If you’re thinking about relocating to upcountry Maui, you may have some questions about what’s involved in the process or how to get started. Making a move of this magnitude is no easy task, especially if you’re coming to Hawaii from the mainland or from another country. Thankfully you don’t have to go through the process without help. Here’s some advice from experts who are well acquainted with the process of how to best plan for your move to upcountry Maui.
1. Think about what you will do
You’ll want to think about what you’ll do for work after you move to Maui in addition to what you’ll do during your down time. The latter question is easier. Maui is known for having some of the best surfing, snorkeling, and outdoor activities that you’ll experience anywhere in the world. While there is also selective nightlife, you might find yourself too tired to go out after a day of exploring beaches and volcanoes.
Unless you’re retired, figuring out an employment situation might be top of mind. Perhaps you’re bringing your existing job with you because you’re able to work remotely. You're set as long as you have a reliable internet connection and deal with the time difference from wherever the main office is located. If you’ll be looking for work after you arrive, you’ll have the best luck looking for jobs in the tourism industry or in other sectors such as business or healthcare.
2. Get up to speed on the current state of the housing market
Home prices are down throughout most of the country, but the Maui market seems to always be in a solid position because of the strong appeal of living on the island. Home prices aren’t as high as earlier in the year, but they have risen. On the other hand, fewer homes are selling on average than last year, and it’s not uncommon for homes to stay on the market for longer before going under contract. Demand is not as high as it’s been in the past, but nobody should consider this anything other than a temporary setback. As a potential buyer, this does mean that you may have some room to negotiate with the seller on a final price for their home.
3. Think about where exactly you’ll live
Most people assume that living in Maui means always being within close proximity to the beach. This is certainly true for some people, but it’s not a guarantee for everyone who moves to the island. If you live further inland, you may be surprised to find that the temperature can actually vary from day to day. This doesn’t mean that living away from the beach isn’t ideal. There’s something for everyone in Maui, and you can still enjoy each day a great deal even if you can’t walk to the beach from your house. For example, Central Maui is a popular area for people who are looking to be in a centralized location where they can easily access each area of the island. You won’t be able to walk to the beach, but you’ll be close to major shopping and healthcare services while remaining within driving distance of the coast.
4. Get your finances in order
This is an important part of any home search. You need to make sure you’re financially prepared to buy a home with all of the necessary resources at your disposal. It’s never too early to reach out to a lender to discuss what sort of loan you can qualify for and how much you can afford to spend on a home. Your lender will want to know about your current debt-to-income ratio and credit score. They may ask to see documents such as recent pay stubs and tax returns. They will use all of this information to determine your current level of financial health. Once they have fully evaluated your standing as an applicant for your loan, they will issue you a pre-approval letter stating what sort of loan you can qualify for and what the maximum amount you can receive is. Keep in mind that different lenders will offer different interest rates, and there’s nothing wrong with talking with multiple banks or groups to determine who can give you the best possible rate.
5. Consolidate your belongings
This is especially important if you’re moving to Maui from the mainland United States or from another country. Since you’ll be traveling to Hawaii on an airplane, you probably don’t want to bring anything besides what’s absolutely necessary. In many cases, it may be more cost-effective to purchase new furniture or belongings once you arrive in Hawaii as opposed to paying to bring your current items with you. Some research and maybe even conversations with friends who have also made the move might prove to be helpful in determining the best course of action given what you’re planning to bring. The same is true about bringing your car with you. You can have your car shipped to the island, or you can sell your car before you leave and make plans to shop for a new car once you arrive.
6. Work with a realtor who knows the islands
Thankfully, you don’t have to go through the process alone. The best way to prepare for an easy and stress-free move is to team up with the Ohana Real Estate Team. Their agents are experts when it comes to relocating to upcountry Maui and take great pride in educating their clients about the process and guiding them through each twist and turn. Reach out to their office when you’re ready to take the next step towards shopping for homes in upcountry Maui.