Big Island

Oceanfront Living in Hawaii

Enter this blissful lifestyle with eyes wide open! Many dream this dream, and I have my share of clients from around the globe looking for the unique oceanfront living experience on Hawaii Island as available properties decline and prices climb due to demand.

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Oceanfront estate in Puako (MLS# 601393) on Hawaii Island with snow-capped Mauna Kea in the background

Oceanfront vs. Beachfront – What’s the Difference?

One of the first things I emphasize with buyers is that they clearly understand the difference between beachfront and oceanfront before we even begin the search.

Oceanfront property is available on Hawaii Island – but increasingly finite in terms of raw land on which to build your very own dream home.

Beachfront property, however, is a rarity. The Big Island is the youngest of the Hawaiian Islands and our beaches are still evolving. Dramatic lavascapes line much of our shoreline and the ocean-side topography in most areas is primarily characterized by elevated cliffs rather than actual sea level property – with or without a beach.

Which One is Best For You?

As for the handful of pristine white sand beaches that do exist, either our most iconic luxury resorts claimed those decades ago, or they are hidden gems located in the most remote locations. And that means remote as in “off the grid.” While some may find that romantic and adventurous, it definitely isn’t a lifestyle suitable for everyone.


Private and remote beachfront residence

In reality, once the search is on, most of my clients realize oceanfront luxury residential resorts, with the comfort, amenities, and security that these communities offer, is what they really want.

With several lining the toney Kona-Kohala Coast, it’s important to determine which of these communities is best for them. Will they spend most of the time “in-house” or is this primarily an investment purchase intended for maximum rental nights? Most, if not all, of these communities have association rules with varying limitations on rentals – number of nights allowed annually, rental guest fees that can rise to astronomical heights during peak seasons, and more.

All buyers also must be aware of expenses beyond the initial purchase. Oceanfront properties do provide a blissful, unique lifestyle, but it comes with a price. Salt air requires frequent, high maintenance to both structures and landscaping. Within luxury resort communities, expect annual dues for access to resort amenities plus neighborhood and resort association fees.


Beachfront amenities at Kohanaiki luxury residential resort on the Kona Coast

Retaining a year-round, well-respected property manager is an absolute must for long distance luxury homeowners. On-island property management is an investment in the maintenance of your home when you’re away, and also provides an important role in meeting and greeting unaccompanied guests, making them familiar with all aspects of your home, and ensures they will be taken care of if any needs or concerns come up during their stay.

More Information

For more information on this home or additional Hawaii Island real estate opportunities, please contact Carrie Nicholson, R (B), BIC, Director of HL1-Big Island, 808.896.9749 or

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