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Tiki Central Forums » » General Tiki » » Is Relocating to Hawaii Doable . . .
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Is Relocating to Hawaii Doable . . .
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3836
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2005-03-21 8:22 pm   Permalink

. . . or is it just whatanyone thinks - instead of vacationing there every summer, maybe I should just move there!

A preliminary, initial search indicates that on Oahu, the condos around Diamond Head average $250K, and the housing market around Honolulu averages around $300K, although the square footage is small - often less than 700 square feet - and the structures are historical (and not necessarily in a good way).

Apartments appear to cost around 1200.

The opportunity for a transition job doing hotel work appears to be possible, although career work appears to be more of a challenge, according to the book, "So you Want to Live in Hawaii."

And of course, funding the Hawaiian adventure comes with its own hourglass - placing a limit on the freedom to lie on the beach between employment.

While I suppose one could fly back and forth for the occasional interview, I would never hire someone who didn't already live there.

The question is:

While one can research issues of employment, housing, etc., to limit risk, unless one is self-employed or has it like that, one still is hoping to make it where many, including non-California Carpetbaggers have failed, including hoping that someone will provide an opportunity to live the rest of one's life in paradise (or atleast Oahu) as opposed to be considered another mainlander on a Hawaiian adventure.

Is the risk of pursuing the thrill and possibilities - only to come up empty and be forced to return, broke, to the mainland outweighed by the security of a mainland existence, with occasional Hawaiian vacations?

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 4021
From: Reseda, calif.
Posted: 2005-03-21 9:24 pm   Permalink

I say just go ahead and take a chance. You will have the gratest challenge of your life, "not knowing"......

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3836
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2005-03-21 9:26 pm   Permalink

This thread "Living In Hawaii" is useful:


but raises another question, set forth by Maui Tiki, is living in a 700 foot cottage and doing hotel work on Hawaii all good - or is it merely a case of the grass being greener?

A friend of mine did it for a while in his 20s after working at Hughes, but then came back here.

Of course, doing office work and paper shuffling here the rest of one's life, even if you get to live in a larger place, not too far away from the ocean, is hardly anything to get excited about.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3836
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2005-03-21 9:41 pm   Permalink

The following Q & A frames the issues (which appear to boil down to employment and housing):

1.) Is there a reliable, accurate website or websites I can go to to find jobs and apartments?

2.) In your opinion, based on my experience, where do you think I can best find a job. (ex. Honolulu?)

3.) Can you paint a picture of my costs and challenges relocating?

For item 1, not really, you can try
www.monster.com, and the local newspapers websites. [http://starbulletin.com/ and http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/]
Honestly, it will probably be easier to look once you arrive and contact a professional placement agency, as well as ones located in the outer islands. Perhaps you can try contacting an agency directly now, before you move.

2. Definitely Honolulu, although I understand many people live on the outer islands and commute (yes, via plane each day) to Honolulu and back home. They do this because the costs of property is significantly lower in other places (except Maui, its expensive there too).

3. Unfortunately, I have no professional experience with relocation costs. I only have my own personal experience. When I moved, I only brought my luggage and sent three boxes. But that’s because I didn’t know if I was going to stay here for very long. How much moving will cost depends entirely on what you want to move and from where. If it’s a whole house, I recommend you look into the large shipping (freight) companies. (Try searching Google for “moving company”.) Depending on the time of year, your move may be somewhat cheaper. I would avoid the tourist season (May-August) and the holiday season mid-November-mid-January). The housing and job markets get very sluggish from about Thanksgiving until mid-January.)

Consider putting aside as much savings as you can spare set aside for the costs of the move, your flight, getting storage, renting cars, having to make a security deposit (usually 1 month’s rent), making copies, phone calls, and purchasing items you’ll need when you move in, as well as to cover your expenses for at least two to four months. In Honolulu, rent for a single person in a one bedroom can run from $700 to $1,200, gas is about $2.35 per gallon, the city bus costs $2.00 per ride (there are transfers for extended trips), cars (if you decide to buy a good quality used car) run about $2,000-8,000, electricity may run from $30-$70 per month for a single person; automobile registration is about $120, while food depends on where you shop and whether or not you eat out.

The biggest challenges you will face will include finding housing and employment. Because you will settle the issues of where to live and work when you arrive (that’s exactly how I moved here!) I would recommend that you make at least a two-fourth month contingency plan trying to anticipate what you will need and what it may cost you.

When I arrived, I put the bulk of my belongings in storage and proceeded to visit all the islands, with my resume and other credentials in tow (you’ll want to bring bank statements in case for when you apply for a rental). [Now that I think of it, bring copies of your final “credit” statements for electricity/gas, phone bill, and where you currently rent. Since you have no references on the island, everyone (phone company, electric company, the bank, and the land lord) will want t know that you are a worthy risk.] Also, pay a visit to the local bookstores as soon as you arrive, they sell the best maps of the islands.

Transportation: Plan on renting a car. Although there is a bus system, next to a bicycle, a car is the easiest way to get around. Especially when you are exploring neighborhoods. There are both national and local automobile rental agencies. Consider the latter, the cars aren’t perfect, but they are much cheaper. I rented a “so-so” car for a month at $200. Be prepared to have a cellphone or to buy many rolls of quarters for calling jobs and places to rent. Consider getting a P.O. Box shortly after you decide which island you’ll move to.

The other major challenge is simply keeping it all organized and expecting the unexpected should things not go as planned.

Another challenge will be adjusting to the oddities of life in Hawaii. It’s the U.S., but it is different. Violent crime is low, but property crime is high (my car has been broken into twice, my home once, and I’ve had mail packages stolen). Its paradise, but you’d be surprised how much traffic and stress there is here in paradise!

Culture and Language: there is a common local “pidgin” dialect that many people of all walks of life use. (I‘ve even picked up a bit.) I found it a little confusing at first, but it gets easy after a while.

There are some “cultural norms” here that are different from the mainland. Nearly everyone removes their shoes before entering someone’s house, drivers rarely honk, the elderly are treated with greater respect, men rarely wear suits or ties, you always bring a small token when invited to someone’s home for dinner, flower lei are given for all occasions of note (birthdays, arrivals, departures, for new hires, honored guests, and honored hosts, etc.), “Aloha” (Hello) and “Mahalo” (Thank You) are used frequently, and being open and friendly to your neighbors and co-workers is much appreciated and in many ways expected.

Life moves a little bit slower here (except where looking for housing is concerned), that said, expect to wait a little longer for some things to happen. (The mechanic, the plumber, the lines at the phone and electric companies and the shops.)


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Island Savage
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 11, 2004
Posts: 69
From: Dana Point, CA.
Posted: 2005-03-21 9:43 pm   Permalink

The First time I moved to Hawaii I was 20, moved to Maui (Lahaina)to teach scuba diving.
Maui especially was great.Lots of Californians living there.BUT.... when it came time to look for accomodations you had to act quick.As soon as the paper came out you had to act wiki wiki, the rooms/houses for rent went FAST.One place I went to go see ended up being basicaly a tree house.Another place I went to see, there was a for sale sign out front, (the guy said, Oh, don't worry about that).It was definetly hand to mouth living, working 6 days a week (12 hr. days..)living on macaroni and cheese...LOL! most of my friends went and lived over there at some point after school.Living like that is fine when you are young and single.My wife and I talked about moving over, but as you seem to be realizing, you really need to have a game plan if you want to make a good living and get ahead over there.I figured it costs roughly about 30% more to live there then the mainland.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 25, 2002
Posts: 1562
Posted: 2005-03-22 1:36 pm   Permalink

Tiki Dug should really weigh in on this one!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3836
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2005-03-22 6:05 pm   Permalink


On 2005-03-21 21:43, Island Savage wrote:
The First time I moved to Hawaii . . . Maui especially was great.

Aloha Island Savage,

Have you lived in Hawaii multiple times?

Have you lived on an island other than Maui?

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Phillip Roberts
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 09, 2003
Posts: 1660
From: OAHU/Seattle
Posted: 2005-03-22 9:08 pm   Permalink

There's a fine guide to relocation here in the state site.

[ This Message was edited by: filslash 2008-09-13 12:12 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1368
From: 1st website dedicated to Tiki Gardens
Posted: 2005-03-22 11:14 pm   Permalink

Hey you moved to paradise. Try NYC with a duffle bag and $400.00 in your pocket.

Ok I was a little crazy.

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Joined: Jan 16, 2005
Posts: 8
Posted: 2005-03-23 08:03 am   Permalink

While relocating to hawaii is not for everybody, my own personal experiences have all been positive. I left california about 2 years ago and moved to kona on the big island. While I am not earning the same money I made in California my spirit and my soul are healthier & happier than ever. When considering what Island to move to I looked at oahu, maui, and The big island of hawaii. oahu is fun & beautiful but also expencive and crowded. Oahu has the best Employment opportunities but the traffic and cost of living are too close to California. maui is beautiful but also has a cost of living out of my range and the traffic there is also a big negative factor. i chose the big island because the deals are much better for housing. The traffic on the big island is confined to a few blocks around Downtown kailua-kona but the rest of the island is your own Private Playground. The big island is twice the size of all the other island combined. big island hawaii cost of housing is also the best of all the islands. real estateis climbing but there are still lots of great deals on big island housing, especially compared to what you are paying in california. As more and more people discover this, kona is rapidly becoming kon-ifornia. If you are seriously thinking of relocating to hawaii I recomend living here for at least a month and not in a hotel. There are lots of vacation rentals in neighborhoods where you get a feel for the island lifestyle as a resident and not as a tourist. If you are interested in sampling the big island, I offer my kona vacation rental as an option. To learn more, please go to: http://tikiislandhawaii.com/index.html or http://www.tikiislandhawaii.com and it check out. But all the Islands offer similar Rental Deals on the internet. When you stay in a Home you get the feel for going Grocery Shopping and the other routines of life as a resident. Employment opportunities on the big island are plentiful as well but the pay is not great. hawaii has the lowest unemployment of all the states in the usa but we also have the highest number of workers with 2 jobs to earn a living. You only need a part time job with 20 hours to get full health benefits however so that is a Big Plus. I also recomend the book, "so you want to live in hawaii'as a good reference on relocation information. My only problem with moving to hawaii is a reverse island fever. I enjoy my life on the islands so much that I am now uncomfortable with the idea of ever visiting the mainland usa or any continent again!
If you have any specific questions on hawaii relocation, you can contact me through my tiki island vacation rental or tikiislandhawaii@yahoo.com.

[ This Message was edited by: tikidug on 2005-03-23 09:07 ]

[ This Message was edited by: tikidug on 2005-03-25 11:23 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 17, 2003
Posts: 161
Posted: 2005-03-23 08:32 am   Permalink

Moving to Hawaii was a real temptation for me... but instead of moving to the Islands, I moved to Island, Ky. It would just be too hard to establish a similar life in Hawaii. Got a nice 3200 Square foot home (1500 sq ft is basement) for $116,000! All monthly bills (water, electric) run about $120 a month on average. You can drive 25 miles to work and it only takes 30 mins. One murder every ten years in my county (of 15,000) and maybe four houses get broke into each year. The beach is a 10 hour drive, but I'm only 2 hours from Kentucky Lake, 2 hours from Nashville or Louisville, 4 hours from St.Louis, Indy, or Cincy. Our salaries look low, but cost of living is so much cheaper... Plenty of money to go out to eat, save for kid's college, vacation twice a year. Turns out Paradise was closer then I thought.
Turns out Paradise was closer to home then thought.

[ This Message was edited by: Rorysm on 2005-03-23 08:33 ]

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 14, 2004
Posts: 99
From: ocean city md
Posted: 2005-03-23 7:07 pm   Permalink

did it in 94. felt like i had been there before. made friends in the surf in 3 days, had an "auntie" at work, tourists asked me questions like i lived there my whole life. i was 24, shaved head, tattoos, 200lbs, surfed a longboard well in bigger surf, and drank alot of cheap beer with the bruddahs. i was the opposite of the long blond haired californian rippers. life was great.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3836
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2005-03-24 6:53 pm   Permalink

Here is a board dedicated to such issues:


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3836
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2005-03-24 7:13 pm   Permalink

After learning homes near Honolulu are around 700 squ feet and cost $300,000, I realized I had underappreciated the cost of living in a "little grass shack on Hawaii:

This bungalow comes with its premade tropical jungle for under $300 in metro Oahu - close to Waikiki - but only 700 square foot

This is a beautiful condo at $200K, near a beach, but it is on the East Leeward side of the island, so a drive from Waikiki or Honolulu.

Beautiful with balcony and grounds at $255, but only 800 squ feet in Central Oahu, off the fwy

Diamond Head 2/2 at $250K with 1030 square foot reminds me of the Village Green, but no balconies and no patio (one photo set is much better)

http://www.hicentral.com/properties/prop_detail.asp?listnum=2502307&type=mls#. http://www.hicentral.com/properties/prop_detail.asp?listnum=2502379&type=mls

The same (Diamond Head 2/2 - 1030 squ ft. $255K ) with balconies, but no grounds.

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Tiki Rider
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 05, 2002
Posts: 497
From: South Orange County, CA
Posted: 2005-03-25 12:26 am   Permalink

The prices dont seem any higher than they are here in O.C. In fact maybe less.

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