This week we sat down with Karen Mayer and asked her some questions for our Friday Agent Spotlight. She's a seasoned pro, ready to help home buyers make their Oahu real estate dreams come true. Besides her Brokers license, Karen also holds certifications as an Accredited Buyers Specialist (ABR), a Military Relocation Professional (MRP), a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), a Home Staging Expert (HSE), a Pricing Strategy Advisor(PSA), and a certificate in real estate technology (ePro).
Tell us a little about yourself: I grew up in a small coastal Connecticut town. I spent my youth playing tennis, volleyball, and riding horses. I graduated from Duke University in NC with a degree in History and stayed in Durham after graduating. I met my husband at Duke and together we have had several small businesses - a restaurant and bar, a small chain of music stores and now, a real estate firm. We have 3 adult children, a boy and 2 girls, all 3 Punahou and Duke graduates, living on the Mainland. We love meeting up with them and traveling as a family.
What do you like best about living on Oahu? Growing up on the water, a home near the ocean was a necessity for my mental health. I love the year-round outdoor lifestyle. While I miss the change of seasons, especially in the fall, I love the fact that you can walk the beach in December and go for a swim when you are done.
What's your favorite activity outside of work? That is hard to narrow down. I love spending a few hours on the beach, walking, reading a good book, swimming or taking the stand up board out. I am an avid tennis player, participating in league tennis, often on multiple teams. I also love to cook and garden. We love going to concerts and music festivals, traveling to New Orleans almost every year for Jazz Fest. Then, of course, there is Duke basketball. We all watch the games on TV and try to see a few in person when they play on the west coast. My biggest passion now is travel, as we are empty nesters and there is such a big world out there to explore.
What do you like most about working at Elite Pacific Properties? There are many things about real estate that are very fulfilling. Handing over the keys to new homeowners is such an awesome feeling. When listing a property, I really enjoy prepping a home for photography. Staging a home is very satisfying as you get to take an empty palette and turn it into a beautiful model home. Elite allows agents to blossom where they are strong and provides support in areas where they need help. It is a great work environment.
Do you have a favorite home that you've sold recently? A custom family home set on a wooded cul-de-sac deep in beautiful Maunawili was hands down my favorite listing yet. This mid-century modern home, designed by an architect who studied with Frank Lloyd Wright, was lovingly remodeled by my clients. The house opened onto gorgeous mountain views, a saltwater pool area, and was surrounded by lush tropical landscaping and a rippling stream filled with huge koi fish.
If someone is thinking about moving or buying property on Oahu, what is your best advice? Take the time to really explore the different areas of the island. They all have a different feel. You need to find the perfect match of location and quality for your lifestyle so think about what matters to you and prioritize it. Make that list of the qualities of your perfect home, then put it in the order of most important to least. You will never find a home that has everything you want and the list will help you realize what really matters to you. Home prices in Hawaii are often higher than in the Mainland for the quality of home, so be prepared! You are paying for the land, which is a limited commodity on an island.
What's your favorite beach on Oahu and why? I am very biased and love Lanikai Beach. It is in my neighborhood, walking distance from my house, which is, of course, a perk but I love the calm bright blue waters, the view of the Mokes and the soft sand. It is best on a weekday morning when it is quiet and peaceful.
If I wasn’t selling real estate I’d be...traveling & exploring new places around the world with my family.