This is going to be more like a stream of consciousness blog rather than the post that answers all of your questions in a few short paragraphs. Here are the topics I will expand on in future blog posts… so stay tuned for more.
Here is just a start to my list of all the questions/comments my well-meaning friends, relatives and strangers asked when we talked about the fact that we were planning on moving to Hawaii: (you may be experiencing some of these same feelings or comments from others).
1. Isn’t it expensive there?
Everything is relative, so if you are moving here from a major metropolitan area then you will be completely fine with the prices and will not be shocked. If per chance you are moving from a town in Anywhere, USA where the home prices are $100k, and a mansion is $400k, then yes you may very well see this as expensive, and it might not be your happy place… Yes, it is expensive anywhere if you live beyond your means, so plan accordingly and make sure you move here with a significant backup plan or a nice emergency fund.
2. I heard the schools were terrible…
This is always a great one from people who have never lived here and are set on freaking you out about your parenting skills and the education of your precious offspring. I will follow up more on this one later. But, my daughter has been in public school here since 8th grade and will be a senior next year. She loves living here now and is doing very well in school. Many times it depends on the child and the parents, regardless of where you live.
3. I heard milk was $10 a gallon.
Not true. First of all, and secondly, it’s not good for you anyway. But seriously, yes… groceries are more money here. But, there are farmers’ markets every day somewhere on the island. where you can get fresh and amazing produce. And there are quite a few grocery stores to choose from, as well as Costco, which most people take advantage of.
4. Isn’t electricity super expensive there?
Our bill is usually around $200-$300 for a month… keep in mind if you are moving here from anywhere that has winter (like we did), that you’ll no longer have to pay for heat – whether it’s oil, gas or electric. So again, it is all relative. Also, it is sunny pretty much year-round, so many people take advantage of solar-powered electricity.
5. Are you moving there for work?
Nope! We are moving there for life… to downsize, to de-stress, and to need less and appreciate more!
6. Why do you want to move so far away?
Being super far away from friends and family is definitely hard at times… we do miss our besties and most of our family… lol. It is fun when you have visitors and you can show them why you love it here so much. Some may never want to leave.
7. I hear people get island fever there? Also known as rock fever…
When you move to Hawaii, they still actually allow you to leave if you ever want to travel to somewhere other than paradise. And the ultimate is coming home to the Hawaiian Islands and realizing where you actually call home is pretty much the ultimate. In addition, it is really fun to island hop and/or staycation right here, and take time to play as if you are on vacation.
8. What about the tsunamis and hurricanes?
Not really concerned about the what if’s, but then these folks who asked probably worry about everything including locusts or zombies.
9. What will you do for work?
Surf, have fun, spend all the money I made working my a$$ off in biotech sales… oh and then maybe get a real job again to support my skiing habit. Okay the serious answer is: If you are willing to work, you will find work and it may be a re-creation of the more chilled out you. Resorts and the tourist industry all flourish here, and if you are a tradesman, then you will have no problem.
10. How long will you stay there?
Umm… well we are moving, so do I need to answer this one?
11. What about the housing market and finding rentals?
So, this really is the only legitimate question of the entire bunch… We bought our house on a vacation trip and kept it rented out to long-term tenants who were already in place. Then we made our final plans and moved here one year later. Rentals are very hard to come by, and they are not cheap, so be sure to check this out ahead of time. As a realtor, I would say if you can afford to buy a home, try to find one that has a rental attached to it so you can offset your mortgage. If you need or want to rent vs. buy, I would suggest doing your homework ahead of time. It can be tough to find rentals, and since there is a shortage, landlords can be very selective.
12. How much does it cost to ship everything?
We had door0-to-door service and it was roughly $15,000 for everything… movers, 40 ft. container from NH to Kaua‘i, including unloading, etc. It can be done for less and you can come here without a giant container. Also, you can buy everything you need here. There are some great furniture stores… Shameless Plug for Two Frogs Hugging on Kaua‘i.
13. Will you ship your car or buy one there?
There are many car dealerships here and lots of “island cars” for sale. You can do it either way. Personally, we bought one and shipped one. I had a company car that they wanted back when I gave my notice… go figure… So I bought a fun car and drove it from New England to Seattle on a Thelma and Louise (of sorts) trip with my bestie from grade school. Shipping out of Seattle was about $1,000 in 2013. I’m not sure now how much it is now. Around $1,100 or $1,200, I think. You can ship out of CA or WA ports.
Bloopers, Comments, or Questions… never asked by any well-meaning buzzkill specialists.
Keep in mind if you are moving here full-time, it is amazing, but it is still real life and you will still have real life situations and real life dramas that may pop up from time to time. Just remember to smell the plumeria and live Aloha every day 🙂
We were obsessed with Hawaii Life on HGTV and so we set our sights and made it a reality!!! You can, too. Give me a call and I can help you find your perfect home.