technology field. The founders, together with their executive management team, have successfully built and implemented large-scale, mission-critical enterprise solutions for healthcare consumers, providers, and payors in both US and international markets."

Sounds like another great benefit for Hawaii Seniors! Contact me for more information on our healthy Hawaii Kai lifestyle and real estate opportunities.

Barbara Abe, REALTOR

Hawaii as the Better Place is getting Better

Hawaii, thanks to the leadership of Gov. Linda Lingle, is going to commit to a grid of electric car recharging stations across the state. Ted Peck, energy official for Hawaii, said, "We want to get off oil."

The state has partnered with Better Place LLC, a California company which already has signed agreements with Nissan, Denmark, Israel, Australia, and California. They will install thousands of stations throughout Hawaii in 2009, laying the groundwork for large-scale electric car use by 2012.

The company also has designed an electric car, shown here in Honolulu.

Contact me for information about our Hawaii Better Place, Hawaii Kai.

Barbara Abe, REALTOR