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Thread: Contemplating a move...HELP!

  1. #1

    Smile Contemplating a move...HELP!

    Hey Everyone,

    I am contemplating a move to Hawaii - Oahu specific. I'm young & decided if I was going to do something drastic, now is the time...or within the next year. I have been to Oahu 3-4 times & love it & it would definitely be different from Tennessee, where I currently in .

    I am looking for input or help. I have scoured past threads concerning moving, which have been extremely helpful, but have additional questions.

    A little about me first & my timeline.
    I am single & have no debt other than a car payment of 150 a month, which I plan to have paid off prior to the move. I do have a mortgage but that would be gone prior to the move.

    I am a government employee & can (hopefully) get a job with my agency. I would NOT be moving without a job secured (I've read all the posts strongly discouraging people with a hope and a dream only from moving out there!)
    I would be making approximately $70,000 a year.

    I am hoping to move by next summer. I want a year to get everything in order & hopefully save some money (& convince my mother I am not crazy!)

    First, could I live in the Honolulu area on this amount? It seems like a lot here, but I know things are about 2x more expensive there. The office I would be working at would be right downtown on Ala Moana Blvd. What suggestions would you have for living locations? I am up for rental or purchase, condo or home. I can work from home & would probably only have to go to the office 1 day a week. Therefore, could I live in outlying areas that are cheaper and make the commute, since it would not be everyday?

    I am trying to figure finances & can see what rental prices are like. How about other expenses? Here is what I pay now. I am thinking of condo.
    Cable - 80
    Telephone - 25
    Cell - 40
    Utilities - 250
    Car Insurance - 100 (I drive a newer Honda Accord)
    Gas - 140 (4 fill-ups a month - 13 gallon tank)

    Are there other expenses for Hawaii that would not be usual in rural areas? Monthly parking at home?

    I'm sure I have many other questions, but these are some of my first thoughts. As like everyone else, money sure is a factor.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    I'd be willing to answer your questions but first I have a question of my own to to ask you, You got blue eyes?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    At $70k I don't think you'll have much of a problem renting in Honolulu where you will be working.

    What is your mortgage payments now? One of the bigger incidentals you will be paying for will be food. If you don't eat out often, your salary you mentioned will carry you fairly well considering it's just yourself.

    Some families here make less than that combined and make ends meet with little struggle. For you if you can afford to live in town that will save on commute time and gas, both which are frustrating and expensive here.

    Welcome to Hawaii

  4. #4

    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    Thanks for the replys...

    Unfortunately, they're brown, not blue

    Right now my mortgage payment is 1200 a month. I'm thinking of trying to find something for 1700 a month. The COLA I would get would be about 6,000 more a year which equates to 500 a month (tax free). So, if I could find something for 1700 or less, I should be ok...

    But it is amazing. I live in a 3B/2Ba, 1800 square foot 1/2 acre, all brick for 199,000. There I can get a 400 sq. foot condo!

    Also, have to figure in Hawaii state income tax. Tennessee doesn't have a state income tax.

    So you think it would still be better to live in the city if that is where the office is located. I do remember how bad that traffic was. It takes me about 45 minutes to commute now, so I can handle some commuting. Where would be some cheaper areas & how far would they be from downtown?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by Keanu View Post
    I'd be willing to answer your questions but first I have a question of my own to to ask you, You got blue eyes?
    Jeez, Keanu! tsk! tsk!

    K_K, you are in an enviable (by many!) position...very decent salary, no dependents, no debt, can work from home. The need to go into the office only once a week leaves you with the ability to live anywhere on the island you like. If you already have a favorite area, try living there and see how you like it.

    I don't especially like paying for someone else's mortgage but if I was in your shoes I'd rent for a minimum of 6 months first in order to get the "lay of the land". See how you like living in Hawaii (not everyone likes it, ya know!), find your favorite area then buy a condo there. That said, if you end up changing jobs, are expected in an office 5 days a week and bought a condo at the opposite end of the island...well...you'll hate the traffic!

    As Craig mentioned, food is more expensive. If you won't be traveling much then seasonal clothing will be less expensive. By working at home your work attire can be kept to a minimum...board shorts, t-shirts and flip flops!!!

    If you will be travelling somewhat frequently to visit family then be sure to factor those expenses into your budget. You'll need to get on a plane for any destination further than an hour and a half's drive!

    It sounds like you're doing your homework. Good luck with your plans.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    Well heck if you have to go into the office once a week then you should consider buying a home out here in Keaau on the Big Island and flying in when you need to.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
    Well heck if you have to go into the office once a week then you should consider buying a home out here in Keaau on the Big Island and flying in when you need to.
    Got one in mind, Craig?!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    Well, I am going to apply for the job that's open there...We'll see what happens.

    Another question - Has anyone transported their pets from the mainland? I've read the thread that gives the basic, but was just wondering if someone could share their actual experience. I am looking to move two dachshunds with me.

    Thanks again!

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    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by kool_kat View Post
    [...]I am looking to move two dachshunds with me.[...]
    Aaaaah...dachsies! When I was a kid Trinket and Gussie were my best friends for several years!

    If you haven't done so already, be sure to search in this forum for the degree of difficulty in renting when you have animals.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    What branch of the Govt. are you with?
    flickr

    An email from God:
    To: People of Earth
    From: God
    Date: 9/04/2007
    Subject: stop

    knock it off, all of you

    seriously, what the hell


    --
    God

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    Got one in mind, Craig?!
    Actually I got some bad news for you Tutusue...I'm staying here on the Big Island after all. My wife and I thought about it and decided that we had to be on drugs when we decided to want to come back to Oahu.

    The clincher was when my mother in law (from Wahiawa) and all the relatives from Oahu came to our home for my 18-year old's grad party and was floored at our home and how much we bought it for.

    One thing about Oahu that I hated was the condition of the roadways and how dirty the streets were. Trash blowing everywhere. Hawaii County does a pretty good job of keeping the streets clean and well-paved here. And the parks! OMG the grass is always mowed at least every other day and the restroom facilities are clean!

    Now I do understand there are a gazillion more people on Oahu than on the Big Island and that's precisely why I moved here...it's less crowded and much slower paced than Honolulu. And you don't have to pay for parking!

    No I'm keeping my house afterall but there are still a ton of great properties out here for a great bargain.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    The need to go into the office only once a week leaves you with the ability to live anywhere on the island you like.
    I'll second that. As you can imagine, it's all a trade-off. You can find something in walking distance of the office, but you'll have to live in the city, or you can find something "country" and have to put up with a longer commute. There's no wrong answer. It's all in what YOU want.

  13. #13

    Talking Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    Tattrat - I'm with the Department of Treasury. Do you work for the gov't? If so, who?

    I definitely like the idea of renting first, but am concerned about my dogs. I can leave them with my mom for a while if I needed to, but would really miss them. I'm not wild about having to have an "identification chip" implanted into them, but it looks like that is the only way.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by kool_kat View Post
    Tattrat - I'm with the Department of Treasury. Do you work for the gov't? If so, who?

    I definitely like the idea of renting first, but am concerned about my dogs. I can leave them with my mom for a while if I needed to, but would really miss them. I'm not wild about having to have an "identification chip" implanted into them, but it looks like that is the only way.
    Nah, K_k not me. Mrs.TATT does though, she is a soon to be GS13 and works at the Pentagon for the financial department of the Marine Corps. She will be working at Ft.Smith(I think) upon our arrival on Oahu in September.

    Best of luck on getting the job! Sounds like you are already getting your ducks in a row
    flickr

    An email from God:
    To: People of Earth
    From: God
    Date: 9/04/2007
    Subject: stop

    knock it off, all of you

    seriously, what the hell


    --
    God

  15. #15

    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    Wow Tat - she sounds important!

    What all are doing to get ready for the move? Are you moving permanently or temporarily? Do you have to secure you own home or live on-base (or is that just for actual military?)

    My dad is in the Navy reserves & was stationed in Hawaii for a couple of years. He had to travel back and forth between there and Hawaii. That's how I was able to go to Hawaii 3-4 times before. He was wanting to become active duty for a couple of years & live in Hawaii, but couldn't convince my mom.

    Do civilian military workers get access to the PX & commisary? The PX in Hawaii is one of the nicest, if not the nicest, PX's I have ever been too.

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    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
    Actually I got some bad news for you Tutusue...I'm staying here on the Big Island after all.[...]
    Bummers...so much for my much anticipated, great customer service experience at Home Depot Iwilei!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    Bummers...so much for my much anticipated, great customer service experience at Home Depot Iwilei!
    You'll just have to move to Hilo for that experience I guess

    Actually there are a lot of good sales associates that work at Home Depot. Iwilei is the third highest grossing sales store in the country and customers who frequent a particular HD will search out a certain associate, sometimes even calling in to see if they're working that day. I get that all the time and I find myself constantly repeating my hours I work and the days too to repeat customers.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    Kool Kat, "civilian Military workers?" Do you mean contractors that work on base fulltime? If so, no they don't.

    I do have a dear friend that was an air traffic controller on Guam many years ago and he said that he did, which was news to me, but I do know that just because someone works on base in Hawaii doesn't get them the military card priveleges to shop on it.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    kool kat--

    really quick reply here for now; if you want details PM me bcs i'm happy to provide you with more info.

    i live on piikoi street near wilder avenue. piikoi intersects with ala moana blvd. depending on what part of ala moana blvd you work at (and i can take a guess), you'd be in the office w/in 15 minutes if you lived near me.

    i currently rent a 10th floor apt with a decent view of diamond head. you can see the ocean from my balcony, though i wouldn't say i have an "ocean view." anyway, my 1 bedroom w/secure entry, secure parking, night time guard, a great resident manager, approx 600 square feet, water & electricity included costs $1000 per month. i pay for digital cable and cable modem. i don't bother with a landline and depend solely on my celly.

    if it's only you and your babies, i wouldn't bother getting a place outside of town. traffic is miserable and the cost saving you'd have with cheaper rent i think isn't worth the misery and wear/tear on your vehicle.
    superbia (pride), avaritia (greed), luxuria (lust), invidia (envy), gula (gluttony), ira (wrath) & acedia (sloth)--the seven deadly sins.

    "when you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people i deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly..."--meditations, marcus aurelius (make sure you read the rest of the passage, ya lazy wankers!)

    nothing humiliates like the truth.--me, in conversation w/mixedplatebroker re 3rd party, 2009-11-11, 1213

  20. #20

    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    Ericncyn - Thanks for the info. Right now I am still really far from moving, but will check it out if it happens.

    Are you able to have pets? Most of the stuff I am looking at doesn't want pets, but I definitely will be bringing them.

    My goal is to move within the next year (by the end of next summer) But of course, there are a lot of variables the biggest one is securing a job first.

    Kathryn

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    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by ericncyn View Post
    [...]i wouldn't bother getting a place outside of town. traffic is miserable and the cost saving you'd have with cheaper rent i think isn't worth the misery and wear/tear on your vehicle.
    Keep in mind that K_K anticipates going into the office only one day a week. That's why the suggestions to live anywhere on the island she desires. She has options...lucky girl!!!

  22. #22

    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    Of course, I've got to get the job before I have those options. It's probably a long shot, but if it doesn't work out, I'll just keep my out for other jobs.

    I'll throw out another question for everyone. If jobs and traffic weren't a factor and you could live anywhere on the island, where would it be? ..and why? Are there good/bad parts of the island? I'm sure there are just like everywhere else.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by kool_kat View Post
    I'll throw out another question for everyone. If jobs and traffic weren't a factor and you could live anywhere on the island, where would it be? ..and why?
    Given my choice, it would be an older neighborhood that doesn't have CC&R (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions). It would also be not too far from things but still allows a small yard. Also nice and cool. Not too close to the beach because I'm not a beach person and things rust out too fast.

    I'd probably start looking in the upper Makiki/Manoa area or Kailua/Kaneohe.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    Manoa may not have covenants but their neighborhood board does impose some pretty strict restrictions on how high up the valley you can build and if you can chop down that tree in your front yard.

    East Honolulu...no doubt is a good district with little to no covenants but a respect to the landscape architecture as to not allow shabby yards strewn with decomposing car/car parts.

    This district primarily in the area surrounding Kahala Mall is where I'd consider to be the best area to take advantage of Honolulu without having to be right in the middle of it and it's urban woes. Close enough to the city's infrastructure yet isolated enough to feel the peace and quiet without the traffic to get there and back.

    Benefits:
    1) Kaimuki Hill and Diamond Head subdues the urbanism of Honolulu and tames the afternoon sun's heat.

    2) Three routes in and out of East Honolulu that lead directly into the urban core of the city and all are accessable via car, bus or bicycle and even taxi with lower rates than out of Kapolei or Windward Oahu.

    3) One route that takes you around the windward side back into Honolulu, so there are actually four routes into the urban core of Honolulu.

    4) Respectably quiet neighborhoods

    5) Streets are wide (unlike Manoa) getting in and out.

    6) No UH mess to worry about (unlike Manoa).

    7) No traffic hassles (unlike everything west of downtown Honolulu or Mauka of Kapiolani Blvd), unless you live past Waialae Nui Valley.

    8) Weather is fairly moderate (unlike rainy Manoa or hot Kapolei)

    9) Great schools from pre schools to public elementary, middle and high schools with UH Manoa, Kapiolani Community College and Chaminade University within bus/bike range.

    10) Air conditioned shopping/entertainment (Kahala Mall) with a Costco in Hawaii Kai.

    11) Excellent professional services with several professional complexes surrounding the Kahala/Kaimuki area.

    12) Good bus routes including the Circle Island bus route.

    13) Well maintained parks including Kapiolani Park within a few miles of Kahala Mall.

    14) Queens hospital is a freeway onramp and offramp away (Waialae on ramp...Vinyard off ramp)

    East Honolulu surrounding Kahala Mall is cool, quiet, comfortable, respectable, close to the urban core yet Diamond Head and Kaimuki Hill isolates it from the rat race of Honolulu. And great zip code: 96816

    One of the great things about East Honolulu is it's established network of professionals that live in this area. If you're an up and coming professional, having your child and your boss' boss' child in the same soccer or little league/pony team is advantageous. With Hawaii Loa Ridge, Waialae Iki IV ridge, Portlock, and of course Kahala districts within your neighborhoods, you will definately have a greater exposure off the clock with those who can promote your career even if it's as simple as a Saturday at Long's drugs or having the same dentist in the Kahala Professional Building (Dr. Wong).

    Okay that all said I am a bit biased because I grew up in Waialae Nui Valley and raised my family in Kaimuki on 18th Avenue I'm towny...or at least was...now I'm boony out here in Keaau on the Big Island and loving it.
    Last edited by craigwatanabe; June 21st, 2007 at 01:10 AM.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Contemplating a move...HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
    [...]East Honolulu surrounding Kahala Mall is cool, quiet, comfortable, respectable, close to the urban core yet Diamond Head and Kaimuki Hill isolates it from the rat race of Honolulu.[...]
    Yes, a great area and location but...very expensive!

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