Maui Blog - Georgie Hunter R(S): Maui Real Estate Q & A - What's an Ohana?

Maui Real Estate Q & A - What's an Ohana?

I get asked this question every now and then, so decided it was time to write a post about it, and start a new feature of Questions and Answers.  So, here goes with the first Q & A.

ohana in Haiku Maui

What's an Ohana?

In Hawaii, the term ohana is used frequently in real estate listings.  It refers to an apartment or cottage on the same property as the main home.  An ohana can be a mother-in-law suite, or granny flat.  Typically it would mean an apartment attached to the main house but with it's own entrance.  It can also be a detached cottage, or an apartment over the garage.  It can even be a non-conforming tool shed or barn.

Where does this term come from?  Ohana is the Hawaiian word for family.  Here in Hawaii, it's expensive to live and many times a household will be comprised of more than one generation.  To make life easier, a separate ohana is built or created so the families can each have their own space, yet still be close.

Ohanas come in all sizes and shapes, and there are laws regarding which properties can have them or not.  Sometimes the zoning will restrict the size.  Sometimes CC&R's will prohibit them.  When buying a home on Maui it's always good to ask your REALTOR® about the rules in each case.

Are you looking for a Maui home with an ohana?  Please let me be your guide to all things Maui.


 Thanks for reading My Maui Blog!

Aloha from Maui ~ Georgina M. Hunter R(S) e-Pro  

call or text me 808 283-0635 ~ EMAIL


Other Q&A posts:


Comment balloon 10 commentsGeorgie Hunter R(S) 58089 • October 28 2009 09:11PM


Georgina, the Ohana house truly assists young and old with permanent and temporary housing.  Good post.

Posted by Sun City Grand Homes Surprise AZ Real Estate Leolinda Bowers Designated Broker Leolinda Realty, Sun City Grand in Surprise Arizona (Leolinda Realty) almost 10 years ago

Georgina, Thank you...I learned a new word today.  If that's an Ohana it's cute.  I think I'd be very comfortable in there :)

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) almost 10 years ago

Georgina thanks for sharing that information. I had never heard that name before, I've learned something new today. I'm giong to ask my son to build an Ohana for Ceil and I when we get too old and have to move out of this house.

Posted by Carl Winters almost 10 years ago

Georgina- thanks for the Hawaiian lesson!!! I have been running astray in FACEBOOK, but am back here in the Rain again!!! Hope all is well with you!!!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) almost 10 years ago

Georgina - I actually learned about this a few years ago when I helped three different clients who relocated to Austin from Maui.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Leolinda - aloha and mahalo for dropping in

Carole - yes that's one version of an ohana

Carl - that's the spirit!  You won't have far to move.

BJ - hey it's great to see you back!  I'm glad you let me know.

Jason - that's funny - you must have wondered what in heck they were talking about at first!  You mean to say people actually move from Maui to Austin!?  lol  If I hear of any others, I'll be sure to let them know about you.

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) almost 10 years ago

Ah-ha! So I inspected a home last week for a guy who wanted to build an ohana. Perhaps when I follow up with him, I'll ask, "Have you started on the ohana, yet?" That might get a response. LOL

Posted by Not a real person almost 10 years ago

Russel - and you can ask him if he has any pupus, and see what he says.

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) almost 10 years ago

It's all your fault, Georgina. Russel's been running around the past few days calling everything an ohana, his new favorite word. He finally told me he got it from you!

Posted by Jim Frimmer, Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist (HomeSmart Realty West) almost 10 years ago

Jim that's funny!  At least it comes in handy when working with people from Hawaii.

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) almost 10 years ago

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