Maui Real Estate Blog


Ohana is a Hawaiian word that translates to family. It includes both blood relations and extended families. From a real estate standpoint, ‘Ohana is a term that is used to describe a separate cottage or an apartment attached to a main house. ‘Ohanas are used for family members, visitors or may be rented out as a mortgage helper. ‘Ohana units are fairly common place in Hawaii where lot size and zoning makes them permissible.

Non permitted or illegal ohanas, particularly attached ohanas are also commonplace. Some agents will refer to these units as Nohanas. I have also heard attached ‘ohanas called tutu suites. Tutu being a Hawaiian word used for grandmother.

Ohanas are something buyers should take in to consideration when purchasing in Maui. It may be helpful if you have a family member who you would like to keep nearby. It also may expand your buying power. If you can afford to purchase a home up to say $600,000, you may be able to go higher in price to say $650,000 to $700,000 if the home has an ohana that may serve as mortgage helper.

Pete Jalbert

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