Author Topic: Hawaiian Mustachians - I have a few questions...  (Read 2126 times)

newgirl

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Hawaiian Mustachians - I have a few questions...
« on: December 27, 2017, 09:21:34 PM »
... mainly around buying real estate (the Big Island seems surprisingly affordable... what am I missing?), and the availability/reliability of high speed internet (is it even a thing there) for doing remote work.

Anyone willing to let me bombard them with questions...?

newgirl

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Re: Hawaiian Mustachians - I have a few questions...
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2017, 09:26:08 PM »
Example...

You hear nothing but how unaffordable Hawaii real estate is, but...

http://www.hawaiimoves.com/Home/604216/JRR/13-677-POHOIKI-RD-PAHOA-HI-96778/

There seems to be a LOT on the Big Island in the $500k> range. Generally not oceanfront but that's not a concern for me. Are there really bad areas on the Big Island?

pk_aeryn

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Re: Hawaiian Mustachians - I have a few questions...
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2017, 11:15:22 PM »
I'm not Hawaiian but having visited, the high cost of living seems due to high utility costs, gas and food/goods versus housing. Food was SO expensive and I'm in Los Angeles so I thought I knew what high food and gas prices were.

sixup

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Re: Hawaiian Mustachians - I have a few questions...
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2017, 05:38:01 AM »
Big island is the most affordable albut also the least desirable for most. A lot of thr really cheap real estate is crappy lava rock land or extremely bare with no water or electric. Also big island has the joy of being the epicenter of vog with Kilauea spewing it constantly. And big island tends to get hit hardest in hurricane season.

Cyanne

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Re: Hawaiian Mustachians - I have a few questions...
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2017, 07:36:12 AM »
This is why houses in Pahoa are cheap! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxDopAugg9I

newgirl

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Re: Hawaiian Mustachians - I have a few questions...
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2017, 07:50:03 AM »
Thanks guys! Need that inside scoop... keep it coming! Where are the more desirable areas to live?

tralfamadorian

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Re: Hawaiian Mustachians - I have a few questions...
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2017, 08:46:03 AM »
Isn't air quality a real concern on the Big Island? Also- coqui frogs.

most desirable? IMO Kauai
« Last Edit: December 28, 2017, 08:48:52 AM by tralfamadorian »

wenchsenior

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Re: Hawaiian Mustachians - I have a few questions...
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2017, 08:53:14 AM »
Thanks guys! Need that inside scoop... keep it coming! Where are the more desirable areas to live?

Personally, if I were moving to the Big Island, I might look the Waimea area (uplands/grasslands).  You have to travel down to the ocean, but you avoid the bulk of the tourist hassle.  However, I'm not sure how the social culture is there...it might be much more insular than the more touristy areas along the coasts.

If I were looking in the more touristy areas, I'd probably look on the west coast, south of Kailua Bay, at middle elevation. 

We like the Big Island, but I think the traffic jams and usually one-road access to any given section of island would be tiring unless you are a very zen/patient driver.  Especially if you were still working.

martyconlonontherun

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Re: Hawaiian Mustachians - I have a few questions...
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2017, 10:57:47 AM »
I'm planning on going to Hawaii this summer if Southwest cooperates.

Is there a way to do it cheap? To keep with the theme of the thread, how crazy are grocery store costs? Is it expensive to go from island to island? If you do hiking activities, do you have pay high entrance fees or is it relatively cheap? Are most of the beaches open, or do you have to be staying at the resorts?

pk_aeryn

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Re: Hawaiian Mustachians - I have a few questions...
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2017, 01:16:33 PM »
Quote
Is there a way to do it cheap? To keep with the theme of the thread, how crazy are grocery store costs? Is it expensive to go from island to island? If you do hiking activities, do you have pay high entrance fees or is it relatively cheap? Are most of the beaches open, or do you have to be staying at the resorts?

We went to Kauai this summer and food was pretty expensive- but we calculated we still saved hundreds by only going out to dinner twice- we did all our meals in a kitchenette, which cost more to rent a room with one, but paid for itself in meal savings. We did very cheap meals too- sandwiches and salads but since the kitchen was sparse with no oven, we bought pre-cooked meat which definitely raised the bill. We mixed most of our own drinks with a bottle of rum, drank and ate on our balcony overlooking the pool/sunset and had a better time than going out.

Avoiding tours and luas will save the most money but they're also very fun - we had previously been to Hawaii and done that so we wanted to just be more frugal and relax and do our own thing. So most if not all beaches are public and free parking even.  So if you're happy researching beaches and where to snorkel versus buying a $150 tour, that will save a lot.  And opting to rent a room further away from the beaches as well. I find a rental car pretty crucial but maybe some more hardcore frugal vacationers would disagree.  We saw bus stops but rarely saw buses/vans.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Hawaiian Mustachians - I have a few questions...
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2017, 01:51:50 PM »
I have lived on Kauai for 2.5 years. It has been a great experience so far. Hawaii is a good fit for people who are FIRE. It's more difficult when you are still working. I teach college and get 4 months off/year, so it's not that hard for me. The people who tend to stay on the island long term are people who are FIRE or have a flexible job in which they can get off the island often.

1) Housing (Renting): For rentals, our rent is about 20% higher than market rate because we have a dog. Our first place was a studio at $1,100/month. Now we are in a 2 bed/1 bath for $1,500/month. Utilities were included for both rentals.

2) Utilities: Electricity is expensive. That's it. You can hack this system with a solar water heater, gas dryer and gas cooking stove. My old landlord would average 350 KWH/month for electricity and his bill was $100/month. This was for a multi-unit with 4 people and 2,000 sq. ft.

3) Air Conditioning: The only way to afford this is to have solar panels. Running a single window unit for one room at night to help you sleep will run you about $500/month during the summer.

4) Housing (Purchasing): I think the median single family home for the island is 600K. However, the island is very friendly permitting Additional Dwelling Units on your property. My wife and I are currently trying to purchase a single family home for 450K, put 50K into it for an ADU. With 20% down, our total mortgage payment would be $2400/month, but get $1500/month for a 2 bed/1 bath ADU. It's not cheap, but it's very doable.

5) Airfare: My wife and I fly from Kauai to Denver 3 times/year. We both have the Alaska Airlines credit card. Each card gives you a yearly companion fare of $99. We typically spend $750 for the first ticket and $150 for the 2nd ticket. It ends up being around $150 because of fees. This totals $1800 because we do it twice a year. Our third flight for the year is free with credit card points/miles. This averages to be $300 per round trip ticket. Not cheap, but doable.

6) Groceries: Safeway is about 50% higher than the mainland. However, Costco is only about 10% higher than the mainland. When you consider the year round growing season with farmers markets and neighbors giving you food, my food cost is the same as when I lived on the mainland. The only food I kind of gave up on was mushrooms. They are almost double the price. Now they are a treat when I am on the mainland. I actually ate them last night in Denver.

7) Beaches: free to park and you can bring your dog. About 90% of the people live within a 10 minute drive to the beach. You go to the beach often and it's awesome and free.

8) Amazon Prime: This has been a game changer for Kauai. Now you can get anything you want within 4 days. Sorry, we don't get 2 day delivery.

MMM did a write up about Oahu. I think it's pretty accurate. If you adapt to Hawaii life it's not that expensive. If you insist on keeping your oversized mainland lifestyle, it's going to be very expensive.

slappy

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Re: Hawaiian Mustachians - I have a few questions...
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2017, 02:10:35 PM »
I have lived on Kauai for 2.5 years. It has been a great experience so far. Hawaii is a good fit for people who are FIRE. It's more difficult when you are still working. I teach college and get 4 months off/year, so it's not that hard for me. The people who tend to stay on the island long term are people who are FIRE or have a flexible job in which they can get off the island often.

1) Housing (Renting): For rentals, our rent is about 20% higher than market rate because we have a dog. Our first place was a studio at $1,100/month. Now we are in a 2 bed/1 bath for $1,500/month. Utilities were included for both rentals.

2) Utilities: Electricity is expensive. That's it. You can hack this system with a solar water heater, gas dryer and gas cooking stove. My old landlord would average 350 KWH/month for electricity and his bill was $100/month. This was for a multi-unit with 4 people and 2,000 sq. ft.

3) Air Conditioning: The only way to afford this is to have solar panels. Running a single window unit for one room at night to help you sleep will run you about $500/month during the summer.

4) Housing (Purchasing): I think the median single family home for the island is 600K. However, the island is very friendly permitting Additional Dwelling Units on your property. My wife and I are currently trying to purchase a single family home for 450K, put 50K into it for an ADU. With 20% down, our total mortgage payment would be $2400/month, but get $1500/month for a 2 bed/1 bath ADU. It's not cheap, but it's very doable.

5) Airfare: My wife and I fly from Kauai to Denver 3 times/year. We both have the Alaska Airlines credit card. Each card gives you a yearly companion fare of $99. We typically spend $750 for the first ticket and $150 for the 2nd ticket. It ends up being around $150 because of fees. This totals $1800 because we do it twice a year. Our third flight for the year is free with credit card points/miles. This averages to be $300 per round trip ticket. Not cheap, but doable.

6) Groceries: Safeway is about 50% higher than the mainland. However, Costco is only about 10% higher than the mainland. When you consider the year round growing season with farmers markets and neighbors giving you food, my food cost is the same as when I lived on the mainland. The only food I kind of gave up on was mushrooms. They are almost double the price. Now they are a treat when I am on the mainland. I actually ate them last night in Denver.

7) Beaches: free to park and you can bring your dog. About 90% of the people live within a 10 minute drive to the beach. You go to the beach often and it's awesome and free.

8) Amazon Prime: This has been a game changer for Kauai. Now you can get anything you want within 4 days. Sorry, we don't get 2 day delivery.

MMM did a write up about Oahu. I think it's pretty accurate. If you adapt to Hawaii life it's not that expensive. If you insist on keeping your oversized mainland lifestyle, it's going to be very expensive.

Love this info! Are they open to transplants or is it tough to assimilate?

clarkfan1979

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Re: Hawaiian Mustachians - I have a few questions...
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2017, 08:49:31 AM »
I have lived on Kauai for 2.5 years. It has been a great experience so far. Hawaii is a good fit for people who are FIRE. It's more difficult when you are still working. I teach college and get 4 months off/year, so it's not that hard for me. The people who tend to stay on the island long term are people who are FIRE or have a flexible job in which they can get off the island often.

1) Housing (Renting): For rentals, our rent is about 20% higher than market rate because we have a dog. Our first place was a studio at $1,100/month. Now we are in a 2 bed/1 bath for $1,500/month. Utilities were included for both rentals.

2) Utilities: Electricity is expensive. That's it. You can hack this system with a solar water heater, gas dryer and gas cooking stove. My old landlord would average 350 KWH/month for electricity and his bill was $100/month. This was for a multi-unit with 4 people and 2,000 sq. ft.

3) Air Conditioning: The only way to afford this is to have solar panels. Running a single window unit for one room at night to help you sleep will run you about $500/month during the summer.

4) Housing (Purchasing): I think the median single family home for the island is 600K. However, the island is very friendly permitting Additional Dwelling Units on your property. My wife and I are currently trying to purchase a single family home for 450K, put 50K into it for an ADU. With 20% down, our total mortgage payment would be $2400/month, but get $1500/month for a 2 bed/1 bath ADU. It's not cheap, but it's very doable.

5) Airfare: My wife and I fly from Kauai to Denver 3 times/year. We both have the Alaska Airlines credit card. Each card gives you a yearly companion fare of $99. We typically spend $750 for the first ticket and $150 for the 2nd ticket. It ends up being around $150 because of fees. This totals $1800 because we do it twice a year. Our third flight for the year is free with credit card points/miles. This averages to be $300 per round trip ticket. Not cheap, but doable.

6) Groceries: Safeway is about 50% higher than the mainland. However, Costco is only about 10% higher than the mainland. When you consider the year round growing season with farmers markets and neighbors giving you food, my food cost is the same as when I lived on the mainland. The only food I kind of gave up on was mushrooms. They are almost double the price. Now they are a treat when I am on the mainland. I actually ate them last night in Denver.

7) Beaches: free to park and you can bring your dog. About 90% of the people live within a 10 minute drive to the beach. You go to the beach often and it's awesome and free.

8) Amazon Prime: This has been a game changer for Kauai. Now you can get anything you want within 4 days. Sorry, we don't get 2 day delivery.

MMM did a write up about Oahu. I think it's pretty accurate. If you adapt to Hawaii life it's not that expensive. If you insist on keeping your oversized mainland lifestyle, it's going to be very expensive.

Love this info! Are they open to transplants or is it tough to assimilate?


People in general are very nice. They call it Aloha.

More specifically, I think the culture is collectivistic. People are nicer to you if you have a job that contributes to the island in a positive way. I teach college. The students and residents of the island are very nice to me. However, people won't spent a lot of their time to get to know you until you have been on the island for more than two years. Many people leave the island within 1-2 years.

If someone claims to work remotely for a company on the mainland, that might not be as valued by some residents and it could be more difficult to connect with others. You might have to volunteer or do something else locally on the island.
 
I used to live in Florida and a very similar dynamic exists between long-term residents and tourists. The poor long-term residents of Florida that work at the hotels and restaurants don't like the rich people from up north, when they act entitled.

If you are nice to others, it's very difficult to have a problem. Overall, I think the people in Hawaii are nicer than Florida.

newgirl

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Re: Hawaiian Mustachians - I have a few questions...
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2017, 01:09:45 PM »
@clarkfan1979  thank you so much for your insights :) I will try to dig up the old MMM post.

If you don't mind a specific question - how reliable and fast is internet access on the islands? DH and I both work remotely which is why we're sort of feeling out different relocation possibilities. However, reliable and fast internet is a non-negotiable requirement. Satellite wouldn't meet our needs, for example.

Thanks :)

clarkfan1979

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Re: Hawaiian Mustachians - I have a few questions...
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2017, 01:45:10 PM »
Internet works fine. We have Spectrum (Time Warner). No competition. They are the only provider. We pay $50/month. You can get it down to $40/month by buying your own modem and router.

slappy

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Re: Hawaiian Mustachians - I have a few questions...
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2018, 07:04:25 AM »


If you are nice to others, it's very difficult to have a problem.

Good life advice in general. :)