Updated in December of 2014
The coastal environment of Hawaii is a dynamic place. Shorelines can vary both seasonally and annually and are subject to coastal hazards. It is unquestioned that ocean and beach front areas are some of the most desirable places to live on Maui. It is difficult to match the beauty of watching a sunrise/sunset over the ocean, or the privilege of being able to walk out your back door to the beach for a swim, surf, snorkel or other adventure. That being said, buyers who are considering purchasing oceanfront properties should do their due diligence to better understand issues that owners of oceanfront properties face such as erosion, coastal construction, flood zone issues, shoreline setbacks and insurance. Several years ago a few coastal geologists in Hawaii, Zoe Norcross Nu’u and her colleague Dolan Eversole, produced a booklet entitled Purchasing Coastal Real Estate in Hawai’i: A Practical Guide of Common Questions and Answers.
If you are considering purchasing beach and oceanfront property in Maui, you should take the time to download and read this valuable resource. In addition to Zoe and Dolan’s book, there are a number of other outstanding resources available online that can and should be reviewed. Here is a good list:
- Atlas of Natural Hazards in the Hawaiian Coastal Zone
- FEMA Coastal Construction Manual
- FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps
- The Maui Hazard Mitigation Plan
- Participant’s Guide to the SMA Permit– a review of permits in the shoreline area.
- Maui Erosion Rates
- Maui Shoreline Setback Information
- Tsunami-The Great Waves, June 2005
- Hawaii Sea Level Rise Viewer
- UH Ocean Atlas
The Maui Real Estate Team has considerable experience working with clients buying and selling oceanfront properties. We also have strong relationships with several planning consultants with oceanfront expertise. Let us help you better understand and navigate the process so that you can reap the rewards of oceanfront living. If you have any additional questions about purchasing oceanfront properties, Contact The Maui Real Estate Team today.