Buying a Home Along the Kona Coast

Buying a Home Along the Kona Coast

Situated on the western coast of the Big Island, the Kona Coast was once the residence of Hawaiian royalty. The Hulihe‘e Palace served as their vacation home and is now one of the area's numerous historical landmarks and cultural sites. Today, the Kona Coast is a prominent resort destination and tourist hub of the island. This highly desirable area offers ocean sports activities, private golf and beach club communities, diverse culinary dining and outdoor activities.

Despite being a popular tourist and second home resort destination, the Kona Coast has a strong sense of community. The town is known for being warm and welcoming, truly embodying the aloha spirit. Long-time residents and newcomers often come together for events and festivals and embrace a slower-paced and more laid-back island lifestyle. Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the island's stunning landscape, this lush oasis is the perfect location for nature and ocean lovers. Here, residents will enjoy warm weather year-round and easy access to outdoor recreation.

If you’re considering buying a home along the Kona Coast, you may be wondering how to start the process, what you can expect, and what the area’s neighborhoods and real estate market is like. This blog post will focus on all of that and more, so you can feel confident about purchasing your new home along the Kona Coast.

Why buying a house along the Kona Coast is a good investment

High appreciation values

Known for its oceanfront homes and luxury properties, Kona real estate is in high demand. The breathtaking natural landscape, tropical weather, and warm waters attract newcomers and visitors from all over eager to experience the Hawaiian way of life.

Because of its high desirability, the housing supply in Kona can be limited. This charming area boasts a competitive market and historical trends show high appreciation values over time. Just on Hawai’i Island alone, high-end luxury homes in the resort areas saw an average price of $5.2 million in Q1 of 2023, a sharp boost of 15.6% since Q1 of 2022.

Strong rental market

Hawaii is one of the most popular travel destinations in the U.S., and tourists come to vacation here year-round. With Kona’s proximity to many sports and recreational activities, easy access to pristine beaches, and abundant recreation, it’s one of the top destinations in the state. As the central hub of the Big Island, it’s home to numerous resort communities. However, many visitors opt for more spacious rental properties with a home-away-from-home appeal. The rental market here remains consistently strong, especially during the peak holiday season.

Best Kailua-Kona neighborhoods

Kona Town

As the heart of Kailua-Kona, Kona Town has a high concentration of shops, restaurants, and sports activities. Located in this bustling hotspot is Ali’i Drive, a beachfront boardwalk popular with joggers, bikers, and swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. It hosts the annual Ironman World Championships, which attracts over 5,000 athletes and spectators.

In Kailua Kona Town, you’ll find an eclectic mix of residential housing, and oceanfront properties with magnificent ocean views.


Nestled between Kona International Airport and Kona Town, Kohanaiki is an ultra-exclusive residential golf and ocean club. This high-end locale covers 450 acres of premier amenity driven real estate and runs along one and a half miles of pristine Hawaiian coastline. You’ll find private estates, custom-built homes, and luxury townhouses here.

Residents can access world-class amenities, such as the Kohanaiki Club House, a 67,000-foot private clubhouse, and a sports complex complete with basketball and tennis courts, baseball batting cage, and a Rees Jones-designed 18-hole championship golf course. Additional features available in the community include a fitness center, a movie theater, a community pool, a beach club, private bowling alley, and wine-tasting rooms.


Kukio is an exclusive residential club community located on the Kona Coast. Home to 1,100 acres of incredibly luxurious homes and home sites, Kukio is also where you can find a gorgeous 18 hole championship Tom Fazio golf course and has amenities including a beach club, two dining restaurants, a spa, and so much more. The ocean waters are clear blue, the sunsets and sunrises are breathtaking, and the living is good at Kukio.


Conveniently located near both the airport and Kona Town, Hualalai is the kind of resort that dreams are made of. Home to the Four Season Hualalai Resort including club amenities and two beautiful golf courses, Hualalai is a relaxing spot to live. Real estate options are varied and include townhomes, single-family homes, and even home sites on which you can design and build the home of your dreams.


Life in Hokuli’a is luxurious and peaceful, nestled away from the densely trafficked and touristy areas elsewhere on the island. The community spans 1,260 acres and three miles of shoreline. It’s a jaw-droppingly beautiful place to make your home, and you’ll have the option to choose from an existing luxury home or to craft your own ideal living space.

How to prepare yourself as a home buyer along the Kona Coast

Get prequalified or preapproved for a mortgage loan

With the exclusivity and limited inventory along the Kona Coast real estate, getting prequalified or preapproved for a mortgage loan will show you are a serious buyer and give you a leg up in the competition. Getting pre-approved will help expedite the loan process later on.

To get prequalified or preapproved, a mortgage lender will need to check your credit score and financial history. Be prepared to show your financial records, including tax returns, bank statements, and salary. If you wish to get prequalified, you’ll work with a lender to get an estimated loan amount based on your overall financial situation. A preapproval is more complicated, but you’ll receive a specific loan amount based on your credit history, debt-to-income ratio, FICO score, and other determining factors. Both will give you an idea of
what your home-buying budget will be.

Research and tour available properties

You can find a variety of housing options to suit different lifestyles and preferences along the Kona Coast. Single-family homes, townhouses, and condominiums dot the coastline and offer astonishing ocean views, while numerous gated communities and large rural properties boast incredible amenities inland. Before searching for homes, be sure to list the features you want in a property, such as the location, number of bedrooms, and types of amenities.

Start researching available properties that meet your criteria. A local real estate agent specializing in Kona Coast real estate can assemble a list of houses for you, help you navigate the local housing market, and guide you through the home-buying process. Once you find properties you’re interested in, they can set up a showing with the seller so you can tour the property. Take this time to physically inspect the property and ask any questions you might have.

Ready to buy a home along the Kona Coast?

Carrie Nicholson specializes in luxury real estate and serves in her community as a Broker-in-Charge at Hawai‘i Life Real Estate Brokers. Her unparalleled knowledge of the Big Island luxury market comes from over 20 years of experience, resulting in over a billion dollars in residential and land sales. Carrie is the Director of Hawai‘i Life One - Big Island, a curated collection of Hawai‘i's most exceptional properties offered through their concierge suite of services. Contact Carrie today to schedule an appointment or begin your home search!

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As the luxury division of Hawai’i Life, HL1 has the opportunity to share exceptional Hawaii properties with a select group of people. HL1 is design, quality, and total service; a natural evolution in representation.

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