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8 Things to Know Before Buying Maui Luxury Real Estate

Extensive beachfront, rolling greenery, and ample luxury amenities have solidified Maui’s status as one of the most desirable vacation destinations in the world. And beyond holidays, the white sand beaches and welcoming community of Maui make for an excellent full or part-time residence, as well. Whether you’re looking to purchase a primary or secondary residence, consider the following before setting out to claim your own piece of Maui real estate.

What to know before buying a home in Maui

The median home price

Because the island’s homes offer picturesque views and an idyllic lifestyle, Maui real estate is currently in high demand, and prices are high. And while demand for Maui luxury homes will always be high compared with many areas of the US, Maui’s market has calmed down slightly over the past two years. The median home price on Maui has fallen just below $1M — but is still more than 27% higher than it was in October 2020, which is a clear reflection of the rapid upward trend overall.

It’s a sellers’ market

The current Maui real estate market is saturated with buyers and burdened with low inventory — making it a classic seller’s market. As a buyer, your competition increases in this type of market, so it’s important to go into the house-hunting process with a concrete plan. Know what you want, and make realistic offers that are impressive enough to boost you above the competition. You should hire a Maui real estate agent to navigate the entire process with you, as you’ll have an easier time doing a detailed market analysis with the help of a local expert.

The neighborhoods

Maui has several distinct regions: West Maui, Central Maui, Upcountry, East Maui, the North Shore, and South Maui. Major cities in Maui include Lahaina, Haiku, Hana, Wailea, and Makawao. Your decision on where to settle will be influenced by what you seek out of your time on the island. If you want beautiful, perfectly manicured resorts where golfing, spas, and views prevail, consider South Maui (Wailea and Makena). A more charming, iconic view of Maui — complete with quaint inns, restaurants, and art galleries — can be found in Lahaina.
Lahaina (Image courtesy of Maui Information Guide)
If you’re looking to be further inland and close to the airport, Central Maui provides a suburban, travel-convenient backdrop. Maui’s North Shore is known as the “windsurfing capital of the world,” as well as for its historic sugar cane plantations, which offer a peaceful ambiance. For those buyers who prefer mountain views instead of views of the ocean, Upcountry is an ideal fit. Cooler temperatures, lush surroundings, and a plethora of mountain-oriented activities add to this area’s natural, rugged charm.
Road to Hana (Image courtesy of
And finally, perhaps the most remote option is East Maui. Home to lush coastal scenery and the famous Road to Hana, East Maui overflows with gorgeous scenery, roadside vistas, and charming condos and cottages. East Maui is where you want to be to truly get away from it all.

The down payment

While you certainly might encounter a down payment as low as 3-4%, you may also find ones as high as 20-40%. Condos tend to require higher down payments, while single-family homes trend lower. Understand what you’ll be paying upfront, so you can decide whether you can pay cash or will need a loan.

The types of loans

If you’re not paying cash for your Maui real estate, you’ll need to take out a mortgage. Getting pre-approved for a loan necessitates an understanding of the types of loans you’ll have at your disposal: a conventional, jumbo, government-insured, fixed-rate mortgage, and an adjustable-rate mortgage. Getting pre-approved for a loan will demonstrate to sellers that you’re a responsible, financially-stable candidate.

Make a complete offer

A complete offer requires more than just a sturdy offer price. You’ll need to work with your realtor to stand out amongst the competition, which means including elements such as an escalation clause, a solid amount of earnest money, or a personal connection with the seller. If you can bond over your love of windsurfing in the North Shore or your passion for playing golf, you’ll likely have a better chance of winning your dream home.

Your timeline

Once you’ve got all of your ducks in a row, be sure to have a firm grasp of what’s expected of you and when. Escrow can include many phases, and it’s important to respond to each phase in a timely manner. Coordinate with your agent, complete your paperwork, and you’ll be more likely to get your dream home without any complications.

Hire an expert

Working with an experienced local agent is crucial when it comes to entering Maui’s competitive real estate market. Ohana Real Estate Team has a deep understanding of Maui’s various regions and neighborhoods, its market landscape, and how to win competitive listings.

Buying a home in Maui?

If you’re interested in starting your Maui home-buying journey, contact the Ohana Real Estate Team today.

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We pride ourselves in being able to provide a high level of service to all types of sellers and buyers. We are here to help you achieve all your real estate goals here in Hawaii.