I had my sights set on Kona too, but moved to Ocean View b/c it was what my budget allowed.
I had heard lots of bad about it and admit I was a little nervous about living here.
I have been here for 2 years now and I have to say its not even a thought in my head anymore of wanting to move to Kona.
I love the peace out here. I love the tight knit community. I love that I can have a very nice house with a beautiful ocean view on a full acre of property for under 160K.
I love that my kids have plenty of room to run and explore.
Ive been attending the neighborhood watch meetings and yes there is a lot of theft. There is theft everywhere on the island, but more here I think because we do not have a permanent police station (just petitioned for one though! ) and also because it is a lower income area, there are more weirdos. To put it politely.
I live on a street where my house is visible from the street. Also, I work from home. I think that these two things help with not being bothered. But I do have friends that commute to Kona every day for work and have not had problems. I know from the meetings that many of the burglaries and thefts take place up higher on the mountain and also on certain streets. Having a gate and cameras will help out a lot.
Yes, you do have some strange people out here. But there are also odd people in Kona on Alii drive and other areas. The people that are nice are REALLY nice and those who care about the community here really want to see a difference.
We do have to buy water once a year but thats no biggie. There are banks that will give you a loan in this zone as well.
Feel free to message me if you have any further questions. I would be happy to meet up with you sometime in HOVE and tell you more about it! Laura