Top 3 Reasons NOT to Buy Kauai Real Estate

Okay, you think I must be crazy – a Realtor telling you not to buy???  Don’t get me wrong, I love working with buyers!  It’s an honor and privilege to help people pursue and fulfill their Kauai real estate dreams.

Rubix Cube

Working with buyers, we twist and turn the market data, their short-term and long-term goals, just like a Rubix cube.  Sometimes, it’s not an automatic fit, but if we keep twisting and turning – we find that right property that fits their family’s goals.

However, there are some goals that don’t fit with the Kauai market – here’s my top 3 reasons not to buy real estate on Kauai:

  1. Cash Flow.  Kauai offers a fascinating variety of properties, and lifestyle choices.  However, if your goal is to utilize the “down” market to create passive income with rental properties – this isn’t the place.  Although a few lower priced condo offerings are coming closer to being able to “cash flow”, your expectation should be only to cover some of your costs. 
  2. Short Term Gains.  Many sellers are holding onto the idea of when the “market will return”.   None of us can predict what will happen with the market.  We do know that we are bouncing along the bottom.  The buyers I’ve been working with during the past two years have all identified opportunities that presented a good value in their eyes, realized the market value may continue to fluctuate, but feel the property will gain in value over time based on traditional real estate statistics –  not recent “bubble” gains.
  3. Short-term Flipping.  There are hard money investors who are successfully buying distressed homes and doing option contracts, selling them at the same time for a short term profit (simultaneous A to B, and B to C  contracts).  I’m not saying that it is impossible on Kauai to do this, but buyer demand has been primarily for the bottom values.   I would love to be proven wrong on this 🙂

For more information, check out the following links:

What are your reasons to buy, or not to buy, real estate on Kauai?  Add your thoughts here, or connect at:


About Susanna "Susie" Kunkel, RA

With a belief that life is too short to not follow your dreams, Susie and her daughter became new Kauai residents in less than 4 months after visiting for the first time in 2000. She brings a wealth of information from her background in administrative, contract and paralegal work in a variety of industries including technology, investment banking, biotech and estate planning. As a Realtor, Susies's tenacious and technical approach have earned her a large group of extremely loyal clients. Susanna is a steadfast believer in "The Golden Rule", and applies it to her approach as a Realtor. "Each client and each property are unique, so it's important to me to listen intently to what my clients' goals are, and to make sure I go above and beyond to help meet them."
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2 Responses to Top 3 Reasons NOT to Buy Kauai Real Estate

  1. Mary says:

    I looked into buying investment property on Kauai in 2001. I was talked out of it by the realtor who gave me reason #1 as the reason not to buy on Kauai. Eventually I bought property on Kauai (in 2005) at the peak of the market. I wish I hadn’t listened to the realtor and bought in 2001.

    • Hi Mary,
      Thanks for your comments. Yes, in hindsight I wish I had bought in 2001 also. Some properties at that time did provide cash flow. What I was trying to get at is if that’s your primary objective – other parts of the country provide better cash flow returns. Kauai is a purchase of love…the cash flow helps cover the cosst, but we generally don’t fit the investment guidelines that can map out in other areas.

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