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Own a piece of paradise
The O'ahu housing cost is one of the highest in the nation, reflecting the island's shortage of available land. The price of homes is a direct result of supply and demand. Hawaii homes are generally smaller than homes in the continental U.S. and are designed for a different style of living.
Fee Simple vs. Leasehold
There are two types of land ownership in Hawaii, and these apply to both single family homes and condominiums: fee simple and leasehold.
Leasehold property belongs to a fee simple landowner who enters into a ground lease with a lessee. If you are the buyer of residential leasehold property, you cannot own the land, and your use of the land is limited to the remaining years covered by the lease.
However, should the land revert to the landowner at the end of the lease with no opportunity for you to purchase the owner's fee interest and convert to fee simple, you'll be house-hunting all over again.
(Provided by Living in Paradise-A Newcomer's Guide To Hawaii 2005-2006/Real Estate)