Hawaii--Living there, moving there--Military

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by rparmfamily, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. rparmfamily

    rparmfamily In paradise

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    I posted this in the community board section too, but that board moves so fast I'm not sure how many replies I'll get. I usually hang over here anyway!

    We are moving to Hawaii early next year. I'm not sure what to expect when it comes to schools, job, what's offered for military families,etc. Housing,etc? We don't have any pets. DH will be at Pearl Harbor on a ship.

    We did go on vacation to O'ahu in May of this year, so I've been there (Hale Koa).

    Thanks guys!! :sunny:
     
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  3. beachbunny

    beachbunny DIS Veteran

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    Housing: I know that the housing allowance is quite high. There is military housing near Pearl Harbor. Otherwise, expect to use your housing allowance to pay outrageous rental prices. With the average price of a single family residence at around $650K, housing will not be cheap. Since it's just opinions here, I prefer Windward or East Oahu to West Oahu.

    Schools: Public schools aren't good. Private schools vary in price up to $15K+ for Punahou (Michelle Wie will be a Senior there next year) or Iolani - yeah, others may tell you how good other schools are but proof is in the college acceptance and test score pudding. Many parents put themselves in debt so that their kids won't have to go to public school (at least after elementary school ). I have a co-worker who sent her child to Punahou summer school. She doesn't know how he'll go back to his public school next year - he's only in the first grade - she's amazed at the difference - she didn't think there would be any.

    Jobs: Depending on what you do, certain jobs are plentiful. Hawaii gobbles up and spits out teachers and service industry workers (desk clerks, maids, tour guides, bus drivers, etc.)(is it any wonder with so many DISers visiting?). Unfortunately, neither pay well. Last time I looked, starting salary for teachers is still in the 30's (depending on qualifications) and tourist industry jobs (non-management) pay by the hour (many hotel/tourist jobs prefer bi-lingual applicants). High tech in Hawaii usually means IT, not code monkeys. Check out the Honolulu Advertiser Sunday Help Wanteds.

    Any more questions? Just ask.
     
  4. Doodlebug939

    Doodlebug939 DIS Veteran

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    I am a military wife too so I understand wanting to know as much as you can about the place before you move. Although I dont have any specific information. I can tell you that I recommend that you go to www.military.com

    They have a discussion board. http://forums.military.com/eve
    They have a Military Life, Spouses, and Community. If you join there or even search there you might find out some information about the area, housing, community, jobs, medical and so forth.

    I wish you the best. My husband is looking at orders now too. So we will be moving somewhere new at the beginning of the year. (Although we havent found any orders yet that we liked)
     
  5. rparmfamily

    rparmfamily In paradise

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    Thanks for the link!! I'm off to research!!
     
  6. mom2my3kids

    mom2my3kids Doesn't believe in the Tag Fairy

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    Gosh my friend lived in Hawaii about 11 years ago, her husband was in the marines. She said that the native hawaiins do not like outsiders living on the island. She said they were very unfriendly..
     
  7. KT27

    KT27 <font color=magenta>Disney Bride<br><font color=co

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    Try www.cinchouse.com The message boards have been very helpful, there are girls from Hawaii on there from all branches of service.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Nolcrest

    Nolcrest DIS Veteran

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    Just wanted to say that my brother and his family have lived in Hawaii for about 5 years now. They were only supposed to be there for a 2 year assignment with his wifes job (physical therapy) but they like it so much that it looks like that is where they will permanently reside.

    My brother also works at Pearl Harbor as a ship mechanic (something like that) and he absolutley loves his job too.

    Overall, it was a very good move for the family.

    I don't have any information about a military move but can probably get any general info about the area. :thumbsup2
     
  9. beachbunny

    beachbunny DIS Veteran

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    Wow Tammy, coming from someone with no first hand knowledge, that's quite a racially insensitive comment.
     
  10. rparmfamily

    rparmfamily In paradise

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    Any information about the areas around Pearl Harbor would be great, specifically schools. My DD is starting K this year and so we will be transferring during the school year. I am really only concerned w/elem schools because we won't be there longer than 3 yrs probably. Private is an option if it's not too expensive.

    What housing is nice (like, nearly new--nice). I'm spoiled to tell you the truth, I've lived in housing several times and I know it can depend on where/what housing you get.

    I am definately going with an open mind and I know I will love it anyway. I've loved nearly everywhere we've been (maine, sicily, pensacola, jax,) except Norfolk LOL!!

    Looks like we get $2600 towards housing if we choose to live off-base, plus COLA, which looks to be $300-600, can't tell at this point.

    Thanks again!
     
  11. grlpwrd

    grlpwrd <font color="orange">I'm here for the mouse more t

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    I am a local girl (I am also part Hawaiian) and I find that true to an extent. I think there is racism there. Not just against haole people, but also between races. (Haole used to mean foreigner, but now it means any person of Caucasian descent.) I grew up having people around me make degrading jokes about all racial groups. I don't think it's the melting pot that it seems which is very unfortunate.

    I had 2 bad experiences myself so it just doesn't happen to "outsiders." One time I was wearing a lei waiting on the curb to catch the bus with a boyfriend at the time and I was called racist names. I am a local girl and I look it, too. :confused3 Then when I went to the beach to boogie board I took my boyfriend with me and these local boys got mad and started harassing us because they acted like it was "their" beach. It can happen to anyone, I guess, because some people have issues. :sad2:

    Not all of the local people are racists and unfriendly, though - I promise. ;) There are sovereignty and indigenous issues so that plays a huge role. Please remember that our Queen was imprisoned and our government was illegally overthrown, too, so there is a backlash. I think overall, though, there is a lot of "aloha spirit" which you will find no where else in the world.

    I think so long you go in respecting the people, culture, and environment you will do okay. They do things a lot differently over there, though, that's for sure.

    Traffic and the public schools suck, but the bus system is great and there are private schools and homeschooling is getting more popular now. I give the current administration 1 star out of 5. There are a lot of problems going on, unfortunately. Be sure to read the online versions of local newspapers at www.honolulustarbulletin.com and www.honoluluadvertiser.com .

    There is a commissary on Oahu, Costco, Sam's Club, and Walmart so that will definitely help keep prices down for you.

    GL! :wizard:
     
  12. rparmfamily

    rparmfamily In paradise

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    Thanks for the info! I was a history minor, so when we were there in May I found the history of Hawaii very interesting! I kept telling my daughter how a REAL queen lived in Hawaii and my daughter wanted to see the palace so bad! (we didn't make it there during our stay, we spent most of the time in the North Shore area and at the lagoons at Ko'Olina.)
     
  13. seashoreCM

    seashoreCM All around nice guy.

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    Is base housing available and could your family put up with it?

    haole -- ha-oh-leh, say the syllables together quickly. Not quite like "howly". In Hawaiian, vowels are never silent. Aiea (name of district near Pearl Harbor) has 4 syllables.

    The more fashionable suburbs are east of downtown Honolulu and the public schools there are not too bad. These were predominantly Caucasian. But then you have to commute into town and across town and then to Pearl Harbor. Houses themselves are quite similar to those in Florida, lots of single story ranch style houses on concrete slab foundations, older homes on short stilts with crawl space underneath, also lots of high rise apartments including condominiums in the city. "Almost every" apartment has a balcony (lanai) or screened in porch.

    >>> racially insensitive comment
    My mother (and most of my relatives on that side of the family) grew up in Honolulu. To them it was "quite well known" that there were groups of native Hawaiians who resented the presence of non-native Hawaiians on the islands. Rough parts of town include Kalihi (between downtown and the airport) and Waianae to Makaha (distant southwest suburbs) well past the military areas.

    Disney hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/disney.htm
     
  14. rparmfamily

    rparmfamily In paradise

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    Thank you for the information. I've been peeking at rentals (house) because I don't know that I could handle living in housing again after living in my own home. (my home is a newer Florida style ranch). I don't want to sound too spoiled, but we are. I know living in housing can be "interesting", as we lived there before. The Corian counters and the Pergo floors helped though. LOL

    Honestly, I'd prefer to live in the "best" areas even if it means taking a smaller home. Right now we are looking at 4brs (I like having a playroom/craft room) but it doesn't have to be that way. Quality of the schools is my #1 concern (and commute for DH, as we will move there w/just one car, may pay to ship our second car.) If you know any specific areas that have quality schools or are close to good private schools (without being $15K a year) please point me in that direction! We estimate to have about $2500-3000 to apply to rent/utilities. (WOW, I have to say, compared to what we get in Florida!!)

    Speaking of utilities, do most homes have A/C? Heat? DW? Are utilities expensive? Is there anything that is cheaper to pre-purchase in the CONUS and ship with us? We need new couches, but I'm torn between buying now and shipping new ones or waiting until we get there.
     
  15. beachbunny

    beachbunny DIS Veteran

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    The best public elementary schools in the state are located in Manoa (it's a pretty suburb/college town near the University of Hawaii) - Manoa Elementary and Noelani Elementary (all of the professors' kids go to these two schools so they usually have the highest test scores). After that, I'd go with anything in East Honolulu (Kahala through Hawaii Kai). Rent in the Manoa and East Honolulu areas is not cheap ($2500-3000 range for a 3 bedroom home). I wouldn't go farther west than Moanalua (which, by the way, has a good public high school). East Honolulu to Pearl during rush hour is a 45 minute commute, closer the nearer you get to town.

    There is no need for heat and most homes don't come with A/C. Trade winds and lots of windows keep homes comfortable. Most of the older homes are single-wall construction so they stay cool all year around.

    Utilities based on two people: water is every other month $120; electricity is $120 every month if you don't run the A/C; basic cable is $40; basic phone is $30.

    NEX has a good selection of furniture so you can buy here at prices cheaper than what is available to the locals.

    Stock up on B&BW soaps and VS undies because there are no stores in Hawaii (although the NEX has a limited supply of B&BW products).

    seashoreCM: What's wrong with Kalihi? Last time I looked it's mostly hard working blue collar immigrant Filipinos. But I will agree with you on Waianae (stay far away from there - especially the beach which, sadly, is populated with the homeless who have been kicked off the "tourist" beaches).
     
  16. rparmfamily

    rparmfamily In paradise

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    Thanks for the information and giving me some areas to look!

    No BBW or Victoria's Secret?? I know there isn't any Yankee Candle stores (I LOVE candles!) but I'm not sure if the military will ship my candles or not.
     
  17. grlpwrd

    grlpwrd <font color="orange">I'm here for the mouse more t

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    I somewhat agree with the rough parts of town comment, but crime can happen anywhere. I go by the feeling if there are houses with link fencing and a mean dog then you gotta wonder why, but it would give you a general idea of how crime is in the neighborhood.

    There's not just rough parts of town, but gangs and random violence, too. Hawaii has a big drug use problem, especially marijuana and "ice" (crystal meth).
     
  18. beachbunny

    beachbunny DIS Veteran

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    Yes. Sadly no Yankee Candle either. Better stock up before you get here.
     
  19. beachbunny

    beachbunny DIS Veteran

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    Two more places to look for a house - Kaneohe and Kailua. Now that the H-3 has been constructed, both are just 5 to 10 minutes from Pearl. Kaneohe is near the Marine base. Both are decent burbs and have okay schools.
     
  20. rparmfamily

    rparmfamily In paradise

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    How far would Kaneohe be to Pearl Harbor? We drove past it in May and it seemed pretty, more mountainous and more trees I think.

    I'd like to avoid Waikiki and Honolulu just because of traffic. I think...I am just going by my impression from May. Traffic all the way from the airport to Waikiki was non-stop.
     
  21. beachbunny

    beachbunny DIS Veteran

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    H-3 goes from Kaneohe to right near the airport. It was built with federal funds (basically, for the military - Kaneohe Marine Corp. Air Station). Once on H-3, it is a five to ten minute drive to Pearl Harbor.

    Kaneohe is very lush and green (meaning it rains a lot). Temperatures are cooler than East Honolulu. Kailua is more like East Honolulu as far as climate and beachy feel - but as you get closer to Kailua beach, housing prices get much higher.

    Kaneohe and Kailua are neighboring communities. They share a smaller mall (with Macy's) and Kailua town has lots of small non-chain stores.

    The drive from East Honolulu to Pearl always gets slows down when you hit downtown. After that, it's smooth sailing. Commute time is 20-45 minutes depending on time of day.

    Waikiki is nothing like the rest of Honolulu. That's where we keep the tourists penned up :teeth: (if you'll notice Waikiki is a thin long stretch bordered by the Ala Wai Canal on one side and the ocean on the other). These days, locals rarely, if ever, go into Waikiki (unless it's for work or to attend a party at one of the hotels).
     

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