Kauai Home Buyer's Guide

How Do I Buy a Home in Kauai?

Despite the home prices increasing from the lows seen a few years ago, the Kauai real estate market is still a popular choice that is still realistic for many. Although first-time home buyers might be priced out of the market for their dream home and investors won't have the large amount of homes to choose from that they did in the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, there are still many options that are available within the Visitor Destination Area or are grandfathered into the—now defunct—Transient Vacation Rental permit program.

Continue reading below to discover the intricacies of purchasing a home in Kauai or get in touch with Anne Eliason, the Kauai real estate professional who will be able to skillfully and honestly answer your Kauai real estate questions.

How Nice Are Kauai Homes for Sale?

Kauai homes for sale are beautiful. The real estate market in Kauai often features stunning oceanfront estates, remote luxury homes that enjoy traditional Hawaiian aesthetics, and cozy condos that are close to all the amenities one could wish for. With home mortgage rates still hovering around the mid-3% mark, now might be the time to lock in a Kauai mortgage for a full 30-year term. You should always consult with a mortgage advisor though to see if now is the right time for you to purchase that dream home in Kauai.

How Much Home Can I Afford?

Another great thing about consulting with a mortgage advisor is that they will be able to help you know what your budget is and also help you get pre-qualified for a home loan. Once you are pre-qualified, contact a real estate specialist in Kauai who will be able to help you find the right home for sale in Kauai as well as narrow down which community it is that you want to live in. If you are purchasing a vacation rental condo or an investment property in Kauai, you will need a minimum of 25% or 30% down (depending on the lender) to qualify for a home loan.

So, if you plan to buy a home that is worth $825,000. You can expect to need as much as $247,000 as a down payment to satisfy the lender’s requirements.

Consider the Costs of Home Ownership

Purchasing a home is not just about the upfront costs of a down payment, the overall price, and closing fees. You should consider many of the other costs, including but not limited to:

  • Monthly Home Owner Association fees for Kauai gated-community homes or condos;
  • Home improvement and maintenance costs;
  • Empty and off-season months for vacation rental properties in Kauai;
  • Insurance costs and permit renewal costs;
  • Electricity and gas costs (approximately $174.08 per month)
How About Larger Homes in Warmer Climates?

The Hawaiian islands feature huge changes in topography, meaning that depending on which side of the island you are you could experience cooler winds or warm stagnant air. To cool a Kauai home with an air conditioning unit that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, your energy bill could stretch in excess of $500 per month quite easily. Of course, if you can install solar panels, you could use that surplus to lower the overall energy costs despite a negligible decrease in your energy consumption.

Want to find out more about purchasing homes for sale in Kauai? Contact Anne Eliason—the trustworthy Kauai real estate professional.

Search the Kauai Real Estate Pro Site

  • Search Kauai Real Estate: Take advantage of our easy-to-use search tools to discover Kauai real estate listings and to compile a list of properties suitable for you. Whether you’re looking for a Princeville condo or a Hanalei luxury estate, you’ll be able to narrow down your search with this tool.
  • Use the Mortgage Calculator to figure out what your mortgage payments will be on the home you want with the down payment you’re comfortable with.
  • Out-of-Country Buyers: Anne can help you buy property here, even if you're in another country. After all, who wouldn’t want a second home on the beautiful island of Kauai?
  • Sign Up For Our Home Finder if you'd rather let your ideal Kauai home find you. With this service, you can specify what type of home you're looking for and we'll send you an email as soon as homes that meet your search parameters are listed. That way you can get a head start on other buyers without having to search on your own.

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