What’s it like Living the Hawaii Lifestyle?

Kauai, HawaiiEven though Hawaii is a State, of the United States, it could just as well be a different country in many ways. Island life is laid back, enjoying life is prioritized over being an extremely successful workaholic, and the population is not only diverse but uses different languages in ways you may not expect. Of course, people speak American English and the stores are the same (well almost), and you can still shop at Safeway or Ross Dress-for-Less. But you can really benefit from learning about the islands, the history, and what is important to locals.

The great news is that the Hawaii lifestyle will probably make you happier, healthier, and will help you live longer too.

A Beautiful Place to Live

So what’s so great about Hawaii? Some of the biggest benefits of living on the islands have to do with the natural surroundings. Hawaii has some of the most beautifully stunning hikes, where you can see multiple layers of waterfalls and crystal clear pools as well as gorgeous sea views. There are an incredible number of endemic species in Hawaii, which means that these plants and animals are only found on the islands, and sometimes only on one of the islands.

Lucky You Live HawaiiHaving access to such beautiful surroundings makes people more likely to get outside and enjoy what they’ve got. Add to that weather that never dips below about 60 degrees Fahrenheit and you have a population of people who do a lot of physical, outdoor activities. Surfing is very popular, of course, but so are hiking, horseback riding, bicycle riding, yoga, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, and walking. Residents of Hawaii get out and get physical more than people in any other state except for Alaska.

This leads to a lot of health benefits, of course, and is correlated with a high satisfaction with life. Hawaiians are happy. If you live in the islands, you probably get boosts every day from seeing some beautiful view, being greeted by a gecko, or eating something truly fresh, delicious, and healthy.

Hawaiian Residents Eat Better

Another factor which helps people to live longer, be happier, and enjoy great health is the typical diet of Hawaii. There is a large range of international foods available and not all of it is super healthy. But Hawaiians tend to eat more fresh fruits, thanks to local abundance, as well as vegetables. Fresh seafood is also a main staple, more so than red meat.

Being Healthy and Staying Healthy

NASS Hawaii Ag Blog - Taro Fields PicOf course, when you do get sick, it’s nice to know that there’s a great doctor around to get you better. It turns out that Hawaii has a great health care system. It’s already the law that employers provide healthcare for any employee working over 20 hours per week, so you can imagine that that includes just about everyone. The high coverage has lead to great services and more competitive health care providers.

What is the “Aloha Spirit”?

It’ll be hard to understand how important and meaningful the Aloha Spirit is until you’ve experienced it for yourself. But for the uninitiated, it’s a kind of combination between a strong sense of community and the prioritization of a slow, low-stress lifestyle. Hawaiian time is at a very different pace, one that can be a bit shocking if you’re used to busy, fast-paced life. But people tend to get used to it pretty quickly.

The sense of community is also important. If you live on the islands, you are one of many people who are in it together. This is a small set of rocks out in a vast ocean. You’ll be far away from the rest of the country – and most of your friends and family. But as a result, people stick together and rely on one another.

The Downsides?

Hawaii is pretty isolated. And it’s expensive. Milk can cost between $5.90 and $10.75 per gallon. Housing costs are significantly higher than in the rest of the US. It can be a bit of an adjustment. But the good news is that right now Hawaii’s real estate prices are lower than they’ve been in the past. It’s the perfect time to buy and to get in on the many benefits of living the Hawaiian lifestyle.

Ready for the big move? Check out this article for details on how to buy a Maui condo


18 Ways to Save Energy at Home

Wind Energy Image from GuritThey used to say reduce, reuse, recycle. That still holds true. If you want to go green, use less stuff in general. Reuse what you have or purchase used goods instead of buying new. And when you do have to throw something away, find a way to recycle it. But there’s more than just doing good to going green. You can also save a ton of money by learning to save energy at home. Reduce energy costs and do good for the environment? Why not!?

  1. Use natural light as much as possible – Resist turning on lights, open curtains to use natural light, and always turn lights off when you leave a room.
  2. Buy LED lights to replace the old bulbs
  3. Switch to Energy Star or Energy Guide appliances when you upgrade
  4. Set any heating and cooling systems to an auto setting and stick with it – Auto settings are energy saving settings
  5. Avoid using air conditioning in summer by using drapes and shades or trees and bushes outside
  6. Avoid using the heat in winter by improving the energy efficiency of windows and doors – Get rid of drafts and seal up your home.
  7. Keep it warm with rugs – Rugs help insulate the house in winter.
  8. Change filters in your heating and cooling systems regularly – You want them working efficiently anytime they’re working and they work harder when the filters are dirty.
  9. Set daytime temps low for when you’re out of the house
  10. Change outdoor lights to motion-sensitive lights
  11. Wash laundry with cold water
  12. Wash full loads only
  13. Dry laundry on a line or drying rack – It will dry all by itself and last longer.
  14. Reduce your water heater temperature to 120 – It will still be plenty hot, but you won’t be paying to heat it extra.
  15. Use power strips that you can switch off – When you’re not using cables and chargers, they still use energy. You can save energy by unplugging them or switching them off with a single switch.
  16. Watch out for standby mode – Appliances in standby mode are using energy even when you don’t need them to so unplug to save energy at home.
  17. Consider updating your roof – This is a big one, but the amount of power you save by increasing the insulation is also big. Even a reflective coating can make a difference and reduce energy costs.
  18. Always put your computer to sleep – Or turn it off completely. Screen savers are not energy savers.

3D Green EnergyIf you do simple things like turn off the lights when you leave the room and unplug your chargers, you’ll be saving energy. And energy costs money. Water heaters use a ton of energy to keep that water hot. If you can upgrade to a tankless water heater, your water heater won’t be constantly working to keep water hot. Many people don’t realize just how effective it is to make little changes. You can save energy at home and reduce energy costs just by adjusting little habits.




Buying a Condo or Apartment on Maui

Grand Wailea Resort GroundsLooking for condos for sale on Maui? There are plenty of people selling, but finding the right price in the right location is harder than it should be. It turns out that buying a condominium in Maui is fairly easy, as long as you know how to search. And learning to search has to do with understanding what it is you want. Before you even start the search for Maui condos for sale, consider what would be ideal in your mind. From there you may have to make compromises, or maybe you won’t if you’re determined to buy a condo on Maui.

Condo vs. House

If you’re looking to buy a condo in Maui, you probably already decided that you’re not interested in buying a house. Why do people choose to buy a condo instead of a house? There are plenty of reasons to consider a house on Maui. In a house you could have more privacy and more space. But for many people it’s more affordable to buy a condo. For the amount you might spend on a small house, you can purchase a decent sized condo.

Plus, you’ll know that common areas will always be maintained, even when you’re away. Buying a condo is like buying an apartment. While you are responsible for everything inside the condo, when something goes wrong on the exterior, the costs are shared. You will have to pay your portion of the fees, but at least you don’t have to worry about whether or not things are getting repaired.

Condos for sale on Maui offer better prices, less stress, and more flexibility. For these and many other reasons, buying a condo is very popular on Maui. That popularity has made Maui condos a great investment, as demand increases year after year for these desirable properties.  Therefore, buying a condo or apartment on Maui is a good bet!

Working with a Real Estate Agent

From condo in the Hale Kai O KiheiTypically, you’ll get the best results by working with a real estate agent who knows Maui from coast to coast. Agents can point you in the direction of apartments for rent as well as to buy. An experienced agent will know which condos are for sale on Maui and how long they’ve been on the market. They’ll also have a great sense of the various prices you might pay for different styles of condos in different buildings. You can get a complete summary of what to expect when you decided to buy a condo.

What Will You Need?

Most importantly, think about what it is you need from the property you’re considering. If you’re looking to invest in property, buying an apartment in Maui is a great way to go. There are condos for sale on Maui that you can probably rent out in a heartbeat, bringing you enough money to pay the mortgage and add a little bit of income, even. You’ll have to take into account any management fees, but no matter what you’ll essentially have someone else paying off the debt you owe on property in Maui. Make sure the condo for sale is in a neighborhood that is popular either with residents who want to rent or with visiting tourists who might rent it out as a vacation rental.

But if you’re looking for a home for yourself, you’ll probably think about it a bit differently. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you look at condos for sale on Maui.

How much space do you need?
Should the condo be in a pet friendly building?
Do you want to have an ocean view or even have a piece of oceanfront property?
What is your price range? Consider the absolute most you’ll spend, based on the cash you have for a down payment and the amount you can get for a home loan.
Which side of the island appeals to you?

When you know what you want, you’ll know what you’re looking for.  Buying a Condo or Apartment on Maui will be exciting and fun. You can visit various properties, get a feel for the common areas and style of the residents, and decide where you feel most at home. There are great opportunities to invest in an island that never lets you down.

photos by: Mike Miley & nordique

15 Simple Ways to Go Green on Maui

Snorkeling at Kapalua Bay, Maui | SNORKELINGDIVES.COM™Going green is something that is on many peoples’ minds these days (especially on Maui), and for good reason. The planet is a bit stressed and we humans have a role to play in making things better again. It can feel overwhelming if you think about the size and scale of a worldwide problem, and many people just give up and say ‘who cares?!’

If you do care, and giving up is not your style, there are a lot of things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and become more environmentally friendly. In fact, if everyone adopted just a handful of new habits to create a green home, the effect would be significant. Here are a few of the easiest ways to go green at home. Take them on yourself and then help everyone you know by sharing your new eco-friendly ways.

  1. Pay bills online – You don’t need paper bills. And neither do the trees.
  2. Ask your power company if there’s a green energy option and sign up
  3. Stop any leaky faucets in your home
  4. Replace old lightbulbs with LEDs
  5. Lower the temperature on your hot water heater
  6. Unplug any chargers that are not actually in use – Did you know that things like cell phone chargers suck power out of the wall even when the phone isn’t plugged in?
  7. Don’t use paper towels unless you have to – Only toilet paper is necessary paper. Use cloth kitchen towels and rags as well as cloth napkins. You can make your own rags out of old t-shirts or towels – make lots of them so you always have clean ones.
  8. Buy used instead of new – This goes for everything.
  9. Donate old belongings so they can be reused
  10. Use cold water to wash your laundry – Unless it’s particularly dirty and really needs to be washed hot. Your clothes, towels, and sheets will last longer if you wash them cold.
  11. Dry your laundry on a drying rack or laundry line – Dryers wear out clothing faster and cost money to run. Laundry dries all by itself.
  12. Buy a reusable water bottle – If you don’t like the way your tap water tastes, invest in a nice filter at home and get used to filling up before you go out. Plastic water bottles are actually dangerous as well as bad for the environment, so go for stainless steel or glass.
  13. Reusable shopping bags – They’re everywhere these days. Just buy a couple of stuff-able ones (like Chico bags) that you always put back in your purse or day bag.
  14. Don’t take the car – Within a 2 mile radius, a bike is actually faster. Walk if you can, you’ll be doing your body a favor. If you must drive, obey speed limits and speed up and slow down smoothly.
  15. Shop locally – Best is if you can find a farmer’s market or a CSA (community supported agriculture). Try to buy food that hasn’t been shipped halfway around the world.

These “15 simple ways to go green on Maui” aren’t only for Maui.  They’re for anywhere.  It only takes a little time to change your habits to be eco-friendly, but you’ll get there and going green with a green home will be second nature in no time.


Buy Ocean View Property on Maui

An Hawaiian HolidaySome people prefer to be hidden away in the jungle, or secluded in the upcountry of Maui. But the majority of people who buy property in Maui are looking for that famous ocean view. An ocean view property on Maui is a better investment than homes without an ocean view, and for good reasons. Have you ever sat on your back porch, gazing at the vast expanse of ocean that seems to go on forever? It’s a different life when you have so much space to look out on. Get the most out of your investment in property and get yourself an ocean view on Maui.

The Difference Between Ocean View and Oceanfront Property

When you start looking for Maui oceanfront homes for sale, you’ll notice that some advertise “Maui ocean views” while others state that they are “Maui oceanfront”.  There is a difference, but you probably didn’t think about it much.  Both ocean view and oceanfront homes will look out toward the ocean.  But only oceanfront homes will have nothing between the house and the ocean (no buildings). You can be in the middle of a crowded neighborhood with an ocean view from a high balcony. But oceanfront is literally right next to the ocean.

Why Buy Oceanfront Property?

Of course there are going to be many other factors that help you choose what kind of Maui real estate you buy.  Some of these will include the type and size of home or condo, the neighborhood, town, or rural location of oceanfront homes for sale, and your price preferences.  The truth is that you’ll probably know the one you want when you see it.  But instead of looking at every single home for sale on Maui, narrow it down to just the oceanfront properties for sale.

With an oceanfront property, you’ll have direct access to one of the most incredible natural resources that Maui offers: the ocean itself.  You’ll be able to enjoy swimming, kayaking, standup paddling and snorkeling, as well as any other water sports that you can think of.  Best of all, you will have front row seating for whale watching!  In some areas you can watch the big wave surfers, or become one, when you buy Maui oceanfront real estate.

Which Side of Maui Offers the Best Ocean Views?

No matter where you are on Maui, as long as you’re on oceanfront property, you’ll get a stunning ocean view.  But there are differences.  North Shore and some Central Maui oceanfront real estate is for surfers and their fans (Paia, Haiku, and some areas of Kahului, Waihe’e and Wailuku).  Many East Maui oceanfront homes for sale have dramaticsunrises over the ocean.  South and West Maui offer awesome sunsets and views of Kaho’olawe, Lana’i and Moloka’i.  And if remote seclusion is what you’re looking for, then Hana and the surrounding communities are an incredible opportunity, plus you’ll get the unforgettable sunrise!

So which side of Maui is best for ocean views and oceanfront homes for sale?  It depends on you. Do you want to see the sunrise in the mornings? Or would you prefer to watch the sunset in the evenings with a glass of wine and an ocean view?  Whichever answer is right for you, I can help you find the right fit for your specific needs.




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