Shopping for a Vacation Condo in Maui, Hawaii - what to look for

Real Estate Agent with Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers HRE# 58089 - RS

maui hawaii vacation condos in kihei maui



In Maui County Hawaii, zoning allows for short term rentals which are defined as anything less than 180 days.  In Kihei and Wailea this has created some exquisite hotels and resorts, and many great beachfront condo buildings which are suitable for short stays.  Many owners use their vacation condos for just a few weeks a year, and rent them out the rest of the time.  The south shore of Maui is famous for the sunshine, sandy beaches and warm climate, which really appeal to mainlanders and second home buyers.  For a truly enjoyable experience, there are many things to consider when shopping for a vacation condo to rent or buy on Maui.  Some things to think about before coming:

  • structure type
  • location
  • amenities
  • parking stalls
  • pets
  • maintenance fees
  • house rules
  • management
  • price

view from Polo Beach Club resort Wailea maui HI


Structure Type - Most south Maui condos are 8 stories or less.  Polo Beach Resort is a prime example of a beachfront high-rise in Wailea.  A penthouse on the 8th floor will have breathtaking views up and down the coast looking over the tops of the coconut palms.  You can expect to pay well over $3M for one of these babies.  Many other high-rises are 6 floors and these tend to be the higher density buildings.  Smaller more intimate 2 story buildings can be very friendly, where you get to meet all your neighbors.

Location - All along South Kihei Road, and south from there, you'll find dozens of vacation condo buildings.  Beachfront will be the most expensive, and there are plenty of those to chose from.  The beaches in north Kihei are quite different from the south Kihei beaches, and it pays to know which you prefer.  Much of the shoreline is rocky, without sand, and these are also prime locations.  Across the street from the ocean ranks as the next best thing to oceanfront.  Do you like to walk to shops and restaurants and movies, or would you rather be more secluded?  Some folks like a fairway view and many complexes are designed to take advantage of a lush golf course to enhance the views and open space feeing.  Are you a golfer.. does this ring your bell?  For the budget minded, smaller complexes that are off the beaten path can still be favorable in a nice quiet location. 

pool at the koa resort in kihei maui hawaii

Amenities - A swimming pool and spa are standard issue in most Maui condo buildings, and some have 2 or 3 pools.  Some will also have tennis courts, putting greens, lush grounds with water features, even herb gardens.   There's almost always going to be a barbecue area, and the best places will have an entertainment pavilion to go with this, for having your own poolside parties.  Some even have roof top decks!  Imagine the views from up top!  Is an elevator important to you?  Not all buildings have them.  What about furnishings... do you want fabulous or funky?

Parking - Parking stalls can be assigned or open.  Parking can be side by side or tandem, which is not the most desirable option.  Some units come with 1 spot, some come with 2 - it's all different.  Once in a while you can get 3 parking spots.  Do you need to leave your car behind when you're not here - which places will allow that?  Do any buildings have covered parking?  These are the kind of questions a good agent can help you with.

Pets - Believe it or not some vacation condos allow pets.  Some people choose to reside in their vacation condos year round, and they want to have a pet or two, so what's wrong with that?  Cats, dogs, birds, or fish - different rules apply in each resort.  If you're moving here and would like to know which buildings are pet friendly, ask your Realtor.

Maintenance Fees - As a renter this is not an issue, but as an owner, it can make or break your monthly nut.  Why are some buildings so high?  What's included with that monthly fee?  Who pays for the insurance?  Each case is different, but usually the monthly maintenance fee is based on the square footage, so expect to pay more for the larger units.  Pools and landscaping add to the cost, so those places with beautiful grounds and huge pools will generally have to pony up a little more each month. 

palms at wailea - vacation condos in wailea maui hawaii

House Rules - This is important when buying a condo.  During the transaction you will be given a set of the Condominium Declarations, and other documents pertaining to what you can and can't do with your unit.  It's important to read this thoroughly before deciding whether or not to go forward with your purchase.  You will be allowed time to review the documents and if you decide you can't abide by the rules, you will be able to cancel with proper notice to all parties.  Again, your buyer's agent will guide you through this. 

Management - With so many vacation condos on Maui, you know there must be plenty of companies that do property management.  We have some big name players who do a great job of maintaining your investment, and keeping it Destination Resorts.  Fees will vary depending on the level of service, so be sure to inquire with a few before you make your final decision.  You'll want to work with a company who responds to your requests for more information.

Price -  It's no secret that Maui prices are "up there".  But you know what they say... "Why is Maui real estate so expensive?.... Because it's worth it!"  One of those studio vacation condos will start at about $200,000.  Pictured here is The Palms at Wailea, a very popular destination where you can still find furnished 2-bedroom condos under $1M.  At the top end, the sky is the limit, and you know what... there are plenty of oceanfront multi-million dollar condos pending right now.  So if you're ready to buy, I'm ready to help you find what you're looking for.  You'll need someone with the experience and knowledge to sort through all the great choices available.  Call me today.

WHERE ARE THESE CONDOS?    For a start you can browse through the Maui MLS for condo listings.

call the hunter on maui

Georgie Hunter R(S) e-Pro - 808 283-0635 for maui hawaii real estate search

Aloha from MAUI



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John Walters
Frank Rubi Real Estate - Slidell, LA
Licensed in Louisiana
My wife and I went there many years ago.  We absolutely love Maui.
Feb 23, 2008 12:21 PM #1
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info
Hi John - I get a lot of comments like yours - Maui sure is a memorable place to visit, and an even better place to live - can I sell you a condo?  lol
Feb 23, 2008 12:25 PM #2
Joanne Hanson
Coldwell Banker Colorado Rockies Real Estate - Frisco, CO
Summit County, Colorado Realtor
Georgina, thanks for posting in our second home and vacation group, and welcome!  We certainly have to do a lot of education with our buyers, don't we!  This is a great post for people new to your area. 
Feb 23, 2008 01:52 PM #3
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info
Joanne - Thanks for having a group like this where I can post.  So many of our real estate sales here are condos which are used for vacationers.  There will be more.
Feb 24, 2008 07:01 AM #4
Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

Hi Georgina - what a fabulous post for those thinking of vacation homes and condos in your area!  I included this in this week's Week in Review.


Feb 24, 2008 10:47 AM #5
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor
Georgina- what beautiful ocean views! fantastic!
Feb 24, 2008 11:29 AM #6
Diane Aurit
LKN Realty, LLC - Mooresville, NC
Lake Norman Real Estate
Great information for an out-of-state buyer!  Of course, I love Maui too but haven't been there in years!
Feb 24, 2008 11:53 PM #7
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Ann - I hope it will help them when the time comes to search for a Maui Realtor.

BJ - It was hard deciding which pictures to use... there were so many.

Diane - I hope you can find the time to come back for another visit.

Feb 25, 2008 06:06 AM #8
Cristal Drake
Prudential California Realty - Fullerton, CA
Realtor - Fullerton Real Estate
Maybe one day I can be an out of state buyer for one of your condos!  Thanks for the comment on my blog and I love your picture of the footprint in the sand.  Do you get involved with vacation rentals should I sell a house right away and want to plan a vacation to Maui?  :o)
Feb 28, 2008 02:25 AM #9
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info
Cristal - I'm glad you like my footprint picture - I thought it would be different.  I know a few condos for rent, from happy clients, and would be happy to help you out when you decide to come over here.
Feb 29, 2008 07:08 AM #10
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