Chapter Descriptions

Introduction

The introduction speaks of the inspiration that brought this book to life; states the author's purpose in writing it; introduces the concepts discussed in the book; and explains the author's focus on the Big Island of Hawai'i.

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Chapter 1, The Dream

Who among us has never dreamed of moving to Hawai'i? It's a safe bet that most of the folks who have ever visited these magical Islands have at one time or another fantasized about staying here forever. It's hard to go back to the old job in the city after spending a week or two tasting Island life, playing in the warm, clear ocean, experiencing beautiful tropical nights under swaying palm trees, and especially enjoying the quiet, laid-back lifestyle of the Big Island. This chapter explores the dream: what it is and why it works so well for so many.

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                Chapter 2, The Realities

                This is the chapter some friends of the author recommended leaving out. "Too negative," they said. But at the same time, they asked why on earth
                would anyone want to write a book that encourages even more people to move to Hawai'i. This is the chapter that makes it clear why Hawai'i is not
                everyone's Paradise. To the newcomer not already living a life of Aloha, adjusting to Island life can be difficult, and for some, impossible.
                 
                There is an old saying here that Hawai'i in general, and the Big Island in particular, is a cruel hostess to those who should not be here. Chapter 2
                explains how and why this works. The chapter explores a number of different challenges to consider and offers you some tools with which to evaluate
                your own personal "Island-life compatibility."New to this chapter and throughout the Third Edition are the issues of how the huge influx of new
                transplants from the Mainland is changing the face of Hawai'i, and the responsibilites these new folks must accept in becoming a participating part
                of the Aloha Culture.
                 

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Chapter 3. Finding Your Own Special Place

The Big Island of Hawai'i is indeed big. It is over twice the size of all the other major Islands combined. The Big Island offers an incredible variety of places to call home. You get to choose from one of many quaint, small towns or villages; the city of Hilo, one of the most livable places on the planet and the home of the Hilo Campus of the University of Hawaii; the cool, forested, higher-elevation communities reminiscent of the Pacific Northwest; oceanfront villages where it seldom rains and the temperature hardly ever dips below 70 degrees; open desert with miles of grasses and prickly-pear cactus and views that go on forever; beautiful residential communities situated in lush, tropical forests; or maybe even a home or small farm in a place so remote you need a four-wheel-drive vehicle to get there. This chapter gives some solid info that will help tremendously in making your choices, including an explanation of why we're telling you there are actually still under-$200,000 homes in this place with the reputation for having some of the highest housing prices in the country. Actually, as of this writing there are homes for under $100,000!

You'll learn the differences between shopping for real estate in Hawai'i and on the Mainland. You'll discover the differences between leasehold and fee simple properties and the meanings of all the cryptic little abbreviations in the real estate classifieds. There's a thorough discussion on the buying vs. building issue, and another on the pros and cons of owner-built homes. And there's more on shopping on your own as opposed to working with a realtor. You'll learn about surveys and "pin finders," and about many more subtle-but-important real-estate details specific to Hawai'i.

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Chapter 4. Your Virtual Tour

The Virtual Tour will take you on a guided journey all the way around the Big Island, stopping off in each main village and community and there's a discussion on each spot along the way. Covered are general physical descriptions of the area, weather, demographics, livability, peace vs. noise and crime, and cost of housing. The purpose of the Tour is to allow you to "experience" each place to enough of a degree that your search can be limited to a few favorite contenders. Most people know up front if they'd like to live in a place where the temps drop into the forties on many nights and some days. Conversely, if you already know that you're looking for a place within a short drive to the ocean but not too far from Hilo, the Tour can save you lots of driving. The tour admittedly lingers in Hilo, because Hilo is the author's favorite little city in the world. Also covered in the Tour are lists of all of the many subdivisions. Not each one is described separately, as there are so many, but they are grouped for easy location and there is a general description of the areas of each.

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Chapter 5. Making the Big Move

For those who are serious, Chapter 5 covers the Big Move from the planning stages right through unpacking your container. From the experience of many who have gone before, you'll learn how to decide what--and what not--to bring with you. You'll learn how to get it here, who the shippers are, the costs, how to pack your container for the long and sometimes rough journey across the ocean, and whether or not to use a container at all. You'll discover some secrets about moving for nearly free, too. Whether or not to ship cars to Hawai'i is always a big decision, and this chapter give you the tools and numbers to make the decision easy. A tougher decision involves pets. Unfortunately, it has always been very expensive to bring pets into Hawai'i, and although the quarantine periods have been eliminated if you follow the correct procedures, the costs are still high. It's all covered in this chapter. The chapter concludes with some discussion on kids and schools, and the steps you might want to take to insure a graceful transition for your young ones.

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Chapter 6. Shopping: Keeping the Costs Down

Here's a favorite topic for many, including Hawai'i visitors. Most visitors are firmly convinced that Hawai'i's prices on about everything are astronomical. Not so! Chapter 6 explodes that myth for good. Yes, there are some items here that cost more than they do on the Mainland, and they are identified. But then, there are also expenses that are so much less here that it all balances out. In this chapter, you'll learn how to keep your expenses for everything down to the bare minimum. Shopping secrets are not the same here as they are on the Mainland. The author tells how he and his wife furnished several vacation rentals for very little money, how to find the best deals on everything from cars to clothes, and the tricks of successful mail-order shopping.

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Chapter 7. Income Opportunities

Here's another favorite topic, and what you'll read here clearly defies the usual opinions of "no work available in Hawai'i." You'll learn that there is indeed lots of work available and that competent help is actually in short supply. Exposed are many fields in which there is a need qualified help, and lots of business opportunities for those inclined to work for themselves.

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Chapter 8. Retirement Opportunities

The Big Island is a fertile field for retirement, and Chapter 8 tells why. Not only is Hawai'i kind to its seniors just because older folks are respected in this culture, but there are many opportunities awaiting the creative retiree. For those with a moderate equity in a Mainland home, the reasonable housing prices here make retirement to a paid-for home easy. There are more opportunities listed for those who still need to generate a modest income in their retirement years (like this author).

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Chapter 9. Health Care in Hawai'i

The health care issue is a Big Deal on the Big Island at this time. There are not enough primary care physicians for our rapidly expanding population and this is causing some real problems. All medical facilities are working at overload. The general overview of Hawai'i Island's medical picture is in the book, but we suggest periodically checking the
Update Page for new developments.

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Chapter 10. Final Thoughts

The last chapter summarizes the basics of the book: For anyone contemplating a move to Hawai'i, the first and most important thing is to become very clear that this is indeed the right path for you. There's more to living in Hawai'i than warm, sandy beaches and palm trees. Chapter 10 brings together the essential elements of a sound decision and if it comes to making the move, a smooth and gracious transition.

Affordable Paradise closes with a Resource Guide that offers contacts for everything from real estate needs to rust prevention, an Author's Bio, and comprehensive Index to help you easily find anything in the book!

Available in Print, Kindle and Nook!

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