Move To Hawaii 365 Thu, 14 Jan 2021 06:19:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 184263608 6 Things That Will Ruin Your Day (and vacation) in Hawaii Thu, 14 Jan 2021 02:41:29 +0000

Magic Sands Beach in Kona is notoriously dangerous

As tourism returns to the islands (and a few folks look to make Hawaii their new home, too!), I wanted to touch upon a few aspects of island life to help people who may not know some of the things that can happen to you as a visitor or a resident that perhaps no one warned you about hard enough. Here are a few things that will ruin your vacation or just your day, week or life in Hawaii that you should know:

1. The Ocean Surf Will Kill You (Or cause bodily damage)

From a Jeep rental company owner today on Hawaii Island: “We had a customer yesterday airlifted off the beach to Kona Community Hospital after being hit by, what her husband called, a rogue wave. She’s ok, but after an MRI, she’s being sent back to Washington state for surgery.
Not only is this a terrible way to start a vacation, but it’s a reminder to those of us who frequent these beaches often, to always respect the ocean and know your personal limits.
I happen to be a strong swimmer and have always joked I can swim better than I can walk. But regardless, no matter how many times I’ve been in that water, I evaluate carefully every time. Not only for myself, but also those I’m with who may not be as strong of swimmers.
At the end of the day, the ocean is a powerful force and we can’t always be prepared for these situations but we can do our best. Know your limits and error on the side of caution when not sure. The buddy system is great regardless of what water activity you’re doing, just make sure someone knows where you’re at. And if there’s a significantly stronger swimmer in your group, make sure they’re aware of the limits of the other members in the group. This was a good reminder for me so hopefully it is for someone else, too.”

2. You Can Drown While Snorkeling

Have you ever been to Black Rock in Maui? The Sheraton is right there and the seemingly easy entrance to that bay is right there, too, along with signs that visitors rarely read about the dangers of the rip currents. I was out swimming close to shore when I saw a woman struggling right outside the bay. I noticed her husband had tried to crawl up on the rocks on the base of the cliff near where the local kids jump off. I could tell she was in trouble from the look on her face and I could tell he was in trouble because he nestled himself in place that the waves were going to hit him and rake him. Both had been snorkeling and had gone out to the open ocean in front of the cliff and then become exhausted trying to fight the current to get back in. Long story short, I got out there, dragged the woman to safety, alerted the cliff divers to jump down and save the man (who DID get raked on the rocks) and all of us got the visitors to shore safely. And there was not one lifeguard in sight. Because there is a sign that says swim at your own risk and there are strong rip tides. It is a locally known fact that you shouldn’t swim past the rocks.
Here are some words of advice taken from a response to the numerous drownings in this area that is relevant for ALL islands, ALL the time: “The ocean is a living thing. It’s not a swimming pool, and caution and good safety should ALWAYS be practiced. Surfers, swimmers, and snorkelers can all get into trouble if they don’t follow the basic rules.”   I highly suggest Googling “drowning in Hawaii”. This is the single biggest reason why visitors die on the islands.
The Hawaii Health Department reports snorkel related deaths account for an average of 21 fatal drownings among snorkelers each year and 92-percent of those victims are visitors.

3. Driving Can Be Dangerous

Not sure about the other islands, but it is a fact that impatient AND impaired drivers cause head on car accidents on Hawaii Island due to our two lane roads. (I am sure the road to Hana on Maui has similar issues). Patience is required when navigating our roads, which can be long and boring, like out on an open lava field near Waikoloa, or windy and slow from Kona to Volcano. Sadly when someone is not paying attention, or impaired or impatient, drifts or speeds onto the other side of the double yellow line.The top contributing factors involved in Hawai‘i traffic fatalities are impaired driving, speed, and distracted driving (Note: a traffic crash may have more than one contributing factor). Preliminary 2019 figures show 59% of the traffic fatalities that were tested, tested positive for alcohol and/or drugs. Of the 15 fatalities of persons between the ages of 15 to 22, 13 posthumously tested positive for alcohol and/or drugs.

Preliminary data for 2020 year-to-date shows that 47% of fatal crashes involved speed. This tracks with data that shows an average of 46% of fatal crashes in Hawai‘i since 2012 were related to speeding.

4.  Cuts Can Turn Into Massive Infections 

When I see someone accidentally kick the coral while swimming near it and come out of the water with a bloody wound, I make it a point to tell them about the dangers of the cut getting infected. Bacteria is everywhere in the environment and severe infections can happen from the simplest of cuts. A Kona friend of mine was diving and nicked his knee on coral. Within two weeks he couldn’t walk and was on antibiotics with a raging infection in his knee. In places like Oahu where there is more pollution, run off and sewage in the ocean, some people have gotten cuts with infections that have gone into the bone. (True Story! Link) 

“There’s no rhyme or reason why someone gets a particularly bad infection than someone else, except we know it can be prevented,” states Dr. Sarah Park, state epidemiologist at the Department of Health. She said if you do get a cut in the water, clean it thoroughly. “If there’s no soap available, just flush the hell out of it with fresh, good clean water,” said Park.

5. Stepping on A Purple Sea Urchin (Wana)

This is one of those ocean dangers that no one tells you about very often, but if you step on wana (purple spiked sea urchin) you most likely will not be walking without a limp, if you can walk at all. My husband stepped fully onto one a few years ago with his bare feet. He turned white with instant pain and moaned on the couch while dealing with the incredible pain these urchins inflict. YOu can also get them on your hands by climbing up on rocks (including the wall at Captain Cook’s monument, so don’t do that). The purple spines break off with their toxins inside your  skin and stay there embedded for days or weeks. Trust me, get some water shoes and don’t walk on shoreline rocks and in tidepools without them. If you DO get injured, here is a remedy: Soak it in vinegar.

Soaking in vinegar does three things. It makes the urchin tissues inert to bacterial feasting, kills the bacteria themselves, and dissolves the spine skeleton, which is made of the calcium carbonate stereom. Being “limestony”, this material fizzes and dissolves readily in any acid such as vinegar. Vinegar will hurt at first, but trust me, it helps and greatly reduces future damage that can be caused by leaving the spine in there whole.

6. Getting Raked Across the Reef 

As I was doing some research for this post, I found images of surfers who got raked on the reef. It’s one reason I have not yet learned how to surf because Big Island does not have the gentle easy waves of Waikiki and we have plenty o’ lava reefs to worry about hitting. After I just told you how dangerous the ocean is with the drowning, the infections from coral and the pain of touching wana, you can get all three when a wave hits you while you are near a reef!

I had an almost disastrous experience myself while snorkeling at Honaunau Bay last year. My husband and I were in a shallow area of the reef filming for a YouTube video (the stuff you will do to get a good shot, lord) and we were trying to capture images of the fish in the small waves. All of a sudden, I heard the sound of incoming surf and saw the fish scatter. It was too late to do anything when the wave picked me up and tossed me into the reef in 2 feet of water. I was wearing a bikini and all I could think of was losing my skin across the my body on the lava and coral. The wave also ripped my mask off my face and I couldn’t breathe. I was terrified that another wave would hit me again. I was able to not kick down hard to get off the reef knowing of the dangers under my legs. I DID cut myself on a piece of the reef from the body slam, but it certainly could have been worse and having my husband to grab my hand and pull me into deeper waters saved me.

Find Lifeguard Towers And Don’t Look For Caution Cones 

I didn’t write this post because I am trying to fill a content quota. I wrote it because all of these have personally happened to me and my family and friends in Hawaii. If I can save one person after they read this post, it was worth the effort. Seriously, as my resident friends say, “This is NOT Disneyland and there are NO caution cones.”  Unlike places where entities like the County, city or state can get sued for negligence when people get hurt, Hawaii is not one of them! No one gets paid to save you, besides the life guards, so here’s a safety hint: find beaches with lifeguard towers and ask them questions about the currents, rocks, and other dangers, too!

7. Having to Go Home

One of the viewers on our live sunset stream tonight suggested this one when I asked what is something that would ruin their day while here!

We love helping people with advice about the islands, especially if you plan on moving here. If you are considering moving or buying real estate, we can assist with books, guides, connections, networking, events and more. Email to join our 365 Ohana!

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The Rise of Community Supported Agriculture in Hawaii Tue, 12 Jan 2021 20:16:01 +0000 One of the BEST aspects of moving to Hawaii is being able to eat and enjoy farm fresh produce, tropical fruits and island raised meat and local caught fish. With the depletion of the nutrients in the soil on the mainland due to commercial farming techniques and mono crops, Hawaii is becoming a true food oasis and access to fresh food has never been easier.

I was just talking to my friend Dania Katz, publisher and owner of Edible Hawaii Magazine today. Dania shared that the trend used to be finding the farmer through food to table events. Now, it’s about how to access the food directly. Before the pandemic, there were only a handful of CSA’s in Hawaii. Now, Dania shared, there are over 80 CSA’s in a rapidly growing online/pick up and delivery business which is supporting many of our local farmers.

What is a CSA or Community Supported Agriculture/Food Hub you may ask?  A CSA’s mission is to produce and distribute fresh, organic produce while serving as a sustainable and social network for the surrounding community and they are flourishing during COVID days as they feed the need for “farm fresh to you” in Hawaii.

Here are CSA’s on Hawaii Island, but you can find more on any of the other islands, as well!

North Kona

CSA: Adaptations Inc

I have been a customer of Adaptations for a few years to help support local farmers AND to eat fresh! Members earn referral in-store credit when a new member signs up and drops their name (so remember to say 365Kona sent ya!) Shop online for local produce and pick up at a convenient site or opt for home delivery; what could be a simpler way to increase your intake of fresh fruits & vegetables? Add locally made dressings, hot sauce, ketchup, mustard, sauces, mushrooms, Sundog Bread sourdough, artisanal cheese, Maui Nui Venison treats, and you have your core shopping taken care of for the week.

You can choose between the basic feast and the gourmet feast. Members pick up their shares at a choice of four drop points: Kealakekua, Kailua-Kona (2), or Waimea. The basic feast contains mostly raw salad items – lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a small amount of veggies. The gourmet feast is all that plus more veggies and tropical fruit. Everything is 100% locally grown. The owners, Maureen and Tane Datta, have their own farm in Honaunau and  consolidate harvests from about 30 farmers and gardeners for weekly distribution through Fresh Feast and daily distribution to restaurants and limited stores.  Certified organic.  79-7500 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kealakekua Maureen Datta (324-6600);

SonStone Farms – Vegetable and Egg CSA

I had the pleasure of meeting the farmer/owner of this new CSA at the Pure Kona Green Market in South Kona on Sunday. He does JUST cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes and eggs. All grown on his property. (we actually did a quick video interview of him that I will share here when its done!) He is offering a chance to “pre-purchase” a set amount of food that you pay for in advance. (He does NOT have an online store). You can get 2 lbs  of tomatoes, one large head of lettuce, 2 lbs of cucumbers and one pound of mixed greens or veggies. 5 lbs is $25 a week, half share is 3 lbs at $16 a week a dozen eggs for $7.50 a week and you can choose a mix of all of that and he will bag it up and have it ready for you to pick up. You can email him directly at

South Kohala 

CSA: Ka‘Ohi Nani Farm

Ka’ohi Nani Farm has been farming organically in Hawai‘i for over 25 years. They are now in their second season as a CSA farm. They offer a variety of organic vegetables, eggs, artisan breads, and much more. Weekly newsletters, recipes, complimentary flowers and herbs delivered right to your home or business. They deliver in Waimea and the surrounding areas. Their mission is to produce and distribute fresh, organic produce while serving as a sustainable and social network for our surrounding community. We hope to achieve this mission through our CSA, farm tours, local restaurants, feeding the homeless with our angel boxes and other community connections. Their goals at Ka ‘Ohi Nani farm are to produce fresh, healthy foods for our local community, provide a quality of life for the farmers and workers, and sustain economic viability for our farm with care and respect for natures diversity. You can find them on Facebook, too.  Steve and Lark Willey, Waimea – 885-1950

South Hilo

CSA:  Island Goode’s, CSA season from May to October.  They provide fresh picked produce using organic practices. These are some of the items you may find in your box: lettuces, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, beets, radishes, carrots, potatoes, asparagus, sweet white corn, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, snap peas, snow peas, onions, string beans, wax beans, pac choy, boc choy, daikon radish, basil, oregano, papaya, passion fruit, oranges, lemons, limes, avocados, bananas and more. Everything is grown on our farm. We provide delivery to your home or business in the Downtown/Hilo area on Thursdays from 9am to 3pm. If you are not in their delivery area, you can pick up at the Island Goode’s farm on Thursday afternoon from 2pm -5pm. Please sign up with payment one month prior to the beginning of your selected CSA season or seasons. We are starting out with 20 members and will expand membership as we grow.  Contact us by email or call 808-964-2291. 27-2365 Hwy 19 Papa‘ikou,

CSA: Big Island Farm Fresh Foods (BIFFF)   Basic Box $20/week, Deluxe Box $40/week. Order before Monday at 6 pm. Deliveries on Thursdays to Hilo, Kea’au and Pahoa. Brittany and Bodhi Anderson, email:; Web:; Facebook:


CSA: Ginger Ridge Farm   Certified Organic. Pickup every Sunday from 12-3 pm. We recommend a 6-month commitment. Minimum membership is 1 month with 1 pick-up per week. Trial membership $100/month. Payments due at the first pick-up day of the membership period by cash, check or credit card. 18389 Volcano Hwy, Mountain View. Howard James (968 7622) –

CSA: Punachicks Farm  We have 6 acres of pasture in Keaau where we raise organic pastured broiler (meat) chickens for the Big Island community. We are trying to fulfill a need that we saw for more local, wholesome alternatives to factory farmed supermarket chicken.  Our chickens are raised in small groups in portable pens that are moved daily to fresh pasture, so that they can enjoy green grass, bugs, fresh air, and sunshine. We use only certified organic feed to supplement what they get on the pasture.  We believe this is a much better model than that used on confinement “factory farms”, including “big organic” brands available in the supermarket. Our chickens are slaughtered respectfully and carefully hand processed, which produces a very high quality product. The chickens are available on a consistent basis (twice a month) and can be pre-ordered and picked up at the farm on processing days.  One taste and you’ll be hooked! Please visit our website  to use our online order form, or email

If you enjoy the lifestyle of Hawaii and want more information about making a move here, please let us assist you! We offer resources/guides, access to private Facebook groups, community building events, and personal introductions to our partner Realtors and mortgage professionals around Hawaii!

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Sustainable, Master Crafted Home in Kona Paradise With Sweeping Ocean View Mon, 11 Jan 2021 23:36:28 +0000

The lot next door is part of the purchase price

Excellent Ocean Views And Privacy

 If you appreciate a high-quality master crafted home with sustainable energy features AND amazing ocean views, come see this unique property in the Kona Paradise subdivision. Built by a contractor/master craftsman as his forever home in 2007, this home features top quality materials and finishes and attention to detail throughout. Perched on a bluff with excellent ocean and year round coastal sunset views, this home is a rare find.
3 full bedrooms, 2.5 baths on a 7500 sq ft lot plus the lot next door is included adding an additional 7500 sqft of land. Just listed by the Kona Home Team (Eric Ziemelis is co-listing it!)

Price: $620,960

MLS Listing with full details: Click here


Features of this beautiful unique home include:

-Hardwood bamboo flooring
-Granite counter tops
-Cherry wood kitchen cabinets
-White washed T&G on the cathedral ceilings
-High end stainless appliances
-Laundry room with travertine flooring
– 20 photovoltaic panels with net metering
– Bamboo and travertine flooring throughout
– Custom monkey pod bar in gourmet kitchen
– Cherry wood kitchen cabinets and granite counters
– Soaring 21 foot cupola and beautiful curly ohia wood posts in great room
– Vaulted, open beamed ceilings throughout the home
– Custom hand carved mirror in master bathroom
– Custom built, ocean view tiki bar with hot and cold sink, ice maker, kegerator and refrigerator
– Huge 648+ sq. ft. garage with 200 amp service, 17′ ceilings and a bathroom with shower
– 16,000 gallon catchment tank with state of the art 3 stage filtration system (sediment, charcoal, uv)
– 360 sq. foot covered, ocean view lanai with quartzite flooring
– Solar water heater

The home sits at a comfortable 800 foot elevation and gets wonderful onshore breezes during the day and cool Mauna Loa breezes at night.
Note that this property does have a very steep driveway and an all wheel drive vehicle is recommended.

Please contact Lance Owens, the listing agent, at 808-936-8383  or to view the home.

Enjoy coastal views and sunsets!

LOCATION BENEFITS: Private beach at bottom of subdivision for great snorkeling and diving. A few miles from Hookena beach for dolphin watching, swimming, and beach play.


Ocean view tiki bar!

Exotic hardwood throughout home


Map of subdivision with location of home

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6 Things to Know About Buying A Home Sight Unseen In Hawaii Fri, 08 Jan 2021 21:36:36 +0000 An interesting confluence of trends on the mainland are having a big impact on the housing market here in Hawaii and where home prices have jumped over 20% year over year according to December 2020 statistics. Historic low interest rates combined with the trend towards buying homes in rural areas to capitalize on more space around the home and more private spaces in the homes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed demand in the Hawaii housing market to levels not seen since 2005.  Mainland homebuyers have been snapping up homes since April 2020 pushing inventory levels to a point that multiple offers are occurring frequently.

You may be thinking about trying to buy a home or land in Hawaii now that the busy holiday season is behind us, but may be in a lock down state such as California, and are unable  to look at available homes in person.

If so, we have a few tips for buying a home sight unseen, which according to a recent article in SFGate, local Realtors around the state have never seen so many homes being sold this way.

6 Things You Need to Know About Buying A Home Sight Unseen in Hawaii 

  1. Get the Right Realtor 

Interview agents that have actually sold homes sight unseen. We have sadly seen a few deals fall apart when an agent has not been able to expertly show aspects of the house that were serious red flags to a mainland homebuyer. After speaking to a variety of our REALTOR partners, we found there are various issues that influence your lifestyle that can occur at elevation, sea level or where there are high winds. Our team of knowledgable Realtors have a group of professionals they work with including inspectors, roofers, termite and pest management specialists.

Ask for an in-depth video tour and don’t have an agent just focus on the beautiful aspects of a home, but request that they show you under the eaves, below the sinks, and behind the house to check for things that can either explode into a renovation nightmare or issues that require professional and costly intervention. Having a Realtor who understands basic home construction and has followed a home inspector around many properties while asking questions is gold in making sure you have the right person on the other side of a FaceTime Live.

  1. Go on a Virtual Tour And Make A List

There are aspects of a home that go beyond a simple home tour. If the listing has a 3D virtual walkthrough tour, you can easily see views from each room and most aspects of the home as if you were actually touring it in person. Virtual tools can help you narrow down your top choices. However, to make sure you’re not submitting an offer without knowing there may be an ancient Hawaiian heiau or five barking dogs next door, it’s important to schedule a live video call with your agent. Even though you can’t be there in person, they can. And they’ll be able to answer those questions that listing photos alone cannot. Before you virtually tour the home with your agent, write out a list of as many questions or concerns you’d normally be able to see or check out for yourself. Be sure to include some of these questions during the video tour:

  • What can you smell in and outside the house? Maybe animals left their scent on the carpet or there is mildew in the home.
  • What can you hear from the house? There could be a hospital close by or excessive road noise, or dogs barking.
  • Do any appliances or features look outdated? The cabinets may look great in the listing photos because of a fresh coat of paint, but they may need to be replaced in the near future.
  • What is the internet and cell-phone service like? There could be a few carriers that don’t offer good coverage in that neighborhood.
  • What is the state of the carpeting? Again, photos can be lightened to remove wear and tear marks and stains.
  • Is there anything that stands out to you as a concern that wasn’t shown in the listing photos or 3D walkthrough?
  1. Look Beyond the Home

Do your due diligence and use Google Maps to virtually walk through the neighborhood to see what the surrounding homes look like and what’s nearby. Ask your Realtor to take you on a video tour around the neighborhood to see aspects that affect your lifestyle and quality of life if you were to live there. Things you can’t see on Google Maps like new construction or other potential concerns are things your Realtor can point out. This is also a great time to ask your Realtor about schools in the area, weather patterns, moisture levels, and things that are endemic to Hawaii.

Also consider joining online community groups, such as those on Facebook or Nextdoor, to gain local insights into the specific neighborhoods and communities from local residents.  (I have a few I can suggest!)

  1. Get Your Financing in Order 

Getting pre-approved for a loan in order to make a strong offer in a competitive market is key. Also, setting your budget is important as deciding to overbid on a home can occur and you don’t want to cut into the funds  you had hoped to use to actually move to Hawaii! I can give you a few local mortgage broker referrals so you can get your ducks in a row with your financing, so when you see the home of your dreams, you can put in an offer immediately. To get in touch with a fantastic mortgage broker whom we personally recommend and can offer financing throughout the islands, send me an email to

  1. Waiving contingencies 

9 Tips to Preparing Your Hawaiian Home for SaleIt’s a fast paced market right now. Trying to compete by waiving contingencies in hopes to beat out other buyers is not the best decision when you are buying sight unseen. In a seller’s market you want the offer to be competitive and enticing, but you may get by with waiving some less risky contingencies like an early move in. However, it can be a huge gamble and mistake to waive higher-risk contingencies, like a home inspection contingency or financing contingency. There are just too many variables that can cost you in the long run, so protect yourself in an already tricky situation so be wary of waiving certain contingencies.


6. Know the market

There is an extreme lack of available homes across Hawaii right now, so thinking you are going to come in and get a bargain is not going to happen. Home prices have increased, as have multiple offer situations, and cash offers are back in the market, too. Be prepared to make a strong and solid offer. You DO have the right to come and inspect the house in person, or have inspections done on the property while in escrow and can cancel the deal if you find something that does not work.

Sight-unseen offers will likely continue to climb in the coming months, according to Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather who predicted that by the end of the 2020 homebuying season, the majority of homebuyers would have made a sight-unseen offer.  He said, “The pandemic has changed the way many people view homes, and on top of that, the market is highly competitive. If you aren’t using this strategy, another buyer who is, could beat you to the punch.”

If you are considering buying a home sight unseen, we can connect you with one of our partner Realtors for a Zoom or phone call about your goals and the avenues to success in helping you find the right home.

Are you ready to start looking at what is on the market right now? Sign up for our free HomeBot tool to check real estate without using a Realtor until you are ready. Go to our Resources page here.

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Outdoor Restaurants and Farmers Markets In West Hawaii Thu, 07 Jan 2021 17:59:05 +0000

Upper Deck at PapaKona Restaurant

With visitors cautiously arriving in West Hawaii amid the ongoing pandemic, I have received inquiries about which restaurants in West Hawaii offer the “safest seating” with fully open air restaurants being a number one dining experience to seek out. I have also been asked which Farmers Markets are open for safe open air shopping and to also support our local farmers.

(SoapBox second-I know going to Costco is easy when you get off the plane. However, taking time to purchase fresh food from our farmers is going to be an excellent and soulful experience for you and going out to support our restaurants is more valuable than you may guess.)

Here are my suggestions for open air, open air floor plans, patio/parking lot dining and Farmers Markets in West Hawaii. Add more in the comments if you would like!


View at Canoe House Restaurant

Seriously Open Air:


Huggos on the Rocks

Kohala Coast 

Lava Lava Beach Club

Canoe House at Mauna Lani Resort

Browns Beach House – Fairmont Orchid

Covered But Breezy Open Floor Plan

Downtown Kona

Harbor House has a great view of the harbor

Don’s Mai Tai Bar -Royal Kona Resort

Papa Kona’s Restaurant

Island Lava Java


Foster’s Kitchen

Magic’s Grill offers outside dining next to crashing waves

Magics Grill at Magic’s Beach

Harbor House at the Honokahau Harbor

Kona Brewery

Ola Brew

Kohala Coast

Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas (seriously..great restaurant!)

Kuleana Rum Shack

Consider Also For Kona:

Vegan-Journeys To Good Health and Sweet Journey -(patio dining -front cover photo)

Fish Hopper- most seating near open windows with view

Jackie Rey’s – lots of seating near large open bay windows

Food Truck Friday’s at HPM Building Supply parking lot on Fridays from 4-7 pm (best food truck experience on the island!)


Enjoy Hawaii Island’s local goodness when dining at home!

Our farmers on this island and their fresh produce and speciality items are the life blood of Hawai’i Island and a driver of why people like to visit – so they can taste the unique and delectable tastes of tropical fruits and vegetables they can’t get on the mainland or in other countries people are traveling from.  Walking through most of the markets, you will not only encounter farmers, but artisans and small business owners who would appreciate your business, especially now as the island is working on recovery. 

Eating at your condo with your own view is a safe way to dine AND you can still support our local farmers!

Please wear a mask with a smile and shop and enjoy eating fresh food!

For a fun video showing the Keauhou Farmers Market near Kona AND the Hilo Farmers Market, check out the video we did in February 2020.


Farmers markets in and around Kailua Kona and Captain Cook (south of Kona).


Directions: At the intersection of Hualalai Rd. and Alii Dr., in the parking lot next to the Kona Public Library (across from Hale Halawai) in Kailua-Kona

Market days: Wednesday to Sunday from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM


Directions: Keauhou Shopping Center, fronting Ace Hardware. 78-6831 Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740-2440

Market days: Saturdays between 8:00 AM and 12 PM (noon)


Formerly known as the South Kona green market.

Directions: Located at the Amy Greenwell Botanical Gardens across from the Manago hotel in Captain Cook

Market day: Sunday between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM (HINT-get there early! Parking can be tough as this is a very popular market)

There are several farmers markets in and near Waimea. The four largest markets in Waimea are:

  1. The Waimea Town market, open Saturday between 7:30 a.m. and noon.
  2. The Waimea Homestead farmers market, open Saturday between 7 a.m. and noon.
  3. The Waimea mid-week market, open Wednesday between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 pm.
  4. The Kamuela Farmers Market, open Saturday between 7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

For more information about the Farmers Markets, Edible Hawaiian Magazine created a beautiful guide to all the Farmers Markets. 

If you find yourself falling in love with Hawai’i Island while you are visiting and want to learn more about if the island is right for you to live here, what it would take to make Hawaii home and what are the prices of  homes and more-we are here to help! Go to the Resources page to search for real estate and read my other blog posts to learn more on this site! You can also sign up for our newsletter and join our private groups. Email to learn more!

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10 New Things To Do and Discover in West Hawaii (and Volcano!) Sun, 03 Jan 2021 07:20:07 +0000 With so much focus over the past eight months on what was CLOSING in West Hawaii, I want to show you some amazing bright spots of what has been OPENING over the past few months, including a new vent at Halemaumau at Volcanoes National Park! There is lots to do, discover, eat, enjoy and support local in the list below. I invite you to share this with your friends and colleagues who live in West Hawaii and also for those planning a trip to our island, put some of these on your itineraries to visit. (Hint, live links are embedded in this post in italics)

My friends at the caldera!

1. Go see the eruption! One of the most exciting new developments that has happened in the past few weeks is the new eruption at Halemaumau Crater at Volcanoes National Park! One of the most exciting things I did in 2020 was rush up to the park and walk the Chain of Craters Road to view the caldera from the opposite side of where thousands of visitors were gathering. Although the lava is not shooting out of the side of the caldera and has formed a lava lake now, the caldera is still offering a beautiful glow and beauty of creation. Volcano House just re-opened on January 1st to take advantage of the surge of visitors wanting to spend the night in the park. They usually rent bikes (not sure if they are now) and you can ride around the park. They are only offering Take and Go food right now, but to wake up before dawn, see the stars and the glow before others get to the park is as unique an experience as you can get.

2. Check out the new restaurants in the Brewery Block! These include Umeke’s, Sushi Shiono, Willie’s Hot Chicken, and HICo Hawaiian Coffee in the newly constructed area of the Brewery Block, that also includes lower bays that house fun businesses like Soul Center and Puna Chocolate. Willie’s Hot Chicken has a bar and they are offering live music and so the entire area in the evening definitely has a fun energy!

Come and Get It at Food Truck Friday!

3. Food Truck Fridays at HPM. The owners of Pizza Rovers, a mobile wood fired pizza food truck, gathered a group of other food truck/mobile food providers for a festive Aloha Friday foodie adventure in the parking lot of HPM Building Supply from 4-7 pm on Friday nights. They are looking to create another food truck event in 2021, as well.

4. Healing Anyone? Karen Kerwitz, CMT. PTA, BS opened up her new business, Performance Bodywork at the Alii Gardens Marketplace in December. Karen offers expert level Myofascial Release Therapy and is one of those gems that move to the island with a level of knowledge and experience we are very fortunate to have locally. (Personally, she treated me for my plantar fasciitis and I saw immediate results. I highly recommend her!) Go to her website to learn more. (If you are in any type of physical pain, seriously, contact her!)

5. Red Sunsets. Let’s just embrace the VOG in Kona and enjoy the red sunsets. Not a fan? You can always head up the coast towards Waikoloa and get out of the VOG belt which seems to start dissipating around Kua Bay. Keep going and you can find some great food and views at Lava Lava Beach Club, catch a first run movie at Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas, where they will bring dinner and cocktails to your table in the theater, and see some live music at the Mauna Lani Resort on the lawn at sunset for free, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday.

Canoe House at the Mauna Lani

6. Speaking of the Mauna Lani Hawaii Luxury Resort-Auberge Resorts Collection. The resort just went through a multi-million dollar renovation and are offering for a limited time “Daycation Passes” for two which are $195, and $25 for each additional guest up to four. The pass grants you access to their pools, including the new adult pool and hot tub, food and beverage service, complimentary parking, beach access, spa access, fitness center, Kainalu Water Sports, kids activity club, cultural programming, and chairs at the beach. To reserve space, call 808-796-3800. (Make sure to reserve a table at the Canoe House and enjoy the best outdoor view for sunset in West Hawaii!) Looking for pizza to go? Halani Restaurant recently launched a Pizza to Go service, too! See flier below.

7. Papa Kona Restaurant is offering fun live music.  Do you miss live music events? Papa Kona has live music seven days a week now. Our favorite is LT Smooth on Tuesdays and Shina Ramero on Fridays. When you are there, order their tasty Avocado Fries and catch sunset at the upper level of the restaurant. The view is one of the best in Kona.  Here is the link to the music calendar 

8. Looking for Vegan food? Journeys to Good Health recently opened at the Ali’i Market place in downtown Kona. The fact they opened in the middle of a pandemic in the heart of Kailua Village is testament to the fact they saw a need and were determined to fill it. Not only do they have a great team of entrepreneurs working to make the restaurant a success that also offers pick up AND delivery, they have dessert next door with THE best macadamia milk soft serve ice cream at their Sweet Journey Soft Serve  . 

9. The opening of Old Navy! My daughter just got a job at the Old Navy opening to the public in early February. This will be a great place to shop for affordable and fun beach clothing and it will breathe new life into the old Sports Authority building which is slated to also host Island Naturals, moving there in the summer, and Verizon is moving over from another part of Kona Commons.  If you or someone you know is looking for a retail position, they are still hiring.

10. Explore and shop in the new Safeway at the now open Niumalu Shopping Center. With over 63,000 sq feet of shopping space, the new Safeway is HUGE! The rows have plenty of space for social distancing shopping, the floral department is incredible with gorgeous displays and uniquely crafted leis and arrangements. The deli counter has helped feed our hungry family during the holidays with all different kinds of gourmet sliced meats and ready made pizzas. We are waiting to see an announcement of other stores that will also go into the center. FYI: The fuel center has been pushed back to June.

Order pizza from 10 am-10 pm! Call 808-796-3896

So, you can see there are many exciting things happening that you can enjoy safely while visiting or looking for something to do if you live here. Remember if you are visiting, to bring your Aloha, keep your chemical sunscreen at home and bring mineral based sunscreen or a rash guard and keep our community safe by following mask and social distancing protocols.

If you enjoy life in Hawaii and want to consider moving here or buying a home, check out our resources page for everything you need to make a successful move to Hawaii!

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Pros and Cons of Working Remotely On The Big Island of Hawaii Sun, 03 Jan 2021 01:24:28 +0000 We sat down with one of our Realtor partners, Delania Branham, and discussed the pros and cons of working remotely on Hawaii Island. We discuss WiFi access, time zone issues, running off to a beach when work is done, and more! Watch our video and feel free to leave comments.


If you would like to search for homes that are available for sale without a REALTOR, go to our Resources page and sign up for Homebot. If you are ready to consider a move, we are offering free services to help you! Contact us today for access to private groups, resource materials and to join our “365 Ohana”.


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Life on a Very Active Volcano-REAL Hawaii Life! Mon, 21 Dec 2020 20:54:04 +0000

NPS Photo/J. Wei

Last night, Kiluea erupted with amazing steam and sulfur plumes shooting into the air as the summit water lake was vaporized by lava. Halema’uma’u crater is, once again, aglow. The National Park Service photographers captured some beautiful images of the billowing steam with the fiery orange glow of the lava.  Facebook is abuzz this morning with flaming photos of the caldera and a mix of comments around what this means for our island.

My first thought was VOG, volcanic fog, that occurs when the sulphur dioxide pours forth from the caldera like it did for years causing some of Kona’s beautiful red sunsets, but also a haze in the air. While I was bemoaning this aspect of the eruption on social media, a long time resident cajoled me for my attitude about the nature of this island.

He wrote: “Pele is revered, respected, and Her return is widely celebrated among locals and native Hawaiians alike.” That made me change my status update from one of “Woe is us, thanks 2020!” to one of “How amazing is it that we live on a land of creation and energy?!”.

A few of my business owner friends said, “The eruption translates to people wanting to come visit, which is great for business!” Perspective, right?

Hawai’i Is An Energetic Island

Visiting the caldera 12/21/20!! PC:Julie Ziemelis

When my husband and I were filming our latest video about “The Con’s of Living on Hawai’i Island” we didn’t include living on a live volcano! (But, now we are going to at least mention it!) Some people would definitely include that aspect into their views of deciding to call our island home. Talk to us about Lava Zones and how that impacts home values, mortgages and insurance!

We DID touch on the energy of the island in our video and part of that energy is due to the fact that this island is very much alive! I spoke to some scientists who put up a “listening station” on the side of Hualalai a few years ago. (I tried to find this research on Google to no avail, but I DID attend a seminar on this research at the Natural Energy Lab in 2014). They said that our island actually hums with vibration. I asked if this “humming” could be part of why people say they feel a certain energy here and why Hawai’i Island is known as the healing island.

Scientists being scientists, they said that was ridiculous, but my metaphysical and spiritual friends, said, “Of course!”. Vibrational frequencies, people! Read more from, of all things-Scientific American: The Hippies Were Right! It’s All About Vibrations, Man.”  Many residents say they just feel good when they live here and can feel the difference whenever they leave the island, and it’s not just the Aloha!

Photo credit: USGS Inside Halemaumau at 6:30 am 12/21/20

Ignore the Media Hype

As for people running downhill screaming in fear of lava coming for their homes, do not fear. During this eruption, the lava is safely contained in a VERY large caldera in the middle of Volcanoes National Park. A perfect place to respect the cultural aspect of Pele and her work on this island AND for having science working on our side to alert visitors to sulfur dioxide levels, so we know when viewing is safe.  This is NOT 2018 with Fissure 8. 

And don’t forget, that Hilo is 45 minutes from Volcano and Kailua Kona is almost two hours away, so news of impending doom for most of the island residents, is also greatly exaggerated. Instead of rushing AWAY, we actually flock TO the fresh lava at the caldera to see the glowing and molten new earth as it bubbles forth! We actually feel pretty lucky to be able to be here to see new land created! Check out this video of the lava flowing today:

Benefits of Life on Hawai’i Island

When you live here, you find yourself taking your visiting friends and relatives to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park so often that you find yourself learning more about volcanology, geology and the Hawaiian goddess Pele than you ever would have suspected! You can not help but learn the stories of the various lava flows that have occurred around the island over the past 500 years. You also find that Hawai’i Island has FIVE major volcanoes: Kohala, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Hulalalai and Kilauea, whose lava has flowed most often in the past 35 years. Our young island holds stories of indigenous plants and people which makes you respect the resiliency of all life here.

If you go to view the lava, please remember to wear a mask, as hundreds of people are gathering to capture the experience, as well and we want visitors and residents to stay safe for themselves and the community. 

Photo Credit: USGS Taken on Halemaumau caldera rim 12/21/20

If you want a fascinating  peek into the recent history of the Halema’uma’u crater eruptions, check out this link from USGS.


Wish to Learn More?

We offer advice, insight, resources, connections, community and more if you are considering moving to Hawaii. Click here to join our 365Ohana.

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6 Reasons Why You May Not Want To Move to Hawaii Thu, 17 Dec 2020 02:48:30 +0000 Are you contemplating a move to Hawaii? You probably have read numerous posts or watched videos about the “problems of paradise” including, but not limited to, the high cost of housing, being in the middle of an ocean and missing your family, “Cockroaches, Centipedes, Coqui’s, Oh MY!” and don’t forget that we also have an issue with education in the public schools that ranks us behind most states.

Beyond those oft discussed topics, let’s pick a few that will show that careful consideration needs to be taken before you decide that you’d rather have sand vs snow, conch shells vs concerts, and dolphins vs dogs.

1. If You Can’t Be Nice, You Will Be Miserable
If you don’t feel like trying to fit in, and insist on trying to change the culture to fit your world view and have not realized yet that Hawaii has a host culture, you are going to think Hawaii is a hostile place to live. Locals can see entitlement coming. And it’s not just the native Hawaiians. It’s the melting pot of all those that live here and have found a way to give each other respect and Aloha no matter what station in life people come from. On the mainland, stepping out of an expensive sports car or flashing high end jewelry may get you street cred from impressed onlookers, but if you are looking for people to katow to your bank account here, it ain’t happening. Your generosity of spirit and kindness has more value than an open credit card account.

Many of us who have been on the island for awhile will laugh and say that many people moving from the mainland don’t even know they are entitled and behave badly. Case in point, bullying the planning department employees because a permit needs to be “fast tracked” or changed. Coming in with a hard driving, “you need to make this happen for me” attitude will actually get your permit anywhere BUT the fast track. Coming in with a smile and a “Good morning. How is YOUR day going?” is going to get you much further than an impatient and brusque attitude that really translates to, “Hurry up. Can’t you see my time is more valuable than yours?” You can go one step further by saying, “Aloha kakahiaka!” (Good morning) and talk story for a bit before asking for their time to help you. Because when you realize they have the permits and you don’t, and they control how your day is about to go, you should be nice. If you can’t be nice, you are not going to enjoy living here for very long.

2. Social Issues
You don’t have to go far to see that Hawaii has a homelessness issue. Honolulu is probably the worst, as is the case in most major cities in America right now. Even in Kailua Kona, we have our band of characters that sit near the seawall in downtown or hang out near the showers on the pier. Someone noted in one of our videos that we did a good job of cutting the homeless people out of our video. They just happened to have been elsewhere and we are NOT trying to mask the problem. There ARE homeless people and people who wander around clearly needing medication and assistance. We have a highly taxed populace that wants our leaders to fix the problem and they wring their hands about what to do…just like many leaders in many cities across the US, especially in places where rising housing prices make it hard for the working poor to live. In Hawaii, there are around 11 percent of the population living below the poverty level, and about a third could be considered Hawai’i’s “Working Poor,” or “ALICE,” an acronym coined by United Way that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. Don’t you think desperation attributes to the crime on the islands? (More info)

I was asked by some people considering a move here to talk about the crime on the island. I was surprised to find that 50% of residents on Oahu worry about being a victim of crime. In Hawaii, property crime is prevalent. The state’s property crime rate (28.7) is nearly seven points higher than the national rate (22.0). So, when you have to worry about someone stealing your car or your bike whenever you leave it somewhere, it is not something you would put on your list of things you enjoy in paradise. Are people being shot and murdered all the time here? No, thank goodness.

3. Lack of Opportunity
If you have been lucky enough to have lived on the mainland your whole life having an amazing career and have saved enough to retire here and not have to work another day in your life, awesome. But if you come because you realize life is short and waiting until you are 62 to finally enjoy living in Hawaii may be a recipe for regret, your ability to find well paying, meaningful work may be slim. The new wave of remote workers may actually be a silver lining in that these folks are bringing in money from the mainland that they can spend in the local economy and also foster more entrepreneurial opportunities for others.

We can hope that these folks can bring in new ideas for residents that don’t want to have to leave to survive, because if you come here to raise your children, there is a very high probability that they cannot live here unless they want to work in hospitality. You don’t think this is an issue until your 18 year old can’t find a decent paying job that can provide the life skills to get him to the next better job. Honolulu may be a better story than let’s say Kailua-Kona or Hilo or Hamakua. The slow paced life is great until you want to do something that is not available on the islands.

4. You Can’t Always Get What You Want
Hum a few bars with me. I think this issue is probably happening more in the neighbor islands than in Oahu, and especially on Hawaii Island where there is just not as many stores to shop in. And it’s not just the stores. There are things you just CAN NOT get here, and some of those are items you will stomp around your house when you move in and realize it. Furniture. It’s expensive and many mainland stores won’t ship it here and that includes other large items from places like Wayfair. AND when you look for items in places like Target or Costco, you go home to think about it for a hot minute and then you return to find it gone, poof! Never to return or be re-ordered.

There is a saying here that goes, “If you see it and you like it, get it now.” Interesting when you think about it as a first world problem, that you cannot always get your chic Kohler sink or a slate colored Tesla, if you float on that strata. However,  you can’t always get a Medium in a cute new style at Target, or affordable kitchen rugs at Ross, or a black colored something (like an appliance!) and it comes in some crap color you hate. You have to be flexible and patient in Hawaii. If you are going to go ballistic after buying a home and you HAVE TO HAVE the things you want, sorry friend, take a chill pill or stay home.

5. Wherever You Go, There You Are
Do you know where I am going with this one? Yes, if you come to Hawaii to escape your problems, issues, failing marriage, inability to get along with coworkers, etc, most likely, you will find the same problems popping up here, too. Because, guess what? Wherever you go, there you are! I have seen PLENTY of couples move to Hawaii in the hopes of saving a marriage. What happens instead? It exacerbates the problems because moving to an island is stressful. And like a good dose of COVID19 Shelter In Place, you don’t have many friends to go visit and you spend ALOT more time together.

Same thing with anxiety, depression, and all the baggage you have internally mixed with everything else you haul to Hawaii. I had a friend who moved here alone and tried to be the best version of herself and do the things she was always afraid to try. She thought she would create a whole new experience from the one she left on the mainland. It worked for a few years and then she fell right back into being herself and she’s a bit of a hermit and being a single woman living alone on an island has its own level of “not good”.

6. Lack of Support Structure
And piggy backing off of my friends’ plight of being here alone, without the energy to constantly be out making new friends mixed in with good old fashioned social anxiety, is the fact that if you don’t make a very long, hard and consistent effort to create a community around you, you will be not just be lonely, but ALONE. I see divorced older women coming to Hawaii to catch a fresh start. I see single moms coming to give their kids an agrarian lifestyle and leave the sadness behind hoping everything will work out ok. I also see people coming here to heal- from whatever the hell just happened to them on the collapse, painful relationships with parents and people, etc. Then guess what? (See Number 5) Then you find yourself dining alone during the holidays or watching sunsets alone and worse.

I had a friend who moved here and she ended up in the hospital for days with diverticulosis. She had only been here a few weeks and when she realized that no one, besides her husband could come and comfort her in the hospital during a very low time in her life, it scared her and she moved back to Arizona. I also helped a woman who came here with two young children and her husband was being abusive. She spent the night in a woman’s shelter and quickly realized there is NO housing for families in distress here. When you live in a desirable market, beds and rooms are income generating spaces and not available for those in need. And because of the need from the locals, not much is left over for the folks who just arrived.

Reality Bites, Like a Good Coral Cut 

What can I say after writing this rather depressing and honest depiction of Hawaii life? You need to find your peeps. Seriously, it’s all about the people. Even if you think you are the Lone Wolf and think you can handle it, you never know when you find yourself with a deep coral cut that turns into a nasty infection and then you can’t walk and take care of yourself. Yes, that happened to an acquaintance of mine. Or you find yourself on the road at night with a broken down car or you hit a pig or a goat and can’t get anyone out there from AAA to help. Yep, that happened with a couple who rented our SUV.

Shit Happens to People Here

You wonder why the Aloha spirit is such a valued commodity? Being able to call someone to come save your ass is more valuable than you can ever imagine when you live on an island after you have left your support structure 2500 miles away. So, I just want you think about it. Because no one told us this stuff when we happily boarded a plane and didn’t realize how much we had taken our in-laws, college friends, and long time neighbors on a distant shore. Far away.

We backed up this post with a video to give you more info.


365 Ohana

To help incoming new residents to the island, we have created the 365 Kona Newbies and the 365 Hilo Newbies groups, and the “365Kona’s I’m Moving to the Big Island and Buying A Home” group on Facebook. Helping people find connection is GOLD. More gold than you would ever realize, actually. I hope someone on the other islands can offer some Aloha to newcomers like I have after my own bout with many of the above issues with “friend finding support groups”. If you are coming to Hawaii Island, join our 365Hui and we can help you find a safe place with folks going through the same thing. And we foster Aloha, too!

If you are interested in moving to Hawaii Island and want to take advantage of our “365Ohana Package” email me at I can help you get into my Facebook groups, suggest other community group pages, provide resources materials, and make introductions to professionals and others who can help make your life, move and buying a home much easier.

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What You Need To Know About Buying A Condo In Hawaii Thu, 17 Dec 2020 01:10:35 +0000 Are you thinking about buying a home in Hawaii? Hawaii Island has a hot housing market making condos an alternative to single family homes. We have received so many questions about the ins and outs of buying a condo on the island, that we sat down with one of our REALTOR partners, Delania Branham, eXp Realty, and give you the scoop on HOA’s, pros and cons of buying a condo, what you need to know about CC&R’s/House Rules/Insurance and more. This valuable discussion will help you on the road to your decision to buy a condo.


Here is more info that I wrote about condos that you may find helpful beyond the video:

Homeowners Association (HOA) fees are generally looked upon as a financial headache when purchasing a condo or homes within certain neighborhoods in West Hawaii. However, residents and tenants forget that when the pool stays clean, the landscaping stays vibrant and someone is providing security for them, that those fees are paid for by HOA dues. In light of a few comments LUVA Real Estate has heard from would be homebuyers on the mainland wondering why West Hawaii has “expensive” HOA fees, let’s cover a few of the basics.

Here are the expenses that are included in most condo/neighborhood HOA fees:

  • Flood, fire, liability and natural disaster Insurance
  • Landscape Maintenance
  • Pool Maintenance
  • Roof and Exterior Repair/Replacement Substructure
  • Plumbing/electrical
  • Property Management/Security
  • Garbage/Recyling
  • Pest Management
  • Cable (sometimes)

Consider HOA fees as a forced savings account for a rainy day when aging plumbing and roofing has to be fixed or replaced. If you own a home, are you putting money aside each month to pay for the eventual replacement of your roof or taking down a damaged tree or if suddenly, you are plagued with an insect infestation? Here in Hawaii, all of that can happen due to our tropical weather, humidity and life on an island. The HOA dues handle all the maintence issues for you and you can sleep easy knowing it is all being managed and paid for.

Talk to your Realtor and mortgage professional about the true cost of homeownership and look ahead financially. When considering a property, ask questions and do your homework. Check the Board minutes and financial reports of any HOA that you may be considering joining. Are they in the red or black? How have they handled the major repairs, are there special assessments and how frequent do they happen? Checking the financials will give you a VERY good lens into the health of an HOA and provide possible warning signs, as well. You should also find out how often fees have increased over time, and by how much.

If you can, obtain a printed history of HOA dues by year for the past 10 years. Fees for an HOA are typically increased no more than annually. HOA increases are customarily mapped out three to five years in advance, using estimates of the future costs of utilities, labor, maintenance, and more. Examine these projections if they’re available. Since they’re only estimates, you may also wish to check the amount by which fees are permitted to increase every year under the HOA’s bylaws.

For further help in taking the next step, contact us directly at and join our 365Ohana, where we offer resource guides, Facebook groups for buying and making connections and community before you arrive and more! You can also check out the resources page on Subscribe to our real estate channel on YouTube for more in depth and insightful information about home buying in Hawaii!

Aerial view of Keauhou condo complexes along Alii Drive in Kailua Kona

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