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NostalgicChills's avatar

What is it really like to live in Hawaii?

Asked by NostalgicChills (2774points) December 29th, 2011

I’m seriously considering buying a small house in Hawaii either before or after College. (I might attend college there) I’m too dependent and I need to learn how to fend for myself. Would it be hard to find a job there? What are some pros and cons for Hawaii? And what are some key things to know about Hawaii? (Whether it’s about their grocery stores, vegetation, etc)

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16 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t live there, but I can tell you generally it is very expensive to live there. Island living usually means at least some groceries are very expensive, so that means restaurants can be too. Housing is expensive also like most fabulous weather places in America with decent sized cities. I just read that Honolulu, Hawaii has one of the best statistics for life expectancy, people have less cancer and fewer major illnesses.

I lived in FL, and for me living in beaitiful weather the majority of the year changed my life, I loved it.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I just sent this Q to someone who lives there, hopefully he can help you out! :-)

NostalgicChills's avatar

@JLeslie I’ve heard about the expensive living arrangements, etc, however, all I’m looking to live in is a cute little house such as this one:

Tropical_Willie's avatar

University of Hawaii tuition is $8,000 to $12,000 per semester for non-residents. Plus room and food. Rental can run $1400 per month, food prices can be twice the mainland prices for some items.

Buying houses right now is a “buyers market” but a million dollar house maybe only two bedrooms and a mile from the ocean.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@NostalgicChills That is cute house. Hilo area is beautiful.

whitetigress's avatar

Here’s what it’s like. They’ll call you Howly because you’re from the Mainland and Hawaiians don’t like Mainlanders and they are very territorial over there. I think the majority of the Universities are either transfers, or kids who grew up as Navy brats.

NostalgicChills's avatar

I want to go to UH Hilo, which doesn’t cost as much as some of the other more high end universities in Hawaii. But my mom says it’s cheap because you don’t really learn anything. Is she correct in saying this?

zenvelo's avatar

Finding decent work can be hard, especially away from the tourist areas.

I had two friends that spent a winter as ski bums in Aspen, worked in bars and restaurants. One was a bartender at a high end bar in Snowmass, averaged $250 a night in tips. He did so well he hung out in Santa Barbara for a few months then headed for Maui. All he could find in Maui was a job selling sunscreen and handing out towels at a resort hotel pool. He really lived off what he saved from Aspen.

whitetigress's avatar

@NostalgicChills She’s correct in the sense that there isn’t much hands on experience or internship connections. What is your plan of major?

digitalimpression's avatar

It is… paradise.. for me at least. You’ll hear a lot of people say that you get bored of being stuck on an island or tired of being so far away from the rest of the states… hogwash. I could live in Hawaii forever. Sun, beach, sand, surf, luau’s and booze.. what more could anyone ask for?

There are a lot of one way streets in Hawaii.. but that’s outstanding that its the only negative thing I can think of…oh.. and it’s a bit pricey.. but well worth it.

gailcalled's avatar

Programs offered at the U. Hawaii at Hilo;

Graduate programs:

To say that this university is cheap because you don’t really learn anything is just plain silly.

For an instate resident; the total cost is over 15,000 if you live in a dorm and spend nothing on frills. For a non-residence the cost escalates to per $25, 000/annum. That’s hardly cheap.

To prepare for being independent, I suggest that you do some of the research yourself.

The house you showed us seems to be in a development with too many broad roads and not enough greenery.

NostalgicChills's avatar


I’m not even sure right now. It’s between Psychology, Teaching and Biology.

gondwanalon's avatar

That really is a nice house for the price. But the location is on the windy and rainy side of Hawaii. Look for a house near Kailua Kona. I love visiting there.

Best of luck to you and a bright future!

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’m sorry to join the conversation so late, but I’ve just been in the hospital.

@NostalgicChills : Hawaii is a wonderful place to live. The weather is marvelous. What some other people have said is very true though. It’s expensive. Housing is high and groceries are too. Everything costs about 30% more than the mainland. The house in Kalapana you’ve linked above is at least a 45 minute drive into Hilo and the university.

U.H. at Hilo is a good school for many things including ocean biology, astronomy, and teaching. Psychology usually requires advanced degrees, and currently, UHH has no graduate programs in psychology. You can do the undergrad work there and transfer however.

As I mentioned, I’ve just got out of the hospital and have no more energy to write now. Feel free to PM me with any specific questions.

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