Honolulu Hawaii

Moving to Honolulu long term or short term? Aloha e komo mai to beautiful Hawaii however long you stay, whether your move is related to work, retire, school or just a change of pace, we welcome you and let us help you get acquainted with life in Honolulu so you fit right in. Living in Honolulu is an amazing experience, though it does comes with a hefty price tag. The cost of living is incredibly high, in fact according to datausa.io, it\’s 82% higher than the national average. Not to mention, Honolulu’s housing costs are 171% higher than the national average with the median home price at over $800,000 and median monthly rent at $1,900.


If you have moved before, you may think, how complicated can it be. The reality is, moving to Hawaii is a process and there are several factors to consider than your typical move to another city or even state. It requires extra planning when it comes to shipping your vehicle, pets, and your belongings.


Many new comers decide to sell their car and purchase when they arrive here on the islands. However, should you choose to ship your car, be prepared for the hefty shipping cost and long wait times. The cost starts at around $1,500+ and can take up to 2 weeks. On a side note, it is actually cheaper to ship from the island to the mainland (same amount of time though).


Will your furry family member be joining you? Check out the Hawaii Department of Agriculture\’s website (http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/ai/aqs/aqs-info/) for animal quarantine regulations and requirements. There is a “Checklist for the 5 Day or Less Program” to limit quarantine timelines. If your furry loved one qualifies, you will be able to pick them up and take them home directly from the animal quarantine station at the airport! Otherwise the standard quarantine period is 30 days upon arrival in Hawaii, yikes!


That not all… Buying is one thing and we\’ll talk about that in a moment, however, if you plan to rent, the next step is to secure housing that allows animals. When looking for a home that suites your needs, sure to inquire about the landlord or property management\’s pet policy. Many of these places do not allow pets and if they do, require a pet deposit (sometimes amounting to 1-month\’s rent).  Now if your looking to buy, paradise can sometimes come with a high cost of living. However, there are several programs created with local real estate companies such as Sturdy Foundations (SturdyFoundations.com), that take into consideration the high price tag and desire to help you with creatively purchasing a home either in inventory or work closely with you to find, buy, and upgrade (if needed) a home of your dreams.



Living in Honolulu means great year-round weather. No matter where you decide to live, you will only be a short trip from a beach or a scenic hike. Trade winds keep the average temperature in Hawaii at around 85 degrees throughout the year. The diversity of landscape across the island is incredible. On the West (Leeward) side of Honolulu County, you will find a drier, more desert-like environment, while the East (Windward) side is full of lush Ko’olau Mountains. What is really neat about central Honolulu County is the farmland, and, of course, the North Shore is full of rocky yet breathtaking shoreline with high surf where popular surfing competitions take place.


Once you get here, you will defiantly want to immerse yourself in the beautiful culture of the islands. Starting with the Iolani Palace which was home to the last reigning Hawaiian kings and queens. And you have probably heard of the hula, but it’s so much more than just a dance, it’s about passing on stories of Hawaiian culture and making spiritual connections. Luaus are hosted across the island that feature traditional Hawaiian dishes and performances, tourists are encouraged & residents of Honolulu truly embrace their home’s native culture. . And Pidgin? Be sure to get better acquainted with Hawaiian Pidgin before moving to Honolulu. it\’s a unique language spoken by locals that blends Hawaiian, Japanese, Filipino, Chinese, and Portuguese into words and phrases like “aurite.” and “howzit”


We are always asked, where are the best beaches, places to go and things to do in Honolulu? While this list is just the tip of the iceberg, we\’ll start with Kualoa Ranch. This beautiful property has been a filming location for many famous movies and they offer a movie tour as well as horseback and ATV adventures. While on that side of the island be sure to check out the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) located in Laie, the PCC is an immersive cultural experience that allows visitors to learn about all the Pacific Island cultures, including food, hula, games, and lei-making. While in central Honolulu, the Dole Plantation in Wahiawa is famous for its Pineapple Express train that runs through the pineapple fields. It is also known for its Dole Whip ice cream and houses a koi pond as well as a pineapple maze. And during Christmas time, a family tradition of ours is to visit the Helemano Farms the day after Thanksgiving a pick out a Norfolk pine which is a historic tree in Hawaii. The pine is originally from Australia\’s Norfolk Island and came to Hawaii in the 19th Century. This is one of many great local companies in Honolulu county to come check out.


If hikes are your interest, there is an endless number of hikes to check out around Honolulu. Some of the more well-known hikes include Diamond Head, Waimea Falls, Koko Head Stairs, and Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail. And, for those who prefer more of a leisurely stroll, botanical gardens are abundant throughout Honolulu, county.


Now let\’s get to the big questions of the day, where are the best beaches. Our preferred beack is hidden away in Waimanalo. However, Hanauma Bay is probably the most well-known and loved snorkel spot on the island. Located in East Honolulu, many people enjoy this beautiful beach and reefs every day. Park and walk, or pay a few dollars to catch a shuttle ride down the hill and back to the parking lot. You should also visit Lanikai beach in the town of Kailua. This beach is known for its beautiful white sandy beach and bright blue water. It’s perfect for sunbathing, boogie boarding, and the low surf makes it great for the kids to enjoy too.


Although many tourist visit this beach the most, it\’s also worth mentioning Waikiki beach. Llocated in the heart of downtown Honolulu on the south shore, Waikiki Beach is situated near the more popular hotels and can be accessed by parking (be prepared to pay) and walking through hotel lobby\’s or in between hotel properties. Located in Kapolei, the Ko’Olina Resort is a well-crafted vacation community that houses several resorts including Aulani (Disney). It has three natural and four man-made lagoons that are perfect for swimming and snorkeling, making it an extremely popular destination for families.


With a little planning and making use of great resources moving to Honolulu can be a breeze, and before you know it, you can begin to enjoy island life!


What type of Honolulu real estate company is best to help you with your needs?
The Honolulu real estate market continues to improve by leaps and bounds over the last few of months. This is enabling many Honolulu real estate owners to finally sell their properties for a profit. Perhaps even more importantly, it is causing a rebound in home buying and investment activity.  Still, even for those that have been involved in real estate transactions recently, it can be incredibly difficult to choose between Honolulu real estate agents and subsequent companies.  Our Hawaii Ohana really want to know who they can trust, who is best equipped to help and what level of service is really necessary? So what’s the best move? Finding the best Honolulu real estate company for your needs could be a game changer. Familiarize yourself with the six types of real estate companies you will find in Honolulu:


1. Residential Real Estate Brokerages
These companies specialize in helping individuals buy and sell houses. They normally deal with individuals that are buying or selling single unit properties and need help searching, marketing, making offers, navigating paperwork, negotiating and coordinating the transaction. Commission rates vary, but 6% of the purchase or sales price continues to be pretty much industry standard across America.


2. Commercial Real Estate Brokerages
These real estate companies specialize in working with investors and businesses looking to buy and sell apartment buildings, office complexes, industrial warehouses and hotels. They essentially provide the same services as listed above, often with the addition of leasing assistance.


3. Real Estate Solution Company
A real estate solution company can help homeowners sell and buy their properties fast, either through a specific qualifying program or sometimes for cash and much faster than choosing to list a property with a Realtor. They either hold these properties as rentals, or fix, remodel and improve them with the intentions of selling or renting. For buyers, this can provide an invaluable source for properties at wholesale discounts and access to off market homes that are unavailable anywhere else.


4. Real Estate Franchises
Real estate brokerages are further segmented into different categories, including those which fall under several large international franchises. Whether it is Panda Express or McDonalds, these firms choose to flag themselves under a recognized brand. As with their fast food franchise counterparts, there is some attraction to the familiar name. However, while they have some established agents, they are also frequently the first stop for brand new agents.


5. Local Real Estate Companies
Many Hawaii real estate agents graduate from these large franchises to small local real estate companies which offer them high commission splits and specialize in various niches of the Honolulu market.


6. Discount Agencies
Over the last decade, a number of discount agencies have opened up (and closed), offering ‘discounted’ real estate services which range from providing marketing materials to help getting homes listed in the MLS. However, while there can be money to be saved by some, others may have found these services more expensive in the long run.



About the Author – Honolulu Real Estate Agent Angela Gregg

Angela, along with her husband, Mike Gregg, are the founders of Sturdy Foundations, Inc, a unique real estate company, that combines renting, buying, renovating, construction and additional real estate solutions with headquarters in Honolulu, Hawaii. As a HRM graduate (MS) of the University of Maryland and a Military Veteran of the United States Air Force (over 22 years), Angela has had the opportunity to experience first hand the challenges and importance of organization when it comes to real estate business. Angela attributes her success in business to focusing on people first & perfecting the process. She is a frequent contributor and lead coach in Financial Education with forums such as WealthFit, FortuneBuilders and guest speaker at many organizations throughout Honolulu, HI


Since its foundation in 2013, owners Mike & Angela Gregg, have been helping their clients reach their real estate goals. Wether you want to buy, sell, repair and/or build a new home, they have the resources to help you reach those goals.
Sturdy Foundations goals are focused on improving neighborhood property values, local economies, and communities in each and every city they work in.  Through their extensive knowledge of the business, network of resources, and years of expertise, they are able to assist homeowners with a wide variety of real estate situations.


“We pride ourselves on our reputation for working one-on-one with each customer to handle his or her individual situation.” -Mike Gregg
Mike & Angela are request guest speakers for WealthFit and FortuneBuilders educational podcast. Join us on discussions that could effect you should you choose to invest in real estate market on real estate investing and business management. Sturdy Foundations, Inc® is a Real Estate Solutions Hawaii team. As real estate brokers, agents, attorneys and title specialists we are able to create an extremely fast, and hassle-free transaction.

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