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Old 01-30-2011, 08:49 PM
Location: Kaneohe, HI
4 posts, read 36,534 times
Reputation: 25


Area you are describing:
Kaneohe, O'ahu

Probably cooler than most places on the island. It rains often, but it seems to be passing showers or misty drizzles of rain. If there's a storm, Kaneohe will probably rain the hardest than any other place on the island. During the summer, it's not as obnoxiously hot as Honolulu, but it does feel muggier here.

I'm not familiar with the public school system because I went private my whole life, but from what I've heard from friends, the schools aren't very good. There are a few small religious private schools in Kaneohe, but I am not very familiar with their reputation/scores. I can imagine if someone is relocating, they'd take it upon themselves to look up stats.

I think Kaneohe is the easiest place to commute to and from. There's the H3 which is a straight shot from Kaneohe (MCBH) to the Pearl Harbor area. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes and there's never any traffic unless there's an accident or something. This is the best route to take if you're heading to the west side of the island. There's also the Likelike Highway which takes you to the Kalihi area. There's also the Pali Highway which takes you into Honolulu. These two are best to take if you're heading into Honolulu or downtown. All three options are easy access on and off.

There are lots of good hole in the wall places to eat in Kaneohe. There's hardly any mainland chain restaurants. The only ones I can think of is IHOP and Ruby Tuesday and they're both in the mall. Oh, and there's a Denny's in the Windward City Shopping Center. Other than that there are lots of small, locally owned and operated eateries. Lots of variety too.

Windward Mall is located in Kaneohe. This is not my favorite mall for shopping for myself (I am a woman who loves clothing, shoes, etc etc etc). It'll do for shopping for my daughter or for a gift. I much prefer driving to Ala Moana Shopping Center It's about a 45 minute drive depending on traffic.

Air quality:

Most people commute into downtown or Honolulu for jobs. Not much going on here in Kaneohe. It's like everywhere else in the state.

Very low. Once in a while you hear the crazy stories where someone got into a fight and got shot. Or murder suicide. Not meaning to scare people, but it happens. No matter how nice the neighborhood. And when it happens in Hawaii, it's a big deal because we're on an island... we're not nearly as populated as mainland states. With that said, it doesn't happen much. I guess what I'm trying to say is that when there's a major crime, the community is impacted hard. A lot of communities are very close knit.

Housing prices:
I believe median price is about $500,000 - $600,000. But honestly, that won't get you much in Kaneohe. You'll get a decent home, probably one that isn't remodeled or fixed up. You can get a townhouse unit for cheaper but there aren't very many in Kaneohe. You could get a nicer home for around $800,000 here but most times you're paying for the location/view. The house will not be too impressive. Not like anything you can get in the mainland. But again, you are paying for location and "paradise." There are homes near the bay for well over a million.

Good neighborhoods:
Anywhere on Kaneohe Bay Drive, Haiku, Keapuka (by Ho'omaluhia Gardens)

Mostly local people. People who have been born and raised in Hawaii. Lots of Hawaiian, Asian mixed peoples. Barely any Haoles (and btw that term is not derogatory. I am Hawaiian/Haole). Although the people here are open to any and all races, just like anywhere else on the island and in the state. We are a melting pot of races.

Stuff to Do:
Visit Ho'omaluhia Gardens and explore acres and acres of plants and flowers native to Hawaii. You can even walk down to the lake to feed the ducks or go fishing. Like everywhere else on the island, Kaneohe is close to beaches. Tho, we have to drive to Kailua for it. There's access to Kaneohe Bay which has a popular sand bar spot. It gets pretty crazy during the summer time. Lots of college aged people drinking and partying on the sand bar. It's a great time there no matter what your age is. We also have the mall, of course. And there's a public library here right next to the police station. There are lots of walkers and joggers in my neighborhood in the mornings and early evenings.

I love Kaneohe!
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:07 AM
Location: San Diego, CA
18 posts, read 65,357 times
Reputation: 15
Anyone with some info on Maui?
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:46 PM
Location: Florida -
10,213 posts, read 14,825,976 times
Reputation: 21847
In April-May, our ship will dock at Nawaiwili, KAUAI; Kahului, MAUI (and other ports included in various posts. Any information on these two?

We are also planning on spending 5-days in Honolulu, Oahu ... or local areas ... and would like to get off the main Waikiki strip ... any ideas? (We're retired, but active)
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:13 AM
2 posts, read 23,901 times
Reputation: 10
I am planning to move to Wahiawa and work at the General Hospital. My son will attend the High School. Post any thoughts or suggestions for me as I will not be moving until May of 2013. Planning on living at the Palms apartments so I can walk to work. My brother and his girlfriend may be moving with us, she is a college professor hoping to get a teaching job close to Wahiawa if not in Wahiawa.
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:11 PM
Location: Makakilo
64 posts, read 148,460 times
Reputation: 81
The high school in wahiawa isn't all that great...I'd tried to get your son into a better school if at all possible.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:04 AM
Location: Virginia
1,014 posts, read 2,098,728 times
Reputation: 1052
Default Love it here!

After being here for 9 months, I figure it's an appropriate time to answer this:

Area you are describing:*
Waikiki, Oahu

Weather: *
About 70 at night, 82-86 daytime.

No idea, no school age kids.

Commute: *
About 4 miles for me in the car, 3 for her on the bus.

We mostly eat at home, and take our lunches to work. *When we do eat out, we love Blazin Steaks ($7.50 for steak, rice, salad.), and a few select Pho and Thai places. *It took some time to find the good and reasonably priced places to eat.

For groceries it's a mix between Safeway (1miles), Costco (5mi), Target (10mi), and Wal Mart (3mi). *If we need something quick, there is a Food Pantry a 2 block walk away, but only the stuff you can't make a meal of in a hotel room is reasonably priced, everything else is jacked up for the tourists. *Milk there is $10 a gallon, $4.35 everywhere else. *Overall it just takes time to find the deals.
For furniture it's a bit more of a hunt to find the right stuff. *We moved here with only what we could take on the plane. *Looking back I would have shipped our furniture and put it in storage upon arrival until we found a place to live. *We sold everything, but forgot how long it took us in the first place to find the stuff we liked. *Re-furnishing from the ground up is much more expensive here and not even close to what we sold everything for. *Craigslist is a good place to get stuff here, as you will often find stuff that people have shipped over.

Air quality:*
Phenomenal. *Perfect air temperatures and clean air. *There's pretty much a constant light breeze with the tradewinds.

No direct experience. *

No direct experience aside from people dinging the car when it's parked. *We make sure to follow the standard big city rules of street smarts....leave nothing in the car, don't load the trunk when parking, limit night time walks in secluded area's, etc.

Housing prices:*
Condo's in our building go for about $325K. *The units are 1 bedroom with about 500 sq feet. * *Rent is $1,500-$1,600 depending on who owns your apartment in the building. *The nice thing is that's a flat rate, electricity, and cable are included. *While we could buy a unit in the building, the math does not add up when you factor in the building maintenance/electricity fee of about $600 a month. *Our building is one of the few that allow pets.

Good neighborhoods:
We like Waikiki, close to the beach, lots of activity, and very sunny. *Our apartment is high enough that it's pretty quiet at night.

Outside of the Tourists, the culture is dominated by asian / pacific islander, especially the closer you get to downtown. *For the most part people are happy and give off positive energy when you show it to them. *Most people let things play out and keep to themselves when someone else is being rude in person or on the road. *i.e. rather than honk the horn, you just wait.

Stuff to Do:
In addition to all the awesome outdoor activities there are great movie theaters and several places to go shopping. *The water is literally the perfect temperature, just a bit cool at first and then comfortable for hours.

My wife and I LOVE living here and feel truly blessed to have the life we planned and hoped for here in Hawaii. *We make an effort to not take it for granted and enjoy it. *We both have secured good jobs and are able to thrive.

I have heard that the island "tests" you. *I believe there is some truth to this. *Coming from the mainland is a bit of an adjustment. *Even though we planned and prepared for almost 4 years to move here, the were several things that came up that we did not expect. *We have already known three friends that we met that returned to the mainland. *One of them self imploded, one wanted to own a house and settle down, the other just couldn't find work in his field. *The shock of the change and the "test" that you are given makes one re-evaluate what is truly important. *While that is a good thing in some regards, it sure helps to know what your priorities are before you make the move. *Our priority to live here was only re-enforced by the challenges, so we adapted to make it work.

Additional questions put up by the OP:

How much does it cost to move my family to Hawaii?
We shipped one car (Matson, $1,050, excellent experience.)
Overall, with 3 cats, the move cost was about $7,500.

Can I fly pets to Hawaii? How?
We flew Hawaiian because that airline seems to have the best overall experience when flying to Hawaii. *They can only fit 3 pet carriers under the cabin per flight (no pets allowed in the cabin). *We made sure to book a flight that had room for our 3 cats. *Each cat has to be in it's own carrier. *We made sure to follow the rules for quarantine and entry of a pet. *Because we did our homework, the cats were ready before we got to the pickup location.
Cost: about $750 per cat.

Pet/rental situation:
In the greater Honolulu area most of the housing is apartment or condo living. *The majority of buildings have associations that do not allow pets. *That makes the market for pet friendly buildings rather tight. *And because the demand is there, the rent is higher. *We were super lucky to get the place we live in, as there were three other couples checking the place out. *Had we not filled out the application and had the check ready, we would not have gotten a leg up on the other couples. *The bottom line is that it takes a good 2-3 weeks of really watching craigslist to get a good place. *There are places that are readily available, but you pay pet rent, and they are DUMPS in dirty parts of town. *The recommendation on the board to rent a vacation rental for a month are very valid, giving you time to find the right place.

Hawaii expensive?
Food is typically $.50-$1.00 more per item, but some stuff is less than on the mainland.

Cost of living vs. Mainland?
Fuel is $.50 more per gallon than Seattle, Wa., but you drive far less distances. *Rent can be rather good depending on where you are. *Compared to Bellingham, Wa where we moved from, an ocean view like the one we have would costs $200 more than what we are paying, and it wouldn't be all bills included. *On that same note, the lower cost places in town are $300 more than those in Bellingham. *Parking in town is also a huge thing. *You either have it, or you rent a spot, or you let your car be part of the bumper car street parking.

Work attire:
Aloha Shirt and slacks for me, regular business casual for her.

IT has several Managed Service Providers that offer low hanging fruit type jobs. *The more desired jobs are a bit harder to find. *If you have a military clearance, it pays more and the are more IT jobs listed on a regular basis. I moved over with a MSP job, but found out very quickly that it was not the right fit for me. *There are many companies to are leery of new comers for this reason, and for the fact that a good percentage of people who relocate, go back within 1-2 years. I was told by the guy I replaced that he was surprised they took a chance on me since I was only on Island for 6 months at the time. *He, himself, was only in Hawaii for 2 years and moved back.

I am caucasian will people be prejudice about me?*
At first I could sense this. *But as my tan grew and became more even, not so much anymore. *The occasional hot head teenager will call me a Haole in passing, but people really are not that prejudice in person. *I finished High School in a similar minority % that there is here for caucasians. *Like there, people give back what you offer up. *Be nice up front, and people thaw out a bit.

Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions. *Honored and incredibly happy to live here.
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:08 PM
Location: Makakilo
64 posts, read 148,460 times
Reputation: 81
Very well said! Kudos to you
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:19 PM
Location: Kailua, Oahu, HI and San Diego, CA
1,178 posts, read 5,941,871 times
Reputation: 802
Originally Posted by Dthraco View Post
Craigslist is a good place to get stuff here, as you will often find stuff that people have shipped over.
Another good source is Freecycle (all items free):

FreecycleHonolulu : Messages : 28593-28623 of 28623
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Old 12-22-2011, 04:14 PM
11 posts, read 34,517 times
Reputation: 10
[SIZE=3]I just wanted to thank you for your great advice. My husband and I will be moving over in March. Our biggest obstacle so far is trying to find a company to hire my husband in IT. Do you have any suggestions here besides moving over and trying to find a job? [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]I was hoping I could also find a building that allows small pets (I have one miniature dog that will be coming with us once we are finished her 120 process ) but so far it’s been very challenging. [/SIZE]
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:10 PM
1 posts, read 20,119 times
Reputation: 10
looking at teaching in one of Molokai,Lanai,Kea'au,Pahoa,Ka'u. Can anyone give me information on these area's ring my husband,5yr son & a small dog.
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