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Some thoughts

Posted by Mark S2 on Saturday, 18 February 2017, at 9:11 a.m.
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In response to 140584: Moving, posted by Jim L3 on Friday, 17 February 2017, at 7:44 a.m.

You didn't mention if you have visited before so I will assume not. Even so, if visiting as a tourist, you may not have looked closely enough at the angle of living here.

I am single and moved to Hawaii from Atlanta about 15 years ago. None of my family wanted to move here so I made the move myself.

I personally would not have a condo as they may have restrictions of what you can or cannot do with air conditioning, solar panels, parking, etc. There can be association fees and assessments and so on. In my case I got a farm (leasehold) and have to keep it in agriculture. Still, with leasehold fees and property tax I am under $4,000 a year; maybe even $3,000 a year. I have 20 solar panels coming soon to help me offset my electric cost (which runs $150 a month or so). On the mainland I had gas and electric at perhaps $400 a month. So far I am saving $250 a month just on that.

Coworkers told me things they thought they knew about Hawaii. Some were true but not for the reasons they thought.

A few of those things stick out which may be useful to you.

1) You will go 'island happy' (meaning that you will go crazy, perhaps because you live in a confined space with no one to talk to... etc).

Of course this is untrue. The Big Island is so big that you will be exploring for years. It took me 14 years before I even got to the green sand beach. I have a multi-acre farm and it took 7 years before I even know I had a small lava tube here.

There will be new friends and activities. Some neighbors gather down at Two Step in Honaunau each Friday to have a pot luck. I have friends on a few different islands here now.

2) You are leaving your family and friends behind.

Well, some of this is true, but not as bad as you think. Every year I get 2 or 3 visitors I know to the island. I have had family and friends visit and even people from a number of forums I participate in. In a couple cases, people I have never met read my suggestions on what to do here and offered to bring me things from the mainland and meet up for a beer, etc. We no visit every year.

I minimized the distance thing a couple of ways. My Mom was concerned that I was moving 1/2 way around the world. It didn't help much to correct her it was only 1/4 way around to Hawaii. Still, I got a free telephone number in her town (through Google) that allowed her to call A LOCAL NUMBER to call me for free. By not having to dial long distance, it helped her feel I was nearby.

I also stocked up on frequent flier miles. This allowed me to fly back to the mainland whenever I wanted. I also took advantage of getting "bumped/volunteering" to take a later flight and would get free airfare which I saved.

I called back to friends and relatives often (using cheap calling service or cellphone plans) and also wrote a blog to keep those who wanted to follow along up to date on what I'm doing.

3) People told me I could not afford to live in Hawaii. Seems they all had friends who visited Hawaii and told stories about how expensive it was. When asked, it turns out these people stayed at resorts and eat out at expensive restaurants, rented cars, etc.

I did my research before I moved. As mentioned by others here, I came out and toured all islands before deciding upon the Big Island. I checked "baskets" at supermarkets. This meant that I took a shopping list and compared mainland prices to Hawaii. Yes, many things are more expensive, however some things are not. You can actually grow 'boatloads' (a technical term) of vegetables and fruits here. You can trade services with neighbors. You can have a smaller house because you will spend more time outdoors. Many people do without air conditioning or heating. The clothes you need are minimal compared to the mainland. I wear t-shirts, slippers (flip-flops) and shorts. Sometimes I even wear board shorts to the store, I mean, why not. We live at the beach!

I personally shop a lot at Costco and have a freezer for storing items. I'm not against buying bulk amounts of toilet paper and paper towels at Costco and stockpiling them.

Although electric rates are high, if you can capture the trade winds as they pass, you lower your costs.

Being a rural island, you may find that your car insurance is lower than the mainland.


So all in all, not a bad place to live and your friends and relatives will want to come visit.

I highly recommend you come visit and not as a tourist. See what the prices are for shopping. See where the dump is. Drive through neighborhoods and regions and explore. Talk to people to see what they like about the island and what they don't.

See what banks and credit unions we have (note that we don't have national ones here, but you can access mainland banks and CU via ATMS). I have a CU on the mainland and one here for logistical reasons. The mainland one has all my accounts but the local one has a bit of cash and I use their free notary if I need it. In some cases I have "transferred" funds for free from one CU to the other by taking cash out of the local CU's ATM then inserted my mainland ATM card into the same ATM and made a deposit to the mainland account. This works because the Credit Unions are linked to the same network. It is rare I ever go into the physical bank or CU buildings as most of my transactions are by credit card or bill payment.

There are pros and cons to living in Hawaii. Many of us feel the pros outweigh the cons, however some people move here and after a year or so decide to mave back to the mainland.

Good luck!

   Δ Housing is Expensive in Kona
    Mark T2 -- Sunday, 19 February 2017, at 3:38 p.m.
   Δ Leasehold Evictions??
    Harry Pritikin -- Sunday, 19 February 2017, at 7:59 p.m.
   Δ Thanks Harry You Helped Me Make My Point
    Mark T2 -- Monday, 20 February 2017, at 12:43 p.m.
   Δ Costs
    Mark S2 -- Sunday, 19 February 2017, at 8:06 p.m.
   Δ Farming in Hawaii is Not Easy or Cheap
    Mark T2 -- Monday, 20 February 2017, at 1:20 p.m.

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