How long have you lived in the Ocean Pointe area of Ewa Beach and where were you living before this?
We’ve lived here about four years. Before WE came to Ocean Pointe, my wife and I lived in Chicago. Let me tell you, that’s a big change!
What part of the island is Ocean Pointe on?
We’re on the western side of the island in the town of Ewa Beach.
What’s your home like? Is it a house or condominium?
WE have a four-bedroom house.
What’s Ocean Pointe and Ewa Beach like as a community?
This is an up and coming neighborhood. WE have a big new commercial harbor coming in. They say it’s going to be the biggest harbor on the island. Down towards the harbor, there’s lots of golfing going on. There’s also a new Ernie Els golf course down there.
Did you have your heart set on the Ocean Pointe neighborhood and Ewa Beach? Why did you choose it?
We weren’t really all that familiar with the different neighborhoods and towns on the island. But after WE started looking around and seeing what housing prices were in comparison to Chicago, WE found out that Ewa Beach is a good area for getting the most for your money house-wise. WE paid around 450 for this house. In Chicago, that will put you in some pretty big houses!
Is Ocean Pointe more of an urban or suburban neighborhood?
It’s definitely more of suburban neighborhood.
Do you have many concerns about crime where you live?
Not really. WE don’t have some of the stuff you’ll see in some of the bigger neighborhoods or in the city of Honolulu. You see some petty stuff happening like everywhere else, but for the most part, the neighbors are really nice. Everybody kind of watches out for each other.
Do you have children and is daycare easy to find in Ewa Beach?
WE have a one-year-old and a newborn. As far as daycare goes, We’re lucky because my wife’s sister looks after the kids. That’s kind of a funny story, because WE moved out here without having any family living in Honolulu, but once WE got here and started telling everybody how much WE liked it, my wife’s sister came out here. And so, by the time WE started a family, WE had family in Hawaii.
Was it hard to meet people when you moved to Ocean Pointe?
No, not really. The neighbors around here are real friendly. There’s quite a few neighborhood activities that people can join. For instance, there’s an informal women’s fitness group that kind of fits in to how people are living. I see a bunch of moms out in the mornings — with strollers — getting some regular exercise and socializing at the same time.
Where do you work in Honolulu and how is your commute back and forth to work?
My situation is a little different because I don’t really have a commute. I have a plumbing business, and so I go all over the place around the island. The situation is that when you’re going around the suburbs, it’s not bad at all during the day. Of course once you get into the city and especially downtown, it does get congested. But, in comparison to where I came from, it’s really not that bad at all.
What would your advice be to the newcomer about transportation and commuting in Honolulu?
Actually, the traffic here is really pretty good. We’re near Fort Weaver, and it used to be a real hassle getting around Fort Weaver, but they put in a new road to get around Fort Weaver and it’s a lot better now. Another thing is that I found that the people in Honolulu are more like defensive drivers, which is a nice change from the kind of driving habits a lot of people in Chicago have.
How has the real estate market in Honolulu changed since you bought your house?
Well, WE got a pretty good deal on this house because it was a foreclosure. But since WE bought this place, prices have gone down — I know that. But it’ looks like prices are going back up now — or at least they’re not dropping anymore.
How do you like the quality of life in Ocean Pointe?
This is a great place to live — and it’s getting better. They just built a couple of new schools out here. One is, I think, a middle grades through high school, so that’s a good thing. With these new schools and all the new developments in Ewa Beach — like the new harbor, new shopping centers, new housings and new golf courses — I would say they are making a good thing better. Of course, living in Hawaii is great and things in Ewa Beach are definitely improving.
What surprised you most about moving to Hawaii?
I would say the weather. It’s always the same — beautiful. You don’t have worry about whether you have to wear a sweatshirt. Like in Chicago, one day it might be nice out, then the next day you go out and it’s cold; so you have to go back inside and change your clothes to handle the weather. Also, We’re on the west side of the island, where it’s dry; so you don’t have to worry about dressing for rainy weather on this side of the island.
What would you say is the one can’t-miss event or activity that a family in Hawaii should look forward to?
I would say that it’s all the great beaches and other outdoor activities. The weather allows you to do something outside anytime you want. WE like to go to the beaches, but WE also like to go up around Diamond Head and hike the trails. There the climate is tropical; so you’re basically walking through a rain forest when you take the trails. You see so many incredible things up there. It’s just beautiful. WE also like to go kayaking on the East side of the island. You can paddle out to these small islands — they’re about three miles out — and when you get out to them, you look back at Oahu and wow!
What places should you avoid in Honolulu if you don’t want to see a lot of tourists?
Waikiki is really where most of the tourists hang out.
Do you find Hawaii and Ocean Pointe specifically an expensive place to live?
Ocean Pointe itself is pretty reasonable. Food in Hawaii tends to be kind of expensive because so many things have to be shipped in from the mainland or other places.
What’s your favorite restaurant in Honolulu?
It’s Hoku’s. It’s located in the Waikiki area on the other side of Diamond Head. It’s a fine dining type of restaurant.
Is there anything you don’t like about living in Ocean Pointe or Hawaii?
No, not really. But I would say that WE probably would like to move over to the east side of the island at some point if WE can afford it. To me that area is a little more desirable. Here it’s drier. On the east side of the island, it’s greener, more of a tropical environment.
What advice you give to people who are house hunting in Hawaii, especially in the Ewa Beach area?
People should look for things like grocery stores and places that are convenient to shop at. Here, WE just lost a food store, so there’s really only one place to shop for food right now. But the area is growing so fast I’m sure that will change.
Do you have an anecdote that encapsulates your experience living in Ocean Pointe?
Well, it’s not really an anecdote, but living here is such a nice change of pace. In Chicago, it was always rush-rush-rush and the people seem more uptight. Here, it’s more laid back and the people are more relaxed. I think there’s also something about this place that helps with people’s attitude in living.
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