The 5 Most Affordable Places to Live In Hawaii


Jamie Ayers


March 5th, 2021


Sandy shores and sunny days make Hawaii a great place for vacationing. Living in such an idyllic place is even better. However, the hefty cost of living is something that turns many folks away from island living. What if you could find affordable places to live in Hawaii? Check out a few here!

Sunshine, palm trees, sandy beaches, rolling surf, Hawaii has it all. If we were honest, there are probably few people who haven’t entertained the idea of living in arguably the most beautiful state in the US.

For most people, there are two main barriers — the cost of living and the fact that you’re stuck in the middle of the ocean.

While you can’t do anything about being on an island, you can seek out places that are more affordable. Let’s take a look at the five most affordable places to live in Hawaii to give you an idea of what you can find.

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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 $338,300 is 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.


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.


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.

Excited to start the home search in one of the amazing neighborhoods Kailua has to offer?

The first step is getting preapproved by a licensed lender to learn how much you can afford! Fill out the form below to connect with a local lender that can walk you through each step towards owning your dream home.


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.

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.

Affordable Places to Live in Hawaii

You may have never thought you’d hear the words “affordable” and “Hawaii” in the same sentence. With a little bit of research, however, you can find cost-effective communities. You can enjoy all the sunshine, palm trees, and sandy beaches that you’d expect from Hawaii without the hefty price tag.

The best way to find the perfect, affordable property is to work with a knowledgeable, local real estate agent. Not only will they know where to look, but they also have a myriad of tricks to help lower the cost of purchasing a home in Hawaii. Even something as simple as buying your home at a certain time can lower the cost by a few thousand dollars.

Even better is that when you find your agent through Clever, you become eligible for a $1,000 home buyer’s rebate on homes that sell for more than $150,000. If the purchase price ends up more than $500,000, that rebate can bump up to 1% of the sale price.

Plus, Clever agents are quick. They can sniff out the best deals and get you a private showing before everybody else gets to the open house on the weekend. You have the opportunity to get your offer in before anybody else even sees it.

Can’t get much more clever than that!

To learn more about this amazing opportunity, feel free to contact us today! We’ll set you up with a no-obligation consultation with an expert local agent.

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