What You Need to Know Before Buying a Maui Condominium

So, you’re thinking about buying a condo on the beautiful Hawaiian island of Maui? Well, first of all, you should know that you will never be short of things to do on this side of the world. Maui is a highly sought-after destination given its sumptuous beauty––including lush vegetation, out-of-this-world beaches, and awe-inspiring sunsets (and sunrises). Best of all, despite the area’s relatively remote location, you are sure to find that the local residents, the weather, and the amenities (including world-class shopping, dining, recreation, and nightlife) will make Maui feel like home.

But with all of these perks comes a few harsh realities that can mean the difference between fun in the sun and a lifetime of regrets. Always get the facts before making a major real estate decision––our checklist can help with that.

Here are a few things you need to know before buying a condominium on the beautiful island of Maui:

Financials––Yours and Theirs

When applying for a loan to purchase your Maui condo, you have to keep in mind that your desired condo complex must also qualify for a loan––that means that the building needs to have as clean and reputable a background as you do. Pending or open litigations, delinquent renters/owners, these factors all contribute to a complex NOT qualifying for certain types of lending. Be prepared to consider not only your financial position but that of your new building owners, too.

Know Your Zone

Depending on what you plan to do with your condo purchase, you should know that properties in Maui are explicitly zoned for either short or long-term rentals. If you buy a condo and plan to live in it full time, you won’t be able to rent it out down the road unless the property is in a short-term rental zone. And vice versa if you plan on buying with the intent of leasing out. Are you renting out your condo? Buy within a short-term rental zone. Are you planning to stay put? Buy within either a short or long-term zone. 

Condo Maintenance Fees

Maintenance fees on condo purchases in Maui are very common, so consider spending approximately $400 – $1000 a month even after you’ve purchased. These costs typically cover water, sewage, waste collection, landscaping, and building insurance.

Parking

Many condo buildings offer one or two-car garage parking with the purchase of a unit. However, if driving is necessary for you, make sure to inquire about the status of parking as some buildings only offer spaces on a first-come-first-serve basis, which may be a dealbreaker to some.

Common Area Rules

As mentioned, when you buy a condo, you contribute to monthly maintenance fees. These fees entitle you and your family to many perks, including landscape upkeep, garbage removal, and, best of all, common area facilities, like pools, saunas, jacuzzi, and game rooms. Learn the rules ahead of time––if you plan on inviting 20 friends over to your new place for a swim, you’ll want to clear it with building officials first. Know your rights! 

Local Weather 

The second-largest island in Hawaii, Maui, is undoubtedly a dream destination. However, you should know a little about the area if you’re expecting pristine weather. As a result of the island’s powerful trade winds, rainfall on the north and northeast-facing shores are extremely common. So, if too much rain gets you down, try looking for properties along the southern coast. What’s more, in the northern region, elevations are much higher (about 1,000 to 4,000 feet above sea level), meaning that air is thinner, and temperatures are cooler. It’s all relative, but the weather might not be a key consideration to local realtors, so always do your homework beforehand.

Pet-Friendly

Most long-term rental condo complexes allow pets––depending on the size, quantity, and type of animal. Alternatively, many buildings with short-term rental options do not. Even if you are purchasing a condo and intend to live in it full-time and in a short-term rental building, you may not be allowed to bring your pets. Always check first!

There are plenty of things you need to know before making a significant real estate move anywhere. Living on Maui offers a host of benefits, whatever your interests. And owning a condominium can be the simplest, most stress-free solution available. Now that you have a better understanding of what to expect at the start of your condo-buying search, you’ll be even better prepared when it comes to making the final decision.