Big Island Real Estate
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Living on the Big Island is a dream for many.
The reality can be a little different but not necessarily in a bad way. The variety of lifestyles, climate, and housing available mean there is usually something for everyone. Here is your quick guide to the way of life you’ll find scattered around the island. If you are ready to move, take a look at my guide Moving To The Big Island of Hawaii
Fifty years ago, if you lived in North Kohala, there’s a good chance you worked for the Kohala Sugar Company. Times have changed and the small towns of Hawi and Kapaau have been reborn as havens for artists, cafes and as centers for adventure tourism and organic farming.
Hawi and Kapaau Homes range from gentleman ranches to plantation-style cottages and cliff top ocean view estates.
South Kohala – The Big Island’s Gold Coast
The coast of South Kohala is home to some of the world’s most fantastic resorts. Giants of Hawaiian hospitality like the Four Seasons Resort, Mauna Lani, Hilton Waikoloa, and the Mauna Kea Hotel have created precious vacation memories for tens of thousands of visitors. The lifestyle afforded by residential properties located inside these resorts has attracted many to make South Kohala their second home or simply go all-in and stake their claim to the good life as permanent residents.
Further up the slopes of Mauna Kea there is another side of South Kohala. The historic town of Waimea, which grew up around the famous Parker Ranch, was at one time the hub of the largest ranch in the United States. The community still likes to show off its Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) roots offering trail rides and an annual rodeo.
The classic Kohala Coast lifestyle is available at any one of South Kohala’s fine resort communities.
The booming town of Kailua-Kona in North Kona has become the economic, transportation and social hub of West Hawaii. Past the sprawling big-box retailers, you’ll still find traces of when this area was the seat of Hawaiian royalty.
South Kona is a hardworking and close-knit community with strong roots in coffee growing. Roasting coffee beans that you picked from your very own trees is the dream life for many South Kona residents.
The sugar industry once ruled the Hamakua coast and much of the culture that evolved from the diverse mix of people that came to work the cane fields still exists today.
Reflecting the area’s plantation era roots, many homes are small and simple. Yards can be large with an abundance of fruit trees and gardens, a reminder of when self-sufficiency was a fact of life in rural Hawaii.
Hilo (North and South Hilo)
Hilo is also considered a center for Hawaiian culture and education. More than 4,000 students attend the University of Hawaii’s Hilo Campus while more than 1,100 students of native Hawaiian descent attend nearby Kamehameha Schools Hawaii Island campus.
Hilo is a slice of old Hawaii where extended families living under one roof are still the norm. Kick back and relax with your ohana.
The appearance of life in the Puna district is one of the unhurried people going about their lives in the shadow of one of the world’s most active volcanoes. There are plenty of modest cottages tucked into the fern forests of Pahoa where you can hang your hat.
Living in Kau (pronounced ka-ew) means understanding southern hospitality; island style. The residents of Naalehu live in the southernmost town in the United States. With expansive views of the ocean and the lava flows of Mauna Loa’s Southeast Rift Zone, the subdivision of Ocean View calls many dreamers home.