Oceanfront Hawaii Homes-Can You Afford the Dream?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Honolulu RB -16098 Since 1986

It's January, and you are in a hammock stretched between two palm trees, a book in your lap. It's not a dream; it's your life on the beach in Hawaii. The big questions are: Can you afford to live on the ocean, and if so, is it right for you? And where are the best oceanfront locations?

Beachfront Home Values
Oceanfront properties on the island of Oahu vary greatly and tend to be somewhat eclectic. Most are in suburban or rural settings, not tourist spots. Clearly, these are the ultimate luxury homes for those who can live wherever they choose. If you have vision and means to achieve this, you will want to make your property very personal. You may select a high rise condo or a townhome, but most properties are freestanding single-family homes. It could be on a sandy beach, a marina with boat docks, or a rocky cliff - the ocean is your backyard.

What Oceanfront Costs
Single family homes on the ocean start at about $600,000 for less desirable waterfront locations, but the median price for homes currently on the market is about $3,000,000.  Twenty-eight oceanfront houses sold in the past six months, with the median sale price at $2,000,000. Prices have remained stable for the most part, but a lower number of sales are taking place. This means that motivated sellers will need to offer attractive prices based on past sales, not pie-in-the-sky hopes. There is a smaller pool of buyers so negotiating opportunities exist. Beach houses can be found in these areas, starting with the areas that are generally most expensive: Diamond Head, Kahala, Kailua, Waialae to Hawaii Kai, Waimanalo, North Shore, Windward Coast, Makaha, Ewa Beach.

Oceanfront property is a rare and priceless treasure to enjoy and experience for a few years or a lifetime. Are you one of the fortunate few who will choose to live the dream? For more details on Hawaii homes on the ocean, just email me at stephanieg@remax.net.


Comments (2)

Alfred Harding
Beach Villa Resort - Kapolei, HI

My dad purchased our beach house in Haleiwa on Oahu for around $37,000.00 in the early 60's. He sold it for $300,000.00 in the mid 80's thinking he got a good deal. Subsequently, a local realtor picked it up in foreclosure for $600,000.00 several years later and today they still own it and at last count it is appraised for $4,400,000.00. That's over four million dollars!

Beach Front property in Hawaii sure seems like a good investment!

Feb 13, 2009 05:18 AM
Stephanie Gieseler

Oceanfront property is so limited in availability that over time, its not unusual  to see it fund the owner's retirement, as well as kids and grandkids education. Long term real estate in Hawaii is about as sure as any investment can get unless you make some really big and obvious mistakes. These would include:

  • purchasing leasehold property without understanding the limitations,
  • buying property you have never seen (with the possible exception of a condominium in a building you are very familiar with - and then only if you are a very experienced investor),
  • expecting short term gains or big money from flipping,
  • failing to review all of the property information including history and neighborhood details
  • focusing on the opinions of family and friends rather than your own goals

Having realistic expectations is important, and some people are still in shock that the market cycle has turned and there is no assurrance of tomorrow's prices automatically being higher than today's.

One of the biggest mistakes that buyers are now making is letting the headlines and news media control their purchase timing. Those who let fear determine their timing will rush in with the pack, long after the smart money has picked out the best home buys available in close to a decade.

Read between the lines of any scare-tactic headlines you see. It's designed to sell newspapers, not give good investment advice. I see great buys in 2009 in Hawaii condos, oceanfront homes and lots, and houses all over Oahu.


Feb 13, 2009 07:11 AM