About Mark Harbison

My first trip to Maui was to go to a wedding-my own. My wife, Lisa Oyama, grew up in Maui, and introduced me to the islands in 1982, when we were married at the Japanese Garden in Iao Valley. I discovered scuba diving during our honeymoon, and ever since, Maui, and its surrounding ocean, have been my spiritual home.

Lisa and I have been investing in Maui real estate, since 1988, when we bought our first condominium at Sugar Beach Resort. Since then, we have bought and sold several condos in South Maui, and several years ago, acquired a house in Wailea Pualani Estates. Around the same time, I became a major investor in Ed Robinson’s Diving Adventures, as Lisa and I became increasingly committed to a future on Maui, and further developing our interest in resort development. We still own our Sugar Beach unit, and three oceanfront condos at Kihei Surfside, where I am now in my third term as Treasurer.

We “returned” to Maui just before 9/11, after 20 years as expatriates in Tokyo (with a short diversion in Hong Kong during and after the handover). I speak, read, and write Japanese. Japanese literature was my specialty at Stanford and at the University of Tokyo. I have published or co-published many books on Japanese politics, economics, literature, and popular culture, including the popular culture of drinking sake. More recently, I worked for a British boutique investment bank as an economist and strategy analyst, and even more recently started my own consulting firm in Tokyo specializing in cross-border property and resort development deals.

While pursuing my own interests in resort development and structuring cross-border property deals, I use my Japanese language skills to assist Japanese owners who want to sell properties in Hawaii, and new Japanese buyers who share our enthusiasm for the islands. I am also very interested in helping Asian expatriates who may be contemplating a second home in Hawaii, as an investment, or as an eventual retirement home. I am focusing my own training on the financing, tax, immigration, and estate-planning issues that confront foreign and non-resident sellers and buyers, and have already invested considerable time in gaining the expertise to help people find the best financing, accounting, and legal advice. We may live in a borderless world, but the issues confronting foreign buyers and sellers, or even Americans living abroad, are complex, and demand specialized knowledge.

Which, of course, does not mean that I am not interested in helping resident Americans to buy or sell property in Maui. Most of the areas of expertise referred to above come into play when Americans purchase property in Hawaii. I am running an Open House at the Palms of Wailea as I write this, and plan to spend a good part of next week showing Kihei condos to a couple from Victoria, BC.

All work and no play makes for a dull introduction to my website. I am a PADI divemaster, underwater photographer and videographer. I am gourmet cook, collector of Japanese pottery, prints, and antiques. And I love to travel, especially in Asia and the Pacific-which is good, because I do a lot of it. I have just finished a year (2005-2006) as President of the Kihei-Wailea Rotary Club, and the Rotary District 5000 (Hawaii) Youth Exchange Country Coordinator for Japan, Korea, and the Philippines.

I hope this website will make it easier for you to define your interests and investigate what is available on this beautiful island. Believe it or not, there are homes for every budget and every type of interest, from hardcore beach (or boat) addicts to part-time cowgirls. Normally a boat addict, I have been exploring upcountry lately, searching for exotic tropical plants for my Japanese garden.

Dive in. I hope you enjoy it. E komo mai!