How Lava Zones Play Into Your Real Estate Buying Decisions On The Big Island

Moving is always an exciting time. New house, new location, new things to learn, new things to experience.

Yet even when you know the move is “the right move” and you’re excited about the new opportunity, there’s always one or two things that leave you a little apprehensive about the process, especially if the move is taking you far from home, and to a place in the world you’ve never been before.

Harsh winters in New England, tornadoes across the Midwest, and the San Andreas fault in California can all be of concern to someone that has never lived with the threat near by. Yet for most of the people that live in these regions, they would tell you they barely give thought to the daily impact these “natural occurrences” have on their lives.

While Hawaii may be paradise almost every day of the year, it too has its own source of concern to people that have never lived on the Big Island before: volcanoes. And what comes with a volcano is the threat of lava flow, all of which can impact your home in a big way if you make the wrong choice on where to live.

When people come to the Big Island for a vacation, one of their top “must do” items on their list includes seeing the lava flow up close and personal. There are hikes, classes, cultural programs, and many other events that revolve around the uniqueness of being up close and personal with a volcano. But there’s something a little more stressful about living day to day life, and having your home in the path of lava flow that can bubble up the fear just a little, right?

Let me ask you a question. Do Midwesterners avoid their homes because of a potential tornado? Do Floridians avoid the beach because of the threat of a hurricane? Nope. They simply learn to live with the potential threat, and find the best ways to put themselves in the least amount of risk as possible.

Here on the Big Island, we do the same.

The island of Hawaii has developed a Lava Hazard Zone Map that showcases the threat of potential lava flow, and provides an adequate guess as to the locations with the highest levels of potential danger. While no one can completely predict future events, based on past performance, scientists can make a reasonable guess as to the likelihood of things that may occur.

If investing in real estate here on the Big Island is at the top of your list, spend a little time getting comfortable with the concept of living on a volcano. As you are visiting the Big Island and getting to know the neighborhoods and the community, spend some time getting to know the volcanoes better as well.

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has a wealth of information on how volcanoes helped form the world we live in today, and how they still direct our pathway now and as we move forward into the future. If you live with them, the more you understand them, the more comfortable you will be as you spend your days with them.


The United States Geological Survey provides a map of the Big Island broken down into hazard zones with their potential impact. Hazard zones from lava flows are based on the location and frequency from both prehistoric and historic eruptions. The hazard zones are based on records and data collected from the early 1800s, and the knowledge built around what geology mapping shows has happened prior to when record keeping began.

Rest assured, when you find your perfect neighborhood, you’ll know that every precaution has been thought about and taken before the first piece of lumber was put into place. What makes the Big Island full of mystery and intrigue will also provide you with a home that is temperate all year long, and offers you beauty and serenity unmatched by any other location in the world.

If the Big Island is soon to be your home, get ready to experience one of the best places on earth to live. And the volcano – that simply is an added bonus that will become just another part of your life very soon.

Annette Mejia, Realtor Broker
Annette Mejia, Realtor Broker

"Everything Annette did for me was from the heart"

As someone that has spent her whole life feeling lucky to work with people in customer service, I vowed then and there to help people like you and me have the experience they deserved when moving to The Big Island. Because let’s face it, this should be the start of the happiest, proudest, and most peaceful period in your life!

For 15 years I have been helping people make the most out of life and real estate on The Big Island and I would be honored to do that for you too. I look forward to meeting you!

Warmest Aloha,
Annette Mejia

Live On The Big Island