Dreaming of a life with warm breezes, friendly neighbors, and beaches right in your backyard? Then you might be wondering how to move to Hawaii! We know there’s a lot to consider before you pack your bags, so we’ve created a basic guide for moving to Hawaii. When you’re in the beginning stages of planning your move, start out by deciding which of the islands is right for you. Then get an idea of what living in Hawaii is actually like with this information on the cost of living, jobs, homes, schools, pets, and the best time of year to move.
Step 1: Choose an island
Which island will make the perfect new home for you? While all of Hawaii has beautiful scenery and great weather, some islands might be a better fit than others. Oahu, the most populous, is good for those who like city life and entertainment and don’t mind traffic and crowds. Maui has a smaller but still sizeable population and is known for its beauty, cultural scene, and artist communities. The Big Island and Kauai have much smaller populations, diverse geography, and lush vegetation. Lanai and Molokai, which have the fewest residents, provide a quieter, more remote life, yet are still only a short hop from the larger islands. Check out a map of Hawaii islands, do some research about what life is like on each island, and take a trip to scout them out.
Step 2: Plan out your new life in Hawaii
Jobs – Hawaii’s high cost of living means you’ll probably need to find a job, unless you’re a retiree or you’re able to telecommute for your current job. Although Hawaii has a relatively low unemployment rate, it can be difficult to find a job, especially outside of Oahu.
Jobs in Hawaii are mostly available in hospitality, tourism, health, construction, and IT. While Hawaii isn’t usually ideal for entrepreneurs, Honolulu does have an emerging startup scene. You can search for jobs on Real Jobs Hawaii, Hawaii Jobs on Demand, Hawaii.gov, Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn, and Craigslist.
Homes – It’s no secret that homes are expensive in Hawaii. According to Zillow, the median home value in Hawaii is $597,700 and the median rent price is $2,300. However, prices vary dramatically – in Honolulu the median home value is $638,200 while in Hilo it’s only $301,500. To decide if you should rent or buy, consider which island you’ll be moving to and how long you’re planning to stay. You can also use this calculator to explore your options.