June 13, 2019 | Cassady Sirois Kruse

I’m A Millennial Realtor On Kauai. This Is What It’s Like.

I know I’m lucky. Kauai is without a doubt one of the most spectacular natural places on the planet. And being a Realtor here is such a sweet blend of beauty, excitement, and personal evolution. It’s a place where finding your own work/life balance is almost part of the local ethos. As a 29-year-old Realtor who was raised on Kauai, valuing and respecting the land, the people, and the culture is ingrained in who I am. As a Realtor, sharing this knowledge – this reverence for the ka honua, or environment, Kauai’s first peoples and time-honored customs—is very special to me, why I live it and love to share it in these values with my clients.
Idyllic as island life is, helping my fellow millennials here in Hawaii find homes has its challenges. The reports are everywhere: millennials across the U.S., aren’t buying homes in the same way our parents did. Many of us are burdened with huge college debt, and we value experiences over possessions, tiny houses over big first homes, and huge mortgages. Hawaii is no different. A 2018 WalletHub report concluded that Hawaii has the highest housing costs for millennials nationwide, and the second-lowest homeownership rates among millennials. (1) According to a GrassRoots Hawaii article, in the fiscal year 2017, the latest year for which the figures are available, the population of millennials in Hawaii decreased for the first time in almost a decade.
I personally could never leave Hawaii, and my mission is to help my fellow millennials here on Kauai find an affordable path to homeownership. I know it’s possible. I grew up in a real estate family, interning in my teens with my parents Hannah and Peter Sirois, of Sirois Kauai Heritage Portfolio. In my twenties, after graduating from Chapman University and working as a Sales Representative for Sherwin-Williams, I became a licensed Realtor. I am incredibly grateful to my parents for their mentorship and for instilling a strong work ethic in me. They’ve been in the business for over 30 years and closed over $1 billion in sales. With their help, I’m creating a new model for finding and building homes specifically for millennials here in Kauai. (More on this when I share my own homeownership journey in my next blog!)
Kauai is my place, my niche in the world. If I radiate authenticity, it’s because I know this island and how to share it in the most meaningful way possible, whether it’s with people I grew up with or newcomers. I know the neighborhoods, the shopkeepers, the best places to get juice, what trees are in season when, weather patterns, travel times, and schools. I’ve lived all of it.
To really understand what life is like as a Realtor in Kauai, you just need to look at my car. If you saw the back of my Toyota 4Runner you’d get the whole work/life balance thing in a single glance. I take my work very seriously, but when I’m not working, I am always prepared for an adventure at a moment’s notice. My 4Runner currently holds a towel, one surfboard, one boogie board, a pair of fins, a bikini, workout clothes, hiking shoes, a change of clothes, and a cooler with my lunch and snacks. My husband, Kepa, and I are both adventuresome spirits, and we live in an environment that presents endless opportunities -- I focus on staying strong by varying workouts such as biking, hiking, surfing, swimming, bodyboarding, tennis, yoga, and pilates. Beyond the adventures though, I always take time to revel in the lush beauty and intrinsic peace that seems to come with this ancient island. With every passing season, I feel more connected to Kauai, and more invested in its preservation for generations to come. I feel blessed to do what I love, sometimes they aren't extraordinary for first-time homebuyers so should we change this? I can’t wait to share more about life on Kauai with you in future blogs!

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