Real Estate

Real Estate Maui Now, Ask the Expert: What are the Best Upcountry Neighborhoods?

April 8, 2016, 1:15 PM HST
* Updated April 8, 1:17 PM
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Real Estate Maui Now: Ask the Expert with Dave Futch.

Real Estate Maui Now: Ask the Expert with Dave Futch.

Today’s question has been answered by Dave Futch of Coldwell Banker Island Properties.

Dear REMN Expert,

Q: Where are the best Upcountry neighborhoods?

A: One if the interesting things about living Upcountry is that there is a wide variety of living styles.

For example, there are three distinct categories when it comes to neighborhoods: groups of small homes on small lots, homogenous subdivisions and “mixed-bag” neighborhoods.

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Small Homes on Small Lots

Back the day, when the mills and canneries were in business, small lots with small homes were developed for employee housing. When the businesses closed, the properties were placed on the open market. They are relatively small, but very cute.

Pricing for these is lower than larger “estate” properties. Many of them have been remodeled and with the “smaller home” trend, demand for this category has risen, causing their values to increase.

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Homogenous Subdivisions

More recently, the popularity of living in the country with plenty of elbow room has created a demand that developers have satisfied by creating subdivisions, sometimes known as “gentlemen estates.”

Upcountry’s agricultural zoning introduced a two-acre standard, which is just about right for what some call, “McMansions.” There are a small group of these “Gucci” subdivisions, which offer a homogenous, consistent quality of homes with covenants, conditions and restrictions that maintain the level of construction quality.

These include Ha‘ikū Makai, Ha‘ikū Mauka, Windward Estates, Manawai, N. Holokai and West Kuiaha Meadows. The exclusive nature of these neighborhoods and quality of homes have elevated the prices, but for some, it is worth the premium.

Mixed Bag

Then there is the “non-subdivision” home, also typically on two or more acres, which sometimes is positioned in a “mixed bag” situation with million dollar homes adjacent to older, less well-kept homes.

Many new residents from the Mainland find this to be somewhat off-putting and opt for an area that is more homogenized, with consistent quality. But it is just a fact of life that long-term residents have accepted and consider to be normal and typical for Hawai‘i.

There are more properties in this category than the other two combined.

Conclusion

So the moral of the story is, try not to rule out the random, mixed-bag areas—they will open up your search options in an already limited inventory situation… and your lifestyle will be just fine!

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