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Thread summary:

Moving to Texas: San Antonio, housing, cost of living, market, mortgage.

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Old 11-10-2008, 07:01 PM
116 posts, read 360,425 times
Reputation: 79


I'm a born, raised and living on Oahu (Mililani) gal. DH and I work at UH-Manoa. Commute in AM not so bad, but PM drive home is about 1 hour using the HOV lane. Getting tired of commute, high cost of living and there are simmering family issues. Love Hawaii but have been thinking about a move (to the mainland) for the last 10 years and I think we're finally ready to do it.

DH's mom and sis moved to SA about 5 years ago and love it. Mother-in-law (MIL) was transferred from HNL to SA for her job so she was able to bring her HI salary to SA and is living very, very comfortably. We're considering the move. I've noticed that some Hawaii ex-patriots have been active on this forum and we would appreciate the highs and lows of moving to SA. I love my MIL and SIL so there are no issues living near them.

Our biggest concern is about jobs and pay. I have more than 10 years of fiscal and procurement work at UH. DH has 5 years of administrative/fiscal from UH and some IT experience. But most experience for him was working in a medical setting. Do you think we can find work in SA that will pay at least $40K/year? Combined we currently earn $100K/year but in Hawaii that is just barely scraping by. We have 2 young ones - 3 and 6.

Other than the loss of our beloved "local foods", what are some other concerns that we should be aware of? We're flying up in July 09 to experience the hottest time of the year and comparing it to Hawaii's high temps. And we will be driving all other the place to see neighborhoods, schools, amenities, etc.

Mahalo to everyone that takes time to assist us with this very important decision.
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:35 PM
Location: San Antonio
168 posts, read 359,021 times
Reputation: 141
Default Hawaii Resident for 6 years

I lived in and worked in Honolulu (1985-1991) and then moved to San Antonio. I hated to leave Hawaii, but quickly learned there were better things for me in San Antonio. Living/working in San Antonio has been very enjoyable for me for many reasons. This is a great city with tons of activities for all interests and there are many more options within an hour or two drive, when you really don't have that option in HNL. The Texas July/August/September hot weather far exceeds Hawaii climate - its like Kona wind days in Hawaii, but hotter, but that's why we love our ACs! The best times of the year here are March/April/May and October/November/December. Since I've lived here, the winters are very mild. It might dip down into the high 20s overnight, but temps return to 50/60s during the day.
I can't comment on salaries in your field, sorry!
Housing is extremely inexpensive compared to HNL.
Overall cost of living is very reasonable.
Good luck with your decision!
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:19 AM
Location: San Antonio
7,629 posts, read 14,378,717 times
Reputation: 18706

I can certainly understand your concerns, but think that what you are suffering from (excluding maybe the family issues) is very similar to what we saw living in Honolulu from 1996-2000, which was the last bubble market that Hawaii saw...at that time there were so many people moving from Hawaii in search of jobs as the Japanese economy impact on the island was so severe. The potential for this to be even worse than then is much greater since the issues are now GLOBAL economy problems, and Hawaii has always seemed to have the Mainland to look to or Japan to look to depending on who was having issues, but now BOTH have problems that will impact the islands greatly.

I think that now is a GREAT time to make the move, SA's economy is strong, medical job growth is strong, and the biggest thing is you need 1/2 of what you are making there to live the same lifestyle.

We also have no state tax, and MUCH better schools (we had all our children in private school in Hawaii, and anyone that lives/has lived there KNOWS the difference in schools between SA and the islands).

Yes, it DOES get hot here, but we all have Central A/C and even with the electric bill, it is a fraction of what it cost you there on the islands monthly in rent/mortgage pmt.

Having family here will help, but there is a large, very friendly Hawaiian community here with lots to be involved in.

Here is a cost of living comparison for you to investigate to help you with some of your questions...but get those feelers out NOW vs Jul 09 to see if you can find what you want/need earlier rather than later.

Cost of Living comparison calculator

Of course, you will miss the islands, but lets face it, those that have only vacationed there seem to forget that those of us that LIVE there face the same issues they do back home...bills, laundry, homework, the daily grind that keeps you from being able to sit on the beach all day like they did during their vacation time there. Given your situation, I think that you are considering a wise move.

Best of luck!

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Old 11-11-2008, 01:50 PM
116 posts, read 360,425 times
Reputation: 79
Default Thank you

The information provided by your postings have been helpful. It's so nice to get some impartial points of view. The Cost Comparison link was especially enlightening. I hope it's accurate. We'll be researching a lot in the next few months and hope to have a better understanding of what to expect when we visit in July. A move probably would not happen until spring or summer of 2010 to lessen the impact on my older daughter who is in elementary school right now. It seems like a long time from now, but this is not a decision we are taking lightly.
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Old 11-11-2008, 02:05 PM
Location: San Antonio
7,629 posts, read 14,378,717 times
Reputation: 18706
Totally understand, but do not take lightly what it might cost you to wait.

Are you selling in Hawaii??? Is it possible that one of you come ahead of the other to help bridge the gap??? Do you need (want) to wait if things will be more difficult with the entire economy in the months to come.

While I can understand your timetable might be a good one...just remember that all issues at both the gaining and loosing location should be taken into consideration before you set any timetable in stone...timing might be very important given the economic issues at hand.

We stand by ready and willing to do all we can to help you with your move to SA...and remember, it will ALWAYS be scary to move out of the known into the unknown.

Some goooooood Local kind food available here too...to help when you are feeling homesick.

As we put our youngest on the plane tomorrow morning to return to K-Bay for his FIRST duty assignment after USMC training, trust me, we are MORE than a bit jealous that he gets to move back there!!!
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:53 PM
Status: "Amused by Blue" (set 11 days ago)
14,627 posts, read 31,217,395 times
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My question:

When you live in paradise, where the heck do you go to "get away from it all"? For that reason alone, I would move to the mainland. Now, you can vacation there and enjoy it like the rest of us. (well, I've never been, but I used to watch Hawaii-5-0!)
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:10 PM
Location: San Antonio
7,629 posts, read 14,378,717 times
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Originally Posted by sapphire View Post
My question:

When you live in paradise, where the heck do you go to "get away from it all"? For that reason alone, I would move to the mainland. Now, you can vacation there and enjoy it like the rest of us. (well, I've never been, but I used to watch Hawaii-5-0!)
Funny you ask...I asked the SAME question of my DH while we were on the plane flying over there to live.

The answer is simple and became apparent VERY quickly after moving there....VEGAS BABY, VEGAS!
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:51 PM
116 posts, read 360,425 times
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Talking Hey Paka!

Best wishes for your son in the corps. K-bay is a beautiful area and I give credit to anyone that can make the USMC their career, moreso to the parents who support their child's decision to join-up during this turbulent time.

Well, back to topic. Because I earn more than DH he and our 2 girls will be moving to SA probably in August 2009. I earn more and my pay check can cover the financial commitments we have here in HI until I can sell our place. Which, BTW we just bought 1.5 years ago. What a waste, but with our maintenance fee being raised to almost $500/month and pay hikes not expected for the next 2 years, times will only get tougher. While I take care of all of this, he will be looking for a job and getting the kids enrolled in school.

We've been invited to live with MIL and SIL for as long as we like. They are in the Comal ISD and from what I can see my older daughter will be attending a school being built. I'm researching preschools now and if it's like Hawaii I'll need to apply ASAP in order to get my youngest into preschool in late 2009. It took us 1 year to get her into her current preschool and we had sibling preference. Geesh!

I'm trying to bring as many local recipes I can get my hands onto, and I'm finding myself eating more of the local foods I know for sure I can't get on the mainland -- zippy's chili, napples, meat juhn, etc.

BTW we can't wait to be able to have new adventures around Texas. We're looking forward to taking road trips!

Thanks again, and I appreciate the information and guidance.
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Old 11-13-2008, 11:52 PM
Location: Right behind you.
71 posts, read 184,703 times
Reputation: 58
We are making a (forced) transition from Kaneohe to SA.

Overall we miss Hawaii and would move back in a heartbeat if we could.

Some culture shocks we've had in our 2 weeks or so in SA:

Local news:
Watching the news/reading the papers SA reminds me a lot of when I lived in the DC area. Crime crime and more crime. Kids getting shot/killed... The sort of senseless stuff that will give you nightmares if you watch the news. Sure o|Oahu has crime too but in my couple of weeks in SA we seem to have had as much violence as 6 months in Hawaii.

Jeans jeans and more jeans. For some reason this just hit me on a balmy (80F+) saturday strolling around one of the zillion big box stores they love here. All of a sudden I started noticing that everyone (but me) was wearing jeans. I stopped counting at my 40th jeans sighting. I felt like a foreigner strolling around in my Da Hui shorts.

This place is frontage road/turnabout crazy and many drivers reflect the roads they drive on. H1 was bliss compared to the streets and drivers here. FYI to the non-hawaiian: H1 is not bliss (that's H3). Traffic and highways here are pretty bad if it makes H1 look good.

Not a lot of variety. If you like cracker barrel, sonic, star bucks, mcdonalds and bar-b-que you will be fine. I'm sure there are decent restuarants we will eventually discover, but If you want easy to find decent food, you are out of luck. Forget saimin at mcdonalds or a few scoops of rice for the kids at burger king, or anywhere else here. No place has something as simple as rice and decent soup.

We've only been here a couple of weeks and I'm sure this place has a few hidden charms we have yet to discover. I'll try to get back and update this thread once we've had more of a chance for it to grow on us....
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Old 11-14-2008, 12:38 AM
116 posts, read 360,425 times
Reputation: 79
Default Love your Log-In

Thanks dontbugme! Your insights about the crime are helpful. I've been monitoring the San Antonio news and have noticed that there seems to be a lot of violent crimes. Honolulu's stuff seems to pale in comparison. My SIL indicated that like everywhere else there's areas that you should stay out of if you want to avoid trouble. This is the one thing I am VERY concerned about as Hawaii being in the middle of the Pacific not as many crazies can get to my girls. We're hoping to be able to afford a home in a better neighborhood and we'll definitely get a security system. It would be nice to get a place in a gated community but that would be wishful thinking.

We were considering Bellevue, WA before SA. My sister lives in Redmond, WA and works for Microsoft. She's been trying to get us to move for more than 15 years. But, I can't handle clousy weather. Can barely get out of bed when it's raining in HI, how am I suppose to function in Seattle!

Keep the information and personal opinions coming, it's been very helpful.
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