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Old 07-11-2008, 12:37 AM   #1
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Moving to Pearl Harbor, Where to Live and Other Questions?

Well it's not 100% certain yet but it's extremely likely that dh just got a job in Oahu! yay! Right now we're in AZ and neither one of us have ever been to HI...well he lived there when he was a toddler and that is it.

So what are the best areas/neighborhoods to live? Dh will be working in Pearl Harbor. A short commute is OK but prob nothing over 25-30 mins on average. We're looking to rent a house. I'm not totally sure of what our range will be for housing, I'm still trying to figure out our budget, but I'm thinking no more than $2500/mo on rent.

How much are utilities out there? It's been a long time since even paid utilities since dh was in the military and we were in base housing, however when we lived off base here in AZ it was about $100 in winter and upwards of $400 in the summer.

What else can you tell me? Are there some crunchy moms groups around? I sure hope so, I don't know anyone out there and will need some friends

Oh what about the vog? Which areas have it the worst? My dh has a bunch of allergies and such and I have a feeling keeping him away from the vog as much as possible will be for the best.

How good are the commissary prices compared to the local economy?

How much do you pay for internet? cable? gas?

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Old 07-11-2008, 08:23 AM   #2
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Re: Moving to Pearl Harbor, Where to Live and Other Questions?

Hey there!
I don't have any answers for you but thought I tell ya my little family is moving to Oahu in Octoboer. We're looking at a different part of the Island to live.
I'm very glad you asked all those questions, because I am wondering the SAME THING! From what I remember from vacationing there, everything is super expensive. I've been calling different places about renting and the consensus is that electricity is about $120 for a 2b 2bath home. Sq. footaged wise nothing is very big. (Someone please feel free to correct me.)

Anyway, I'm fairly crunchy.
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:17 AM   #3
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Re: Moving to Pearl Harbor, Where to Live and Other Questions?

Hi saw your post and thought id save you some leg work. we just moved out here last august. And it is sooo expensive. we're living off base but were going to move on base when our lease is up. i didnt know we were having a baby until after we moved into a house and my husband wants to be closer to work now that he's discovered golf and our babys here. he figures the time wasted in traffic he can be playing golf instead.

the nicer areas to live and normal sized homes are in Mililani and kapolei but you will have a 45+min commute. when we go into those areas it almost feels like were back in the us. the neighborhoods look normal and not cramped like the rest of town. i think in those areas rent would be in your range. BTW i used craigslist to find a house.

im not sure about place near the base bcz when we were looking for a place for about $2000. the place wed find were either ugly, rundown or a tight cramped house on a steep street. im a horrible driver and that wasnt going to work for me.

We ended up moving to Ewa beach. really nice 3br/2ba 1200sq/ft i think. house but horrible insulation. so it gets really hot. im not sure if it was just our house or what but i dont here any ac's running at our neighbors homes. maybe their just used to the heat. we are constantly running the split a/c they have here. before the baby arrived i tried to limit the amount of ac we used and our bill was about $250. but now i have to run it all day and our bill is around $450. the consenses of $120 for elec is based on sweating you @ss off.

water they charge like $100 base charge and usage on top of that.

cable/ internet is the same as in the states. FYI get your service from time warner office on base you get mil price.

gas i think is at 4.34 rt now. i just filled my truck the other day for about 80 bucks.

groceries i stick with the commisary. ive found non food items cost less off base.

weather around here doesnt change much. it gets a little cooler in the winter but nothing extreme. i think the lowest it got in decemer at night was 75 deg. other than that its about 85-95 deg all yr.

well i hope this helped and didnt scare you off. beleive it not i really love it here. cant wait till our baby is older to really start enjoying the islands.

BTW im either really dense, tired or just a new mom but what is crunchy
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Old 07-14-2008, 02:13 PM   #4
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Re: Moving to Pearl Harbor, Where to Live and Other Questions?

Hey thanks for the info! The heat won't bother us. In fact it will feel cool to us. For the past 5.5 years we've lived in the desert...it's usually 110+ in the summer (and that's early May-October) and then in the 70's-80's the rest of the time. Whenever it gets in the 70's here everyone is freezing and in pants and long sleeves lol. Also I grew up in Northern Indiana, where in the summer it was 80-90's and we didn't have central A/C just fans.

My inlaws lived in Hawaii a long time ago and they also said to look around Ewa Beach. I'm not sure we really want that long of a commute though. I wish we could just live on base but we're not military anymore; dh will be a contractor on base. I've also had people mention that we should look in the Pearl City area?

I've heard there are some Whole Foods being built which is good for us. My dd has a gazillion food allergies so her and I (since I'm still bfing) are on a pretty restricted diet and many things we can eat aren't at the commissary.

Oh and crunchy refers to the AP/NP type...typically doing everything very naturally. I'm not the crunchiest person in the world but I'm fairly crunchy: dd was a home birth, we don't vax, cloth diaper, baby wear, etc. It's always nice to find at least a few other moms who do similar things as me so I'm not always the weirdo in the group, kwim?
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Old 07-16-2008, 02:25 AM   #5
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Re: Moving to Pearl Harbor, Where to Live and Other Questions?

ItsMeElsa gave good info about the utilities...and yes after awhile you will want ac! I've never had it (lived here almost 10 years) but every summer I dream about it! LOL

Whole Foods will be here sometime next year. There is a couple local health food places Down to Earth is one.
Our commissaries actually carry a variety of stuff organic, wheat free etc.

Pearl City, Salt Lake, Aiea, Pearl Harbor etc will be the places you will want to look for housing. For $2,500 you should be able to find something ok. Ewa Beach will have something nicer but then you will have a long drive with tons and tons of traffic.

There are crunchy moms here you just have to search them out a little bit harder.
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Old 07-17-2008, 07:51 PM   #6
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Re: Moving to Pearl Harbor, Where to Live and Other Questions?

Aloha Shelsi!
I have lived here for 2 years now. My hubby is in the military also. We live on Kaneohe Marine Corps Base. If you can get on base housing here, I highly recommend it! If your family has allergies (I have very bad asthma), central ac is a must here! Since I live on the Windward side I feel the effects of the vog. But whenever I am in the Pearl Harbor area, it doesn't seem to make a difference for me...
Commissary prices are much better than off post (ie half gal. 8th cont. soy milk is about $2.20 at the commissary & like $5.50 at Safeway)
The Pearl Harbor commissary had much more of a selection of crunchy mom foods than here on KBay MCBH.
The down to earth food stores have alot of great stuff.
Gas is $4.30 for reg. unleaded on base at KBay
I don't know too much as far as living off post goes for utilities...
good Luck!
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:10 PM   #7
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Re: Moving to Pearl Harbor, Where to Live and Other Questions?

Hey there, I agree that you would probably want to look for housing in Pearl City, Aiea, or Salt Lake areas. Traffic is pretty nuts here. I'm not military so I don't know much about commissary prices compared to civilian grocery stores. Down to Earth is an organic grocery store but it's kinda pricey. I rent a one bedroom apt for $1200 that includes water, electricity and basic cable to give you an idea of how much rent can be. As for the vog, when it comes if you don't want to be exposed to it, you need to stay indoors and turn on the a/c. There's just no getting away from it.
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:37 AM   #8
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Re: Moving to Pearl Harbor, Where to Live and Other Questions?

Hey Mamas, We are moving to HIin November, DH is going to be a Makalapa. What is vog? We don't have allergy issues, but we are fairly crunchy and want to stay that way. Very excited to hear Whoe Foods is coming - we've been in the backa$$wards part of VA for the last 3 years and have very few options for good organic and whole foods - I came from Boston where the world si much more crunchy friendly. We will be living in military housing, we just don't know which one yet. Anyone have an idea on the wait list times? We are also bring our 2 dogs - what a pain that has been, but they are family and they move with us. Any good dog parks? Looking foward to meeting some AP/Crunchy Mamas once we get there!
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Old 09-20-2008, 04:28 PM   #9
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Re: Moving to Pearl Harbor, Where to Live and Other Questions?

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Originally Posted by HMDocsLady View Post
Hey Mamas, We are moving to HIin November, DH is going to be a Makalapa. What is vog? We don't have allergy issues, but we are fairly crunchy and want to stay that way. Very excited to hear Whoe Foods is coming - we've been in the backa$$wards part of VA for the last 3 years and have very few options for good organic and whole foods - I came from Boston where the world si much more crunchy friendly. We will be living in military housing, we just don't know which one yet. Anyone have an idea on the wait list times? We are also bring our 2 dogs - what a pain that has been, but they are family and they move with us. Any good dog parks? Looking foward to meeting some AP/Crunchy Mamas once we get there!
Hi there,

Lifer here and to answer what vog is, it's volcanic smog. It usually doesn't bother us on Oahu as much as the Big Island, but when it does it usually occurs when we have very bad southeasterly winds (aka Kona winds) that brings the vog over here from the Big Island. On those days ti's almost like being in CA, maybe even worse!

For the military mamas, here's where I think the closest the areas/neighborhood are for the bases:

Pearl Harbor/Hickam: Salt Lake, Aiea, Pearl City, maybe Waipahu (Royal Kunia more specifically). All of these are older neighborhoods with older homes (except for Royal Kunia), but they are the closest to the base. Mililani Mauka (not to be confused w/Mililani Town, which the older side of Mililani) might be another consideration, but like Royal Kunia, it's a little further away and traffic might be a problem.

Schofield: Wahiawa or Mililani, maybe Royal Kunia. Wahiawa and Mililani are the closest, with Wahiawa and Mililani (Town, not Mauka) having mostly older homes. Royal Kunia is the furthest of the 3, but you don't have to hit the freeway to get to Schofield.

Marine Corp. Base HI: Kaneohe, Kailua are the only 2 I really know of and are probably the closest. Mostly older homes, but some new housing developments, especially in Kailua. IMO I think this is the cooler side of the island (temp. wise).

With the exception of Salt Lake, all these neighborhoods are pretty far away from the downtown business district and if you have to go there during rush hour traffic, ugh, it's a total pain.

All the other mama's answers to cost and such are pretty much right on the mark.

As for Whole Foods being here, well it's not close to the neighborhoods mentioned above. It's open (as of 9/10), but it's in the tony area of Kahala, so unless you live in Kaneohe/Kailua (even there, it's not that close) it would take at least 25 minutes to get there (on a good traffic day). There's Down to Earth at Pearlridge Shopping Center, but it's VERY small compared to Whole Foods. I hope one day they decide to open one on the west side (we often get slighted in favor of the tony, town areas).

Well that's just my
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:35 PM   #10
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Re: Moving to Pearl Harbor, Where to Live and Other Questions?

I live in Pearl CIty and we love it- very nice neighborhood, safe, friendly!
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