Local Homebuyer Spotlight: The Araki Family, Waimea, Hawai‘i

June 23, 2022

After living over an hour apart so their daughter Syenna could attend school in Waimea, Daniela and David Araki embarked on a yearlong journey to sell their longtime Captain Cook house and purchase a permanent home where they could be together full-time.

Daniela, a receptionist at Aina Hou Vet Hospital in Waimea, and Syenna lived in a rented condo Monday through Friday to be close to Syenna’s school. Every weekend they would drive to Captain Cook, where Daniela’s husband David lived while serving as a police officer in Kailua-Kona.

“I was more than willing to make the drive to Kona five days a week so we could be together again, so we decided to look for homes in Waimea,” David said.

Hawai‘i REALTOR® Jen McGeehan of Coldwell Banker Island Properties connected with the Araki family through a veterinarian at Aina Hou Vet Hospital.

“When I heard their story, I was so compelled to help them be reunited,” she said. “It was the focus of our journey. David, as a police officer, serves his community every day. He deserved to be with his family more than just on the weekends.”

The family looked at many houses in Waimea, eventually falling in love with a home and entering escrow after securing financing. Unfortunately, the purchase fell through after they were unable to sell their Captain Cook home, which they took off the market to focus on completing repairs.

“That was painful for everyone,” Jen said. “After they did their repairs on the Captain Cook home, it went back on the market. And we found a wonderful home in Waimea. Time ticked by and it became clear that if we didn’t get their home sold, they would lose the new home too. So, we crunched the numbers, reducing their home to a price that immediately produced 12 offers.”

Daniela and David quickly entered a 30-day escrow, which was set to close on Christmas Eve 2020 – the same day as their new home. After a several-week delay by the sellers that left the family scrambling for a temporary place to move their pets and belongings, they moved in on Jan. 7, 2021, with the help of Jen, many family members and friends.

“It took almost a year for us to wait for the ‘perfect storm’ in selling the Araki’s Captain Cook home. It was a real nail-biter,” Jen said. “With patience, a can-do attitude, help from friends, and an extra measure of faith, they were able to close on their new home and be permanently reunited.”

Jen’s tips to navigating the home-buying process:

Choose a REALTOR® who seems truly interested in helping you on your journey. Does he/she listen, ask questions, seem interested in your story and dreams, is she responsive?

Plan for the unplanned. Sometimes finding the right home is a breeze, escrow goes smoothly, and there are no hiccups along the way. Most of the time there are what seems like never-ending roadblocks, delays, challenges that cause you to feel it will never happen. Sometimes there are even tears. You need a REALTOR® who has compassion and empathy because he/she has been through similar experiences.

When the problems come, depend on your REALTOR® to help you with creative ideas on problem solving.