My family and I recently went on a trip to Hawaii. It was my first trip there, so needless to say, it blew me away – truly spectacular!
First up was Maui. My parents had been to Maui (and Oahu) over 30 years ago on their honeymoon and had always raved about the island. I had heard that Maui was built-up and they would not recognize the island. I had prepared myself for resort city! While this was true to some extent, the island was still stunningly beautiful and to my urban east coast eye, unspoiled.
On our first morning in Maui, we woke up at 2am for a shuttle to Mount Haleakala, a dormant volcano, to wait for sunrise. Having arrived at 11pm the evening before (5am on our watch) after airline delays and missing connecting flights, we were a bit bleary eyed. But, the experience was absolutely worth having only 2.5 hours of sleep! I was completely unprepared for how close the moon would be and how clear the stars were in the sky before the sun came up. As the sun rose, everyone on the volcano was absolutely speechless. It was a moment to remember.
REAL ESTATE IN MAUI
We ended up biking down to the foot of the mountain which was SPECTACULAR! As we wound down the mountain through eucalyptus and lavender fields, we caught views of the dramatic coastline. We also saw beautiful estates and cozy cottages. This was actually our first glimpse at Maui in the daylight and it didn’t disappoint. I admit, I was thrilled to see all of the for sale signs. There were SO MANY! I’m not sure if people just leave sale signs out in the event a tourist sees the house and has interest, or if they are actively trying to sell, but I don’t think in all of my travels I have ever seen such a high percentage of homes on the market. My interest was piqued!
Sue and I had to stop into a local real estate office to check out the prices. It turns out, you can buy condos for under $100K – or splurge for over $20 million for a beachfront estate. For water views in Maui, you need about $1.5 million for a house, though condos would be a little lower. Truly something for everybody!
Next up was Kauai, which was like stepping back in time. Charming small towns, hitchhikers, handmade signs, and lush green trees for miles. In fact, there is only one major road around the whole island. The interior of the island is all rainforest and state parks. The Napoli & North Coast was truly unbelievable. Since we were staying closer to the rainforest on Kauai, naturally, we had more rain. But, that also meant more rainbows!
On Kauai, we mostly explored the beaches and small towns on the island. Kauai felt more like a “locals island” where people from the west coast have vacation homes or have moved to live permanently. It caters less to tourists which we loved – even though we fit squarely into that camp!
REAL ESTATE IN KAUAI
If you are looking for a relaxing island to call your retirement or second home, Kauai is certainly worth a look. But – real estate here isn’t cheap! Stars like Ben Stiller and Julia Roberts have homes here, according to our helicopter pilot who flew us over the pricey parts of the island to gawk at the real estate. Bill Murray and Brittany Spears were also vacationing nearby while we were on the island. Unfortunately, we didn’t spot them!
On the top end of the market, there is a lot for sale for $38,000,000! That’s just for the LOT – then you build your house. Fear not, you can also get condos here for under $100K. There is quite a range!
Just for fun (and your enjoyment, of course), here are some of the luxury listings for sale in Maui and Kauai by our sister firms in Hawaii through Luxury Portfolio International & Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. We have an affiliation with the top independently owned brokerages throughout the world. Whether you are looking to relocate to Chicago or buy a waterfront estate in Hawaii (or anything in between) we’ve got you covered with a recommendation for a top notch professional in any market.
Of course, we’re always here to help with you DC Metro area real estate needs as well, or to answer anything and everything about real estate. Because, when you love where you live, we’ve done our job!
Enjoy and Mahalo!