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Old 05-30-2013, 03:05 PM
 
5 posts, read 9,500 times
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Like many others before us, my long-term girlfriend and I have fallen in love with Hawaii and are now considering it for our next move. I've read over many of the "I want to move to Hawaii" threads here on CD, but since our situation is slightly different than many others, I'd appreciate any additional input I can get.

A little about us: we are 27 and 30 and own a small business that allows us to work from anywhere with reliable phone/internet, so neither of us will need to find local employment. We currently make around 80k/year, but by the time we are ready to make the move in 1.5-2 years, that number will most likely be closer to 120-140k. We also have three (small) dogs, which from what I've read, will be one of our biggest obstacles when trying to find housing.

Given our location flexibility, does anyone have suggestions for which islands/areas would be best for our situation? Are there certain areas to avoid due to frequent internet outages? Honolulu seems like it would be a logical choice due to its size and diversity, but I've been a bit put off by people's complaints regarding traffic and overall congestion. One of the reasons that we are keen to move is to embrace a slower pace of life. My girlfriend is set on Maui, and we really liked the pace there, but living and vacationing are two very different things. I think ideally that we'd like to find a place that is fairly laid back but still offers enough amenities and activities so we don't get bored. We'd also like to be in an area where there are other people around our age for socialization purposes.

Also, are car prices generally higher or lower than on the mainland, taking into account the cost to ship a vehicle? We plan to sell our current vehicle prior to moving, but should we try to find a replacement vehicle here (Seattle) and have it shipped or would we be better off purchasing once we arrive?

Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Virginia
985 posts, read 1,955,953 times
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We moved here from Bellingham. One of our reasons to move was the weather, sunshine, and wearing slippers year round...without socks. (yes a little jab at Seattle-ites there).

My pace of life is definitely not slower, it's faster. It's not a negative thing, I just work harder and play harder here. The mindset of a slower paced life is just that, a mindset. You can live like that there if you choose. Well...except for road rage, you have to pretty much drop that activity and mellow out if you want to stay sane.

I cannot attest to living on Maui, but can relate to taking vacation there several years in a row before moving. Having been here for a couple years, I am glad we chose Oahu. I still like Maui, but I love this town. Honolulu is about as big as Bellevue, but after a short 12mi drive you can be away from the buildings at Sandy Beach, or up in the tropical rain forests. Traffic is congested in areas, but no more than similar areas in Seattle. Bored? No way. We have cycled through a few routines of places to go and things to do on the weekends, but won't run out of new things for quite a while. It seriously took 3 months to get over the "it's sunny outside, let's make the most of it" mindset. It's sunny today, gonna be sunny tomorrow and the next day.

I have yet to have an issue with Internet connectivity, aside from the time an ocean cable was cut. Even then they re-routed traffic pretty quick.

Pets, yeah, that limits your housing options by about 80%. The pet friendly landlords know it's a tight market and can charge a premium because of it. You have to go through hoops and it takes some time, but you can find a place and make it work. (We have 3 awesome cats we brought over) The process of bringing them over is well documented, and the cats were ready for us by the time we made it to the pet release area.

Car, tough call. Shipped one car, sold the other. Never regretted either. You should be able to compare prices on-line between dealerships here and there. I would be interested to know if buying there and paying shipping ($1100) would be cheaper than buying here. I can't imagine that it would be though. One thing to note is that your lifestyle may be different once you adjust here, therefore your car choice may change as well.
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:52 PM
 
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Thank you for your response, Dthraco. We will definitely look more into Honolulu and the surrounding area. I'm glad to hear that the traffic there isn't too bad; I lived in Austin for awhile and that was one of my biggest complaints, more so than here in Seattle.

And yeah, I wouldn't think buying and shipping a car would be cheaper, but you never know.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:50 PM
 
Location: West Coast
1,889 posts, read 1,953,322 times
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I am in a similar situation, but I will be returning soon from Seattle. I am your age and I wouldn't consider anywhere other than Honolulu, not only for me it being home, but because there is so much to do. It feels like just as big of a city as Seattle, traffic is more dense but the jams don't stretch for 30+ miles like they do in the Seattle area. Honolulu is wired, busy, energetic, and a great place to live if you can handle the cost and traffic (coming from Seattle you won't be in for a shock in either area, the biggest problem people have with cost of living going from a major city to HNL is the "buying power" being diminished due to wages).

I think you'd feel very islolated on Maui to be honest, especially at your ages. I highly doubt that will be a problem in Honolulu, I can't wait to get back. Here it is nearly June in Seattle, it was in the upper 50's, windy, and rainy. In fact, it did that nearly all month; we even set some record low temps and had two days with over a foot of snow each in the mountains...in mid-May.

As far as the car situation goes, it would probably be best to find a good replacement rig and ship it, there is more selection on the mainland, you can even look in Portland or Spokane to find one that fits your needs. I'm not sure if I would get a Honda, though. I think the only place with more car theft than Pierce County is probably Hawaii (meth is probably a wash), and they love to lift Hondas more than anything it seems. At least, that is how it was when I lived there.



I, for one, will not miss seeing that 99% of the time, even in "summer." You'll love Hawaii.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:53 AM
 
Location: Kailua Kona, HI
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$80K a year while looking like a lot to some people in other parts of the country, is NOT a lot in Hawaii especially Oahu. I live in Kona and for 9 years, haven't been bored one single day. There is so much to see and do here, it's unbelievable. It is also more affordable in general (especially housing) than Oahu and probably Maui too from what I know.

Renting with 3 dogs is going to be very very difficult. What are their breeds? No condo that I know of will allow 3 dogs so you will need a single family home, that's pretty much a given.

All this is possible though, you must research and plan plan plan. My husband came over first and rented a small condo for several months while looking for a house for us to buy. I was bringing a cat and 4 large parrots! You might do the same even though you will rent. My daughter's family at one time had 1 large and 2 small dogs and 3 cats - and they have rented a couple of different houses here (and still do) but they are paying currently, about $2200/month in the Kona area for a large home. They have a roommate in a downstairs studio (a friend), they and their daughter and the cats live in the main upstairs portion. Alas! the owner is returning in Sept. and they have to move. Again. about 4 houses in 3 years.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Virginia
985 posts, read 1,955,953 times
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80K is pretty solid for Honolulu. You won't live in a big fancy home or anything, but it's definitely a liveable wage.

Love my Honda CRV. There are TONS of them on the island, and it's not on the "most stolen" list. Here's an article from last year:
Hondas, Ford trucks top Hawaii?s most-stolen vehicle list - Pacific Business News

@thatguy950 - Totally hear you on the grey doom and gloom. Here you will see more of this kind of stuff:
We caught the Aloha Fever-makapuu-5-26-13.jpg
This is a still shot from my GoPro camera taken this last sunday.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:14 PM
 
Location: not sure, but there's a hell of a lot of water around here!
2,683 posts, read 7,214,684 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dthraco View Post
80K is pretty solid for Honolulu. You won't live in a big fancy home or anything, but it's definitely a liveable wage.

Love my Honda CRV. There are TONS of them on the island, and it's not on the "most stolen" list. Here's an article from last year:
Hondas, Ford trucks top Hawaii?s most-stolen vehicle list - Pacific Business News

@thatguy950 - Totally hear you on the grey doom and gloom. Here you will see more of this kind of stuff:
Attachment 112417
This is a still shot from my GoPro camera taken this last sunday.
Not to change the topic, too much, but did you get your a'alas karanged taking that shot?

Aloha
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Virginia
985 posts, read 1,955,953 times
Reputation: 978
Haha, nah, I was on the shoulder as it went rolling past. One of his buddies got the opportunity to rough me up a bit.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:49 PM
 
4,067 posts, read 5,709,789 times
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Dthraco Great shot!
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:29 PM
 
5 posts, read 9,500 times
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Thanks for the replies, everyone!

Thatguy950, we have only lived in Seattle for 6 months (we moved here knowing we would only stay a few years at the most) and already the weather is becoming a major deal-breaker. Don't get me wrong--Seattle is a great city, but I need sunshine and warm weather to truly be happy. I tried to get that in Texas, but all the consecutive 110+ degree days finally broke me down. Hawaii truly is a paradise when it comes to climate.

Regarding our income, I only mentioned it because it seems common to be told "you can't afford to live here" on many similar threads. 80k isn't a ton of money, either in Hawaii or here in Seattle, but we don't lead a lavish life and might even cut back on some expenses living so close to the ocean. We mostly shop at farmer's markets for our groceries, so I'm hoping that the fact that we avoid most packaged foods will help keep our food costs down.

Our three dogs are like our children, so we will definitely want for them to have a yard to play in. We have a sheltie and two sheltie mixes. They all weigh around 15lbs. My girlfriend would also like to find a landlord that would allow us to get a chicken as well, but that might be pushing it in my opinion.

Based on everyone's responses, it sounds like a trip to Oahu is in order!
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