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Old 03-06-2009, 02:01 PM
 
7 posts, read 18,990 times
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well guys, i did a search and was surprised to not see a thread dedicated to kailua kona. we have a possible move to the big island in july, so i am in the research phase. i would love to have a few things addressed, and anything above and beyond would be awesome too.

we will be selling just about everything we own, so we will need a fully furnished home. i have seen some beauties on craigslist for 2 to 3 k, is this realistic? our income will be around 9k a month to start, and i need to know that we won't be going backwards. we are doing this for an opportunity, and don't want to regress. we finally have a chance to save money, and i can be the mom i want without working my heiney off and constantly in fear for my safety (i work nights, corrections deputy)

i hear the schools are notoriously bad, and this is a big worry. i don't see being able to afford private schools until i am working also. and the ones i have found are outrageously expensive. what is the reality of the public school system on the big island?

going to cut this short for now, but i will be back with plenty more

one more thing, if anyone can help me with a link for a realty site with rentals on it also, i would appreciate it. everything i have found is for purchase only. only have found craigslist as a source so far.
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Old 03-06-2009, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
5,976 posts, read 9,753,300 times
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There are a lot of furnishings available at good prices at yard sales. There's always folks selling everything and moving back to the mainland. Shipping is expensive, so they don't want to take the stuff with them.

Schools are not the only place for your children to learn things. They are not the best here, but you can teach your children what they need to know and let the schools fill in the social aspects of eduction. The kids that do best at school are the ones who have their parents interested and "hand's on" with their education. Even a good school can't help kids where the parents have no interest in their kid's education.

$9K a month seems a bit much, is that with two incomes or just one? Do you have that in writing? Still, by the time you take away 30% for taxes, remove $2,500 for rent, another $500 for electric, another $800 for two car payments, there isn't all that much left over although most folks don't spend $625 per week but if you are living on what seems a large salary you will probably expect to have more than most folks and will probably manage to spend it all somewhere.
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Old 03-08-2009, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
2,903 posts, read 4,772,713 times
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For rentals check out the classifieds on-line at "West Hawaii Today". Be warned, I've heard that it is very difficult to get anyone to talk to you about renting as long as you are off the island. You may have to find a monthly rental for a month or two when you first come over while you are looking around for a permanent home.

Is your or your husband's job actually in Kona?
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:50 AM
 
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When I read of folks who 'dream' of living in Hawaii, I always feel compelled to chime in with a reality check. Don't get me wrong, we've been there many times (mostly to Kona area, since we have family there) and we always enjoy our visits there for the same reason everyone does: Sun, Surf, Tradewinds, Tropical Lushness, and so on. But I personally would never cosnider moving there (even though I have family there and my current job would allow me to work from just about anywhere) Mainly because of the following:
1) Schools - it's been touched on many times before -- don't even consider public schools there. There are several charter elementary schools popping up in recent years which are supposedly much better, but my middle-school aged niece has been relegated to home-schooling for years now because there is just no decent alternative for a kid her age.
2) Drugs - They're everywhere - for example: we were just there last week, and we went to Kahaluu which is one of the main tourist beaches there in town, with clear, shallow water great for snorkeling and spotting sea turtles. We stayed there a little too late - meaning, until about sunset - and saw the OTHER side of that travel brochure that they don;t show you beforehand. Minding my own business, I walked past one of the public picnic areas where a group of local 'hawaiians' was hanging out, drinking, and doing drugs. I was verbally harassed as I walked by these 'friendly' 'natives'. (I use that word in quotes because most folks who call themselves 'Hawaiian's' are just of mixed asain or other descent with some hawaiian lineage thrown in). Furthermore, as we prepared to depart before things got ugly, we heard a small child crying for 'mommy!' from inside the womens restroom. We surveyed the area a but to find out what was going on, and sadly we realized the mother had left the child there in the bathroom while she went over to the picnic table to smoke crack (not exaggerating, I smelled it) with her buddies. Mind you, this was all on a public beach, right next tot a resort hotel, which is frequented by thousands of families every year.
3) Racism - sure, most folks you meet around town, especially in the shops and such, will be very friendly to you as a tourist. After all, their job and their livelihood, and even if it isn't most folks really are warm and welcoming to visitors. But once you move in, it's a different story, especially if you're buying a hous or land that the 'hawaiians' may preceive as 'theirs'. The undertone of racism in the islands is not always blatant hate mongering and rarely leads to violence, but it's real and it's there.
4) Traffic - Okay, I lived in Sand Diego, Orange County, and in the SF Bay areas, and I have NEVER been stuck in traffic as often as I have been in Hawaii. It's not so bad if you know which roads to avoid at certain times, but if you find yourself north of the ariport (where many of the best beaches are) having to get south through town any time after 2pm on a weekday, you might as well forget it, and ctach waves for a few more hours, because trtaffic will be snraled all the way into and through town.
5) General disorderliness and lack of infrastructure: Hawaii is really the most like Kentucky of any state I've been to. It's very rural, very lush, and it's infrastructure is totally scattered and disorganized. The only real difference between KY and HI is, the beach (Obviously), the weather, and the bazillions of tourists visiting year-round. Some people like the sort of laid back feel of the island, which I guess can be nice if you're on vacationm, but trying to ead a busy life and get things done in an orderly manner? Forget it.

That's just my $.02 and many will disagree. My family, for instance, has been there for many years and they absolutely love it despite it's pitfalls. It's just that, after seeing so many starry-eyed neighbors move in and then move away a year later, I though some on this forum may benefit from hearing about some of what they don't show you in the pictures. I confined it to theis Kailua-Kona thread since that's where almost all my experience is. The other islands, or even other cities (like Hilo) may be different, I don't know.
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:52 PM
 
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Good report treedonkey. I don't doubt any of it, since every place has issues. The traffic is probably a double-edged sword; I think the lack of freeways on the Big Island would help keep development in check. Hawaii is also the only place I've seen a minimum speed limit; I got a kick out of that.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:52 PM
 
7 posts, read 18,990 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotzcatz View Post
Schools are not the only place for your children to learn things. They are not the best here, but you can teach your children what they need to know and let the schools fill in the social aspects of eduction. The kids that do best at school are the ones who have their parents interested and "hand's on" with their education. Even a good school can't help kids where the parents have no interest in their kid's education.
good point, and one i have considered on my own. worst case scenario, the kids will be going to a private school once i begin working, it will be more than doable. it is just a shock to have to spend 2k a month on schooling.

Quote:
For rentals check out the classifieds on-line at "West Hawaii Today". Be warned, I've heard that it is very difficult to get anyone to talk to you about renting as long as you are off the island. You may have to find a monthly rental for a month or two when you first come over while you are looking around for a permanent home.

Is your or your husband's job actually in Kona?
the hubby will be going over a month before us. we wouldn't be signing anything sight unseen. and that is what i was planning on doing, picking up a month to month condo to get a better grasp on traffic, schools, etc. the job site is just north of the airport in kona. and i don't have a clue how far away from that i should be looking!


treedonkey, thank you for your post, but moving to paradise is just an added bonus. we are moving for the salary increase, and i have the opportunity to work with my husband after a small certification course back here in the states which will double the pay. we will be able to save and live well and it is basically one of those offers you can't refuse.
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Big Island- Hawaii, AK, WA where the whales are!
1,477 posts, read 2,463,876 times
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Good Luck Darthmom - sounds like a good reason with bonus of HI...

I am not gonna disagree with the above poster..or agree. but for the most part I see kids in HI have great lives - it depends on the parents and for the most part... I see way more family interaction that in WA. It always depends on parents though. I have not had any bad experiences in HI - I don't have kids so -- not going to say anything more there..... Trafffic in Kona ya is bad but compared to what?? Depends on what your used to -- there is much worse and I just avoid it.

In these times of economy can I ask how lucky you guys are to move to HI and get a raise??? No problem if you don't answer.....

You will figure it out when you get there - the vog killed me when I was in Kona - stay on the Hilo side in November -- but Dec - Jan - Feb was not anywhere near as bad for me. I am extra sensitve though. Keep us posted on your adventure.
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:41 PM
 
2,438 posts, read 5,104,077 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darthmom View Post
treedonkey, thank you for your post, but moving to paradise is just an added bonus. we are moving for the salary increase, and i have the opportunity to work with my husband after a small certification course back here in the states which will double the pay. we will be able to save and live well and it is basically one of those offers you can't refuse.
You're welcome. I wasn't trying to bash the area, only portray the dark side realistically. I've seen too many move all the way over there with unrealistic expectations and be disappointed and end up leaving a year later or, worse, feeling stuck there.

It sounds like your priorities are in the absolute correct order. I'm sure it will go well for you and yours. And that incredibly beautiful clear blue water you'll be surrounded by really has no drawbacks -- unless of course you're trying to leave.

If your spouses' job is near the airport, i should let you know that there really is nothing north of the airport, excepting a few resorts and exclusive communities until you get up to Kohala coast, where most of the resorts are, and even there' there aren't many regular amenities. The 'town' - all the amenities and most regular 'neighborhoods' are south of the airport. Unfortunately, weekday morning and afternoon traffic is horrible going that way, because so many work on the Kohala coast and commute from and to Kailua town. It would be a benefit to live north of airport, but like I say, there's not much up there, unless you want to commute all the way up to Waimea which is a good hour's drive.
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
5,976 posts, read 9,753,300 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darthmom View Post
treedonkey, thank you for your post, but moving to paradise is just an added bonus. we are moving for the salary increase, and i have the opportunity to work with my husband after a small certification course back here in the states which will double the pay. we will be able to save and live well and it is basically one of those offers you can't refuse.
emphasis added by hotzcatz

Sorry, "Paradise" is only on the Hawaii Visitor's Bureau advertisements, it doesn't really exist. Now "moving to Hawaii" is entirely possible but "moving to paradise" is probably not going to happen. Of course, you can say you are moving to Paradise just to make the folks on the mainland who aren't moving with you jealous, but remember that in actuality, most likely it won't be paradise at all. Mostly, as far as I can tell, "paradise" is all in the mind and the folks that can imagine it can perceive Nebraska to be "paradise" so if where you are is already "paradise" then it will also likely be found over here, too. If where you are is not "paradise" then it won't be here, either.
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:17 PM
 
3 posts, read 6,656 times
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Depending of where your jobs are, I think the area above the airport is a nice area to live - Kona Palisades, Kaloko, Kona Highlands, Kona Heavens, etc. The Keauhou area is also nice, it's closer to town and the beach. I know they have a lot of new townhomes in that area and on Ali'i Drive. I would check out West Hawaii Today or Craig's List for rental listings.

I grew up in Kona. I can't imagine growing up any where else! It was a wonderful place to grow up. I love the small community feeling and the fact that you can go to the beach and up to Mauna Kea and play in the snow in the same day.

Yes, the schools may not be the best schools in the world, but it also has a lot to do with parents and how your kids are raised. I also know a lot of not great schools here on Oahu. A lot of my friends, including myself got full ride scholarships (both athletic and academic) to universities in Hawaii and on the mainland. Keep your kids involved in sports, or clubs. It's sad to say that some of the best teachers are either honors or AP class teachers, so the kids that really need the extra attention and wonderful teachers don't get access to them - which I believe is part of the problem. The teachers do the best they can with what they are given. Truthfully, I don't know if you and your husband went to college, but some of the people I met at my school that went to expensive private schools were not the brightest crayons in the box if you know what I mean. I understand you want the best education for your kids, but I think a lot of it involves you. There are a lot of wonderful teachers in Kona.

I truly believe no matter where you go, either in the islands or the mainland there are going to be drugs and safety worries, especially when you first move anywhere. As for what treedonkey posted, it's kinda normal to smell people smoking weed or drinking at the beach. (I question how they know what crack smells like. haha, I've lived in Kona all my life and i have no clue what it smells like.) But drinking at the beach after work, it's just kinda how we do things on the Big Island. Mostly, if you leave people alone (don't stare at them or talk about them) and are friendly you will be left alone too - like anywhere else.

Traffic is crazy in Kona now! It never used to be that way, but that's because of infrastructure, they are playing catch up.

I currently live in Honolulu, I hope to move back one day and raise my kids in Kona. I do NOT think the bad stuff - like traffic - out weigh the beauty of Kona. I wish you and your family the best in your move!

ps. I went to Kealakehe elementary, intermediate, and high school. Private schools on the island are ridiculously priced (HPA) but there are a lot of charter schools on the island.
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