Walk To The Beach In Kona, Hawaii
I often have home buyers ask about homes within walking distance to the beach in Kona. From a home buying perspective it raises a few interesting topics unique to Kailua-Kona that should be discussed with clients. First, and maybe surprisingly, homes that are walking distance to the beach (up to about 1/2 mile) do not cost much, if at all, more than homes in Kona that would require driving to the beach. This may come as a shock to people living in say, Southern California where homes in the beach walkability zone command large premiums on the value. Of course, ocean front homes are an exception.
So, why don't homes within walking distance to the beach cost more in Kona? Everyone loves to walk to the beach, right? Well, it has something to do with Mt. Hualalai, an 8,200 foot volcano that towers over the Kona coastline and the fact that Hawaii is in the tropics. Kailua-Kona is a small town of about 35,000 people living on the side of this beautiful mountain. The topography rises steeply from the beach up the mountain as you get further from the coast. An interesting thing happens as you leave the beach and climb up the hill, first you start to notice the amazing panoramic ocean and coastline views that Kona is known for and second, it gets cooler. On an average sunny day it can be 85 degrees at the beach. Just a mile up the road at about 600 feet elevation, it can be 82 degrees with a soothing ocean breeze. The humidity is slightly lower as well. What difference can a few degrees make, you might ask? Everything, a longtime resident of Kona would tell you. You would be amazed at the difference that three or four degrees can make, especially when you add in an ocean breeze. Believe me, it feels much cooler. I remember talking to an old timer who had lived in Kona his whole life, about the price of ocean front homes. He laughed and said, nobody wanted to live on the ocean years ago, too hot. Then he went on about how rich he would be if he had picked up some ocean front property when it was dirt cheap.
Another benefit to living on the hill or "up mauka" as the locals call it are the beautiful ocean views that Kona offers. It is hard to imagine a more comfortable feeling than sitting on your shady lanai with gentle soothing tropical breezes, enjoying the ocean views, boats and birds singing. I have been lucky enough to live just down the street from the beach as well as up Mauka and I can honestly say that I love both. It is so nice to just grab your towel, walk down the street and jump in the warm refreshing ocean for a swim, at a moments notice. I learned that when you are right down the street and don't need to drive, you use the ocean more, paddelboarding, kayaking, snorkeling or just relaxing in a beach chair. And, I love jumping on my bike and riding along Alii Drive for an almost effortless flat ride into town. Things you can't do up the hill.
The wonderful thing about Kailua-Kona real estate is that just about anyone can find their slice of paradise here, whether it's an old single walled, tin roofed beach shack or a big beautiful ocean view home. If you would like help finding your own home in paradise, contact me at KonaConnection@gmail.com or (808) 345-5085