Things You Must Know Before Buying A Condo On Maui

Things You Must Know Before Buying A Condo On Maui

  • Gary Mooers
  • 11/29/21

We all look for our own little slice of heaven. We dream about those golden beaches, lush greenery, and serene sunsets that seem to gently take all your worries away with them behind that intangible horizon. The magazines, ads, and Instagram selfies get part of it right; you can find an oasis of peace and beauty. The only problem is, they forget to show you the other side of the coin. Nobody wants to post pictures of tax returns, market research, and other administrative projects one needs to confront when visiting a sun-kissed island. Palm trees and numbers do not seem to want to mingle, yet they are infuriatingly intertwined. Such is our world. Still, it does not need to be an obstacle. We will tell you what things you must know before buying a condo on Maui to avoid any possible snags.

Maintenance Fees

Nothing sours a fantastic occasion like finding out there are unexpected costs. I recently attended a birthday dinner party; everything was going swimmingly until the bill came. The host had ordered the only drink where the price had not been clearly indicated on the menu. Rookie mistake, right? The problem is, it can happen to anyone. We are excited about something, and we overlook important details.  It's hard to think about additional obligations, especially if the initial purchase cost is steep, but you need to do just that.

Here is your one-paragraph long crash-test course on AOAO fees in Hawaii. See, every condominium should have its Association of Apartment Owners (AOAO). By purchasing a condo, you become a proud member of the same. Grounds, pools, facades, water, sewers, garbage, all these things need to be paid for. Insurance costs are here as well, and so are reserves. Chances are, you are hoping to rent the condo for most of the year. This is a sound plan, rental income can be substantial, but it mostly makes sense if it covers all the costs you will incur. Make sure you put it all on paper before making your final decision. 

Don't let the sunset on your dreams; make sure you consider all the financial aspects before making the right decision

Leasehold vs. Fee Simple

Bet some of you never knew that different types of properties existed? So, Fee Simple and Leasehold, what is the difference, and why should you know about it? You need to know so you can understand the benefits and potential problems of each. Fee simple is, for lack of a better word, simple. It's what most of us have. You know you own the house. Well, you also own the land under it. There are no complications there. With leasehold, you still own your condo, but the land belongs to someone else. This is where the lease part comes in, and you can already feel your wallet squirming in your pocket as it starts to understand what this entails. Keep in mind that the initial purchase price can be a lot more financially friendly with a leasehold. We strongly advise, however, to have the lease reviewed by a trusted expert. Leaseholds are slowly becoming a thing of the past, but they still exist. A potential problem is an unrenewed lease, for example. At the end of the day, the complex belongs to the landowners. Do your due diligence beforehand to avoid possibly disastrous outcomes down the line.

Things you must know before buying a condo on Maui is, logically, everything about said condo, including what category it falls under, so do your research

In the Zone

Now that we've already cleared a few hurdles and you’re fully in the zone, let’s talk about zoning itself. Condos are either zoned for short-term rental or long-term rental. If you are planning on living in your condo, this won't affect you too much. If you are looking to rent, it most certainly will. Buying within a short-term rental zone means you can rent out your property (usually up to six months), while those in long-term zones will not have that luxury. Apart from zoning, there are a few more things to consider if you want to rent out your condo to visitors, so consider all the factors. As you can imagine, some listings show what condo falls under what zone. The answer is not hard to come by. This time around, it was all about knowing what question to ask in the first place.

Look at this guy, not a care in the world, no permit fees and utilities to worry about, bet his only concern is whether or not he is building in a fly or no-fly zone

Things you Must Know Before Buying a Condo on Maui- What Rental Company Management Agreements are

Quite the mouth full, right? Don't worry; it's not that complicated. Allow us to elaborate. As mentioned, most people will want to put their luxurious property to work for them. You will need to find a way to manage your condo. Yes, that's all that wordy heading boils down to. Your property needs to be cleaned and looked after. If it is to be rented, people need to know about it, so this means marketing. There are two ways to do this. Either you live on the island and can handle it yourself, or you need additional help. This can be in the form of an offsite property manager or an onsite company. Still with us? Good, cause there is one more decision to make, whether to use an onsite company that will lease your property and manage it or go with one hired by the AOAO. It comes down to how involved you want to be. Pay more to have someone else take care of the problems or reap the full financial benefits, along with the possible shredded nerves and headaches. 

Traveling to Paradise

It may be heaven on Earth, but your belongings will not be whisked away to your new condo on clouds sporting wings of light. Relocating is tough at the best of times. It can be even trickier when there is a substantial quantity of water to cross along the way. You need to plan the move carefully and make sure all your things arrive safe and sound. Just like choosing the right condo, a lot of details need to be taken into account. Fortunately, there are experts out there that can help with the transfer to Hawaii, making it seem like your possessions are being teleported to their new location. It can be that easy if you make the right choice


Hello and goodbye, dear reader. Take into careful consideration what we have listed above, and we trust you will soon be saying hello to your dream home in effortlessly beautiful Hawaii. Keep in mind all the things you must know before buying a condo on Maui, set the right questions, do your research, and there is no reason you cannot find a good home, investment, and place to get away from the hustle and bustle, all rolled into one. There are plenty of reasons why Maui is a great place to live; we are not saying otherwise; we just want to help you avoid possible pitfalls when choosing where to live there. As for the goodbye part, we must bid you farewell for now. There is a particularly awe-inspiring sunset coming up, and we wouldn't miss it for the world. 

Hopefully, you'll be enjoying it with us soon.

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