The 5 Most Affordable Places to Live In Hawaii

Jamie Ayers


Jamie Ayers

October 22nd, 2021
Updated October 22nd, 2021


Finding the most affordable places to live in Hawaii is challenging even if you're a native. State-wide, Hawaii has a median home value of $875,300. When you add in maintenance costs and property taxes, it can be difficult for many to buy and own a home. Because of that, we scoured the data to find the most affordable cities in Hawaii, looking at median home prices, cost of living, and other factors to find your best options.

Looking for the most affordable places in Hawaii is a start, but you'll save even more money by working with a great agent. The top Hawaii real estate agents know the local market and where to find pockets of more affordable homes. They can also help negotiate a better price when you do find your dream home.

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With a Clever agent, you'll get instant MLS alerts on affordable Hawaii homes, on-demand showings, and an expert negotiator on your side. Even better? Eligible home buyers get a check for up to 0.5% of the purchase price back after closing!

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Ready to learn more about the most affordable places in Hawaii? These are our top picks.

1. Hilo

Hilo is the largest city on the Island of Hawaii. The city offers a number of amenities and attractions but is not as luxurious or eye-catching as Honolulu.

What is eye-catching, however, is the median home value. In a state where the median home value is $616,000, Hilo’s median value of $338,300is a lot more attractive.

The overall score for the cost of living in Hilo is 145. With 100 as the US average that means it is 45% more expensive than average. However, Hawaii as a whole scores 176, so it is significantly less.

Living in Hilo may not be as romantic as living on the shores of Waikiki but it is still a beautiful place and it's a lot easier on your wallet.

2. Waianae

What if you could live in a cheaper area but still be on the same island as Honolulu? Waianae has a similar portfolio as Hilo but is located on the dry, sunshiny side of Oahu.

The median home value comes in at an affordable $322,200. Its cost of living index is still higher than the US average at 148, but considerably cheaper than the rest of Hawaii.

Another great plus is that the beaches are far less crowded than Waikiki.

Finding a home to buy here is easier with a local agent! With Clever, you'll find a great Hawaii realtor who can help with your home search.

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3. Kailua

Kailua is a nice community even closer to Honolulu. The Kailua Beach Park and Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve are great attractions that give residents a delightful outdoor experience.

When you look at the median home value of $862,100 and the cost of living index of 220, you may wonder how Kailua got a spot on this list. Simply take a look at the whole picture. The median income of those living in Kailua is a whopping $109,087. Compare that to Hilo’s median income of $55,815 and you can see how it’s actually quite affordable to live in Kailua.

4. Kahului

Kahului is the largest community on romantic Maui. The Maui Arts and Cultural Center holds an impressive 1,800 events per year for residents to enjoy. Plus, from Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary to Kanaha Beach Park to the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens there is always something to do in this vibrant area.

The median home value is much lower than Hawaii’s median at only $490,900. The cost of living is a little less than Hawaii’s median at 168. Of course, that’s 68% more than the US average but the median income in Kahului is roughly $20,000 more than the US average.

» FIND: Top Real Estate Agents in Hawaii

5. Waimea CDP (Kauai County)

Looking for a small affordable community in Hawaii? Waimea CDP may be just what you’re looking for. Kauai is a small island with plenty of outdoor activities and scenic sights to enjoy. With a population of only about 1,800 people, you’ll find that you get to know your neighbors pretty quickly.

Homes are rather affordable with a median value of $378,300. The cost of living index is lower than Hawaii’s median index at only 157. It’s still more expensive than the US average, but the median income is also about 20% higher.

How to find affordable homes in Hawaii

Whether you want to live in a bustling Hawaii metro area or a tranquil small town, there's plenty to love in Hawaii. Working with a local real estate agent is the best way to find the most affordable places to live in Hawaii.

Ready to start house hunting? Clever is a free service that can match you with the best realtors in Hawaii. And, when you buy with a Clever partner agent, you could get 0.5% of your purchase price back as a check after closing. On a $300,000 home, that's an extra $1,500 back in your pocket. That's real money!

👋 Next steps: Talk to an expert

If you're weighing your options for buying or selling a house, Clever can help!

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Give us a call at 1-833-2-CLEVER or enter your info below. Our concierge team will be in touch shortly to help.

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