The second-largest town on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Covering nearly 63% of the land mass in the Hawaiian islands, the Island of Hawaii (not to be confused with the State of Hawaii), includes 9 districts and 53 census-designated places. It's the 3rd largest island in Polynesia, behind North and South Island in New Zealand, however, the population accounts for only 13% of the people in the State of Hawaii. The Big Island of Hawaii consistently ranks second in monthly real estate sales, only trailing Oahu. This is mainly attributed to the Island's relatively more affordable homes and condos.
With active volcanoes, vast land lots, and unique lava rock landscapes, The Big Island is a world of contrasts. From upscale master-planned communities with golf courses and custom luxury homes to cozy off-the-grid tiny houses and fertile valleys, the island is so diverse. Kailua-Kona on the west and Hilo on the east are generally the busiest spots. Following that, Puna takes the third spot for the highest population, with Kohala coming in next.
If you're interested in becoming a homeowner or landowner on the Big Island of Hawaii, it's vital to work with an agent who knows the area. You'll find listings ranging from $20k to $20M. Because Hawaii Island has an active volcano, it provides a level of complexity when purchasing a home. Similarly to the Island having 9 districts, there are also 9 different lava zones, but there's no relation with their boundaries. Moreover, if you're considering a short-term rental investment, understanding the resort-zoned areas is essential. It might seem like a lot, but rest assured, The Big Island offers a fantastic living environment.
On the numbers side, here's what an investment back in 2013 looked like. The single-family homes had a median price of $289,950, but now the single-family median price stands at $495,000. As for condos, they were priced at $259,000 in 2013, and currently, the condo median price is $625,000, according to HIS data.
Neighborhoods on the Big Island are divided up into 9 main districts. Those include Hamakua Coast, North Hilo, South Hilo, Puna, North Kohala, South Kohala, North Kona, South Kona, and Kau. Our listings for sale are categorized by demand, so we combined North and South Kona in one category. The same goes for Kohala and Hilo.
On the eastern side of the Big Island, you’ll be in the Hilo area. Here, you’ll find an abundance of beautiful waterfalls and rainforest.
The historic town of Hilo offers views of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa from afar. This hip town provides a variety of shopping, restaurants and fun in the sun with many beaches in the area. The area of Hilo is a wonderful place to find everything you need. Whether it’s shopping for household goods, visiting a variety of restaurants, or catching a movie, Hilo town has it all.
On this side of the island you’ll discover towns such as Paauilo, Honokaa, Kukuihaele, Laupahoehoe, Ninole, Waipio and Ahuloa. You’ll find yourself surrounded by lush green rainforests with a few shops and restaurants in the area.
As the Big Island’s southernmost region, you’ll find small towns such as Maalehu and Pahala. This quiet town is a lot slower than other parts of the island, but it also offers a more peaceful community to live in.
On the western side of the Big Island, you’ll be in the Kona region. Here you’ll be surrounded by coffee farms and a lot of historical landmarks that have been well preserved. Although this area is considered the hotter part of the island, there is a lot of activity you can enjoy. Those include shopping, visiting restaurants and bars, snorkeling as well as visiting a coffee farm.
The neighborhood of Kohala is located on the northwestern side of the island. Here, you’ll find a lot of the hotels and resorts. This area is booming with tourism. If you plan on finding a job in the hospitality industry, living in this area could be convenient.
Some of the neighborhoods you’ll find here include Waikoloa Village, Hualalai, Puako, as well as Mauna Lani.
On the northernmost part of the Big Island, you’ll find yourself in North Kohala. Here, you’ll be living in an area with 2 main towns, Kapau and Hawi. With about 2,000 residents in this area, North Kohala is one of the smaller areas on the island.
You can discover the world-famous Ironman Triathlon happening every year. In addition to that, there are a variety of art galleries, shops and popular restaurants in the area.
Another area you’ll find on the eastern side of the Big Island is Puna. This unique side of the island offers black sand beaches, views of Kilauea volcano and a variety of small and charming towns. Some neighborhoods you’ll find on the Puna side of the island include Hawaiian Acres, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Keaau, Kurtistown and the town of Volcano.
In Puna, you’ll discover many small shops, farmers markets, as well as a variety of farms which includes papaya. Like a lot of the towns on the Big Island, there isn’t much commercial development happening. It’s primarily local businesses in the area.
One of the exciting things about living on the Big Island is that your playground expands from the beach to basically one of the highest points in the world. Here, you can save some money on fresh produce by checking out the farmer’s markets held weekly. You could even travel from town to town to check out local boutiques and art galleries. The Big Island offers a wide range of outdoor activities which are great to checkout throughout the year.
When it comes to events on the island, there is one which you can’t experience anywhere else on the planet. That event is the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, also known as the “Olympics” of hula.
Other events that occur on the island include county fairs, the KWXX Ho’olaulea (a music festival showcasing many local musicians) and the Ironman Triathlon.
When living on the Big Island, you’ll find that the environment is slightly different everywhere you go. As you go higher in elevation, expect cooler temperatures. As for the leeward side, do expect drier weather and as for the windward side, a lot of wet weather.
Just like the island of Maui, there are parts of the Big Island (Kona side for example) that can be extremely hot. This causes occasional wildfires in the area.
With the Big Island and its active volcanoes, vog can be an issue for many Big Island residents and those across the state. Vog is usually caused by volcanic emissions which contain sulfur dioxide and other volcanic gases.
If you plan on living in the highlands or on the east side of the Big Island, you might want to consider getting yourself some extra umbrellas. These areas tend to rain a lot.
Although it hasn’t occurred for decades now, the Big Island is still an area that can severely be affected by tropical storms, hurricanes and even tsunamis. Many locals are always taking precaution in case of any natural disaster.
Expect to do a lot of driving. Commuting on the Big Island is best with a car or truck. This will allow you to explore majority of the island. As for traffic on the island, you could experience some traffic on one of many two-way traffic roads most commonly in the morning and “pauhana” time which around 4pm-7pm. One unique thing about the Big Island is that if the main road to a certain location is running slow, you could make a detour and take the “backroads” instead. There aren't many options though when traveling between Kona and Hilo. For those who want to save money on gas, there is a bus system called the “Hele-on” that runs throughout the entire island.
The second-largest town on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Hilo is known for its rich local culture and natural beauty.
Hamakua Cost encompasses numerous towns in northeast Hawaii.
The Puna district is a large area on east Big Island, Hawaii.
Browse real estate for sale in Honokaa in the Hamakua District.
Pahoa is a rural community with farms, nurseries, & cottages.
South of Kona, Captain Cook offers amazing ocean & coastal views.
Kohala refers to 2 areas: North Kohala and the Kohala Coast.