Debra Merle – Maui Realtor®

Deb, her husband, Jeff, two cats and neighbor dog, Bob, live in Olinda in a home they built in the ‘80s. They chose Olinda, because, like Haiku and Makawao, it is one of those small towns on the slopes of Haleakala that offers the unique “Upcountry” climate and lifestyle. Found nowhere else on Maui, or the world for that matter, some say Upcountry is as much a state-of-mind as physical location. The cooler climate, larger properties, eclectic blend of people, hiking trails and agricultural possibilities mixed with its almost instant access to some of the world’s primo beaches make it heaven on earth for the select few who live there.

Deb’s office, Island Sotheby’s International Realty, is in Makawao Town just a few miles down Haleakala from her home. She describes Makawao as “such a cute town! There’s no other place like it on Maui! We not only have some of the best restaurants, boutiques and art galleries, we have the Makawao 4th of July Parade and Rodeo and the Seabury Hall Craft Fair!” (Ed. Note: You can take the girl out of the valley, but you can’t……)

Deb and Jeff have lived on Maui since 1973 and love every minute of their lives on the Island, but they are also serious travelers. Each year, as business commitments permit (Deb’s not Jeff’s as Jeff will leave a painting job in mid-brush stroke if you tell him there MIGHT be a fishing or snowboarding opportunity somewhere), they attempt to fulfill their goal to see at least one unique new place. So far their bucket list includes Viet Nam, the Cook Islands, Tasmania and Alaska. Along with their “new place” adventures they frequently make quick snowboarding and fishing trips to the mainland. When they’re not “off island” Jeff can lose himself in his organic gardening and both enjoy cooking and entertaining. Deb, who never seems to rest, is also one of Maui’s great organizers, not just in her home and office, but in bringing Maui’s Realtors together for charitable causes.

Deb earned her real estate license in 1979 and has experienced many of Maui’s ups and downs. This experience makes her one of Maui’s finest resources in a difficult market. Over the years she has worked very hard and racked up a lot of alphabet soup (professional designations) ABR, CRS, GRI, SFR and an Aloha Aina Realtors’ Choice Award. In 2010, Deb received the highly coveted Realtor of the Year Award presented by the Realtors Association of Maui recognizing her “above and beyond” work for the community and the Realtors Association. These all make her the go-to Realtor for Maui.

It has been a pleasure for me to write this about Deb. Over the years I bought and sold three houses with Deb as my Realtor. I did not know her before walking into her former office in Kahului and only chose her because of a photograph in one of her ads. Within minutes I felt a strong professional respect growing and the inklings of a friendship. Over the next few days Deb forced us off the beach and into her car for fascinating and informative tours of Haiku. It took a couple of hours for us to decide exactly what we were looking for, but as soon as we did Deb nailed it and we bought the fourth house she showed us. When we bought our second house we had a conflict with the home inspector’s schedule and a three-year old’s birthday party we had to attend, so Deb pulled on her boots and followed the inspector under the house while we had cake and ice cream. The long and the short of it, I’ve had six escrows with Deb. Every “T” was crossed, every “I” was dotted and everything ran smoothly thanks to her professionalism. What’s even better, I made a friend for life. If you need to know more about this wonderful Realtor and person, Bruce C. Brown