Living la Vida Local…Hawaiian style

If you’ve ever daydreamed about moving to Oahu, this guest post by Joe Segal gives you an idea of the price ranges and types of neighborhoods you can find. I know I was pretty surprised by some of the prices. Joe works with the Hawaii real estate company Prudential Locations.

Joe told me that that the 2009 average Oahu home sold for Single Family home sold for $684,341 for a single family home and $346,103 for a condo. Based on the current market, most single family home are listed in the price range of $650,000-$700,000 with an average of 4 bedrooms, 1,800 sq foot interior living space and  9,600 sq/feet of lot size.


You’ve been visiting/exploring this island paradise for years now, each time vowing to spend just a oahulittle more time here and then one day, it strikes you like a coconut falling off a tree — why not make the leap and officially call Hawaii home? After all, Aloha Friday just doesn’t have the same meaning in, Seattle, Chicago, San Jose or wherever else you’re currently hanging your hat.

Now you’re ready to pack up your possessions and make the move. But with all things, it’s often easier said than done. Where to begin? You’ve picked your island, Oahu — a balanced blend of paced city life with a laidback beach feel. But just like any move on the Mainland, it all begins with finding the right neighborhood. To help you find your own personal island paradise, we’ve got the low-down on Oahu’s most sought-after neighborhoods, from the newest, most affordable towns to the island’s most luxurious communities.

From Luxury Living at its Best…

Hawaii Loa Ridge – a Diamond Head area neighborhood
(Approximate price range of $1,900,000 to $9,000,000+ million)

If million-dollar panoramic views and private, gated exclusivity is what you’re looking for, look no further than Hawaii Loa Ridge. This ultra-posh community is home to some of the most opulent estates on the island. One of the most prized features of living in this gated neighborhood is the sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean from Diamond Head Crater to Koko Head Crater. Additional amenities include 24-hour security, tennis courts, and access to Hawaii Loa Ridge Trail, a moderate hike that offers dramatic far-reaching views of Hawaii Kai to the east and Waikiki to the west. But living at the top doesn’t mean that you’re cut off from civilization. Take a short drive down the hill to find ample shopping and entertainment in neighboring Kahala and Hawaii Kai Town.

Waialae/Kahala – a Diamond Head area neighborhood
(Approximate price range of $1.2 million to $7,000,000)

The community of Kahala encompasses some of the most expensive beachfront property in the nation and is considered one of the wealthiest townships on Oahu. Also located in Kahala is the world-class Kahala Hotel, a destination for many celebrities, and The Waialae Country Club, one of the most exclusive golf clubs on the island and home to the PGA Sony Open. Homes in Kahala range from beachfront manses to chic island residences lined along the quiet surrounding streets. Dining, shopping and entertainment are steps away at Kahala Mall, which hosts a Whole Foods, movie theater and other boutique shops.

Diamond Head
(Approximate price range from $97,000 to $2,300,000)

Famously known as Oahu’s “Gold Coast” due to its’ prime location just steps away from the beach, the Diamond Head neighborhood consists of lavish homes and high-end condominiums. Some of the more notable homes in this community include Doris Duke’s expansive Shangri-La estate and the mansion that was home to the cast of MTV The Real World: Hawaii. One of the best features to living in this luxurious area is the ample access to a host of outdoor activities with nearby Diamond Head State Monument and sprawling Kapiolani Park. Concerts in the park at Waikiki Shell and outings to the Honolulu Zoo are just only a few of the abundant activities to do. And if you feel the urge to play tourist every now and then, Waikiki Beach is just a short distance away.

To Island Living at Affordable Prices…

If you look at just the numbers, Oahu’s Leeward side is arguably one of the most affordable areas on the island. But as with all things, one can’t rely on price alone. While the Waianae coastline is known for its beautiful beaches and green valleys, it is not the most ideal neighborhood for Mainland transplants as the area continues to have a developing educational system and local residents pride themselves for maintaining a small community that remains deeply tied to Old Hawaii and its traditions. So where can you live without losing your shirt? Below are a few great neighborhoods that combine the laid-back style of island living at more suitable prices.

(Approximate price range from $139,000 to $2,000,000 million)

This central Oahu district began as a plantation town encircled by fields of sugar cane crops. Overtime the sugar cane industry dissipated and the area was gentrified to meet the growing needs of Oahu’s booming housing market. Today, Ewa is a collection of single- and multi-family residences as well as suburban developments of modern townhomes with community recreational centers that offer classes on a variety of activities including yoga, martial arts and more — perfect for families with children. It’s nearby distance to Kapolei and it’s many restaurants, shopping and entertainment makes Ewa the perfect community to live, work and play.

(Approximate price range from $245,000 to $740,000)

Developed as a second urban center for Oahu after Honolulu, Kapolei is one the fastest growing communities in Hawaii, earning it the moniker “The Second City”. This new community was designed to have it all and all within reach. Residents don’t need to travel far for their daily needs and the growing school system is ideal for young families. Whether you’re looking for a single-family home, townhome or an executive community with access to luxury amenities, Kapolei has it all.

Mililani – In the Oahu real estate region of Central Oahu
(Approximate price range from $130,000 to $1,200,000)

Mililani Town in central Oahu was one of the first suburban communities on Oahu and continually ranks as one of the best places to live (Money Magazine 2007). This quaint community is known for its close-knit neighbors, cozy well-kept properties and safe environment. Activities abound for families as Mililani Town Association also sponsors several recreational centers that host amenities such as community pools and tennis courts. A mix of local shops and a few big-box stores make it easy for residents to get just about anything without going the distance.


So, which neighborhood have you chosen? Were you surprised by the prices?

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