Click here for a good article on unusually low mortgage rates.
After 14 years of living on Oahu for me, and a lifetime for my husband Mike, we are moving mainland in the next six months. This move is due to job offers that were “too good to refuse” so we’ll be packing our house, putting it on the market for sale, and moving from Paradise to probably the Northern Atlanta area.
All this has me thinking about all the wonderful things I love about Hawaii and what I’ll miss. I’m sure I’ll enjoy a lot of new things in a more “cosmopolitan” part of the country, but there are some unique things I will miss. I thought it appropriate to put this letter in our Relocating2Oahu Website so you, as potential owners or investor/owners on Oahu, will know what to expect… from one viewpoint anyway!
Things I will miss include
#1) The weather. There is nothing like this weather anywhere in the US that I know of… Warm and breezy all year round, we’ve spent days on the beach on every major holiday from Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years to Valentines and Memorial Day as well as 4th of July and Labor Day. There simply are not many days that are not appropriate for going to the beach. And when I say warm, I don’t mean like Orlando where I’m from, or like Vegas… I mean perfect. Nearly all the time. I’ll miss hanging over my dutch door and looking at the stars and moon while a breeze blows through all around me.
#2) My Ohana. The people I’ve met and known here are wonderful and my friendships created here will never end. No doubt. (thank goodness for email!) Some of the best people in the world live on this island. Loving, giving, and truly full of that “Aloha Spirit” that you’ve heard about. Potlucks are a weekly event and if you have kids, during soccer season, you might have 2 or 3 on a day! Our church is open air blowing through and a truly spiritual place. There is a relaxed friendship with so many people and with such a small community, you see people you know everywhere after just a few months on the island… you’ll be amazed if that is not like where you’re moving from. It’s like a large family… Ohana IS the word. At the grocery store I shop at, it’s unusual not to see someone I know literally on every single isle… You never feel alone here…
#3) The beauty of the ocean and the land… the “aina”. After 14 years it still takes my breath away on those days where the mountains are so clear they look more like a painting than real… (odd isn’t that?) They keep you in check ego-wise… they’ll be here long after we’re all gone! Green and lush and huge and absolutely incredible. I’ve traveled quite a bit, but never see anything like the beauty of the land and ocean here. It’s not flat, so you see And you don’t need to go see it on a special trip… you’ll see it every day in your day-to-day activities… going to work, going to Costco, taking the kids to soccer in Waimanalo… It’s all around you and incredible. The annual drive around most of the island only takes a few hours and it’s fun to circle your entire world now and then!
#4) The relaxed atmosphere. You will rarely see a man in a suit and tie… not even for a wedding! And people are very forgiving about what you wear too… One lady might be in formal and another in a sundress or muumuu… it’s all good. People seem to breathe more deeply (the air is very clean) and walk a little slower, drive a little less crazy, wave you in during traffic, show up 15 minutes late (that is the “norm”) and so on. It’s just more relaxed in so many ways… You never hear a Horn beep for example! (very impolite!)
#5 Safe feeling. We have felt so safe and secure here, as do most people. Kids take the bus system all the time (which is pretty good) and walk or bike all over the place. Our home is not very secure, and it doesn’t matter. The dog barks if someone comes by and they yell hello through the open windows… which stay open all the time, day and night. Took me a while to get used to this, but now that I am, it will be something I’ll miss living in a place with A/C and Heat, which you don’t have much of here, if at all!
#6 The Ihilani and Ko'Olina area… like going to a neighbor island without the airfare and car rental! Beautiful and just far enough out to feel like you “got away”. Turtle Bay does this too, but it takes longer to get there… Many weekends we’d leave work early at 3pm and check in at the Ihilani. I’d get a massage or facial at the spa, meet my husband for dinner and walk on the beach to watch the sunset, and then just enjoy the room. Saturday morning we’d have breakfast on the lanai overlooking the ocean, back to to the spa for a while or maybe a snorkel in the bay… and check out feeling like we got away for a week instead of just an overnight! Aahh, just thinking about it makes me relax!
#7 Sheraton Moana Surfrider afternoon High Tea. This is where the girlfriends and I (and occasionally my daughters too) enjoy now and then an afternoon together, usually on Sundays at 3pm… High tea on the wrap around Lanai facing the ocean in Waikiki, it’s an event not to be missed. Great finger sandwiches and scones and an incredible assortment of teas you won’t believe and will have a very hard time selecting from! It’s a great way to get away and connect with each other… I need to do it again before I leave!
#8 Kayaking close to home. We have a couple of kayaks and we can put them on wheels and in 15 minutes be at the canal near my office that leads out to Kailua Bay. At the mount of the canal, hundreds of sea turtles live and they are all around you as you sit and wait for them floating over the coral reefs that you can literally see through the clear water… big sea turtles down to very young ones… it’s an incredible experience. You can “surf” your kayak in with the little waves too… a nice exercise and fun for everyone!
#9 The Revitalization of Kailua. I have so enjoyed watching the plans unfold for Kailua’s upgrading and beautification. From the Outdoor Circle to the “big dog” – Kaneohe Ranch, it’s been a wonderful thing to watch and be a part of. The Annual I Love Kailua party closes down the main road for a day in April and is a highlight of the year for all of us that live here… It’s a beautiful town and getting better every year!
#10 The rest of the places and things not yet mentioned… The Pali lookout on a windy day… the Pali lookout on a super clear day… the Arizona Memorial and the oil still leaking from the ship below all these years later… Aloha Tower Marketplace and all the great places there… Palaminos… Polynesian Cultural Center… Diamond Head – seeing it and climbing it (only takes an hour up and back) and mostly my friend Allan Fisher’s song about it “Diamonds over Diamond Head”… speaking of Allan, his version of Kanaka Wai-Wai is my favorite… The Windward Community College Campus and the incredible Planetarium …. The H3 views as you drive through and in rains, the waterfalls where I once counted well over 50 in one trip….watching the surfers and bodyboarders… seeing people ride bikes with a surfboard under their arm or on their seat… Sitting on Kailua Beach… the view from Lanikai of that beach as you go back into Kailua… Mango Man (he’s back, just saw him this week!)… the Makapu Lookout…flying to the Big Isle for a week away…Sacred Falls (I miss that hike)…The Mokuluas…Haunuama Bay and the “toilet bowl… watching the kite surfers and parasail guys (just watching, not doing it myself)…. Waimea Falls and park… Kailua Beach 4th of July fireworks show… UH games – football, volleyball, and sometimes basketball for us…Sunrise service on Easter Morning…
OK, I’m going to go cry now… Well, since YOU are moving here, that is what awaits you. Enjoy. It’s worth every penny. And although we need to sell our house to buy where we’re going, we’re going to need to buy a condo here so we have a place to come back to!
1. The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) statement. This form,
sometimes called a HUD 1 statement, itemizes all the costs associated with
the closing. You'll need this for income tax purposes and when you sell the
2. The Truth in Lending Statement summarizes the terms of your mortgage
3. The mortgage and the note (two pieces of paper) spell out the legal
terms of your mortgage obligation and the agreed-upon repayment terms.
4. The deed transfers ownership of the property to you.
5. Affidavits swearing to various statements by either party. For example,
the sellers will often sign an affidavit stating that they have not incurred
any liens on the property.
6. Riders are amendments to the sales contract that affect your rights.
For example, if you buy a condominium, you may have a rider outline the
condo association's rules and restrictions.
7. Insurance policies provide a record and proof of your coverage.
Reprinted from REALTOR Magazine Online by permission of the NATIONAL
ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.
Once you buy, it is important to be sure that:
Hold a yard sale to get rid of items you don't want to move and make a few
The lender must disclose a Good Faith Estimate of all settlement costs. A check to cover your closing costs will probably have to be a cashier's check. The title company or other entity conducting the closing will tell you the requires amount for:
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2. Loan origination fees
3. Points, or loan discount fees, you pay to receive a lower interest rate
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Click here for a link to the DOE schedule for all schools. The new unified calendar has a one week break in the Fall, three weeks at Christmas, and a two week Spring Break.
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April 2006 Graphs are here!
Check them out under "Housing Statistical Graphs."
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(pronounced cow-cow; "time to eat")
If you've never tasted local food, but have always wanted to, or you're just longing for a taste of the islands, then you're in for a treat!
If you suscribe, you'll receive a free update alert on Tuesdays, with a link to free local (delicious!) recipes.
Please note that majority of the ingredients may be found at your local grocery store in the Asian food section, or at an Asian grocery.
Read on for the first weekly recipe!
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