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Thread: I need some advice about moving to Puna

  1. #1
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    Red face I need some advice about moving to Puna

    My husband and I want to move to Puna - I fell in love with the area after visiting - and we will have to go cheap. We're retiring on a small income.

    This is what we've been thinking, but would be very grateful for your advice - I've been lurking here for a while and you guys are amazing, kind and thoughtful and well-informed, helpful folks

    We have to go cheap!

    Would it be feasible to buy 3 acres in Fern Forest or Hawaiian Acres and put up a yurt, water catchment, composting toilet, graywater, and grow a lot of our own food organically?

    1. Are those areas safe for older folks? 2. Would a yurt be safe from burglars and hurricanes? (I guess answers pretty obvious, but I know people have yurts in Hawaii so maybe there's something I don't know), 3. Are people sociable, would we be able to make friends?

    I've heard so much stuff about the www puna (wildwildwest) that I am concerned about criminal activity, don't want to get ripped off and don't want to stumble on something and get into trouble with bad guys - on my last trip I was just out for an early morning drive and happened on some very snarky lookin guys driving a truck with 8 dobermans off into the bush - it was kinda scary because they didn't look happy to see me.

    So are these guys going to be my neighbors?

    thanks, folks - I'm looking forward to hearing what you've got to say.

    All the best, Buzz

  2. #2

    Default Re: I need some advice about moving to Puna

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzy View Post
    on my last trip I was just out for an early morning drive and happened on some very snarky lookin guys driving a truck with 8 dobermans off into the bush - it was kinda scary because they didn't look happy to see me.
    I don't know puna that well, but my hunch is they were off to harvest an illegal crop.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: I need some advice about moving to Puna

    If that was your impression/experience with Puna, you might want to think about retiring someplace else. If you already have comfort issues - those are not going to change. Plus, Hawaii is not the place to retire for folks on, as you say, a "small income".

  4. #4
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    Default Re: I need some advice about moving to Puna

    I miss all my pakalolo-growing, hippie, crazy, gun-toting, pitbull owning friends in the fern forest. I miss all my policeman friends telling me their horror stories about the Wild West up there.

    This thread is making me SO homesick!

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: I need some advice about moving to Puna

    Not too familiar with Fern Forrest but am somewhat familiar with Hawaiian Acres. Hawaiian Acres is above Ainaloa which is where that Vesparas kid was murdered by his father trying to protect his mother.

    Is Hawaiian Acres a bad area? Not really, Ainaloa is more established with "local" people but Hawaiian Acres is a mix of old, transplants from outer island and mainland folks. As for Yurts, I've heard of people putting them up and they presumably are pretty durable enough to pass the State's requirement as a semi-permanent structure for school use.

    Any recycling efforts are good things in the Puna area where environmentalism is more apparent (Lots of anti-Bush stickers on bio-diesel Mercedes cars running around Puna).


    Your lifestyle will fit right in with the Lower Puna area.

    One issue I can forsee is that in the Hawaiian Acres area with three acres of land, you may get poachers (hence those guys with the dogs) looking for pig which is more common in that area.

    If you want detailed conversations about the Puna area I suggest checking out www.punaweb.org . This is another online forum dedicated to the Puna area. The discussions there are focused on issues and concerns about Puna.
    Last edited by craigwatanabe; July 22nd, 2007 at 01:52 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: I need some advice about moving to Puna

    One other consideration, if you're older, would be your healthcare needs. Outside of Oahu, access to healthcare anywhere in Hawai'i is rather limited. If you need specialized care, more than likely it would mean trips to Honolulu for care, which could get pricey. But if you're reasonably fit and healthy (which it sounds like you are, since you're thinking about living partially off the grid), it shouldn't be much of a problem.

    Miulang

    P.S. One thing you're gonna really miss when you leave Vashon are the fresh strawberries in the summertime! Is that bike still growing out of the tree by the restaurant?
    Last edited by Miulang; July 22nd, 2007 at 08:57 AM.
    "Americans believe in three freedoms. Freedom of speech; freedom of religion; and the freedom to deny the other two to folks they don`t like. --Mark Twain

  7. #7

    Default Re: I need some advice about moving to Puna

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzy View Post
    My husband and I want to move to Puna - I fell in love with the area after visiting - and we will have to go cheap. We're retiring on a small income.


    Would it be feasible to buy 3 acres in Fern Forest or Hawaiian Acres and put up a yurt, water catchment, composting toilet, graywater, and grow a lot of our own food organically?

    1. Are those areas safe for older folks? 2. Would a yurt be safe from burglars and hurricanes? (I guess answers pretty obvious, but I know people have yurts in Hawaii so maybe there's something I don't know), 3. Are people sociable, would we be able to make friends?

    I've heard so much stuff about the www puna (wildwildwest) that I am concerned about criminal activity, don't want to get ripped off and don't want to stumble on something and get into trouble with bad guys - on my last trip I was just out for an early morning drive and happened on some very snarky lookin guys driving a truck with 8 dobermans off into the bush - it was kinda scary because they didn't look happy to see me.

    All the best, Buzz
    Hawaiian Acres and Fern Acres, yep. Fern Forest, no way. As for dwelling, there are building codes (e.g. hurricane straps) that you will need for your yurt.

    As far as thefts go, as soon as you move in, get to know your neighbors. Both subdivisions that I mention above have a great mix of folks in there. Honestly, thefts happen everywhere here. The fancier neighborhoods, the solid middle class neighborhoods and the sticks all get ripped off from time to time. Prepare accordingly.

    pax

  8. #8
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    Pāhoa, Hawai'i
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    Default Re: I need some advice about moving to Puna

    Quote Originally Posted by Pua'i Mana'o View Post
    Hawaiian Acres and Fern Acres, yep. Fern Forest, no way.
    What's wrong with Fern Forest? Just keep the gun rack of your pickup truck fully stocked and put a few Rottweilers in the back and it's all good.
    Ā Ē Ī Ō Ū ā ē ī ō ū -- Just a little something to "cut and paste."

  9. #9
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    Smile Re: I need some advice about moving to Puna

    Thanks everybody, for your responses

    Gecko, well of course that's what they were up to, or going out to plant, or adding more dogs because they didn't think they had enough

    Question is, are they a threat? I'm a city girl and have lived and worked in several large cities on the ML, and I've been in scary situations, I'm neither naive nor foolish. Perhaps Hawaii is such a different world that these questions don't compute - in the cities I've lived in, you need to know what the neighborhood rep is.

    But if you take my question seriously, please, everybody knows they're out there growing, do they pose any kind of real threat or any danger to their neighbors who may innocently stumble on something? Is this wild west mythology, or is there any basis in fact?

    Or is this something people don't discuss?

    And Muilang! You know Vashon Island! It's raining, and raining, and raining here - unusual for summer, cause it's normally a 3 month drought. Yeah, the bike got loved to death. After Berke Breathed wrote that book so many people came to see the bicycle growing in the tree and taking souvenirs, that there's not much left.

    To correct the situation the guy who owns the bike shop next door to the post office put a bike up in a tree in front of his place. In a few years the tree should start growing around it. Right now it's cherry season! That's all I eat for 3 weeks until it's over!

    Greetings Craig and Pua'i Mana'o!

    Craig, you are amazing! Appreciate your thoughtful answers - I read the plumbing advice you gave somebody, I don't know if she showed up at your workplace, but I'm going to with all my plumbing questions! Your expertise and patience in walking her thru the problem was just really nice, really nice.

    I'll go over to Puna threads, but any more advice or anything you could add to help me get a flavor of what it might be to live in Fern Forest and the others, greatly appreciated.

    Thanks to all

  10. #10
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    Default Re: I need some advice about moving to Puna

    Oh, yeah, and my Rott's getting her rabies shot tomorrow.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: I need some advice about moving to Puna

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzy View Post
    Oh, yeah, and my Rott's getting her rabies shot tomorrow.
    No forget da heartworm meds. Plenty mosquitoes.

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