America’s rich and mega-rich are moving to Hawaii to escape pandemic hotspots. Maybe you’re considering a move for the same reason, or perhaps you’re just keen on Hawaii for the pristine beaches, jungle-covered peaks, and ahi poke.
Whatever gave you the urge to move to more tropical climes, there are a few things you need to know about Hawaii before getting on that plane. Read on for a list of five key things to consider when moving off the mainland and embracing island living on Hawaii.
1. Learn the Local Language
Take a bit of time to familiarise yourself with the local dialect, too. The unique mix of English and Hawaiian can take some getting used to. Watch YouTube videos and TV shows and spend time with Hawaiian friends. You might even naturally adopt some words, like “da kine” or “brah” yourself!
Due to the high proportion of Hawaiians descended from early Japanese migrants, you might also bump into Japanese speakers–though the use of this language has declined considerably in recent years.
2. Moving to Hawaii: Embrace the Lifestyle
The first thing you need to understand about Hawaii is that the word “aloha” is more than just a greeting. It’s an entire way of life for residents of America’s most tropical locale. In fact, aloha encompasses a whole philosophy of mutual respect, love, and empathy.
If you move to Hawaii, be prepared to immerse yourself in this beautiful way of living.
Outside of this, life in this remote archipelago tends to be slow-paced. Give yourself time to adapt to this more laid-back lifestyle, and if you find yourself feeling isolated, jump on a plane for a quick trip back to mainland USA.
3. Prepare For Wallet Shock
Living in a tropical paradise comes with some compromises and higher costs. Because Hawaii is isolated from the mainland, the economy relies on imports. The price of everything from fresh milk to gas for your car might give you a shock at first.
Then there’s also things like volcano insurance to consider. Look at housing in Lava Zones 3 and 4 to avoid higher premiums.
4. Familiarize Yourself With the Housing Market
The real estate market in Hawaii is undeniably competitive, but if you do your due diligence, you’ll find something that suits your budget and needs.
Some top tips for house-hunting success in Hawaii include:
- Be flexible with your preferences
- Be prepared to buy off paper
- Be prepared to negotiate
- Note the local HOA rules if buying in a community
- Go inland for better prices and views
A lot of properties in Hawaii are leaseholder sales, which means you don’t purchase the land. Instead, you essentially “rent” the land for a certain number of years. Keep this in mind when cheaper housing prices catch your eye, as they might be leasehold properties.
Don’t Rush Into Anything
Moving to Hawaii is not a decision to be taken lightly. Outside of surfing and hiking, it’s one of the most expensive states to live in, there’s a vibrant and distinct culture you’ll need to adapt to, and there are active volcanoes to contend with. But once you’re there, we’re certain you’ll love the freedom an island lifestyle brings.
Be sure to browse the other articles on our blog for more deep dives into the American real estate market and making those big interstate moves.