Sam & Jessica is a romance adventure novel and work of fiction that takes place here on the big island of Hawaii. Currently the story is in the outline process. I'll be blogging about it here and at Sam & Jessica Facebook page. Please visit its FB page and "like" so you can keep up-to-date of when the book will be released. Mahalo.

Moving To Hawaii

Moving To Hawaii

Here’s some things you should know if you’re thinking about moving to Hawaii. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition the average rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,509 per month in the state of Hawaii. – This was true in 2009-2010, now in 2012 I don’t think so. Yes, living the Hawaii life is expensive

Based on what I read in the local paper about real estate in Hawaii, rents have dropped some. Not a huge amount, but not the gouging that was going on previously around 05 & 06.

This is an average of the whole state which includes Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Kauai, and the island of Hawaii. To be able to afford that much rent you need to be making about $30 per hour or $60K per year.

Which island should you move to?

It depends on which island you might prefer. Each has it’s own flavor so to speak. Oahu is called the gathering place. They got that right, there’s about 1.2 million of them “gathered” over there. If you like the big city, then you may want to consider moving there if you want the metropolitan Hawaii life.

Oahu kind of reminds me of L.A. with water around it, but it’s a whole lot safer. Besides all the amenities of a big city, Oahu does have some very cool things about it which would make it a nice place to move to, but it is some of most expensive real estate in Hawaii.

Even though the average 2 bedroom rent is $1509 for the whole state you could probably find a pretty cheap apartment down in Waikiki for a lot less than $1500 per month.

Then There Is The Garden Isle

Kauai is small and similar to Kona in someways, but has some of the best beaches in Hawaii. Back in 2009 when the vog was really bad, I was looking at possibly moving there.

It’s really pretty. It’s also really expensive. If I was a serious surfer I’d probably live here because of the great surfing. This is living the Hawaii life style at a very laid back pace.

Maui

Has some great beaches like Kauai. But it also has too many people for my taste and it helps to be rich as it’s probably the most expensive real estate in Hawaii, of all the islands to live on.

The Island of Hawaii

The big island is more rural compared to the other islands. And more affordable if you’re moving to Hawaii on a budget.

The further away you get from Oahu the further you get from civilization in some ways. It is the major hub of all the islands.

But if you’re looking for a more laid back way of life by moving to Hawaii, then one of the outer islands is probably the way to go. Read this blog post about living the Kona lifestyle. This is where the best bang for the buck is when it comes to real estate in Hawaii.

Below I’ll share tips for moving to Hawaii. How to ship a car to Hawaii. And other tid bits about living on the island that are important to know about. Like:

Moving to Hawaii

Should you ship your vehicles? Or buy them here?

If you have a truck. I’d consider shipping it to Hawaii because trucks sell for a premium here. If you have an average no frills car. I’d sell it and buy one when you get here. Matson, Pasha and Horizon all ship vehicles from the west coast. Just visit my moving resource page for more info. The cost is around a $1000 for the average vehicle.

Pasha only ships vehicles, Matson ships everything. Horizon I’m not sure about.

And while we are talking about vehicles, if you decide to ship yours, it better be something that is popular here on the island. Why? Because let’s say you own a Ranger Rover, all of the sudden you’ve just been limited to about one shop that works on them here. And forget buying parts for it locally.

But let’s say you’re a Toyota, Nissan, Chevy, Ford, Dodge car or truck owner. No problem. Everybody has parts for those and there is a lot of different shops here that repair it for you.

If you just have to bring your yuppy mobile with you, go ahead, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Shipping Household Stuff

If I was moving to Hawaii again, I’d sell all my stuff on the mainland before moving and just show up with clothes and a tooth brush ready to start my new Hawaii life.

Nice used stuff is cheap to buy here from folks moving back to the mainland. Such as cars furniture and other household items.

There are lots of furnished vacation rentals here that rent for almost the same as unfurnished places so you really don’t need to even buy furniture if you don’t want to. Now that I think about it, it’s a great way to move here short term to see if you even like it.

Matson will rent you various sizes of containers to ship yourstuff to Hawaii if you just can’t part with it.  Listen to the moving to Hawaii podcast episode where I talk more about this. 

Pets

In the old days moving a pet to Hawaii required quarantine of the animal for 90 days. And the reason for this is Hawaii is rabies free and the state would like to keep it that way. The state has since removed the requirement for the quarantine if you jump through the hoops correctly. This means if you do the paper work properly you can bring your pet home with you straight from the airport on arrival.

  •  Here are some of the requirements.
  •  Your dog will require 2 rabies shots 90 days apart and you can’t ship fido here till after 90 days has passed since the last rabies shot.
  • Dogs and cats will require micro chips
  • OIE-FAVN rabies blood test.

After the OIE-FAVN blood test you have to wait 120 days before moving your pet to Hawaii if you don’t want to have them in 90 day quarantine after they arrive here. All the rules and forms are available from the state website for complete animal info.

If the paperwork doesn’t scare you that the state requires, you can handle it yourself. But if you would rather turn it over to an expert, you might try this pet relocation service to Hawaii if you don’t want to deal with the paperwork.

Jobs In Hawaii

If you’re thinking about moving to Hawaii and then finding a job. You need to make $50K per year minimum to afford to live here. If you want to eat too that is.

You can live here on less, people do. But when I say 50K, I’m talking living comfortably.

Moving To Hawaii Update Sept. 2012

The job market on the big island seems to have turned the corner in a good kind of way. There are a lot of jobs listed in the local Sunday paper compared to a year ago.

There is a new website with local job listings and more. If I was looking for a job I’d definitely bookmark their site. Hawaiijobengine.com

I still think starting your own business here is the best strategy if you want to live here long term. Or figure out a way to telecommute to your current job on the mainland. It’s not uncommon for people to hold 2 or 3 jobs here just to make ends meet.

I never said this was easy. As a matter of fact I work harder here than I ever did living on the mainland. The price to stay warm… Above I said you should think about starting your own business, just know that Hawaii requires all employers to provide health insurance for all employees that work over 20 hours per week.

Food

Buying fruit at the local grocery store the first time will be a shocking experience. A bag of grapes, some bananas and a couple of nectarines is almost $20. Shopping for food here is not for the faint of heart.

If you shop at Costco you can save a lot of money on your grocery bills. Another tip is if you shop at Safeway or Sack and Save make sure to join their customer discount programs. You’ll save a lot of money.

If you don’t have your Makai or Safeway card when you go shopping… you’ll pay the tourist rates. Ouch!

The good news is eating out seems to be about the same as most places in California. Go to Costco here and buy their rotisserie chicken. You can’t buy it at the grocery store and cook it yourself for less money.

Housing Costs

You can rent a nice 2 bedroom condo for around $1000 per month give or take $100. Houses rent starting around $1000 and go as high as you care to spend. For something nice you’ll probably pay around $1600 per month. The upside is property taxes are cheap compared to Ca. for example.  Check Craigslist for current rental prices in Hawaii for the current rates. I’m sure they’re higher than the numbers I used when I originally wrote this article in 2009. 

Schools

If you have children that you can’t afford to put in private school, you might reconsider moving here. The schools here are severely underfunded and right now have the least teaching days annually than any other state in the country.

Medical Care

A lot of doctors have been run out of Hawaii due to the high cost of liability insurance and the low reimbursement from health insurance companies. It’s pretty much a revolving door of specialists moving to Hawaii for a year or two and then moving back to the mainland. Doctors don’t like being poor. I don’t blame them. I don’t care for it either. If you’re seriously injured here, you need to be able to live long enough to be flown to Honolulu as our local hospital is only equipped to stabilize you enough to move you to another hospital on Oahu that has the equipment and expertise to save your life. Remember hearing about Kelsey Grammer having a heart attack here in Kona in 2009? The Kona hospital stabilized him and then he was flown to Honolulu.

Living On An Island

You’ve moved to Hawaii, now what? Some people get totally into the Hawaii life style and adjust well and live happily ever after. And… Some folks get “rock fever” after moving here and have to move back to where they came from. I just take a trip to the mainland for a week and that usually fixes me for 6 to 8 months. It’s good to travel right?

For some people the culture shock of moving to the aloha state is just too much for them and they move back to the mainland. For others, it’s like they’ve found the place they’ve been searching for their whole life.

One of the things I’ve noticed living in perpetual summer is that time passes very fast and there are no markers of the seasons to associate events passing in your life.  Actually there is, but they are so subtle that it takes years before you recognize them.

If you’re still reading at this point you’re probably starting to see that living in paradise does have it’s challenges.

As I write this on an early February morning it’s about 72 degrees with a light balmy breeze. I will say that moving to Hawaii was probably the best thing I ever did. I don’t regret it for a minute.  Mark Twain said something to the effect that Hawaii is great for resting your weary bones… I’d happily agree. If you’re thinking about investing in real estate in Hawaii, I don’t think you can go wrong.

Call Julie Edens For The Latest Kona Real Estate Information

Julie works for the super cool Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers. They’re the same folks that have the cool TV show.

julieedenshawaiilife

Comments

  1. Are there programs like section 8 vouchers …which is an assited living program provided on the mainland there. I have a voucher I hold currently and was wondering does any place on the island accept this for housing cost payments.

  2. Hello Joe!
    I am looking at my long term goals and I am starting to plan how I can move to Hawaii. Not sure where yet but I hope a visit will be happening soon!! Anyway, what in your perspective would be a “High Need” in terms of careers (doctors of course), companies, products/services etc.? I am a Wellness Counselor and Life Coach and am looking for ways to make my living! I have a diverse background and wouldn’t pass up any legitimate job opportunity, but would like to start my business now to shape it for moving there! Thanks! =)

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Stacy!

      I need an alignment and brake tech. Starts at 50K. But it doesn’t sound like you’re my ideal candidate. I would check with the major resorts, you never know what they might be looking for. I’d like the beach boy job myself, handing out pool towels, if I had to start over. :-)

      Landscaping companies are always coming and going. I know a woman in Waimea that owns one and makes 6 figures. But hiring help here is always a challenge. As an example, I should be sitting at the beach writing this while my employees are running my business. But I’m not, I just came in out of the shop which is hotter than a Mexican jail cell. Can you fix cars? :-)

      • LOL I couldn’t imagine how hot a Mexican Jail is!!! haha

        I’m sorry Joe, but an alignment or brake tech is unfortunately, one of the things I haven’t gone to school for…YET!! ;o) I think I just might have to change professions! lol

        Well, I will definitely keep looking and waiting for the right one to come along, OR continue working on my own business so that I can do it from anywhere I land!

        Thanks for your help and advice! If I ever make it out that way, and you are still working in the shop, I will come by and say hi! Like EVERYONE that you interact with here I’m sure says! =) Till then! Godspeed my friend!

  3. Brian Dunleavy says:

    Hey bud I have a client for a realtor any suggestions?

    Mahalo
    Brian

  4. I would like to buy a house in Oahu. Is it true that you don’t actually own it but instead leased to you by the government? One has to have Hawaiian blood in order to have a real state property there? How true is that ?

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Eva,

      There is a small percentage of land in Hawaii called lease-hold. But most land and homes are fee-simple, which means you own it and the land underneath.

      You do not have to have Hawaiian blood to own property in Hawaii. There is one exception to that, Hawaiian Homelands developments.

  5. Aloha, can’t wait to get moved over there…. thanks for the info. Need a broker who knows Maui. MAHALO. :)

  6. Hi Joe,
    My husband and I are highly considering moving to Hawaii short term. He is looking into a travel job. We visited about a month ago and feel in love with Kauai. With what he does the only two options are Honolulu or Kona. So we have been pushing more towards Kona as it seems closer to the Kauai life. My question is, would it be hard to find some kind of part time work for me? Are restaurants pretty easy to get jobs at?

  7. Hi Lisa ,
    On the big island it’s very hard to find jobs. I would recommend hotel jobs are possible option for you.
    Thank you

  8. Hi Joe,

    I am going to be finishing up nursing school within the next year and my husband and I have been seriously making plans to make the move to Honolulu next year. I have been doing a lot of research and would like to ask your opinion on the availability of healthcare jobs? Is it too hard to get a job before making the move? Is there a better chance after you have moved there?

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Sarah,

      Isn’t there a shortage of nurses everywhere? Ask me about auto repair jobs, I can give you an informed opinion. Nursing? I have no clue. Sorry.

  9. Hey Joe, I’m a service and repair plumber in san diego, my wife is a dental assistant , we want to move to hawaii what are the job out look for these type of jobs ? We both have over 10 yrs experience , we want to start over and renew are marriage and we have one son 14 yrs old what do you think ? Thanks Adam

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Adam,
      It sounds like you guys could live here. Arthritis in the fingers tonight, so that’s all I can type.

      • Thank you for the response ! What would a good time to move out there , I think I will stay in SD 3 more months and go down there myself for a few months to establish myself what do you think ?

        • Joe Trent says:

          By then all the snowbirds have gone home. That’s good, hopefully, there will be more places available to rent. Goodluck.

  10. My fiance and I spent 5 years visiting a different island each year. We chose to move to kona and on our trip in march I setup a job interview and was offered a full time position with a dive shop. We saw many entry level jobs being offered and many jobs with salary on job listing sites. We found a 1bd for $850 a month with a yard for our dog. Not so bad just keep at it for a few months and get things setup before you buy your 1 way ticket.

  11. Hello Joe,

    I’ve been reading up on moving to Hawaii for a bit now, but haven’t found anything about living in a motorhome (RV). Do you know something about that subject or can you give me some leads? I’m mainly interested in how many year round park locations there are, how affordable they are, and if the rust eats right through the coaches.

    Any pointers are very much appreciated,
    Marion

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Marion,

      I don’t have any firm information about RV’s. I do know one thing, there are no RV parks in Hawaii. Most of the roads on the outer islands are barely two lane pig trails, anything more than a pup tent trailer would be impossible to get around the island in.

      Having said that, there is a guy that rents RV’s here in Kona, he has maybe 5 or 6 and gives you a map of places you can stay at around the island. Here’s his website. http://www.islandrv.com/islndrv.htm

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