Read word for word from our episode with Thomas Pattison below:
Announcer: It’s time to enter the world of real estate in Oahu with Hawaii’s only true real estate radio show: the Team Lally Real Estate Show. Grab a pen and get ready to take notes. For the next full hour Hawaii’s premiere real estate leader Adrienne Lally and Attilio Leonardi will bring you the latest in real estate news and real world strategies on how they can guarantee to sell your home at a price and deadline you agree to – or they’ll buy it! Now here are your hosts Adrienne and Attilio.
Adrienne: Welcome to the Team Lally Real Estate Show home of the guaranteed sold program – or we’ll buy it. If you have any questions you can reach us 799-9596 or check us out on the web at teamlally.com.
Attilio: Well hey everybody this is Attilio. Let’s see, where was I at? Oh you know what I was at? I was at the Leeward Regional, which is a monthly meeting for all us agents to come together and had an ugliest sweater conference and Adrienne was participating in the ugly sweater contest. She didn’t know it was an ugly sweater contest.
Attilio: She just happened to be wearing an ugly sweater.
Adrienne: My everyday attire. Yes.
Attilio: And she almost won but somebody else who didn’t also know that there was an ugly sweater contest – I think he took first place. But anyway a lady came up to me during the contest, asked me a bunch of tax and legal questions. I said those are great questions. Highly recommend you see the appropriate licensed professional and then I said “But mom, what other questions do you have?” So if you hear anything on the show that sounds like jingle bells-
[Jingle bells sound effect]
Attilio: No Santa Claus is not in the studio so anything that sounds like legal advice run that past your attorney and if it sounds like tax advice, hey, go run that past a CPA because today we’re going to be talking about real estate, surveys, and pearls of wisdom.
Adrienne: Well I’m going to give some Christmas pearls of wisdom, right? Because that is the season.
Adrienne: So “Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection,” and that one’s from Winston Churchill. The next one is from Roy L. Smith. “He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.”
Attilio: Say that one one more time.
Adrienne: “One who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.”
Attilio: He who has not had Christmas?
Adrienne: No. That’s not what I said.
Attilio: Sounds like a fortune cookie and you were reading it with a Chinese accent or maybe some broken English. He who know no Christmas.
Adrienne: Okay and the last one
Attilio: What’s the next one?
Adrienne: Is from Dale Evans. “Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.” So it could be Christmas all year long.
Attilio: I betcha didn’t even know who Dale Evans is.
Adrienne: Who’s Dale Evans?
Attilio: Dale Evans if I remember correctly she was like a cowboy actor, singer, songwriter.
Adrienne: Should I have said it with like a country accent?
Attilio: Yeah, and then the first ones – do you know who Churchill is?
Attilio: I think – was he the prime minister of England during World War II?
Attilio: He said, “Never ever, ever, ever, give up!”
Adrienne: He also said Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.
Attilio: Yeah. Alright. So wait this is the time where we have our-
Adrienne: Our property management tip of the week.
Attilio: Our property management tip of the week by Duke Kimhan of Hawaii Pacific Property Management. So we’re going to sub in for him.
Attilio [as Duke]: Hi!
Adrienne: Oh no that’s –
Attilio: I want to do my Duke accent.
Adrienne: Oh okay.
Attilio [as Duke]: Hi! Is this Adrienne?
Adrienne: This is Adrienne!
Adrienne and Attilio laugh.
Attilio [as Duke]: Hi Adrienne! Can you hear me?!
Adrienne: Welcome to the show, Duke.
Attilio: You know what I think – let’s see if we can get Duke to call, see if he’s still available for our property management tip of the week. In the meantime we’re going to talk about –
Adrienne: No I want to talk about something, like, that personally happened with me and –
Attilio: Property management?
Adrienne: With property management.
Attilio: Oh yeah what happened? Do tell.
Adrienne: So they placed an awesome tenant in one of my units and their policy is within that first ten days they’re doing just a walkthrough with the tenant just to make sure that everything’s in good working order, that there’s no – y’know, no safety hazards, anything like that.
Adrienne: So thankfully, y’know Melissa went over there – Melissa, part of the Hawaii Pacific Property Management Team – and did the walkthrough with the tenants – What’s that?
Adrienne: And they found a few safety items that needed to be corrected.
Attilio: No broken glass?
Adrienne: Yeah so I mean like they really do a great view of helping you to maintain your property because if you’re not living there then you don’t know, and then they’re making sure that they’re in good communication with the tenants.
Attilio: Well two things. They’re making sure you got a good tenant and then checking the – your property.
Adrienne: Yeah and just making sure that the upkeep, like just the normal upkeep of a property is a priority.
Attilio: Alright so that was a good story. So their number one priority – or their two main priorities is making sure that the rent keeps coming in and preserving the quality of the property, because not only do they do the – so they’ll do a walkthrough after the tenant.
Adrienne: Yep. Within the ten days.
Attilio: Well here’s the deal. They’ll do the walkthrough, they’ll check the property to make sure it’s in good condition, make recommendations for things you need to fix and/or, clean or repair.
Adrienne: Mhm, or maintain.
Attilio: Then they’ll check the tenant in, do a walkthrough that day, then they’ll do a 10 day walkthrough because the – I think the way Duke said it is, let’s say if you had a single couple with no kids, no pets –
Attilio: And then you have a family move in, kids and pets, that the traffic patterns or use patterns are different and so they may discover that was never used by the tenant and may not be working.
Attilio: And they’ll learn that after their ten days. And then if they do have pets they’ll do a four month-
Adrienne: And then a six month-
Attilio: In six months, pets or no pets, they’re doing a six month walkthrough, but they’re going to do a four just to make sure that Fido hasn’t chewed the walls apart, or the baseboards, or tore up the carpets, or all of that good stuff.
Adrienne: And I’ve had all of those things happen.
Attilio: You’ve had all those things happen?
Attilio: Were you glad that you had a professional property manager between you, and the tenants, and the pets?
Adrienne: I was. Actually the tenants should be glad because if it was me I probably would have just lost it.
Attilio: She’s a redhead. She’d go crazy on them.
Attilio: You know property management kept Adrienne out of jail.
Attilio: Because you know the murder rap would have sucked and where would we be today? I’d be talking to myself – all by myself on the radio show.
Attilio: Alright so before we go to the first break we want to talk about their rent guarantee. What’s that about?
Adrienne: So basically, if they don’t rent the home within 30 days they’ll pay the rent.
Attilio: They’ll pay the rent? That seems crazy.
Adrienne: It is.
Attilio: So either they’re good or –
Attilio: Or crazy good.
Adrienne: I think they’re crazy good.
Attilio: Alright so check them out. They’ve got great Yelp reviews. You can see them – what’s the phone number for Hawaii Pacific Property Management?
Adrienne: You can reach them at 445-9223.
Attilio: One more time.
Attilio: What if I’m introverted. I don’t want to talk to somebody, just research them on the internet.
Adrienne: Well you can Google them or just go to their website hipacificpm.com.
Attilio: Ooh my pencil just broke, tell me one more time.
Attilio: Alright. So I think it’s time for a break, unless you got something else you want to talk about.
Adrienne: We can take a short break. So stay with us, we’ll have a very special in studio guest.
Attilio: We’re going to be talking about property lines and surveys, everything you wanted to know about that. So stay with us.
Adrienne: Welcome back and thanks for listening to the Team Lally Real Estate Show, home of the guaranteed sold program – or we’ll buy it. I’m Adrienne.
Attilio: And I’m Attilio.
Adrienne: And if you have any questions you can reach us at 799-9596 or you can check us out on the web at teamlally.com.
Attilio: Alright so our guest today has over 32 years of experience in land surveying. He started his aerial surveying business in 2006 using… LIDAR?
Thomas: Uh yes, LIDAR.
Attilio: We’re going to tell you what that means – oh here it is. Which stands for Light Detection And Ranging. It’s a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of pulse laser to measure ranges, or what we call variable distances, to the earth.
Adrienne: He’s licensed in Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Hawaii, and also holds a land court surveying license here.
Attilio: Alright and in here, in Hawaii, with a combination of land surveying experience and aerial surveying experience he can complete in any surveying task with the best accuracies possible. Let’s welcome our guest for today. Owner of Pattison Land Surveying Incorporated, Thomas Pattison. Welcome!
Thomas: Happy holidays.
Attilio: Alright merry Christmas.
Adrienne: Welcome to the show
Thomas: Thank you.
Attilio: So like I was telling you, getting ready for the show, local Hawaii style is we like to know a little bit about the person before we start getting into business. So Tom tell us about yourself. Are you from Hawaii, or how’d you end up here?
Thomas: Well originally I’m from Detroit of all places.
Attilio: Oh wow.
Thomas: And I moved to Texas back in 1980 and that’s when I started getting into surveying, back in 1982.
Attilio: 1982. So that’s Texas. If we’re watching a video of your life how does the little airplane go from Texas – what was the reason why you moved, ended up here in Hawaii?
Thomas: Well we came here in 2001 on vacation. My wife decided this – and she loved the country so much, and of course they said “we need them bad over here” so I decided to come over here and take my test and now I’m a licensed surveyor here in Hawaii.
Attilio: Oh wow.
Adrienne: So what made you decide to get into the land surveying business?
Attilio: Yeah way in the beginning.
Thomas: Well when I first started it, it was just something I needed to do as far as finding a job, so I started as a rodman and then I realized that I enjoyed being outside and pretty much work in different locations every day. So that’s what kind of got me going.
Attilio: The rodman. He’s the guy that wears the florescent vest holding up that stick that looks like a candy cane.
Attilio: That’s the guy that gets hit by the car right.
Thomas: … Low on the totem pole.
Attilio: You’re the guy standing off, out of sight, outside of traffic with the machine marking, telling him “a little bit further, a little bit further.”
Thomas: That’s correct.
Attilio: Buh uh real quick, sometimes we get these – we know a lot of realtors listen in and they want a good surveyor, and sometimes they’re busy and they might have to leave before the show’s over so we’re going to give them the ways to contact you. Adrienne what’s a good phone number to get a hold of Tom?
Adrienne: So you can reach him at 327-9439.
Attilio: What’s that number again?
Attilio: Okay can you read my handwriting for his website?
Adrienne: Barely. The website is lidarhawaii.com.
Attilio: Yeah. So that’s a good transition here. Tell us again about that acronym LIDAR. What does it stand for again?
Thomas: Well it’s Light Detection And Ranging. It’s the same science, I guess, as radar, which is radio frequencies but diffusing light or lasers.
Thomas: And we put the unit within a helipod that’s on a helicopter, and as we fly the LIDAR scanner scans the ground and gives us measurements to where we can more or less show you the contours or the typography of the land.
Attilio: So you know, let’s talk about your most recent client. What was the most recent conversation and why did somebody pay for you to do this as a service? What was the circumstance
Thomas: As far as the LIDAR?
Attilio: Yeah with the LIDAR.
Thomas: Actually I just got a contract with the state to do LIDAR on Kauai.
Attilio: On Kauai?
Thomas: Yes sir.
Attilio: For the whole island?
Thomas: About 20,000 acres worth
Adrienne: Oh wow.
Attilio: 20,000 acres.
Attilio: Did they say why they needed such detailed-
Thomas: It’s for a study that they’re doing, I think it’s for endangered birds. They want to see the canopies of the trees and so on so they can study that information.
Attilio: Oh wow.
Adrienne: So before this LIDAR technology came out, what was your main focus and how did you transition into this new technology?
Thomas: Well the new technology came along because a lot of surveyors – most surveyors do typography maps, small typographies to show where to build the house, and the way the drainages are, and so on. So if you started in your larger areas, it gets a little difficult to be walking out, and back and forth, and shooting all these points on the ground, so I looked into photogrammetry, and photogrammetry is another way to come up with a typography map but at the same time LIDAR was just coming out in 2006 –
Thomas: So I realized that LIDAR had a lot better accuracy than photogrammetry so that’s why I got into LIDAR. So in other words you can do a large area of land as far as typography, and do it in a lot less time, and really you don’t have to cut trees, and so on and so forth.
Attilio: Well I can imagine there’s not like a whole pile of people that do that here in the state of Hawaii. Are you it?
Thomas: Yeah. I’m pretty much it here
Thomas: I have the equipment here so I’m able to readily, y’know, get up in the air and get it done.
Thomas: So the big thing is a lot of mainland companies will come over here to do that but just getting over here as far as the logistics, it’s difficult for them.
Attilio: And you’ve been here so long that you’re familiar with the islands.
Attilio: They’re going to say “You’re going to go to Lihue,” the person from the mainland might say “What’d you call my mama?”
Attilio: Because, y’know, like “Lihue. What? I don’t know where that is.” So you know where all the places are. What about helicopter pilots? I guess you have a relationship with a couple-
Thomas: Well I use … here in Kona and they school pilots there, in the robinson helicopters so I’m lucky enough to have a good relationship with them.
Thomas: And it’s easy for me to get an R44 Robinson helicopter.
Attilio: Okay so they got like the new student, they’re like “Hey have you crashed before?”
Adrienne and Thomas laugh.
Attilio: They’re like “No!” “How many times you been up?” “First time today!”
Attilio: But alright-
Adrienne: So you do the land surveying on any islands.
Thomas: That’s correct. I’ll go anywhere, and the equipment I use for my normal land surveying business as far as marking lines, doing mortgage surveys, and so forth, is pretty much the best that you can buy. So one man can do the job and usually it’s just me out there operating the GPS and robotic instruments.
Attilio: Oh wow. So if our residential clients, they’ve got a 10,000 square foot lot and they want to build a home on it, are they requesting this type of service with the typography?
Thomas: Well the typography but then I would do it the conventional way, with the instrument and the ground type of survey.
Attilio: The property lines.
Adrienne: So with the LIDAR that would just really be for the larger plots of land.
Thomas: That’s correct.
Adrienne: So what would be the smallest amount of land that you would use the LIDAR technology for?
Thomas: Probably 10 acres.
Attilio: 10 acres?
Thomas: Yeah that’s where the cost-
Attilio: Won’t make sense?
Attilio: So you’re probably working with small developers, big developers, and they’re going to figure out – maybe with their civil engineering – what they’re going to be doing with where this dirt needs to move and where water moves.
Thomas: That’s correct.
Attilio: And all that good stuff. That’s the stuff you can’t go back after everything’s built in. Like, “oops!”
Attilio: … water flow is not too good. It’s going straight into someone’s living room. So I guess that accuracy is very important with what you do and the information you’re providing to them.
Thomas: Yeah and that’s, like I said, the reason I got into the LIDAR technology, because of that. The accuracies are really good for the large amount of area that you cover, and as a matter of fact in 2010 we scanned the northwest Hawaiian islands all the way out to Midway. So they were doing that for ocean rise studies, so there’s a lot of different things you can do with LIDAR but basically I got into it because of the surveying.
Attilio: Oh nice.
Adrienne: But with residential surveying, what would you say are the benefits to get a survey of a residential lot?
Thomas: Well the big thing is when you go to sell you want to be able to know where your boundaries are. You also want to know if your fences are on the right line or which side of the property-
Attilio: The right the side of the property line, yeah.
Thomas: Right because that’s a major problem we have is encroachments.
Adrienne and Attilio: Mhm.
Thomas: So a buyer doesn’t want to buy a piece of property that already has problems, so to have a surveyor survey it prior to your sale, then you can cover all your bases and make sure that there are no encroachment problems or building setback problems.
Attilio: Yeah. Now I noticed, you know, I’ve seen a couple surveyors … to look at them everyday like you do because you’re producing them, a lot of times a surveyor will put comments on there. Where do you get your – are you commenting on what you’re physically seeing? Are you looking at stuff … and matching it up or-?
Thomas: Yeah most time all the maps that we get are of course filed in a bureau and we gather that information before we even go out on the job.
Thomas: And then once we find a couple boundary corners that fit well, then we’re satisfied with the facts on the ground. So then everything else kind of falls in place from there as far – like I said – fences, walls, and all the facts are then shown on the map itself.
Attilio: Yeah. Well I think what’s important, what people need to realize today is how far technology has come. Because I know back in the day it was kind of like, how you used to get directions from a local guy. They’d be like “Okay whatchu want to do is go down this street, take a left at that mango tree they cut down two years ago,” and so I mean people use a lot of visual markers to determine property lines or starting points back in the day and the challenge of that is that those things would disappear, or the typography or the visual markers would disappear or be overgrown. So today you eliminate that because it’s GPS points, right?
Thomas: Right it’s far more accurate… areas that are open skied … satellites … you’re more easily able to see them with your equipment so GPS of course also gives you a direction automatically so GPS, I believe, is one of the best sciences out there for surveying.
Attilio: Alright well we still got more questions.
Adrienne: Yes we do have a lot more questions but we’re going to take a real short break. So stay with us.
Attilio: We got Thomas and he’s a surveyor and his number’s 327-9439, his website is lidarhawaii.com.
Adrienne: So stay with us.
Attilio: We’re going to talk a lot more about that.
ANNOUNCER: It’s the Team Lally Real Estate Show. Here’s Adrienne and Attilio.
Adrienne: Welcome back and thanks for listening to the Team Lally Real Estate Show, home of the guaranteed sold program – or we’ll buy it. I’m Adrienne.
Attilio: And I’m Attilio.
Adrienne: And if you have any questions just give us a call at 799-9596 or you can check us out at teamlally.com.
Attilio: Alright and we’re going to bring on – who’s on line one? Kapono?
Adrienne: We’re going to talk to Kapono!
Attilio: Alright Kapono are you there?
Kapono: Yeah I am here!
Attilio: Alright. Hey tell us about your open house.
Adrienne: Are we having open houses?
Attilio: Or whatever you want to talk about?
Kapono: I don’t have open houses but I do have a buyer’s tip. Also our renters out there. If you’re renting a place and you want to explore your options to buy, definitely give us – give Team Lally a call because a lot of people, they’re paying rent, and little do they know they’re paying someone else’s mortgage … better spent to pay your own mortgage and start building equity.
Kapono: So call Team Lally. I just helped a family, they were renting, they saw thought they couldn’t buy, I showed them a way that – hey, they can buy and buy now instead of renting and paying someone else’s mortgage and now they’re in a home they love paying their own mortgage, and building equity. So that’s the buyer’s tip: if you’re a renter and you want to explore your options to buy, give Team Lally a call.
Kapono: And then the last thing – Merry Christmas to everyone and happy holidays.
Attilio and Adrienne: Alright thank you Kapono.
Kapono: Alright take care. Bye.
Attilio: Alright so if you’re a renter out there, everybody’s making a mortgage payment. You’re either making your own-
Adrienne: – or someone else’s.
Attilio: Or your landlord’s.
Attilio: Your choice so we’ve got options. I think a lot of people have misconceptions about what it takes to own a home. Mortgages, qualifying, and all that, and you don’t know what you don’t know.
Adrienne: Give us a call.
Attilio: What’s the number they should call?
Adrienne: They can call the buyer hotline at 234-4421, that’s 234-4421
Attilio: That would be awesome if our number was like 234 OWN.
Adrienne: It’s not. It’s 234-4421.
Attilio: If you call 234-OWN you might be calling Koa Pancake House in Kopalei and you’re going to have to get the double stack. So the number again? Now I’ve got them all confused.
Adrienne: 234-4421 for all you renters out there that just want to – you know – you just want to look at your options. You can weigh it out, rent versus own.
Attilio: Okay. So help us out, we’re trying to fund two nonprofits here. The one is Kids Without iPads and one is Renters Who Continue to Rent.
Attilio and Adrienne: Okay.
Adrienne: Now we have Brooks on the line to talk about his coming soon.
Attilio: Hi Brooks!
Brooks: Hi you guys! Thank you for letting me highlight this property that I have coming soon!
Attilio: Go for it!
Brooks: It’s in what’s considered Upper Kalihi, so it’s mountainside over … there by Kam IV Road and there’s this really tranquil little pocket of residents, single family homes in there, and this home has been in the family for generations. They built it and it’s got a lot of pride of ownership, and so the heirs have decided they want to finally sell it. Very emotional to them, but it’s a beautiful home and the one thing I really like about this is it’s a big enough home where there’s a place where you can partition of the back section, which has its own entryway doorway, and you could have a little in law flat for family who moves in, and they can have some of their family live with them right? It’s a big enough home for that. So beautifully located, because that is a primo location. Actually this area, this neighborhood, is getting a lot of attention so I’m really looking forward to bringing this in the market here in the early part of the next year.
Attilio: Is that Upper Upper Lower Kalihi, or Lower Upper Kalihi?
Brooks: Yeah yeah. It’s more like Lower Upper but maybe I’m wrong maybe it’s lower Kalihi.
Attilio: If you go to the complete tip of Kalihi, that’s called Kamemeha Schools.
Attilio and Adrienne laugh.
Brooks: And that’s where somebody I know and love dearly went to school, is that correct Attilio?
Attilio: Yep. So we got to – everyday we go to the school, right to Kalihi, and we have our lower campus, Farrington High School.
Brooks: Anyway just ‘cause it’s a really good location and it’s a really great home and I’m looking forward to putting this on the market and finding the buyer for this family ‘cause they deserve a nice family to take over their family home and the way it deserves to be treated.
Attilio: You know about that location, you get a nice home like that’s been in a family for generations but you’re right in town. No traffic. Just roll down the hill.
Brooks: Exactly. No. Good location, couldn’t be better, it’s awesome.
Attilio and Adrienne: Thanks Brooks.
Brooks: Alright thanks you guys.
Attilio: What’s the number they should call to get more information on that coming soon property?
Adrienne: They can call our buyer hotline at 234-4421 and one of our awesome buyer agents will be happy to assist and you can get like a sneak peek.
Attilio: Should we bring Mike on?
Adrienne: Yes we’ll bring Mike on.
Attilio: Alright, hey Mike are you there?
Mike: Yes I am! How’s it guys?
Attilio: Good, good! Alright tell us about your open house!
Mike: Actually I’m not going to be staying in an open house but I what I want to share with you is a little bit about the home buying process.
Attilio: Oh good.
Mike: Because we definitely at Team Lally don’t want you to make a bad decision. We want to get as much information as possible so that you can make a good decision. Wouldn’t you agree?
Attilio: I would agree 100%.
Adrienne: Yes absolutely.
Attilio: Even if I was drunk I would still agree with you.
Mike: So if you definitely want to know more give us a call but here’s some things you don’t want to do when you’re buying a home.
Attilio: Yes. Don’t do this.
Mike: Don’t do this. Please! Do not buy a car.
Attilio: Okay you’re going to be at the car dealership, you’re going to hear Michael’s voice pop up in your head: “Don’t do it.”
Mike: Don’t do it. Don’t do it!
Adrienne: Don’t buy a car. Okay.
Mike: Okay. Don’t change any jobs.
Attilio: Don’t change jobs. You’re going to be at the job interview, Michael’s going to be outside the window-
Adrienne and Attilio: “Don’t do it!”
Mike: Don’t do it!
Attilio: “Don’t do it!”
Mike: Don’t make any late payments.
Attilio: Late payments.
Adrienne: Pay on time.
Attilio: Pay early.
Mike: And you know what, I have so many other things that I can share with you, however if you want to learn more set an appointment with me. Give us a call or look us up at teamlally.com and we’ll set that up for you alright guys?
Attilio: Alright, thanks Michael for-
Adrienne: Leave them wanting more.
Attilio: Leave them wanting more and you’re going to share with them the “Don’t do it!” list.
Mike: The don’t do it list! Yes, what’s the do list? God bless you guys, thank you.
Attilio: Alright thanks Mike. Thank you Michael.
Adrienne: Thanks Mike.
Attilio: Merry Christmas.
Attilio: Alright what’s that number they can call so they can get more information about the “Don’t do it!” list?
Adrienne: They can give our buyer hotline a call at 234-4421, or they can just go to our website teamlally.com and-
Attilio: You know as my uncle said – my drunk uncle who used to be a realtor – he said “Hey, you’d be surprised what you can do that’s going to cause your transaction to … flip. It’s a simple thing. People don’t realize – to give you an example, you go into Macy’s.
Attilio: You don’t have a Macy’s credit card.
Adrienne: Oh and they always ask.
Attilio: Just “Oh do you have a Macy’s credit card?”
Adrienne: And they always ask. “Oh but you get an extra 10% off.”
Attilio: So you get the board shorts, the Volcom board shorts and you save like $5 on your Volcom board shorts.
Adrienne: Mhm. Then you ding your credit.
Attilio: And you have a credit inquiry, that screws up, they’re going to do a credit check again for your loan while you’re in escrow and you know what those Volcom shorts just cost you your house. But you’re gonna look good!
Attilio: Maybe you’ll be like “Oh no more house but now I look good when I’m living at the beach with my Volcom shorts from Macy’s.”
Adrienne: When I’m living on the beach.
Attilio: Yeah. So-
Adrienne: Don’t live on the beach.
Attilio: Don’t be surprised. It’s the little things that you don’t think that are going to affect your home buying process and they will, so give our buyer hotline a call and get that “Don’t do it!” list. Alright. Let’s go back to our guest.
Adrienne: Back to Thomas.
Attilio: Alright Thomas.
Adrienne: Thomas of Pattison Land Surveying.
Attilio: Pattison Land Surveying. We highly recommend him and his company. He can do business statewide.
Attilio: And then even he – did you say even in like Texas?
Thomas: Well the aerial stuff I’ll definitely go to the mainland for that.
Attilio: More inland stuff.
Attilio: Okay. You never know you’ve got visitors that are like – you might have somebody visiting, listening to the show, and saying “You know I wish I could find somebody that could help me with an aerial survey.” And they might be listening to the show. You never know. Maybe they’re from Minnesota.
Thomas: Yeah I’ve done a job in Belize actually in Central America.
Attilio and Adrienne: Oh wow!
Attilio: So you have a passport.
Thomas: Yes. I’m ready to go.
Adrienne: So Belize, you’ve done surveys all the way to Midway.
Adrienne: Any other surprises?
Attilio: Any other interesting places?
Thomas: Well a lot of West Texas down by the Rio Grande.
Thomas: I surveyed a lot in new country, there. Being new country, they hadn’t been surveyed since the 1850s-
Adrienne and Attilio: Oh wow!
Thomas: To me that was new country and I enjoyed it a lot, but you know out there in 110 degree heat, you get old.
Attilio: You’re glad to be back home in Hawaii after that trip.
Adrienne: So what were you surveying in Belize?
Thomas: We were doing a large – I think it was 20,000 acres for a new development
Thomas: They were going to put in, I think, homes and it was right off the Sittee River which is interesting. We got to float down the Sittee River in a dugout canoe, a dory they call them there.
Attilio: Oh wow.
Thomas: We had to unload the bananas first of course before we could – but yeah it was for a large development there.
Attilio: So you were like Raiders of the Lost Ark survey crew over there.
Thomas: Yeah Raiders of the Lost Boundary Corner more like.
Adrienne and Attilio laugh.
Attilio: So let’s talk about, y’know, it’s the residential, that’s your everyday bread and butter right?
Thomas: Yes sir.
Attilio: I mean there’s so much business out there for surveys. Again, as realtors, we’ve been doing this 10+ years.
Attilio: I will tell you this: Get a survey done because we had a family that – I think they were up in … area and we got a survey done and it was – they had grown up in the home, and there was a wall that the dad had built – a retaining wall – for the back neighbor, and they got the survey done and they realized that it was encroaching, and it’s no big deal because you know the families right, they all grew up with each other, and y’know back then it was all handshake and whatever, but when you go to sell – so immediately when we did the survey and we found that the neighbors – they had both worked together to build the wall – I guess there’s questions of – there’s a question that comes up and I don’t know if you can answer from the survey … but we’ve had people ask “Who owns the wall?”
Thomas: Yeah that’s a tough one. Y’know a lot of times if it’s agreeable between two neighbors when you build the wall then more or less they both –
Attilio: – Own it.
Adrienne: – Maintain it.
Thomas: Yeah they call it a common wall. But the problem lies is what if they sell or the neighbor sells and doesn’t have a survey, then you have owners and then when the older family decides to sell, then an agreement isn’t known about and there’s no paperwork.
Thomas: The big thing is to file some kind of boundary agreement or-
Attilio and Thomas: Common wall agreement.
Thomas: Yes sir.
Attilio: Yeah. Yeah so one of the things I did with the family is I literally had to track down the neighbors and I think there might have been encroachments on three sides. But I just went to them and it’s how you – so here’s how you do it realtors if you want to get the neighbors to sign off on encroachment agreements – hopefully you’re in good relationships because then they’re going to want to hold the situation hostage and say “Yeah I’ll sign that-”
Adrienne: For $10,000.
Attilio: It’ll be 10 grand because that night they had that party until 3 o’clock in the morning and I had to call the cops and went all ballistic on me. It’s 10 grand. So it’s good to be in good relationships with your neighbors but the way that I’ve approached it is I did it with the win-win. I said hey look, when you guys decide to sell this paperwork being recorded by the Bureau of Conveyance at our clients’ expense, with their attorneys and all of that, is going to benefit you guys because it will all be in place. And they’re like “Okay that makes sense.”
Adrienne: “Where do we sign?”
Attilio: “Where do we sign?” And I think one of the titled owners didn’t even live there. They had renters in there so I had to go like driving all over the island to meet up with them, but I made it very easy. I said “I’ll bring the paperwork to you,” actually, we got it notarized so I met them at different banks that were on the island to get their signature notarized so that it could be recorded properly with the Bureau of Conveyance so there’s your tip of the day for your brand new agents out there selling properties.
Adrienne: Make it a win-win.
Attilio: Make it a win-win. Alright what other residential survey questions do we have?
Adrienne: I guess what is like the most frequently asked question that comes up as a surveyor?
Thomas: “What are you doing out here?”
Attilio: Yeah. “Hey why are you on my property?”
Adrienne: “What the heck are you doing here?”
Thomas: That’s right.
Attilio: Number one question.
Thomas: The big problem I have is of course here in Hawaii a lot of the homes are built pretty close to each other, there’s always boundary fences, so a lot of the times I have to get over the-
Attilio: On the other side.
Thomas: On the other side of the wall or fence.
Thomas: So I when I do that I try to go to the neighbors’ house, knock on the door, and say “Hey I need to get in your backyard. I need to find the common corner,” and hopefully they don’t have any big dogs and everything goes smooth but I guess that’s the biggest thing – people don’t really understand what I’m doing out there.
Thomas: And they’ve just never seen a surveyor walking around the property.
Attilio: I think you were telling me during the break back in the day that one of the lines that you opened up with, and it didn’t work too well, is “I have a warrant for your arrest.”
Thomas: Yeah that never works.
Attilio: Just kidding! No.
Adrienne: I just need to access to your property for my survey.
Attilio: And they’re like “What’s a survey?” To most people that’s not like a common word.
Adrienne: Like in our purchase contract, there’s like survey and staking.
Adrienne: So you know to a consumer could you explain the difference and benefits of surveying versus just having a staking?
Attilio: Well if I didn’t know what a survey was I’d be like “Sure hit me with your questions.” I’d think I was like taking a question.
Adrienne and Attilio laugh.
Thomas: Yeah there you go. Well staking is a simple survey, let’s say you go out and find the original corners or you find out what you can and then you reset the corners where they’re supposed to be. That’s a staking, but all I do on that is give out a certificate of staking.
Thomas: Stating that I found these corners, and that this is what they are. A survey is more complete because it has a map that’s attached and it shows, like we were just talking about, encroachments or any setback violations that are occurring on the property. So a staking sometimes causes more problems because we set the stakes and then the person goes out there and looks, and notices the encroachments themselves, and they say, “Why didn’t we get a survey?” So a lot of times I’ve gotta go back where I could have done it all-
Attilio: All at one time.
Thomas: All at one time. So you know then they’re paying for another trip to come back and so on. So I always suggest having a survey because a map shows everything and it’s a lot easier to understand.
Attilio: Well on the purchase contract it talks about staking and surveying.
Adrienne: Well it’s an or. You can pick either/or. So sometimes people will just pick the staking and they see, “Oh, there’s some encroachment,” and he’s gotta go back and you end up paying double. So it’s better, just get the survey.
Thomas: Right, right.
Adrienne: It’s just better to be safe.
Thomas: Right. I’ve done it long enough to realize- yeah.
Attilio: Now let’s talk to people physically. What they’re saying, when they’re out there, ‘cause you have the wooden stakes, with the super colorful, bright ribbons on them, other things that I’ve seen, what is it? It’s like a water pipe? Like a quarter inch water pipe that’s pounded into the ground.
Thomas: Yeah different locations use different corners. Originally a lot of them are pipes.
Thomas: Half inch, or three quarter inch pipe, that they used to set in the ground and a lot of them are concrete again.
Thomas: And with, you know, they put flagging around them, and a wooden stake next to it. Some of the newer stakes – some of the things I set are iron rebar with a plastic cap on top, it has my name and my license number on them. So that way if anybody has a question about my corner, they have my number – not my phone number but my license number –
Adrienne: They could find you easily.
Thomas: Yeah. You could find it going to the state office.
Attilio: So phrases that surveyors never use is “We’re going to cut corners on this survey.”
Adrienne and Thomas laugh.
Attilio: You never hear a surveyor say that. If you do, call Tom
Adrienne: Yep. Get a different one.
Attilio: Say “Get this guy out of here! He’s drinking too early and he’s cutting corners on the survey.”
Thomas: And make sure they’re licensed is the main thing. Yes.
Attilio: And you actually have taken it to a new level because you said for you to do projects with the state, they checked you out seven ways from Sunday.
Thomas: Yeah you have to get compliant with the state, and I’m happy to say I’m compliant now and I’m getting the state projects.
Attilio: Nice. Yeah.
Thomas: Thank you, thank you. It’s taken a while but…
Attilio: That’s a good stamp of approval, especially if you’re a residential home owner. If you’re getting asked to do hundreds of acres, for you to come do their little 5,000 square foot lot, is you know, like running marathons every day you come over and do a little quick 5K with their little residential survey. So it’s important and what else about these – so and then as far as scheduling they call you? They email you? What’s the easiest way to schedule a survey with you?
Thomas: The easiest way is to email me.
Attilio: No I’m just kidding. It says ASAP in the email!
Adrienne: He’ll get back to you ASAP!
Thomas: Of course.
Attilio: And that’s the easiest way and then what kind of lead time are you looking at? Because you know us retailers? We’re so organized, you know, we call you away in advance.
Thomas: Oh yeah. Yeah.
Attilio: We don’t call you last minute and have you come out to do a survey that might blow up the whole deal unless we get it done now. No. Realtors don’t do that.
Thomas: No never-
Attilio and Adrienne laugh.
Thomas: I don’t know. You know a week’s a good time for me.
Thomas: Then again it depends if it’s needed right away, I’ll try to push it.
Adrienne: And then how quickly though, like from the time you get to the property until they’re reported complete?
Thomas: Probably three days.
Attilio: Three days.
Attilio: Alright you realtors out there, you super organized, big time planners.
Adrienne: I would say two weeks prior to closing at the very latest.
Thomas: Yes. Yes. Definitely. Give me a little lead time.
Attilio: The realtors know this but per the contract there’s what we call the “Things that you must perform,” and they have deadlines, and the survey and/or staking does have a deadline on it. It’s not like “Hey do it whenever!’
Adrienne: Or maybe that’s something that you do up front.
Attilio: That’s one of the things we recommend.
Adrienne: Once you go on the market – you know you’ve gotta do it anways.
Attilio: So here’s a little tip for you home sellers. You want to be like that A student, sit in the front row, give the teacher a nice big apple, an analogy to as a home seller there’s three things we recommend they should do. What are they? Survey.
Adrienne: They can do a survey
Attilio and Adrienne: Home inspection.
Attilio: Oh and appraisal.
Attilio: Do all of that stuff upfront because, the thing a lot of misconceptions of sellers have, is when you open escrow. “Oh, yeah, done, my house is sold.” They’re already like packing their bags, half way to Belize.
Adrienne: They’re counting the money in their checking account. It’s not there yet.
Attilio: Going out there to Macy’s, getting a 10% discount on the Volcom board shorts, and then there’s a whole bunch of things that have to occur. So a lot of that if you want to kind of minimize those risks or the possibilities of renegotiations or falling out of escrow.
Adrienne: Having the surprises like an encroachment.
Attilio: An encroachment. You need time to go run around, chase down all the relatives for your neighbors.
Attilio: Especially if you’ve got three of them. So that’s what we recommend. Do it upfront. Get a survey done upfront. Surveys, you know let’s talk about – people say well we “We just had a survey done.” Y’know unless somebody, like literally the day after you did the survey started building a wall-
Adrienne: How often should a survey be done?
Thomas: Well usually I let them go about six months.
Attilio: Yeah. Okay.
Thomas: And after that I’d like to go back and at least inspect the property.
Adrienne: Make sure like nothing’s popped up.
Attilio: No changes.
Thomas: Yeah you never know.
Adrienne: And they might’ve got their uncle’s part time contractor, he built that extra two bedrooms right up to the fence line, so the neighbors can hear him change his mind, it’s so close to the fence line. And that’s – You know with the setbacks for a residential. Is there a standard of what it should be?
Thomas: Right now it’s five feet.
Attilio: Five feet?
Thomas: Sides, and rear, and then 10 foot front.
Attilio: 10 foot front? Okay.
Thomas: And that’s today’s – that’s current setbacks that I know. They change constantly.
Thomas: That, now a lot of it depends on when the house was built.
Thomas: You know at one time there might not – they didn’t have setbacks maybe when they built it.
Attilio: When they built the home.
Adrienne: Oh wow.
Attilio: So they might be-
Thomas: I’m not sure, I would have to look into that.
Adrienne: So there’s different rules depending on when the house was built, basically.
Attilio: So it’s very important you get that survey back, review it, homeowners, agents, together, and go over it because you’re not going to see something that the buyer’s going to see and then all of a sudden you’ve gotta deal with it while you’re in escrow.
Adrienne: Deal with it upfront.
Attilio: Deal with it upfront. It’s easier.
Attilio: Makes your life less stressful. Alright any other –
Adrienne: Any last bits of wisdom you’d like to share with our listeners-
Attilio: Any funny stories?
Adrienne: -That we didn’t touch on?
Thomas: There’s too many funny stories probably.
Thomas: The big thing is before you sell, just y’know, get it surveyed and then if there’s any hidden surprises you’re going to find out and it’ll make everything go a lot smoother until you wait until the last minute and everybody seems to be pointing the finger at each other, and it goes a lot smoother.
Attilio: And y’know it’s – it’s – and buyers take it easy. I mean it’s not like homeowners – even if they had a survey done, that’s like up there with your insurance paper or like stuff that you don’t even look at. A lot of times the buyers get all bent out of shape and say “The sellers should have known that this is blah blah blah!” And we’re like, “You know what? Who looks at that stuff once you close?” It’s that big step of papers when you close that you never, ever look at again. So, you know, relax, take it easy. But again homeowners up front we recommend do the survey up front because typically, correct me if I’m wrong Adrienne but most of the time it’s a seller expense.
Attilio: Yeah unless you counter it and put it back upon the buyer. But it’s a good thing to have and um, like you said you don’t want to do it like – “Oh I’m going to sell my house in five years from now. I’m going to do a survey today.” You probably should wait closer, as close as possible to when you’re going to be putting it on the market but still giving you enough time to deal with anything that might pop up. So encroachments, setbacks, what other things pop up on a property line? That’s pretty much it, stepbacks and encroachments?
Thomas: Yeah pretty much, or just bad surveying in the past.
Attilio: In the past and you’re like “Oh, congratulations, you know your neighbor’s living room is actually on your property line.”
Adrienne: How often does that happen where you’re like coming to do a survey over someone else’s survey and there’s a discrepancy? Is it-
Thomas: It happens probably a quarter of the time.
Attilio: Oh really?
Thomas: Yeah it happens quite a bit.
Attilio: Is it because the surveys are old and maybe the technology wasn’t as precise back then?
Thomas: I think that has a lot do with it, and then also I’ve actually witnessed where people have moved the corners, to get rid of their encroachments.
Adrienne: Oh! Ho ho ho!
Attilio: They’re like “Okay, we’ll just move the pins.”
Adrienne: It’s like, “Problem solved! Move the pins!”
Thomas: Yeah because anybody can, you know, put a pipe in the ground.
Attilio: Alright. Well any questions we should’ve asked you or any last things you want to share with us?
Thomas: I think we’ve got it covered.
Attilio: Alright. So again we have Thomas Pattison with Pattison Land Survey and Aerial Surveying Incorporated and if you want to reach him we have a highly competent surveyor, done right the first time. That should be your tagline.
Thomas: There you go.
Adrienne: Approved by the state.
Attilio: Working with the state, hey it’s the state of Hawaii.
Adrienne: They checked them out.
Attilio: Hawaii is the least friendly business friendly. I think out of all 50 states, they’re probably 49th so maybe somewhere else is number 50 but if you can do business with the state that says a lot about you an entrepreneur, as a business person, so handling your residential survey should be a piece of cake for Tom.
Adrienne: Or a commercial survey.
Attilio: Or commercial.
Adrienne: Or big plots of land. Acres and acres. Give him a call.
Attilio: Tell us one of those things that we learned in the test taking and then we completely forget because we hardly ever use it, but the – I think it’s the deminimist?
Thomas: De minimis. Yeah.
Attilio: So what is it for residential and what is it for commercial?
Thomas: Uh it depends but I believe it’s a half foot for residential and it might be – I thought it was a half foot – I guess you’d have to call the county to make sure on all that.
Attilio: Yeah I think on the commercial they want you to be more precise and on the residential they want you-
Thomas: Maybe a quarter of a foot on that.
Attilio: Yeah they give you a little bit more slack since you might be building a wall with your bruddah bruddah.
Attilio: With your neighbor and they were like “Yeah that looks straight to me!” “It don’t look straight to me!” “It’s a wall!’
Adrienne: Okay so you can give Thomas a call at 327-9439.
Adrienne: Or you can check him out online at lidarhawaii.com and that’s L-I-D-A-R Hawaii .com.
Attilio: And for you realtors out there that are super organized and you want to get on his schedule, it’s email@example.com
Adrienne: Well thanks for listening and thank you to our sponsors.
Attilio: Thank you to our sponsors which are:
Adrienne: Gabe Amey and Jim Owens of Hawaii VA Loans.
Attilio: Bradley Mariama of Allstate Insurance.
Adrienne: Jodie Tonga and Derrick Tonga of Pacific Rim Mortgage.
Attilio: Nathan Baker of Pillar to Post Home Inspection.
Adrienne: Dan and Tony Mamuad of AAA Roofers.
Attilio: Janyce Myrland of Dream House Drafting.
Adrienne: John Speed of Kilauea Pest Control.
Attilio: Duke Kimhan of Hawaii Pacific Property Management.
Adrienne: John Mennard with Kamaaina Plumbing.
Attilio: And we got Tom with his survey company in here also! If you want to get ahold of any of our sponsors just go to teamlally.com.
Adrienne: We also want to give a big thank you to Stephen our producer here in the studio.
Adrienne: Make sure to tune in next week. We’ll have an awesome guest that will talk about something that will change your life-
Attilio: Forever! This is the Team Lally Real Estate Show, home of the guaranteed –
All: SOLD PROGRAM!
Adrienne: If we can sell your home at the agreed upon price, and our timeframe, we’ll have it bought for cash.
All: THANKS AND ALOHA!