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Moving To Hawaii

Moving To Hawaii

Here’re 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 its 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 some ways, 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 lifestyle at a very laid back pace.


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 tidbits 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 toothbrush 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 your stuff to Hawaii if you just can’t part with it.  Listen to the moving to Hawaii podcast episode where I talk more about this. 


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 paperwork 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 microchips
  • 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.


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. 


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.

Buying Property

Eventually, the whole west side of the big island is going to be built out. And if you think it’s expensive now, just wait a few more years. For a long time, big island real estate was pretty cheap. Not so much anymore. But, compared to Maui or Oahu, it’s still a good deal though.

I’ve built 2 houses here in Kona and learned way more about it than I ever wanted to. :-)  The key is knowing the right people here. And after 18 plus years in business and a hand full of real estate transactions, I do.

Life is funny, I’ve been a business owner and working tech in it here since 1997. This year (2015) I’m selling the business and starting a couple others. One of them is going to be in real estate. Having been a front-end and brake mechanic for 36 years, my body says it’s time to change lines of work. Real estate is a logical next step for me.

But I’d rather eat dirt than be a Realtor®.

If you’re interested in buying property on the Kona side of the big island, email me what you’re looking for and I’ll send you links of properties that match what you’re looking for. My email is Joe@Konafriends.com Then, when you’re ready to buy and need a good agent, I’ll put you in contact with my guy who’s been an agent/broker since 2003 and done deals up to 10 million.

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.


  1. 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!

      • Hi Joe,

        Ive got decades of Automotive experience and also a bad case of Rheumodtoid Arthritis. When I visit Maui I instantly feel 20 years younger so am considering a move. Currently I’m working as a Business Consultant in the Automotive world and have been a District Manager for a few Automotive Manufacturers. What are the job prospects for higher end Automotive management?

        • Joe Trent says:

          Aloha Todd,
          I would check https://iatn.net/careers for an answer about automotive jobs. They’re may not be any listed, but you may find a list of places you could inquire at anyways. Servco Pacific on Oahu comes to mind. They’re the distributor for Toyota in Hawaii. Good luck.

  2. Brian Dunleavy says:

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


  3. 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.

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

  5. 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?

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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 ?

  9. 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.

  10. 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,

    • 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

  11. Hey there,
    My husband and I are looking to move to Oahu in September. I’m a massage therapist and I need to take the exam to get my Hawaii licence and my husband is in telecommunications. Do you think we can make a decent enough living to be comfortable on Oahu?

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Nina,

      50K minimum combined and you probably will be ok. 70K and you’re having fun. 100K and life is good. You know more about what your fields pay than I do. Goodluck.

  12. LaTaisha McNeil says:

    Hi Joe,

    I’ve recently received a job offer as a 911 emergency dispatcher there in Kona, HI. I was wondering if you can point me in the right direction of the lower costing apartments and used car dealerships in the area. I’m only 26 with no husband or children and a little frightened but willing to take my leap of faith with this opportunity. I would also love to meet new people so I wont be too lonely. Please let me know as soon as you can as I’m due in Kona by 6-30-2015 to take my civil service test.

    Thank you,
    LaTaisha McNeil

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha LaTaisha,

      Pre-Owned is on Kuakini Highway in town, they have some nice looking used cars. I have no clue about apartments. Check Craigslist is the best I can suggest. North and south Kona is the area close and almost close to where you’ll work. That’s the downside to Craigslist, there is stuff listed there that’s way far away and if you don’t know the island it just makes it that much harder.

  13. Meghan Zirzow says:

    Hi Joe,

    My husband and I are thinking about moving to Hawaii. No experience in Auto repair, unfortunately. Looking for areas in Honolulu to rent, studios even. I work as a Kitchen Designer at Home Depot and my husband searching for job in history/museum field. Buy a used car or new car if we move to island? Suggestions in general about moving to Hawaii from Midwest mainland. No kids, mid 30’s-late 30’s.

    Thanks and Mahalo,

  14. John Shirbini says:

    Hi Joe
    I am Canadian and I am currently living in Alberta Canada , I am working in IT , currently I am operation manager with hands on technical experience ,and my wife is a fashion retail manager , we are thinking to move to Hawaii , what do you advice us about what island will be good for us regarding the job market and life style.

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha John,
      Oahu is probably going to be your best choice as far as jobs that available in your field.

  15. Hey Joe,
    You seem to be a sort of expert with the auto industry over there.. I’m moving to Kona in a few months. Hopefully. I’m a diesel mechanic, but I can turn a wrench on whatever comes in the shop. Are mechanic jobs hard to come by? Thanks in advance.

    • Joe Trent says:

      Hey Dakota,
      In August, I’ll have 36 years as a working mechanic. So yeah, I’m kinda of an expert. 😉 If you have ASE’s and experience, jobs wrenching here are available. But if diesel is your thing, drop off resumes with any of the big bus tour companies and you should be working pretty quick.

  16. Hi Joe,
    I’ve been considering moving to hawaii. I’m 25 with an associates in electronics and worked as a mechanic and electrician (mostly on machinery) for about 5 years now. Never really worked on cars, but I would greatly appreciate being considered for a position! I am great at fixing any piece of complex machinery put in front of me with a little guidance. My biggest question is should I try to land a job from the mainland, or make the move then try to find a job? I figure it would be very difficult to get considered for a position while living on the mainland, and a huge risk if I move there without a job lined up.

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Wade,
      Currently, my business and property are for sale, so I’m not hiring anymore. But you sound like a good guy to hire for the right company. I would have enough money saved up to live here 90 days and then look for a job.

  17. Nia Richard says:

    Good morning Joe,

    Would like to know how is the IT field and the Project management field coming along in Hawaii. I am soon retiring from the military, but looking into places to go. I was thinking about Hawaii, but with all the discussion about cost of living, school rating, real estate and job opprotunities, thinking it may be difficult. I am married with one boy who would be 8 when I am finished.

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Nia,

      If you can get Edward Snowden’s old job, great. If not, I’d stay on the mainland. IT here is a field you start your own firm or forget it. Check the job board listed in the article above to see if there are any jobs. Goodluck.

  18. Jess McNeil says:

    Hi Joe,

    What a great site you have! Thanks for all of the information! My husband and I live in Ontario but are moving back to the states (CT). It takes him 5 months to get a green card so he can’t work until then. Rather than sitting around and me finding some restaurant job “wherever”, we thought we would travel a bit. We’ve always talked about Hawaii for a temporary “move”.

    We have two daughters, 4 and 2 years old. Thinking the Big Island might be our best choice. I will likely look for a waitressing job and we would live off of some of our savings (although we don’t have a huge budget). So we are looking for reasonably priced accommodations. We are considering camping for a week or two (or renting an RV) while we get situated at first.

    Just looking for some adventure while we can. Once we settle back in New England who knows when we will get this chance again! Any insight would be so very much appreciated! Thanks in advance!


    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Jess,

      Glad you like the site. Mahalo.
      A short term adventure in Hawaii sounds like a fabulous idea. Google Kona RV rental. There’s a place here in town that rents them to visitors. I have no idea of the cost, but it’s probably pretty spendy. But for a week or two until you found more permanent accommodations it might be doable.

      • Jess McNeil says:

        Thanks Joe! I will check that out! It might be worth paying a bit more to have a vehicle and a place to sleep all in one while we are getting settled!

  19. Joe,

    Moving to Oahu end of July, would you recommend shipping a car there or buying/Leasing one when we arrive? Military will only pay for one car so debating on 2nd one, paid off, lowest quote was 2100 to ship from east coast. Also, do you know of any good local rental car companies?

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Jeff,

      I’ve used Enterprise for a long term rental before. The price was reasonable at the time. As far as paying $2100 to ship a car goes, it would have to be something I’m totally in love with and hard to get. Otherwise, I’d sell that vehicle and buy something when I got to Hawaii.

  20. Hey Joe , well I contacted you about a month ago maybe longer but anyways , I asked you if I could make it out there in hawaii with me benig a seasoned plumber and wife dental assistant , well I took the leap of faith and sent out resumes and landed a great job opportunity, with a place to live for 30 days to settle in part of a re location package, and full benefits and over 75,000 to start , just wanted to thank you for the advise on if I could make it there ! Thanks again August 24th Due Date , Maui Here I come! If you ever are in maui me treat to a round of beers lol , Adam .

  21. Hey joe, I talked to you about a month ago, about moving to hawaii to start a new life and that I am a plumber and my wife is a dental assistant , if we could make it out there ? Well you told me yes , so I took the leap of faith and sent out resumes , well I landed a great job with a great package including re location assistance wow along with great pay over 75 K to start yes over ! anyways wanted to thank you for your feedback on this idea topic , I leave from San Diego to maui august 24th can’t wait thank you again , if your ever in maui after I get settled in I would like to buy you a round of beers lol or what ever , a thanks again Adam .

  22. samantha says:

    First Thank you for this informing and well researched web page.
    I am planning a move to Hawaii with my sister (a social worker) my 6 year old nephew and myself (a child rights advocate, Life Consultant and artist) with a service dog in about a year. What would you advise to two single women and a child, if they were to move to Hawaii?

  23. William says:

    Aloha Joe,
    I am being offered an opportunity to move to Hawaii (KBay) and fill a position in January. It is very short notice (7 months) and it is undecided yet whether they will relocate me or not, since this Job has people lining up around the block for the position, and the job has not been made available yet. We are a family of 4 with 2 dogs and own a house in Temecula Ca. Do you think we should sell or rent out our house? and do you know if the “rent with option to buy” exists in Oahu? and how do you think we will do? (I should be in the 65K-75K range) I will actually take a pay cut for the first year.


    P.S wife is a local and eager to get back.

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha William,
      Kbay is beautiful. All I know about the Oahu real estate market is what one of my friends in real estate tells me, houses are in short supply over there and prices are high. Rent to own is probably not an option.

      Almost everyone that moves to Hawaii takes a pay when working for someone else. But, if you love the lifestyle it’s a pretty good trade.

      Renting out your house in Temecula for another 4 or 5 years might be a good idea if you decide to move back you’re all set. And if after say 5 years you’ve decided you’re never going back, you can sell and make even more money. Good luck.

      • William says:

        Great advice Joe,
        I was thinking one year but 4-5 as you suggest is more logical.

        Thanks again,

  24. Garrett says:

    Aloha Joe

    I’ve been saving and thinking about moving to Maui, I have about 4 years oilfield experience and a year as a supervisor. What kind of manual labor is there available?

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Garrett,

      I live on the big island and don’t know anything about the Maui job market. Sorry.

  25. I’m relocating to Ouahu in August 2015… excited but scared about the cost of living… also buying a condo unseen in … trying to get to settlement before I move… future coworkers have been too kind to attend the home inspection….
    are there coop farm areas where you can grow your own produce? Are fruits and veggies expensive? I don’t drink milk but need veggies, eggs and fish…. hope to do some fishing since I hear it’s free. I am a Costco member :-)

    • btw my 3BR/3BA condo is little over 1k sq ft….. seems like I am not going to have much space and I have never lived in a highrise before :-/

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Robin, I’m not aware of any co-op farm areas in Hawaii. The food here is expensive, but Costco is your friend. :-)

  26. Aloha Joe,

    I’m about to move to Hawaii for a year.(or so) Luckily I have an aunt who lives in Honolulu and is giving me a place to stay. My question is, around much should I save to go out, eat, explore, etc…? I will be helping my aunt with her ice cream business for extra money. I’m 21 and I have a lot that I NEED to see and do before coming back to the mainland.

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Damara,

      Google all the commercial activities on Oahu you want to do. Then add up the cost. You can thank my wife for that great answer. 😉

  27. Stephanie says:

    I was so excited to find your site today! So much great info! Thanks for creating it!

    I was wondering what your thoughts were on finding employment before moving vs. finding a job after getting there? My fiance and I are wanting to make the move, but I’m having trouble finding anyone willing to interview someone who currently lives roughly 3,000 miles away. That’s with five years experience managing a small business.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Stephanie,

      The way I see it, if you have some particular skill that is in short supply here, you can interview from Mars and get the job. But there is already a ton of people here that have serious business skills. I suspect that’s why you keep running into that problem.

      Maybe think about how you can turn your skill set into starting your own business here is my best advice.

  28. Niggling correction…

    “Each has it’s own flavor so to speak. ”

    The word “it’s” – with an apostrophe – always means IT IS or IT HAS. The word “its” – no apostrophe – is possessive, as would be correct in your sentence above.

    Mahalo and Aloha

    • Joe Trent says:

      You’re absolutely correct. Thanks for catching that.
      4 years ago when I wrote this article I didn’t know the difference. Probably time to proof a lot of my posts. :-) Mahalo.

  29. Ken shiles says:

    Hey joe,
    Me my wife and our 2 year old daughter are thinking about moving to the big island. I’m a union carpenter and she has hotel experience. How is the construction industry over there?

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Ken,

      My friend is an architect and says he’s going to be busy for the next couple of years. So I imagine carpenters will be in demand for a while. Your wife shouldn’t have a problem finding work in one of the resorts since she’s experienced. They’re always looking for good people with experience.

  30. Hi Joe – I was just wondering how your book is coming along? I can’t find any recent posts about it. Thanks!

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Debbie,

      The Sam & Jessica book is taking longer than I anticipated. Way longer. But that’s to be expected with the first one I guess. The more I work on it, the better I want to make it, and I’ve had to study writing craft a lot more than I anticipated to get the story to the professional level.

      I don’t know if you’re on my mailing list for a free copy of Sam & Jessica when it comes available online. You can join my list here http://eepurl.com/hhC9c and I’ll send you a free e-book version of it.
      I did set up a Facebook Author page where I’ve posted some photos related to the book. https://www.facebook.com/samandjessicabook I think I’m going to start writing a monthly newsletter about the book and how it’s going. I was just reading about another author who does it and people really like it. Your message reminds me I better remind others who are interested that I’m still working on it. :-)

  31. Thanks Joe! I signed up using my gmail account. Good luck with the book. I love to read. Maybe I’ll try my hand at writing once I retire in the not too distant future. Hawaii is a bit too rich for our blood. We have bought some land above Lake Chelan in central Washington. Best regards,

    • Joe Trent says:

      A view of the lake would be awesome. Thanks for joining my list, Debbie, I better get back to work on the book. I’ll be sending out a little news about the progress and such this weekend.

  32. kristin mitchell says:

    Hi Joe! My husband and I, as well as our two young boys would love to move to HI. I am a registered nurse and am currently applying for jobs in HI. My husband and I both work here in WV and we have a combined income of 110k a year (roughly). If we were to move to HI I would be the only one working because I make more money than him. While he would stay home with our children. ( I know bad role reversal, but it will work for us lol). I have researched RN pay, and it seems I would make around 75k a year. Could a family of four make it with that little of income? Thanks so much!

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Kristin,
      My daughter-in-law makes it on a whole lot less. She has 2 kids and a husband that works intermittently. Most of us who live here take a vow of poverty. :-)

  33. Hi Joe,
    I’ve read up on everything you have posted. What I haven’t seen or heard much of its the transportation division. I am a truck driver by trade. Is there much of that kind of work on any of the islands? If so which ones and would that be sufficient enough to live off of?

    Thank you,

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Brandy, There’s been an ad in the local paper recently looking for a cement mixer driver. It started at $25 per hour if I recall correctly. Truck driver jobs here are few and far between I think because I don’t ever remember seeing ads for drivers other than the one I mentioned above. The freight companies are all locally owned and most likely draw from family and friends before advertising is my guess.

  34. Hi Joe,

    Thanks for putting this site together to help us out. As an Albertan I am planning on packing up and getting away from these extreme winters in the next month or two. Not knowing much about the area except from what I have learned by watching Hawaii Life every chance I get and reading your posts. Where is the best and safest place for a single female to move? I’ve worked in the sales/marketing field for numerous years and would like to find a job after establishing myself in your amazing country. As a Canadian can one work in Hawaii? Would you happen to know about healthcare or where one should look to purchase the best possible insurance? In alberta the one positive is that we do not have to pay for health care. I would also like to purchase a vehicle or rent one short term. Any other information that you think would be beneficial would be welcome.
    Thank you for your time.

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Kelly, Sorry for the late response, I’ve been off the island for the last week. To answer your questions; Your biggest problem is going to be getting a green card to work here. Start reading here: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/immigrate/immigrant-process/petition/file.html

      Being a part time resident for you is not a problem visa wise. I know of lots of Canadian snowbirds that live here during the winter. That’s going to be the easiest route for you if you can figure out a way to telecommute to work. Getting a job here without a work visa is going to be impossible.

      The west side of the big island is the safe side. Kaiser is hands down the best medical insurance in Hawaii.

  35. My husband was just offered a position with a company based out of Honolulu. We would need to live in that area. Questions:
    1. Does Honolulu have any towns/areas outside of the city that you would recommend looking for affordable housing, good schools, etc?
    2. Any idea about the job market for educators? (I am currently an elementary school principal.)

  36. I lived in Hawaii for about 4 years, but I was living on an Army base. Now I’m no longer married to a soldier but I graduate with my BSN in nursing in 9 months and I miss the island of Oahu so much I have dreamed of moving back. I absolutely loved it there and my youngest so was born there. I’m aware of the high cost of living, but I didn’t get a full taste of it because I was sort of sheltered with military benefits. I’m wondering if moving to the island with two kids is smart and do-able? This place feels like home to me but I don’t want to get over there and struggle. Even as a nurse, I know it can be difficult. What’s your opinion on this?

    • Joe Trent says:

      Life is short. Eat your cake first. If it turns out it’s too hard, you can check it off your bucket list and move back to the mainland. Having said that, you’ll probably make it here since you’re a nurse with a BSN. Last time I checked you guys make bank. :-)

  37. Hi Joe-
    My husband is an experienced (18 years) import mechanic. Currently works on Audi, many years with VW prior. Would his skills be in particular demand? We are early on considering a move from the Midwest. I have a law degree and am flexible as to how I use it, so we’ll follow his best option.

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Kris,

      Your husband’s skills will be in demand here on the big island. Probably the other islands too. Definitely Oahu.

  38. Aloha Joe! Ive been to the main island many times. I love it all, you have it all there. Mountains,forest,beach,open road,back roads,snow,great people,feelin chill all the time. I have always wanted to move there. My family and i have been thinking about do so asap. My husband does construction/auto mac./auto body painter. I am a cook/hotel/laborer. How easy do you think it would be for us to find a job? Also we would need a house that would fit 2 adults & 3 kids & a dog without goin broke just on rent lol. We are very outdoors people. Ive been doing my homework so we can kind of know what what it would take to move there permanently. Anything you could tell me that would help?

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Faustina,
      First, I’m sorry for taking so long to reply, I didn’t get notification of your comment and just seen it by accident.

      I don’t know anything I can say that I haven’t said already in the article and the previous comments. Other than making a plan to live here and follow it. Good luck.

  39. Heya Joe! Happy to read all the good stuff. My partner, my 4 year old and myself are planning da big move in early 2016. Also expecting another little one in April. Wondering if you know much about the craft beer scene out there? My partner manages a liquor store and is a home brewer and I’m a massage therapist and both have plenty of restaurant experience. Won’t be able to afford private schooling but have heard good things about Kona Pacific. Maybe we see you out there soon. Aloha holly

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Holly,

      First, I’m sorry for taking so long to reply, I didn’t get notification of your comment and just seen it by accident.

      As far as the craft brewery scene goes, ever heard of Kona brew fest? Kona Brewing company is probably the place you should visit for all the info.

  40. Hi Joe, I’m wanting to buy property in Hawaii, just don’t know where. Never been there but what my wife and I have heard from everyone else that’s been there is that it’s mesmerizing!!! In 3 years we would like to visit, but our plan is to sell our home here in Texas and retire in Hawaii. How much would a home for 2 and some space for family visiting would cost us, just an estimate. We just want to enjoy ourselves, have fun, do things together for the rest of our life there.

    • Joe Trent says:

      First, I’m sorry for taking so long to reply, I didn’t get notification of your comment and just found it by accident.

      On this island, you’re probably talking about 500k and up as a ballpark. Maui and Oahu would be more. Kauai I’m not sure about.

  41. Hi Joe,
    Sold my california home and contemplating next move. My son and I are really considering moving to Oahu. I’ve worked in the mfg. industry for nearly 20+ years and my 20yr old son is currently a prep cook. At 50+yrs old, I feel a change and my son, a new start. I realize the challenges my son and I will face with the high cost of living there and also my income will dramatically be reduced. With a combine income, I think we can make a go if it(simple life). What’s your opinion of this?

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Perry,

      It’s pretty cool you and your son can team up and make a go at it. Yeah, nobody moves to Hawaii for the money. But the quality of life is worth the sacrifice for those who are into healthy outdoor lifestyles. There’s over a million people living on Oahu, why not you? Good luck.

  42. dewayna darrett says:

    hello hope all is well!
    i am single, 48 with one sone whobis about to leave the nest next year. after he graduates in June 2016. i plan to give myself 12 months to get rid of all of my furniture and not bring much and 12 months to look for a job. i have been working for 14 years in law enforcement and public safety. can you tell me what the job market to work at police department or DOC on Oahu.
    thank you

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Dewayna,
      I’m envious of your ability to take 12 months to look for a job. :-) And selling your stuff is a good idea too. My sources at Five O are all off unavailable right now. But they’d probably say there’s a spot for you somewhere over there on the Gathering island. Good luck.

  43. Stephen Schroeder says:

    Hey Joe, I’m 19 years old and want to move to Hawaii but I’m not sure which island would be best for me. I’ve lived in florida and the southern US for most of my life. I know it sounds crazy wanting to make my first move out all the way out there but I can’t see myself living anywhere else. Im a photographer/videographer and have just started print modeling as well. Do you think that its possible for me to find enough footage and modeling work in the islands as opposed to mainland? Even if I needed to put aside my photography and videos and pick up a full time job what would be some options?

    Thank you,

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Stephen,
      Oahu or Maui would probably have more opportunities for you since they have much larger populations than the other islands. If I was 19 again and moving to Hawaii, I’d get a job on a dive boat or something else fun.

  44. Hey Joe, I wanted to thank you for the info you’ve shared. I’m 18 and planning on moving to Kauai to live there long term. I’ve spent my entire life in southern Michigan, and have only traveled as far as Ohio once, so I’m a little antsy about the idea of moving there, but I suppose I’ll get used to it if I don’t want to make it a wasted trip. I also love anything about water such as swimming, boating, kayaking, and things like that, so I feel like there are a lot of recreational activities for when I’m not working. Are the locals as friendly as I’ve been hearing all over the internet? Will me being white as paper put up boundaries? Also, are there a lot of opportunities for someone young like me to thrive on? It probably sounds crazy, but my mind is set on moving away to the islands by myself.

    Thank you.

    • Joe Trent says:

      Aloha Liam,
      You sound like a very brave soul! :-) I’d be antsy too if I were you. The opportunities on Kauai will be limited because it’s such a small island. Oahu would offer you more opportunity for work and schooling if you decide you want to go to college later on.

      As far as being white goes, overall the locals are accepting of the other races that live here. There will be a few Hawaiians that are not so happy about you living here. But that’s their problem. Not yours. If I had a dollar for everytime I’ve been called a f#$%Kn haole, I’d have enough for dinner. But, I bring out the worst in people sometimes. Others live here for years and get along just fine. Good luck.

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