When you’re planning a major investment, such as a piece of property on one of the world’ most beautiful islands, it’s wise to research what type of living arrangement will work best for your needs. From luxurious oceanfront homes on some of the best beaches in South Maui to secluded lots on the slopes of Haleakala Volcano, we delve into the most popular types of properties on Maui and weigh the pros, cons and specifics of each.
According to Trulia’s Winter 2014 study, buying property was 38% cheaper than renting in all of the 100 largest metro areas in the United States. While buying property in Honolulu was only 5% cheaper than renting, it’s still good news for homebuyers in Hawaii. Check out the full rent vs. buy interactive map for more information.
Common considerations to ask yourself before identifying which type of property best fits your needs include:
Responsibility – Will this be a full time residence installed with security measures or a second vacation home used only a few months of the year?
Privacy – Can you see yourself living in an attached condo community or would you really value your own private piece of land?
Location – Do you dream of waking up and going for a morning swim in the ocean right outside of your door or would you prefer high elevation views, cooler temperatures and peace and quiet in Upcountry Maui?
Budget – Is the sky the limit when it comes to what you really want or are you making your very first property investment on a budget?
Maintenance – Are you an expert handy-man, willing to hire a contractor or prefer to pay a monthly fee and leave maintenance issues up to a condo association?
Space – Are you moving with multiple family members, pets, vehicles, storage units, and entertaining guests or retiring and buying everything you need once you arrive on-island?
Pros: Chances are if you’re considering buying an oceanfront home (and even if you’re not), you’ve already considered the obvious benefits of this type of property. With unobstructed views of the beach, sunset, neighbor islands and sound of rolling ocean waves just steps from your home, there’s not much to dislike about oceanfront property on Maui. With convenient beach access at any time of day, this is an obvious perk for those who enjoy ocean activities and desire the privacy of their own home on the water. Yet another advantage is the high demand that comes along with property close to the beach. Should oceanfront property owners ever wish to sell or rent out their property while they’re away, oceanfront homes are consistently in high demand.
Cons: As amazing as it is to smell, see and hear the ocean just steps away from your home, saltwater is extremely corrosive to property. Saltwater can damage your electronics, including vehicles, as well as the outside of your home over time. While it would be fairly simple to build an ocean wall to minimize salt spray damage, many Hawaiian islands have strict regulations when it comes to building additions to your home on the ocean. Another valid concern with oceanfront property is the possibility of damage due to tropical storms, tsunamis and hurricanes. Some insurance companies have been known to refuse policies to those who insist on living oceanfront. There are, however, many types of protective measures you can take, such as hurricane shutters and a generator.
Pros: Condos are often located in well-traveled, convenient areas of the island, most within walking distance of the best restaurants, shopping, activities and events on Maui. Another advantage of choosing a luxury condo is the wide variety of amenities available in a condo setting. For example, townhome owners at our Ho’olei Properties, located across the street from the Grand Wailea Resort in South Maui, enjoy a resort-style pool, sauna, fitness center, shuttle service and access to many of the Grand Wailea’s amenities, including charging privileges, pool use, golf memberships and more. Also, since condo association fees typically cover exterior maintenance of the unit, there are very little upkeep costs when compared to buying a home. Some condo complexes on Maui include gated security, and a large draw for condo owners is the feeling of community within the neighborhoods.
Cons: While association fees often ease owners’ minds about possible maintenance issues, they’re also typically a hefty extra monthly expenditure, which homeowners never have to worry about. Also, many families and professionals prefer the privacy of their own home compared to the condo setting, where you often have neighbors on either side of you, and sometimes even above and below. Should you want to make major changes in terms of construction and appearance, condos don’t pose the best opportunities for this type of expansion and construction. What you see is often what you get, unless you want to buy a second condominium.
Pros: If golfing is one of your favorite hobbies, imagine walking straight out of your front door and onto one of Hawaii’s best golf courses. This dream has become a reality for many of Maui’s most recent homeowners. Living in a golf course community offers excellent views of sprawling green vistas (that you aren’t in charge of maintaining) and typically indicates a popular, scenic location on the island. Homes and condos in golf course communities tend to be very well maintained, up-to-date and offer amenities like jacuzzis, barbecue grills, picnic areas, walking trails, club rooms, pools and community activities. Hokulani Golf Villas on Maui Nui Golf Course and Wailea Golf Estates by the Wailea Blue Golf Course are prime examples of these types of properties on Maui.
Cons: While the views and convenience of living on a golf course are great, you may also want to consider the possibility of stray golf balls hitting your car and windows, a lack of privacy with steady streams of people outside of your home, noise from lawnmowers and landscapers and strict rules from homeowner’s associations typically present in golf course communities. If you have pets or small children, you may also want to consider the possibility of pesticide runoff from chemicals used to maintain the course.
Pros: The biggest advantage of buying vacant land on Maui is the fact that you can start from scratch and you will officially own a piece of paradise. With no HOA in sight, vacant land in some of Maui’s most remote locations offers the freedom to enjoy exclusive privacy away from the hustle and bustle of more populated areas. Always dreamed of starting a garden, building a jungle bungalow or sprawling estate with gorgeous views? Now’s your chance. There are a several types of vacant land available on Maui, from rolling acres in Upcountry Kula to secluded areas of East Maui’s Hana.
Cons: Building on vacant land in Maui can be a bit of a struggle depending on what and where you want to build. Permits are often needed and the process can be time consuming and stressful, especially if you’re living off island. In addition, you need to be aware of the specifics about the location you’re interested in and what challenges it will pose. Building in areas where there is currently no accessible road or where serious landscaping needs to be done can be a project that many people aren’t willing to take on.
No matter what type of property you’re considering, rest assured that any property on Maui is a dream come true. From picturesque views of the West Maui Mountains, stunning sunsets on the beach, rolling clouds and hills of Upcountry and hidden jungles of Maui’s north shore, finding your home in paradise is a challenge that we’d be happy to help you accept. For specific questions or to learn more about our available properties, please contact the Dano Sayles team directly.