Archive for the ‘Moving to Hawaii’ Category

Moving to Hawaii Guide

Top Ten Tips for moving to Hawaii

The following are some things to consider when moving to Hawaii.

hawaii moving tips

Hawaiian Islands

Which Island/Region?

Each island and each region of each island have been described as different worlds. Differences in weather, job market, type of residents, pace of life, and cost of living can affect your decision. We suggest taking a long vacation in the area you like the most before deciding.

Getting a Job

Of course, having a job lined up before you come is a great start. Some people like to visit Hawaii first and do some interviews before making the final move. Getting a job in Hawaii can be difficult at first because most employers prefer those that have been on the island for some time. Make sure your prospective employer knows you intend to live on the island long term.

Healthcare

Make sure your healthcare carries over to Hawaii and that you can use good doctors on your island. Finding a good doctor should be of immediate priority. A lot of people lag on this, but please don’t because you never know what’s going to happen in the near future. Learn more about Hawaii healthcare options.

Home Purchase

maui real estate

Buying a home in Hawaii is a great investment considering that mortgage rates are often lower than monthly rent. You can buy a home for yourself, or buy an investment property to use as a vacation rental and subsidize your income. Because buying here is so attractive, Hawaii has thousands of realtors, and some are great while others aren’t up to snuff. Find a Hawaii realtor that specializes in what you’re after and for the area you want to buy in. This is where Best of Hawaii Real Estate is exceptionally useful. We match you to your ideal pre-qualified realtor.

Moving your Stuff and your Car

Whatever you decide to bring to Hawaii (other than what you can carry on the plane) will come on a slow ship, so keep this in mind when packing. Some services will allow you to ship things by air, but they cost a lot more. Your car will also be brought over on a freighter. Since September 11th, you can’t fill your car with any items, so everything needs to be shipped in a separate container.

Pets (dogs, cats, horses, etc…)

doggyBringing pets to Hawaii can be a difficult and long process, but it can be pretty easy if you know what you’re doing. Check out this article on moving pets to Hawaii in order to cut through long quarantine periods. If you have more exotic pets, you may not be able to bring them into the State of Hawaii because they may be considered invasive species.

Family and Friends

The hardest part about moving to Hawaii is leaving family and friends. The good news is that once you live here, you’ll likely be getting visitors on a regular basis. We’ve noticed that our time with mainland family and friends has actually increased because they come out for a week at a time and we get solid quality time with them. As for new friends, you’ll make plenty so long as you abide by the next tip.

Get Active and Get Involved!

Part of the allure of living in Hawaii is the active lifestyle. You can do so many things outdoors here and at any time of year. Take advantage of the inexpensive and amazing activities Hawaii has to offer. Also, make sure to get involved in the community by going to events and joining clubs. This is a great way to meet people and to show that you care about the islands. You’ll find that residents of Hawaii are deeply invested in the health of their land, people, and culture. Get involved!

Retirement

retire in HawaiiHawaii is the best place to retire for many reasons. You have all the convenience of the mainland, live in paradise, and get to enjoy a slower, low-stress lifestyle.  There are many things to consider when planning retirement in Hawaii.

Be prepared to Slow Down

The pace of life in Hawaii is anything but hectic. It takes a little time to adjust your pace to the island life, but it’s well worth it. Your stress levels will fall, and your life span will increase. It’s really the only way to live, so enjoy it!

Moving to Hawaii


Spring Forward in Hawaii

Donkey's Beach, Kauai, on Easter SundaySpring is a time for change. A time for rejuvenation. A time to wipe out those winter doldrums and look forward to your piece of paradise. Don’t spend another winter in the cold when you could be in Hawaii enjoying the warm breezes and gorgeous views.

Interest rates are at record lows! Properties are jumping! Now is the ideal time to purchase your home in Hawaii.

Looking to retire? Hawaii is the perfect place to sink those toes in the warm sand and relax or be as active as you wish hiking, biking or surfing.

Not ready to retire but still want a vacation home? Perhaps a part time rental could help you afford your vacation home. Realtors are able to assist you with whatever your real estate dreams include.

Best of Hawaii Real Estate matches you with a Realtor who knows their area and the best way to serve you in your dream path.

Realtors have been selected based on their excellence of work ethics and their determination to help you succeed your dreams in Hawaii.

Aloha . . . paradise awaits.


Mele Kalikimaka!

Christmas in Hawaii

Santa at the Beach

It’s Hawaii’s way to say Merry Christmas to you! Christmas Day is here and while people around the world are sitting by the fire or taking sleigh rides, the people of Hawaii are heading to the beach!

Spending Christmas Day on the beach is a beloved tradition among many families living in Hawaii. It’s no mystery that the weather in Hawaii is pleasantly warm year-round but for many, spending the holiday sun bathing or riding waves remains a strange notion. Strange or not, Christmas on the beach is a tradition that catches on quickly.

The beach lifestyle is something that goes hand-in-hand with owning Hawaii real estate. Wherever you are in the islands the beach is never far away. Have you been thinking about moving to Hawaii but don’t think that you’re a “beach person”? The beach has a way of quickly finding its way into the heart of even the most outspoken dissenter.

We all know the beach is a place to surf, swim, sunbathe and frolic in the sand. But what if these activities don’t exactly match your idea of fun? Does a pleasant weekend afternoon for you often include curling up in a comfortable place to finish a book? Going on a picnic? Knitting a loved one a new pair of socks? These are all activities that can be enriched simply by taking a trip to the beach. Maybe you’re more of a beach person than you thought!

Just like anywhere else, Christmas in Hawaii is a time when dreams come true. If you’ve been dreaming of moving to Hawaii – of having a slice of paradise all to yourself – now has never been a better time to act. Experiencing the joy of the season shouldn’t be just for the kids. Thousands of people just like you – families and retirees, the young and the old – will be spending Christmas on the beach this year simply because they decided they wanted a life in Hawaii.

Owning Hawaii real estate is easier than you think. Hawaii REALTORS are truly experts at their craft but finding the right one can be tough. Best of Hawaii Real Estate connects you to the best Hawaii REALTORS instantly, reliably and without any fees or obligations. Starting your Hawaii home buying process with the right Hawaii REALTOR is the best way to start your life in paradise.


10 Best Things About Christmas in Hawaii

Everybody loves Christmas. Everybody loves Hawaii. It’s only natural that combining the two makes for one super holiday! People from every corner of the world come to Hawaii during the Christmas season to enjoy some of the best of what the islands have to offer.

We’ll let you in on a little secret. While we all know Christmas isn’t a Hawaiian holiday, over the years the holiday has gained a unique island feel. The familiar – Christmas trees, colorful lights and festive holiday parades – blend with Hawaiian cultural traditions to create something special. It’s Christmas in the Spirit of Aloha and it’s something you can experience every year as a Hawaii real estate owner.

To celebrate Christmas in Hawaii this year, we’ve put together a special list of what we consider to be the top 10 best things about spending the holiday in the islands:

  1. Hawaiian Christmas Songs. Music is part of the holiday and this is no exception in Hawaii. The Hawaiian language is beautiful and flowing – perfect for festive caroling. Perhaps the most famous is Mele Kalikimaka (made famous by Bing Crosby in the 1950s and, more recently, in the film National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation). There are many others!
  2. Santa Arrives… By Canoe? That’s right! Every year in early December, Hawaii celebrates the holiday season as Santa arrives on the shores of Waikiki Beach on his very own outrigger canoe. The event is hosted by the Outrigger Waikiki Hotel and is free to the public. Kids can even get some face time with the jolly old elf upon arrival!
  3. Lighted Boat Parades. Two parades typically light up the waters around Oahu each year during the Christmas season. The Honolulu Christmas Boat Parade tours around Honolulu Harbor and can be viewed from the Aloha Tower Marketplace and various other spots on the Honolulu waterfront. The Hawaii Kai Christmas Boat Parade usually attracts thousands who watch as about 40 boats – all litup for Christmas – float lazily through theHawaii Kai waters.

    Mele Kalikimaka

    Merry Christmas in Hawaiian! (Photo courtesy of Flickr user "billsoPHOTO")

  4. The Nutcracker Ballet. Hawaii enjoys some of the more traditional Christmas celebrations, too. Performances of the famous Nutcracker Ballet happen all over the state during the Christmas season.
  5. Lahaina Gets Lit Up. Maui celebrates Christmas by covering the historic Lahaina Banyan Tree in lights each Christmas season. Residents and visitors celebrate the annual tradition with a ceremony featuring Christmas carols, a Hula exhibition and an appearance by St. Nick for the kids!
  6. Honolulu is Illuminated. Every year around Christmas time, thousands on Oahu gather outside Honolulu Hale – the name give to the mayor’s office – to watch as the massive 50-plus foot Christmas tree is lit for the first time. The event is called Honolulu City Lights and marks the beginning of a month-long Christmas festival in and around Honolulu Hale. The lighting ceremony is accompanied by the Electric Light Parade.
  7. Kauai Blazes Brightly! Residents of the Garden Island celebrate Christmas with their own illuminated celebration. The Kauai Festival of Lights officially marks the arrival of Christmas to the island. The event has its origins more than 50 years ago with “Auntie” Josie Chansky, a local folk artist who opened her home each Christmas to share thousands of the homemade Christmas decorations she had made throughout her life. Her home became knownas The Christmas House among locals. The festival, which began in 1996, carries on the tradition by preserving Chansky’s wonderful collection for all to see.
  8. Football. The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl has become a beloved holiday tradition in the islands. The football game takes place every day on Christmas Eve at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Besides being a nationally important BCS bowl game, it is a chance for Hawaii residents to support the University of Hawaii in their much anticipated annual contest. This year UH will host the University of Tulsa.
  9. Christmas Trees. Having a Christmas tree in your home during the holiday season is a beloved tradition that isn’t missed in Hawaii. Boatloads of the fragrant conifers are shipped to the islands from colder regions of the world so the people of Hawaii can enjoy the comfort and coziness of a Christmas tree in the living room.
  10. Christmas on the Beach. Christmas morning in Hawaii starts out much the same as anywhere else in the world. Gifts are opened and brunch is served. That’s when things start to change. Late December in the islands is much the same as mid-July – that is to say, snow and freezing temperatures are not a concern. Many Hawaii residents head down to the beach after gifts have been opened to enjoy Christmas afternoon in the sun, sand and salt water.

Now it’s obvious that Christmas in Hawaii is an experience second-to-none. Moving to Hawaii is the next step to making this wonderful tradition part of your life. Best of Hawaii Real Estate will connect you to the best Hawaii REALTOR who will help make your dreams come true.


Christmas in Hawaii

Mele Kalikimaka! Christmas season in Hawaii is upon us! The orange and red hues of Thanksgiving are behind us, and the ghouls and goblins of Halloween are but a distant memory. December has started and it’s time to decorate that tree, buy gifts and indulge in a few Yuletide sweets.

Hawaiian Christmas Ornament

Image courtesy of Flickr User "Corey Ann"

This time of year Hawaii residents are gearing up for a very special Christmas celebration. Christmas in Hawaii is very similar to Christmas anywhere else in the world with just a few minor changes. Spending Christmas in the islands takes on a special Hawaiian flair found nowhere else on Earth. At Best of Hawaii Real Estate, we think Hawaii Christmas celebrations are one of the most unique parts of living in Hawaii. That’s why we’re dedicating the next several blog posts to the topic.

There are so many things to love already about the holiday season. Christmas lights, fragrant trees, giving and getting, sweet treats, friends and family always close by and the simple joy of the season. We are always happy to see Christmas come and always sad to see it go.

Hawaii has become a preferred Christmas vacation spot because the Hawaiian Christmas season is extra special. Residents and tourists alike enjoy the holiday with many traditional parades and parties throughout the state. Honolulu Hawaii (letter “H” on our Oahu Virtual Tour) features some of the most festive Christmas celebrations in the state.

Experience the Honolulu City Lights Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Outrigger Hotel. Watch as Santa lands on the beach at Waikiki (letter “W” on our Oahu Virtual Tour) in a Hawaiian outrigger canoe in the best Waikiki holiday ritual. Jolly old Saint Nick is greeted by the Hawaiian gift of hula – the famous traditional dance – and is available for free photo-taking for the kids!

Hawaii Christmas has something to offer to even the most diehard sports fans. The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl takes place on Christmas Eve at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

Christmas in Hawaii is part of what makes owning Hawaii real estate special. However tempting, we know how big of a decision buying a Hawaii home can be. Best of Hawaii Real Estate gives you the tools to make the most informed decision. We can connect you to the Hawaii REALTOR who best fits your needs – and best of all, it’s completely free!


Retiring in Hawaii

Retirement is a time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. You’ve been planning for this moment for decades and the time has finally come; now, there’s one last decision to make. Choosing Hawaii as your retirement destination carries with it a bevy of inherent benefits. Right now, there are hundreds of Hawaii homes and condos for sale. Who knows? One could be the perfect fit!

Life in Hawaii
takes on a pleasant and leisurely pace. Just like the rhythm of the gentle ocean waves crashing on shore, the lifestyle in Hawaii is naturally moretire in Hawaiire relaxed. Maybe it’s the tropical year-long summer weather. Perhaps it’s the chirping of the birds in the morning or the bright twinkling stars visible every night. Whatever the reasons, Hawaii’s laid back vibe makes for the ideal retirement lifestyle.

Do you love to golf? Hawaii golf courses are some of the best and widest ranging in the world. If your idea of a relaxing day of retirement includes 18 holes overlooking the Pacific Ocean, you’re going to love retiring in Hawaii. From Kauai and Oahu to Maui and the Big Island, every island has a wide range of golf offerings to suit every taste in the game. Numerous world class Jack Nicklaus courses are intermingled with quality public courses that meet every style and every budget.

It’s no mystery that Hawaii is famous for having perfect weather. Sun and warmth can do amazing things to the body, as many Hawaii retirees can confirm. We all know that aches and pains tend to show their ugly heads when the temperature changes. If you’re tired of that discomfort in the cold of winter, you’ll love Hawaii’s constant year-long warmth.  Ask any Hawaii retiree and they’ll tell you about the incredible restorative effects of the weather in Hawaii.

There are many other great reasons to retire in Hawaii. The Hawaii medical system is excellent and readily available. Hawaii property retains its value well, which means your piece of paradise will be a smart investment for generations. I’m sure you have many questions. That’s why it’s important to secure the services of a certified Hawaii REALTOR. Their expertise and dedication to Hawaii real estate help to make Hawaii is great place to live and one of the best places to retire. At Best of Hawaii Real Estate, we guide you to the best Hawaii REALTOR based on your unique needs.


Hawaii Real Estate: Why is the grass greener on the other side of the island?

It’s no wonder so many people decide to buy a Hawaii home.  When you look at Hawaii’s weather throughout the year, normal in Hawaii means a temperature change of only seven degrees between the height of the summer season and the low of the winter season – thanks to Hawaii’s many microclimates, those special areas where the climate differs from the surrounding area.  If you are looking at buying real estate in Hawaii as a way to escape extreme temperatures, you won’t be disappointed. Did you know that the climate within the state of Hawaii changes depending on which island – and even which part of the island – you live?

Thinking about moving to KaKauai Kayakinguai? As any Kauai real estate agent knows, Kauai real estate prices change depending on where you are on the island. Home and condo values in Poipu, on Kauai’s south side, vary widely from neighboring Kekaha town. The Poipu microclimate is white sand beaches with lush green backdrops, giving the Garden Island its name. Whereas Kekaha is hotter and dryer, for those looking for a much more arid climate.

If you have been looking at buying Big Island land, have you asked yourself what draws you to the area? The Kona District, famous worldwide for its Kona coffee, rests on the gently sloping western side of the Mauna Loa volcano. Mauna Loa naturally shields the delicate coffee plants because by the time the winds reach west-facing Kona, they have turned in to gentle, misty breezes perfect for growing coffee. These conditions also are greatly appreciated by the humans that make Kona a Hawaii real estate hotspot!

Finding the right Hawaii Realtor is your ticket to your perfect piece of Hawaii real estate. Your Hawaii Real Estate agent can help you assess how the microclimates can affect Hawaii real estate values and how that fits with your Hawaii lifestyle needs. The best real estate agents live and work in Hawaii – they know the impact microclimates have on each area on each island and are waiting to give you the benefits of their local island knowledge.


Mahalo For Removing Your Shoes

When you think of caring for the land – being environmentally friendly, in politically correct terms – you don’t think of taking off your shoes before going into a friend’s house… do you?

Nope – we didn’t think so. You might be surprised to learn that in Hawaii, even little things like removing your shoes can be traced back to the ancient Hawaiian idea of Malama ‘Aina – to care for the land. That’s why the next section we will be adding to the Best of Hawaii Real Estate website is all about Malama ‘Aina and its cultural importance in Hawaii.

Here are three examples of Malama ‘Aina in action, introducing you to its relevance to everyday life in the islands:

1. Mahalo For Removing Your Shoes. If you’ve ever been to a Hawaiian home, you’ve more than likely encountered a huge pile of shoes outside the front door. We’ve already explained that this is a tradition of respect in the islands, but Malama ‘Aina is about respecting the land! How does this fit in?Ancient Hawaiians thought of human life as an extension of the land – a gift sustained only by the natural bounty of the islands themselves. These ancient peoples lived a life much closer to the land, so it’s easy to see how this belief formed. When you enter a home barefoot, you’re respecting your host, and in turn, the land itself.

2. I can’t drive 55. So you’re spending the day exploring the back inland roads on Kauai, and you encounter a one-lane bridge and signs require both directions of traffic to yield to the other. As you approach the bridge, you see that another car is also about to enter the only lane coming from the other direction. What would a local do?The gracious act of stopping and waving a stranger through a one-lane bridge respects the life on the other side of that bridge, and is an example of living Malama ‘Aina. With so many one-lane bridges in Hawaii, this is an act you’ll want to follow!

3. Clean-up has never been so fun. How do Hawaii’s beaches stay so clean and sparkly? No, there’s no secret task force that combs the sands for trash while nobody is looking. Beach cleanups are a popular activity among many Hawaii residents – children on field trips, local environmental groups, ocean sport enthusiasts and even the group of post-party-goers just breaking down their beach campsite.Spending your day cleaning takes on a new meaning when it’s on a pristine Hawaii beach. Beach cleanups often pop up at random locations and times, and for any old reason – a testament to just how precious these natural resources are to Hawaii and its people.

Malama ‘Aina is the Hawaiian concept of respect that forms the basis of these traditions. Respecting the land and its people – your neighbors – is as much a part of Hawaiian culture as the Hula and the Lu`au.

Head over to the Best of Hawaii Real Estate site and check out this and more helpful tips for new and potential Hawaii residents.


Cars, Pets and Plants – Oh My!

Updates are rolling in once again. Best of Hawaii Real Estate is bringing you inside information straight from the source, this time answering all your questions about bringing your pets, cars and even plants to your little piece of paradise. We got ourselves chest-deep in information so you don’t have to, emerging with clear directions toward the path of least resistance. Read on!

First up, we’ve uncovered some welcome changes to the Hawaii animal quarantine laws that practically do away with the traumatic and troublesome practice all together. If you have pets and have been thinking about bringing them to Hawaii, you’ve probably heard horror stories about Hawaii’s quarantine system. Worry not – with a little planning and action on your part before you move, you could have your furry friend in your new Hawaii home without any trouble at all.

Get Your Hawaii Realtor Today!

While Hawaii looks small on a map, you’re still going to need a way to get around. We’ve produced a new section detailing the pros and cons of shipping your car to Hawaii from anywhere in the world. The process is possible and even quite common, but its cost effectiveness depends on a variety of factors. Before you decide to ship or sell, read this section; it could end up saving you thousands.

Finally, we’ve included a short section outlining Hawaii’s strict regulations on plant transport in and out of the state. While plants don’t seem like a big deal, unwittingly transporting the wrong kind of plant during your move would make for a rough way to start your new life. Give this section a few seconds of your time, and who knows – it could help you avoid a ton of problems at the port.

Answering burning questions like these are our forté and, as always, the answers come from real people who have been in your shoes first hand. You won’t want to miss this, so bookmark the Best of Hawaii Real Estate website and keep checking back.

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