Honolulu Real Estate News

Honolulu, Hawaii – April 4, 2023 – As interest rates continue to climb, many distressed homeowners are feeling the financial strain. Higher interest rates mean higher borrowing costs, which can lead to difficulty in making mortgage payments and even foreclosure. In this blog post, we'll explore how rising interest rates are affecting distressed homeowners and what they can do to manage their finances.

The Impact of Rising Interest Rates on Distressed Homeowner

For homeowners with adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), rising interest rates can lead to significant increases in their monthly payments. ARMs typically have lower initial interest rates that adjust over time based on market conditions. When interest rates rise, the interest rate on an ARM can increase substantially, resulting in higher monthly payments that may be difficult for some homeowners to afford.

For example, if a homeowner has a $200,000 ARM with a 3% interest rate and a monthly payment of $843, a 1% increase in interest rates would result in a monthly payment increase of $113, to $956. This can be a significant burden for a distressed homeowner who is already struggling to make ends meet.

Even for homeowners with fixed-rate mortgages, rising interest rates can make it more challenging to refinance their mortgages at a lower rate. Higher interest rates mean that it will be more expensive for homeowners to borrow money, which can make refinancing a less attractive option. This can be especially problematic for homeowners who have negative equity in their homes or have experienced a decline in their credit score.  

In addition to making it harder for distressed homeowners to make their mortgage payments, rising interest rates can also lead to a slowdown in the housing market. Higher rates can make it more expensive for potential homebuyers to borrow money and purchase homes, which could reduce demand and slow down price growth.

As a trusted real estate agent in the [City/State] area, here are a few tips as to things you can do to manage your finances:

1. Stay informed about interest rate trends: Keep an eye on interest rate trends and how they may affect your mortgage payments. This can help you anticipate changes and plan accordingly.

2. Work with your lender: If you are having trouble making your mortgage payments, talk to your lender. They may be able to offer you a loan modification or other assistance to help you stay in your home.

3. Consider refinancing: If interest rates have gone down since you took out your mortgage, consider refinancing to a lower rate. This could help you lower your monthly payments and make them more affordable.

4. Seek help from a financial advisor: A financial advisor can help you develop a plan to manage your finances and avoid foreclosure. They can also help you explore options like debt consolidation or bankruptcy if necessary.

Overall, rising interest rates can exacerbate the financial difficulties that distressed homeowners are already facing. It’s important for homeowners in this situation to seek professional guidance and explore all available options, including loan modifications, refinancing, and government assistance programs, to avoid foreclosure and protect their homes.


Rising interest rates can have a significant impact on distressed homeowners, making it harder for them to make their mortgage payments and potentially leading to foreclosure. By staying informed about interest rate trends, working with their lenders, and seeking help from financial advisors, distressed homeowners can better manage their finances and avoid financial hardship 

For more information on interest rate trends or other real estate topics, please contact me.
 I'm here to help. I've been a licensed agent since 2000. I specialize in helping homeowners navigate the complex real estate market and are committed to providing top-quality service and support to each and every client.

Posted by Scott Sakata on April 4th, 2023 3:18 PM

Our job as real estate agents is to help our clients purchase or sell properties. 

We advise clients about market conditions, conduct walkthroughs, and provide guidance

and assistance through the process of buying and selling.

With that being said, a majority, if not all agents aren’t attorneys and we are limited with our scope of services.

In order to protect the largest purchase or sale of your life, it does involve huge, life-altering decisions.

Having legal counsel in your corner to help you steer clear of challenges and protect your financial well-being is important.


*Here are some reasons you may need an attorney when involved in a real estate transaction:

Liens and judgments: 

If you have any outstanding liens or judgments against your property, you’ll need to resolve them before you go

through with any sale, and might want to take care of any problems even before engaging with a buyer.

An attorney will help you by negotiating with lienholders or creditors to ensure they’re paid what is owed and

these encumbrances are removed, for the sale to go through.   


Title issues:

Liens or judgments are the most frequent issues that are found when a title search is done,

but aren’t the only problems that can be uncovered.

Clerical errors, illegal deeds, or even previously unknown heirs to the property can bring the sale to a halt,

and all require the help of an attorney to navigate.



Your property might have an easement upon it that gives another party access or right to use some portion

of the land, which, depending on the nature and extent, may not be an appealing feature to a potential buyer.

Sellers may want to determine the durability of that easement in event of sale, or see if there is a way to

terminate the easement in advance, and an experienced attorney can answer those questions and take any action necessary or available. 



Many couples that buy a home together eventually split up, and handling the eventual sale of the home can

be tricky if both names remain on the deed and mortgage. If you’ve gone through, or are going through a divorce,

and are looking to sell your shared home, you’ll need to untangle the home’s ownership and coordinate the closing signatures,

disposition of the home, and proceeds from the sale.


Foreclosures/short sales:

If you’re experiencing financial trouble and are far enough behind on your mortgage payments that foreclosure

is a reality or a very likely possibility, you’ll likely want help to figure out what your options are.

An attorney can help you negotiate with your mortgage company to determine if there is a way to modify or

refinance your loan to avoid foreclosure, or if not, can help negotiate a short sale, with any loan forgiveness

and any other requirements to get out of your current home and mortgage.



Renters might prove an unwanted complication for anyone selling what is not explicitly a rental property,

and dealing with tenants requires caution to prevent violating their rights. The fact that the property is for sale

doesn’t necessarily mean you can tell them to pack up and leave; the lease terms and tenant’s actions must be considered.

In addition to the lease, there are laws governing landlords and evictions, and any mistake could result in a

tenant taking legal action. Talking with an attorney about what you’re permitted to do (or not do) will allow you

to manage at least the tenant aspect of the sale with confidence.



Not every home sale is your property or at least the property you call your own. Inheriting a home from a

family member as a trustee or beneficiary is complicated in and of itself, and trying to sell that home,

with any of the trust and tax implications to go along with the standard home-selling challenges,

is going to make things exceedingly difficult to manage on your own. Complex sales such as these are exactly

why many people choose to turn to real estate attorneys to ensure that everything is done in accordance with the law,

and that your inheritance doesn’t become a financial albatross around your neck.

There are a number of issues that might derail your home sale, and that fact is enough to compel many to

work with a real estate attorney. It’s better to be prepared for problems that don’t ultimately arise than to be

left scrambling to address a situation you hadn’t planned for, particularly on the eve of your closing. Selling your

home is important enough to get right the first time, and a real estate attorney can help ensure everything is in order on the legal side.

Stay safe!



*Excerpts from article: “Why You Might Need a Real Estate Attorney to Sell Your Home” 

Posted by Scott Sakata on February 1st, 2022 2:30 PM

The History of Hawaii Kai 

Hawaii Kai is one of Oahu's premier planned communities, developed by Henry Kaiser and Kaiser-Aetna in the 1950s, formed by dredging and filling Kuapa Pond. Originally, Kuapa Pond, or "fishpond wall," had a natural barrier beach, that protected the tidelands from Maunalua Bay and the Pacific, encompassing 523 acres. Ancient Hawaiians used the lagoon and wetlands as a fish pond. But in 1961, Kaiser-Aetna leased the acreage from Bernice Pauahi Bishop Estate, one of the largest landowners in the entire state of Hawaii, to develop residential tracts and a marina. At one time, Kaiser even hoped for a minor league baseball team to be based in Hawaii Kai, playing in a 50,000-seat stadium. Because of failing health, he rushed construction and some locals even considered Hawaii Kai to be "Kaiser's Folly."

Real estate appreciation in the last 50 years, and the quality of life in the community, have confirmed his vision of a mixed-use development with wide appeal.

Hawaii Kai's Ideal Location in East Oahu

Hawaii Kai is about 12 miles from downtown Honolulu, has easy access to the H1 Freeway, and is in close proximity to the Kahala and Kaimuki neighborhoods on one end and Waimanalo and Kailua on the other. Residents enjoy s a good variety of beaches, golf courses, tennis courts, movie theaters and restaurants. Hanauma Bay Beach Park is one of its greatest attractions.

The Hawaii Kai Marina leads into Maunalua Bay on the East side of Oahu. The Hawaii Kai Marina and Maunalua Bay are great places for watersports including boating, waterskiing, wakeboarding, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddling, and snorkeling. Festivities at the Hawaii Kai Marina include an annual celebration of the 4th of July and the Annual Christmas "Festival of Lights" Boat Parade.



Hahaione Elementary – 595 Pepeekeo Street – 397-5822

Kamiloiki Elementary – 7788 Hawaii Kai Drive – 397-5800

Koko Head Elementary – 189 Lunalilo Home Road – 397-5811

Middle School:

Niu Valley Middle – 310 Halemaumau Street – 377-2440

High School:

Kaiser High – 511 Lunalilo Home Road – 394-1200

Posted by Scott Sakata on January 18th, 2021 4:10 PM

My September newsletter has been published.

You can check it out here.

Posted by Scott Sakata on September 11th, 2020 2:32 PM

This is a question I get asked many times. 

It depends on the zoning, size of the lot and a few other things.

I explain some of it here:


Posted by Scott Sakata on June 20th, 2020 6:27 PM

FOR THOSE WHO DREAM OF MODERN, enhanced living in one of the most desired neighborhoods on Oahu, Hale Ka Lae at 7000 Hawaii Kai Drive seems almost too good to be true.

Located on the outskirts of Honolulu city lights, these stylish, richly appointed one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom condominiums offer a host of options and amenities rarely found outside of contemporary downtown condos and luxury hotels.

The contemporary ten-story condominium sits on a lush four-acre complex, with views of the native Hawaiian wetlands, mountains, marina and gorgeous East Oahu shoreline.

This central location puts residents comfortably at the hub of everything that matters. Perfect proximity to legendary beaches, parks, waterways and mountain trails. Easy access to schools, shopping malls, restaurants and medical facilities. An even easier stroll to Costco next door.

Plus it’s only a quick 20-minute drive into downtown Honolulu — close enough to catch a concert or dinner when the spirit moves you, far enough to go watch the sunset at water’s edge when it doesn’t.

These stylish, richly appointed two-, three- and four-bedroom condominiums offer a host of options and amenities rarely found outside of contemporary downtown condos and luxury hotels.

Air-Conditioning in Every Unit
Energy-Efficient Appliances*
GE Dishwasher*
GE 24” Washer/Dryer, Stacked
GE Smooth-Top Range/Oven
GE Micro/Hood Combo*
GE 25 cu ft Side-By-Side Refrigerator
Garbage Disposal
Grohe Bathroom Fixtures
Dual-Pane Insulated Glass
Low Maintenance Fees
Separately Metered Units

Swimming Pool
Fitness Center
Movie Room
Executive Business Center
High Speed Internet in Common Areas
Music/Club room
Conference Meeting/Entertainment Room
Picnic/Grilling Area
Paw Spa Dog Grooming Center
Pet Wash Area
Commercial Laundry Facility (in addition to In-Suite Washer/Dryer

*Select units may not contain these items. Please check with Scott for the most updated available units.
Posted in:General
Posted by Scott Sakata on February 22nd, 2019 2:57 PM
Listings Photo
2916 Date St #6E

Honolulu, HI 96816

Beds: 2 Rooms: 2
Full Baths: 2 Sq. Ft.: 817
Garage: 0 Built: 1981

This is a new listing that
I thought you might be
interested in. Visit this
listing online to see more
photos of the property,
Google? Earth satellite
images, and much more.

If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

Scott Sakata
Century 21 iProperties Hawaii

  Visit this listing here
Posted by Scott Sakata on July 12th, 2018 4:08 PM
Monday, October 16, 2017 from 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Ala Moana Pacific Center - 1585 Kapiolani Blvd., #1533, Honolulu, HI 96814

Presented by: Percy Ihara - Reverse Mortgage Specialist

• LIMITED seating, RSVP recommended*
• Contact: Scott Sakata, REALTOR,
Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES)
Phone: 808-228-4916 or email: ScottSakata@hawaii.rr.com

Many families worry about the financial future of their retired parents.

For peace of mind and the well-being of your parents, it’s important to talk with them about the kind of financial help they may need to “age in place.” Most people want to live out their years in the home they have lived in for many years, a place full of memories and familiar surroundings.

If your parents or any other family members are 62 or older, it may be helpful to learn about reverse mortgages, a strategy that offers many options, including aging in place, help paying bills, funds for home improvements or travel, or financial means to help children and grandchildren. If you have heard about the reverse mortgage financial loan program from someone other than a professional loan officer, you may not have all the facts.

Reverse mortgage programs turn a portion of home equity into cash, which is then paid to the borrower either as a lump sum, in fixed monthly installments or as a credit line. Eligible homeowners ages 62 or older continue to own and live in their home until the last spouse passes on. The loan is not repaid until the borrowers leave or sell the home. The amount of the mortgage depends on the age of the youngest spouse, the home’s market value, and the specific reverse mortgage program and interest rates. You can see that a reverse mortgage program for your neighbor could be very different from yours.

During the program, which lasts as long as the borrowers live, they are still responsible for paying property taxes and homeowners insurance, and keeping the house in reasonable condition; recent programs even have options to set aside funds for property taxes and homeowners insurance, if necessary.

Come learn how a program like this can help your parents live better today and be more prepared for the future. Sometimes a reverse mortgage is the one option that will allow your parents to stay in their favorite home for life. Planning and looking at all options allows you and your parents to choose what they want to do, instead of leaving their future up to chance.

Posted in:General
Posted by Scott Sakata on September 28th, 2017 4:45 PM
Posted in:General
Posted by Scott Sakata on September 28th, 2017 4:41 PM
Posted in:General
Posted by Scott Sakata on May 15th, 2017 5:13 PM



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