So, you’ve been bit by the Maui bug and you’re ready to take the next step toward living in paradise. Lucky for you, buying real estate on Maui from the mainland is totally feasible! In fact, many homes and condos on Maui are purchased as second homes by full-time mainland residents. In 2021, over 70% of Maui home purchases were classified as “second homes” or “non-resident ownership.” Purchasing a Maui property from afar happens every day here on Maui, and if that’s your goal, I’m here to make the process as easy as possible for you.
The first step to owning a home on Maui is getting pre-qualified for a loan with a local Maui mortgage loan officer. It’s important to work with a local mortgage lender because they understand both the market and the bank’s underwriting process to qualify and fund a loan. With the popular demand for buying real estate on Maui, the island has no shortage of mortgage lenders.
Before starting this process, you will need to gather documents such as proof of income, proof of assets, your credit score, employment verification, and other identification documents. Many loan officers provide online services, so you can move forward in the real estate process all from the mainland. Once you pre-qualify for a loan, you’re ready for the next step.
Choose Your Paradise
One of the most unique things about Maui is the diversity of climates contained within such a relatively small landmass. Of the 14 major climates in the world, Maui has six throughout the island. This range of climates provides an extensive choice of living options. Each area of Maui has a unique appeal in terms of weather, distance from the airport (and every islander’s lifeline—Costco), and lifestyle opportunities offered. Before you’re ready to buy Maui real estate, it’s important to get to know the different regions so that you have an idea of which would suit you best. Here’s a quick summary of just a few of Maui’s communities:
Lahaina and Kā‘anapali are noteworthy locales on the West Side of the island that boast the West Maui Mountains as a beautiful backdrop. While it does draw a tourist crowd, the West Side offers a plethora of restaurants, shops, and surfing spots. This section can be a bit of a drive from the rest of the island, but you may find that you don’t need to leave often with all Lahaina and Kā‘anapali have to offer.
Perhaps you’re looking for a more centrally-located spot to buy a home. Kihei, with its six miles of shoreline, affords residents easy access to Maui beaches while remaining an ideal distance from the rest of the island. With its desert climate, Kihei is the sunniest and driest part of the island, which means year-round summer weather! While Kihei is still a popular tourist location, it is also largely residential.
Wailea is a perfectly manicured Hawaiian oasis. Although Wailea is a popular resort area, there are also some really beautiful residential neighborhoods and luxury condominiums waiting to be discovered as well. Here, fine dining and high-end shopping coexist with outdoor yoga, local artisan markets, and some of the best golf (and golf course views) in the world. If you want life on Maui to feel like a never-ending vacation, Wailea might be the place for you.
Just down the road, the private enclave of Makena boasts immaculate homes and a handful of luxury condominiums amid a stunning landscape. Between the ocean views and its placement at the foot of Haleakala, this area is scenic with a more natural feel. With neighbors including Jeff Bezos and Steven Tyler, you’ll find yourself tucked away from the hustle and bustle of tourism traffic while still being within driving distance from the myriad shops and dining experiences offered by Wailea.
A quiet and charming lifestyle may be calling your name in Kula. Located upcountry in Maui’s farming district, this town has cooler temperatures and a more rural feel. Even with its abundance of rolling hills, you can choose between a large plot of land, a townhome, or a single family home to call your own.
Again, this is just a sampling of the residential communities Maui has to offer. You really can’t go wrong living in any of Maui’s regions, and the island’s size makes it easy to adventure all over no matter where you choose to put down roots! However, it’s likely that there’s an area that suits you best based on your personal preferences and lifestyle. I’m happy to help you find the perfect locale if you need some extra guidance.
Take Advantage of Modern Technology
You’ll be happy to know that buying real estate from thousands of miles away has never been easier. With 3D photography tours and FaceTime calls, you can tour homes as if you were right there in person. I’ve helped multiple owners find their piece of paradise through FaceTiming to show not only the house, but also the vibe of the neighborhood and street they will live on.
With the help of modern technology, there’s no need to wait. You can see everything you need to from wherever you are in the world. Your future Maui home is waiting for you, and I’m ready to help you find it!