Which Island? When? How?
My husband and I had an opportunity last week to spend some time at Kaanapali Beach on the Island of Maui. This beach is where we sat in 2006 and asked ourselves, “Why don’t we move here?” We knew that Maui, while we loved it, was not the place for us, so that left us asking… where? Kauai? Too small and wet for our taste. Oahu? Too congested and crowded. Kailua-Kona on the sunny leeward side of Hawaii Island turned out to be just about perfect for us.
If any readers out there have also pondered making the move to Hawaii there are some questions I’d like to suggest you ask and some research to pursue before making a commitment. Taking time to explore your options can be the first step in making your move successful.
- Plan, and then plan some more: It may also be handy to have a backup plan or two. Do you plan to ship all of your belongings or will you buy new? Does it make sense to ship your vehicles? How much will it cost to ship everything or to replace items upon arrival? Do you have pets? Visit this page for details about Moving to Hawaii for more information about animal quarantine laws and for links to information about local schools.
- Do some research: Read books and search the internet. Many people have moved to Hawaii and many of them are ready to share the highs and lows or their stories about how the reality compares to the dream.
- Set milestones and target dates: There is never going to be a perfect time to make the move. If you wait for a perfect time you’ll likely never realize your dream.
- Get real about your finances: Unless you are planning to pay cash for a home you will need an income to qualify for a loan. Don’t just assume work will materialize after you arrive. Telecommuting, which allows many island residents to live here and work for a company elsewhere, is a viable option in today’s world, but are you prepared go to work at 4:00 am HST if you need to work mainland business hours?
- Smash the rose-colored glasses: The idea of moving to Hawaii is very alluring but remember to keep it in perspective. Living full-time in Hawaii is awesome, but, remember, the same realities exist here as elsewhere. If you aren’t ready, come for vacation and keep working toward your goals until it’s time to take the leap.
- Don’t wait for retirement: I am sure retirement in Hawaii is great but I am seeing more and more younger people figuring out a way to make it happen sooner. We also see many long-term residents make a decision to move away after retirement, seeking alternatives for healthcare that aren’t available on the Big Island.
If you’ve already done your planning and research and you’re ready to find your island dream home or an investment property that you can enjoy part-time until you are ready to make a permanent move to the sunny Kona-Kohala Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island, I’d love to be able to assist you.
My website, Kona Real Estate Now, offers many tools for finding a home on the island and my Kona Real Estate Blog offers regular updates on living life here on the Leeward Coast, regular Big Island market trends updates and home and neighborhood spotlights. When you’re ready to start planning your move, let’s talk story about your options. Until then, Aloha from Kailua-Kona!