Cheapest Places to Live in Hawaii | | I Love Moving

Looking for Cheapest Places to Live in Hawaii? Here Are the 7 Most Affordable Cities for Living

Posted Country Guides / February 8, 2021
Michael Vaughan

Moving through the Bay Area, Michael works as a freelance writer in the moving and transportation industry.

The Aloha State is the dream of many due to its unrivaled nature. Yet, the cost of living can get high, which is why some people give up on their paradise adventure. We compiled a list of the cheapest places to live in Hawaii to show you that not all communities on the Islands are exorbitantly expensive, despite clear Ocean waters, sandy beaches as far as meets the eye, and a laid-back approach to life.

The Paradise of the Pacific consists of eight main islands and countless small islets, so you won’t be lacking in opportunities to find a place that fits you both financially and in other aspects. Besides, many people try hopping around before they put down roots in one specific area. If you’d like to get a gist of the prices and other amenities on offer, this might be a great idea. We’ve done it for you, though, and we present you the best the Isles can give you without making ends meet.

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Can You Live in Hawaii Cheap?

It’s true that the Islands of Aloha are more expensive than most mainland areas. Yet, if you do research, you’ll see that there’s a logic to it. Firstly, the cost of living in Hawaii is higher because the majority of food and products have to be imported and shipped from afar, which adds to the final expense. Besides, the vast touristic potential of the archipelago also increased the prices in some parts of the Isles.

But, there are hidden and not-so-hidden corners where you can find affordable housing, high average income, and some of the best moving overseas destinations in terms of standard of living.

There Are Ways to Save and Have a Home on the Beach in the Tropical Paradise

Costs and comparisons are quite significant as they give you a picture of every destination. But, lifestyle and spending priorities also play a major role in adjusting to living overseas. If you want to stretch your dollars while getting the most of your new life and enjoy high-quality accommodation, food, activities, and free-time trips, you must know some expert tips and tricks that can allow you just that – guilt-free living on the budget. Take a look at the following video if you’d like to see how you can get the optimal value for your money in the Ocean escapist paradise.

What Is the Cheapest Island to Live On in Hawaii?

If you’re moving to Hawaii, you’ll be tempted to choose the Island first, and that’s only natural. They’re all completely different and have their own quirks and highlights, so you should look at the bigger picture and decide where you’d like to be the most. Still, you should remember that life is not a vacation, so if you went head over heels on your sojourn, it doesn’t mean you’d be as thrilled in the long run.

As we mentioned above, the Islands differ, and it’s the place you should be seeking because some islands possess both the most expensive and the most inexpensive locations. Still, roughly speaking, these Islands have the largest potential for affordable living:

  • Oahu – The home to the capital of Honolulu is actually the cheapest Hawaiian Island to live on. The cost of living in the capital is 16% cheaper than in SF, and almost 20% lower than in NYC, according to Expatistan, so if you’re used to bustling US metropolitan areas, Honolulu will even be a financial holiday. And, you can further reduce your expenses on Oahu if you head up north and settle in some of the mesmerizing small village communities.
  • Hawai’i – The Big or the Orchid Island is the largest one by area, and it also boasts some less costly jewels. The renowned Hilo is located here as well as some other towns known for breathtaking scenery and budget-friendly prices. And if you want to be in the outdoor capital plus drink some fabulous coffee, moving to Kona is just for you.
  • Moloka’i – A great candidate to answer the question which Hawaiian Island has the lowest cost of living, this less known gem in the tropical fairytale is for those who envision the best places to live abroad with family as low-key, without crowds, authentic, and full of hikes to remember. Home to Kalaupapa or the world’s tallest seacliff, most towns here cannot be found in online databases. Yet they do promise a rest from the rat race and constant spending cycle.

What Are the Most Affordable Places to Live in Hawaii?

If you have an idea of where you’d search for a new home in one of the friendliest countries in the world, you’re ready to dig into towns and communities that can give you the best of the best. Here are our top picks.

Hilo on Hawaii Island

Whatever group you fall under, adjusting to a new country won’t be a problem here because Hilo is not only one of the principal touristic capitals but also a Mecca for astronomy lovers, hikers, swimmers, and all in between. It tops all lists such as ours and is also among the top five places with affordable real estate costs. Hilo offers diverse and top-rated housing and at the median price of 330,000 USD. And it also has food prices significantly lower than most of its neighbors due to the abundance of locally grown produce. Transportation options are also not a spending nightmare since the Big Island is the most affordable and well connected in terms of traffic.

Honolulu or the Capital of the Aloha State Guides You Through All on Offer

The capital on Oahu has one of the largest median household income rates in the Pacific Paradise (around 60,000 USD.) This makes it appealing for large numbers of newcomers who come here to choose from mind-blowing housing options. From small rentals in the Downtown area to lavish mansions, it’s all available. The house value is about 550,000 USD, but it gets much higher or lower depending on what you choose.

You won’t need an extensive list of what to pack when moving abroad if you go for Honolulu, also known as the Manhattan of the Pacific, because there’s nothing you can’t buy in it. And, if you’re scared you’ll be twiddling your thumbs in your affordable house – forget about it. The city is a paradise for foodies, surfers, hikers, Disney lovers, history buffs, club-goers, and everyone who is bringing a good mood. If you’re dreaming of learning a language abroad, there’s no better place either since the city is chock-full of all races and nationalities. Check out some of the numerous free networking opportunities and brainstorm how to save money with someone new and exciting.

Kahului or the Best of Maui

Maui can get expensive, but its pearl Kahului begs to differ. You should absolutely not exclude this treasure from your moving abroad checklist, be it for a permanent home or a trip. You’ll be in the States, but life here might make you believe like you actually pulled off moving across the world and became a character in an exotic tale. And native plants and indigenous birds will add credit to that assumption.

Still, you can also snap out of it in case you do desire an urban kick since it’s also a commercial hub with shopping facilities to your heart’s content, artistic and performing institutes, and some progressive schools. Not a bad solution for those who can’t yet immerse themselves in the luxuries of moving abroad alone and have families whose interests differ from their own.

And it doesn’t come at an unbearable price since the median household income here is about 63,000 USD, and the median house price tag amounts to 480,000 USD.

Where Are the Cheapest Houses in Hawaii?

If you started to plan how to move overseas, this question must have crossed your mind. And as we mentioned so far, the answer is not straightforward since the jewel in the US crown is such a diverse place, and you can’t really escape doing thorough research and shopping around before you hit the jackpot. Still, we went out of our way and found some more perfect ‘hide-outs’ where you’ll be able to buy a house and learn how to live in another country without going bankrupt.

Towns on Oahu Such As Kaneohe and Waianae

Oahu has been mentioned a couple of times already because its diversity is hard to exhaust. If you’re not into the dazzling lights of Honolulu, you can revel in learning how to move to another country, ok, another part of your own enormous country, in some of the stunning smaller towns. Check out these two:

  • Kaneohe – This golfer’s paradise is also the only spot here where you can enjoy a barrier reef and one of a kind botanical city garden with collections of plants from Africa and Asia. Though the house price is a bit on the higher end (around 628,000 USD,) the average family income can support it and is actually above the US average (around 82,000 USD.) And since it’s located in the heart of the Gathering Place, which is a meeting point for all islanders, buckle up and prepare for breaking the language barrier in any language you think of.
  • Waianae – This strip of gorgeous beaches with friendly turtles might completely take your mind off money. But, if you do think of it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised since Waianae is one of the rare places where rent goes below 1,000 USD per month. And, if you manage to arrange employee relocation, you’ll be glad to learn that the average median income is about 62,200 USD while a house in the city can be purchased for 300,000 USD on average.

If You Love the Best of Both Worlds, Pick Ewa Beach

Another of Oahu’s local specialties, Ewa Beach is perfect if you’re single and not moving to another country for love. It was voted the supreme spot for singles in Aloha State multiple times, and the great thing is that you can seek romance without staying alone and penniless in the end. Jokes aside, this corner of the Pacific is brimming with pristine nature, sandy beaches, and casual social hubs. The median house price is about 500,000 USD, and you can also find a lot of cute condos to rent.

Waimea on the Garden Isle Is Magical

Lastly, the Island of Kaua’i is known to be quite expensive, but this quaint city prides itself on its real estate market, and unique houses can be found for 500,000 USD and up. This one is for those who want an adventure off the beaten path since it is close to hikes for thrill-seekers, tropical forests, and the Grand Canyon of the Pacific – the Waimea Canyon. If you want to avoid the crowds, it’s also an amazing choice, and you’ll find it easier to learn how to keep in touch with friends once you’re free from the constant buzz of new people.

Knowing the Cheapest Places to Live in Hawaii, What Is the Cheapest Way to Move to Hawaii?

In the end, whichever cheapest place to live in Hawaii you decide on, you won’t regret it because the Pacific State is a once in a lifetime experience that can give you a fresh perspective and all rest you’ve been yearning for. And if you book top-rated movers who can help you finish international moving by sea or international moving by air, as well as prepare you for the journey with efficient packing services that include boxes and moving supplies, it’ll only get easier. For special valuables, custom crating can save the day, and for bulky items such as boats, there’s no better solution than oversized freight. Finally, nobody is forgetting about your precious four-wheeler, which is why you can book professional overseas vehicle shipping. And if you don’t know yet whether you want to move all your belongings, the storage service is at your disposal. The Aloha State is closer than ever and, with the right budget planning, more attainable than ever too.

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