Almost every time I mention that I live in Hawaii people say "Wow I wish I could live in Hawaii" So I decided to write a post to share what I learned from the experience of moving my family of four from California to the big island of Hawaii.
1. Renting a House
We were not able to rent a place until someone was here in Hawaii in person "to see the house and sign paperwork". That meant that I left my then 2 yr old son and husband behind to wrap up selling our home and then move out. Then I took my then four month old daughter by myself to Hawaii. I booked a room for three nights on the word of the lady from the rental office that once I checked out a place I could sign the paperwork and get the keys the same day. I landed and picked up a rental car (see #2 of what I learned!) headed to the hotel then the next day we went to see rentals and I agreed to the first one we saw. Unfortunately because my check was from bank of America they were not sure how long it would take to clear because here in Hawaii they only have Hawaiian credit unions! So the next day I had to go open a bank account and get checks then have my husband transfer the deposit into our new Hawaii bank account. By then it was too late to get the keys and I had to ask to extend my stay at the hotel for two more nights. Luckily the hotel owner was very nice and helpful and treated me like ohana!
2. Renting A Car
To rent a car from most rental agencies you must have a credit card. Well we try to avoid buying things with money we don't have so we don't have credit cards. I ended up renting a car from a man I found on craigslist and it was ended up being much cheaper so that was a win. Also when I needed to extend my time I needed a car he was very flexible!
I was by myself with a baby and I was pretty hesitant to go exploring until my husband arrived and we got settled in. However the hotel I stayed at didn't have any AC and it was the middle of August. It was extremly hot and I wasn't used to the humidity. I ended up spending my days going up and down the aisles of Walmart and target and I'm pretty sure that I had the security team hopping!! I wish I had been a little more adventurous because there was a mall across the street that I would have looked a lot less creepy hanging out at all day!!
4. Tourism Tax
Since we had the money from the sell of our home we knew we wanted to buy a home and only needed a place while we were looking at houses. We thought we could just stay at a vacation rental for a month or two but again we ran into trouble. It turns out Hawaii has a tourism tax and it was almost double the cost of the stay when the tax was added for renting vacation properties. We ended up renting a 3 bedroom house on an acre with a 6 month lease and it cost about the same as a two month stay on a vacation property.
We decided to move here because we run our own online business and we can work from anywhere. That being said there are a few entry level jobs such as waitressing etc but very few higher paying jobs. Make sure you have a job or way of making income lined up before moving here!! This is why most people can't afford to stay there is simply not that many opportunities for work advancement.
That being said it's been almost 3 years since we moved here and we LOVE being here! The people are friendly and wave to you, your always close to a beach, and we have so much more outdoor family time now! If your looking to move here just be sure to research before you do!!