If you are relocating from the mainland on military assignment, have been pre-qualified for your VA loan, and are lucky enough to have started your Hawaii home search, you’ll probably hear a few opinions about the type of house you’ll find here on the island. The fact is that there are many houses in Hawaii that are newer construction, and therefore, built more like the homes you are accustomed to on the mainland. However, a good amount of the properties you visit in your home search will still hold true to their traditional Hawaiian style of single-wall construction. It’s important to remember that these homes were built in harmony with their environment – like homes in New England that needed to be constructed to withstand harsh winters, Hawaiian homes were built for their tropical climate.
I have come to discover that the traditional Hawaiian home holds a place in the hearts of the people who grew up here. For example, take the local painter who came into our little piece of paradise and said, “This house reminds me of my grandmother’s home when I was a kid.” Then he paused, his eyes drifted up to the ceiling, and he continued, “Don’t change a thing about it.”
If your house hunting search leads you to put an offer on one, here are five great things to look forward to about living in a home that’s built island-style!
1. The Lanai
It’s unofficial bonus square footage. Actually, I think we should just make it official. The lanai is OSF, because unless it’s raining (and sometimes even if it is raining), you and your family members will spend the better part of your day outside playing, relaxing, or entertaining.
2. Carports Rule, Garages Drool
Yes, I said it. There are benefits to having an open carport with minimal storage space. If you dislike clutter, it becomes the ultimate test of organization and management. Who doesn’t like a challenge? And even if you do like to hang onto stuff, your cars can hide it.
They’re our friends. Well, they’re more like an uncle who refuses to leave, but don’t let that creep you out. They only want a place to bunk, and in return, they’re Hawaii’s natural pest control!
4. Single-wall Construction
This construction allows the glorious tradewinds to cool the house naturally. One cool Hawaiian night can negate a week of hot summer days. Just wait for it.
That means “family” in Hawaiian. You see, the home you purchase here may have less square footage than you had on the mainland. Yet, I have found that it keeps our family close, and it helps with my parenting skills. Nothing gets by Momma! Well, almost nothing.