Hawaii Real Estate
Hawaii Real Estate

Hawaii Real Estate

Real Estate For Sale In Hawaii

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  • History

  • Landmarks

  • Culture

  • Climate Risk

  • Demographics

  • FAQ

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So you want to live in Hawaiʻi? Us too

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Hawaiʻi - The 50th State

The State of Hawaii is the only U.S. state in the tropics. In fact, it’s the only state outside of North America. It is one of only four U.S. states that were once an independent nation and a state that has its own official language. Hawaiʻi didnʻt enter statehood until 1959, and prior was the Territory of Hawaiʻi since 1900. Before that, it was The Kingdom of Hawaiʻi under Kamehameha the Great beginning in 1795.

When Hawaii became a state, the official documents didn’t use the proper diacritics found in the Hawaiian language. The State of Hawaii’s spelling is absent the ʻokina found in the word Hawaiʻi. This small mark looks like an apostrophe (but isn’t) and if you are searching for Hawai’i real estate and relocating there, you will be best served to familiarize yourself with Hawaiian vocabulary and language—especially when getting directions from a local. 

Located 2,000 miles off the coast of the United States mainland, Hawaiʻi, and its capital city of Honolulu on Oʻahu, has the distinction of being the most remote U.S. capital in the nation. 

What started as a cooling pile of molten lava, now nearly a million and a half residents call the State of Hawaii home. Itʻs total land area in square miles is 6,422, making it the eighth-smallest state in the U.S.

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137-Island Archipelago

There are 137 islands spanning over 1,500 miles in the Hawaiian island chain. From islets to atolls, to the gargantuanly-sized Big Island of Hawaiʻi in comparison, seven of the eight main islands are inhabited. 

You are likely familiar with Niʻihau and Kauaʻi to the northwest, then Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui, and Hawaiʻi to the southeast—these are the islands that make up the main Hawaiian chain.

The uninhabited islands, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands comprise the rest, from tiny islets to atolls, these fledgling landforms make up Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, a World Heritage-listed National Monument, and the United Statesʻ largest protected area and the third-largest preserved space in the world.

Real estate for sale in Hawai’i varies. It’s easier to find on certain islands than on others, and part of the beauty of an island is the finite amount of space it occupies.

Native Hawaiian History

Native Hawaiian History

Native Hawaiian History

Archaeological evidence suggests that the earliest humans to visit or settle the newly-created (by geologic standards) landmasses occurred sometime around 1000-1200 CE. It was likely Polynesians from the Marquesas Islands or Tahiti. Part of the magic of Hawai’i is that these landforms have never been connected to any other body of land. 

All of the flora and fauna you see there today was either there before human inhabitants, from seeds washed ashore or carried by wind and birds, or was brought there by the earliest visitors. This exemplary display of biodiversity and evolution makes Hawai’i one of the most studied regions in the world, and Hawai’i real estate some of the most coveted.

Up until 1848, land in Hawaiʻi was not privately owned. Instead, it was issued, for lack of a better term, by the mōʻī, or the king, in what were essentially wedge-shaped plots that provided subsistence for Native Hawaiians. 

The plots generally stretched from the shorelines inland and were loosely bounded by natural delineators like rivers, streams, and valleys. Not every piece of the wedge-shaped pie was equal, but that was purposeful in an effort to make sure that the finite amount of resources was divided fairly and sustainably.

The Indigenous population lived largely undisturbed in this way for hundreds of years until The Great Māhele of 1848. This event was a radical transformation in which King Kamehameha III decided to redistribute the land into three groups: the mō‘ī, the ali‘i, and the maka‘āinana, which means the king, his high chiefs, and the common-folk, respectively.

This paved the way for the private landownership possibilities we see today. Although much of the land is still owned by the State of Hawaii, it is possible for anyone in the world to own real estate in Hawai’i, and especially to buy a house in Hawaiʻi.

Native Hawaiian History

Hawaiʻi’s Counties

Hawaiʻi’s Counties

Hawaiʻi’s Counties

Hawaiʻi only has 5 counties, and they are powerful ones at that. The counties differ from most in the U.S. mainland in that they are the only legal governing body below the state level. This means that tasks that would generally fall upon the shoulders of municipalities, like garbage collection or parks management is the responsibility of the county. 

All of the counties were created in 1905, a handful of years after the creation of Hawai’i Territory. For the most part, each county’s boundaries are the island it’s located upon, with a few exceptions:

  • Hawaii County - governs the Big Island, or the island of Hawai’i (and the best place to search for Hawai’i real estate)

  • Honolulu County - governs the island of O’ahu and all of the Northwestern Islands except Midway Atoll

  • Kalawao County - the smallest county in the 50 states, this county governs the Kalaupapa or Makanalua Peninsula, a small area isolated from the rest of the island of Moloka’i by cliffs and is the former site of a leper colony. This county does not have an elected government and defaults to the judicial district of Maui County

  • Maui County - governs Maui, Kaho’olawe, Lānaʻi, and Molokaʻi (except for the above-named peninsula)

  • Kauaʻi County - governs Kauaʻi, Niʻihau, Lehua, and Kaʻula 

Hawaiʻi’s Counties

An Overview of the Islands

An Overview of the Islands

An Overview of the Islands

Likely the hardest part about buying real estate in Hawaiʻi is figuring out which island to plant your roots upon.

OK, that may not be entirely true, because if weʻre being completely honest, Hawaiʻi’s real estate market is as hot as the lava flowing from Kilauea. Properties almost always sell over the asking price, sometimes even as much as 50% more, and houses and condos in Hawaiʻi spend a mere moment on the market.

Savvy buyers should be open-minded and have a thorough understanding of what each island offers (and doesnʻt), so when the lava begins to flow, youʻre ready to make an offer that erupts.

Letʻs take a peek at the highlights of the four main islands:

An Overview of the Islands

Hawaii Might Have Been the Last to Become a U.S. State—But It’s the First When It Comes to Most Desirable Real Estate

Hawaii Might Have Been the Last to Become a U.S. State—But It’s the First When It Comes to Most Desirable Real Estate

Hawaii Might Have Been the Last to Become a U.S. State—But It’s the First When It Comes to Most Desirable Real Estate

We would all likely be very hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't want to reside in the most magical state in the Union. Its verdant mountains, endless ocean, and vibrant rainbows span glittering beaches of sand in a spectrum of colors. Itʻs siren song—or maybe just the spirit of ‘Aloha,’ attracts surfers, farmers, business people, retirees, families—even scientists—and visitors from every country around the world. 

If you had never been to Hawai’i, it would be hard to believe that a place this lush existed outside the pages of a storybook. But it’s true, and Hawai’i real estate is waiting for you…

Hawaii Might Have Been the Last to Become a U.S. State—But It’s the First When It Comes to Most Desirable Real Estate

Real Estate in Hawaii

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Notable Landmarks In Hawaii

Notable Landmarks In Hawaii

Hawaii Climate Risk


Earthquake risk

High risk


Air pollution risk

Low risk


Hurricane risk

Low risk


Total weather risk

Low risk


Tornado risk

Low risk


Wind risk

Low risk


Hail risk

Low risk

Hawaii FAQs
Hawaii FAQs

Other Real Estate In Hawaii

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  • Land in Hawaii
  • Real Estate for Sale in Hawaii

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