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Housing on the Big Island

The year round temperate weather of the leeward side of the island is often a factor for people relocating to West Hawaii. Once they are here it’s a choice between the warmer coastal areas or the cooler mountainside.

Families and active singles gravitate to communities that offer necessary infrastructure and amenities or that are close to employment situations and schools.

Each town and community in West Hawaii has its particular enticements and for the newcomer the best guide to fielding all of the variables is a reliable Realtor.

Here’s a quick overview of West Hawaii communities to consider:

North Kohala – once a thriving sugar plantation community, it is now home to a number of small businesses, many of them geared to the visitor industry. There is a kindergarten through 12th grade public school, police, fire and medical services. Many of Kohala’s residents work at the resorts and hotels along the Kohala Coast. It is a rural community that offers a limited number of mom and pop grocery stores. The closest shopping center is located in Waimea.

Waimea – set in the midst of cowboy country this community and its post office is also known as “Kamuela.” Parker Ranch, one of the nation’s largest ranches, is headquartered in Waimea. Excellent medical services are provided by North Hawaii Community Hospital. There are two private schools and a public school, kindergarten – 8th grade, in Waimea, as well as police, fire and emergency services. Two shopping centers offer a range of shops and services.

Waikoloa Village – Situated on the slopes of Mauna Kea, Waikoloa Village is a bedroom community for the resorts along the Kohala Coast. It is also a haven for retirees and offers a community-owned golf course, a small shopping center and public elementary school.

Kohala Coast – Four master-planned resorts have been established on the sunny Kohala Coast offering world-class accommodations in eight luxury hotels. The island’s most beautiful white sand beaches, luxury homes and condominiums, and seven championship golf courses, as well as a variety of fine dining experiences are on the Kohala Coast. A number of residential communities have been established at the resorts, offering an assortment of luxury lifestyles.

Kailua-Kona – Situated in North Kona, Kailua-Kona is one of the largest population centers on the island and a hub for activity, business and services. It offers the amenities of a small town, including theaters, hotels, shopping centers, big box stores, a bowling alley, restaurants, auto dealerships, doctor and dental offices, and a wide range of other businesses and services. Kailua Bay, in the heart of Kailua-Kona, is the center for many ocean-related events and activities. The area also includes the residential and resort area of Keauhou, situated a little further south. There is a public high school, two elementary schools and an intermediate school.

South Kona – Fondly referred to as “up mauka” (on the mountain), South Kona includes the communities of Holualoa, Kainaliu, Kealakekua, Honaunau, and Captain Cook. These smaller population centers offer a rural, agricultural lifestyle and are home to the famed Kona Coffee industry. Kona’s community hospital is located in Kealakekua. Several elementary and intermediate schools in South Kona feed into a high school in Kealakekua. The University of Hawaii’s satellite West Hawaii campus is also located in Kealakekua.

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