Maui Beachfront Homes For Sale: Find Your Dream Home

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Maui Beachfront Homes for Sale. The appeal is undeniable. We all know the beauty of the beach. The varied shades of blue water offshore. The palm trees provide dappled light. The broad expanse of sky over the water is a shifting canvas throughout the day.

But really, it is a multi-sensory experience—the smell of the salt air. The sound of waves crashing or lapping gently depends on the ocean’s mood. The feel of sand between your toes. Hot during the middle of the day and cool first thing in the morning.

It evokes memories of times past with friends or family. Now more than ever, it also provides an environment that invites you to be present, to soak in the here and now, a true treat in our connected world. Being at the beach is good for you. It makes you happy, and there is increasing medical evidence of its positive health effects.

What about living at the beach? Well, I am not a Dr., so I can’t say it will cure all your ails, but buying a Maui Beachfront Home for Sale provides an opportunity to create a wealth of future memories with family and friends.

If beachfront living is your ultimate fantasy, consider reading this as a first step while shopping for Maui Beachfront Homes for Sale. This post discusses the distinction between beachfront and oceanfront, the communities where you can find beachfront homes on Maui, the types of homes you can see, and the budget you will need to afford one of these exclusive properties.

As much as the appeal of beachfront living is undeniable, it is not without its hazards. We discuss some risks, the due diligence that a buyer should consider when buying on the water, and other important considerations before purchasing.

Backyard views like these are why people pay a pretty penny for Maui beachfront homes for sale.

Key Takeaways:

  • Beachfront vs. Oceanfront: Living on the ocean is special; living beachfront is another level.
  • Top Neighborhoods: You can find beachfront homes in Wailea, Kihei, Makena, Kapalua, Kaanapali, Spreckelsville, and a few other communities. Each community or neighborhood offers unique beachfront living experiences.
  • Property Options: What kind of homes do you typically encounter on the beach in Maui?
  • Price Points: Maui Beachfront Homes for Sale trade for a premium. Learn more about the options at various price points.
  • Understanding Shoreline Risks: Being immersed in nature can have its perils. You can learn about the challenges of owning on the beach and crucial due diligence resources for your purchase.

Beachfront vs. Oceanfront

As an island, Maui has a lot of oceanfront property. That said, oceanfront and beachfront are different. An oceanfront property is anything that abuts against the ocean. The property may have a seawall that separates the home from the water. It might have a rocky shoreline or be situated on a cliff.

If proximity to the sand is ultimately your preference, an oceanfront home may still be an option. Some oceanfront properties are very close to the beach or have deeded beach access. However, other oceanfront properties can be as many as 30 minutes from the nearest beach, particularly on the North Shore and East Maui.

Actual beachfront homes are more rare. Many island beaches don’t have homes; others may only have condos or hotels along the shoreline. The scarcity of beachfront homes is a significant driver of their value.

Where are the Beachfront Neighborhoods?

As mentioned above, beachfront homes for sale are a lot less common than you might expect. Here are the communities around the island where you might expect to find Maui Beachfront Homes for Sale.

Kihei

Kihei is one of the largest beach towns on the island, home to many of Maui’s beachfront homes.  Keawakapu Beach has the largest concentration of beachfront homes. The almost mile-long stretch of golden sand is an excellent spot for swimming and snorkeling.

Located just to the North of Wailea, there are 27 homes along this stretch of sand with lots between 1/2 an acre to an acre. The beauty of Keawakapu Beach itself, the larger lots, and the proximity to Wailea Resort are all reasons why some of the beachfront homes for sale on this stretch of sand are amongst the most expensive on Maui.

Halama Street is located a bit further north in Kihei. This neighborhood offers a mix of both oceanfront and beachfront homes. The beaches along this stretch are smaller and can be seasonal. There are a handful of other beachfront homes in Kihei, including some next to Charley Young Beach and one or two further up in North Kihei.

Wailea

Wailea is one of Maui’s premier resort communities. It’s well known for its beaches. The crescent-shaped beaches are great for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. You might be surprised that only five true beachfront homes are in the community. These residential condominiums are located in the gated community of Maluhia. In addition to the five beachfront homes, Maluhia has nine other homes or vacant lots with deeded beach access.

Resort hotels front the bulk of the beachfront in Wailea. If you are open to condominium living, Wailea Condos for Sale provides a greater range of options. There are spacious and luxurious condos that live large like Wailea Beach Villas and Wailea Point. Wailea Elua has many admirers, while Wailea Ekahi offers the lowest entry point to Beachfront living in Wailea.

Makena

Makena is located just south of Wailea. This stunning stretch of Maui coastline combines rocky headlands and spectacular beaches.

Along this stretch of coastline, you will find the second-biggest collection of beachfront residences outside of Kihei. There are homes along Palauea Beach, Po’olena Beach, Black Sand Beach, and other smaller beaches.

Many Makena oceanfront homes are located within a short walk of beaches. The natural beauty of this area and the setting of these homes make this one of the most expensive beachfront locations on the island.

Kapalua

Kapalua is another one of Maui’s renowned resorts. Like Wailea, it is known for its beautiful beaches among other amenities. It is also similar to Wailea in that there is a limited number of beachfront homes.

Kapalua Place has five beachfront homesites with an additional three homes in the subdivision across the street from the beach. The neighborhood overlooks Oneloa Beach. With a Northern exposure, waves can get bigger in the winter attracting surfers and bodyboarders. Summertime conditions are placid enough for snorkeling.

If you are open to condominium living, your options increase. Coconut Grove directly overlooks the beach at Kapalua Bay. The condos in this development offer spacious three-bedroom floor plans.

The Ironwoods overlooks Oneloa Beach. It has large two and three-bedroom floor plans. The Montage Residences Kapalua Bay and Kapalua Bay Villas are both oceanfront condo developments immediately to the next beaches.

Kaanapali

Just south of Kapalua, Kaanapali is another well-known Maui Resort. The area is known for its world-famous beach, as well as its lively resort atmosphere and abundance of dining and shopping options. And guess what, the options for beachfront homes are limited.

There are six homesites off of Kai Ala Drive on “Airport Beach.” Five of the six lots have been developed. They are roughly an acre in size. They are unique in that they have Hotel Zoning.

This allows the owners to vacation rent. There are just a couple of other beachfront homes on the island that can legally vacation rent without a permit.

Needless to say, these homes rarely come on the market. If you want beachfront living in Ka’anapali, you will either need to be patient or look at one of the many options among the inventory of Ka’anapali Condos for Sale.

Spreckelsville

Located on Maui’s North Shore, Spreckelsville is a dream location for those looking for a beachfront home with access to wind and ocean sports. Stable Road gained renown during the 1980s as a dream location for windsurfers who wanted to own a home where they could rig and launch from their backyard.

It is still a top location for windsurfing, but the appeal has grown with other wind sports. Wing foiling and kite boarders love playing in the wind and waves offshore.

The E Paepae Ka Puko’a subdivision, known by some as the Spencer Subdivision, has one beachfront lot, but all the neighborhood homes have deeded beach access. Several oceanfront homes in the Old Sprecks area have quick access to the beach. The Sugar Cove Condominiums is a small beachfront complex with good-sized two and three-bedroom condos. They offer gated access, privacy, and quiet.

Paia and Kuau

A few homes are on the beach in Paia Bay near downtown Paia. Other oceanfront homes are within a short walk of the beach. There are a few oceanfront homes close to the beach at Tavares Bay. A few homes are also perched above the sand at Mama’s Beach in Kuau.

Again, several oceanfront homes are within walking distance of Mama’s beach on Kuau Point. That is another area appealing to those who enjoy water sports with surfing, SUP, winging, windsurfing, and more available on the waves just off of Mama’s Beach and running along Kuau Point.

Other Communities with Beachfront Homes

A handful of beachfront homes have sold in the Wailuku area, but these transactions tend to happen infrequently. The beach in this area is a little more rocky than sandy. There are a few beachfront homes along Hana Bay in Hana Town.

The Types of Maui Beachfront Homes

With the relative scarcity of beachfront homes in Maui, the value of these properties means that most of the homes on beachfront lots are large and luxurious. This is particularly true in the resort communities where construction is newer and original lot prices are quite high.

In these communities, you can expect pools and a focus on indoor/outdoor living. Large pocket doors and glass walls slide open so your living room feels closer to the beach.

Older fixer-upper homes are becoming increasingly rare. Those looking for a project may find something on Halama Street. There are a couple of older homes along Keawakapu Beach, but they rarely come to market.

Beach cottages are also rare. Again, people tend to maximize the square footage of their homes since the underlying land holds so much value. You will find a little more size and style diversity among the Maui Oceanfront Homes for Sale inventory.

Maui Beachfront Pricing

Their scarcity mainly drives the value of Maui Beachfront Homes for Sale. There aren’t that many beachfront home lots on the island. Add in the fact that many beachfront homes are large, extremely well-crafted, and chock full of amenities, and the price goes up much further.

Jeff Bezos’ purchase of a secluded beachfront home in Makena set a record high at $78,000,000. Sales over $20,000,000 are relatively common. Here is an overview of some of the options you might encounter at different price points.

Less Than $1,000,000

No single-family beachfront homes are available in this price range. Studio and one-bedroom beachfront condos may be an option for buyers.

$1,000,000-$3,000,000

There are a few options, but you may find something in Hana or the Wailuku area. Maui Beachfront homes for sale in this price range may have lower value due to seclusion or higher exposure to natural hazards. One-bedroom and two-bedroom beachfront condominiums are accessible at this price point.

$3,000,000-$5,000,000

Again, there are few home options in this price range in the current market. Condo options continue to expand, with luxury condos more readily available in Ka’anapali at places like Honua Kai and Ka’anapali Ali’i.

In Wailea, there is inventory at Wailea Elua and maybe at Wailea Beach Villas. Condos at Makena Surf start in this range, as do places at the Ironwoods in Kapalua.

$5,000,000-$10,000,000

You start to see a little more home inventory in this price range. You can find older, more modest homes in Kihei in areas like Halama Street and near Charley Young Beach. Beachfront homes along Paia Bay and near Mama’s Beach might be possible.

You might find options for older beachfront homes or luxury homes with beach access in Spreckelsville at this price range. If you are looking for luxury beachfront living in a resort, there are various condo options in Wailea and Kapalua in this price range.

$10,000,000-$20,000,000

If you have a budget over $10,000,000, your options expand significantly. You can find luxury beachfront homes on Halama Street for just over $10,000,000. Homes on Keawakapu Beach start over $15,000,000. There may be older homes in Makena available at this price range with more luxurious options closer to $20,000,000.

In Spreckelsville, Stable Road Beachfront is accessible in this price range, or a double unit at Sugar Cove. This has been the recent price range for Kapalua Place Beachfront Sales. You can have your pick of the most luxurious beachfront or beachfront adjacent condos on the island.

$20,000,000-$30,000,000

In this price range, more options become available in Makena and along Keawakapu Beach. Something along Kai Ala Drive in Ka’anapali may be possible, but a listing there is extremely rare.

$30,000,000+

You can expect this price for premium beachfront properties along Keawakapu Beach or on the Beach in Makena. Bezos’ $78 million purchase is the current ceiling. Will we see a home that sells above that?

Something to Note About the Beachfront Home Market

The highest-priced beachfront homes tend to sit on the market for extended periods. While inventory is limited, the pool of buyers able to afford these expensive homes is also small.

As you get higher in price, valuations become more subjective and less based on comparable sales. Deals happen when there is an intersection between what a seller is willing to sell for and what a buyer is willing to pay.

Doing Your Due Diligence and Understanding Risk

There is no denying the beach’s natural beauty, but this dynamic environment can also have its perils. Damaging surf, erosion, rising sea levels, tsunami threats, and storms are all natural hazards in the shoreline area.

Tsunami Risk

The only Maui beachfront homes outside the Tsunami evacuation zone are in the Kapalua Place neighborhood. That said, those homes are located within the severe Tsunami evacuation zone. NOAA has online Tsunami Hazard maps for Hawaii.

Individual tsunami events can have varied impacts along the Maui coastline. The direction of the tsunami, underwater topography, and other factors can all influence the size of tsunami waves.

Erosion

Erosion can impact land area and threaten structures in more severe instances. The County of Maui has maps showing erosion rates along the North Shore, South Maui, and West Maui coastlines. Understanding the erosion threat is an integral part of any beachfront purchase.

Due to the impact on other coastal properties, the State of Hawaii restricts the construction of new sea walls. Other erosion mitigation measures outside of dune restoration require significant permitting if permitted at all.

Hurricanes and Other Storm Impacts

The Hawaiian Islands can be impacted by hurricanes. While Maui has not had a direct hit since the 1800s, experts anticipate increased risk from hurricanes in the future.

You don’t have to have a direct hit from a Hurricane to have storm impacts on the beach. In the winter, Hawaii can have strong storms called Kona Lows that bring high winds and waves. Distant storms from the North Pacific during the winter and the South Pacific during the summer can generate giant surf that causes waves to run up onto coastal properties.

Sea Level Rise

Sea level rise is another consideration when purchasing a beach or oceanfront property. The University of Hawaii has created a sea level rise viewer that shows how coastal properties will be impacted by sea level rise in four increments, from .5 feet to 3.2 feet. This is another tool prospective beachfront buyers should utilize to evaluate risk.

Purchasing Coastal Real Estate in Hawaii is another good read for anyone considering Maui Beachfront Homes for Sale. The PDF is almost 20 years old, but the content is still pertinent.

Insurance

Insurance is a hot topic in real estate today as rates increase nationwide. Due to the abovementioned coastal hazards, insuring coastal properties always comes at a higher cost. It doesn’t help that fewer carriers will insure close to the shoreline.

Buyers under contract on a coastal property should start looking at insurance options early in the purchase process to get quotes and determine if there may be any exceptions to coverage.

Other Considerations When Looking at Maui Beachfront Homes

Shoreline Access

There are no private beaches in Hawaii. Shoreline access is a right for both the public and visitors. Attempts to restrict access are a misdemeanor. Not complying with shoreline access rules may result in fines.

People who also try to restrict shoreline access will likely be tried swiftly in the court of public opinion. An oceanfront owner who tried to restrict access at a popular cliff-jumping spot in Kapalua quickly earned villain status within the community.

Permitting

Beachfront Homes and Properties are located in the Special Management Area. While recent efforts have been made to streamline SMA and shoreline rules, permits take longer to obtain in these areas, and additional expenses, like archaeological monitoring, can be incurred. Code and design guidelines are more restrictive, and shoreline setbacks need to be adhered to.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Of course, owning a beachfront home comes with its own set of maintenance challenges. Salt air, tropical storms, and the general wear and tear of beachfront living can take a toll.

You should always budget for routine fixes and care. Exterior fixtures can corrode more easily, electronics wear out faster, and paint can take a beating under the tropical sun.

Ready To Find Your Maui Beachfront Home?

If you made it this far, you should have a solid foundation to start your search for a beachfront home in Maui. The Maui Real Estate Team welcomes the opportunity to aid you with your search.

With experience representing buyers with beachfront properties, we have the tools and resources to help you make an informed decision. Contact the Maui Real Estate Team to help you find your perfect Maui beachfront home for sale today. 

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