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What is an Ohana?

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Want to know “what is an Ohana?” Stay tuned and find out.

The Word Ohana

So sometimes people on Maui say, “I want a house with a Ohana,” and there’s a couple different things that that could be. First of all, let’s talk about Ohana. In Hawaiian, that stands for family. You’ve seen that in Lilo and Stitch, probably, in the Disney movie. And so, family is really important in the Hawaiian culture, as it is in every culture.

Ohana in Real Estate

On Maui, the word Ohana is transitioned into the word for an additional dwelling, or a space where Mom and Dad could live or where the kids might live, and it’s just an additional family unit that is built into homes. And a lot of homes in Maui have Ohanas. Sometimes they’re cottages and sometimes they’re attached to the house, it just depends on the configuration, but anything that’s an extra unit is considered an Ohana. Now most places on Maui, most homes only have the zoning that would allow them to have at most one Ohana. There’s some properties that are a larger square footage that might be able to have two additional dwellings, but traditionally, it’s a one unit per house that you can add in an extra living space.

Income Opportunities

Now, in our environment, today’s world, Ohanas have translated into opportunities for buyers to buy a house and have an Ohana and create and generate rental income. So a lot of people will say, “I need a house with an Ohana so it can help me to afford and pay for my mortgage.” So that’s another great alternative for Ohanas and why people like them. You can find a lot of areas where there’s Ohanas with homes.

Know that there are Guidelines

There’s some areas that they’re prohibited, or you can’t use them. Wailea does not allow homes with Ohanas, although there are a couple that have caretaker spaces, but generally speaking, very infrequent or very uncommon to find them in Wailea. There’s a ton of them up in Maui Meadows, because those properties are a half acre and they can actually have an Ohana that’s over 700 square feet. On a smaller lot, an Ohana can only typically be about 500, 550 square feet, depending on the square footage of the lot. That’s all designed by county guidelines for the zoning.

Should You have an Ohana?

So if you want more information about, “Can I have an Ohana? Do I need one? Does it make sense to have one?”, reach out to me and let me know. You know, one of several times I’ve sold properties to clients that said, “I want to buy a condo, but I want to move to Maui someday.” Well, a house with a cottage sometimes is a good alternative.

Sometimes people will buy the house and Ohana. Then, they’ll use the Ohana for themselves while they’re coming back and forth and rent the main house out. And then when it’s time to retire and move to Maui full-time, they flip-flop, they’ll rent the Ohana out and move into the main house. So that’s another great alternative for a house with an additional dwelling and how it might make sense for your personal situation. What I would encourage you to do is reach out, give me a call, let me know what you’re thinking of, what your plans are, and we can figure out a path that may make more sense for you. Whether it’s a condo, a house, or a house with an Ohana, I’d love to be your resource here on Maui. And don’t find yourself up a tree without me, because I can help.

For More Information

Tom Tezak with Wailea Realty, I would love to be your resource. Also, if you’d like our Buyer’s Guide, send us a message or click on the other link that’ll be in the video to download our Buyer’s guide. We’d love to share that with you. It gives you some tips and ideas on buying real estate in Maui and what it takes, what you need to do and how to be prepared. Aloha from Maui. Tom Tezak. And remember, if you live your life with aloha, your life will be amazing.

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