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Frequently Asked Questions About Moving To and Living
In Hawaii (and the Big Island!)

Hello, I hope you’re doing well!

I’ve had a few comments regarding how we like living in Hawaii (since moving here in 2007/8.) And to be completely honest, since living here for the past 2 (and a half years,) I simply haven’t had the focus or time to post to this site!

I’ve met some really nice people who have taken the time to email me or find me at Lets Go Banners, but all-in-all, it’s taken our family the last (almost 3 years) to “get going” and try to re-build our lives here on the Big Island of Hawaii.

To first address the “How do we like it?” (drum roll please.)..........

Why are we busy? (Why am I too busy to post to this site?) Well, we moved to Hawaii in 2007 (December) and (while living our dream) didn’t have much time to get “up and running.” As the real estate market crashed (combined with some really stupid financial decisions I made,) my wife and I had to “hi-tail” it to start generating income for our family since our leave.

We’ve (honestly) spent the last two + years building several businesses here in Hawaii (Lets Go Banners, Tsunami Wraps, and Lets Go Fundraising) to attempt to rebuild our lifestyle. All this while appreciating (loving) our new home, friends, family (ohana) and business associates.

Well, to make a long story short, we first focused (for the first 18 months) on www.letsgobanners.com (a sign and banner company located on the Big Island) that services clients in Hawaii as well as on the mainland. We take orders via our website and ship to the U.S. (as well as many other countries) utilizing several mainland warehouses (we have many mainland distributors that are awesome at shipping from central locations to keep our clients’ costs down.)

And while we’ve been busy growing our business, we’ve failed to update many of our web sites. And I really wish to apologize for this.

But for those of you who are considering moving to Hawaii, let me please say, WE LOVE IT HERE! We really do! Marnie and I hopefully plan to build a home here and spend the rest of our lives living here.

I would also like to give you words of encouragement: If we did it, so can you! Hawaii is a very entrepreneurial state with more “cottage industries” ranging from production to farming (etc) that I can’t tell you how many opportunities there are here.

If you really have the will and desire to move to Hawaii, and are certain you would LOVE to live in our perfect climate, and are willing to become “self-reliant” for some needs (conserving fuel, appreciating and respecting the land,) then you may really wish to consider moving here.

Thanks for reading!


Frequently Asked Questions About Our Move To Hawaii
(and how we like living here!)

1. MONEY! One of the most common questions I receive is “Do I have enough money to move to Hawaii,” and “Will I be able to make enough money to live in Hawaii?”

    This is obviously a loaded question, but let me try to do my best. First of all, living in Hawaii can be very affordable depending on your budget and expenses. . Let me explain. Depending on your needs, I’ve found
    you can find very affordable housing (from $500-600 +.) You can rent a room (Ohana) or a single family home for prices comparable to the
    mainland. And of course, the size and style of your home and the place you choose to rent or buy will be very important. Just as on the mainland, where and what you rent or buy are the key factors to your living (rent or mortgage) expenses.

    Regarding “living expenses,” my wife and I feel we spend the most money on food and gas. If you’re willing to be disciplined and shop at Costco, you can save a lot of money. When we lived on the mainland, we used to
    eat-out at least 3 or 4 times a week. In Hawai’i, it’s different for us. We live on the Big Island, and where we live, we don’t have a ton of choices, and we’ve learned to cook and make our own meals. I can’t honestly remember
    the last time I ate at a fast-food restaurant, and we hardly ever go out to eat. It’s not so much because of the money, but just a different life style.

    We don’t have air-conditioning in our home (don’t need it,) and we don’t have heating (don’t need it.) Also, we don’t incur the cost of “high-priced” corporate clothing here, as most people dress casually all the time. I even prefer to go “barefoot” in our home most of the time, something I would have never done in Indiana. We have hardwood floors, so we don’t need carpet-cleaning, and our major utility expense is electricity. More expensive
    for us since we have a home business.

    Regarding your move out here, again, a loaded question. If it’s just you, than it will be minimal. For our family, with all the stuff we brought, we budgeted $20,000 to bring the container, air travel, car, etc. I’m not sure what the final number was, but I’m pretty sure we beat the budget. I bought a used convertible in Hilo for around $5k versus bringing my car, but my wife chose to ship her car out here. With the cost of shipping her car, we could
    probably found a used car here for less $.

    You can buy a lot of stuff here at garage sales. We bought our daughter’s Queen-Sized bed for cheap- it’s very nice and she loves it. We sold most of our stuff before we moved- some stuff I wished we’d kept, and some stuff I wished we’d sold.

    When I first started this site, I mentioned I’d wished we’d kept many different items. But after living here and making connections and learning about the island, I’ve learned that you can find almost anything you need
    affordably. (except food and gas- besides Costco.)

2. “Can I find a job in Hawaii?” 

    I’m asked this question very frequently. First, I have to say I’ve been an entrepreneur all my life, so I can’t say I have experience in the job market. All I know is that my wife and I started a small sign company here without
    knowing anyone (not a single person,) and with hard-work, persistence, and a positive attitude, we’ve been able to thrive and grow our business. So I believe that anyone moving here, if you’re willing to work hard and be
    persistent, you have a good chance. Hawaii is a tourist-reliant state, so the “tourist” jobs are affected by the economy. However, many of our clients (resorts, spas, travel-related industries) have not only survived, but
    thrived here (on the Big Island.) So if you have a special talent or niche, you may actually be really happy here, even more than you were prior to your move (*disclaimer- just my opinion- as mentioned, I don’t really
    know anything about the job market in Hawaii!)

3. “We want to move to Hawaii because of the weather, the people, and the ‘laid back environment.” “Is that why you moved to Hawaii? And are you happy living there?”

    First of all, the weather or climate was my biggest reason for moving to Hawaii. I lived in Indiana almost my entire life, and was getting depressed as I grew older. After traveling to Hawaii many times for vacation, my wife and I found it harder and harder to get on the plane to go back “home.”

    The weather (where we live, on the north-west side of the Big Island,) is incredible. Sunny almost 365 a year, dry (almost no rain,) NO STORMS - EVER (so far!!!) and very calm humidity (almost perfect.) In fact, we went
    to Las Vegas (one of my favorite places to visit) for a trade show, and my nose bled almost the entire time and my family got sick. It was really weird, because once you’re accustomed to Hawaii weather, you become
    (proudly,) a “weather wimp.” The temperature here is normally mid 70’s to low 80’s 365 a year (it gets colder (during the “winter”) and hotter (during the “summer.”)

    The people are FANTASTIC here. Where we live, it’s an international “melting pot,” and I’m so glad our daughters have made friends with such a diverse O’hana (family). And the local Hawaiians are awesome. We’ve worked almost everywhere on the Big Island, and have been accepted and treated with warm hospitality. One thing I will never miss from the mainland is the “keeping up with the ‘Jone’s’” philosophy. It simply doesn’t exist where we live in Hawaii. No one cares what kind of car you drive. No one cares what kind of suit you’re wearing (no one wears suits here-that I know of,) No one cares what you did last Saturday, or who you know, or what you’re
    doing. It’s EXTREMELY LAID BACK. “Hawaiian Time.” I’m proud to be
    a part of it!

    The “laid-back environment” is so awesome. The phrase, “no-worries” catches on quickly. We’re on an island, and it really feels like almost everyone “gets it.” You have to look out after each other.

4. “Is there discrimination against ‘Mainlanders?”

    I’m not sure why I’m asked this question, or where it came from, but I recall, prior to moving here, reading posts in forums about the local Hawaiians being harsh or discriminating against mainlanders or “haoles.” (pronounced “How-lees”) Now, before I defend all local Hawaiians, let me say, that I’m almost certain, that discrimination probably or does exists everywhere. But having said that, I can offer that since living here, my wife and I would both agree that we have NEVER been mistreated or discriminated against. Nor have our children. Again, having said this, if you plan on moving to Hawaii, and plan on being an arrogant snob, or lacking respect for the Hawaii
    culture, than you may indeed meet some problems, as you would moving
    to ANY community, ANYWHERE.

    A quick note about the word “Haole.” The word “Haole” has been translated in many ways. You can read wikipedias information here: Haole. I have been called a “Haole” many times while living here, mostly if not almost every time, by locals who know me, and trust me, and refer to me as a
    friend. So sure, if there’s some “underground” meaning to this, than I’m oblivious to this. It’s almost a pride thing, or “being accepted,” as
    we have been accepted. I AM a new comer to Hawaii. I AM a “foreigner” in the local Hawaiian’s eyes. I get this. I wouldn’t, as I’m sure you wouldn’t, like to be discriminated against, but I’m not. I do business with so many people here, my family is friends with all makes of color, creed, religion, etc. here. I don’t feel discriminated against. If I felt discriminated against, than I may have a problem with the word “Haole.”

5. “How did you find your place to live?”

    We originally thought we’d move to Maui, however, after visiting Maui for 2 weeks, and upon my wife’s suggestion, we traveled to the Big Island
    (one-way ticket, very strange) and landed on the Big Island on Jan. 2, 2008.
    We met with Timo Driedger, a business broker, and he showed us the “lay of the land,” which included taking us immediately to Waikoloa Village. After visiting Waikoloa Village, we immediately knew this was where we wished to move. We drove around and after talking with many local business people, were referred to Dan Aldridge- A real estate broker in Waikoloa. He almost immediately found us an awesome home. We’ve lived here for almost 5 years.

6. “How were you able to start a business after moving there?”

    My wife and I have experience starting small companies, and we got started researching opportunities. We had lost a great deal with the real estate bubble and moving to Hawaii, and we didn’t have a great deal of time before
    we had to gain revenues. In essence, we were starting over from scratch. This was a very great strain on our situation. We had a very comfortable living back in Indiana, but had made some very poor financial choices
    and were starting over. Literally. The clock was ticking. I had never worked a job or for a company (for only 9 months out of college,) and my wife and I had always been entrepreneurs. After several months of researching
    and settling-down in Waikoloa, we decided to launch “Lets Go Banners,” a sign and marketing company. We researched the industry, purchased some very affordable sign/banner equipment, and started “pounding the
    pavement.” I also had a lot of experience in web design, and we focused on building LGB’s site for the first few months. We’ve been able to survive and actively try to grow the business, although it hasn’t been easy, by
    any means. But we’ve been so excited to make contacts and build friendships and clients here. Once the economy turns-around, I’m confident that things will grow very rapidly.

7. “How did your family handle your move?”

    My wife is really the only one with any issues, but it’s actually turned out really positive. I don’t have much family left at all. But my wife’s family has visited (her father and brother-in-law,) and I have an extended relative
    on Oahu that we’ve visited many times.  My wife’s family thought she was crazy for moving, but as her father and brother-in-law visited, they soon realized why we moved here. Now her family is planning a family reunion
    next summer. Hawaii is really a special place!

8. “Do you get ‘Island Fever’?”

    No. I don’t, but I have met people who do get “ancy” for the mainland. The ONLY place I miss is Las Vegas, and it’s expensive to travel back to the mainland. Except I don’t miss the weather on the mainland, even in
    Vegas. Except I do, really, sincerely, miss Video Poker. If Hawaii ever opened-up cruise gambling or a few casinos around the islands........ (or maybe even a few scratch-off tickets!) However, I’ve saved a butt-load
    on not gambling!!!!

Copyright 2012 Chris Anderson Hawaii Trip Report

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