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Moving to Hawaii? What you MUST know before moving

Updated on July 30, 2017

Can you take it to live in Hawaii?

Anyone in their sane mind would LOVE to move to Hawaii. Hawaii is Paradise! The climate is perfect, abundant sandy beaches, and lush foliage and tons natural beauty abound. As a resident of Hawaii, I feel that I'm an expert in the matter of how it really is here. I've been living on this island for 37 years. This is in no way to discourage anyone who wants to take the plunge and move to Hawaii, but just telling it like it is here.


Bugs all over the place

Hawaii has bugs all over the place. Usually these bugs find their way into your homes. Most homes of Hawaii are older and have cracks and gaps between windows and doors. These critters squeeze their way through and into homes. Although most of the bugs are harmless, sometimes they can be a nuisance. There are big cockroaches (sometimes called B-52's because of the size that they are, like an airplane). There are also geckos, mosquitoes, flys, ants, centipedes, spiders, etc. just to name a few. If you live on the Big Island of Hawaii, there's an infestation of coqui frogs which are ridiculously loud.

Guide to various insects and bugs in Hawaii

Million Dollar Shacks

A million dollars!
A million dollars!

Would you purchase a million dollar home?

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Hawaii has many "million dollar shacks." Many homes were built in the 1970's and earlier, but because land is scarce and at a prime, it's actually the home and the land combined that can soar upward of a million dollars. Most of the older homes are wooden, single walled construction and need major upgrades and updates. Appliances in the home probably were not replaced or upgraded as well as the interior being run down as well. The home you see above, is 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and is 1,089 square feet total. However, the land is quite generous at 8,060 square feet. So the majority of what you're paying for is land alone. Housing is definitely expensive in Hawaii. A typical person starting off in a career would not be able to afford a house. And if the did, the actual cost of living would kill that in an instant.

Melanoma & skin cancer

Sure, Hawaii has sunshine, sandy beaches and plenty of outdoor activities like hiking, biking, etc. Hawaii sees a lot of sun during the year, even in the winter. These sunshine activities will cause a person to be at a greater risk of developing melanoma or skin cancer. You'll want to protect yourself with sunscreen and minimize your exposure risks. Even if you're simply driving, you're at risk. And how harmless can driving be? Well, just read further and find out how much of a pain and a problem traffic is here.

Pretty much sums up Hawaiian Time!
Pretty much sums up Hawaiian Time!

Hawaiian Time

"Hawaiian Time." What it means in Hawaii is being late. Everyone in Hawaii is late. And being on Hawaiian Time things just move a little slower here.

We're not on the moon!
We're not on the moon!

Potholes everywhere!

Ah, those potholes. Looks like drivers are drunk all the time when they swerve to avoid those giant craters of pavement damaged by the constant flow of cars and the elements. Things are so political in Hawaii that politicians blame everyone else for the reason why there are potholes, etc. Instead of just doing their job, they have to resort to stupid banter and finger pointing. The potholes are patched quickly, you'll just have to call to report them. A repair crew will be dispatched within the week, and the'll be fixed. That is, until the next rain when it'll open right back up again.

Pidgin spoken everywhere

Pidgin isn't a different language like Hawaiian, Korean, or Chinese. It's English, but somewhat difficult to understand. You can learn more about Pidgin English of Hawaii.

No great or "quality" businesses are here

Hawaii isn't "home" to many chain restaurants and retail stores that you can typically find in the rest of the contiguous states. We don't have Trader Joe's, Olive Garden, In-N-Out Burger to just name a few. You'll wind up spending more on shipping than the product itself if you decide you want to purchase something online from Kohl's or JC Pennys.

It get here only by boat or by airplane...
It get here only by boat or by airplane...

Outrageous shipping costs

When it comes to shipping anything to Hawaii, it's almost guaranteed that whatever you're ordering actually will cost LESS than the shipping will. And the reason is that there are very few shipping options for items to get here. You only have boat or air. Being separated by a large body of water has it's negatives anytime you want something delivered.

Hawaii is one of the worst places in the nation for traffic

If you're driving virtually anywhere, you'll be sure to be stuck in traffic. The roads simply were not made to accommodate the amount of cars that we have on the road here. There are not enough lanes and too many cars.

If you're coming from the West and Central part of the island and you need to drive into downtown, you better leave and start your journey at least by 5:30am and at the very latest 6:00am.

The picture you see above is how it is every week day. Sometimes weekends. This area is known as the notorious H1-H2 merge. H1 is the main freeway thoroughfare that connects the West end of the state to the East. The H2 connects Central and the North Shore of Oahu to the H1. When you have the H1-H2 merge traffic, all the cars reach a bottleneck and you see the result. It's probably best to avoid driving from the hours of 7am-10am and from 3pm-7pm.

And Hawaii does not have a form or mass transit......yet. Construction of a rail system has started. However, in order for the rail to be completed, there will be a lot more closures of lanes when construction goes on, which will result in more traffic.

High cost of living

Hawaii has a ridiculously high cost of living. You team it up with high land cost, the scarcity of land, shipping costs for goods and services and you get the high costs you see when living in Hawaii. Because almost all of our food comes from the mainland, all those change in hands that take place results in more inflated prices when you finally purchase the items.


Vog stems from the words "volcano", "smog", and "fog." If you didn't know, the Kilauea volcano on the island of Hawaii (the Big Island) is actively errupting and has been since 1983. It is estimaged that Kilauea emits 2,000-4,000 tons of sulfur dioxide every day. It's a form of air pollution when sulfur dioxide and other gases and particles emitted by the volcano react with oxygen and moisutre when sunlight is present. When the winds blow, it sweeps this vog across the island chain.

Sensitive people who are exposed to the vog may experience the following:

  • Headaches
  • Watery eyes
  • Sore throat
  • Breathing difficulties (which can induce asthma attacks)
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Lethargy

High cost of owning a car

People in Hawaii love their cars. Some households have 4 cars with only 2 people that drive. These extra cars clog the streets with traffic. It is important to note, however, that the cost of having a car here is the 18th highest in the nation. It is also important to note that cars here depreciate the fastest in the nation. Thinking of financing that car? Well, we also pay the most interest to finance that piece of metal. And to keep that nice piece of metal running, we certainly pay the highest gas bill in the nation as well.

Electricity is HIGH

We pay the highest electricity rates per kilowatt hour in the nation. Our average is about 37 cents versus the national average of about 12 cents.

Because of the high cost of electricity, many people invest in photovoltaic systems. However, due to the electric company having antiquated equipment and sometimes not able to handle the extra power back to the grid, sometimes this slows down the process of actually getting your photovoltaic system installed. Another issue is that there aren't enough people that can do electrical inspections of systems, so it takes longer to get your connected to the photovoltaic system.

People need to work more here

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 6.2% of Hawaii workers have more than one job. Nationally, it's only at 4.9%.

© 2014 jaydawg808


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    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      I am not going to stay in hawaii, thanks