Friday, April 01, 2011

Finding a Place to live in Hawaii, part 2

To recap what we were talking about last Tuesday I was going through the different steps you have to take before you can even think about where you are going to live.  Those steps are: creating a budget, determining a general area you want to live, researching prices, choosing between purchasing and renting AND THEN finding a place that will be suitable for you. These are topics you must mull over before you move anywhere and have nothing to do with Hawaii specifically. So far I only really talked about figuring out a housing budget.  Figuring out the budget is a lot of work and takes some serious soul searching (do I want to spend my money on a nicer house or have more left over for clothes or entertainment, etc) but is a very necessary step when finding a new place anywhere, not just Hawaii.

I left off on Tuesday saying "This leads us to the next question: Where do you want to live? This will of course depend on where you work, what school you want your kids to go to, if shopping is important to you, what kind of scenery you'd like to be surrounded by. "  So, lets talk about that next.

We decided that we want to live very close to Dave's work and the kids' schools.  We want the kids to attend school on the Northshore where the public schools are better quality than in Honolulu. This just so happens to also be where Dave is working--lucky us! Unfortunately, North Shore is also one of the more expensive areas to live on Oahu--not so lucky.

To live near schools and work we have decided that we have only two other qualifications 1) must have 3 bedrooms: one for the boys, one for the girls and one for Dave and I; and 2) must be under $1500/mo. Nothing else matters.  We don't care if it is 600 square feet or if it is miles to the beach and shopping or if it is in poor condition or if it is all three: small, inconvenient and unattractive.  We can make do.  We've done it before when we bought our major fixer upper in Fresno, CA, we can do it again.

Unfortunately, even with these incredibly low standards, we will not be able to find a house for sale to fit those needs.  We did find a two bedroom, 600 square foot shack in need of major repairs for $250,000.  After taxes and insurance and required repairs we'll be over our budget and under our minimum requirements (3 bedrooms).

Since we can't even afford to purchase a shack we will get more for our money--at least short term--by renting. Though there are few places available in our price range we have been intently scouring Craigslist, calling the local property management company and hounding all our friends who have any acquaintances with homes on the North Shore and we have found a few.  The big problem is that they rent fast and they rent now.  No one wants to wait to rent to us in May or June, they want a renter today.  And they usually get it. So we wait.

Right now it looks like Dave will be arriving in Hawaii without a place to live.  We will work on finding him some temporary housing for at least a week and when he gets there he will work on finding something a little more permanent for us all.  He'll have about 3 weeks to find something before our stuff arrives in a shipping container.  If he hasn't found anything by then he'll have about 3 weeks more before the kids and I arrive during which time I suppose our shipping container can sit in storage. Storage has got to be cheaper than rent, right?  But I'm really hoping that he finds a place and gets everything unpacked for me.  Wouldn't that be nice.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Dani...I wish knew someone who lived over there, so at least Dave could have a place to crash till you all could join him. Unfortunately...all my relatives live on the Big Island.....500 miles away from where Dave will work. I will pray for you though...that is about all I can do.


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