Moving from the Bay Area to the Big Island: Essential Preparations and Top Resorts

Moving from the Bay Area to the Big Island: Essential Preparations and Top Resorts

There is so much to love about the Bay Area, but the cool, foggy mornings or bustling, big-city energy may have you dreaming of quieter, sunnier days. The Kona coast of the Big Island of Hawaii boasts glittering beaches and vibrant flora dotted with top resorts, pristine golf courses, and a myriad of attractions for every possible island lifestyle. Building a life on the Big Island can take many forms. You can choose a cozy home, an expansive estate, or take up residence in one of the many resorts geared toward your personal interests and style.

In fact, many people start their journey in a resort as they explore local neighborhoods and Kona real estate opportunities. Frank Schenk can share an expert local perspective on moving from the Bay Area to the Kona region of the Big Island to help you make your dream home transition to island life.

Preparing for your move to the Big Island

Moving to Hawaii is like living nowhere else in the world. While you may be familiar with the process of moving from one home to another, the sheer difference in surroundings, culture, and even local markets may surprise you. To best enjoy the transition from the hustle and bustle of Bay Area life to the relaxed Aloha lifestyles of the Big Island and successfully transition your household to a Hawaii home, you'll want to take a few steps of preparation before your move.

1. Learn about the welcoming Kona region

North Kona and South Kona make up two of the nine districts on the Big Island. It is the original royal seat of the United Island Kingdom and is home to a rich history.  Kona is also an extremely welcoming region known for its sunny beaches — in contrast with the rainy Hilo side of the island. Everyone in Kona is relaxed, and though you may be new to the area, you will find yourself welcomed as someone who has decided to make the Big Island your new home. Learning about the history and culture of Kona and Hawaii as a whole will help you adjust to your new life on the island.

2. Explore neighborhoods and living costs

The neighborhoods throughout the Kona region vary from suburbs to high-rise apartments and condos. Each has a unique personality and will create a different sense of home. Explore the real estate options on the island to find the home you're looking for. Hawaii has higher living costs than California because many resources and processed goods must be shipped in. Life here is beautiful and relaxed, but you will probably need to completely rethink your usual expenses as you move your life to the Big Island. Each neighborhood will also offer a slightly different balance for your desired lifestyle.

3. Minimize what you take with you

Shipping personal items to the island can be expensive and often unnecessary. Consider how you can minimize your move both through bulk shipping of personal items and by buying new items when you arrive. Heavy or delicate furniture is the most challenging to move, and leaving your heirlooms somewhere safe on the mainland may be worthwhile. When you arrive, look for furniture that suits the style and climate of your new home.

4. Practice taking it easy on island time

You've probably already heard of "island time" and the Aloha spirit embodying the local attitude of the Hawaiian Islands. You will need a car on the Big Island to get around, but we don't drive fast. No one is rushed or in a hurry. This can be a big change for people moving from the busy Bay Area. So, take some time to relax, meditate, and get yourself in tune with the Aloha spirit on island time.

5. Consider a change in vehicles

Four-wheel drive is recommended when driving across the Big Island. There are many dirt roads and picturesque trails that a city car may not handle well. This is a great opportunity to trade in a car with several years and a few hundred thousand miles for an island-ready vehicle. Plan ahead, and you might not even need to invest in shipping a car to the island.

6. Get your pets ready to travel

Last, if you have family pets coming to your new home on the Big Island, start the process early. Hawaii has strict rules about illnesses that pets can carry, and most pets have to wait in quarantine after arriving. However, if you get paperwork and vet check-ups before your move, dogs and cats can often transition smoothly to a new home without the usual delays.

Explore resorts in Kona while you settle in

Whether you are house-hunting or your home isn't ready yet, many new Big Island residents start their journey at a local resort. There are some truly spectacular resorts to be found on the Kona side of the island. The top resorts in Kukio (North Kona) and Hualalai (South Kona) will give you the luxurious home base you need to facilitate an enjoyable household move.

Top resorts in Kukio and Hualalai

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

The Hualalai Resort by Four Seasons is a renowned five-diamond resort with 243 rooms and unmatched amenities, including the Hualalai Golf Glub, Sports Club, and Spa, alongside tons of outdoor activities. The Hualalai Resort is also a hub for private property owners within the cultivated community with access to the exclusive 18-hole Jack Nicklaus course, Ke-olu Golf Clubhouse, and the Canoe Club.

You will discover a wide range of single-family estates, condos, townhomes, villas, and even a few vacant lots ready to develop your dream home.

Royal Kona Resort

The Royal Kona Resort is a classic family-friendly hotel experience with beautiful grounds and inclusive packages. Celebrate the regal history of the Kona region of the Big Island in style with nightly events and a gorgeous lagoon pool.  You will find a beautiful range of hotel rooms and private condominiums ready to become your home base while you choose your forever home in the area.

Club Wyndham Kona Hawaiian Resort

Club Wyndham Kona boasts all-condo suites with seaside views and top-notch service. Each condo is completely private, giving you a taste of independence and ownership that you will enjoy as a future Big Island homeowner. Located in a historic area, you will find a wonderful blend of modern amenities and captivating ancient details.

Kohanaiki Golf Resort

Kohanaiki Resort  is a golf paradise within a paradise. It is also the newest residential community on the Kona coast, with more available private property for buyers who choose to become founding members of the Kohonakaiki neighborhood. It features oceanfront golfing designed by Rees-Jones and has a fantastic Beach Bar for residents. The Hokanaiki resort is a great place to start if you also have your eye on a home or land within this new and developing private community.

Discover the Big Island for yourself with Frank Schenk

If you are looking for a local expert in Hawaii real estate to help you find the perfect home on the Big Island, Frank Schenk has the expertise and Aloha spirit you need. Explore breathtaking neighborhoods surrounded by resort settings and luxurious amenities as you discover the perfect Big Island home. Whether you're coming from the Bay Area or even further away, Frank Schenk is here to make your Hawaii homeownership dreams come true.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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