Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Research begins

Now we have our vision, it's time to dive into research. What schools will the girls attend? Where will we live on the island? What kind of home can we afford to build? Will we buy a fixer upper or will we start with raw land? What will we do to earn an income? Will this be a disaster for my plan to simplify or the answer to so many prayers?

These and many other questions occupy my thoughts day and night. I have to find the answers before breaking the news to the rest of my family and friends or they will all think we have gone bonkers.

So many hours spent on Hawaii Life for the most up-to-date, easy to navigate Hawaii real estate listings. Lauren, our 14-year old, is now in charge of researching schools. I also spend many hours digging up any information I could find on Hawaii schools, which often leads to complete frustration and tons of uncertainty. My kids will be the ultimate "haoles", and from everything I am reading, this is not to be taken lightly.

Our real estate findings on the island are surprising, incredible even. Three acre lots for under $20,000? Some of them with structures for under $100,000? Are we missing something. Is this the best kept secret in real estate or is there a reason everything appears to be such a bargain? I have lived all of my life in the Southwest and Western United States and finding real estate there at these prices meant you would not be living in nice areas.  Finding something "livable" near the water or decent schools; forget about it!
On our flight to Hawaii

Since we can't immediately pick up and go to Hawaii to do first-hand research, we continue our on-line scouring and I found an incredibly informative book for first-time visitors: The Big Island Revealed. Lauren finds several options for schools. She is mostly interested in extra-curricular activities and electives offered, I however, want to know about the curriculum, test scores and college preparation.

It is now February and Spring break is just around the corner. Al's father is not doing great with Alzheimer's and we know we need to get to Hawaii to visit with him and check out the facilities he has been moved to. Trying to save as much money as we can, the girls will be staying home with Auntie Christy. Al and I book our flight on Hawaiian Airlines. This will be our first time leaving the girls for an entire week and my anxiety is already raging. This will be a very important visit with Dad, and an opportunity to continue our research of the island first-hand.

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