Busy days…Some costs for life on this exquisite island…An open house with a view!…

Yesterday we visited an open house for which we’ve included several photos today. This is this fabulous view from the lanai of the house of Hanalei Bay.

Yesterday, when we visited an open house in Princeville, we were reminded of how expensive living in the Hawaiian Islands can be. Sure, we’ve wondered what it would be like to live in Kauai permanently. Almost every visitor may ask themselves the same question. Who wouldn’t want to live in paradise permanently?

As we’ve described many times in our posts, we have no interest in settling down now or in the near future, not even on this glorious island. But, as many tourists consider their options for the possibility of living in Kauai they must also consider the high cost of living in the Hawaiian Islands.

The view of the yard and pool of the open house we visited yesterday.

Today, we’ll share a few costs with you and will continue to do so as we continue during our extended stay with 101 days remaining until departure. It’s hard to believe that by this Sunday, we’ll have been here an entire month. 

Luckily, long ago we’d paid our entire rent for the four months in this wonderful condo which we couldn’t be more thrilled to have pinned down for this extended period. Although small, with only four rooms, we’re content with the space that works well for the short term for the two of us. 

In each direction, the view keeps on giving.

In reality, this is all the space we’d ever need, except, and I stress “except,” if this was a year-round permanent home. We’d eventually feel cramped. But, for many living on fixed incomes, a small space is all that is affordable and, the price one pays to live in paradise. 

With the rent paid in full, our only other expenses are the rental car, fuel, groceries, and entertainment (including dining out). With the rental car under $700 a month, fuel under $75, groceries to be determined, an occasional tour, and dining out, we expected we’d be spending an additional $2500 a month at most for the four months (excluding rent already paid).

The living room is long and somewhat narrow.

Little did we anticipate we’d spend so much on groceries keeping in mind that we eat only one major meal a day plus Tom’s occasional breakfast to hold him over. 

With my way of eating, I rarely feel hungry during the day and I’m not one to eat when not hungry. The human body is masterful at informing us when we need food. I pay careful attention to those signals responding accordingly when necessary. 

Most often, houses sold in Princeville include furnishings. In this case, the house was relatively empty.

As a result, one would think our grocery bill would be considerably less than others who may prepare something to eat three or four times a day. However, the difference for us is the higher cost of grass-fed meat, free-range organic chicken and eggs, mostly organic vegetables and cheeses. 

We’ve already spent $1927 for groceries in the first month (including non-edible groceries) and $212 for dining out, adding more to that total tonight when we’re meeting more new friends at a local dining establishment.  The total thus far is $2139, which is high for two.

Den or dining room.  Tom’s shoulder in the photo.

Sure, included in that total is enough toilet paper, paper towels, zip lock bags, and laundry soap to last us the entire four months (due to an initial Costco run). 

View from the large lanai on the second floor.

At this rate, we anticipate we’ll spend close to $8000 for our entire period in Kauai which is $2000 over our budget of $6000. What was I thinking to anticipate only $1500 a month for groceries and dining out?

The en suite master bath.

You may ask why I don’t simply take four times what we’ve spent thus far to estimate the grand total? The reason; our first grocery trip in any new location requires an additional expenditure to stock up on the basics including the above-mentioned paper products and other household supplies. Once, those are purchased the monthly expenditure is reduced accordingly.

Bedroom on the second floor.

At the new estimate of $8000, we anticipate spending $1954 each of the three remaining months in Kauai. Of course, this includes dining out once every other week. We can’t do so more often, a): It’s not worth it with my way of eating and b): It’s not worth it.

Second bath.  Oh, you can see me in the mirror!

For the average retiree, this type of expenditure on groceries isn’t practical or affordable. Although, there’s no question that the way we eat is more costly with my requirement of grass-fed meat and organic foods, increasing the cost by as much as 30%.

Most homes in Kauai use little air conditioning with the trade winds providing considerable comfort. Another bedroom on the upper level.

Then again, many vacation destinations aren’t practical for year-round living and beautiful Hawaii is no exception unless one can readily afford the higher cost of living. 

The kitchen hadn’t been renovated in many years as indicated with the ceramic tiled countertops, common in the 1980s.

This is not intended to discourage those who long to live in this “heaven on earth.” With the proper funds, careful planning, and some good luck, many have found a way to make it work for them for the long haul.  Many spend less on food and dining out. As for housing, that becomes the bigger challenge.

Here again, views of the dated kitchen. The space was acceptable for remodeling.

Yesterday, when we visited this shown open house offered by a lovely agent, Jacque Shockley at Ocean Front Realty we particularly enjoyed the views. Today, we’ve included the photos as we toured from room to room.  Undoubtedly, it’s a “fixer-upper” needing a considerable amount of renovation. The detailed listing information can be found here.

The pool, although not huge, appeared to be in good condition but, it too may require renovation as does the remainder of the house.

The price at $2,495,000 was surprising but, we have limited knowledge of prices as yet having seen only a few open houses. But, the view made this situation ideal for the only one buyer it takes to make a sale. Surely, at some point, it will sell when that right buyer makes the right offer to satisfy the seller.

One last shot of the view of Hanalei Bay before we exited the open house.  Several other couples stopped by to look while we were there.

As we say, the cost of living in Kauai, as well as on the other Hawaiian Islands is higher than most of us can afford for the long haul. However, in the interim in our remaining time here in Princeville we’re enjoying every moment; the views, our cozy condo, a bit of wildlife, the quality food we’re able to buy and attempt to afford, and of course, the friendly people we meet everywhere we go. That, above all, is the greatest treasure.

We continue on…

                                            Photo from one year ago today, February 11, 2014:

The table was set at the African Reunion house for a company breakfast we’d planned. We loved being in the third of the three houses in which we lived while in South Africa, all within the same area of Marloth Park. For details from that date, please click here.

Comments and responses Busy days…Some costs for life on this exquisite island…An open house with a view!…

  1. Jessica Reply

    Anonymous, you are so right. Its a bit small and we have our stuff everywhere. But here's the latest link to HomeAway listing without our stuff blocking the view. Hope this works for you.

    Here's the link: vrbo.com/253851ha (Please copy and paste into your browser)

    Thanks for writing and we apologize for not doing this sooner. We love the condo! We're in "side 1" as mentioned in the link.

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

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