Big Island

What is Your Definition of Paradise?

Planning on Retiring in Hawaii?

These days, more and more of my clients are planning for retirement in Hawaii. They have a clearly defined game plan in terms of their retirement, but are often a lot less certain about where they want to live on the Big Island. Sound familiar?

Know Exactly What You Want When Retiring in Hawaii?

Some Hawaii homebuyers do know specifically what they want when looking for the best place to retire in Hawaii – and that’s great! I recently sold a contemporary farm home in the Puueo area of Hamakua for full asking price after just 10 days on the market. The buyers knew what they wanted, were patient, and when their dream Hawaiian retirement property came long, they jumped on it.


What does your dream retirement property look like? (MLS# 269570)

But more often than not, people looking to retire in Hawaii are less sure of where they want to live. Looking at property from thousands of miles away, it can be hard to tell the difference between Pepeekeo and Puakea, or Waimea and Wainaku.

Not Sure Which Hawaiian Island to Retire on

When looking for the best place to retire in Hawaii, I’ve had clients approach me about buying a home on the Hamakua Coast and after carefully listening to their wish list I realize that they would prefer property in Kona. Or folks inquire about purchasing a retirement home in Kona only to fall in love with property I show them in Hamakua. A good Realtor listens intently to what you have to say and shows you properties based on your budget, needs, and wants.


Waimea is a desirable location for retirement and offers some great homes (MLS# 274929)

For example, one of my clients recently purchased a gorgeous luxury retirement home in the KaMilo community of Mauna Lani Resort. They contacted me because they were interested in retiring to Hamakua, but after a few days decided they preferred to live in a resort instead. Given my years of experience in the resort market, I was able to guide them through the home buying process, finding just the right property for their retirement.

What About Ocean Views, Privacy, & Seclusion?

Three of the most common words I hear from clients when I ask them what they are looking for in a Hawaiian retirement property is: ocean views, privacy, and seclusion. And yet those words mean different things depending on what part of the island you prefer.

Let’s take the example of the following two properties. Each offers unparalleled jaw-dropping ocean views. Each is gated and fenced, offering privacy and seclusion. And yet each is different in its own unique way and will appeal to different buyers, depending on what their searching for when retiring in Hawaii.

1. This spectacular 30-acre ridge-top property in Ninole offers amazing ocean and Hamakua Coast views. Perched atop Maulua Gulch, you feel as if you are in the clouds. The sense of privacy is enhanced by the large property size and the fact that it’s gated and fenced. It’s also energy self-sufficient thanks to photovoltaic and water catchment systems, and will thus appeal to homebuyers looking for a more affordable retirement in Hawaii.

34-1156 Honomainoa Rd., Ninole, (MLS# 274824)

2. On the other hand, this fully fenced 2.4-acre Maliu Ridge property also offers spectacular ocean views. You can see the island of Maui in the distance and the ocean sunsets are just magnificent. Smaller in size than the Maulua Gulch property, it offers a sense of seclusion because of its natural landscaping, and it’s fully fenced and gated.

It appeals to homebuyers who want ocean views, but are looking for smaller acreage. It also features a detached one bedroom/one bathroom apartment that will be of interest to homebuyers with extended families, or those looking to generate rental income.

56-3214 Puu Mamo Dr., Puakea (MLS# 256438)

So although the same words (ocean views, privacy) are used to describe both properties, each property is quite different and equally perfect for someone looking to retire in Hawaii.

How Much Does it Cost to Retire in Hawaii?

Retiring in Hawaii may sound far-fetched at first, but it can be quite feasible. By knowing the all of the costs of retiring in Hawaii, you can plan accordingly to make your retirement dreams a reality. Hawaii is a diverse place with many different landscapes, climate, and amenities. The cost of living in Hawaii can vary greatly depending on whether you want to live in a small town or in a community on the beach. In the capital city of Honolulu, average home prices run about $1.2million, whereas in a smaller town, like Hilo, the average home price is $480k. Property taxes vary between counties, but they are all determined per $1,000 of property value.

Another expense to keep in mind is that Hawaii is about 2,500 miles from the contiguous United States, so prices of imported goods are generally higher than they are on the mainland. It can also be expensive to move your belongings to Hawaii, especially if you are looking to bring your car. Hawaii has the highest gas prices in the country. If you are looking to retire to Hawaii on a budget, it might be beneficial to live a car-free lifestyle. While there are some higher expenses than on the mainland, residents feel it is all worth it for the natural beauty and aloha spirit.

Additional Information

If you’re interested in either of these properties, or are looking to retire in Hawaii, give us a call today at 1-800-370-3848 or email us.

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Julie Keller, RS

September 11, 2014

Great info! I love the diversity of the Big Island, there’s a little something for everyone !

Julie Keller, RS

September 11, 2014

Great info! I love the diversity of the Big Island, there’s a little something for everyone !

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