Big Island

How To Plan Your Move To Hawaii – Tips To Get You Started (Part 1)

When I moved to Hawaii, I lived on a boat for the first 2 years. It was a creative idea, more affordable, exciting, and a great relaxing atmosphere to come home to every day, until the tsunami made it too exciting and not so relaxing anymore (that’s a future blog). It was a great experience and allowed us to move here sooner than we could have otherwise. It still took us 2 years of planning before the boat, and I’m glad we did the planning.


Sunset view from the boat we lived on when we first moved to Hawaii

I know lots of people who have relocated to Hawaii, and there’s many ways to do it, from jumping on a plane with just the clothes you’re wearing (I actually know people who have done this, and I don’t recommend it), all the way to planning for your entire life to retire here (Why wait so long?), and many stages in between.

Before You Move

Here’s a few tips to consider before you move:

1. Research and prepare. The first thing to realize about moving to Hawaii is that it’s more like moving to another country than to another state – so I recommend more preparation…and research. One of the best ways to research is through visits, if possible. Come for a vacation, but make sure you sneak peek beyond the tourist scene. Yes, we really do have most of the same things you’ll find back home, they’re just not always obvious when you’re visiting. Visit the grocery stores, pharmacy, library, and other places that are part of your daily life where you currently live.

2. Make some local contacts, and get the facts from them directly – follow them (on Facebook – please – no stalking), follow local news and events. There’s lots of sites that show different types of activities and events, and here’s a link to a local calendar of events put together by the newspaper (Yes, we only have one newspaper).

3. Shop around. Ask for local quotes on insurance, inquire with a local expert about the cost of housing whether planning to rent or to purchase, and inquire about a local doctor that takes your insurance (it’s often different here) and is accepting new patients.

Cost of Living

Make sure you find out about the cost of living and how your expected income compares to your expected expenses. Where I’m from, you can rent or buy a decent 3-bedroom home for $80,000 and a fixer upper for under $60,000 if you know where to look and are a little patient.

On Oahu, it’s a different story, and even after I researched from my cozy little home in the Tennessee mountains, it didn’t really sink in until I actually spent some time here looking at properties.

On Oahu in December, the median price for single family homes was $730,000 and $390,000 for condos. Rent has a similar price difference too, but income often doesn’t increase equally. Please find a local expert to give you the scoop, and to keep you updated.

Ready to Make the Leap?

I know that moving is a process, and moving to Hawaii is a big step and may take time. We planned for 2 years before we finally made the leap, and I know people that have planned for even more. With some planning and local help, you can make the move smoothly without it taking so long. I hope you find these ideas helpful, and I’ll be adding more ideas in future blogs, so be on the lookout, or sign up for my helpful newsletters.

If you would like more information on planning a move to Hawaii, or the Hawaii lifestyle, please contact me.

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Luanne Boulter

June 14, 2018

Is there any info that I can get relates to moving to Hawaii? I think we want to rent initially and make sure we like certain areas first.

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