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Adrienne
Newbie

USA
13 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2010 :  11:29:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow! You have all given me a LOT to think about! Thank you very much for all of your honesty. My husband, daughter and I really really appreciate it. May I pick your brain some more? I'll set these questions up as a new post as well.

Yes schools all over in general look pretty dire... my husband is a huge advocate of sending our daughter to private school... I myself am hoping to teach in public school or charter in about three years. I will be finishing my education in Spokane so we are talking about a very slow transition... to paradise ?

I suppose everything we read was from developers so I am so glad to have the feedback from the actual community. After learning so much we have ruled out the Fern Forest and Eden Roc areas. They don't sound as much like Paradise as we thought... yeah it's a lot of land but your right, about there being a reason why.

What about the Nanawale Estates area? Can I get some good honest feedback about that community. I read their hoa page and really liked what I saw.

My hope is that we can hold onto the land now, work towards getting jobs down there and be able to have a slower more tropical way of life eventually (3-5 years).

We have heard that the community is open to every kind of person which we like... no class distinctions and a real melting pot of America...?

As for our daughters education, we'll both be quite a part of that... and wherever I end up teaching I hope to be a part of the solution in America's schools.

Okay I'll wait for your feedback! Again thank you SO much! Aloha! -
Also I totally agree with all of you - we need to come down and stay - but this is much easier said than done, as plane tix to the island are around $900/each... and we don't have vacation time and we do have a baby to think about... you remember the grind!

Adrienne

Adrienne

John S. Rabi
Punatic

USA
2843 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2010 :  16:29:05  Show Profile  Visit John S. Rabi's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Adrienne
Also I totally agree with all of you - we need to come down and stay - but this is much easier said than done, as plane tix to the island are around $900/each... and we don't have vacation time and we do have a baby to think about... you remember the grind!


Adrienne, if you can't afford to fly here than you certainly can't afford to buy anything here. I always advise everybody to come here first to see the various areas before buying anything. There is a reason why that certain lot is only $6,000.00!

Aloha,
John S. Rabi, GM,PB,ABR,CRB,CM,FHS
808.327.3185
johnrabi@johnrabi.com
http://www.JohnRabi.com
Typically Tropical Properties
"The Next Level of Service!"
(This is what I think of the Kona Board of Realtors http://KonaBoardOfRealtors.info)
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DanielP
Punatic

1863 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2010 :  19:01:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Adrienne,

Me again. I am not suggesting that you take a 6 month vacation to look around, I am suggesting that you wait and save up and in 3-5 years when you think that you are ready to take the plunge, Bring over your family and your bare necessities and rent for 6 months. Look for work, look at property.
Many people buy and then come over expecting their paradise to be waiting, only to find no work, bad neighbors, poor schools, lousy weather, and spend every cent before moving back to Mom&Dads to start over.
A few find paradise.

Dan
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Carey
Punatic

6050 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2010 :  20:02:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Research can make many things possible.....
Airfare from Washington state to Maui or Honolulu is less than 1/2 what you think it is:
http://www.hawaiianairlines.com/specialoffers/pages/Hawaii-Fall-Travel-Special-Inbound.aspx?pid=A330-special_homepage-pos1_20100602
Staying here does not have to cost a lot..... under $50 (heck camping can be had for under $10.....and there are campgrounds in Puna!
But the real questions you may need to answer:
Why Puna?
Why are you looking to buy now?
What do you want to do in Puna?

What many are telling you, Puna may not be anything like what you THINK it is....
this is NOT paradise .... it is an area with great diversity, ON EVERYTHING you can imagine & then some....
This is not the Hawaii of movies or dreams.
The beaches are few, and not powdery white sand.

Living in the wet rainforest may not be what you think it will be ... and if your money is tight, it will be less so
A little grass shack may sound like all you need, but what happens when it has rained for 40 days?
Or if your catchment tank is empty because it hasn't rained in a month (both of these can happen within a year...)
What research have you done on living in a semi-tropical rainforest?

We have friends in Nanawale who like it, others hate it. Some is based on their expectations, and some is based on their neighbors (the lots are smaller, so neighbors are a major factor....)

You have mentioned teaching, what do you know about the Hawaii DOE????
There are many things you WILL need to know if you are planning on teaching when you move here:
It is a state system... employment with the DOE could mean a job ANYWHERE (on any of the islands (doesn't really matter where you live for them)
Will you need a paycheck fast? DOE has one of the longest payroll lag times

You have asked questions, many have given advice, even experts in the field of property on this island.
What you do with this advice is up to you, but PLEASE do a search on this forum, most of the questions you are asking have been asked before.

You are not the first who feels that they must buy before they come here... for some it works out, for others it does not....
What will you do if the move does not work out & you cannot sell the property for what you paid? (this is a reality for some here)

ETA: NO CLASS DISTINCTIONS???? this is a real place. The people have real thoughts & feelings... Living here is much more like living in any rural area... as a newcomers, you will have the biggest "class distinction". As with any truly rural area, it will take you quite a while (for some it can be years) to earn your place into the community.... it depends a lot on what you do, who you are, who you are from, and nothing about what you say...

Edited by - Carey on 06/05/2010 20:17:28
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mdd7000
Punatic

USA
1154 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2010 :  09:26:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nanawale, like most of the Puna subdivisions has good and bad sides.
While we really like it here, we are in a far corner of the subdivision and essentially have no close neighbors. This can be both good and bad.

The upper portion of the subdivision is rather built out, most of the homes are older and few are very well maintained. The upper portion does have County water and cable TV. Other than that, I have heard people describe that portion of the subdivision as "rather sketchy".

You are correct though about the HOA. They are trying really hard to get their act together and are doing a nice job at it. They have been working hard at cleaning up the non-permitted homes and other clutter.
Crime seems to be much lower here than in some of the other subs - maybe because there is only one way in/out.

You can find hundreds of lots for sale in Nanawale - many for under $6000. They are very small, most are about 1/5th of an acre. For that price, buying two or more together is the way to go so as to have a larger yard. Do not buy a lot in any sub without first looking at it. It could be unbuildable or require a lot of money to make it buildable.
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DanielP
Punatic

1863 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2010 :  10:45:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
John Rabi,

Do you know how many vacant parcels there are in Puna? How many are on the market?

Dan
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csgray
Punatic

3338 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2010 :  11:52:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Adrienne,
Many if not most of the subdivisions in Puna were built as land scams. Various land companies bought up large parcels of ag land that was not suitable for actual agriculture, punched through "roads" that were really just bulldozed tracks over the lava, printed up lovely brochures about affordable paradise, and sold lots sight unseen to people on the mainland and in Japan. (I remember seeing a scan of an old brochure on someone's blog recently that showed riding stables and a swimming pool in Hawaiian acres.) Many of these lots have over the years continued to pass from one owner to the next without anyone actually seeing the land.

These "developers" and Hawaii County did not intend for anyone to ever actually live in these subdivisions, there is little to no supporting infrastructure, and some don't even have a mechanism to maintain their "private" roads. Over time, people have bought into these subdivisions, but most are thinly populated and still lack infrastructure to support even the small populations they have.

If you just want to grab hold of a tangible piece of your paradise dream, as so many before you have, by buying a cheap lot sight unseen, go for it. Just know that very few of those who have done so ever actually make it over here. If you think you ever might actually try to live here I would highly recommend paying attention to the length of commute to Hilo, where virtually all the jobs are. Even if you end up reselling the lot, most on island potential buyers will also want to be closer to Hilo for work.

Don't feel rushed, land prices are dropping, and will probable continue to do so until real estate prices on the mainland truly recover. By waiting, you could easily end up saving enough to cover the investment costs of plane tickets from Spokane, so you could actually see what you were buying.

Carol
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StillHope
Punatic

USA
2596 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2010 :  12:46:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Adrianne,for some reason in most of the advice given here there's most of the time an assumption that a newcomer is looking for a " piece of paradise".
I bought "site unseen",but did my research,never looking for paradise -I am not disappointed.
As far is were to buy is concerned -like in any place :more expensive-
better chance for a decent place to live.
Research lava zone 1 and 2 for the insurance and getting a loan.
And the other important thing to keep in mind - it's a common practice here that an employee gets only 20-30 h a week.Could be 36 if you are lucky.But the good thing is that 20 h is enough to get medical insurance.


___________________________
Whatever you assume,please
just ask a question first.

Edited by - StillHope on 06/06/2010 12:49:02
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csgray
Punatic

3338 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2010 :  14:23:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Stillhope,
Maybe the fact that Adrienne used the word Paradise first is why many of us included it in our responses. And because her original post on Eden Roc and Fern Forest seemed to describe a magical accepting and inclusive Puna most of us have never seen.

I think you may be the exception that proves the rule concerning buying and building sight unseen. Most of us just want people who move here to understand where they are moving to, and that really requires coming here first. Would you honestly say that you truly knew what you were moving to before you got here?

Carol
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Carey
Punatic

6050 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2010 :  15:26:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Stillhope, ythe top post on this thread (which was from the Fern FOrest/Eden Roc thread) mentions paradise not once, but twice....since this is a copy of the original, those that have read this post in both threads have actually read this author desire to find paradise four times.... which is why I chose to address it....

I have to admit, a part of me really is feeling like this is a flame post.... some of it just seems too out there.... but if it is not, hopefully the author will take the advice given and think about it.
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mdd7000
Punatic

USA
1154 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2010 :  16:12:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Carey

Stillhope, ythe top post on this thread (which was from the Fern FOrest/Eden Roc thread) mentions paradise not once, but twice....since this is a copy of the original, those that have read this post in both threads have actually read this author desire to find paradise four times.... which is why I chose to address it....

I have to admit, a part of me really is feeling like this is a flame post.... some of it just seems too out there.... but if it is not, hopefully the author will take the advice given and think about it.

Unfortunately, it probably isn't. If you peruse most of the Hawaii forums, this is all too real. It is the "I want to live like a hippie, and be free" lifestyle. It is pervasive on all on of the forums. You are doing people a real service by helping to debunk their unrealistic ideals.

Like Stillhope says: "never looking for paradise" is how to go about it. Too many people move here with some sort of paradise ideal that just doesn't exist.
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John S. Rabi
Punatic

USA
2843 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2010 :  16:52:14  Show Profile  Visit John S. Rabi's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DanielP
John Rabi, Do you know how many vacant parcels there are in Puna? How many are on the market? Dan

I don't know how many are there altogether, but 836 vacant parcels are listed for sale in Puna, with a "hot" 1.19 acre lot listed for $4,250 in Royal Gardens being the lowest priced.

Aloha,
John S. Rabi, GM,PB,ABR,CRB,CM,FHS
808.327.3185
johnrabi@johnrabi.com
http://www.JohnRabi.com
Typically Tropical Properties
"The Next Level of Service!"
(This is what I think of the Kona Board of Realtors http://KonaBoardOfRealtors.info)
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StillHope
Punatic

USA
2596 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2010 :  16:56:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Carey,I was just sharing my experience.
No "flame" intended.All the advice given in this thread and many others was good -come and rent first.I completely agree that it's the best option.
If the OP was looking for paradise - I missed that.
In this case accept my apology
though about "it's not paradise" I was referring for the former big threads like"Moving To Puna?..."in general.
About sight unseen - if it's a land only with very good real estate specialist,good research and pictures - it's possible to buy and not be disappointed.
I met my future neighbors online and trough PW,I bought expensive land in the safe neighborhood and if any surprises -only positive:
I found out that Kehena beach where swimsuit is "optional" most of the crowd opt to have it on


___________________________
Whatever you assume,please
just ask a question first.
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Adrienne
Newbie

USA
13 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2010 :  17:07:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
LOL. Okay I really appreciate everything you all have had to say. Yes I prolly was a little naive in the first place, boy have I wised up. And I don't plan to buy site unseen... I just don't want to waste time there discovering what I've learned on the net in the past couple of days.

I think paradise is what we make of it, meaning it's up to us to make it. My husband and I love each other, we have an incredible daughter and we want to make the world a better place. Why more people aren't like that, we don't know.

Here's what I want to know now, if I may... How many of you actually live in Puna and LIKE it? Because from the responses I'm not really under the impression that you guys are too happy about life, in which case why not just move back to the mainland. We always have a choice... right now I'm exploring my choices, but I would never move to any place withouth a job first and some place to live... And if after a year or two I was still miserable I'd find a way to make it right for me.

So? Is there a bright side to life down there?



Adrienne
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csgray
Punatic

3338 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2010 :  17:39:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Adrienne,
My husband and I moved here 4 1/2 years ago, bought a place 1 year ago, and I doubt we will ever live anywhere else. It really works for us. But, we finally bought our house in a subdivision that was on the bottom of our list when we were on the mainland, and most of the places that attracted us via the internet are places where I now know we would never be happy.

But the Puna we actually live in is not the one we perceived from researching on the internet, and I am so glad we didn't make the commitment of selling our house on the mainland until we had lived here over a year, and really knew what life here was like. As much as I hated renting for years, I am also very glad we really knew Puna before we bought.

Good luck, and don't worry that prices are going to move back out of your price range overnight. Waiting could turn out to be the best thing you could do.

Carol
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Carey
Punatic

6050 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2010 :  17:41:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We live in Keaau, have for 5 years. We bought here because it had many things we love, and many that we like, and the proximity to so much that the east side has to offer.

We rented for a time 1/2block from the shore, thought before moving here that the shore was where we were meant to be....
After living there we realized that maintaining a house close to the shore = work (one neighbor who has a very great looking 2 story house told us that the house doesn't require a lot of maintenance. They only wash all of the windows once a week, power wash the house monthly & always wax or oil every tool after every use.... after living near the shore & watching items corrode, we realized it was not quite the leisurely life we had hoped.

While renting we also realized the distances here, and that we did not want to spend a lot of time & energy commuting (what fun is living here if you have to be in the car?)

I have always lived on or very close to ag. acreage. We figured that is where we would land here, with a more un-conventional house... yet we bought in the middle of a small, well established town, on a town lot, with a very standard house.... it is amazing how 24/7/365 growing season also = work!

Coming here my main goal was to go back to college (after hubby early retired) & this time go for an environmental/marine sci degree. I completed my bachelors .... hubby returned to work (stock market down & cost of living up) & I have started on my masters (with a research plan that is my dream!)

Is our life here anywhere near what we dreamed when we first thought about living here? NO, but also keep in mind, the major motivator for us was my going to school....so we were not tied to staying if it was not what we wanted....
Is it a path we have enjoyed? YES
Would we still choose Hawaii? YES

Edited by - Carey on 06/06/2010 17:41:59
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