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Old 02-06-2010, 12:11 AM
33 posts, read 91,122 times
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To any of you whom have lived on both of these islands - can you tell me is there truly a huge price difference if you are renting (not buying a house) ? I am basically wondering for everything from food, gas, utilities, all the other expenses - would you say they are quite similar, or is there a major difference, and if so, how much of a difference ?

Also, tell me which you preferred living on - and which you would think would be better to live on with kids. We love the beach and the sunshine, and am concerned that on the big island possibly it may be lacking those two things (especially on the hilo side).....any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 02-06-2010, 10:17 AM
2,627 posts, read 5,792,897 times
Reputation: 4022
Default My take...

Well, I actually am moving from the BI to Maui for several reasons. I have been researching these exact topics and find that housing is pretty comparable, of course depending where you wish to live. $1,000, give or take a few hundred, will get you a 2 b/2 b. Depends what you need. We have pets...so it's a bit more challenging. Food prices are the same between the two Islands. Maui has more choices for grocery shopping, I think. Weekly ads look good.
Utilities...ouch...the same. Prepare for a large deposit w/HELCO. It helps if you can provide proof of good-standing w/your current electric co. BI air quality was the clincher for us. We've been here two years and have had so few days of fresh skies. Could have stayed in Seattle for that. I am finding it tough to find any 'real' answers to the questions I ask on any forum. You ask about traffic and you get a thread on how much money you need to live. You ask about 'affordable rentals' you get a thread on how you should have started a savings account when you were 15 years old... Some of it is good. Most of my info I have researched through County/Govt websites and making calls. Hopefully others can chime in w/useful info.
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:06 AM
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Well said, Koale! I haven't lived on the BI, but from the time I've spent there v. living on Maui, I'd say another major difference is population density. Maui is nothing like Oahu for population, obviously, but the major residential areas seem to often have smaller lots and more high-rises.

There are plenty of rural/farm areas on Maui, but it's so much smaller than the BI, there's little comparison. Maui does have plenty of beaches, and by virtue of being smaller, they're closer together. The air quality is generally very good, but we do occasionally get a few days of drifting vog. (And in some areas smoke and ash from cane field fires.)

Having previously lived in large metro areas, I find the traffic on Maui generally fine -- the exception is when there is an accident, flood, or earthquake that closes a busy two-lane artery for hours. (Or days.) And there is no alternate route. There are more cars and fewer/smaller roads than I think many tourists expect, and therefore more complaints about traffic.

There are lots of rentals available now because so many people invested in second homes and so many former renters have moved back to the mainland. Most of Maui -- to me, for what it's worth -- is more like Kailua-Kona on the BI, and there's not much like Hilo here to compare it to.

IMHO, of course.
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:50 AM
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
9,154 posts, read 17,427,881 times
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If you are looking for beach and sunshine, then Maui wins, hands down.

The Big Island has the same problem with an accident/landslide/earthquake etc., shutting down a road and the detour can be over a hundred miles or no alternate route at all.
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:21 AM
Location: boise, idaho
55 posts, read 216,429 times
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Yes, please tell me about the pros and cons about Maui and Big Island, and how the people are as well. What I would like to know is how life in general is on both of these islands. Thank you.
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:37 PM
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
9,154 posts, read 17,427,881 times
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Maui and Hawaii (the island usually referred to as "the Big Island) are both "outer" islands, meaning we aren't Oahu which is the shipping hub. Oahu also has the biggest population base by far, so most of the goods will stay on Oahu. Big freighters bring in about 90% of everything eaten and used in the state to the central location of Oahu, then it is transferred to smaller barges which are sent to all the islands out from Oahu. Usually, this limits the availability of as many choices on the outer islands as well as increases the price (not necessarily the cost) of items available on the other islands. So things will be relatively the same price for many items on Maui versus Hawaii. However, Maui has a higher population density so the rents will be higher there but not as high as Oahu. Along with the higher population density goes more jobs, so it tends to level out the increased prices for rent.

Most economic things in Hawaii state have to do with demographics and shipping. The further the shipping, the more expensive and the less availability. The higher the population density, the higher the price but the more availability of things, services and jobs.
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