Vacation Rental Owner (to be)

Ocean view sunset with palm trees

Maui Sunset from a Wailea restaurant January 2019

Documenting the journey to vacation rental owner

Aloha and Mahalo (Hawaiian for thank you) for reading! This is the first post documenting my journey to becoming a vacation rental owner. I have been a landlord much of my life. But there is a big difference between leasing a home to someone for 2 years and filling the calendar for a vacation rental! Hopefully journaling will help not only myself but others who chose this type of real estate ownership. And FYI I am a Realtor in Washington State. 

This is a dream at least 15 years in the making! My travels to Maui started more than 30 years ago and it took me a long time to find the part of the island which felt like home. For me, this is part of the reason to own where I am buying. If I transition into living there semi-permanently (not the plan any time soon), it needs to be somewhere I love to be. And where did I choose? South Kihei, Maui

Kamaole Beach 2 with an outrigger canoe, South Kihei, Maui

Kamaole Beach 2 with an outrigger canoe, South Kihei, Maui

Map of Maui with a blue arrow pointing at the South Kihei area

Map of Maui with a blue arrow pointing at the South Kihei area

Why Kihei?!

My vacation rental will be in South Kihei on Maui. Above is a photo of one of the three main public beaches in South Kihei which are creatively named Kamaole 1, Kamaole 2, and Kamaole 3. Nearly the entire town of South Kihei is beachfront, public beachfront, with a few minor breaks. That’s the first thing to love about Kihei, lots of public beach access, including across the street from my vacation rental. But where on the great island of Maui is this town of Kihei. 

Kihei Weather… Aaaa

As can be seen in the map, Kihei is on the southwest shore of Maui, on the dry side of the island, The slopes of the great mountain Haleakeala block much of the rain. In fact you can see cacti growing in this part of Maui. (Next trip I will get a photo of the cactus!) I love this area because the weather is mild, very little rain. The town is laid back and casual, and not terribly touristy but with enough bars and restaurants to keep visitors fed and happy. And it is an easy <10 minute drive/Uber ride to the golf courses, restaurants, and shopping in trendy (read: pricey) Wailea!

Whale Watching, Surfing…

In addition to the weather the waves are usually nice but not bowl you over big. The big waves, surfer waves, are on the northern side of the island near Paia. Kihei is an easy drive from the airport in Kahului. From about November to April you can spot humpback whales from many areas of the island including Kihei. More on whales, and whale watching in a future post. My favorite thing ever, I have heard it twice (so far) is hearing whale song! Magical! Look for a post in the future with video from a whale watching boat where we captured audio of whale song. Soon I will be a vacation rental owner, stay tuned for more on the journey!



Kay Lehmann


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