Why I Love the Real Estate Industry….My Profession

We in the Real Estate Industry love challenges and our industry has challenges galore! And it sure feels good when I take that challenge and turn it into a prize winning ending.
I worked for a Family Law Attorney for many years. Divorces, Child Custody, Temporary Restraining Orders, Adoptions, and personal problems. I worked for a program for many more years teaching classes, writing grants, admin and you name it …I did it. And…more problems to get sucked into.
Real Estate was a career I thought was unattainable during my younger years. My mom passed Real Estate School and did not pursue it further. My dad lasted two weeks and quit because “it was a totally different language”. My self esteem was rotten when I was younger and I always thought “I was not good enough”.
I finally reached a point in my life where I was burnt from saving the world. Tired. Drained. When I was sitting and wondering what I would do next my husband said, “Why don’t you just do what you always talk about”. I then went into the Real Estate Industry.
I love my profession because:
  • We have to abide by a Code of Ethics and it gives our industry structure.
  • It still allows me to help others…yet keep my boundaries (hooray!)
  • I am working in Hawaii and it is surely a joy to work around such scenic treasures for the eye to behold!
  • I can now take care of myself too …instead of taking care of others and neglecting myself.
  • I have the choice to structure my daily schedule around me.
  • I love going through the transaction and keeping it fine tuned with all the little details to complete and follow up on. (I get off on that)
  • It allows me to be me with no acting on a stage. No puppeteering or commanding and it is my business.
  • It is an industry I take great pride in supporting. It’s challenging and exciting and keeps me on my toes.
  • I love meeting new clients and conforming as a chameleon would to different personalities, situations and circumstances.
  • I have the ability to work as a team with other agents, loan officers, escrow officers, home inspectors and whoever is involved in the transaction to make it a smooth transaction. (it doesn’t always turn out smooth but I sure try!)
  • I also have the ability to know when too much is too much and have the resources to take on more help.
  • A closed deal means everyone is happy
  • Every transaction brings new learning lessons….and I love learning more. It never stops in real estate.
  • First time homebuyers appreciate me walking them through step by step.
  • I love helping other agents and new agents.
  • I have met so many professionals in this field. And the majority of them are super nice.
  • I love working in my office part time too so I can be around Real Estate FULL time. And again, I support our agents.
  • When I run into a snag with a transaction I can get MANY opinions because there are a bunch in my office that extend a helping hand too.
  • I work in an office where we are “family” or in Hawaiian it’s called “Ohana”.
  • I know that the market fluctuates and I have to change with the ups and downs and that’s okay with me.
  • It’s one that my husband has fully supported from day one because he sees how rewarding it is for me when he sees a smile on my face.
  • My dad was proud of me accomplishing something he did not. My dad was proud of me and got to experience his little girl doing something I was good at….before he passed away.
  • Because I’m good at it. I believe that I do everything in a professional manner and in the end……I sleep very well at night.
  • *It led me to Active Rain* ……where Ohana is here as well. Where there’s an abundance of information, help, support, friendship and a bunch of caring professionals all in one place.

    And there are surely a lot more reasons ……but the main one is that at this time in my life…..

    It fit neatly into my life like the last piece of the puzzle.


    Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman, Realtor Associate ®
    Century 21 Liberty Homes, Mililani, HI * (808) 375-1404

  • The Koolau Mountain Range-A Dormant Volcano on Oahu, Hawaii

    Breathtaking! The Ko’olau Mountain Range is not a “normal” mountain range. The western half that is seen is what is left of the Ko’olau Volcano that was destroyed in Prehistoric times. What happened was the eastern half and much of the summit caldera (feature formed during volcanic activity) slid into the Pacific Ocean.

    These fragments were cast 100 miles over the northeast part of the ocean floor. History says the eruption first took place on the ocean floor 2.5 million years ago. It kept growing in elevation (which you see here to the left) and currently stands over 3,000 feet above sea level. Scientists believe that this dormant volcano will one day come to life again.

    The map above shows the monstrosity of the Ko’olau Mountains (to the right and all in green) which is the length of our island of Oahu from southern (Honolulu) to northern (North Shore) ends. If you are planning on Relocating to Hawaii this article will give you a little more lore and information regarding our island of Oahu.

    We traveled over the H-3 Freeway to get to the windward side of the island (which is basically from central Oahu west of the Koolau’s to the east side of Oahu) where Kaneohe and Kailua towns are located. From there we went all along the coast to the North Shore and back to Central Oahu.

    After going through Kaneohe town we headed north through and went through the following towns:
    Waimanalo– Country area, plenty of agricultural land and I love to go out there to the orchid farms where you can pick up variety at low cost.
    Kaawa– Macadamia Nut Farm, Koolau Ranch
    Punaluu– Beautiful beaches, waterfront properties and the Crouching Lion restaurant
    Hauula– Country, coastal properties
    Laie– Polynesian Cultural Center, BYU University, Laie Point fishing
    Kahuku– Sugar Mill, Shrimp Farms, Farmland
    Sunset Beach– North Shore Famous Surfing Spot, beaches, coastal and mountain properties.
    Waimea Bay– Beautiful bay, swimming, Autubon society in Waimea Valley
    Haleiwa– Old historic town, quaint shops and beaches
    We traveled only 3/4 of the way along the Koolau Mountain Range to the left of us and the ocean to the right. No matter how many times we make this beautiful drive every single time it proves to have such scenic views to behold each and every time. (click the button for the show twice…it has a kink sometimes 🙂

    More articles on Oahu for Hawaii Relocations (or even visitors!) can be found here:

    *All pictures and content property of Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman

    Be Part of the Solution For Your Market; Because "Shift" Always Happens

    Whichever state you are residing and conducting business in it can be guaranteed that your market of last year or the year before is in the past. What is past is past. What is present is a gift. And the future is yet to come. The market shifts, changes, goes up, goes down or stabilizes. Whatever the cause of the market in your neighborhood changing it is up to us to keep the market moving.

    Real Estate Industry Professionals keep the market moving. What a concept! I for one shifted, changed and moved with Honolulu Hawaii’s market. In Hawaii our market has definitely shifted all over the place in the last two years. Up and down, stable and now the neighborhoods have shifted yet again. In some other neighborhoods prices have gone back up and others it has gone down. Go figure.
    Here’s a post I wrote back in July 2007 (it was actually my attempt to write a contest entry for the Carnival of Content Contest) No Bursting Bubble For Hawaii? Home Buying and Selling Tipsters!

    In any case, if anyone would like to see our statistics released by the Honolulu Board of Realtors yesterday for the third quarter it can be seen here http://www.hicentral.com/hbr-stat.asp in full and there are links for previous months, years and quarters. I do thank the ghost writer for getting me off my behind to give current statistics though!

    The following statistics are for the Median SALES prices in the Honolulu County (Oahu) Hawaii throughout the last few years. Our sales prices are NOT going down. What has gone down are the number of sales. For single family homes in 2006 the number of sales at this time were 1,089 and this year it’s 975. For condos the number sold was 1,559 at this time last year and as of yesterday 1,366.

    What really makes the difference is the neighborhoods. In Central Oahu (Mililani, Wahiawa, Whitmore, Wilikina) our prices went up for single family homes and down for condos. The previous quarter both single family and condo prices went up. Go figure. In July of this year (when I wrote that post) prices went up for all categories and neighborhoods except for Ewa and Waipahu (for single family) and Makakilo and Pearl City for Condos. Again. Go figure.

    Single Family: Median Sales Price
    2003- $380,000
    2004- $460,000
    2005- $590,000
    2006- $630,000
    2007- $649,000

    Condos: Median Sales Price
    2003- $175,000
    2004- $180,000
    2005- $269,000
    2006- $310,000
    2007- $330,000

    And this IS the current information from our Honolulu Board of Realtors (tracking all solds from our MLS) and brought to you via WooHoo Sally’s Blog!

    For those of you who believe that we make a difference for our Real Estate Industry then keep on striving to be the best you can be; ALWAYS support each other and work as a team and ALWAYS think in the best interests of your clients.

    And if you need current and up to date information on statistics, a Hawaii Relocations packet or you just have questions please don’t hesitate to contact Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman, Realtor Associate ® , Century 21 Liberty Homes, Mililani, HI @ (808) 375-1404.

    Alive and Well in Central Oahu, Hawaii! roll with the changes.CLICK>


    Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman’s Mililani Hawaii Real Estate Blog 2007©
    *All pictures and content property of Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman

    The Hawaii Superferry IS a Debatable Subject

    I was very reluctant to write on this very controversial subject so bear with me in writing an opinionated (for BOTH sides) post regarding the Hawaii Superferry. There are two sides to every story just as there are two sides to this one and it will be a debatable subject no matter how it is discussed because of the views and opinions by different environmental groups and Hawaii residents.

    The Hawaii Superferry had launched on August 26, 2007 but the Superferry was stopped the next day by Maui Circuit Court Judge Joseph Cardoza until he rules whether the Superferry can still operate while a environmental assessment is being done. On Kauai the service was stopped indefinitely because of safety concerns from the anti ferry protests.

    Ah! The Pro’s and Con’s of a decision that could affect our environment, upset or kill the endangered humpback whale in Hawaii and cause more heartache than it may be worth. On the other hand it could bring in more revenue for our state, make an alternate method of transportation for not only the tourists but for residents who need to commute to other islands for business as well.

    Let’s first look at the Negative impact it may have on traveling from island to island:

    • Traffic concerns for the islands that the Superferry is traveling to. Additional traffic created by the Superferry around the areas in each harbor would be extensive.
    • The spread of invasive species No vehicle inspection or removal procedures were in place for plants, coqui frogs or other invasive species trying to hitch rides from island to island on the vehicles being transported by the Superferry.
    • Potential collisions with humpback whales The Superferry needs to operate at 37 knots (43 mph) and marine mammal experts say 15 knots to reduce the risk of injury to whales if they are hit.
    • Negative Impact on Emotions created with the residents of the islands because there was no environmental assessment done before the Superferry arrived. (this has been in planning for SIX years)

    The Positive impact the Superferry may have for our islands:

    • After the September 11th terrorist attack it was evident that our Hawaiian islands were dependent on air flight and needed an alternative to transportation from island to island
    • Great alternative to those who do not like to fly in airplanes and would like their car to travel with them
    • For Hawaii residents who commute from island to island for business while in the comfort of their own automobiles while riding around or maybe just an overnight trip.
      Hawaii Residents who want to go fishing off other islands and take their boats with them or go camping (and take their gear with them)
    • Additional Revenue and jobs for Hawaii’s residents.

    And I could go on and on for both sides here but the bottom lines here are that there is a Decision Expected Today on Hawaii Superferry by the Maui Court to see if the Hawaii Superferry can operate while an Environmental Assessment is done and the Hawaii Superferry Warns It Must Sail Soon – October 5, 2007 because it is losing $650,000 per week while it sits in Honolulu Harbor.

    Though I am not a “seasoned” environmentalist I do know one thing. It has divided the residents of all islands with their views and emotional outbursts against other human beings. Yes, they are fighting for what they believe is right. That’s fine. But to be rude, violent and disruptive is not the Aloha Spirit. It is saddening to see that this whole subject resorted to this behavior (regardless what everyone’s opinion was) as described in USA Today article Surfer’s Block Hawaii Superferry. I do commend the Hawaii Superferry for stepping back and allowing the “process” to determine the fate/success of the Hawaii Superferry.

    This is my only opinion on this whole scenario. The human error in letting negative angry emotions get in the way of individual opinions and views.

    UPDATE: Ruling delayed until tomorrow 10am

    Condo/Townhouse Living in Hawaii….and A Water Leak

    Townhouse/Condo living can be great easy living for homeowners that want a low maintenance courtyard and maintenance fees that take care of the bulk of insurance/repairs for the common elements of the structure, water, sewer, trash and parking. (at least this is in my Association and others may include electricity)

    For me (in my mid years) it was good to downsize and not have the added stress of yardwork and a big house to maintain. I also love the peace and quiet in our community.

    Just remember that if you have someone above or below you and you incur a bathroom (or any location i.e. kitchen, laundry etc) leak to be sure to:

    • Call the resident manager and your maintenance company immediately to inform them of the situation, especially if you have a unit above you and you don’t know where it’s coming from.
    • Call a LICENSED plumber IMMEDIATELY so you can eliminate the possibilities of where the leak is coming from and remedy the situation. If it is from your unit you certainly do not want the water leak going into other units because YOU will be responsible. If you are not the cause your resident manager and maintenance company will start the process of elimation by contacting all unit owners around you.
    • Do not let it go on and on because you are subjecting your home to severe damage and it becomes a health hazard when mildew and mold start occuring.
      Make sure you have condo/townhouse insurance (it’s minimal cost per year and will cover damage to others units and if it’s your unit it may cover water damage to carpet walls and other damaged parts of the home that do not fall under the Association insurance for the inside your unit.
    • Make sure you don’t accuse your neighbors to their face until you really find out who the culprit is. (I kept accusing them to my husband. I’m so glad I was pleasant to the neighbors….whew.)

    Following is my own personal experience so please take heed because it could happen to anyone!

    With my assumptions I not only made a fool of myself but those assumptions also proved me WRONG! Two weeks ago I was sitting on my toilet and in front of me on the bottom of the baseboard I noticed a really tiny puddle of water. I sopped it up and it went away until a few days later I saw it again. I pulled the baseboard up and lo and behold it was wet and I ran into my room and felt the carpet next to the wall that backs the bathroom and lo and behold it was wet too! I immediately assumed it was the unit above us because I heard the toddler in the bathroom and getting out and running around.

    In any event the following is what transpired:

    • Called the Association and the Resident Manager who in turn contacted the owner (there is a tenant above us). The owner showed up an hour later and told us that the tenants had a stopped drain and had rootered in the overflow pipe. Geez. That’s what it is!
    • The owner came that evening and assured us he fixed the overflow and we should not be receiving any more trouble.
    • We decided to call the plumber when we discovered the puddle in the closet getting bigger because we could not figure out why or where it was coming from.
    • Plumber came and cut two holes in our closet (picture to right is in between the two walls from my closet to the bathroom) and exposed the bathtub area. GIANT puddle, some mildew and starting of mold in a couple of spots. Great. He said the leak was coming from upstairs and we even asked the tenant if the plumber could look. The overflow was NOT changed and couldn’t have been changed because they would have had to cut through our ceiling to do it. The tenant told the plumber the landlord (owner) caulked it and that was it.
    • Leaking continues although we start monitoring during the night and next morning only to find out it was US! No one home upstairs and my husband jumped in the shower with me in the closet shining the mag light into the holes. Yup. It was us.
    • Called the plumber in the morning when we did the “experiment” again and it leaked…with no one home upstairs (they’re at work) He came yesterday afternoon and I informed him that the tub faucet started leaking, I found a crack on the bottom of the cheap fiberglass tub this townhouse came with and through the hole in the closet saw that the back side of the tub’s frame wasn’t even on the floor.
    • So, the plumber replaced the mixer valve and basically told us we need a new bathtub and until someone comes in we can get waterproof tape to hold out the water. So after he left my husband went and got heavy duty waterproof tape and “crazy glue” and glued and taped the crack and a couple of fractures. We took showers and though it’s not leaking from the bottom of the tub…there is STILL a leak only when running the shower. (the plumber said it was dry back there).

    Bottom line. I have someone coming this afternoon to give me an estimate on the tub replacement and when they rip it out we’ll surely find that other leak that is finding it’s way to the backside of the wall of the tub and dripping down the beam…that is getting soaked and dried…soaked and dried. I’m living with two holes in my closet that I need to keep open so I can keep drying it out under there and keep an eye on things. (I have since been wiping down the inside with clorox cleaner and spraying Lysol…and will call someone in to do it the correct way before the walls are sealed again)

    I think I’ll remodel my whole bathroom at this point with a nice heavy duty tub and solid surface walls, and new floors, toilet and cabinets and…..and…. my husband isn’t laughing at me anymore for “assuming” it was the neighbors. lol!

    How much did you say?