Are You Freezing On the Mainland and Looking To Move To Hawaii?


I can tell people are starting to wish they were sitting in 82-degree weather in January, like I am today, and not freezing on the mainland by the number of visits to my website and specifically to the posts I have written about moving to the Big Island!

In 2016, I was sitting in Lake Tahoe under MANY feet of snow and freezing my butt off wishing, hoping, and praying to get back to Kailua Kona after leaving the island for a year, so I KNOW that feeling! The real estate market on the Big Island has been very competitive, but we ARE seeing a pull back lately.  (As of January 2022)

Some of you may even be thinking about living here for four months out of the year to escape the cold and then go back home and rent out your house/condo here. People do that, too!

Here are five reasons why you should stop living in freezing weather and move to the Big Island:

  1. It is’s 82 today. There has been snow on Mauna Kea lately, so it has seemed a bit chilly, with lows sometimes dipping into the mid-60’s…imagine that.
  2. You won’t get frostbite. Anywhere or anytime..nope, it is just not going to happen.
  3. You won’t slip on the sidewalk, slide out on the road, hit black ice, have your engine block freeze up, etc.
  4. We may have tsunami warning signals each month, but we don’t have wind chill alerts. Ever.
  5. Stop with the gloves and three pairs of pants with boots-put on some shorts and sit in the sun and breathe.

We were watching a documentary on Jimmy Buffet’s fans, ParrotHeads, recently and so many of these TropRock fans talked about escapism. When life gets too short and dreams need to be realized, and sitting around for five months out the year or more in a climate that makes you miserable. It may be time for a change.

Take the BRRRR out of your life and replace it with ALOHA!

If you would like to consider buying a piece of paradise, and learning more about Hawaii and if it’s a fit for your life goals, my husband and I are both licensed REALTORS and we created a REALTOR team with expertise in markets around the island. We offer Zoom call consults to answer questions and talk about lifestyle, costs, culture, realities and risks. Contact me at [email protected].

Check out our moving website,  and check out my helpful blog posts. We have a concierge style service we have created called the 365Ohana for people who are not yet working with a REALTOR and provide free resource books I wrote and entry into private Facebook groups for live events and community building. No one else is offering this service!  We can also set you up on a real estate listing alert so you can see what is coming on the market.


Spread the word if you love what you heard! #365kona so we can say Thanks!

Meet the Author

Julie Ziemelis

Julie Ziemelis is an entrepreneur, business owner, author, blogger and vlogger in Kailua Kona. She created and moderates the “365 Things to Do in Kona” page and the Kona Newbies group on Facebook. She blogs at and and vlogs with her husband, Eric, at “365Hawaii” on YouTube. Julie also authored the books, “How to Move to Kona” and the “Insiders Guide to Buying Real Estate on the Big Island of Hawaii”. You will most likely find Julie in Kona hiking, running, biking, taking photos and sharing Aloha.

Leave a Question or Comment About this Topic

  • Darren Placek says:

    I am looking to find out what it costs per month to live there. If housing is paid for, one would have to figure insurance, taxes and HOA fees (if in a condo or apt.) Of course life style is a big factor also. I just want the simple life and a job to enjoy. I am a commercial contractor/licensed plumber looking for a place to retire, but need income info to make a rational decision. I am in my upper 50’s and would still be available to work. Thank you for your time.

    • Julie Ziemelis says:

      Aloha Darren: If housing is paid for, and you live alone and keep your costs reasonable..$2000 a month will get you a car and gas at $4.15 a gallon right now..about $150 a week in groceries, utilities, HOA fees are a kicker since some run as high as $1000 a month depending on the complex. If you did not live in Kona, let’s say, and let’s say you were in Waikoloa Village where I am right now, the HOA’s are $350 a month, but you need to drive to Kona for all the fun. But, its a slow pace of life with golf and tennis. Kona is going to cost a bit more, but you are closer to grocery options. (we shop at Target but it costs $12 each time to drive there to save $40) Health insurance is a PITA and can be quite expensive. We have major medical and pay out of pocket for things that arise, but we are early 50’s with teens and no health issues. I invite you to join my Kona Newbies group on Facebook and ask the folks that have moved here recently what they are paying out for monthly expenses..I am sure it would be valuable info for all!

  • Roy says:

    Aloha my name Is Rory Wzorek. I’m 22 years old, I am a recent graduate from a community college. I got an associates degree in Information Technology. I am looking to move to Hawaii once I get my U.S citizenship done. What are the best steps to take before moving. I know it’s super expensive to live there but I’m willing to cut down a lot. I visited Hawaii last year and it was an amazing place and I wish I never left but I had to finish school. I looked into buying van vs renting because of how expensive vs just having to pay for gas and insurance and oil changes and stuff like that. If there’s a cheaper place you recommend to live at verses somewhere else on any of the islands feel free to reach out to me. I’m a very laid back type of person. I’m also looking to escape the cold of Illinois.

    • Julie Ziemelis says:

      Roy-I would not encourage you to come and live in a van. If that is all you can afford, you will most likely fall on hard times and have an issue trying to get off the island again. Check the WOOFer community..basically working on a farm here in exchange for housing. Until you get some skills that can help pay your living here, it’s just not a place you want to end up on the streets. Just being honest!