If you’re set to make the move to Maui, chances are the living situation will be very different from the area you are coming from. Not only is it hard to choose a place to live before looking at it in person, neighborhoods on the island will vary widely. Also, areas that are more affordable may not be close to where you will be working. It’s hard to know what location will best suit your needs until you have lived on the island for a while.
Don’t get discouraged. Finding a place in advance to land on Maui can be done. Here is a guideline for a successful move.
Best time to move
We know people want or need to move at all times of the year. However, if you have a choice, choose Spring. Low season on the island starts in April. If you have to start out in a vacation rental before finding a permanent home, you will have more options and lower costs. Occasionally we handle Spring through Fall rentals for owners who only want to be on Maui during the winter. These are usually furnished turn-key rentals, making it much easier to get started in a new place. Otherwise, moving to Maui is fine at any time of year, though we would suggest avoiding the month of December. In addition to people being busy with holidays, the island is crowded and rentals are at a premium.
A booming housing market combined many rental units converted from long-term to vacation rentals have resulted in high long-term rental prices. A 900sf unit may run an average of $2,100 (less for a smaller place, more for a larger place). Areas does also affect price. In addition, expect to pay utilities. Some may be included, but electricity is typically not, and can be expensive.
Ask your employers
Ask your employers of neighborhoods they would recommend close to work. Also, they may know of rentals you can check out via the coconut wireless (word of mouth).
Have a job or be able to show proof of income
Reputable property managers will require a rental application and will do a background check including a credit report, employment verification or proof of income. While you might get lucky with a less stringent self-managed rental, often you get what you pay for in lack of maintenance or disrespect of tenant’s rights.
Have a cushion
Make sure you have enough savings in reserve to survive 6 months should some of your work or other plans fall through. You don’t want to make a costly move to Maui, then have to turn around and leave.
Decide what you want
Decide what type of housing you’re looking for (studio or one-bedroom condo, free-standing cottage, etc.).
Write down some of the amenities you need and make a separate list of any features you want. These can be any number of factors, such as being close to the beach, a parking space, in-building laundry or a workout room.
Talk to a realtor specializing in property management
Once you have made a definite plan to move to Maui, have your finances in order and know what you are looking for in a rental, please get in touch with us. It is a good idea to fill out an application so you will be considered for any rentals that fit your criteria. You can also check our online catalog of rental units. Be advised that rentals go fast on Maui! If you see something you want, apply right away.
A word of caution- be wary of Craigslist ads- many are scams. Never send money in advance to any online entity except a bonafide realtor or property manager. Verify company contact information separately.
Find something with a short initial leasing period
Most apartment leases are at least one year long. If you have a choice, ask for a 6 month lease. This could come in handy if you don’t like the place or if the neighborhood just isn’t for you.
If you are not yet ready to move
Consider a staycation to get to know Maui, different neighborhoods and rental prices. Go and view several available housing units to see what suits your needs.