Cheapest Places To Live In Hawaii: The Ultimate Guide

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Hawaii’s housing is expensive. In fact, compared to the other U.S. States, Hawaii’s average rent is the highest coming in at a whopping average of $1,687 per month for a 1 bedroom! No wonder then that it can be a struggle to find the cheapest places to live in Hawaii!

Unfortunately, living on the beautiful Hawaiian islands means higher rent than elsewhere on the mainland.

It’s not all doom and gloom though! Rents vary greatly throughout the state, depending on the island, city/town, and neighborhood.

So which areas of Hawaii have the least expensive rents? And perhaps more importantly, why are they less expensive than other areas? Where can you find the cheapest places to live in Hawaii? Read on…

Kauai Costline Hawaii

Criteria used to determine the cheapest places to live in Hawaii

To find out, we used Aloha Living’s Neighborhood Navigator tool to compare Fair Market Rents throughout Hawaii by ZIP code. Fair Market Rent includes not only the shelter, but also all utilities the tenant must pay (except for phone, cable/satellite TV, and Internet service).

These Fair Market Rent statistics are calculated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Fair Market Rent amounts for each county are listed in the table below:

HawaiiHonoluluKalawaoKauaiMaui
Efficiency/Studio$1,017$1,552$1,189$1,327$1,467
One-Bedroom$1,164$1,705$1,303$1,590$1,568
Two-Bedroom (standard)$1,531$2,240$1,714$1,997$1,957
Three-Bedroom$1,969$3,182$2,247$2,770$2,678
Four-Bedroom$2,076$3,834$2,452$3,418$2,944
Koko Head Oahu Houses in Hawaii

The cheapest places to live in Hawaii

Below we’ve listed out the cheapest places to live in Hawaii by islands. You’ll note that Maui and Molokai are combined to save time and space. We’ve also taken the time to list out why each Zip Code is less expensive and why it’s worth considering. Enjoy!

Cheapest places to live on Oahu

Wahiawa (Central Oahu)

  • ZIP Code: 96786
  • 2-bedroom: $1400
  • 4- bedroom: $2274
  • Why it’s less expensive: Long commute to Honolulu.
  • Why you should still consider it: Easy driving distance to North Shore beaches.

Hauula (Windward Coast/North Shore)

  • ZIP Code: 96717
  • 2-bedroom: $1453
  • 4-bedroom: $2360
  • Why it’s less expensive: Long commute to Honolulu.
  • Why you should still consider it: Located in the “country,” right by several beaches.

Laie (Windward Coast/North Shore)

  • ZIP Code: 96762
  • 2-bedroom: $1471
  • 4-bedroom: $2389
  • Why it’s less expensive: Long commute to Honolulu.
  • Why you should still consider it: Located in the “country,” home to Brigham Young University Hawaii and the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Kahuku (North Shore)

  • ZIP Code: 96731
  • 2-bedroom: $1496
  • 4-bedroom: $2430
  • Why it’s less expensive: Long commute to Honolulu.
  • Why you should still consider it: Strong high school athletic and academic programs. Home to the famous Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck.

Waianae & Nanakuli (Leeward Coast)

  • ZIP Code: 96792
  • 2-bedroom: $1497
  • 4-bedroom: $2431
  • Why it’s less expensive: Long commute to Honolulu. Has a reputation for being unfriendly to haoles (particularly young haole men).
  • Why you should still consider it: Home to some of the most beautiful, least crowded beaches on Oahu. Easy driving distance to Kapolei, Oahu’s planned “Second City.”

And for those of you who are set on living within Honolulu city limits, here are the two of the cheapest areas:

Honolulu (Southeast Loch of Pearl Harbor)

  • ZIP Code: 96818
  • 2-bedroom: $1515
  • 4-bedroom: $2460
  • Why it’s less expensive: Aircraft noise and air pollution from the nearby Air Force Base and Honolulu Airport.
  • Why you should still consider it: Much shorter commute to downtown Honolulu than the places listed above. Close to amenities in nearby Salt Lake District.

Honolulu (McCully & Moiliili neighborhoods)

  • ZIP Code: 96826
  • 2-bedroom: $1542
  • 4-bedroom: $2504
  • Why it’s less expensive: Very dense, multifamily housing. Some buildings are run-down. Heavy street traffic.
  • Why you should still consider it: Within walking and biking distance of Waikiki, Ala Moana, and downtown. Easy access to public bus routes.
Looking down on Napili Bay (Maui) Hawaii

Cheapest places to live on Maui & Molokai

Maunaloa (West End of Molokai)

  • ZIP Code: 96770
  • 2-bedroom: $1478
  • 4- bedroom: $2118
  • Why it’s less expensive: Few amenities and job opportunities.
  • Why you should still consider it: Close to some of Hawaii’s largest and least visited white-sand beaches. Some unique shops and galleries in the village.

Kaunakakai (Central Molokai)

  • ZIP Code: 96748
  • 2-bedroom: $1502
  • 4- bedroom: $2152
  • Why it’s less expensive: Few amenities and job opportunities.
  • Why you should still consider it: Has a small business district, including legendary Kanemitsu’s Bakery.

Hoolehua (Northern Molokai)

  • ZIP Code: 96729
  • 2-bedroom: $1523
  • 4- bedroom: $2182
  • Why it’s less expensive: Few amenities and job opportunities.
  • Why you should still consider it: Close to Molokai Airport, convenient for commuting to neighbor islands.

Kualapuu (Northern Molokai)

  • ZIP Code: 96757
  • 2-bedroom: $1551
  • 4- bedroom: $2222
  • Why it’s less expensive: Few amenities and job opportunities.
  • Why you should still consider it: Home to a large coffee plantation, close to Kalaupapa National Historical Park.

Hana (East Maui)

  • ZIP Code: 96713
  • 2-bedroom: $1582
  • 4- bedroom: $2267
  • Why it’s less expensive: Isolated — famous/infamous 52-mile “Road To Hana” can take 2-4 hours to drive. Rainier and less sunny than leeward side of Maui.
  • Why you should still consider it: Lush, tropical gardens. Red- and black-sand beaches. “Old Hawaii” small-town charm.

Wailuku (Central Maui)

  • ZIP Code: 96793
  • 2-bedroom: $1600
  • 4- bedroom: $2293
  • Why it’s less expensive: Has been overshadowed by commercial and residential development in nearby Kahului.
  • Why you should still consider it: Rich history and culture. New England and Art Deco architecture. Good walking town.

Haiku (North Maui)

  • ZIP Code: 96708
  • 2-bedroom: $1620
  • 4- bedroom: $2321
  • Why it’s less expensive: Rustic, unincorporated town.
  • Why you should still consider it: Close to Hookipa Beach, a premier windsurfing spot. Friendly inhabitants seeking a simpler way of life.
Big Island, kailua kona, Hawaii United States

Cheapest places to live on Hawaii (Big Island)

Pahoa (Puna District, on windward coast)

  • ZIP Code: 96778
  • 2-bedroom: $1020
  • 4- bedroom: $1576
  • Why it’s less expensive: Rainier, less sunny than leeward (Kona) coast. Lava flow hazard zone 2.
  • Why you should still consider it: Lush, tropical setting. Cheapest area to live in the entire state of Hawaii.

Kurtistown (Puna District, on windward coast)

  • ZIP Code: 96760
  • 2-bedroom: $1034
  • 4- bedroom: $1598
  • Why it’s less expensive: Rainier, less sunny than leeward (Kona) coast.
  • Why you should still consider it: Lush, tropical setting. Easy driving distance to big-city amenities in Hilo.

Pahala (Kau District, on south coast)

  • ZIP Code: 96777
  • 2-bedroom: $1035
  • 4- bedroom: $1600
  • Why it’s less expensive: Very rural, remote.
  • Why you should still consider it: Peaceful and quiet. Nestled between Kau Forest Reserve and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Volcano (Kau District, on south coast)

  • ZIP Code: 96785
  • 2-bedroom: $1049
  • 4- bedroom: $1621
  • Why it’s less expensive: Very rural, remote.
  • Why you should still consider it: Nearby natural wonders: Kilauea Volcano, Thurston Lava Tube, Olaa Forest Reserve.

Laupahoehoe (Hamakua Coast, on northeastern side of island)

  • ZIP Code: 96764
  • 2-bedroom: $1073
  • 4- bedroom: $1657
  • Why it’s less expensive: Rainier, less sunny than leeward (Kona) coast.
  • Why you should still consider it: Lush, tropical setting. Easy driving distance to big-city amenities in Hilo.
Kauai Hawaii Sunset

Cheapest places to live on Kauai

Kaumakani (West Side of Kauai)

  • ZIP Code: 96747
  • 2-bedroom: $1207
  • 4- bedroom: $1649
  • Why it’s less expensive: Few amenities, mainly sugar plantations. Commute traffic to/from Lihue can be heavy.
  • Why you should still consider it: Cheapest place to live on Kauai. Quiet, peaceful. Easy driving distance to Waimea Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”

Hanapepe (West Side of Kauai)

  • ZIP Code: 96716
  • 2-bedroom: $1224
  • 4- bedroom: $1672
  • Why it’s less expensive: Commute traffic to/from Lihue can be heavy.
  • Why you should still consider it: Artist capital of Kauai, wtih an open-gallery night every Friday. Charming plantation-style buildings.

Eleele (West Side of Kauai)

  • ZIP Code: 96705
  • 2-bedroom: $1230
  • 4- bedroom: $1680
  • Why it’s less expensive: Commute traffic to/from Lihue can be heavy.
  • Why you should still consider it: Has its own small shopping center. Home to the largest coffee plantation in the U.S.

Waimea (West Side of Kauai)

  • ZIP Code: 96796
  • 2-bedroom: $1267
  • 4- bedroom: $1730
  • Why it’s less expensive: Commute traffic to/from Lihue can be heavy. Landscape is not as lush.
  • Why you should still consider it: Has two supermarkets, a variety of shops and businesses, and even some high-tech companies. Gateway to Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Park.

Kalaheo (West Side of Kauai)

  • ZIP Code: 96741
  • 2-bedroom: $1322
  • 4- bedroom: $1806
  • Why it’s less expensive: Commute traffic to/from Lihue can be heavy.
  • Why you should still consider it: Growing community with new housing subdivisions, a medical center, and a shopping plaza. Affordable local golf course.

Kapaa (East Side of Kauai)

  • ZIP Code: 96746
  • 2-bedroom: $1329
  • 4- bedroom: $1815
  • Why it’s less expensive: Local traffic can get heavy, especially during commute hours.
  • Why you should still consider it: Largest town on Kauai. Wide variety of shopping and dining options. Several beach parks nearby.

Lihue (Southeast Kauai)

  • ZIP Code: 96766
  • 2-bedroom: $1339
  • 4- bedroom: $1828
  • Why it’s less expensive: Local traffic can get heavy, especially during commute hours.
  • Why you should still consider it: Capital of Kauai. Home to several shopping centers, the island’s main airport, and a major ship harbor.

Making the move to Hawaii?

Hawaii is a highly desirable place to live and arguably one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Whilst it can be tricky to find the cheapest places to live in Hawaii, it is worth taking the time to go further afield than Waikiki when looking for a place to rent.

If you can deal with being further away from the city, living in the country, or having a longer commute to work, then you’ll be rewarded with lower rent. At the end of the day it’s about living your dream, and if you want to live in Hawaii maybe one of these places is right for you! Until next time. ~ Aloha

Hi! My name is Benjamin and I am the owner of How to Live in Hawaii! I love researching and writing about how to move, work, have fun, and live in Hawaii!

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