Hawaii on budget? Yes it can be done! Whether just visiting, or moving here for a lifetime, Makaha on Oahu's overlooked Waianae Coast, on the island's dry side, is where sunshine, uncrowded beaches and low-cost living make for an affordable paradise.
Located about an hour (depending on traffic!) from downtown Honolulu, the Waianae Coast and Makaha are the last remaining rural communities on Oahu's leeward side. While not providing the glitz and glamor of Waikiki, they do offer a small-town, slow-down feel, and contain the spirit of old Hawaii.
Two-and-a-half years ago we left the gray and gloomy Pacific Northwest on an adventurous relocation to tropical sunshine. It took us about a year to sell our house on the mainland (in the midst of a historic down market) and make the move, but since resettling across the ocean we haven't looked back.
Hawaii on a budget requires compromise: a reduction in your dwelling's square footage perhaps, or leaving your car on the mainland and getting around by bus, and probably a change in diet, and for sure some culture shock, but if tropical sunshine and warm Pacific beaches are your life-long dreams, then the Waianae Coast is where it can all come true.
One of the communities on that Coast, Makaha Valley Towers, is a mid-rise condominium complex with landscaped tropical grounds, floor-to-ceiling panoramic views of verdant valley and mountain ridges, and, always, the blue Pacific filling out the horizon. It's resort-style living on a daily basis. The 24-hour, seven-days-a-week security personnel give the property a safe, secure, gated-community feel, the office staff is helpful and the maintenance crew keep the property immaculate and in top-rate shape. The property also hosts an all-tiled, large swimming pool, kept at a constant 82 degrees. The Towers are located just one mile from world-famous Makaha surfing beach and close to several of the other best beaches on Oahu.
Being on the island's dry side, Waianae and Makaha are the "Palm Springs" of Honolulu, with plenty of sunshine and not much rain. The area affords a "desert island" sort of feel with constant daytime temperatures in the mid-80s and plenty of blue skies to match the Pacific waters lapping upon Waianae's shores. So if you hear that Hawaii is too expensive, check out the Waianae Coast for affordable paradise living.