Which Factors are Important When it Comes to your Waikoloa Home Search?

Which Factors are Important When it Comes to your Waikoloa Home Search?

Waikoloa is a geological wonder and a tropical paradise on Big Island. Featuring pristine waters and breezy beaches, resort amenities, challenging golf courses, and delicious island cuisine all set against the backdrop of mountains Mauna Kea and Kohala, it is also home to unique anchialine ponds, which, though completely enclosed, rise and fall with the tides. It’s a place that’s easy to fall in love with and one you will want to visit again and again… or make your home permanently. (It happened to Mike Despard!)

If you’ve been looking at homes for sale in Waikoloa or have felt the lure of the island beckoning to you, let’s talk about some of the key factors you need to consider in this process.


Tucked into northwestern Hawaii, Waikoloa is a small town that presides over the resorts at the shoreline. In town, you’ll find apartments and single-family dwellings. Some homes are naturally more secluded by the topography and offer breathtaking views. Down near the shore, the tourist population is greater, as here you’ll find many attractions, restaurants, hotels, and condos. Which one is right for you? If you’re not sure, consider these questions:

  • Is walkability important to you?
  • Would you prefer easy access to attractions (and the additional congestion and traffic that comes with it) or a more private locale?
  • Are the amenities of a planned development or condo complex important to you?
  • Do you prefer being near the waterfront or at a higher elevation?
  • What community resources do you want to have readily accessible?
When you have a general sense of where you do- and don’t- want your new home to be located, then you are ready to narrow down areas in which to begin your search for homes for sale in Waikoloa in earnest.


Next, consider your current lifestyle. When you’re on vacation, it’s easy to imagine living somewhere like Big Island and being content here forever. However, before this daydream carries you away, consider…does this fit with your lifestyle? If you’re coming from the mainland, you’ll potentially be putting a tremendous distance between yourself and your family, workplace, and your current home. Is your lifestyle conducive to relocating to Big Island? Are you the type of vacationer who likes to return to the same place year after year and add new layers of memories to ones previously formed? How much time do you spend getting away on vacation?

The pace of life here is slower, relaxed, and casual. Residents are informal in dress and warm and friendly to locals and newcomers alike. No wonder Hawaiians have a longer lifespan than any other states! If you love being dressed up and like a high-speed and anonymous urban living, Big Island is going to take some getting used to.

Investment goals

Most home buyers in Hawaii are looking for a second home or a great investment opportunity. Does this resonate with you? Having a clear vision of how you will utilize your Waikoloa home will help guide you as you seek to choose the right property.

If you’re looking for a primary residence, consider what makes a house “home” to you. What do you love about your current dwelling, and what would you like to change? What are your top priorities?  Are they storage space? Extra bedrooms for all the friends who will want to visit? An open floor plan? Make a list of needs and wants and share them with your real estate agent so he can help you find the perfect fit. Little quirks or inconveniences that might be tolerable for a week at a time would quickly become frustrations day in and out, so really let that list of needs guide you, and let your agent help you with that search.

Will this become your second home? A vacation home needs to radiate comfort and convenience, a place to relax and recharge. Look for a home that needs little maintenance, as the last thing you’ll want to do for your vacation is work on home improvement projects the entire time!  Many who are choosing a home for sale in Waikoloa for a second home opt for condos for that very reason. A condo complex shares the expenses of common area maintenance, offers on-site amenities, and doesn’t require you to care for lawns and landscaping.

Investment properties are very popular in Hawaii, and among all of the islands, Big Island has the most consistent tourist market. This translates into the potential for consistent booking, as opposed to busy seasons and slumps. Tourists want access to the beach, attractions, shops, restaurants, beautiful views, and convenience. If you’re choosing an investment property, you must consider all of the factors that will help your guests have a wonderful holiday and purchase with them in mind.


It is no surprise that the cost of living in Hawaii is on the higher end of the spectrum. Add in current inflation trends, and it’s important to spend some time evaluating your financial situation and both immediate and impending needs. Overall, you’ll find it 65.7% more expensive to live in Hawaii than the average destination in the United States. However, this is also balanced by a generally higher quality of life! There’s a reason so many people are drawn here, and that’s because it’s a beautiful destination.

Another perk is that Big Island property taxes are some of the lowest in the entire nation at an average of just .19%!

The wisest move you can make before you get serious about looking for a home for sale in Waikoloa is preparing your budget and knowing exactly what you want to spend…and stick to it. Many well-intentioned buyers have fallen in love with a property without a realistic plan and added unnecessary strain to what should have been a source of pleasure and fiscal opportunity.

Understanding the current market

As tourism began to awaken once again in 2022, the economy in general, and tourism in particular, began to improve. However, the uncertainty of rising interest rates throughout last year and inflation that closed the year at 5.8% slowed the housing market tremendously. On Big Island, the average cost for a single family house is currently $539,000, up only .5% from last year. Condominiums have increased in price to $625,250 or 25%. Big Island home prices are the best you’ll find anywhere in this tropical paradise. Since sales rates have slowed from the frenetic pace of 2021, the market now favors the buyer, making it possible for you to negotiate the best possible terms for your purchase.

Choose the right agent

With investment goals, a wish list, and your ideal lifestyle evaluated, it’s time to find your most important ally in this process: a skilled local agent who will work tirelessly to help you achieve your real estate goals. Give Mike Despard and his wife Kristi a call. Their combined experience, commitment to clients, and local knowledge make them invaluable teammates from initial inquiry to the closing table.

Work With Me

With over twenty-three years of experience in the world of real estate, design and construction, I am ready to help you buy or sell your slice of paradise on the beautiful, big island of Hawaii.