Aloha from Kauai! Welcome to our magnificent island! From the high cliffs covered in thick green moss to one of the world’s deepest canyons to the most unbelievable blue water beaches, Kauai has something to offer everyone! Although, Kauai is the fourth largest of the Hawaiian Islands, it is geologically the oldest of the main islands.
The 550-square mile island is divided into five regions: the North Shore, the East Side, Lihue, the West Side and the South Shore. Each part has its own individuality and landscape. Several towns within each region cater to the tourism industry thus have more vacation or investment properties. Other areas are much more residential.
On the North shore of the island, Hanalei Bay, Princeville and Kilauea are the most well known towns. Housing varies in each town mainly due to tourism on the North Shore. From Princeville to Hanalei Bay, residents can expect to find real estate starting in the low to mid $200s for condos, fractional ownership opportunities and property in need of some work. For the most part, however, the median sale price of homes in the North Shore region of Kauai is around $450,000 to $600,000 depending on the area. Luxurious tourist destination areas feature condos and homes starting in the mid $800s. Buyers can find real estate starting as low as $200,000 for fractional ownership, REOs, and short sales then go up from there. Most homes and condo list prices start at $500,000.
Moving around clockwise, the East Side and Lihue regions have property that starts in the low to mid $500s. Buyers can find hidden gems in this area for as little as the low $300s if they are interested in a fixer upper or short sale/REO property. Luxury homes and condos can exceed $3 million. Lihue is the official county seat of Kauai as well as the second largest city on the island. Kapa’a is the largest town on the island and offers the most shopping in Kauai as well as dining and other activities.
The South Shore is another popular tourist destination. Poipu is one of the most popular tourist destinations with some of the best beaches on the island. It lies in close proximity to Koloa which is known for having the first sugar plantation in Hawaii. The largest coffee producer in Hawaii, Kauai Coffee Company, is located in Ele’ele, another community on this end of the island. Homes and condos start in the low to mid $200s for “as is” property, short sales and REOs. Like the other areas, luxury property can easily surpass the multi-million dollar mark. Most real estate in this region is investment or vacation property. Some unknown charms can be found if you look in the right places in this area. Investment-wise, more affordable property is found in Ele’ele which is close to golf courses and resorts in Poipu. Another specific area that is a growing community is Kalaheo where new subdivisions are constantly being developed.
Single family homes are the primary residences on the West Side of Kauai. The towns in this area are off the beaten path of Kauai. Old towns like Waimea and Hanapepe are the most well known on the West Side which is famous for being the home of Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Most property is priced starting in the low to mid $300s and topping the $1 million mark. However, short sales, REOs and homes needing some TLC can be found as low as the upper $200s.
The island of Kauai breathes the quintessential island lifestyle. It is comprised a diverse group of people with about 50 percent being considered “mainlanders” – not native Hawaiians. Many residents who live here came to Kauai on vacation and felt an instant connection to the island. It is common to hear them tell how they left vacation, went home, sold their homes and moved back to Hawaii for a new life.
Realistically, living on an island is like living anywhere else. You work and live just as you would elsewhere in the country. The only difference is that you live in the middle of a tropical paradise. The pace is much slower and more laid back. The standard footwear is flip flops – no really, it is.
With all the variations in geography and landscape, there is so much to do on Kauai. You can head north and hike through the rugged terrain to the Na Pali Coast to see the waterfalls and steep cliffs that drop into the Pacific Ocean. Or you can head west to see the rough yet magnificent landscape of the Waimea Canyon. For kayaking and boating enthusiasts, Kauai has the only navigable rivers in the entire Hawaiian Islands. The most popular is the Wailua River on the East Side. If you want to be lazy and enjoy the island life, any of the resort areas on the island can accommodate beachcombers and sun-worshipers.
Kauai has something for everyone. Living in the Hawaiian Islands affords residents the chance to live the island life as a home owner or own investment property. Kauai real estate runs the gamut from homes in the upper $200s and lower $300s to massive Hawaiian estates that exceed the multi million dollar marks. There are many opportunities for owning real estate at affordable prices with fixer uppers, REOs and short sales. First time buyers and major investors all have an opportunity to buy their piece of paradise in Kauai.