Moving To Hawaii

3 of the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Living on Maui

As a Maui resident and realtor, I get asked a lot of questions about what it’s like to live on Maui. Here are the top three questions and some answers to help guide you into deciding if Maui is the island for you!

Relaxing view from Ka’anapali Beach.

Question #1:

What’s it like to actually live on Maui?

Clients buying a home on Maui have typically vacationed here prior to purchasing, but seldom have they lived here full-time so it’s a great question to ask. Yes, it is definitely different from vacationing! You have work and school to think about – not to mention laundry and house projects! Your time is no longer just for sunbathing and whale-watching excursions because you are busy working or driving your child to a soccer game on the other side of the island.

However, if you end up living in one of the more touristy areas such as Lahaina, Ka’anapali, Kapalua, Kihei or Wailea, odds are that it will still feel like a vacation from time to time. It’s easy to sneak in a sunset when you’re surrounded by some of the best beaches on the island.

We live on the west side and feel like it’s the perfect balance for us. Sure, we get busy with work, school, and kids’ activities, but can be transported back to our old vacation selves in a matter of minutes when we pitch our umbrellas and beach chairs in the sand! The crystal blue ocean is so restorative and is what draws most people to Maui.

woman and boy sitting on the beach in hawaii

My son and I enjoying some time at the beach!

Question #2:

Do residents get island fever?

Yes, it’s a real thing. Island fever can be characterized by feeling claustrophobic due to the close proximity to the ocean or by feeling isolated from the outside world. Some people say they get island fever after being here for even one year, but it hasn’t happened to our family yet and we are on our fifth year. If we ever need a change of scenery – and who would when you live in paradise? – we just go explore a different part of the island. We are always amazed at how much there is to see on Maui. Sometimes just driving an hour across the island can make us feel like we’re worlds away from where we’d been. From tropical rainforest trails to world class golf courses, small beach towns to sprawling ocean estate communities, Maui has it all!

If Maui isn’t enough to quell your wanderlust, just hop on a short 30 minute plane ride to one of the neighboring islands. Interisland travel is very affordable and fun! Need a big city experience? Head to Oahu! Want a remote destination? Spend a relaxing weekend on Kauai. Feel like an adventure? The Big Island is great for that! Every island offers residents and tourists a unique experience and Maui is no different. Hawaii is such a special state with something for everyone!

maui waterfall

Exploring a majestic Maui waterfall.

Question #3:

What is it like to raise kids on Maui?

My husband and I are raising our four kids here and we moved when they were just 7, 9, 11 and 13. It’s still surprising to say, but they adjusted within weeks. We had been coming to Maui for many years so they were familiar with the island. Now in our fifth year, they are still thriving beyond belief, and have had unbelievable experiences and made lasting friendships. The youth activities on Maui are fantastic with everything from surfing, golf, tennis, swimming, dance, soccer and paddling.

My four kids doing what they love!

We have public and private schools of all sizes and in many locations across the island. My kids began in a small, private school, but moved to a public school setting which has been wonderful. It’s smart to come check out the schools in the area you’re planning to live in to be sure it’s a good fit for your child(ren). Raising our kids here has been such a gift; we really enjoy the slower pace of life that Maui offers! Check out one of my previous blog posts – The Top 3 Reasons to Raise Your Kids on Maui – for more information.

Moving to an island can feel daunting, but I assure you it’s worth it and you’ll feel really great once you have all the information you need to make a sound decision. I can walk you through everything that is involved in the process, including helping you find your own piece of paradise to call home. Reach out if you have questions on Maui real estate, moving to Maui or raising your kids here. I’d be happy to meet you and share my experiences!



About the Author

Stefanie Hegrenes

Stefanie Hegrenes is a REALTOR Salesperson with Hawai'i Life. Born and raised in Minnesota, Stefanie and her husband decided to make Maui home after years of dreaming of an island life for them and their four young children. She enjoys helping others realize their dreams and is grateful to call the beautiful island of Maui home. You can email me at or via phone at (808) 214-8114.

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