Drawbacks: Conflict among development, environmental, and indigenous Hawaiian interests affects housing options, local politics, and, sometimes, friendships. Mauis few roads mean traffic tie-ups are common. With the decline of once-thriving sugar and pineapple industries, job-changers will find little outside of service work that supports tourism. Starry-eyed vacationers often move here without enough research; 79 percent leave within 16 months, according to the chamber of commerce.
Housing Options: Five regions dominate, with contrasting climates and ways of life: West Maui, South Maui, Central Maui, Upcountry, and East Maui. Newcomers may want to rent in two or three locations to check out the best fit. Your Next-door Neighbors: In the traditional Hawaiian way, three generations of family may occupy a single house.
Home design stores Living side by side may be a retired heart surgeon from the mainland, a deli shop owner, a travel guide, a waiter, and a windsurfing-equipment heir. Many artists, designers, writers, and, increasingly, technology wizards work from their homes.