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Moving to Hawaii sounds like a dream come true, and the benefits of life on this island paradise cannot be overstated. However, for those choosing to invest in real estate, there are several marked differences between homes on the mainland and those on the islands. Here are some aspects to consider when shopping for real estate in Hawaii.


Ventilation and insulation

As the Pacific climate is notably balmy at least and stultifying at best, the former is more of a concern than the latter. If there is no air-conditioning unit already in place, factor in the cost of installation before purchasing the home. If, for some reason, this is not a feasible option, at least be certain that the living areas and bedrooms are well-ventilated.


While there is no pressing need to insulate a home in Hawaii, it is nonetheless important to ensure that the roof is in good condition. Tropical storms are not to be taken lightly, and a leaky roof will turn a living room into a swamp in no time.


Laundry facilities

Space is at a premium in Hawaii, and as a result, the laundry facilities in most homes tend to be pretty minimal. While washer/dryer combos are common on the mainland, it’s not unusual for Hawaiian homes to forego the dryer completely, relying on the sunny weather to do the job instead.


A longer buying season

As there’s really no such thing as a bad time to move to Hawaii, the market tends to be brisk year-round. Be prepared to move quickly when it comes time to make an offer.


The leasehold factor

The Kamehameha School system is the third-largest landowner in the state of Hawaii, and it rents out a significant portion of that real estate in what is known as a “leasehold” agreement. Purchasers of leasehold property do not actually own the land; they are merely agreeing to rent it for a predetermined amount of time. Be sure to understand the details of the transaction before making a purchase.


Lava zones

While some areas are safer than others, the risk of volcanic activity is not something that many mainland buyers have to consider. Be aware of the risk level for whichever area the home is located in.