Wassup Wit Dat!

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

September 18th, 2012

Well, I'm asking - just some curiousity questions really.

Wen Da Wife and I were looking to buy a home years ago, we looked all ovah and considered a few things: price, work commute, community and ohana.

Town - and da surrounding areas - would have great considering da work commute would have been hands down a breeze but we nevah like condos or apartments. I wanted da Salt Lake/Moanalua area cause I wanted our future keiki (nevah have wen we was looking for a home) to go to Salt Lake Elementary (to build some "character") and then to Moanalua High (da bestest public private school). Ok, so I'm a little biased there. 😛

I know, I know.... Wassup Wit Dat!

But considering da prices at dat time, it was outrageous to plunk down $500k+ for an itty bitty condo/apartment plus monthly maintenance fees and then with a baseline of $750k+ in da Salt Lake/Moanalua area we really couldn't afford anything in both locations.

We looked in Pearl City but da homes for sale at da time were a bit run down and we both agreed Ewa and Mililani was suicide cause of da bottle necks during rush hour although da homes were newer and more affordable. We weighed sanity ovah wasting hours everyday in traffic.... we chose to be sane.

While we considered affordable living by staying in da truck (just joking but not), luckily, Da Wife's family lot was eventually offered to us in Pearl City so we ended up buying it. It's a very convenient location close to grocery shopping and da malls also. It's close enough to both our friends and ohana which was a plus and I guess Pearl City High isn't so bad. 🙄 😆

So I gotta ask, whether you rent or own, how did you come about your living location? Was it mainly da price? Did you sacrifice anything to live there like friends, commuting time or convenience? How long is your commute to work? If you were able to move right now, wea would you go?

Especially now wit da interest rates at all time lows, maybe moving isn't so bad..... or at least renovating to build a real man-cave sounds extremely awesome right now. 😛

22 Responses to “Don't Ask, Don't Tell”

  1. 9thIslandGirl:


  2. 9thIslandGirl:

    Location location location. Always lived in town and still live in town. Commute is about fifteen to twenty minutes before 6:30 a.m.

  3. islandgirl33:

    We own our home (well the bank does for now...lol). We chose our home for location and price. We live just over the border of NC in SC. We are basically almost a suburb of Charlotte, NC. We chose SC because the property tax was much lower (half of what it was in Charlotte). Also, homes were cheaper meaning our money could go much further. Plus, the commute wasn't too bad for my hubby. At the time, his commute was about 30 min and now with his current job it's about 45 min. The best part of where we live is we are near a rather large lake. It doesn't make us feel too boxed in and it's nice to see water surrounding our community. We do live in a townhome but it's a nice community. My friend who was visiting from SF a couple of years ago had to ask if our home was a townhome because it was so big. In the future, I'd love to have a ranch style home. I am smarter now about what I'd like next time.

  4. Parent:

    Grew up in town, now live in the country. One acre lot. Lots of room. Dogs, cat, pool, etc. Commute doesn't matter. Start early, leave early. Worth it. The standard 7000 sq ft lot in town was not what we were looking for. No regrets.

  5. M:

    Howzit BL,
    We looked all ovah da place fo affodable home but no can find one and Mililani and beyond get to much traffic to commute to town fo work. My parents offord to us an option to build on to dea place so we did. We built on to da existing house, we have our own living room, batrooms, kitchen and rooms fo my kids so it's like two separate houses in one. Da best ting is dat we stay in town too in da valley wea it's cool most of da time.

  6. cojef:

    Been to all 50 states and bought and rented wherever my career took me. Our 1st was after graduating from college in Fort Wayne, first pre-fab, and 2nd a custom-made in the suburbs, rented in Chicago, bought a home in Seal Beach, Ca. and townhouse condo for rental, sold home for tax benefit, kept townhouse, paid tenant to vacate so we could move in, rented in Houston, son lived in townhouse free and returned after 3 years, and in 2 years made our final move into a retirement community in 1992. Try to visit Waikiki every year for a months stay each time since 2006. Made a few bucks each time sold homes and townhouse. Never looked back, each had its perks and faults. Love our current lifestyle. Born in Kapaa in 1925, served 2 hitches in the Army(WWII) after high school.

  7. snow:

    live in town and i know it would be difficult for me to live elsewhere. but even though i live about 3 miles from work, if i go to work during rush hour, it's sometimes a 45 minute commute... which is utterly ridiculous! i could walk there in less time! if it's not rush hour, it's about 15 minutes. i wouldn't mind living in hawaii kai or pearl city - they are nice neighborhoods - but i don't know if i could stand driving in traffic and wasting all my money on gas!

  8. anklebiters:

    When I was looking for a home just before the turn of the century, it had to be 2-stories, grass lawn and pool. I must have looked at dozens of homes - in new subdivisions and existing neighborhoods. I finally found one and planned only to live there til my youngest turned 18, in a few years, sell it and find my 'dream' home. It is about 20 minutes from work, easy freeway access and nice neighborhood. Well, the real estate boom around that time didn't help matters as the homes were way over priced and then the crash followed - I live in one of the worse states to be hit by falling home prices.

    If I were to move like right now, it would probably be to the New England area - Maine, New Hampshire...I would need an "801K" retirement plan to live in paradise 😆

  9. dihudfan:

    live in town... china town edge... so very convenient to everything... used to walk to work before I retired... bought this condo cuz it wuz in our price range... we walk to almost everything... use the car to go shopping... bought car in 2004 new... still only got 14,000 miles driven... can't ask for anything bettah...

  10. Imua7:

    Aloha BL,
    I was born and raised in Pearl City, but attended "da private school on the mountain top" in Kalihi 😉 After High School and College, I rented apartments/houses with friends in town. I wanted to be in the center of the nightlife and closer to friends. SO for a little while, I lived on Piikoi (about a 2 minute walk to Ala Moana) and also lived up the street from Rainbow Drive In (a $4 taxi ride to Waikiki). Both were about a 45 minute commute to my job "on base". At the time, my social life (aka Night Life) was priority after work. But that got old real quick. So I moved back towards my roots (and ohana) and bought an apartment in Pearl City. Mainly because that's all I could afford. I wanted a house, but at the time houses were in the $800K's. And that was for houses about 40+ years old! After about 4 years, I wanted a house with yard. So I sold the apartment and went house hunting. I still couldn't afford a house in Pearl City/Aiea, so I looked "out west" but made a boundary line for my search. I have been in my newer home in Maili for about 4 years. I gotta say, got an awesome deal for the home, and a yard that my dogs just love. My commute to work is a little over 1 hour each way (on a good to normal day). Even though I like having the beach "right there" and the stores/restaurants at Kapolei, if I could move, I would like to move to the Pearl City/Aiea/Salt Lake area. It would mean having to renovate/rebuild the home on the lot, but the location is perfect for work and visiting family. But, my kids will need to go to my alma mater 😉 and if they don't get in, then I'd have to choose Pearl City over Moanalua 😉

  11. 2B:

    In my former life I lived in one big house in Mililani, but da commute was just too much. It was nice having all that space and one big yard, but I could feel they years ticking away waiting in H1-H2 traffic.

    I live in town these days, da house is super tiny, and I get one small patch of grass da keiki can play in, but of course that is the tradeoff of town living. While I do miss the "community" feel of everything out there, my blood pressure doesn't miss sitting in an hour and a half of traffic every day.

  12. BowlingBuddy:

    The distance from home to work, traffic, and convience are the top three things that I look for. Fortunately, I got all three. But I am now retired so it doesn't matter any longer.

  13. Kage:

    When I first started looking to buy it was in town. Close to work was the priority. All I could afford was small studios and 1 bedroom apartments.

    I grew up in Wahiawa and now live in Mililani. I compromised and got a decent 2 bedroom for what I would have paid for the small ones in town, but put up with the commute to work.

    On a good day, 30 minutes. On a rush hour commute, 1 hour minimum, probably closer to 1 and 1/2 hours.

  14. DIO:

    anklebiters: Sorry, but you have go the wrong retirement plan. It's not an 801k, it's an 808k Paradise Retirement Plan. 😛

  15. Coconut Willy:

    Da wife found our condo in Salt Lake. It was a new building at the time and the prices was pretty guud. We lived in Moiliili at the time and SHE didn't want to go past Red Hill into the traffic wars.

    We like the central location and being in the "Moanalua" district.

    Casually looking for a house in the area but like you said. The prices are kolohe! 800K average for a fixer upper. Yikes!

  16. kamaaina808:

    I've rented from Moiliili, Waikiki, Makiki, Aiea, & now Kailua... most times was for work, now for R&R. 🙂
    Didn't have to sacrifice much except when I stayed in Waikiki... really didn't like that area, even though was closer to beach than I am now. Traffic with all the tourists & huge buses just made me want to move out as fast as i could - not to mention I had a place with NO parking except on the street. Was cheap rent but not worth it.

    From here, the commute isn't bad into/out of town - just slows of course rush hour(s) and when the Pali gets a haircut - which seems like every other week; heading West isn't bad w/H3 - and the climate isn't all that bad here, either. I like the trades. I go into town 2 or 3 times a week & it takes me roughly 20-25 min. (not during rush hour) to get to Costco, etc. - a little longer if go more east side. I rarely go West but when I do - i try to avoid the crush.

    If I had to move, I'd consider Nuuanu-Pali so I could grow one decent garden & not have to water it as often. 😀

  17. GA Bows:

    Bought my current house last October.
    Here's our list of priority;
    1. School district (2 keikis; 5 and 4 now)

    2. No sub-division, don't want to pay association fee and if I want to paint my house pink with purple polka dots... I should be able to. BTW.. it's not a pink house.

    3. Has to have at least 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bath.

    4. Needs to be in an establish neighborhood.

    My wife and I got lucky. After a couple of months, we found a raised ranch home that site on 1/2 an arce lot. It has 4 bedroom, 3 full baths, 2 living room and a 2 car garage.
    It was bank own, so it was as in. The conditions wasn't bad, small kine stuff needed to be repaired or done but nothing major. After all said and done, I paid 116,900 for it and I haven't lost any value in it.
    It's a great home for my kids to grow up in and for my and my wife to grow old.

  18. UHAlum91:

    Born/raised in Liliha until I graduated from UH. At 25, I decided to buy a 3-bdrm SF home in Ewa Gentry with my GF. Traffic wasn't too bad since I worked down on the west side and it was the only thing I could afford at that time. But after a few job changes, and Ewa started to boom in development - congestion in the area got worse. After I finally completed my mortgage in '09, da wife suggested we move to a more "central" location. From Ewa, it took me 1 hr 15 mins to get to work in town. So any place past the H1/H2 merge was on our radar. After 1 yr of house hunting, we purchased a home in Pearl City. It's a bit older, and required some work. But the neighborhood was centrally located.

    But it's all about - LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. It now only takes me 25 min to get to work!!! I guess we're one of the lucky few who bought our PC home during the lowest point in the housing market, and our Ewa home was sold (pending) while the market is in the upswing. The best part was the sale of my Ewa home literally covered 85% of the cost of my PC home, which made the pain of having another 15 yr mortgage (with kids now) less painful!!!

    We're happy as we now don't have to deal with the traffic & community assocation rules, while our "new" location has all the amenities, schools, and alternate road accesses that we were looking for.

  19. anklebiters:

    @DIO - damn....no wonder....just 7 digits off too....it may as well be a million $$$ 😆

    I was home surfing the other day looking at condos in the HNL general area...the prices aren't too bad but the monthly maintenance fee is ridiculous...I could seriously buy a really nice home here with a 30 yr mortgage for that monthly fee. What exactly are you receiving for it?

  20. wafan:

    I could not afford a home in Hawai'i. Not as a single teacher! So, the solution was really simple . . . move. That is how I ended up in the Evergreen State.

    Well, it was not as simple as that. What I teach just was not widely offered at the time I started teaching. Now? The DOE claims it to be an integral part of education. Tried to tell them that nearly 30 years ago. What that meant to them was that I should teach outside of my subject and certification area. Oh well. Just was not my loss.

    Anyhow, bought two houses and nearly paid off both of them. Still single. Still teaching.

  21. bamboohouse808:

    Da wife and I bought our condo in Salt Lake a while ago. It was a convenient location and the building was nice. Now, with 2 small keiki, our condo seems to be getting smaller and smaller every day. Now, we looking for a house. We love Salt Lake. But, the prices are so high. Aigoo!! I wish I had some carpentry skills so I could buy one cheap "fixer-upper" and do the work myself. Either that or win Megabucks or Powerball. :mrgreen:

  22. hemajang:

    Lived in small Punchbowl apartment for couple years and first born was still infant when wife said we better move to bigger place. Looked at rentals, some nice, some not so nice and made the bold move to buy a townhouse in Mililani. Barely qualified with co-sign by parents. 2 more kids later wife said we better move to bigger place and went across the street to one new single family lot by da gulch. Location was good since I worked Ewa Beach at the time. Mililani schools are good, plenty community activities for family, and enough stores/shops and medical/health professionals nearby. Mililani is not a place you can do whatevahs to your property so it has its positives and negatives. We always get MTA letters for some covenants violation. Few months ago had letter that my house needed repairs and paint...so did repair and paint. I tend to let things go so in a way the letter got me off my okole and house look good now. I work in Salt Lake but leave house at 4:45am and pau work 2:30pm so traffic not bad, anyway, going retire soon so don't have to deal with any rush hour traffic.

Recent Posts

Recent Comments