19 June 2011

Hawaii Dwelling 1.0

The biggest hurdle we are presented with right now with my move and our upcoming union is where to live.  Although there is housing available to military couples on base, there is a 2 to 4 month waiting list.  The military also provides something called a BHA (Basic Housing Allowance) to military members and their families that are living off of base... but since Levi is required to live on base in the barracks until we are married, we won't receive that housing allowance until after we have been married.  In a town like Springfield or Hopkinsville, this would not be as much of a problem, however the cost of living in Hawaii is about 30 to 40 percent higher than the national average.  This is understandable being as that the island Oahu is arguably one of the most beautiful and desirable places to live in the world, and it is half the size of our smallest state, Rhode Island.  The average rental cost for a studio or small one bedroom condo is around $1500 to $2000.  If you've ever rented before, you know that before you move in, the rent is not the only thing you have to pay for up front.  However, one of the benefits of Hawaii is the access to many rental condos spread throughout the islands!  After many messages to many property managers and rental companies, one of them finally responded with a positive message!  He was so happy to accommodate a pair of newlyweds and a member of our military, he is willing to cut us some HUGE deals (we're talking discounts in the thousands of dollars range) as well as waive the almost 13% Hawaii tourism taxes for us!  To put that 13% in perspective for you, 13% of a $2000 a month rental is $260 dollars... which is more than half of what I pay a month in rent here in Springfield for a large two bedroom two bathroom apartment on the south side of town!  And again, that is just the taxes!

The owner of the apartment has e-mailed me, and I have e-mailed him back.  Levus and I are both in high hopes that this condo works out, because it is going to save us quite a bit of money in the long run.  It is already equipped with utilities and internet, so we wont have to set those up or pay any deposits, and because it is a rental we will not have to put down a deposit and first month of rent.  It isn't big, but it has adequate space to sleep, a stove and refrigerator to cook dinners so we don't have to spend money on eating out (and I have somewhere to cook the amazing local food I find at the farmers market), and a computer and wireless internet so we can keep up with friends and family back home!  It is also located about 10 miles from Hickam AFB, which is actually going to be a pretty big commute for Honolulu traffic as I've heard, but it is much closer than many of our other options.

view of the mountains from the condo sun deck

kitchen, dining area, couch, bed and tv... VERY small!

bed, computer desk, couch and kitchen

view of the ocean from sun deck... walking distance to ocean

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