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 Post subject: Researching the Big Island for a move
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:05 am 
Kama

Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:25 am
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We are seriously considering moving to Hawaii in June 2014. We have two boys (they will be 2 & 4 when we move) and two weenie dogs. We are deciding between the Big Island and Maui. We haven't visited the Big Island before, but we'll be in Maui this August and will take a trip over. We would like to see more of the resident areas and neighborhoods to get a feel for where would live. What would be good areas for us to see? We're planning to rent for the first year or two and then purchase a house. We're considering the northern half of the island. FYI, my husband would be purchasing an existing business, so we do have a job plan.

Thanks for any input!


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 Post subject: Re: Researching the Big Island for a move
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:47 am 
Malihini
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Is the business he's purchasing an on-line business? Is that why it doesn't matter where you live? So, you can live anywhere that there is a good fast internet connection?

Maui and the BI to me are very different. Do you want a more touristy area or do you want more laid back? How much time are you going to spend when you visit in August? You need to plan for a couple of weeks in each place to really get a feel for living there. And you really should stay in a vacation rental in a real neighborhood and not in a touristy hotel or resort. What is your housing budget?

Will your kids be going to public school or will you homeschool? The quality of many schools on the BI is low, so part of your decision should be locating close to a decent school (or sending them to private schools).



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 Post subject: Re: Researching the Big Island for a move
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:29 am 
Kama

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My husband is a dentist and would be purchasing an existing practice (hopefully) wherever we choose.

We would like a less touristy, more laid back life style. For example, we really like upcountry Maui. We will only be visiting for a week in August. For rent we'd like to stay under $2500-3000 a month. When we buy, probably $600 to 700,000.

We plan to send the kids to private school.


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 Post subject: Re: Researching the Big Island for a move
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:15 pm 
Kona Kastoff
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One week is not enough to make a decision on something like this, even though you most likely would need to pick a nearby area to where the dentist practice is. I certainly would suggest to make a decision about what's more important to you first. If business is more important than buy the better business and deal with the rest after that. If where you want to live (Maui or Big Island) is more important than make a decision on that first. Once that is settled than make a decision about the area in regards to renting. (You will have two years to decide where to buy later on.)

You have not been to the Big Island yet but you already decided you would prefer the Northern part of the island? Renting in Hawii and having a practice in Kailua-Kona would require a two-hour drive each way every day. The two islands are totally different, and keep in mind that the Big Island is larger than all the other islands combined. You certainly should spend much more time on both islands in order to be able to make an educated decision. While I don't expect much change in your bracket of the rental market, it's hard to say where the real estate market will be in two years, and what purchase power $600,000 will represent in 2015. Regardless, please note that Maui real estate prices are way higher than the Big Island real estate prices.



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 Post subject: Re: Researching the Big Island for a move
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:39 pm 
Malihini
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mama_whitman, you are planning a one-week visit to both Maui and the Big Island? No way is that long enough to get more than a very quick drive-by. You lose time on both ends with travel, and then you want to add another travel day? Way too short to make such a big decision. You should plan multiple trips to both islands to spend quality time on each.

You have a whole year to do research. You have made a good start by finding this forum; there are also numerous books on moving to and living in Hawaii. One that has been popular is "So You Want to Live in Hawaii" by Toni Polancy.

You haven't mentioned why you want to move to Hawaii or why you have chosen to look at Maui and the Big Island.



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 Post subject: Re: Researching the Big Island for a move
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:42 pm 
Malihini
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Your plan sounds like a recipe for disaster to me! Buying a business is a major thing, and buying a business on an island you have not even visited yet is something you should seriously reconsider. I visited all the islands more than once before I decided on the Big Island, and spent three weeks here after that just checking out the different areas.



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 Post subject: Re: Researching the Big Island for a move
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:19 am 
Kama

Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:25 am
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Thank you for your responses. Let me give you a little more of our story. We are looking for a new, laid back lifestyle with nice weather so that we can spend more time outside. We all love the ocean. My husband and I enjoy many of the activities the ocean provides and we hope to teach our boys these sports (kiteboarding, SUP, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, etc.) We also enjoy hiking and biking.

We have visited Maui a couple times before and really enjoyed it. My husband lived in Oahu for a few years as a child. We narrowed our choices to Maui and the Big Island based on size and population. Simply put, Kauai is too small and Oahu is too populated. I agree that one week is not enough time, but that is where we are starting because the grandparents agreed to watch the children so that we can travel alone to research. We would like to see what the Big Island has to offer and choose an island so that we can do more research and spend more time there. Once we do that, my husband can begin searching for a practice to purchase based on what area we decide we’d like to live.

I have done some research on the Big Island (including John’s website) and feel that Kailua Kona and Waimea would be areas that we are interested in living. Possibly Kohala coast too. I’m not sure if Hilo would be too rainy for my husband. I was just trying to lump all of that together and said the northern half. We don’t want to be in the lava zones and not too small of a town. I realize that it is a great distance between some places, but I’m trying to get an idea of where we would be comfortable living and thus where to look for a practice. This is not going to be an overnight decision, but I have to start somewhere. ;)

Babette – I will try to track down that book. Thanks for the recommendation! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Researching the Big Island for a move
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:47 pm 
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I would like to say a few things here.

Living and working in Hawaii is quite difficult. The local and state government here makes it quite tough for people to own and run a business here. Generally speaking jobs here don't pay any where near as well as they do on the mainland. Insurance is mandatory for full time employees so there are a lot more part time jobs here per capita than on the mainland. You will have to pay the GET tax on your services. We have also had socialized medicine here for a very long time and as such not much is paid to doctors and dentists from the two major insurance companies. It is also very hard to find and keep your support staff. Doctors, nurses and dentists are in high demand here because not many stay here for very long. The doctors, nurses and dentists are almost as transient as the general population. You won't make and keep any where near as much here as you would be able to make and keep on the mainland. Also, remember that only 11% of the entire state population lives on Maui. Only about 144k people. And they will be spread out over the entire island. So you may not have the clientele you hope for. My guess would be if you are able to find someone selling their practice it is probably due to the fact they are either not making enough for the amount of work/time to put in to the practice or they are not making enough to make it financially. Also, don't forget the many poor people who live here and just get by. Many of them don't have insurance. And to top it all off the cost of living, renting, buying, etc. is quite high.

And things are even worse on the Big Island. The population is about 185k but spread out over a much larger area. And there are alot more poor and under/uninsured on the Big Island.

I would hope you would spend a lot more time on each island before you decide to move.

Don't take this the wrong way. I am not trying to discourage you from moving and trying to make it here. I am just trying to give you some information for you to think about and research before you move here.



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 Post subject: Re: Researching the Big Island for a move
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:17 am 
Keiki
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:24 pm
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Location: Kailua-Kona
A couple of things:
[1] The Big Island is really BIG relative to the other Hawaiian islands
All maps are the same size as map makers use the same amount of paper per island. (Notice in a multi-page atlas Rhode Island is the same size as ½ of California……) Don’t get fooled when you have maps of each island sitting side by side.


[2] There are less of some things here than on any of the other main Hawaiian islands
If you love shopping at Whole Foods for example, you will need to go to either Oahu or Maui. I used to shop at Staples. Here we have Office Depot. This list goes on. While limited options are true for ALL of Hawaii, it can be more so for the Big Island. If this is important to you, know it up front.

[3] There are less regular flights between the Big Island and the mainland
Yes, it is better than it used to be, but it is often more expensive and time consuming to fly here than to any of the other islands because many flights have a stopover in Honolulu. We are so glad Alaskan Airlines now has nonstop flights from several west coast cities.
AND if you want to go to another island, it will cost you. Unless you book WAY in advance, we typically pay around $200 per person round trip to visit another island.

But with all of the less than perfect hurdles we need to overcome, we LOVE LIVING HERE! Maybe because our decision was not made hastily… We have been coming to Hawaii in general since 2003 when our daughter attended college on Oahu. We visited frequently – and in all seasons. We took trips to all of the other islands to experience the differences between them. After we decided on the Big Island as the place where we wanted to retire, we stayed at B&Bs or VRBO condos (not larger hotels or resorts) all over the island and at various elevations.
• The South Point area is beautiful but way too rural for us
• Hilo is a lovely city with lots of friendly people however the rain is not to our liking
• Waikoloa Village is too remote and isn’t close to anything
• Waimea is nice and has good schools (not needed), but we just didn’t see ourselves living there
• The Kohala coast resort area is too vacation-oriented and we never felt like we were living there
• We never stayed more than a single night in Volcano…but I never wanted to do any more, the area reminds me of camping in wooden cabins, never my thing

We love our choice to live in the town of Kailua Kona – it fits our personal lifestyle. Please note that these are OUR conclusions and ONLY our conclusions. I am sure that others with contradict my thought since people choose to live in each of these areas all the time and for the very reasons that I did not choose them. You need to make your own decisions based on your feelings as you experience the island – and that is of course once you decide that the Big Island is where you want to live.

Please take everyone’s comments as they are intended. A lot of people come for a short time and then they leave because they only saw the “vacation allure” before they moved. It is NOT all a tropical holiday; you have to live on a rock in the middle of the ocean where sometimes things are in limited simply because of location. Many other websites seem to only want to share the positives…there are goods AND bads of living here, just as there is about everywhere. I hope you find that the goods outweigh the bads, but only after some informed research. I wish you good luck and happy exploring as you make your big decision!



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 Post subject: Re: Researching the Big Island for a move
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 1:26 pm 
Malihini
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My 1.5 cents is that I agree with what others have said. Re schooling, you said you will be sending your kids to private school. On the west side of the island there are only 3. HPA in Waimea, very, very expensive, and you pretty much have to live in Waimea or board the kids there, not really viable for little ones They usually allow about 10 kids from Kona to be 'day' students, where you pick them up and drop them off. Not sure, but I think this starts in HS. In Kona we have Makua Lani, a tiny small Christian school, and Hualalai Academy where my kids went thru 8th grade.

As far as areas, Waimea is totally different from Kona. It is frequently cold and rainy, thnink jeans and sweatshirts all year round, and while you are close to some fantastic beaches, depending on what part of town you live in it is at least 20 to 25 minutes in the car to get there. The only places to live on the Kohala Coast are in the resorts, and while you could probably get a condo or townhouse for 600 to 700k, the vast majority are your neighbors would be vacation renters. And from there the drive to any of the private schools is long.

Maybe that was only worth 1 cent..........


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 Post subject: Re: Researching the Big Island for a move
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 1:34 pm 
Malihini
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Waimea is like Wyoming and nothing like Hawaii!



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 Post subject: Re: Researching the Big Island for a move
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:25 pm 
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Paniolo Club wrote:
Waimea is like Wyoming and nothing like Hawaii!

That's cuz you like the big boot in the middle of town!!!! LOL!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:



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Proudly Serving Both Oahu and the Big Island!!!
Kona Ka'u Realty
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Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

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 Post subject: Re: Researching the Big Island for a move
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:41 pm 
Keiki
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:24 pm
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Location: Kailua-Kona
I would like to add a map of the Big Island with all of the other islands inside of it to show you their relative sizes. I had a bit of technical trouble figuring out how to add pictures to my earlier post. (Thanks, Dave to the help!).

Attachment:
File comment: Big Island
compare-islands.jpg
compare-islands.jpg [ 53.52 KiB | Viewed 2709 times ]


Mary Beth



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