Are you dreaming of owning a home in the beautiful state of Hawaii? One of the biggest decisions you’ll face is whether to buy an existing home or build a new one from scratch. There are pros and cons to both options, and the right choice for you will depend on your unique circumstances and priorities. In this blog post, we’ll explore the key factors to consider when deciding whether to buy or build your dream home in Hawaii.

Factors to Consider

Before making a decision, it’s important to consider the following factors:

Where do you want to live in Hawaii? Different areas have different housing markets and land availability.

Home Size
How big of a home do you need? Building a custom home allows you to create the perfect layout for your family.

What is your budget for buying or building a home? Keep in mind that building a home from scratch can be more expensive upfront.

Do you have a specific timeline for moving into your new home? Building a custom home typically takes longer than buying an existing one.

The Cost of Buying vs. Building in Hawaii

According to recent data, the median price to buy a home on Oahu is around $650,000. However, this price point may not get you a newer, move-in ready home. For a nicer, newer home that needs little to no work, you can expect to pay $800,000 or more.

If you decide to build a home from the ground up, you’ll first need to find and purchase land. Vacant lots can be limited and expensive in Hawaii. If you’re lucky, you may be able to find a distressed property for around $400,000, but it will likely need to be torn down.

The cost to build a home in Hawaii ranges from $180 to $250 per square foot when working with reputable, licensed contractors using quality materials. For a 2,000 square foot home, you can expect to spend at least $400,000 on construction. When you factor in the cost of land, you’re looking at a total cost of around $800,000 – similar to buying a newer, move-in ready home.

The Benefits of Building Your Dream Home

While building a home may not be cheaper than buying an existing one, there are several compelling reasons to consider this option:

When you build a home, you get to create a space that perfectly suits your needs and preferences. You can choose the layout, finishes, and features that matter most to you.

Energy Efficiency
New homes are typically more energy-efficient than older ones, thanks to advances in building materials and techniques. This can lead to lower utility bills and a more comfortable living environment.

Low Maintenance
With a new home, you won’t have to worry about inheriting someone else’s maintenance issues or outdated systems. Everything will be brand new and under warranty.

Future Planning
Building a home allows you to plan for your long-term needs, such as aging in place or accommodating a growing family. You can incorporate features like wider doorways, first-floor master suites, and flexible living spaces.

Finding the Right Team
Whether you decide to buy or build, it’s essential to work with a team of experienced professionals who can guide you through the process. At Pacific Home Appliance and Distribution, we can help recommend trusted contractors, designers, and architects for your project. We also offer a wide selection of top-quality kitchen appliances to fit any budget and style.

Ultimately, the decision to buy or build your dream home in Hawaii is a personal one that depends on your unique needs, preferences, and financial situation. By carefully considering the factors outlined in this post and working with a team of experienced professionals, you can make an informed decision that will lead to your dream home in paradise.


How long does it typically take to build a home in Hawaii?
The timeline for building a home in Hawaii can vary depending on factors such as the size and complexity of the home, the availability of materials and labor, and the permitting process. On average, it takes about 6 to 12 months to build a home from start to finish. However, it’s important to work with your contractor to establish a realistic timeline for your specific project.

Can I finance the construction of a new home?
Yes, it is possible to finance the construction of a new home in Hawaii. Many lenders offer construction loans that cover the cost of land, labor, and materials. These loans typically have a shorter term than traditional mortgages and may require a larger down payment. Once construction is complete, you can often convert the construction loan to a permanent mortgage.

What are some of the most popular areas to build a home in Hawaii?
Hawaii offers many desirable locations for building a home, each with its own unique character and amenities. Some of the most popular areas include:

  • Honolulu: The state’s capital city offers a mix of urban convenience and natural beauty, with easy access to beaches, shopping, and dining.
  • Kailua: This charming beach town on the windward side of Oahu is known for its laid-back lifestyle and stunning natural scenery.
  • Maui: The Valley Isle is a popular choice for those seeking a mix of resort-style amenities and small-town charm, with areas like Wailea and Lahaina offering a range of housing options.
  • Hawaii Island: Also known as the Big Island, this diverse island offers everything from lush rainforests to volcanic landscapes, with areas like Kona and Hilo attracting many homebuyers.

How do I find a reputable contractor to build my home?
Finding a reputable contractor is one of the most important steps in building your dream home in Hawaii. Here are some tips:
Ask for referrals from friends, family, or real estate professionals who have recently built a home.

  • Look for contractors who are licensed, insured, and have a proven track record of quality work.
  • Interview multiple contractors and ask for detailed bids and references.
  • Visit completed projects and talk to past clients to get a sense of the contractor’s work and communication style.
  • At Pacific Home Appliance and Distribution, we can recommend trusted contractors who have a history of delivering exceptional results.

What are the most important features to consider when designing a custom home in Hawaii?
When designing a custom home in Hawaii, there are several key features to consider:

  • Indoor-outdoor living: Hawaii’s climate is perfect for blending indoor and outdoor spaces, so consider features like lanais, sliding glass doors, and outdoor kitchens.
  • Energy efficiency: With Hawaii’s high energy costs, it’s important to incorporate energy-efficient features like solar panels, insulation, and Energy Star appliances.
  • Aging in place: If you plan to live in your home long-term, consider features that will allow you to age comfortably in place, such as single-level living, wide doorways, and accessible bathrooms.
  • Local materials: Incorporating local materials like koa wood or lava rock can add a unique sense of place to your home while supporting the local economy.
  • Appliances: Choosing the right appliances can make a big difference in the functionality and style of your home. At Pacific Home Appliance and Distribution, we offer a wide selection of top-quality brands like GE, Bosch, and Thermador to fit any design vision.