Finally Bought My Beachfront Dream House! Here’s How It Went Down

Well folks, I decided to take my revenge spending seriously and buy myself a beachfront dream house. I was going to wait until my family moved to Hawaii before making the splurge. But after such a rough 12+ months, I asked myself, why wait? I'm not getting any younger!

Ever since I landed my first job post-college in 1999, I've been diligently saving and investing most of my money. Despite a couple of downturns over the past 22 years, overall returns have been solid.

When it came to renting or owning, I always spent the least amount possible on my housing expense because I was working so much. For example, the first apartment my roommate and I rented was a studio at 45 Wall Street. For privacy, we just used a $20 paper room divider between us.

When I bought my first property in 2003, I spent half my budget on a two-bedroom condo instead of a much larger three-bedroom condo or a single family house. In retrospect, I wish I went all-in back then.

After being frugal for so long, I decided I would buy a dream house if one ever popped up. And amazingly, one did!

How I Found My Beachfront Dream House

One of my hobbies during the pandemic has been looking for dream homes on Zillow and Redfin. If you're interested, I wrote about several helpful real estate buying strategies during a global pandemic to help you land your ideal property.

Despite some very undependable estimates, it was always fun to check out homes to escape the lockdown nightmare. I have a couple e-mail digests that automatically send me homes for sale based on select criteria. When one popped up right on the beach in May 2020 I knew I had to have it.

The only problem was that it was $2 million out of my budget! No matter how much more I worked online, there was no way I could come up with that much more money in a reasonable amount of time. Therefore, I shelved this dream house in the back of my mind and kept looking.

Three months passed and there were no offers. Six months passed and there were still no offer. Therefore, I asked my agent to send out a feeler to see if the seller was willing to accept $2 million below ask. The selling agent said maybe, but not yet. So I waited some more.

Then, in early February 2021, 10 months after first listing the property, the selling agent contacted my agent. She said the seller was willing to sell for $1 million below its original asking. By this time, I had waited so long that I decided to hold firm on my $2 million below asking offer.

A week later, the sellers acquiesced and agreed to come down to my price! I hopped on a flight two days later to see my new baby in person. It was everything I had imagined and more! Much earlier, my agent had given me an hour video tour only.

Because the ultra-luxury home market is not hot in Oahu (only homes sub $1.5 million are), I decided to have an inspection contingency. The contract was also for a 35-day close, which gave me time to sell some of my beloved growth stocks to come up with the 50% downpayment.

Sorry, but I feel embarrassed to reveal the final sales price. Also, since only one other home sold in this price range this year, it would reveal the address if anybody searched. I just know I got a decent deal.

Size Requirement For My Beachfront Dream House

As a family man now, I require my dream house to have at least five or six bedrooms and four bathrooms over at least 6,000 sqft of interior living space. It sounds like an unnecessary mega-mansion, but hear me out.

My wife and I would each have our own bedrooms until our daughter starts sleeping soundly at night. This could take up to three years based on our son's sleeping history. Our daughter would have her own room. Our son would have his own room. That makes four bedrooms.

Then our au pair would have one room with an en suite bathroom and her own kitchenette. Finally, we'd ideally like two more bedrooms to be used as offices and/or guest bedrooms. As a writer, I really need my own quiet space to think that's separate from my bedroom. Therefore, a total of seven bedrooms would be ideal.

Amazingly, the dream house we found has seven bedrooms with a carriage house and pool! Further, the dream house is right on the beach. I've always wanted to be able to go to bed with my windows open and listen to the soft waves crashing on shore. If you've ever debated between beachfront or ocean view property, both are great. But waking up to the sounds of the waves is priceless.

Some Pics Of Our Beachfront Dream House

Obviously, I can't give away the address of my dream house for privacy reasons. However, I will share some pictures. Because there is a gate and the lot is very deep, you can't tell what the house looks like from the front.

Below is our living / kitchen area that faces the pool and the ocean. Having an open floor plan is important so we can more easily keep an eye on our kids.

dream house living kitchen area

Here is our pool, which is sheltered on the west side by a small hill with foliage. When you're lounging by the pool you will hear the palm trees continuously rustle in the wind. It is so relaxing!

dream house pool

Here's our lawn, where I plan to play chase and soccer with our kids. If it's not too gusty, we will also play badminton.

At the end of the day, the value of a property is mostly in the land. Having an acre of flat land to run around on is really special, especially if we plan to homeschool.

Dream house lawn

Below is the view from our upper deck. The deck is not as big as we'd like, but it still offers outdoor space for the main bedroom. You can see Koko Head in the distance.

Dream house view

Below is a view from the main bedroom on the ground floor that opens up to the lawn.

Bedroom at dream home

Here is the aerial view of the home. The lot is deep, which provides a lot of privacy from the neighbors. You can't hear a single car on the street either. I plan to befriend my neighborhood with a tennis court.

Aerial view of mega-mansion dream home

Finally, here's another picture of the house from the pool.

Picture of beachfront house

The pictures don't do the house justice. Then again, the house is not that fancy either at about 7,000 square feet. It was remodeled with permits nine years ago and the windows were changed within the past five years. I may need to spend about $50,000 changing the roof in the next 10 years though.

What we really love about the home is the location. The privacy is wonderful and you can't beat walking directly to the ocean from our backyard. However, because the home is beachfront, the city does require homeowners to get flood insurance.

But surprisingly, flood insurance is relatively affordable for a home this size at $10,000 a year. I thought it would cost closer to $25,000 a year with a much higher deductible.

Always Live The Dream If You Can

It's odd to spend so much money on a home. However, at 43 years old, I feel it's time to live it up to the maximum for the second half of my life. The global pandemic has really been a catalyst to change my frugal ways.

Like many of you, I've worked incredibly hard over the decades. I've also taken a lot of risk by leaving my career early to focus on Financial Samurai. Publishing 3X a week since 2009 to help folks achieve financial freedom sooner is not easy!

When stocks were getting blitzed in March 2020, I bought hand over fist. Therefore, I don't feel guilty splurging so much on a dream house. We plan to live in the house for the rest of our lives.

There's no point accumulating a lot of money if you don't spend it on a better life. When it was just myself, the return on a dollar spent didn't go very far. By now that I have a family, each dollar spent provides at least 4X more usefulness.

My parents and relatives can come visit and enjoy the home. Further, I might host a Financial Samurai reader retreat at the home one day too when things are safe to gather again.

If you want to one day buy a dream home, take bigger risks when you are younger. Most of the time, your gambles won't pay off. But when they do, they can pay off huge!

Once you've got the money, do your best to convert some of it into something you and your family can enjoy. For me, a beachfront dream house is just the thing.

What's It Like To Live In A $18 Million Mega-Mansion (my experience staying at a friend's fat pad for a week)

Your Forever Home Likely Won't Be Forever

The Problem With Owning Beachfront Property

Producing A New Netflix Show: Love Is Money!

Readers, do you own a dream house? If so, when did you buy it? Do you enjoy living it up? What are some other things you've spent money on with your fortune? Happy April 1st, where some of us have more fun than others. Never stop dreaming! Now get back to work so you can go get that raise and promotion.

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150 thoughts on “Finally Bought My Beachfront Dream House! Here’s How It Went Down”

  1. Hey Sam ,
    Thanks for publishing buy this not that , for an 18 year old reader such as myself it has been very useful. I was wondering if you could break down the process of how you financed this luxury residence of if you chose to pay cash instead

  2. Yohann Jacob

    Sam, you had me! I even thought the commentators were being jealous of your good fortune. The 2 mil under was a red flag, lol. Cheers brotha!

  3. Good one. :p It’s a joke y’all. Do a reverse image search on one of the pics and you’ll see it’s a rental property. And a quick Google search for real estate sales in that county shows the property isn’t listed for sale or recently sold. 5-mins of research, case closed.

    1. I fell for it! I did the same reverse search out of interest and sent Sam an urgent email before realising. Doh!

  4. Frugal bazooka

    4/1/21 = no dream house
    Unless u realize that it is and continues to remain in the dream world where anything is possible…just not that house in Hawaii lol

    1. $2M below list price! I immediately checked the date of the post: April 1.

      I’d love it though if Sam did follow up with the actual listing and cost of maintenance for a home of this size. That way I can make an offer of my own. ;)

  5. ..ah, dakine on Diamond Head (happens to be my Zoom background). If you really bought it, I expect you to throw a party for all your followers. Glad to fly over to attend.

  6. When I first saw the pictures, I thought this house was shown on one of the 5-0 series, haha.
    Aloha Samuel

  7. Nice, quite convincing, lol… I’ve been browsing houses on Oahu to retire to, and happened to see that exact house. Can’t afford that one, but, looked at it!

  8. Congrats Sam! This is a really nice house. I am curious how much does that add to your yearly expense per year and how do you account for the expense in your retirement numbers? You must have calculated the SWR and did the math. Some of your thoughts on the ongoing financing aspects would be very helpful for us to upgrade our primary residence when we are FIRE. Perhaps content for another post!

  9. How can anyone think this is an April Fool’s joke? Don’t you remember the post when Sam advocated for spending 50x your annual income on luxury homes? This is totally in keeping with his philosophy ;)

  10. And a happy April’s Fools to you as well Financial Samurai!

    Now, let me tell you about the steal I got on that Italian Villa in Tuscany….

  11. As a long time reader, I am shocked by other “long time readers” who aren’t realizing this is an April’s fools post

  12. Sam,

    Beautiful house. I’m not doubting you bought it, but I hope those are not the actual pictures and you bought a totally different house and price range that you listed, etc..As a stealth wealth person you gave away to many hints w/city, w/pictures, w/price range, sq footage, bedrooms, bathrooms and pictures. It’s all public records on the public sites. Those sites show what real estate has closed up to 2 years back in time, w/the address. Be careful! Enjoy the house. Delete the info of particulars of your house on your article or don’t post this.

  13. No one knows if you bought it. Sometimes u write your readers don’t appreciate your hard work. When I read the comments, it is clear we do. If the comments are real, you should be proud. You bought a home none of us own and everyone is happy for you. No one wrote “bad stuff.”
    All of us will be mad if this is a joke. We support you and then you write “just kidding.”
    If u bought it, CONGRATULATIONS
    When my wife was 45, she told me she is pregnant. That wasn’t funny.

  14. That was such a fun read, especially knowing your connection to Hawaii and your parents. When you write about parenting (which i enjoy reading), it was often at the tip of my tongue to say, Raise your kids in Hawaii!!! After living in multiple cosmopolitan cities, we’ve come to really appreciate the Live Aloha spirit that Hawaiians try to keep alive. Probably one of the best decisions we made for our kids and ourselves. Congratulations!

  15. Knowing how frugal Sam is and his mantra is
    “Buy Utility, Rent Luxury”, this is an April’s Fool joke. It’s a good one, though.

  16. Sam, this is fantastic! Am sending you a tennis court Rol-Dri squeege as a housewarming gift, please watch for it. When I get to the islands, I will bring a new can of Penn balls and not the Costco kind. Hopefully, garage space for more than one car. Also, congrats on getting your wife to use the term ‘amazeballs’, am betting you two have a lot of fun all the time.;-)

  17. Yes it is an april fool joke…..if you do google reverse search by making a link to one of the images Sam showed, you will find this house in Kahali and rents for $125k/month.

    But great article anyway, and good to dream….even if on April 1:)

  18. Probably an April Fool’s joke. If it isn’t, congrats. Hope to one day live there. Hawaii is an amazing place with amazing people.

  19. I’ve always wanted to live in a house that’s listed as a rental for $75k per month. I’d totally offer to be your concierge pediatrician available at all hours for free if I could live in your carriage house… It hasn’t been listed for sale that I can tell in some time, so I guess I’ll have to dream. The Kahala area is pretty amazing.

  20. This house is absolutely stunning and looks very expensive! I wouldn’t feel comfortable to buy it unless my networth is over $30m!

    Sam has to be a wealthy man to afford such an expensive home!


  21. Hahaha…I think this is indeed a dream that would come true on April fool’s day!


  22. That is really impressive Sam, and the fact you can live your dream at the young age in your mid 40’s is incredible! Hope this is not an April fool joke as others said….I was really curious, and did some quick digging on zillow and it appears homes of that size on the beachfront range from $6.5 to $15 million……so if you got $2 million off that is a seriously great deal!

  23. Congrats, Sam. I’ve been passively looking on Oahu as well, although I’ve been confining myself to $1.6m-ish prices. Perhaps I should be aiming higher!

  24. I really hope this isn’t an April Fools joke, but I am guessing it is.

    Either way this was extremely well written!



  25. On one hand wish this is true for you Sam but with all the frugality talk (until today) and then you saying 6000sq feet is not enough, this smells like April’s Fools joke.

    Amazing house – would signup for the Samurai reader retreat right away!

  26. Sam, I’m seriously worried for you. Every post I read the parenting stuff you talk about makes me cringe.

    Clearly you guys are helicopter parents which hey if that works for you great, do what you think is best but two kids and it is 3 years before they sleep soundly through the night is absolutely insane. I’m sure the kids will be fine in the long run (kids are very resilient) but you guys must be going nuts just staring at them all night, listening to each breath (you haven’t given too much context). Let these kids figure it out. Kids make noise and move around at night, just like adults. I have three and all were sleeping soundly through the night by 5-6 months. I know lots of families and kids who aren’t great sleepers but usually it has something to do with the parents letting the kids into bed with them or some other sort of intervention on the parents part. Everyone is different but 3 years to sleep through the night is not sustainable by anyone. I should know better than to call someone out about parenting or to tell them what to do or not do but sounds like you’re wrapping your kids in bubble wrap so that they can never experience a fall or adversity which does not bode well for their independence in the future. Sort that out mate, seriously.

    Love the house though, can’t knock your hustle or results on the financial side of things.

  27. Not sure if you are april fooling us or not.. I lived in Hawaii in Kailua when the kids were younger for 7years.. biggest mistake I ever made was selling my home and moving to the mainland for better career opportunity.. hope to get back when I’m older .. glad to k ow I will k ow someone with beachfront property and a pool!

  28. Congratulations Sam!

    Bad timing to publish the post on April 1st because at one point I thought this was an April fools joke. Hope it is not since everything in the post wasn’t outrageous and definitely with the realm of possibility for you.

    Anyway gorgeous property. I know you always wanted to go back to Hawaii so kudos on achieving it

  29. Dunning freaking kruger


    Au pair? That ain’t happening in Dogen home.

    Separate sleeping areas ? Nope.

    7 bedrooms? Waste of space. Sam would buy a home that would exactly fit the family needs.

    Maybe they are leasing a G wagon too!

  30. Dunning freaking kruger

    No way Mr Dogen plans for an au pair. Nor would he buy a house with 7 rooms. He doesn’t
    Like wasted space.

  31. Congratulations! Keep us up to date on if it’s everything you hoped for after living in it for a while. I bet it will be!

  32. Congratulations Sam!

    You have to be the most successful FIRE blogger with huge networth to afford such a luxury home!

    Well done!

  33. BellowsBeach

    Ha ha! April fools! I am here visiting Oahu now as I write this and that would be a dream come true!

  34. Rich Akiona Williams

    Aloha Sam. Both myself and my wife are Honolulu natives. We moved to the SF area about
    35 years ago. Completed our career jobs and live off generous retirement plans. Just one look at the first photo —I know where your dream home is. Hope you enjoy golfing.

    Aloha mai o’e!

  35. Refugee from Academia

    When I saw the first picture, I said to myself, “It looks like the house from Honeymoon in Vegas.” Anyway, it looks great and I am happy for you. I knew it was just a matter of time before you bought a house in the same state as your parents. I know your kids are going to love it!

  36. I hope is not an April fools joke, congratulations enjoy it, the purchase price isn’t what I will worry about, the yearly taxes, insurance, maintenance and lifestyle inflation. Best of luck

    1. Christine Minasian

      I thought the same thing! Is it an April Fool’s joke?!?! But Sam has worked really hard and has wanted a home in Hawaii for SO long! Life is short….do it!!!!


    “There’s no point accumulating a lot of money if you don’t spend it on a better life. When it was just myself, the return on a dollar spent didn’t go very far. By now that I have a family, each dollar spent provides at least 4X more usefulness.”


  38. You surprised us all before on April Fools Day several years ago with the announcement of a large luxury SUV purchase, that was not true, so I’m reserving judgement. If it’s true. Great!

  39. Congratulations Sam! I too took your advice and decided to buy Lanai. Larry was really easy to work with.

  40. Hmmm is this an April fools joke? To have a seller sell $2 million below asking? People are not even selling their parking spots $2 below asking.

    1. Absolutely this is a joke. It’s easy to locate on the map given the pics posted. Its a $9M home according to zillow that hasn’t been sold, but rented for $85K/mo in Nov 2020.

  41. I am just so so happy for you! This whole post had me smiling the entire time I was reading. The key is the change in your money mindset, from “I’m worried I don’t or won’t have enough” to “I deserve this and can afford it and why not?” That change of thinking can operate on so many levels, from the very big – like yours – to the very small, like the decision I just made to spend money hiring someone to do things I could do myself. Buying such a house could be a symbol of recklessness for some, or symbol of freedom for others. Thanks for setting such a good example! I love reading FS!

  42. Wow!! Congratulations!! The extra space will be necessary if you have the grandparents for extended stays-as we have during the pandemic!! I was considering a second,luxury home in a Florida resort community where we like to visit-but the crazy high prices scared me off!! But I would not plan to sell-just keep it and enjoy it-have it as a future retirement home…

  43. Michael Lee

    This is amazing! It is quite luxurious, but we all know Sam deserves it and most importantly can afford it.

    Regarding the price reveal, you might as well spill the beans :). Maybe for a later article to break down the numbers in terms of upfront and expected on-going costs. A property like this will be perfect for future family gatherings and as something to pass down to the future Samurais (generational asset).

  44. jordan woods

    Been a subscriber for a long time now, love everything, learned a ton, shared a ton with family and friends alike. Anyhow – congratulations, on the deal, and the acquisition. Been a long time coming and I am very excited for you and your family! Buy utility, rent Hawaii!

    1. jordan woods

      Wow – turns out that last part – I misunderstood on the first read through – dont post lol

  45. WoW, great to see you making your dreams come true for you and your family. May you have much happiness in your new dream home.

  46. Congratulations Sam!

    I recently sold a home here (Amelia Island, FL) so the Sellers could MOVE BACK to Oahu!

    I have only been there once (years ago to give a presentation at US Tennis Association Annual Meeting, Turtle Bay Hilton).

    Need to take your advice on a $ splurge (“revenge spending”).

    Great Job with Financial Samurai!


    John Raker
    PTR International Master Tennis Professional
    Sotheby’s Realtor, Amelia Island, FL

  47. Congratulations! I have been a reader for about a year and have learned some things. Maybe it was my additional page hits that pushed you over the edge :-)

  48. Wowee, what a find! Congrats, Sam! Long time reader here as well and an investor in real estate. I (of course) was curious and looked up the property — I’m fairly frugal myself and am very curious how you justified the purchase and how much of your total portfolio you felt comfortable putting into such a home. We are in the SF bay area, looking for a larger property for our family of 5, wrestling with how much we’re willing to shoulder financially to have something that really love.

  49. Sam. Long time follower and first time poster. I too live in the Bay Area (Mountain View). Our kids are 4 and 17 month. I hope this post is true bc you have worked so hard for this but it goes against your Moto. “Buy frugal and rent luxury”. Or something like that. I think this might be an April fools joke.

  50. Nicely done Sam, the house is beautiful, you’ve made a wonderful decision for your whole family!! We’re in the process of buying a boat to live aboard with our family and travel for a few years, we decided to cash in some of the fruits of our frugal labor, you only live once!!!

  51. aww and i was happy for you!
    happy 1 of april!
    and no i am not interested in going back to work.

  52. Congratulations and good decision! What’s the point of building wealth if you cant enjoy it. Beautiful house, enjoy it!

  53. is this serious? i mean it’s april fools day. remember a couple of years ago you posted that you were done with the site and everyone called you out because it was april fools?

  54. Congrats Sam, starting reading your blogs recently but certainly been learning a lot from your experiences. Thanks and don’t retire yet ! :)

  55. April fools?? I was really excited for you, but the post started to seem out of step with your normal writing, then I remembered you have a history of doing April Fools posts :).

  56. You had me, until I started seeing the pictures. Too bad, you should have just done it, since it looks AMAZING…. haha

  57. Gorgeous house! Way to go, Sam! I have been a vivid reader of your posts and advices. All the best to you and your family!!


  58. April Fools?

    I wonder if it’d be a hassle to have a house that big because I’d need an endless supply of landscapers, maintenance people, and other strangers around to keep up.

  59. Sam, long time follower and first time post! This post resonates a lot with my wife and I’s current situation. Looking back, would you have taken the risk of purchasing a beachfront property earlier in your life pre-kids if able? We have built up a pretty large residential portfolio and we have one loan left that we have saved for either a “beach home” or large primary residence both of which aren’t entirely necessary at this point in our lives. Plan would be to use rent it out while we are out of town and enjoy it for a few weeks of the year. While it isn’t 100% necessary at this time, and the money could be spent more wisely elsewhere, why not go big while we are young and capable? Do you feel as though second homes should be saved for when you have kids and are older and/or do you ever regret not purchasing something this beautiful earlier in your growth period? Thank you again for everything you do, this site has been a source of guidance and provided more financial direction then you can imagine!

  60. Fantastic! Much happiness to you and your family. I am sure many great memories will be made there. You’ve certainly earned it.

  61. Wow! Congrats Sam. As a longtime reader, this makes me very happy for you and your family! Enjoy!


  62. Had me until I got to “As a family man now, I require my dream house to have at least six bedrooms and five bathrooms over at least 6,000 sqft of interior living space.”

    Then I looked at the calendar…

  63. I was waiting for the April Fools! Good for you. We need to live. If 2020 didn’t teach us that, nothing will…

  64. michele pagliaro

    Wondeful place to live !!! Best wishes for your new home!!!
    I’m perfecly according to you the house is the best investment for enjoying life!!!

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