Maui - The Valley Isle
Sure, Oprah and many other celebs own homes here. But, top celebrity status on Maui belongs to Laird Hamilton, often referred to as the “greatest big wave surfer to have lived”. He is also credited for igniting the popularity of stand up paddling (SUP), a sport that Hamilton says is a return to the traditional Hawaiian way of surfing, as practiced by King Kamehameha almost three hundred years ago.
The wind, the sea and year-round ideal weather provides the perfect storm for water sport enthusiasts on Maui. According to Billy Jalbert, who specializes in selling homes on the North Shore, “this area is one of the premiere wave sport destinations in the world because of the warm water and the high winds that funnel through the twin mountain peaks”. In fact, “Maui has been named the windsurfing capital of the world”, according to real estate broker and former windsurfing world speed record holder, Fred Haywood . Fred was the first windsurfer over 30 knots, “an unbelievable barrier in 1983”, he said.
Indeed, Maui has many claims to fame according to Robert Myers, “Condé Nast has repeatedly named Maui as the best island on the planet. It is also considered to be the leading whale-watching center in the Hawaiian Islands”.
“For nature lovers the sheer beauty of the island fills the senses everywhere you look”, according to Robbie Dein, an agent with the soul of an artist. He says, “Beauty abounds on Maui. The exquisite flowers here provide ‘color therapy” that enhances your vitality every day”.
Bob Cella puts it this way, “The combination of Maui’s laid back, comfortable lifestyle, plus an environment with clean air, no traffic and controlled growth contribute to a relaxed state of mind and physical well-being. There is no price that can be paid for health and happiness.”
Although the majority of properties sold on Maui (apart the upsizing or downsizing of existing full time residents) are vacation homes for domestic and foreign buyers, there is a major new trend emerging. The internet has made it possible for many entrepreneurs to operate their business virtually from anywhere and move their families to the most desirable locations on earth, like Maui.
The Aloha Spirit is alive and well on Maui. Betty Sakamoto, who specializes in selling homes in West Maui says, “I appreciate the soft trade winds and daily afternoon cloud cover that give us the beautiful lingering Ka’anapali sunsets over the islands of Lanai and Molokai. Every time I think of living here I think I am one of the luckiest people in the world. It is a “dream come true” to live on Maui.
“Maui is a wonderful place to work and raise your family”, says Bob Hansen, of the Hansen Ohana, Maui’s top producing real estate team and family owned business. “Both the public and private schools here are outstanding. For example at Seabury Hall, grades 6-12, where the student- teacher ratio is 10:1, students are encouraged to be independent thinkers. As a result, there is a very impressive percentage of graduates go on to attend the best colleges and universities in the world”.
Donna Hansen explains, “As part of Hawaiian culture, ʻohana’ means family in an extended sense of the word. This includes blood-related, adoptive or intentional members. It is our fundamental ground of being in our own company that extends out to our clients and also to our community. At Christmas time we have a toy drive where all toys are gifted just to Maui children. It is our contribution to the spirit of ohana where no one is left behind”.