Maui Real Estate Blog

Exploring the Best Neighborhoods in Maui: A Home Buyer’s Guide

For a small island, Maui offers a diverse variety of living options. Each town has a distinct personality. Even neighborhoods have their distinct flavor.  Talk to different residents and you are bound to hear a variety of strong opinions on Maui’s best neighborhoods and places to live.

Those opinions are going to be based on personal lifestyle, climate preferences, and that person’s particular wants and needs. That makes the best neighborhoods on Maui post bound to create some disagreements.

We recognize the diversity of opinions and acknowledge own own biases. As a real estate brokerage, The Maui Real Estate Team tries to be location agnostic and provide our buyers with the tools to make their own decisions. With that in mind, this post takes a look at some of the different areas of the island more broadly suited to certain lifestyles.

If you love to play in the wind and waves, we’ve got a neighborhood you should consider. If general beachgoing is a priority, we have a community worth a look. Golfers, we give you a good option outside the more well-known resorts.

If you just want to soak in big panoramic views, we’ll tell you a good place to do it. Want to live in seclusion? We have an idea for you. Convenience is king for your lifestyle? We’ve got you covered. 

Curious yet? Keep reading and we will give you some ideas on the best Maui neighborhoods and communities to suit your personal Maui lifestyle.

For a comprehensive listing of Maui condos, be sure to explore our extensive collection of Maui Condos Listings.

The Allure of Spreckelsville for Ocean Sports Enthusiasts

Maui is a great place for ocean lovers. It is world-renowned for its combination of wind and waves. There are very few places on the planet that can match the combination of wind and waves found in the waters offshore from the North Shore’s Spreckelsville neighborhood.

Unraveling the Thrill of Water Sports in Spreckelsville

Pick a water sport, any water sport outside of ice fishing and you can do it in Spreckelsville. 

Surfing is of course a staple of the Hawaii Ocean Sports diet. From fun on a soft top in the Sugar Cove Beach Break to bombing barrels on the outer reefs that are a half mile or more offshore, you can find a variety of waves to keep you entertained.

Of course, you don’t just have to ride a surfboard to enjoy the local waves. Whether you like to body board, stand-up paddle, or body surf, you will be entertained in Sprecks.

Sprecks has always been known as a haven for wind and water sports. It first gained renown among windsurfers in the 1980s. To this day, it is considered a premier area to rig and launch to enjoy consistent tradewinds and waves.

In the late nineties, Kitesurfers started to descend on the area and nearby Kanaha Beach Park. More recently, Wing foiling became a sport of choice in the waters near Sprecks. 

The stretch of coastline between Maliko Gulch to the East of Paia and Kahului Harbor is one of the world’s best for downwind coast runs. Whether you are in a canoe, stand-up paddle board, or some variety of foil board, the glide of riding open ocean swells in this area is tough to beat. Spreckelsville is right in the middle of this downwind run!

Our Choice for Best Maui Neighborhood for Ocean Sports is Spreckelville. World renowned waterman Kai Lenny grew up playing the neighborhood's offshore waters. Spreckelsville is the Choice for Best Maui Neighborhood for Ocean Sports. World-renowned waterman Kai Lenny trains in the waters off of Sugar Cove. 

Housing Options in Sprecklesville

Living near such incredible sporting opportunities needs housing options that match, and Spreckelsville delivers. There is a pretty diverse array of properties in the area from executive homes fronting the Maui Country Club Golf Course to oceanfront estates to homes on two-acre lots and even a beachfront condominium development.

The one thing you won’t find is lower-priced properties. The Spreckslsville lifestyle comes at a premium.

Oceanfront properties are highly sought after in this area due to their proximity to the water sports action. Imagine waking up each morning and being able to check the wind and waves from your backyard- it’s no wonder these homes are prized possessions.

Sugar Cove is the area’s only beachfront condominium development. This small condo development consists of just 18 units. Due to its size, listings rarely come on the market.

Key Takeaway: 

With world-class ocean sports just offshore, Spreckelsville is a dream destination for water enthusiasts. Whether it’s surfing, winging, windsurfing, SUPing, or kiteboarding, this neighborhood offers the ultimate playground. The housing options sell for a premium due in large part to the appealing lifestyle of the community.

Honorable Mention for Ocean Sports Communities

There are other great places to live on the island if you love playing in the ocean. Heck, I know people who live way up in Kula who play in the water every day. Here are a few other oceanfront Maui communities and neighborhoods worth mentioning. 

Paia Town is just down the road from Sprecks. There is surfing right behind downtown in Paia Bay. World-renowned Ho’okipa Beach Park is close by. Kuau Point is another great neighborhood for its wind and waves. There is surfing, windsurfing, foiling, and kiting just off the point and Ho’okipa is just a couple minutes down the coast.

The Oceanview Estates neighborhood in Wailuku is a sleeper pick. It is located right above the Sandpiles surf break. There are waves at Sandpiles almost every day of the year and the frequent tradewinds make kiting and winging a possibility.

Kihei – The Quintessential Beach Town

Known for its sunny weather and diverse beaches, Kihei is a favorite destination among locals and tourists alike. This coastal town in South Maui offers casual beach living with a variety of housing options.

The Many Faces of Kihei’s Beaches

No two beaches in Kihei are the same, each has its distinct charm that draws people to it. For instance, Kamaole Beach Parks I, II, and III have clear waters perfect for swimming or snorkeling amidst colorful marine life. These family-friendly parks also feature picnic areas where you can relax after enjoying water activities.

Keawakapu, another popular spot, boasts soft sand ideal for leisurely walks while watching sunset hues dance on gentle waves. It’s also known as one of the best places in Maui for snorkeling thanks to its vibrant underwater world.

Beautiful Keawakapu Beach in KiheiBeautiful Keawakapu Beach is one of the many stretches of sand that helped Kihei earn my choice of best beach town. 

Sugar Beach might be your pick if long peaceful walks appeal more to you than anything else – this five-mile stretch allows uninterrupted strolling while soaking up ocean views and maybe spotting humpback whales during their season.

Cove Park serves as a starting point for beginning surfers due to smaller wave breaks, but don’t let that fool you into thinking only beginners come here. You’ll often find seasoned surfers enjoying early morning rides too.

Mai Poina ‘Oe Ia’u (also called Mai Poina) stands out from other beaches because it’s favored by windsurfing enthusiasts along with wing-foiling aficionados or kitesurfers who prefer the consistent wind conditions of this area.

Residential Choices in Kihei

The housing scene in Kihei is as diverse as its beaches. Whether you’re a single professional, raising a family, or looking to retire by the beach, there’s something for everyone here.

Kihei has the largest number of condos of any community on the island. It’s a pretty varied bunch. Of course, there are many vacation rental-friendly condos with lush grounds and inviting pool areas.

There are also condos with fewer bells and whistles and lower maintenance fees geared towards year-round residents. If you don’t want to vacation rent, you can still live at a place that’s well-appointed. Again, the options are many when sorting through the inventory of Kihei Condos for Sale.

If more privacy is what you seek then one of Kihei’s single-family homes might be your choice. Ranging from simple bungalows nestled amidst lush greenery to executive homes to beautiful beach and oceanfront estates. There are varied options in the current inventory of Kihei Homes for Sale

Key Takeaway: 

Kihei’s charm: A beach town offering sunny weather and diverse beaches. Each beach here is unique, perfect for everything from snorkeling to windsurfing.

Residential options: Kihei is a treasure trove of housing choices. You’ll find condos boasting ocean views, and single-family homes if you’re after more privacy.

Other Beach Towns of Note

Needless to say, when you live on an island there is more than one good beach town. we already mentioned Paia town among the island’s surf towns, but you don’t have to be a surfer to enjoy Paia Bay, Baldwin, and Ho’okipa Beach Park.

Kula – A Community with a View

Beautiful beaches and tropical landscapes are two images that immediately come to mind when you think of Hawaii. But there’s more to Maui than just beachfront living. Take Kula, for instance. This community offers panoramic views, rolling green pastures, and crisp cool nights on the slopes of Haleakala.

The Majestic Views of Kula

In Kula, the landscape takes center stage. Situated at elevations ranging from 1,200 feet to 4,000 feet on Haleakala Volcano’s western slope, this rural community’s perch on the mountainside means stunning views. The range in elevation within Kula also means variety in the window dressing for your views.

At lower elevations, the climate is warm and sun-baked with an almost desert-like climate. As you gain elevation, you get closer to the clouds. Afternoon clouds can bring mist to help green the landscape. 

On any given day, residents can soak up the sights of the South Maui Coastline while sipping their morning coffee or watch as Lanai and Kahoolawe islands appear to float above the Pacific Ocean under an orange sunset. The grandeur doesn’t stop there though; Central Maui and West Maui Mountains also form part of this spectacular panorama.

Kula gets the award for best place for viewsThe best area for views? A picture from Kula is worth 1,000 words. 

Living in Kula

If Kula’s views and environment sound enticing, let’s review the options among the inventory of Kula Homes for Sale

Housing varies widely within Kula due to its size and varied topography. From sprawling estates nestled amidst the clouds to cozy cottages that are reminiscent of a more pastoral lifestyle, Kula has it all.

So whether you’re looking for ample space or something quaint and charming, this community offers a unique mix. Many homes here capitalize on their elevated location by offering expansive decks or patios – perfect spots for taking in those iconic views we talked about earlier. 

The climate, elevation, and soils of Kula make it an ideal locale for gardeners and small-scale farming. From Flower Farms to vineyards to orchards to simple vegetable and herb gardens, plant it, give it love and it will thrive in Kula. The higher elevations of Kula support some surprising produce including apples and assorted stone fruit.

Key Takeaway: 

Whether you’re sipping your morning coffee while soaking in the South Maui Coastline view or watching the sunset over floating islands, Kula life is all about majestic panoramas. The housing options are just as diverse and appealing – from grand estates to cozy cottages. 

Other Notable View Neighborhoods and Communities

Wailuku Heights sits on the lower slopes of the east face of the West Maui Mountains. From that vantage point, homes look across the Central Valley towards Haleakala. Most homes have a view of one or both of the coastlines. It is also a great place to see sunrises and moonrises.

Maui Meadows is a subdivision located just above Wailea. It is the best place in South Maui for ocean views particularly as you move higher up in the neighborhood. The topography is a lot more favorable for views than Kihei and a number of the neighborhoods in Wailea.

Pukalani- A Great Option for Golfers Outside the Resorts

Maui’s resorts are renowned for their golf courses. Every year, the first event of the PGA tour kicks off on Kapalua’s Plantation Course. Courses in Wailea and Ka’anapali also hosted professional events in the past.

That said, homes that front those golf courses tend to sell for an absolute premium. If you desire to live on the golf course but want something outside the resort for either lifestyle reasons or due to budget, Pukalani is worth a look. 

Golf with a View at Pukalani Country Club

Located on the western slope of Haleakala, Pukalani is situated between 1,000 and 1,600 feet in elevation. Pukalani translates to “hole in the sky.”

That speaks to the area’s sunny days and cooler nights. The community’s orientation on Haleakala makes for nice views of the West Maui Mountains, Central Valley, North Shore, and Ma’alaea Bay. 

The golf course in the community is the Pukalani Country Club. This 18-hole course offers reasonable greens fees and is low on pretense. It is open to the public. Local residents are able to apply for annual memberships. The membership fees mean that you get to play for a discounted cart rate.

While I am not a golfer personally, my father-in-law enjoys playing the course whenever he visits. He frequently joins up with other golfers or golfers to share a cart. Everyone he meets on his rounds is always friendly.

Living Options in Pukalani

The golf course is surrounded by both single-family residences and two townhome communities. The homes surrounding the golf course show diversity in size, age of construction, and finishing. The oldest homes in the neighborhood were built in the 70s.

The highest-priced community that abuts the golf course is The Residences at Kulamalu. This is the newest development in the area. Lot sizes along the golf course range from 7,000 square feet to upwards of 20,000 square feet.

There are a fair number of half-acre properties located within half of a mile of the golf course if you are looking for a little more land. The breadth of options for Pukalani Homes for Sale grows even more the further you get from the golf course. 

Sunset Views from a home located along a fairway at the Pukalani Country Club Golf CourseSunset Views from a home along the fairways of the Pukalani Country Club Golf Course

Key Takeaway: 

Pukalani offers golf course living with views and without a lot of pretension. Homes along the Pukalani Country Club golf course are more accessibly priced than homes in resort areas. 

Other Community Options for Golfers

The Dunes at Maui Lani is Maui’s most unique golf course. It is a Links-style course located in the heart of the Maui Lani Planned community. There are several subdivisions in the community with homes that back up against the golf course.

My sleeper pick is Oceanview Estates in Wailuku. This neighborhood is the closest to the Waiehu Municipal Course, known by some locals as the poor man’s Pebble Beach. This is the least expensive course on the island. 

Hana Town: When Seclusion and Quiet is Paramount 

Hana is located on the very eastern tip of the island. It is only 64 miles from Kahului to Hana, but the drive can take over two hours. The windy road travels through lush rain forests and crosses over 46 one-way bridges.

That means a trip of up to 2 ½ hours to get from Kahului. There is also a small airport that has two commercial flights to and from Kahului daily. This type of seclusion makes for a quiet rural community.

An aerial view of secluded Hana TownAn aerial view of Hana Town, secluded and quiet

Limited Amenities, Abundant Beauty

Hana Town is home to roughly 1,500 full-time residents. There are no stoplights in town and Hasegwa General Store is the main place to shop. Food options increased over the last ten years with several food trucks opening.

Otherwise, there aren’t a lot of conveniences and amenities. Plan on shopping at the Farmer’s Market, Hasegawas, or making periodic trips to the other side of the island to load up on staples. 

Shopping isn’t the draw. It is the quiet and natural beauty of the area. There are a few beautiful beaches, Wainapanapa State Park is on the north side of Hana and the Kipahulu district of Haleakala National Park is a short drive away.

While not as wet as the areas you pass through on the Road to Hana, it is the lush windward side of the island. Trade showers keep the area green and longer periods of rain are common during the winter rainy season. 

Hana Property Options

As a rural community, single-family homes are the primary living option. That said, the range of homes for sale in Hana is pretty diverse. There are more modest homes on smaller lots in Hana town itself, larger estate-type properties located on acreage, and oceanfront homes perched above the beautiful blue waters of the Pacific.

Interested in growing your food or having a small farm? The combination of sun and abundant rainfall makes for flourishing fruit trees. There is one condominium development in Hana. The Hana Kai is a small 20-unit, vacation rental-friendly development overlooking Hana Bay.

Due to its small size. Sales are pretty infrequent. Due to the smaller pool of properties in Hana, patience or compromise can be important when shopping for a Hana home. 

Key Takeaway: 

Hana Town offers peace, quiet, and tropical tranquility. What it lacks in amenities it more than makes up for in natural beauty.  Residential options include homes on smaller lots in town, small-scale farms, and oceanfront homes. 

Other Places to Find Seclusion

You don’t have to head to the eastern tip of the island to find seclusion. The Huelo area of Haiku is located at the start of the road to Hana. This rural community offers quiet without having to make the full drive to Hana.

Ulupalakua is a Tranquil community in the Kula area of Upcountry Maui. Properties don’t come on the market very often, but it is a great place if you want to live a little off the beaten path with big views. 

Kehalani- Convenience and a Truly Central Location

Let’s face it, living a life of seclusion isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If you prioritize ease of access to shopping, medical facilities, and entertainment or you just want to be relatively close to everywhere but Hana, Central Maui is the place to live. We wanted to highlight the master-planned community of Kehalani, one area in particular that offers convenience to its residents.

Kehalani is A Newer Community Close to It All

Kehalani first broke ground in the mid-1990s. New construction continues to this day. New releases in development tend to go quickly. Location is a significant reason why. The community is set at the base of the eastern slope of the West Maui Mountains.

It is within a 5-minute drive of downtown Wailuku, Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, and the University of Hawaii Maui College. Costco, Target, Lowes, and other Big Box Stores are right around 10 minutes away. You can be on a beach on the North Shore, South Maui, or West Maui in 20 minutes or less. 

Kehalani is the pick for best Maui Neighborhood for ConvenienceKehalani is the Best Maui Neighborhood for convenience. 

Kehalani Offers Condos or Single-Family Homes

Convenience isn’t just about location. When it comes to where you live, it might mean less home or yard maintenance. Kehalani offers a variety of both condominium and single-family home developments that offer easier living.

The combination of newer construction and smaller lot sizes means that owners spend less time maintaining their property and more time enjoying all that Maui has to offer. That being said, there are 23 unique neighborhoods within Kehalani.

If you like having a little more yard space, there are neighborhoods like Koa at Kehalani with lot sizes between a quarter and a half acre. 

Key Takeaway: 

Kehalani offers easy access to Central Maui Amenities and is a twenty-minute drive from beaches on three sides of the island.  There are a variety of residential options within this master-planned community ranging from condos to custom executive homes. 

Other Maui Communities to Consider When Convenience is Paramount

Add another Central Maui Planned Community to the list. Maui Lani is located just down the hill from Kehalani and shares similar attributes. Newer construction and easy access to all of the amenities in Wailuku and Kahului. For that matter, most of Wailuku and Kahului offer convenience and easy access for owners.

Discover Maui’s Best Neighborhoods with The Maui Real Estate Team

Let’s look back on our picks for some of the best neighborhoods in Maui.

Spreckelsville – where water sports enthusiasts find their paradise. Here, surfing, kitesurfing, winging and windsurfing are a daily thrill. 

Kihei – the quintessential beach town that gives you variety at every turn with beaches like Kamaole and Keawakapu for snorkeling or swimming.

Kula – an elevated rural community offering breathtaking views from sprawling estates to quaint cottages.

Pukalani – laid-back living along the fairways of the Pukalani Country Club. A more affordable option to live along the links. 

Hana – for those who want to get away from it all. A great option if quiet and natural beauty take precedence over amenities.

Kehalani – location and lower maintenance are two of the reasons that make this community ideal for those who value convenience above all.

One last note about this article. You will notice that there are no neighborhoods listed in West Maui. To be clear, there are a lot of great neighborhoods on that side of the island that would normally be contenders for this list.

That said, West Maui is facing a massive housing crisis in the aftermath of the Lahaina fire. Over 6,000 residents are in temporary accommodations looking for long-term housing. In light of that situation, we did not feel it was appropriate to draw additional competition to the limited housing resources available. 

As we have said at the beginning of our post, this is an imperfect list bound to create disagreements. It is also worth noting that you don’t have to be a surfer, windsurfer, or kiteboarder to enjoy a community like Spreckelsville. For that matter, you don’t have to play golf to enjoy Pukalani.

You may have passions or visions of a Maui Lifestyle that aren’t covered by the list. Give us a call or send us a message with your interests, needs, and budget and we would be happy to come up with options for the Best Maui Neighborhoods for you!

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

4 Critical Things to Know When Searching Online for Maui Real Estate

According to the National Association or Realtors, the first step of the home buying process for forty-seven percent of home buyers was to search online. With Maui’s significant number of off island buyers, that number is substantially higher locally. Quirks of our MLS, a limited number of Post Offices on Maui and the relatively unique types of ownership in Hawaii can make the information displayed in online Maui real estate listings confusing or incomplete. Here are 4 things you should look out for when searching online for Maui Real Estate.

Figuring out the Exact Location of the Property Isn’t Always Easy

Our website and almost all real estate websites use what is called an Internet Data Exchange or IDX to display MLS listings. We use an underlying company called an IDX provider to package property data and photos into the listings you see displayed on our site. The IDX provider doesn’t just service Maui, they provide a similar service to real estate companies throughout the country. IDX providers use Zip codes as the primary means to identify the location of a listing. That works great in most areas where a town or city may have one or more zipcodes. It doesn’t work as well on Maui where zip codes can span across a large geographic area and cover multiple communities.

It’s easy to see how this can cause some confusion. This is especially the case in West Maui after the Lahaina fire. A significant portion of Lahaina Town’s residences burned. Those that were listed, but did not burn were subsequently withdrawn from the market. That said, a number of properties with a Lahaina address can be found listed for sale currently. The reason is that the Lahaina Zip code expands well beyond the fire area. West Maui runs from the small village of Olowalu down South all the way to Kapalua up to the North. All of this area falls under the Lahaina zipcode.

Zip codes cover big areas on Maui. This causes some confusion about location when searching online for Maui Real Estate. This is an example of a Kapalua Home that shows a Lahaina location due to address.
This Kapalua Home shows a Lahaina Address in an online search.
Looking a little deeper in the search results, the Kapalua location is shown by the district.
Scrolling down in your search, the district shows the home is located in Kapalua.

This challenge isn’t unique just to our site or other Maui Realtor sties. It is also true for bigger national real estate portals like Zillow and Redfin. It is evident with the screen captures that show a Lahaina address for a Kapalua Property on Zillow. You need to scroll deep within Zillow’s listing information or look at the associated map to find the Kapalua Location.

Zillow's listings also feature a Lahaina address for a Kapaua home when searching online for Maui Real Estate.
This same listing on Zillow also shows a Lahaina location
Location Information on Zillow shows under the Community and Neighborhood section

Again, West Maui isn’t the only part of the island with a Zip code that spans a big area. In South Maui, Makena and Wailea resort fall under the Kihei zipcode. Looking Upcountry, Makawao and Pukalani also share the same zipcode. All of East Maui including Hana, Nahiku, Kipahulu and Kaupo share a single zipcode. The coastal community of Ma’alaea and rural community of Kahakuloa fall under the Wailuku zipcode.

To help alleviate confusion in your search, look for the district on an IDX site or the specific location information within a portal site like Zillow. When using our site, you should note that we have community level searches available along the footer of our page. Of course, you are always welcome to send us a message if you remain unsure of a property’s exact location or need assistance honing in on a specific community.

How Much Land Area Does That Listing Really Have?

Land area is something else to keep an eye on when searching online for Maui real estate listings. There are a number of Maui listings where the area of land included with a property is less than what shows on the online listing. This stems from the growing frequency of Condominium Property Regimes (CPRs) also known as residential condominium listings.

A CPR is a type of ownership where portions of a single parcel of land may be sold off as separate units. The units have their own deed and tax map key. Each unit of a CPR can be mortgaged. In essence, this type of ownership applies the same principles of how an apartment building is turned into condos, and applies them to any piece of land that can have more than one structure. Since Residential Condo ownership isn’t common nationally, IDX providers and Real Estate Portals show the land area of the whole parcel of land and not the individual CPR unit.

For example, let’s take a two acre lot with a house and a cottage that goes through the CPR process. Unit A consists of the house and 1.5 acres of land. Unit B consists of the cottage and .5 acres of land. The underlying area of land with each unit is frequently called the limited common element. If unit B is listed for sale, most real estate sites will show the listing as having a full 2 acres rather than .5 acres of land. It doesn’t become readily apparent that it is really .5 acres until one reads about it in the detailed description of the listing.

This online listing appears to show 2 acres of land. In reality it is smaller CPR unit.
An online listing that appears to show 2 acres.
Closer examination of the listing remarks of this online listing shows that this is a half acre cpr listing rather than a full 2 acre lot.
A closer review of the listing remarks shows that this is a half acre CPR unit.

Keep your eyes peeled for words like CPR, residential condo or limited common element in the listing description for lots and homes. That’s a pretty good clue that the land area is smaller than what is listed. A good listing description for a CPR property will specifically mention the limited common element or area of land associated with the listing. When in doubt, contact us and we would be happy to help you determine if the property is a CPR and how much land is included.

Listings Don’t Always Show All Monthly and Quarterly Fees

It goes without saying that determining the cost of ownership plays a big part in the typical search for real estate. That includes both the purchase price and any monthly fees associated with a property. There are a few types of properties on island where all monthly fees aren’t clearly spelled out in IDX and other online listings.

Leasehold condos are at the top of the list of properties that don’t show all monthly fees in their online listings. The monthly condo association fee is clearly listed, but the monthly and quarterly lease payments seldom make it on IDX sites. IDX providers use standardized display fields so they can work across markets across the country. With leasehold ownership less common, that field is omitted from most idx providers.

The monthly lease payment does show on Zillow, but good luck finding it and figuring out what it means. Deep in the bowels of the listing detail is a field called total actual rent. The way it is presented looks more like income than a fee.

Zillow's monthly lease payment on lease condos is displayed as total monthly rent.
While Zillow includes the monthly lease payment in its leasehold listings, it looks more like income than an expense.

Two other expenses that don’t always make it into an IDX feed are homeowner’s association fees and resort fees. There are a couple of fields in the MLS that cover homeowner association fees for single family homes. Depending on what field the listing agent uses, it may or may not show up on the IDX search results. Some of the resort areas also have quarterly resort fees. Those help to maintain landscaping in the resort as a whole. Since it isn’t a required field to list a property, some agents omit those fees when listing resort properties.

When inquiring about a condo, lot or a home located within a subdivision, it is worth asking if all fees are included on the MLS listing. Contact us if you have any questions.

Not All Condos Allow Vacation Rentals

A significant portion of people searching online for Maui condos for sale are looking for potential vacation rentals. Be aware that not all condos on island allow vacation rentals. Whether a condo allows vacation rentals isn’t always clear when looking at Maui listings online. There are no specific fields for vacation rentals on most IDX sites, and Zillow does not display whether a condo development allows vacations rentals.

If confused about whether a Maui condo that you are looking at can be vacation rented, here are a few things to look for. Focus on the remarks. Listing agents may mention the ability to vacation rent in the listing remarks. It is an attribute that agents will try to highlight.

Amenities and maintenance fee may also offer another clue. If there is no pool and the maintenance fees are comparatively lower, chances are that the development does not allow short term rentals. Most but not all condos that have more amenities and higher maintenance fees allow vacation rentals. There are some high end condos with numerous amenities that prohibit vacation rentals.

Last but not least, look at price. With the exception of a few leasehold condos, vacation rentals currently start over $600,000. Most condos below this price point, prohibit rentals. Again, It is also worth noting that not all high end condos allow vacation rentals.

When in doubt, ask us! We are happy to let you know what you can and can’t rent short term. Our Kihei, Wailea, Ka’anapali and Kapalua Condo listing pages also list which developments allow vacation rentals and which prohibit vacation rentals.

Last Thoughts

The points above should improve your experience when searching online for Maui Real Estate. offers the option to review inventory at a more granular level. We have listing pages at the community, condo development and neighborhood level. As mentioned above, we also welcome any chance to be of assistance and answer questions as they arise.

Are you looking for a new Maui home?
We want to help!

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

Maui County 2023/2024 Property Tax Rates

The County of Maui announced property tax rates for the upcoming 2023/2024 fiscal year. After a number of significant changes in both rates and classifications in recent years, the Mayor and County Council opted for more limited change for this coming fiscal year. The complete set of rates for the upcoming fiscal year can be found below.

2023/2024 Rates

Here are the updated rates for Maui County in 2023/2024. If there is any change in rates, last years rates are noted for reference. All rates shown below are per $1,000 of assessed value.

Owner Occupied

  • Tier 1: up to $1,000,000 Formerly $2.00 now $1.90
  • Tier 2: $1,000,001 to $3,000,000 Formerly $2.10 now $2.00
  • Tier 3: more than $3,000,000 Formerly $2.71 now $2.75

Non Owner Occupied

  • Tier 1: up to $1,000,000 Unchanged $5.85
  • Tier 2: $1,000,001 to $4,500,000 Unchanged $8.00
  • Tier 3: more than $4,500,000 Unchanged $12.50


  • Unchanged $3.50

Hotel and Resort

  • Unchanged $11.75


  • Unchanged $14.60

Short-Term Rental

  • Tier 1: up to $1,000,000 Unchanged $11.85
  • Tier 2: $1,000,001 to $3,000,000 Unchanged $11.85
  • Tier 3: more than $3,000,000 Unchanged $11.85

Long-Term Rental

  • Tier 1: up to $1,000,000 Unchanged $3.00
  • Tier 2: $1,000,001 to $3,000,000 Unchanged $5.00
  • Tier 3: more than $3,000,000 Unchanged $8.00


  • Unchanged $5.74


  • Unchanged $6.43


  • Unchanged $6.05


  • Unchanged $7.05

Commercial Residential

  • Unchanged $4.50

Check out the county’s description of different property type classifications if there is any confusion on what category your current property or future property might fit into.

Maui Homeowner and Long Term Rental Exemptions

If you have a primary residence on Maui or own a property that you rent long term, you may be eligible to reduce your tax bill. Under the homeowner (primary residence) exemption, residents are eligible for a $200,000 reduction on their assessed value. The long term rental exemption also provides a $200,000 reduction on the assessed value if your tenant has a year lease or longer. If you have a long term rental on the same property as your primary residence, you may be eligible for a $300,000 total reduction on your assessed value.

The deadline to file for the homeowner or long term rental exemptions for this coming fiscal year passed. If you file by the end of 2023, you would be eligible for the exemption and tax rate for the 2024/2025 fiscal year. Here is the link to the Long Term Rental Exemption and the Home Owner Exemption forms. The rules for eligibility for the homeowner exemption can be confusing. It is worth reading the county Exemption FAQ to better understand eligibility requirements.

Maui Property Tax Timelines

The new rates go into effect at the start of the new fiscal year on July 1st, 2023. Property taxes are due in two separate installments. The first installment is due in August 2023 with the second installment in February 2024. Owners should have received notification of their new assessed values in March of 2023.

Are you looking for a new Maui home?
We want to help!

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

New SMA and Shoreline Rules

After over a decade of collaboration between the community and the county, Maui County’s Planning Commission approved updates to the Special Management Area (SMA) and Shoreline Rules. The updates bring more balance and flexibility for homeowners, while also improving coastal resilience for the environment. On March 28, the Maui Planning Commission voted 8-0 to approve significant changes to the rules.

Maui County originally established SMA and Shoreline Rules in the early 1970s to create shoreline building setbacks in sensitive coastal areas. However, the existing setback formula only considered historical erosion rates and did not factor in worsening conditions due to sea level rise.

The updated SMA and Shoreline Rules reflect many years of work from the Maui County Planning Department, the Maui Planning Commission, and community working groups. The new rules incorporate the best available science on sea level rise to bolster coastal resilience. When the new rules take effect, the public will be able to access the shoreline map on the Planning department’s website. The department will also hold public outreach to inform and train residents on the changes.

Highlights of the New Rules

  • Creates categorical exemptions, allowing people to bypass submitting an SMA assessment or permit application if proposed work has minimal to no environmental impact. For example, repairs and upgrades to the interior of homes, with a valuation of less than $500,000 in any 24-month period, within the special management area including the shoreline area are allowed, unless they are seeking expansion or intensifying the use.
  • Removes the mandatory requirement of certified shoreline surveys, which cost thousands of dollars, and instead leaves the decision to the discretion of the department.
  • Reduces the permitting burden for state-required conversion of cesspools.
  • Requires hazard mitigation plans that consider realignment of structures away from the shoreline if existing structures are exposed to coastal hazards.

The new rules are more balanced and flexible for homeowners, while incorporating the best available science on sea level rise to bolster coastal resilience. This represents the second major update since 2003, with future reassessments based on erosion rates and the best science available planned every decade.

The SMA and Shoreline areas, managed by state and county laws, are the most sensitive parts of the coastal zone. The Special Management Area is the area of the island that is close to the shoreline, generally beginning at the shoreline and extending inland to the nearest highway. The Shoreline area is the land between the shoreline and the shoreline setback line.

The updated rules provide a foundation for further progress and a step forward in balancing the needs of homeowners and protecting the environment. The Hawaii Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report, a guiding document for coastal planning around the state, urges people to plan for 3.2 feet of sea level rise now and adjust the projection upward in years to come. The updated SMA and Shoreline Rules represent a significant milestone for Maui County in addressing the challenges of coastal resilience and planning for the future.

This should also of course provide additional clarity for buyers interested in purchasing oceanfront land or remodeling or expanding on an existing oceanfront home.

Interested in Oceanfront?

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

5 Costly Home Expenses to Look Out for in Maui: Don’t Let Homeownership Become a Financial Burden

Let’s be real. The increase in prices over the last couple of years combined with current interest rates makes the cost of home ownership as high as ever. New owners who are getting into the market are allocating a lot of their savings for down payment, and a significant chunk of income to their mortgage. With that in mind, it is important that you still keep some money in reserve for unexpected home expenses. The last thing we want to see is for your home ownership become a true financial hardship. Here are five big ticket expenses to look out for:

  1. Roof repair: Hawaii’s climate is warm and humid, which can cause damage to the roof over time. The sun’s UV rays can cause the roof’s material to deteriorate, while heavy rains and winds can damage shingles or cause leaks. Regular roof maintenance and repair are crucial to preventing costly damage.
  2. Appliance Repair and Replacement: In the last seven years, I’ve replaced one dishwasher, repaired a refrigerator and repaired our range twice. When the appliance repairman came to fix the refrigerator, he said appliances just flat out deteriorate faster on Maui. Maybe it is salt air, maybe it is something else. Just expect your appliances to wear out faster than you expect. As an added tip, some brands are harder to repair than others. The same repairman recommended GE and Kenmore.
  3. Plumbing issues: Water damage from leaky pipes, clogged drains, or malfunctioning fixtures can lead to costly repairs. Regular plumbing maintenance and addressing issues promptly can prevent more extensive damage and expenses.
  4. Septic and Cesspool Issues: Not all areas of Maui include sewer services. A number of homes on island rely upon septic systems or even older cesspools. These waste management systems require both maintenance and care when it comes to inputs. Poorly maintained septic systems can fail. Cesspools can fail due to improper maintenance or old age. Replacement of cess pools and septic systems is expensive!
  5. Wood damage: The local climate can beat up on wood siding and trim. Our climate is conducive to dry rot. Homeowners should definitely monitor siding for dry rot particularly on the sides of the house exposed to the prevailing weather. It’s better to repair and replace dry rot before it spreads. Of course, Maui’s climate is also hospitable to termites. While many newer homes use termite treated lumber, it is still possible to get wood boring insects in trim and cabinetry. Inspection and even periodic tenting may be necessary.

Home inspection during the purchase process can help identify potential issues and near term maintenance items. That said, no home inspection is perfect, and things like appliance issues can pop up pretty quickly. Other things like septic systems and cess pools are outside the scope of traditional home inspections. We advise clients to do a septic or cess pool inspection in addition to the regular home inspection. Regardless of the extent of your mitigate efforts, it is important to keep cash reserves for those unexpected maintenance issues.

Thinking of Buying?

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

Mortgage Rates and Treasury Bonds

Three months into the year and interest rates continue to fluctuate. In January it seemed like rates were heading downward steadily. February saw an increase in rates. The banking crisis earlier this month caused rates to adjust downward again. Last year, there was a lot of ink spilled and key strokes dedicated to predicting rates. Most predictions proved to be wrong. At this point, prognostication on rates seems like a fool’s errand. That said, I wanted to talk about one of the better bellwethers for mortgage rates, the ten year treasury bond.

In the financial world, a bellwether is an indicator of something bigger. For the bond market, the ten-year Treasury bond is the go-to indicator of how things are going. When investors are feeling good about the economy, they tend to buy more bonds, which drives down the yield (i.e., interest rate) on the ten-year Treasury bond. Conversely, when things are looking a bit shaky, investors tend to flock to the safety of Treasury bonds, which drives up the yield.

So, what does all of this have to do with mortgage rates? Well, the yield on the ten-year Treasury bond is a key indicator of where mortgage rates are headed. When the yield on the ten-year Treasury bond goes up, so do mortgage rates. When the yield goes down, mortgage rates tend to follow suit.

The relationship between the 30 year mortgage rates and ten year treasury bonds shown in a chart

Think of it like a game of follow the leader, but with money. When the leader (the ten-year Treasury bond) goes up, the followers (mortgage rates) try to keep up. And when the leader goes down, the followers slow down too.

What Does This Mean for Buyers?

Consider this as more of how does this work vs a how to post. I’ve read in some places that following the ten year treasury closely may give buyers a sense of when to lock their mortgage rate. I have to say, I am a little skeptical about that. While the two are closely correlated, there may not be enough lag between the change in treasury bond yields and the change in mortgage rates. It’s a pretty busy world out there and unless you work in finance, you also may not have the time to closely monitor treasuries. This is where I would lean on a knowledgeable mortgage professional rather than tracking things yourself. Let your mortgage professional give you guidance on when to lock your rate.

Are you looking for a new Maui home?
We want to help!

Pete Jalbert