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Six Things to Know Before Moving to Hawaii | PCS To Hawaii

Posted by admin on September 6, 2022

1) Hawaii has a High Cost of Living

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Hawaii is the most expensive state to live in. However, as a member of the military PCS’ing to Hawaii, there are loads of ways to manage this burden. Not only will you get BAH but you’ll also receive COLA.

If you’re concerned about finances, you may want to consider buying over renting. While buying a home is a large financial undertaking, there are a few advantages to buying here in Hawaii. For starters, the VA Home Loan limit in Hawaii is $765,600 with 0% down. But first-time loan users and those with fully-restored entitlements have no limit on their VA loan.

Homes on Oahu are continually appreciating in value, so if you buy, you gain equity that you could get back when you sell. If you choose to rent, your BAH goes straight to a landlord. Additionally, because you’re in the military, you can actually MAKE money while you’re in escrow. You’ll start receiving BAH and COLA while you’re living in TLA. Once you find a home your first mortgage payment will not be due until 30 days after closing – that’s one month of extra income!

2) Always Carry Your Military ID

As we mentioned, Hawaii’s expensive. Good news! As a member of the military you’ll have access to a variety of discounts at hotels, restaurants, and attractions across the state. There are some places you’ll even get in for free! Be sure to ask for military discounts at gyms and shops too. Being that Hawaii has large military presence, there are even mom-and-pop stores that offer discounts to our men and women in uniform. Just be sure to have your military ID as proof.

3) Remember You’re on an Island

Once you’re here, you’ll see a lot of comforts and conveniences that are familiar from the mainland. We have Walmart, Target, Costco – we even have Whole Foods! But, certain things are not available to ship here or shipping takes longer. Yes, you can get your Amazon Prime deliveries, but expect it to take about a week to get here.

It’s also important to consider this distance when traveling. It takes roughly five hours to get to Los Angeles, seven hours to get to Dallas and ten to eleven hours to get to New York. As you plan leave, you’ll want to consider this. While traveling to the mainland might take some time, inter-island travel is really convenient. You can also consider traveling to Asia, Australia, and New Zealand while you’re stationed here – travel times are long, but the flights are much shorter to get to these places compared to flying from the mainland.

PCS to Hawaii | Military Families - Cat & Ohana

If you’re thinking about living on base, you need to make sure that your housing allows pets and if pets are OK, you’re limited to the number you can own. If you have a dog, there are certain breeds that are prohibited from living in military housing. These are pit bulls (American Staffordshire terriers and Staffordshire bull terriers), Rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, chow chows, and wolf hybrids. If your pup is one of these breeds, you might want to consider renting or buying.

4) Think about Temporary Lodging & Flights

Prices and protocols for flying with pets will be airline specific – check with the airline prior to your flight to confirm if and how to bring your pet along. Because Hawaii is far, you may have to break up the trip with a layover. The military does not pay for you to relocate your pet, however, the SPCA might be able to help. They have grants to provide financial assistance to military personal moving with their pets.

When you move to Hawaii, there’s a good chance you won’t have your housing arranged immediately. You’ll want to make sure you find a pet-friendly hotel on Oahu. Here’s a list to help you out.

5) Will you Rent or Buy?

Finding pet-friendly rentals can be difficult and this is certainly an incentive to buy a home. For more information on whether you should rent or buy, check out our blog post here.

PCS to Hawaii | Military Families - Dog

6) Consider Paying for Extra Help

Let’s face it, moving can be stressful. To avoid the added anxiety of relocating your pet, think about hiring someone to help. Island Pet Movers is a veteran-owned company that’s dedicated to helping you PCS to Hawaii with pets. Reach out directly for a quote.

Your pets are a vital contribution to your home and we hope this helps you ease the burden of moving them to Hawaii. Once they’re here, they’ll love the beaches, parks and hikes – they can even try surfing!

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