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Don't write a check your body can't cash

Posted by Rich E2 on Tuesday, 21 February 2017, at 3:45 p.m.
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In response to 140584: Moving, posted by Jim L3 on Friday, 17 February 2017, at 7:44 a.m.

I agree that Ocean View has probably the most affordable housing you can find on the west side of the island. You MUST be very careful choosing the particular property, though. Many parts of HOVE are, let's say, "unstable". Other parts, the lower, greener parts, are better.

Get a map of HOVE. These are simple copy machine products on 8x11 paper. Fold it in half. Stay away from anything "above the crease". The higher you go, the more "moon-like" the properties look and the more crazy and "third-world" the people and properties are.

Since you're retired, the approx. 60 mile one-way commute to Kona or approx. 75 mile one-way commute to Hilo shouldn't be a problem.

Personally, HOVE is not our style. We're a retired couple in our upper middle 60's who own a nice home on 5.6+ acres of fee-simple land in deep South Kona. The land is classified "AG-5" by the county. I don't have to farm, yet I get property taxes this year of just above $900/year. First time in the 12 years we've lived on this property that it exceeded $900.

We have net-metering solar, catchment and a cesspool. So, I pay about $21/month for net metering, nothing for anything else. We go to town for supplies once/month. WE put about 9,000 miles/year on the Honda Civic (excellent MPG) and 1,000 miles/year on the Jeep (for towing a utility trailer and for fun).

Most of the grocery shopping is done at Costco. We have a huge dry-goods pantry and a 15 cu. ft. chest freezer. Without going into further detail, our total annual cost of living is under $16,000/year. This assumes zero debt, which we have.

So, you can do it if you perform outstanding due diligence and also have a bit of luck on your side. It can happen. A friend of mine very recently bought a HOVE 2-acre lot and house for $50K. It needs "a bit of work" but it was still an excellent buy.

Another thing you need to consider is whether you really want to be a homeowner again at 65+ years of age. Unless you're financially in a position to hire pros to do the big jobs, or any smaller jobs you feel unqualified for, you may want to consider condo living. Sure, there is the condo maintenance fee, but there isn't the the time and money spent for upkeep you would have to do.

For example, we had our house professionally painted. First time in 11 years (at the time we did it). That cost us about $4,600 and should last at least another 10 years. So, that's $460/year, amortized over the anticipated life of the paint job. Do that with all other medium and big ticket anticipated repairs plus paid landscaper fees, etc, and a reasonable condo monthly maintenance fee doesn't sound so bad.

We bought our place in South Kona when we were 55. Now we're 68. There's lots of things we no longer do ourselves, but have others do for us. When making residency decisions at advancing age, you must look ahead.

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