Big Island Real Estate

 Kona Real Estate

First Things First…

About Kailua Kona real estate, Kailua is actually the town that most people refer to as Kona, which is actually the region of this side of the island.

You also need to know what “makai” and “mauka” mean. People refer to those two terms when giving directions instead of east or west.

For example, if you ask some one what the makai side of the Queen “K” Highway is, they would say it means the “ocean side” of the road. Mauka means the “mountain side”
These terms are used instead of east or west because it’s just easier.

The big island is still one of the best deals in the world when it comes to owning property. It’s one of the few places in the 1st. world that you can own a home with a view of the ocean for under a half a million.

When I moved here in 1996 you could buy a house for just over 100k. You can still find homes in this price range down south in Ocean View. But in Kona it’s probably going to be 299 and up for a house. Condo’s are less.

Mauka or Makai?

Do you want to live by the ocean or up the mountain? I’ve done both and they both have their benefits. Living by the sea gave me the best nights sleep I’ve ever had in my life.

Other positive factors I liked about living by the ocean was the nightly access after work. Nothing like going snorkeling after a hard day of work.

Depending on where you live it’s either a short walk or just outside your back door.

The downside is you always have to keep in mind the potential tsunami threat. And everything made of metal in your house self destructs quickly when you live close to salt water.

Living up the mountain at say about 800 feet elevation makes for a very nice climate. It will be about 10 degrees cooler than down by the beach.

Plus, you may have excellent coastline views depending on where you buy or build.

The first house I built here was at 800 ft. and it was always nice and cool. Our current house is at about 200ft. and requires A/C in the summer months.

Golf Resorts

If you’re looking for a vacation home in an exclusive gated community with golf course privileges, then you might want to think about one of the resort areas just north of Kona like the Hualalai Resort for example.

Hualalai Resort has a championship course and it’s where the annual MasterCard golf tournament is held here on the big island.

Then there’s Kukio…

It’s an exclusive resort development for the uber wealthy. It’s located north of the airport just a few miles on the makai side of the highway.

If you don’t have your own jet you probably don’t have enough dough to even buy a lot there. But if you would like to live in the same neighborhood as the “who’s who” of the Fortune 500, this is it. Charles Scwhab, Micheal Dell, Bill Gates, they all own homes here.

air services hawaii

Click here if you do have your own jet for the best people to handle your aircraft. 

How to go about looking for  real estate

If you’re interested in buying Kona property or just looking, it’s hard to know where all the different subdivisions are located.

If you don’t know the area, you may be reading about a house listed in the newspaper that is actually over 50 miles from Kailua.

Listed below are North Kona neighborhoods

Alii Cove at Honls Beach

Pualani Estates

Kona Vistas


Malulani Gardens

Alii Heights

Alii Heights Mauka

Alii Kai

Aloha Kona

Anekona Estates

Bayview Estates at Keauhou


Keauhou Estates

Kaloko Mauka

Kona Acres

Kona Heavens


Kona Bay Estates

Kona Coast View

Kona Highlands

All of the above neighborhoods are within a 15 minute or less drive to downtown Kailua Kona.


  1. Patricia thurston says:

    We have been looking at houses and lots around Palisades and noticed you had lived there. Did you like that area? Was there less vog? This is a big move for us, retired, will be living with son and family. Might build a house with a Ohana. (We have built 6 houses)
    We, too, are torn with leaving the west coast and missing our grandkids. Cant have 2 places, Kona and Portland, unless Portland peeps add on a room. Dream on.

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Patricia,

      You have to about 40 miles north before you get out of the vog when it’s bad. My house was at about 800 foot elevation in Palisades. It’s perfect. Nice view, 10 degrees cooler than down below so you don’t need air conditioning.

      Grandkids when old enough to fly alone could be summoned every time there’s a cheap airfare special. 🙂
      Hmmm, I might take that advice myself. 🙂

    • Patricia thurston says:

      Thank you for your info.
      When ever we are there, it is voggy by Capt Cook but not so much by the airport. What elevation are you now? Am i too concerned about the vog? Makes for intense sunsets! Mahalo

      • Joe Trent says:

        We’re at 160 ft. elevation. The electric bill for a/c is enough to choke a horse. You’re right, it’s less voggy out by the airport. If you have any breathing issues I wouldn’t move here. Some people are like “what vog”? And others become very ill from it. But when it’s clear, it’s heaven.

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