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“We are originally from Texas but we lived in Lahaina for eight wonderful years. We had all three of our children on Maui and still run a business there.

“With the birth of our twins in January 2017, we needed more space. My husband is a veteran, and even with a VA loan we could not find a home — not even a condo — without having $150,000 to $300,000 in the bank. The VA loan would only cover up to $674,000, and there was just nothing in Lahaina. My business is there, my in-laws are there. If we purchased on the other side of Maui, we figured it would be just as easy to move back to Texas; the drive into and out of Lahaina was just something we were not willing to do.

“We were in a three-bed, two-bath 1,000-square-foot home and paid over $3,000 a month, and that was cheap! We loved where we lived, but just needed more space with the kids. When we moved to Lahaina in 2010, we had found places to rent and had choices. In 2013 we moved into a house that we shared (we had the upstairs, the landlord downstairs). It was about two years after that that we noticed super high rental rates and almost no places to even look at anymore. It was sad to see three and four generations living in a single tiny home because no one could afford to live on their own.

“We love Hawaii. We miss it everyday. Our 6-year-old misses it more than anything. We are saving up. We are trying to get back. It won’t be to Maui, though. It looks like Kona is where we will land. Rent and homes there seem much more affordable.”

Brandie Henderson
Tyler, Texas