When we read about someone moving to Hawaii, we tend to envision the rich and famous lapping up luxury real estate with endless beach access and miles of dramatic views.
Yet making your dream of living in a Hawaiian paradise isn’t just for the rich and famous; in fact, they are the exception, not the rule. Yes, everyday people just like you and me call Hawaii their home. And because of the diversity of the Big Island, it’s a great place to find any type of real estate you desire. A condo may be the perfect way to make your dreams come true. But if you have your sight set on a single family home with lots of space, there are ways to make that happen as well.
No matter what kind of budget you live with, there are some general rules I’ve found help make the transition from the mainland to the Big Island more successful.
Get rid of stuff. In Hawaii, less is definitely more. If you are moving from a colder climate, chances are a lot of the things you loved in your old location simply won’t be practical in your new home. Those big comfy leather couches you loved on a cold winter night won’t feel the same way here in year-round tropical conditions. Also analyze your cookware – do you really want chili and warm comfort food when its 80 degrees outside? Box up and get rid of those appliances in your kitchen you know you’ll never use again.
We live outdoors. No matter what type of home you settle into, living outdoors is going to be a big part of your life. You’ll cook out by the pool. Lanais are a common feature in many Hawaiian homes. And because there are practical and functional, you may not need that formal dining room you’re used to back home because you’ll find yourself eating outside more and more. You may even find “the office” is in a much better place sipping tea out on the patio, typing away while watching the neighbors walk by.
You won’t need covered parking. I’ve talked with a lot of northerners that can’t live without a heated garage. And when the temperatures routinely dip below zero, with snow measured in feet instead of inches, garages are important. Not so here. The weather maintains a twenty degree spread year round. No snow. No burning heat. Which means your car doesn’t have a lot to be protected from. By looking at your living space instead of the number of garages, you may find your dream home is perfect … without a garage.
Be conscious of your location. The closer you are to the action and to all the amenities, the more you’ll pay. If you’re willing to walk a little farther to the neighborhood store, and drive instead of walk to the best restaurants in town, you may find the perfect property at a lower price. Location, location, location determines price. And if you’re willing to move just a little farther out, you’ll find the best deals well within your budget.
Consider a fixer upper. When you move into a pre-established neighborhood, you’ll find homes that are turnkey, beautiful in every way. And then you’ll find the ones that need a little elbow grease to bring them back to life. Don’t be afraid of the ones that need a little TLC. That’s where your best values can be. And if you’re willing to put in the extra time to make a few changes, you can make your new home into your dream home.
It is possible for you to find your home on the Big Island and stick with your budget. If you’re willing to be strategic about your approach, you’ll find the perfect home choice for you … and discover what the rest of us already know about living the Hawaiian way.