mortgage early maui
Picture of 1155 Nahiku Road -- 2 homes -- $542,000

This is a bold statement… YOU can own a home on Maui!!

I know. I know. Listening to statistics such as median house prices over $800,000, and medium sales price of condos over $500,000, the buying process can be daunting or outright out of your league. Where do you begin without robbing a bank? Part of starting the buying process is the mindset that you can and will find your initial foothold to enter the market.  Second, is to align yourself with a knowledgeable and experienced local agent. 

Your focus should be to make your first purchase. It may not be exactly what you want, feel you need, or excited about. Your first initial purchase may require you to expand your mindset of creativity and space planning. That being said, it can be done and I have assisted first time homebuyers in doing just that — buying their first property in Maui County. 

Here are a few examples of opportunities in today’s market:

Vacant Land

Makawao $199,000 8895 SF

Haiku       $175,000 1.1 Acre

Kula         $250,000  0.5 Acre

The three above lots do not have County of Maui water meters. However, there are other options to get started. Catchment, delivery of trucked in water to a tank, and newer technology options that remove the humidity from the air into usable water.


2 Bed / 1 Bath Kahului $145,000

0 Bed (Studio) / 1 Bath Honokowai $195,000

8 in South Maui Under $350,000

Single Family Home

Lowest priced home in Maui that is not a tear down $450,000. 

Many times the property you can afford will require cosmetic updates, small repairs or major renovation. The type and amount you are willing to do to get your first place is dependent on YOU. Let’s review an example. $200,000 purchase with 3% down payment, 30 year loan for 3.75% interest your payment with Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is $1,005.14, comprised of Principal, Interest and PMI.

Most people rent a room in someone’s house for $800 – $1,000 per month. You can buy a studio in Honokowai of 420sf with private bath and kitchen as listed above for $195,000. A two-bedroom condo in Kahului for $145,000, or a lot Upcountry. 

My mantra is always buy something and buy it as soon as you can. Hold it for two years and a day and then you can sell it and take any equity out, up to $250,000 for a single person or up to $500,000 for a married couple tax free, as long as you have lived in the property two of the last five years.

Now, reinvest that equity into a larger condo or your first single family home. You can do this every two years and it allows you to stair step up in equity and eventually have the home you want.

Some people buy a property with two houses. The price tag may be bigger, but income from rent is calculated into the mortgage assessment to allow those with lower incomes to qualify. The County’s First-Time Home Buyer Program, that offers grants for down payments up to $30,000, also helps those making below 140% Area Medium Income.

So, if you can afford to rent a room in someone’s home — YOU can afford to buy a property on Maui. Call me today to learn more and begin your journey to home ownership. Just share with me — you read it in The Mauimama.

Image Credit: Michelle Del Rosario

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Michelle Del Rosario, REALTOR®, CLHMS, CRS, GRI, SFR of Keller Williams Realty Maui has sold real estate for 29 years. Michelle can be reached directly at: 808.280.8898 /


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