Moving To Kauai: What I Wish I Had Known

When first moving to Kauai, here are few things I wish I had known before I got here.  

I’ve wanted to write this post for some time and today, a comment on another post got me going.  This may be short, but hopefully very helpful.

(please note, what I share here is my opinion and experience and may or may not be yours)

In June 2018, I’ll have been living on Kauai for 3 years.  Along the way there is a LOT I wish I had known when first moving to Kauai in 2015.  Sure, I saw posts, and watched threads, and read up on what people share, but it was hard to know what was true or not. 

Here are few things that come to mind if you are considering moving to Kauai.

  1. Ship your stuff in plastic storage containers
    I truly wish I had known this. I moved from Las Vegas where it was dry and had NO idea what humidity did to things like cardboard boxes.  In Hawaii, they are good for temporary use but don’t seem to be too great for long-term.The moisture just softens the boxes and they eventually fall apart.  Never mind the bugs get in really easy and seem to like the boxes.Since moving here, I’ve been working to buy plastic storage containers. The do sell them here, the challenge is, they aren’t as cheap as what you’ll find where you live now. When I moved, I could have likely found these at Wal-Mart for $4 each but see them here on Kauai for around $8. (I;m talking large gallon ones that are good for storing things) I did score a find at Costco recently where I could get 3 for $13 but they aren’t the deep ones.As soon as I bought a 2nd set, I saw a post on Kauai Buy and Sell where they were going for $2 bucks each and were the kind with lids that open and close (see picture)
  2. Leave the leather, suede, etc on the mainland unless you know you’ll get humidifier or something for your closet. Coming from Las Vegas, didn’t have to deal with closet moisture and pulling out something to wear only to find mold on it.  I don’t have pictures, but nasty stuff happened to my leather jacket and purse, and suede shoes. Most of all… absolutely NO wish to wear that stuff here. Life is way simple here
  3. Seriously – don’t bring much with you.  I did not listen to this. I was purging a childhood home and dealing with the emotions of leaving everything I knew behind and I packed way too much. Cost me $4000 to move it.Yes, things do cost a little more here on Kauai but you can work around that AND, you may find you just don’t need as much. Life is very different and what you lived with before is just not needed here.  I am glad I kept the mementos that had meaning but seriously have NOT worn any of the tons of jeans, sweaters, sweatshirts, socks and shoes I packed. I honestly live in the lightest fabric clothes possible and wear slippers (flip-flops) ALL year-long
  4. If you can, buy a house right away when moving to Kauai. Renting is a nightmare.I was reluctant to even say this, but I wanted to share my experience.   I kept my home in Las Vegas as a rental and I brought my dog and cat with me (daughter too).  I had heard that renting with pets was going to be a challenge and it is true.  What I didn’t know, is that renting here period, is a challenge. First off, its way more expensive than you’d think.  Expect to pay at least $1500-1800 for a 1 bedroom without utilities in most cases and if you need something bigger, you are looking at $2200 or more. Now, this does depend on where you are looking on the island (Kauai). If you don’t mind living on the far west end of the island where the PMRF (Pacific Missile Range Facility) you can find some very affordable housing. Things Will Change:If you choose to go with cheaper housing in areas not close to major shopping chains (Wal-Mart, Costco, Kmart, Ross, and the Mall), the challenge will be, the distance it takes to get into town for shopping, or business.

    You may be thinking, no problem, I don’t mind the drive, it’s a small island! I’m here to tell you, once you acclimate to Kauai living, it will feel like the longest trip ever (especially if you encounter traffic which, you will)I live in Kapaa and the thought of driving to Waimea, Kokee (mountains) or even Hanalei feels like a major road trip.  It will take 1+ hours to go either way and that isn’t round trip. 

    Back to housing. My thought when I moved to Kauai was that I wasn’t really sure where I wanted to live. It turns out I was right.  Had I gone with the first affordable house Id be living in a whole other part of the island.  My first rental home was in Koloa but ended up in Kapaa when the landlord sold the house. 

    I LOVE Kapaa and now know I want a house in the Homesteads here. 

    If you are thinking about moving to Kauai (Or any other island), seriously consider visiting and looking into owning as quickly as possible. Do your best to move here with a house ready to go and you’ll find life is much easier. 

    Right now, Kauai Real Estate is crazy with minimum house price $600,000+ and available housing inventory in median range very low. Houses going up for sale don’t stay listed long. 

    If you can afford a million dollar home, you’ll be fine but you aren’t likely reading this post if that’s the case 🙂 

I hope you’ve enjoyed just a few things I wish I had known when initially moving to Kauai.  If you’d like to see pictures and videos I share, come like and check out my facebook page

Moving here soon, shoot me a question and I’ll see if I can be of value. 


Regina L Floyd

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