Maui Real Estate

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6 Must Add Items For Your Spring Cleaning List

Spring cl

Get your home squeaky clean with these tips from HomeAdvisor.

To prepare your home for the warm months ahead, you’ll need to remove all of the dust, debris and other leftovers from the winter. As you clear the landscape and start washing the interior and exterior of your home, it’s important to get a checklist together. Here are some tips for spring cleaning your home inside and out so you don’t miss a speck of dust:

#1 Deep clean carpets.

Carpets and furniture accumulate a lot of dust and debris, so it’s time to deep clean them. Look at having your carpets cleaned by local services — either steam cleaned or shampooed. Some brands of vacuums are steam cleaners, so you can deep clean your carpets yourself. If you do invest in a steam cleaner, you’ll need to put down towels where family members can walk until the carpet dries.

Clean your upholstery according to its material. You’ll need to separate carpet cleaning from upholstery cleaning, unless professionals offer both as a package. Make sure you keep children and pets off the upholstery and carpets until they dry to avoid getting stains on clothing and chemicals on paws and hands.

#2 Vacuum!

If you choose not to have your carpets deep cleaned, then you need to get the vacuum out. Be sure to get every inch of your carpet with the vacuum cleaner. You may need to use the extension to reach the nooks and corners where the vacuum brush cannot go. You will also need to move furniture to clean where dust, debris, food particles and grime may have built up.

Be sure to dust before you vacuum, so any remaining particles will be removed by the vacuum and its extension. Even lightweight dust can end up on the floor following the use of a cloth or a duster, so it’s better to get the last of it with your vacuum post-dust.

#3 Dust fans, ducts and vents.

It’s also time to look at your ceiling fans and air ducts. Over time, your ducts, vents and fans will get dusty. So tackle these projects now before you turn on the A/C or the ceiling fans. You have two approaches:

  • Get on a ladder to reach your ceiling fans and ducts or vents with a duster.
  • Hire a professional to clean your ducts and ceiling fans.

If you go the DIY route, be aware of the safety precautions associated with cleaning ducts, vents and ceiling fans on ladders. You don’t want to break bones during this process. If you hire a professional, note the cost to clean ducts and vents is usually between $250 to $450.

#4 Examine your coils.

The refrigerator condenser coil builds up dust over time. If there’s too much debris, the coil can overheat and cause the fridge to stop working. You don’t want spoiled food, so address this problem now. You can use a brush or vacuum extension to get rid of the easy-to-reach dust and grime. For anything that’s hard to reach, you can slowly pull the fridge away from the wall and vacuum or sweep the rest of the dust. You might also find food and trinkets that have fallen behind the fridge since the last time you cleaned the coils.

#5 Organize everything.

Organization is the key to springing into the season and cleaning rooms. The best place to start is the closet. Look at everything you have and decide what really matters. Throw away or donate items like:

  • Rarely worn clothing
  • Too-small or worn away shoes
  • Broken jewelry
  • Old ties
  • Worn down hats

Once everything you don’t need is in garbage bags, look at what’s left. How do you want to organize it? By color? By season? Find the most efficient way for you and then apply this to other rooms like the bathroom, kitchen, basement and garage.

#5 Wash your siding.

Your siding took a beating this winter from snow, hail and wind. In the worst cases, it might have formed cracks and ended up with missing pieces that need repair. In other cases, it might just look worn down. To renew and revitalize your siding for the spring, consider having it cleaned by a power washing professional. They use a machine with a nozzle that sprays hot, steamy water onto your siding, getting rid of all that nasty grime. This process prevents potential mold growth and keeps your siding from cracking or chipping from dirt buildup.

You can also rent a pressure washer and do this as a DIY project but be aware that it’s a dangerous job. You can hurt yourself, not to mention your doors and windows, if you aim the pressure washer incorrectly. You can also strip the paint right off the siding if you’re not careful and aim too close. In short, it’s best to leave this to the pros.

#6 Gutter Maintenance

Over the winter, snow and wind blew leaves and branches off your trees onto your roof and into your gutters. Without mesh, your gutters and downspouts may have a lot of built-up debris. To prevent moisture from improperly draining, you need to clean out the gutters now. You can get on a ladder and use hand rakes. You can also have your gutters professionally cleaned for $100 to $200. Gutter cleaners can also point out damage to your gutters and downspouts that you can address and repair.


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10 Tips For Saving Water

Water DropTen Tips for Saving Gallons of Water in the Garden this Year  

by Sherri Osaka

We all know this is a drought year and we are being asked to save at least 10 percent of our water use. I wanted to give all my clients some ideas on how they could do this and so I’ve created this list. I thought you all would enjoy it as well.

  1. Check for leaks. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that one in ten homes has a leak of 90 gallons per day. That equals almost 33,000 gallons of water per year! The most foolproof way to check for leaks is at your water meter and I recommend you check for leaks at least once per year. Here’s how. Make sure no one is using water inside the house and the irrigation system is not running. Don a pair of garden gloves and grab a long handled screwdriver. Locate your water meter near your curb and pry off the concrete cover using the screwdriver. Flip open the cover of the meter and check for the location of the red or blue needle. Note where the needle is and walk away for 15 minutes. When you return, it should be in the exactly same place. If not, you have a leak somewhere and need to find it.
  2. Calculate how many gallons of water you use per year. Most people don’t know this, but this knowledge will save you water just because you’ll be more aware of how much you use and more encouraged to reduce it. Water bills are usually for a two-month period, so collect six of these from last year. Look for the amount of water you used. If it is measured in CCFs (100 cubic feet), you can easily change this to gallons by multiplying by 748. 1 CCF equals 748 gallons of water. According to the Building Industry Association, most new homes use 174,000 gallons of water per year, with 57 percent used for landscapes and 9 percent used for over watering! How much water do you use?
  3. Calculate how much water you use outside. If you turn your irrigation controller off in the winter (I know, I know, not this winter!), you’ll know that your winter water use is the amount you use for inside the house. The water use from December to March is usually the lowest, and the water use from June to September is usually the highest. The difference between these amounts is how much water you use outside the house. Calculate how much water you use outside.
  4. Change the nozzles on your spray irrigation system to rotator nozzles.  These nozzles apply water at 1/3 the rate that typical spray nozzles do, allowing your clay soil to absorb the water without it running off. If you have lawn on a slope, this is especially important. Just remember, that you’ll have to water 2-3 times longer to apply the same amount of water, and don’t forget to check with your water district before you make any changes in order to get your rebate.
  5. Add a “smart” irrigation controller. Many people over water because they don’t change their controller as the days get shorter and cooler. Smart controllers automatically adjust your irrigation depending on the temperature, amount of rain, humidity, etc. By not overwatering, you’ll save 9 percent of your water or at least 16,000 gallons of water per year, if you are a typical water user as described in #2.  Again check with them before you make any changes.
  6. Add a “Laundry to Landscape” gray water system for watering a section of your garden.These systems cost only about $100 in materials and can save you at least 3,000 to 6,000 gallons of water per year during the dry season assuming you wash 5 loads of laundry per week.
  7. Replace your spray irrigation with drip. Spray irrigation is at around 50 to 75 percent efficient. That means that you are wasting 50 to 25 percent of the water you use for a lawn. Drip is 95-99% efficient so you waste less water. And remember you can use drip irrigation on lawns, too, it just has to be “subsurface” (4-6” below ground). Assuming your lawn uses 1 inch of water per week during six months of the year, changing to subsurface drip would save up to 3,000 to 6,000 gallons of water per year for a 1,000 square foot area.
  8. Change your lawn to a low-water lawn alternative. Most lawn grasses are considered high-water users, which means they use roughly 1 inch of water per week. By changing to a low-water lawn alternative, you can use about 50 percent less water. That conservatively means you’ll save almost 8,000 gallons of water per year for a 1,000 square foot lawn. The Santa Clara Water District will rebate you $1 per square foot to change your lawn to a low-water lawn alternative, other water districts have similar plans. Check with them before you make any changes.
  9. Remove your lawn and plant low-water using trees, shrubs, and perennials. Similar to the item above, you can typically save even more water by removing all your lawn and even lawn alternatives. My estimate is that you’ll save closer to 75 percent of the water you now use for lawn or almost 12,000 gallons of water per year for a 1,000 square foot lawn. Again you can get rebates.
  10. Create a section of your garden that uses only very low water use plants. These plants can survive on rainfall (even in drought years) with little to no supplemental water once they are established. Changing a lawn to a very low water garden will save you about 13,500 gallons of water per year for a 1,000 square foot area.

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Residence Inn Wailea Construction is Moving Along

Residence Inn by Marriot Wailea is continuing construction at a good pace. The proposed development is a 200-room, 4-story hotel to include a breakfast area, market, exercise room, resort style pool and spa, outdoor sports court and BBQ area. Just a short drive to the beach, this new hotel is located at the north-west corner of Wailea Ike Drive and Wailea Ekolu Place.

Residence Inn WaileaResidence Inn Wailea

The Wailea Residence Inn by Marriott will be among the first newly built Residence Inn Generation 9 properties in existence. Generation 9 properties are upscale housing stunning furnishings with a new level of extended stay hotel comfort and convenience. A perfect place to stay on your next visit to Maui or for locals, a relaxing stay-cation!
View the Residence Inn by Marriott Wailea Webcam


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Melanie VitaleClick or Call if you would like to “Own Your Maui Home”

(808) 870-7162


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Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day really should be every day but it is important to mark this annual eco-conscious celebration to bring awareness to what we can do to minimize our eco-footprint. Hawaii is known for the people’s strong love of the ‘aina (land), share the love on Earth Day!earth-day-picture-3

Beach CleanupThis year, participate in a reef or beach cleanup. The Lahaina Sunset Rotary will be hosting a beach cleanup from 5-6pm.

UH Maui College will be hosting an Earth Day Celebration from 9am to 6pm. There will be a native tree planting with blessing and music with game booths.

Don’t forget, Arbor Day is April 24th so be sure to plant a tree!

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Two Maui Beaches Make List of Best Beaches


Two of Maui’s beaches were featured in TripAdvisor’s 2015 Travelers’ Choice Awards for the best beaches in the US.

The list of 25 included seven winners from Hawaiʻi, with West Maui’s Kāʻanapali Beach taking the top spot in the islands at number three.  The number one and two slots went to Florida’s #1 Siesta Beach and Saint Pete Beach respectively.

As the top-ranked Hawaiʻi beach on the list, Kāʻanapali, was recognized for its soft sand, clean water, snorkeling offshore, and daily cliff diving ceremony off of Puʻu Kekaʻa, also known as “Black Rock.”  Out of the more than 3,000 reviews for the spot, 2,200 ranked it as “excellent.”

Maui’s Waiʻānapanapa State Park, near Hāna in East Maui rounded out the top four. Out of the more than 500 reviews, 438 ranked the spot as “excellent,” and more than 100 listed it as “very good.”  The spot is most known for its black sand beach and near shore caves.  Reviews for the spot described it as “a hidden gem,” and “the quintessential Hawaiian beach.”

Other island beaches on the list were: #7 Kailua Beach Park (Oʻahu); #11 Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve (Oʻahu); #12 Poʻipū Beach Park (Kauaʻi); #15 Maniniʻōwali Beach (Hawaiʻi Island); and #22 Hanalei Beach (Kauaʻi), described as one of Hawaiʻi’s most romantic destinations.

The top 25 Best Beaches in the US according to TripAdvisor’s 2015 Travelers’ Choice Awards include the following:

  1. Siesta Beach: Siesta Key, Florida
  2. Saint Pete Beach: Saint Pete Beach, Florida
  3. Kāʻanapali Beach: West Maui
  4. Waiʻānapanapa State Park: East Maui near Hāna
  5. Pensacola Beach. Pensacola Beach, Florida
  6. La Jolla Cove: La Jolla, California
  7. Kailua Beach Park: Kailua, Oʻahu
  8. Clearwater Beach: Clearwater, Florida
  9. Augustine Beach: Saint Augustine Beach, Florida
  10. Beach at Panama City: Panama City Beach, Florida
  11. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve: Honolulu, Oahʻu
  12. Poʻipū Beach Park: Poʻipū on Kauaʻi
  13. Ogunquit Beach: Ogunquit, Maine
  14. Hunting Island State Park: Beaufort, South Carolina
  15. Maniniʻōwali Beach: Hawaiʻi Island in Kailua-Kona
  16. Race Point Beach: Provincetown, Massachusetts
  17. Newport Beach: Newport Beach, California
  18. Fort Myers Beach: Fort Myers Beach, Florida
  19. Coronado Municipal Beach: Coronado, California
  20. Hollywood Beach: Hollywood, Florida
  21. South Beach: Miami Beach, Florida
  22. Hanalei Beach: Hanalei, Hawaiʻi
  23. Carlsbad State Beach Carlsbad, California
  24. Crystal Cove State Park: Laguna Beach, California
  25. Ocean City Beach: Ocean City, Maryland


I’m thrilled to be able to live and work on the beautiful island of Maui.

Contact Melanie Vitale at 808-870-7162 to Experience Excellence for all your Real Estate needs.