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Old 12-04-2011, 02:49 AM
 
10 posts, read 19,776 times
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I absolutely love Maui, having been there a few times, including twice in a month once. I think about it often. The climate agrees with me, and my body does not hurt. I feel old in the cold and tired and want to huddle under a blanket. I hate that. I do not like paying to heat my home so many months out of the year. I don't like the rude people, or the rat race. I prefer "Maui time" and a simple life with good people and good food. Warm weather, and beautiful scenery is great too! I love being near, if not in, the water. I do not like cold water. I do not mind rain so much, having lived in the NW, but do not like cold weather.

Now, I have read much about all the other islands, and love article about what it is like to live on a particular isle, especially in this economy and the current vog conditions on the big island. But, many articles seen to be a few years old, and the economy has changed, so I wanted a newer perspective.

I love the idea of Kauai - the beauty, and the recluse of it.
I do not like the idea of a concrete jungle, so Oahu does not sound appealing on the surface.
I love Maui, having been there several times.
The big island interests me. I like that it is like Maui and Kauai, or so I hear. But I also like that it has the most inexpensive real estate.

I understand the difference in job market between Maui and the big island would be Maui being tourism based and the big island would be more agricultural. Kauai seems to have little jobs at all, and most in the hospitality industry. Although Kauai sounds very beautiful, and a great climate perhaps with wonderful beaches, supporting myself seems to be harder done here than elsewhere, especially when it comes to real estate.
Maui is also high, although I could get a fixer perhaps - which I do not mind, and Oahu also sounds high, but then a better chance for one of those rat race jobs I am not fond of.

Maui seems like it will always be my first choice although not necessarily obtainable, or at least with what I am trying to do, so I need to consider other options. Oahu may be the fourth of my immediate preferences, but it could be third as far as the balance of where I want to live and if I am able to make a go of it. Kauai just does not seem like it will work, period. I am open to Oahu, however, but seem like my focus is between Maui and the big Island - the latter I have never visited.

About me: I'm lazy. Okay? Let's be honest. I do not want to work much here. I especially do not want to work for some jerk head manager at a Walmart on the mainland where your dreams rather go and just die a lonely sad death. No! I do not care if I can pay bills, that does not equate to me a good life. One regret people have when they die is not living the life they wanted to live and they worked too much and a third regret is not being happy enough. I do not want to be that way. I did that forty years plus!

In that time, I have some skills, a brain, and some money to work with. I am also afraid to death, which is why I am seeking advice from strangers lol. Hey, I do not mind a simple minimum wage job cooking somewhere (Great cook, I am!) and doing things on the side with photography, or selling "authentic" Hawaiian artistic crafts or whatever. I'd rather have enough land to work on, and grow my own food (or most of it) and not have to worry about a job to pay that expense. I do not have much family left to speak of, so there isn't any of that sort of ties here. I love Maui (again, because it is the only island I have visited) and think of it now as much as I do (did) girls, let's say. I spend hours a day on the internet looking up things, and even creeping around in the world of google earth street view.

I could perhaps sell everything I have and buy a small shack in (stretching here) Lahaina, or Wailuku or even Kehei, but not much land there to produce food. I would have to get a job, which may not be so bad, if I could have a piece of land there in Lahaina where I could walk to work, and such, to save money.

I do not have a cell phone now, nor do I have a television subscription. I do have a girlfriend who would work, at least a minimum wage job. I like the idea of city water more than catchment, but this could be my own silly fear. I would love to hear more about this from people. But, solar power is cool. The point is, I do not need to eat out much, and in fact do not need much meat if any, and do not need much electricity or services. Just internet, my one vice!

I could see buying a small piece of land (or an acre or more) enough to grow a good deal of my own produce (lettuce, tomato, etc) with some fruit trees. Maybe sell some or trade for local fresh fish once in awhile or something, or trade for other produce. I see some of those houses for 50-60-80k one some good sized land, and think I could buy it cash, and a newer small truck, ship my stuff over (about 2500, maybe a bit more for my dog which is a must!) and some sort of solar power system and have a good running start. I have a house here I also own i would sell, so then having a nice nest egg to live off of (I am soooo fond of LOW tax) or start a business (food?) or start farming.

So there are the two worlds. I really do not care which. When I think about the big island, the main real concerns for me are being able to sustain myself given my situation and my admitted being a lazy surfer hippie type who wants to very well take full advantage of all Hawai'i has to offer, is if I could sustain myself, and then lava zones. The vog is a bit of an issue, but that seems to be the SW corner mostly?

I love the idea of Puna where maybe people will not bother me so much, but then also there is the lava zone issue and being too far off of the grid. A second vehicle, besides a pick up (probably 4 cyl extra cab would be nice. 4x4? Toyota?)

Honokaa, or some of the other areas up north sound VERY nice indeed.

Okay, now, I do not want to get into conspiracy theories, but let us just for one minute assume all those theories are true - that the world is about ready to blow up, and our economy is about to go to crap, and there may not be jobs, and you may have to live on your own, and support yourself, and so forth... where would you live?

See, I think a nice piece of land on the north side where the volcano that seems like it is about to ... umm... create more real estate soon, is far, far away, where I could have a half acre to an acre, a small house, my doggie, my girl, a truck, maybe a moped for those quick trips, and/or mountain bikes (yes? no?), and some land to grow stuff of all kinds, with water catchment and solar power seem close to Heaven. I would own my own home, have money stashed for taxes, ...

What do you think? Does anyone know what the average cost is to have a small 800 ft modest home built? What is your daily life like? Does anyone live like I am proposing now? Do you hate it? Really, you could write a book on the subject, and I'll read it. Especially if it has pictures. I can't wait to go here soon. I was planning on Maui in March, but maybe I cannot wait - maybe at the end of THIS month, at least to visit and check out some property, and then maybe instead of Maui, or along with Maui, checking out some property on the big island as well. Then again, if you have any ideas for cheap places to stay, that is great too. I just need a comfortable bed, really. I am not there for the room too much.

I wish I could own a personal beach front property in Hana with lots of pineapple trees where I could also have some other produce too, of course. Oh, and for free and pay no taxes. But, I'd take as close to this as I could get! You know what I mean? Definitely no lease hold crap of course...

So Waipio? Or how far east is good to go? What about more south and upland towards Waimea? Or is Kona the spot to be? How about Hawi?

Then again, there is all that in Hilo area to think about with the really cheap property -- but is that a good place to live? I am under the impression that the worse place in Hawai'i on any island is better than some of the best places on the mainland. I like quite and do not necessarily need a lot of people. I make friends easily enough, and prefer not to be bothered by anyone, especially authoritatively as it seems to be getting here on the mainland. I do not bother anyone, and so like the same.

Yes I know it's a lot of information and a lot of questions, but this isn't easy! So thank you for reading and any information you could give me. I really value the insight from those that live there! I'd love to know what area you live in and how you get by and what you do and your daily activities you do to stay in paradise. Thanks!
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:20 AM
 
Location: Maui County, HI
4,131 posts, read 7,125,296 times
Reputation: 3390
A lot of people who post on this board asking about moving to Hawaii have the wrong attitude. They say things like "I don't need a lot of money" or "I don't mind a minimum wage job". You're thinking that Hawaii lets you live more cheaply than the mainland, but the opposite is true. The cost of living is really really high here, so you need a big salary. That's why a lot of people come, work the minimum wage jobs, and then leave after a few months. Great for employers, bad for the failed seekers.

There are surfer types who are happy here, sharing a house with a bunch of people, spending most of their time surfing... so that kind of thing is doable. But you're talking about owning property and building a house. Look up property values on Zillow.com
The idea of owning enough land to grow enough food to put a dent in your budget is almost like a cruel joke on Maui. It takes a LOT of land to grow food for a person, which people from non-agricultural backgrounds usually don't realize.

Most of the jobs here are the crappy service jobs where you work for a jerkhead manager... probably at Wal Mart. If you're lucky you get to work in the tourism industry and deal with jerkhead tourists too.

And that's it. There's nothing better. Opportunities are limited, jobs are McJobs, pay is low, real estate is too expensive for working class people. You don't get to improve on Maui. You stagnate in low paying unrewarding jobs, and if you're lucky you get to enjoy yourself in your time off. If you're not lucky you live in poverty. For some people that's good enough.

Last edited by winkosmosis; 12-04-2011 at 03:37 AM..
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:39 AM
 
Location: Kahala
11,970 posts, read 16,388,400 times
Reputation: 5988
I had a good laugh - my favorite was, pretty much a belly buster........

"I could see buying a small piece of land (or an acre or more) enough to grow a good deal of my own produce (lettuce, tomato, etc) with some fruit trees. Maybe sell some or trade for local fresh fish once in awhile or something, or trade for other produce. I see some of those houses for 50-60-80k one some good sized land, and think I could buy it cash, and a newer small truck, ship my stuff over (about 2500, maybe a bit more for my dog which is a must!) and some sort of solar power system and have a good running start. I have a house here I also own i would sell, so then having a nice nest egg to live off of (I am soooo fond of LOW tax) or start a business (food?) or start farming. "
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:57 AM
 
10 posts, read 19,776 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by winkosmosis View Post
A lot of people who post on this board asking about moving to Hawaii have the wrong attitude. They say things like "I don't need a lot of money" or "I don't mind a minimum wage job". You're thinking that Hawaii lets you live more cheaply than the mainland, but the opposite is true. The cost of living is really really high here, so you need a big salary. That's why a lot of people come, work the minimum wage jobs, and then leave after a few months. Great for employers, bad for the failed seekers.

There are surfer types who are happy here, sharing a house with a bunch of people, spending most of their time surfing... so that kind of thing is doable. But you're talking about owning property and building a house. Look up property values on Zillow.com
The idea of owning enough land to grow enough food to put a dent in your budget is almost like a cruel joke on Maui. It takes a LOT of land to grow food for a person, which people from non-agricultural backgrounds usually don't realize.

Most of the jobs here are the crappy service jobs where you work for a jerkhead manager... probably at Wal Mart. If you're lucky you get to work in the tourism industry and deal with jerkhead tourists too.

And that's it. There's nothing better. Opportunities are limited, jobs are McJobs, pay is low, real estate is too expensive for working class people. You don't get to improve on Maui. You stagnate in low paying unrewarding jobs, and if you're lucky you get to enjoy yourself in your time off. If you're not lucky you live in poverty. For some people that's good enough.
So even owning land outright, having a good jump on basic necessities (like a car, and working capital), trying to grow some of your own food, but then also having a lousy minimum wage job would not cut it? It isn't like I would have a mortgage or pay rent. We're talking on the big island, not Maui. I realize Maui is a bit out of reach.
Thanks for your input.
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Old 12-04-2011, 04:01 AM
 
10 posts, read 19,776 times
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Anyone who actually lives on the big island care to weigh in?
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Old 12-04-2011, 04:11 AM
 
Location: Maui County, HI
4,131 posts, read 7,125,296 times
Reputation: 3390
I thought you were primarily looking at Maui.

How much money are you going to have from selling your house? Yeah it's a lot easier if you don't have to pay rent.

But you can't grow enough food to make a diff so don't even consider that in your calculations.
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Old 12-04-2011, 04:27 AM
 
10 posts, read 19,776 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winkosmosis View Post
I thought you were primarily looking at Maui.

How much money are you going to have from selling your house? Yeah it's a lot easier if you don't have to pay rent.

But you can't grow enough food to make a diff so don't even consider that in your calculations.
Well, okay sorry for not making that clear. Maui is an option, but I would end up owning a shack (which is, you know, FINE by me! I can fix!) with zero land. So if I honestly could not grow enough food on an acre of land to make a difference (although I think I could maybe grow half!) then Maui would not seem as unrealistic.

My house... well, let's say bottom end... I net 150k. Basically trading house for house, I think, and then having a good cash basis - 50k plus - to work from. Maybe I get a small little hole-in-the-wall diner, or maybe I/we work doing minimum wage. Maybe one of us only has a job. I like to be realistic, you know, but also want to know my possibilities with a little creativity and work.

Zillow kind of sucks, it seems. I do not see as many listings. But, like this one seems interesting, or if I consider vacant land for around 50k if a modest (which does not mean a tiled fancy bathroom or fancy kitchen, etc.) home is about $100/sf and build around an 800 ft home seems reasonable. Is this true there, I do not know? I try to do as much looking into it as possible, but hey a clear piece of land and then building a house would work too, maybe. I would love that private beach house in Hana, but that is not going to happen. A shack in Hawaii does not sound that bad either though. I live rather simply here. It's just a matter of the basics, and a little extra - like internet. I do not need cable television, or smart phones or big huge trucks (unless that is a MUST there). I can use gas savers, and prefer, if possible, to walk to work. In Maui, some places, that might be possible. A mountain bike or scooter would work. Solar electricity - whatever.

MLS# 244185 - Paauilo, HI 96776 - Zillow
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Old 12-04-2011, 04:38 AM
 
10 posts, read 19,776 times
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Windermere | Listing Detail | KAILUA KONA, HI 96740 (http://www.windermere.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=listing.listingDetailUpdated& listingID=130991807&paginate=true - broken link)

Windermere | Listing Detail | 0 HAIA STREET WAIKOLOA, HI 96738 (http://www.windermere.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=listing.listingDetailUpdated& listingID=130796328&paginate=true - broken link)


Or then the el-cheapo:
Windermere | Listing Detail | 0 000000 MOUNTAIN VIEW, HI 96771 (http://www.windermere.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=listing.listingDetailUpdated& listingID=66471047&paginate=true - broken link)

What could I grow on 8 acres? omg
Or,
Windermere | Listing Detail | 25 Kaiwiki Rd HILO, HI 96720 (http://www.windermere.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=listing.listingDetailUpdated& listingID=131220962&paginate=true - broken link)

50k for a house and 2 acres?
Windermere | Listing Detail | 112941 OHIA AVE VOLCANO, HI 96785 (http://www.windermere.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=listing.listingDetailUpdated& listingID=131075240&paginate=true - broken link)
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Old 12-04-2011, 04:40 AM
 
10 posts, read 19,776 times
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These are just quick searches, mind you. But some of the areas and houses and parcels that I could work with, it seems, and what makes all this seem like it could very well be possible.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
5,495 posts, read 11,808,636 times
Reputation: 6101
It sounds like the B.I. would be where you can find (sort of) what you are looking for. At least as far as cheap land and the ability to throw up a cheap place to live off the grid. But you have to be really careful about what you're getting with the "cheap" land.

Please spend some time reading other threads on this forum. There have been recent discussions from people looking to do the same thing as you, with some very informative answers from people who live on the B.I. Being sustainable takes a lot of work, and is not easy just because it's Hawaii.
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