So you’re taking your annual trip to Hawaii and this time you are seriously considering buying a home in this tropical paradise.
Here’s a unique way to see the sights and house hunt at the same time. We’ve identified four Oahu communities that are popular with homebuyers. And, as an added bonus, we’ve added a few visitor attractions to check out while you’re in the neighborhood.
Hawaii Kai – the sunny, drier side of the island is one of the premier suburbs of Oahu. There are many mid- to high-priced homes, townhouse and condominiums in this East Oahu neighborhood developed in the 1960s to reflect a California marina lifestyle.
The Plan: Get an early start and head to Hanauma Bay. This nature preserve with the best snorkeling on Oahu opens at sunrise. The parking lot fills quickly so try to get there by 7 a.m. You can spend as much as the entire day exploring the pristine waters filled with tropical fish. If you’re only spend a few hours, you’ll have time to head over to Sea Life Park for some entertaining, interactive ocean experiences.
Sea Life Park
North Shore/Waialua - The North Shore of Oahu is home to professional big wave surfing with waves reaching heights of 50 feet in the winter months. However, during the summer, the sparkling waters of Waimea Bay are calm and welcoming. The nearby town of Waialua is a former sugar plantation town with a unique country charm.
The Plan: On your way to the North Shore, stop at Dole Plantation one of Oahu’s most visited attractions, featuring the Pineapple Express Train and the World’s Largest Maze. Pick up lunch along the way and check out the sun and surf at Waimea Bay.
Manoa - This well-established neighborhood is situated in a valley minutes from Downtown Honolulu. Stately homes rest among lush vegetation kept green by daily “Manoa mist” rainshowers. Manoa is also home to the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Punahou School.
The Plan: Spend a relaxing day appreciating modern art exhibits at The Contemporary Museum in neighboring Makiki. A light lunch at the Contemporary Museum Café won’t disappoint. Then head up to Manoa and visit Lyon Arboretum, the only accessible tropical rainforest on the island of Oahu, housing more than 5,000 plant species.
The Contemporary Museum
Kailua – Even locals who have lived on Oahu all their lives are amazed at the change in scenery when one travels through the tunnels over to the Windward side of Oahu. The beauty of the ocean and backdrop of the Koolau Mountains are what draw residents to Kailua. Some of the most affluent beachfront property can be found in this neighborhood.
The Plan: Kailua Beach is touted as one of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii. You can spend a large portion of the day here, enjoying the sun and surf. Restaurants are within walking distance. Or if you’re there on a Thursday afternoon, check out the Kailua Farmers Market for some ono (delicious) food and fresh produce.
Kailua Beach Park
Kailua Farmers Market
All vacations take a bit of planning before you leave home. If you want to house hunt on your vacation, you should do some additional planning ahead of time, including enlisting the help of a local realtor who will be able to answer your questions about different neighborhoods and the home buying process in Hawaii. Have fun on your vacation and good luck finding your piece of paradise!
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