A lot of my clients ask me this question: Should I buy a second home in Maui?

I’ve lived on the island for 30 years and have sold real estate for 18 of them. On top of this, my team has a thriving property management company that takes care of a lot of second homes. Needless to say, I know the ins and outs of buying, owning, and managing Maui properties. It’s wonderful to own a second home, but before you make the big decision of doing so, keep these six things in mind:

1. Spend time here. You have to be here for each season—for example, it gets very busy during the winter months, and you may not like dealing with the increased tourism and traffic. Some people get island fever and later realize they don’t actually enjoy living on one, but the only way you’ll know is to spend some time in the area.

2. Be realistic about getting here. How long will it take? Do you need to go on two different planes and get a rental car? If you find it’s a big hassle just to make it out to your second home, you likely won’t be using it as much as you envisioned.

3. Put your pet through quarantine. If you want to bring any animals, they’ll first have to go through a six-month quarantine process at your home vet. After a variety of tests, you’ll get the proper papers, fly your pet out, and have your pet meet with a local vet. You can still go back and forth with your pet, but you need to make sure the papers are updated.

4. Choose where to buy. If you’re worried about your second home’s safety when you’re away, know that it depends on where the home is. There are 13 different ecosystems on the island as well as local areas, country areas, and resort areas. A lot of my second-home buyers will buy in the resort area because there are certain security systems put in place. If you buy outside the area, do research ahead of time and find out what security measures you’ll need.

5. Find out who will manage your home. You have two options: You can upkeep your home or hire someone else to do it. If you handle it yourself, you’ll have a long list of things to do each time you arrive. If you hire a property management company, they’ll handle everything and give you a greater peace of mind.

6. You cannot rent out your home. The zoning of the land for residential homes dictates you must have at least a six-month lease. The only way around that is if you’ve lived in it for five years and have gotten a short-term vacation rental license. To get the license, you’d need to put in the paperwork and pass a community vote. It’s definitely not a good idea to depend on this.

If you have any questions or need further information, feel free to reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.