Island living is an attractive idea for many people. From those that are just setting out on their own life to retirees, and everyone else in between. With beautiful sunsets, gorgeous beaches, and a laid-back attitude, it truly has a little something for everyone.
The Real Estate Market
Finding a realtor, like Keller Williams Hawaii, is relatively easy. It is best to compare real estate markets, rentals and retail, across the islands as they have some variance and availability. Before you shop, know your budget for housing and how much you can bend with that budget. Living in Hawaii requires a larger budget than you will find on the mainland. Condos are around $390,000 and single family homes start at $730,000. Renting is also a bit higher with a studio apartment ranging from $1400-$1700. Two bedroom apartments will run you close to $2400.
Moving is Doable
If you are starting out your new life in Hawaii with relatively few possessions, you will find the actual cost of moving to be relatively less expensive. Since we are talking about moving an island, you will need to mail your possessions that will more than likely travel on an airline and possibly a boat (depending on the size of your possessions). If you are arriving with few possessions, be sure to have plenty of money to buy what you need until you start your job. If you are retired and looking to move with your things, you will find the expense to be larger. Many locals recommend that you sell your stuff and start out your new life with new things purchased on the island.
Utilities are Different
On the mainland, we are used to electricity running off of grids. On the island, it’s a bit different. Most of Hawaii’s electric generators run on oil and coal. When oil prices rise, so will your electricity. While you can cut your usage of electricity for simple things like your television, you won’t be able to “cut the cord” with your air conditioning that you are going to need to handle the humidity. During the warmest months of the year, you are going to see electric bills range from $300-$400.
Shop Like a Local
One thing many people do upon arriving to their new home is to shop at chain grocery and department stores. Don’t! Get to know your neighbors and find out where they shop. There are flea markets and open-air markets tucked away that are waiting for you to come visit and get your needs. They are typically less costly because this is where the local farmers and artisans sell their wares. The chain stores are shipping in items that will raise the cost of those items. If you are lucky, you can even find the farmers that allow you to pick produce straight from the farm for a fee.
Enjoy the Islands Like a Local
Hawaii is made for those who love the outdoors! Surfing is naturally the top sport of the area, you may even work with people who take surf breaks when the tide is just right. If surfing is not your sport, you can engage in a little paddle boarding or diving with sharks. Just spending your time on the beach and having a picnic is enough to soothe the soul and meet your local neighbors. There is plenty of hiking and camping spots available as well.
One of the best things about living in Hawaii is that everyone is incredibly nice. While you will have to make an effort to meet new people, they typically welcome you with open arms. Once you have a good solid connection, getting cozy with the laid back environment and amazing culture will make you glad you made the move.