12 Cheapest Places to Live In Hawaii 2023 - Movingist (2023)

Owing to the laid-back culture and magical landscapes of Hawaii, it’s no wonder that moving to this tropical destination is the dream of many.But, let’s be honest, the extravagant cost of living in this Island state is something you cannot overlook.

How Much Does living in Hawaii cost...

How Much Does living in Hawaii cost? Best Guide 2022

Hawaii is counted amongst the expensive US States to reside in and what exactly restricts expats from relocating is the sky-high property rates.Loving the idea of spending the whole life in the lap of Nature without costing a dime? Fret not as we’ve got you the rundown of the cheapest places to live in Hawaii.

Let’s dive right in!!

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A Quick Overview Of 12 Most Affordable Places To Reside In Hawaii

1. Wailuku

Wailuku sits at the tip of the beautiful Lao Valley and is steeped in history and culture. Brimming up with exciting outdoor activities, this city is an ideal choice for individuals with an adrenaline rush. What actually makes it worthy of consideration is its blissful vibes and affordable living expenses.

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The median home value in Wailuku is approximately $598,000 and the overall living cost is 11% less than the state’s average.

2. Hilo

Hilo is home to endless natural beauty and casts a magical spell on the nature buffs around the world. Located on the northeastern side of the Hawaiian Island, it is the gateway to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

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One will be surprised to know that the living cost in Hilo is around 28% lower than the state’s average and this is exactly what makes it the least expensive place to live in Hawaii. You can easily own a house in Hilo for around $346,400.

3. Kaunakakai

Get tired of the chaos of the metropolitan cities and hunting for a tranquil place with harmonious vibes? Well, in that case, Kaunakakai might be for you. Sits peacefully on the Molokai’s south shores, this city takes you back to the simpler time with no hustle and bustle.

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This town is just three blocks in size with bygone aesthetics. The average living cost in Kaunakakai is around 53% less than the state’s average. Expats can easily purchase a home in this town for around $284,600.

4. Laie

Home to approximately 6000 residents, Laie is one of the dazzling laid-back coastal towns on the Island of Oahu. Although it sounds small and uneventful at first glance, the reality is far away from assumption.

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This town is packed with white-sandy beaches where you can take a leisure stroll and several green spaces to witness the beautiful sunsets. Although Laie’s median home value of $974,500 is higher than the state’s average, its average household income is around $81,948 and that’s what makes it an affordable option.

5. Kurtistown

If you have an urge to enjoy a rural feel amidst the true colors of Nature, then buy yourself a home in Kurtistown and feel serenity like never before. Referred to be one of the most agriculturally productive towns on Big Island, Kurtistown boasts innumerable botanical gardens to mesmerize nature enthusiasts from far and wide.

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This beguiling place offers a lush, tropical setting which is not less than a treasure for explorers and will surely bring you closer to Mother Nature. The median home value in Kurtistown is around $323,000.

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6. Kailua-Kona

The sunny seaside capital of Big Island, Kailua-Kona is counted amongst the cheapest places to live in Hawaii for many good reasons. Housing is much affordable in this beautiful town and one can easily own his dream home for just over $500,000. It is believed that the cost of living in Kailua-Kona is around 11% lower than the average. Isn’t it amazing?

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Located in the heart of the Kona district on the Western Coast of the Big Island, this dazzling place is stuffed with miles of sun-soaked sand, azure beaches, crystal clear waters, and coastlines. If you are a beach bum and want to enjoy close proximity to beaches, then Kailua-Kona is exactly what you are searching for.

7. Kahului

The most urban town of Maui, Kahului packs a powerful punch of breathtakingly beautiful sights and allows the magical landscape to fill your senses with awe. It is home to the Maui Arts and Cultural Center and showcases the perfect amalgamation of the modern town with traditional values.

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Moreover, this town is safe and sound and this is exactly what makes it stands out.The average living cost in Kahului is around 9% less than the state’s average and the median home value is $620,700.

8. Waimea

One of the smallest Hawaiian towns to live in, the historic area of Waimea still features traditional ranches, cowboys, and cattle. Lies amidst the beach and Waimea Canon, it is a stone’s throw from the place where the famous British discoverer Captain James Cook first landed in Hawaii.

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The living cost in Waimea is approximately 22% less than the state’s average. It is a gateway to the spellbinding Kokee State Park and Waimea Canyon. This charming small town is home to a variety of shops and restaurants where you can savour the local delectables and tickle your taste buds.

The housing is extremely affordable in Waimea as one can easily own a home for less than $400,000.

9. Wahiawa

Located in close proximity with the Bewitching North Shore, Wahiawa is one of the well-known affordable places to live in Hawaii. Situated in the Oahu’s central valley amidst two sky-high mountain ranges, this town is flanked by Lake Wilson on three sides.

It is one of the oldest neighbourhoods on Oahu and is famed for having a massive maze where people can enjoy a leisure stroll. Own a home in Wahiawa for around $618,100 and enjoy captivating sights and enjoy picturesque sunset views.

10. Waianae

Stuffed with scenic beaches, abundant marine life, and majestic valleys, Waianae is yet another beautiful and budget-friendly place to reside in Hawaii. It is an excellent choice for those who wish to live in Oahu without burning a hole in their wallet.

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The cost of living in Waianae is about 11% less than the national average with a median home value of $322,000.

11. Hana

Located along Maui’s rugged eastern coastline, Hana is adorned with an old-Hawaii charm and is considered the last unspoiled Hawaiian frontiers. This little town is blessed with a range of tropical gardens and natural spectacles.

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Before actually relocating to this tiny land in the midst of the ocean, keep in mind the fact that it is highly secluded with no proximity to the big cities. One can easily own a home in this remote area for just about $526,400. Residing in this city is a feasible option as the overall cost of living here is around 21% less than the state’s average.

(Video) Top 10 Cheapest States to Buy a House in 2023.

12. Pahala

Let’s wrap up the list with the charming town of Pahala that sits exquisitely on Big Island, the cheapest Hawaiian island to live on. Snuggled between the beautiful Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and lush Kau Forest Reserve, this seaside town is bestowed with stunning landscapes and magical scenery.

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The median home value in Pahala is about $177,600, which is much lower than the state’s average. If you wish to get away from the tiresome and mundane urban life, then relocate to this beautiful town without thinking twice and feel the rustic charm.

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Pros & Cons Of Living In Hawaii

Living in the Aloha State is indeed a dream-come-true as who on this planet doesn’t love to enjoy a lifetime vacation?Getting fascinated? Before making any decision, bear in mind the fact that Hawaii is not always about rainbows and butterflies. Life in the Aloha State comes with both pros and cons.

Figure them out and only then determine whether this US State goes well with your expectations or not.


  • Tropical and Soothing Weather

Hawaii is known to have a diverse and tropical climate throughout the year. It is home to 11 of the 13 sub-climates which means that it boasts a perfect environment to live in.

  • Hawaiian is a melting pot of culture

Hawaiian Culture showcases a perfect blend of unique traditional values and ethnic influences. It impacts everything from fashion and cuisine to language and religion. Hawaiian residents are trying to maintain their regular lifestyles from their anciently-designed homes.

  • Fascinating Views and Bunch of Outdoor Activities

Hawaii is one of the most alluring US states to live in. It is endowed with an impressive array of outdoor activities and spectacular vistas and thus caters to everyone, be it an outdoor fanatic or a nature buff. While living in Hawaii, you will never run out of adventures.

  • Low crime rate

Hawaii is counted amongst the handful of places in the US where the crime rate is relatively low. Issues like homicide and armed robberies are rare throughout the state; after all, you are on the set of islands in the middle of the ocean.


  • The cost of living in Hawaii is significantly higher

Although the good life comes at a higher price, you are likely to pay much more than expected. The Aloha State is counted amongst the most expensive locations to reside in the US, all thanks to the magical sights and immense popularity.

However, there are loopholes for everything and Hawaii is no exception. Finding the cheapest places to live in Hawaii might be intimidating but not impossible. There are several affordable places to put down your roots in this state.

(Video) Top 10 BEST CITIES To Live In America For 2023

  • Lack of waste management system

Since Hawaii is an archipelago of hundreds of islands, it lacks the proper waste management system. Either you have to ship your trash or burn the same. There are virtually no recycle bins on the street, which is an added disadvantage.

Cheapest Places To Live in Hawaii FAQs

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Hawaii?

Let’s be honest, Hawaii is one of the pricey destinations to live in and, therefore, one should need a whooping salary over $125,000 with an extravagant budget. Keep in mind the fact that the state has one of the highest income tax rates in the country and hence, an excellent salary and a good financial back-up are mandatory to live comfortably in Hawaii.

Is it easy to find work in Hawaii?

Hawaii is an island state and, therefore, finding jobs or work is really a back-breaking task, even for the skilful professional. This state has one of the lowest employment rates in the country, owing to the lack of jobs.
Related: Hawaii from Mainland (Moving Guide)

The Bottom Line

Wish to spend the rest of your life amidst quixotic beauty and natural ambiance? Consider one of the cheapest places to live in Hawaii as mentioned above and enjoy the timeless charm without emptying your bank balance.

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What is the cheapest island to move to in Hawaii? ›

What's the most affordable Hawaiian island to live on? The Big Island. With Hawaii's lowest average cost of living (according to MIT's Living Wage project), lowest fair market rents, and lowest typical yearly expenses, the Big Island can be the most economical island in Hawaii.

What is the cheapest safest place to live in Hawaii? ›

Here Are The Cheapest Places to Live in Hawaii
  • Hilo. If you want the big city lifestyle, but without the big city prices, then Hilo is the spot for you! ...
  • Waimalu. Honolulu might not be one of the cheapest places to live in Hawaii, but you can probably afford to live fairly close. ...
  • Wailuku. ...
  • Kailua. ...
  • Hana.
Sep 21, 2022

Which Hawaiian island is cheapest to buy a house? ›

Generally, the lowest housing costs are on the Big Island, which is considered the cheapest Hawaiian island to live on.

Where should I live if I move to Hawaii? ›

Oahu is probably the most popular island to move to because of the job opportunities and salaries tend to be higher here. Oahu is Hawaiian through and through, but it also certainly has the most in common with the mainland – it's busy, fast-paced, and modern.

Can I realistically move to Hawaii? ›

In 1959, Hawaii officially became the 50th state. As a result, anyone who has the ability to legally live in the United States—including citizens and permanent residents—can move to Hawaii. Legally, it's just like moving to any other state. However, there is one major difference you'll want to be aware of.

Is moving to Hawaii affordable? ›

According to a study by Payscale.com, the cost of living in Honolulu, Hawaii is 88% higher than the national average with housing clocking in at 202% higher than the national average.

What is a livable salary in Hawaii? ›

Living Wage Calculation for Honolulu County, Hawaii
0 Children3 Children
Living Wage$22.76$77.11
Poverty Wage$7.51$15.35
Minimum Wage$12.00$12.00

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Hawaii? ›

Paradise is expensive. To live comfortably in Hawaii, you'd need a salary of over $122,000, as of late. Dinner and a movie in Honolulu will cost you around $75, which is a little high. Your grocery bill may be on the higher end in this area as well, with the price of bread and eggs averaging over $4 each.

Which city in Hawaii has the lowest crime rate? ›

Safest Places in Hawaii
  • Kalaupapa.
  • Maui.
  • Makaweli.
  • Schofield Barracks.
  • Hanalei.
  • Kilauea.
  • Haleiwa.
  • Paauilo.
Nov 22, 2022

What is nicest part of Hawaii to live in? ›

Here is the full list of best places to live in Hawaii:
  • Maunawili.
  • Honolulu.
  • Kailua.
  • Hilo.
  • Mililani.
  • Waikele.
  • Pearl City.
  • Mililani Mauka.
Mar 18, 2022

What is the safest Hawaiian island to live on? ›

Here Are The 10 Safest & Most Peaceful Places To Live In Hawaii
  • 1) Makaweli, Kauai. Dave Seidman/Flickr. ...
  • 2) Kalaupapa, Molokai. Warren Antiola/Flickr. ...
  • 3) Schofield Barracks, Oahu. U.S. Pacific Command/Flickr. ...
  • 4) Hanalei, Kauai. Ik T/Flickr. ...
  • 5) Kilauea, Kauai. ...
  • 6) Laupahoehoe, Big Island. ...
  • 7) Haleiwa, Oahu. ...
  • 8) Mililani Town, Oahu.
Jun 2, 2022

Why is Hilo so cheap? ›

Lower Tourist Population = Lower Prices

Museums, cultural centers, and historic sites abound near Hilo, with many offering cost-effective options for students and seniors along with many free events.

What is the average cost to buy a house in Hawaii? ›

There are currently 5,344 homes for sale in Hawaii. The median list price in Hawaii is $825,000 and the average price per square foot is $638.

Can I move to Hawaii without a job? ›

Can I move to Hawaii without a job? Yes, you can. Many newcomers do just that. Even so, you will have to find a job as soon as possible due to the high living expenses.

Are people leaving or moving to Hawaii? ›

With some of the highest cost of living numbers in the U.S., many Hawaii residents are looking elsewhere to live -- even if Hawaii is home. HONOLULU (KITV4) -- Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places to live in America. But the high cost of living is forcing thousands of people to leave.

How much does it cost to ship a car to Hawaii? ›

HOW MUCH does it cost to ship a car to Hawaii? The cost to ship a car to Hawaii from U.S. Mainland starts at $1,597.01. The cost to ship a car to U.S. Mainland from Hawaii starts at $970.01.

What do I need to know before moving to Hawaii? ›

10 Things you should know before moving to Hawaii
  • 1) Hawaii is an island state. ...
  • 2) Oahu is paradise on earth, but it's not heaven. ...
  • 3) If you're not local, you'll never be. ...
  • 4) Housing is expensive. ...
  • 6) It rains a lot, suddenly, for 10 minutes at a time. ...
  • 7) Everything rusts. ...
  • 8) All your friends will visit you the first year.

What is the biggest problem in Hawaii? ›


In 2023, there were an estimated 10% of the state's population living below poverty level. With regards to the number of people living on the street, according to the AARP there are an estimated 3,932 homeless adults on O'ahu as of November 2022.

What is the highest paying job in Hawaii? ›

Detailed List Of Highest Paying Jobs In Hawaii
RankJob TitleAverage Salary
1Loan Servicing Specialist$329,032
2Vice President Of Application Development$251,752
3Director Of Consumer Marketing$239,829
4Chief Executive Officer And Operator$237,177
88 more rows
Apr 11, 2022

How much is a dozen of eggs in Hawaii? ›

According to Business Insider, Hawaii has the highest cost of eggs in the nation by a wide margin at $9.73 per dozen. A local restaurant said they're using about 5,000 eggs per week at their two locations.

Can I live in Hawaii on 3000 a month? ›

Housing Costs

A one-bedroom apartment or home can range from about $1,500 to more than $2,000 per month and a two-bedroom apartment or a house will start at $1,800 per month. Looking at a luxurious, new one-bedroom condo? Expect to fork out at least $3,000 a month.

What is the minimum wage in Hawaii? ›

Hawaii Minimum Wage for 2022, 2023. Hawaii's state minimum wage rate is $12.00 per hour. This is greater than the Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25. You are entitled to be paid the higher state minimum wage.

What is Hawaii's minimum wage 2023? ›

What is the 2023 minimum wage in Hawaii? Currently, the 2023 minimum wage is $12.00 an hour for employers in Hawaii. According to the US Labor Law Center , these are the previous and current minimum wage rates for the state of Hawaii.

What city in Hawaii has the highest crime rate? ›

Hilo. Hilo is a major town with a population of about 45,579. Its crime rates are 70% higher than the national average, which is very shocking.

Are there poor areas in Hawaii? ›

By both metrics, using the ACS, the five towns along the Waianae Coast are below average for Hawaii.
Percent In Poverty.
TownPercent Below Poverty LevelRank
Hawaiian Ocean View17.1%24
Hawaiian Acres16.4%27
24 more rows
Nov 2, 2011

What is the poorest place in Hawaii? ›

Among the 10 places in Hawaii with available data and populations of at least 25,000, Hilo ranks as the poorest. The typical Hilo household earns $65,727 a year, compared to the statewide median household income of $83,173. Home values are often a reflection of what people can afford.

Why are people leaving Hawaii? ›

23, 2023. HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - New data shows that more Native Hawaiians are leaving the Aloha State due to the high cost of living. The median price for a single-family home tops $1 million in Honolulu. Hawaii residents also spend more than 40% of their income on rent — that's more than any other state.

Why is Hawaii losing more residents? ›

Even as the state has more people being born than dying, Hawaii's population continues to decline as people leave the state for less expensive pastures.

What are the risks of living in Hawaii? ›

The ocean is another dangerous aspect of life in Hawaii, with high tides and the occasional ultra-large rogue wave (which have killed folks in the past by sweeping them out to sea). Other risks of living in Hawaii include flash flooding and dangerous critters like box jellies and Portuguese Man-O-Wars.

Which Hawaiian island has the best healthcare? ›

Oahu has the largest and best, state-of-the-art medical facilities in all of Hawaii.

Which Hawaiian island is the friendliest? ›

Among the Hawaiian Islands, Molokai is known as the Friendly Isle, and those who live there would consider it the best island to live on by far. With many longtime families and few visitors living on remote Molokai, it is one of the most secluded Hawaiian Islands.

Are groceries taxed in Hawaii? ›

Sales of grocery food are subject to sales tax in Hawaii.

Which island in Hawaii is best for retirees? ›

With a high percentage of individuals over the age of 65, and a lower cost of living in comparison to other areas of Hawaii, Hilo is a great choice for retirement.

Is Hilo or Kona better to live? ›

Kona offers better weather, the best beaches and snorkeling, newer resorts, more vacation rentals, and more nightlife compared to Hilo Town. Hilo is worth a visit but may not be worth staying for more than a night.

Is buying a house in Hawaii a good investment? ›

If you plan properly and buy right, an investment in Hawai'i real estate is typically a safe and rewarding investment. And if you or someone else lives in the property, it can provide years of happiness and memories as well.

Do people like living in Hilo? ›

Hilo is a beautiful small town. Although it's not what people typically think of when they think "Hawaii" it's a true gem. It shows the plush and green side of the Big Island of Hawaii while still being very laid back. Hilo is a down-to-earth town where everyone feels like family.

Who can afford a house in Hawaii? ›

In fact, the site estimates that you need an income of $153,520 to afford the average home in Hawaii this year. (For two earners to bring in this income, they'd need to earn $76,760 each per year.)

Can you just buy a house in Hawaii? ›

Anyone in the world can buy property in Hawaii. However, if you are not a resident of Hawaii, which is characterized as filing Hawaii state income taxes, then buying or selling land in Hawaii might have a few more complications.

How much is monthly rent in Hawaii? ›

Average Fair Market Rent Prices in Hawaii:

For FY 2021 , the Urban Honolulu, HI MSA (Honolulu County) rent for a studio or efficiency is $1,433 per month and $3,589 per month to rent a house or an apartment with 4 bedrooms. The average Fair Market Rent for a 2-bedroom home in Hawaii is $1,798 per month.

Why are people moving away from Hawaii? ›

23, 2023. HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - New data shows that more Native Hawaiians are leaving the Aloha State due to the high cost of living. The median price for a single-family home tops $1 million in Honolulu. Hawaii residents also spend more than 40% of their income on rent — that's more than any other state.


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