Moving to Hawaii


We hope you enjoy our Aloha State and would like to make your move across the ocean as easy as possible.  We have collected some information that we hope will help you move to your new home without unnecessary delays.





Oahu has 5 major malls, Ala Moana, Pearlridge, Windward, Waikele and Kahala as well as several major discount stores such as Costco, Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, Don Quiote, K-Mart, Sports Authority, Lowe’s, Office Depot and Best Buy.





Hawaii does not use daylight savings time, so in winter you will be two hours behind California and five hours behind New York.  In the summer, Hawaii is three hours behind California and six hours behind New York.





On Oahu, “The Bus”  is operated by the city.  Over 250,000 people ride 59 routes each day, giving Oahu the highest per capita ridership in the United States.  This high patronage rate is attributable to convenient service and low price. As of Oct 2011, the fee is $2.50 per adult, $1.00 for seniors and disabled, and $1.25 cents for students, one way.  Commuters can purchase monthly bus passes with unlimited use for $60.00 and $30.00 for students at selected supermarkets, drug stores, 7-11′s and financial institutions.  Senior citizens (age 65 or older) and handicapped people can get a monthly pass for $10.00  Apply for passes at 811 Middle Street.  To apply you will need a birth certificate or driver’s license for identification.  Please see web site for current fares.

Information on bus routes and schedules may be obtained by calling 848-5555, or stopping by any Satellite City Hall to pick up a written schedule for each route.

A “Handi-Van” serving disabled people is available for a fee of $1 each way and operates weekdays from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For information call 808-768-8300 / Skyp 808-768-8300.  Applications must be completed by a physician’s letter.





Hawaii is served by a large variety of radio stations (AM and FM) for your listening pleasure.  Choose your favorite news, rock, easy listening, religious, pop or news station and tune in.





Oahu has only one daily newspaper, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser.   For subscription and circulation information, call 529-4747 or go to Each neighbor island also publishes its own local paper.

In addition the Pacific Business News is published weekly and there is a complete line of national and international papers available at newsstands and bookstores.  For PBN, call 955-8040 or go to


Hawaii Schools and Education


Public Schools

Information on public schools is available from:
Office of the Superintendent
State Dept of Education

P.O. Box 2360
Honolulu, HI 96804             
(808) 586-3232 / Skype (808) 586-3232

Evaluations of particular schools may be had at a new location:  


Private Schools


There are many private schools in Hawaii.  Tuitions vary from $5,000 to $16,000 per year depending on the school and grade level.  A Directory of these schools is available from the Hawaii Association of Independent schools.


1585 Kapiolani Blvd. #1212   Honolulu, HI 96814             
(808) 973-1540 / Skype (808) 973-1540

<Two of the largest private schools on Oahu are>

Punahou school

(808) 944-5711 / Skype (808) 944-5711

Iolani School

(808) 949-5355 / Skype (808) 949-5355

<Universities and Colleges>

University of Hawaii

(808) 956-8111 / Skype (808) 956-8111

Brigham Young University-Hawaii

(808) 293-3211 / Skype (808) 293-3211

Chaminade University

(808) 735-4711 / Skype (808) 735-4711

Hawaii Pacific University

(808) 544-0200 / Skype (808) 544-0200

Honolulu Community College

(808) 845-9211 / Skype (808) 845-9211

Kapiolani Community College

(808) 734-9111 / Skype (808) 734-9111

Leeward Community College

(808) 455-0011 / Skype (808) 455-0011



Housing in Hawaii


Hawaii has the dubious honor of having some of the highest average costs for housing in the United States.  Our prices can be quite a shock for someone relocating here from other areas of the U.S. 

In addition to high prices, we also have two types of property ownership, “Fee simple” and “Leasehold”, as well as different construction methods.




Fee Simple

Fee Simple (Freehold) ownership is the same as in most areas of the country.  When you purchase a property, such as a single family home, you obtain title to the land as well as the improvements (structures).



Leasehold ownership is where you purchase the improvements, but rent the land.  Land leases usually run 50 to 99 years.  There is generally a fixed lease rent for a given number of years.  The end of the fixed period is called the renegotiation date.  At that time the owner of the land (lessor) and the owner of the home (lessee) would renegotiate the rent for the remaining period of the lease.


State law requires that the Seller, of a leasehold home/condo, give a copy of the lease and a lease disclosure, (document containing an outline of the pertinent facts of the lease; lease rent amounts, renegotiation date, lease end date, etc.) to the Buyer within 10 days of accepting an offer to purchase. The Buyer then has ten days to review the lease and decide to continue with the purchase contract or withdraw.


It is important to realize that a buyer could be making an offer on a property, which may be well into the lease period.  This could affect the Buyers ability to mortgage the property or to resell it, as the end of the lease approaches.  Also disposition of the property at the end of the lease would be of concern to the Buyer, in many cases the property and all improvements thereon, revert back to the landowner at the end of the lease.

There are some advantages to purchasing leasehold property.  Leasehold property generally costs less than Fee Simple. This allows the first time buyer to get into the market place for less money.  It also means you could buy more house for the same money.


Purchasing leasehold sounds frightening to some, but it can serve your purpose.  For example, you may purchase a leasehold property with the expectation to re-sell it within 3 to 10 years, as long as the lease has sufficient time remaining (until it renegotiates and/or expires) to attract a new Buyer.  In the meantime your ownership will generally allow you to build equity for your next purchase.





Due to our tropical weather conditions, construction of many homes in Hawaii vary greatly from what you would see in colder climates.  Our record low, on one cold winter night, was 49 degrees. Burr?  Our days average 80 degrees plus or minus 5 degrees, year round, but 80 to 82 is most common.  Therefore we lack the need to have storm windows, insulation and double wall construction.  Indeed many homes in Hawaii, especially older ones, have single wall construction. It can sometimes be frustrating for a buyer to pay $400,000 to $700,000 for an average home, which doesn’t look like much more than a summer cottage. However in recent years Hawaii has adopted the nation wide building code, which does call for more substantial building construction.


A description of an average home would probably be a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with single wall construction, jalousie windows, carport and 1500 square feet of living space, situated on 5000 to 7000 square feet of land. The average price would be about $450,000 Fee Simple.  Increasing the interior to 1700 square feet and adding double wall construction, brings the average price up to approximately $560,000.



Property Taxes


Property taxes are approximately $4.00 per thousand of appraised value, which is generally around the sale price, but not always.  Therefore annual taxes on a home valued at $500,000 would be about $2000.





Below are some average rental price ranges for housing on Oahu.  Rents vary depending on location, size, age and drive times. In Honolulu, rents run about $2.00 to $3.00 per square foot, per month



Average monthly rental

Single family homes

$1900 to $4000


$1500 to $3000

Studio Condo / Apt

 $950 to $1300

1 Bedroom Condos

$1100 to $4000

2 Bedroom Condos

$1300 to $6000

3 Bedroom Condos

$2500 to $7000 ~




Automobiles (and household effects) are usually shipped to Hawaii by Matson Navigation Company,

(808) 848-1215 / Skype (808) 848-1215, or Sea-Land Service, 

(808) 842-5300 / Skype (808) 842-5300, both are located at Sand Island, just Ewa (West) of downtown Honolulu.  Make separate arrangements for the shipping of household goods or other baggage, as the shipping lines do not allow anything other than a spare tire and jack, to be transported in the trunk or passenger area of the vehicle.

When delivering your car to the docks, remember the gasoline will be siphoned from the tank, allowing only enough gasoline to get you to a nearby service station.  From the continental west coast, shipping takes one to two weeks, depending on when you deliver your vehicle to the docks and the ship’s departure date.   When you get your car to Hawaii make a thorough inspection for damage before leaving the docks.  As soon as possible after getting your car, consider having it rust protected.  The salt and moisture in Hawaii’s trade winds will erode the body of your car.




All automobiles brought into Hawaii must have a Hawaii Vehicle Permit.  The permit must be obtained within 10 days of arrival.  The automobile may be used in Hawaii for one year, or until your mainland plates expire, whatever comes first.

The Vehicle Permit may be obtained at the City Finance Department, located at 1370 Maunakea Street, by submitting a current Certification of Registration from your previous state, the bill of lading with the date of arrival in Hawaii, a safety inspection certificate, evidence of insurance, and payment of necessary fees.  Hawaii State safety inspections can be obtained at service stations displaying a special approval sign.  Vehicle registration fees are based on vehicle weight.  For office hours 527-6695




To obtain a driver’s license, persons over 15 year of age must pass a written, vision and road test.  Applicants 15 to 17 years old must have their parents or legal guardian sign the application.  Before obtaining a driver’s license, applicants must also present their social security card.  In addition, the vehicle used in the road test must have a valid Hawaii safety inspection sticker and proof of insurance.  Licenses issued by other states or Canada are valid until they expire and must be renewed prior to the expiration date in order to be exempt from the standard road test.  To help you prepare for the license




Hawaii’s laws promote the health and safety of our human and animal population by regulating the importation of animals into the state.  For information about bringing your pet to Hawaii, contact the State Department of Agriculture, Animal Quarantine Station, 99-941 Halawa Valley St., Aiea, Hawaii 96701, or call (808) 483-7151 / Skype (808) 483-7151.  All pets coming into Hawaii will stay on Oahu as there are no facilities on the outer islands.




All pets allowed to enter Hawaii are subject to quarantine at the owner’s expense.  The fee is currently $14.30/day.  Your pet could  be subject to either a 5 day quarantine or a 120 day quarantine.  To be eligible for the 5 day quarantine see the online checklist.  The pet must also pass a second rabies blood test upon arrival and obtain a health certificate from an accredited veterinarian.  Call or fax the Quarantine station for details.  Otherwise your pet will be subject to the 120 day quarantine.

Airlines are also likely to require a veterinarian to issue a valid health certificate issued within 10 days of your travel date.  The health certificate should include a record of inoculations for Rabies, Distemper and Parvo Virus.




Electrical Service


Hawaiian Electric Company provides all the electricity on Oahu.  Service can usually be established in just one day by calling 548-7311.  Applicants need to give the address of service and appropriate credit references.  A $100 deposit may be required to set up service and refunded when service is terminated and outstanding bills have been paid.  Customers are billed monthly. 

Hawaii imports over 90% of its energy supply so even though fuel is not required for winter heating, your power bills may be a little higher than you are used to.  The typical family of four consumes about 40% of its electricity to heat water for showers, baths, washing dishes and clothes.  Information on energy conservation may also be obtained from Hawaiian Electric.



Gas Service


Gas service is not utilized in all homes, check for gas hook-up before calling.  New customers should call 535-5933 for information and service.  A refundable, $50 to $100 deposit is required by tenants.  When calling for service, be ready to give your address, appropriate credit references, and a list of appliances that will need gas.



Water Service


Hawaii, although surrounded by water, depends on winter rain to fill the underground aquifers.  If rainfall is less than anticipated, conservation measures are sometimes brought into effect.  Remember that water is a very precious resource wherever you may go, please conserve whenever possible.


Each county administers its own water supply system, however, some resort communities have installed private water systems to serve its residents.  Call 748-5030 to establish service with the Honolulu Board of Water Supply.



Telephone Service


While many people are opting to use wireless telephone these days, Hawaiian Telcom still furnishes telephone service statewide and highspeed DSL service. New residents can establish service by applying in person at any of several Phone Marts or by calling 643-3456.  A deposit ranging from $60 to $120 may be requested from Tenants. This deposit is refundable after one year with a good payment record or upon termination of service. Homeowners are required to put down a $45.50 advance payment. It usually takes from three days to one week to establish service.

■ Oahu Hawaiian Telcom stores are located at:







Pearlridge Shopping Center


Windward Mall (Kaneohe)











When applying for service you will need to provide the address where service should be connected, and whether you will rent, purchase, or already own phones.  Ask about additional services including Caller ID. 


Refuse Collection Service


Each county administers a public refuse collection program.  On Oahu, residential communities are serviced with a twice-weekly pickup of trash and recyclables. There is also a bulky item pickup service. Some townhouse and condominium projects contract to private refuse collection.  Call the Refuse Collection office at 768-3401 for service and schedules.  Refuse must be placed on the sidewalk in trash cans, bags or tied neatly.  There is no separate charge in Honolulu for residential refuse collection.








- Aloha Life Home Staging-

    Home Styling & Interior


I can work with the furnishings you already have in your home , purchase new items within your budget or bring in items from my inventory(charge renting those), to transform your home quickly to WOW buyers.



Benefits of Home Staging


There are two main benefits of home staging: Faster selling time and Higher sales price of real estate. According to the National Association of Realtors, staged homes sell 80% quicker, and for up to 11% more money than non-staged properties.


Home buyers tend to select homes based on curb appeal and first impressions. That is why home staging is so important. A staged home can create an emotional chord with the buyer. A staged home helps buyers envision themselves in the house.... creating the lifestyle they desire and would potentially lead while living in the home. 


Staging makes a house appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers, and helps make it feel like a home – one the buyer would love to move into. Buyers remember staged homes better and walk away feeling a greater connection with the home – imagining what it would be like to live there. 


The professional home stagers can highlight the best features of your home. In a highly competitive market, with many homes to choose from, there are certain features that buyers look for. They like to see a very livable home that will impress their friends and relatives. Home staging can make an ordinary home look extraordinary, which is what buyers are looking for, no matter what price range the home is in.


I can work with the furnishings you already have in your home, purchase new items within your budget or bring in items from my inventory(charge renting those), to transform your home quickly to WOW buyers.



The benefits of home staging can be enjoyed by anybody that is trying to sell a home. With a competitive market, you need all the advantages you can get. Home staging is an affordable option can help you get the most bang for your buck. The relatively inexpensive cost of home staging is easily offset by a higher selling price in the house. Consider the benefits of home staging when you are ready to sell your home. 

It is like a” Fallin’ love with first sight”  First impression is very important!


Home buyers tend to select homes based on curb appeal and first impressions. That is why home staging is so important. A staged home can create an emotional chord with the buyer.

A staged home helps buyers envision themselves in the house.... creating the lifestyle they desire and would potentially lead while living in the home. 


Home Staging carries both Buyer,Seller’s merit 

Using Staging service, before offering real estate has a very big merit in the both sides of a seller and a buyer.


A Buyer’s  merit

If you take staging will become easier to imagine a life when it purchases, and here where the original asset value of a housing is seen will be made. 

Moreover, since after housing purchase is in the state where it can move in immediately, also after that, necessities, such as troublesome cleaning and reformation, decrease.


A Seller’s  merit

  • Appearance becomes good even if it compares with the new-building housing and the more nearly big-ticket housing of competition the housing by which home staging was carried out as well as other used housings.
  • The housing which staged was carried out can be early sold off compared with the housing which has not been carried out. 
  • The housing where a buyer did not stick but time was formed after coming out to the market can also shorten a period until it results in conclusion.
  • An inquiry and the showing application number of time when a market is busy increase, and it prevents price reduction of an initial public offering price.
  • The photograph of the housing by which home staged was carried out looks better also on the Internet or an advertisement.
  • A customer thinks that the housing by which the home staged was carried out is its own house, and it becomes easy to have an image after purchase.
  • As for the housing by which the staged was carried out, the impression to a visitor tends to remain strongly.


▶ Click here to see the pricing for Home Staging service.


Please feel free to ask me If you have any more 

question about Staging!


  Aloha Life Home Staging

Home Styling & Interior





Aloha Life Home Staging


With "home staging", a professional Home Stager adds an home/interior coordination to the housing to 

make sale home faster, smoother with higher price as much as possible or help to advise and add some 

coordination for home buyer who has no idea for home / interior coordination


Professional Home Stager offers you an ideas, such as furniture of the purchased housing, interior 

selection, and a layout, and directs more comfortable and greater space.


It is also possible to decide a budget and to coord inate in it.  


About staging of the housing which I am allowed to take charge of, consultation and staging advice are

performed for free of charge (the cost price of the furniture purchased or interior design is another). 

Please refer to a SAMPLE PRICE LIST if you want to take “STAGING ONLY”servive. 


Click HERE for sample pricing. 



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