Schools in 96740>Question Details

cdcfulton, Renter in Kailua Kona, HI

Is there shopping nearby and possibilities for employment?

Asked by cdcfulton, Kailua Kona, HI Wed Jan 23, 2013

Thinking of living in Hawaii for my next chapter of life and exploring opportunities....

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Kailua-Kona has most of the major big box stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot as well as local companies within a few miles of each other. The King's and Queen's shops 40 miles north offer high-end shopping, but overall the Big Island is not a spending-driven culture.

Be prepared for sticker shock when you buy anything and rent is comparable to the Bay Area. Employment opportunities are scare, but Hawaii also enjoys a low unemployment rate of 4.4%; part of what makes Hawaii difficult is that employers only hire people on-island.

If you're serious about making Kona your home, do your research. Check online for open jobs in your field and find a local address to use in your applications. A car is a must, the Big Island is BIG, roughly the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. Lastly, remember Hawaii-time. Everything moves slower here, but the wait is well worth it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 12, 2014
Shopping is pretty good, but say goodbye to the trendy shops of LA and the Golden Mile. You just have to watch the time of day to stay away from the traffic jams going to/from the resorts (workers) and to the south of Kona.

Employment will be a problem - don't move is you don't already have a job if you need one to survive and pay a mortgage. Don't listen to the realtors that say "No Problem, come to paradise!" They are salesmen that are hungry.

I advise you take a looong vacation (say 2-4 weeks) rent a house for that month and then look for a job - make sure you get a local PO box so that your future employer thinks you live there (Employers hate folks that are "on vacation" and decided to look for a job - so use the rental address and the PO box).

When you find a job you can move - tell your future employer that you live in Hawaii, but have to settle details at home so you'll need a few weeks before you can start - then, go home and liquidate and move.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 6, 2013
You can get a full market analysis of the area including all shopping areas at
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 20, 2013
Your answers have been very helpful. Thank you. Once I sell my house I am definitely considering a major change and Hawaii sounds awesome!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 23, 2013
Shopping is not an issue. Employment could be depending upon the career and/or position you desire. If you are looking for a corporate job or middle management opportunity, Oahu would be your best bet. Honolulu is one of the largest cities in the US and has employment opportunities typical of a big city environment. On the outer islands, high-paying W-2 jobs are few and far between. Most people work in the tourist industry, the hotels, real estate, construction, or are self-employed (attorneys, doctors, shopkeepers, etc.). The unemployment rate in Hawaii is very low. That's the good news. However, many people work 2 and 3 jobs to make ends meet. Bottomline, it's all job-specific. That being said, I used to manage a 2-billion dollar portoflio for a major international bank. I had a glass office on the 50th floor of a downtown Los Angeles highrise, an expense account, and executive parking. Not a day goes by that I don't thank my lucky stars that I gave it all up for my 900-sq.ft. beach shack in Hawaii. I'd be a K-mart greeter in Paradise before I'd go back to downtown LA!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 23, 2013
Yes, there are many shops large and small. If you want to work you can always find employment here.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 23, 2013
It all depends on the quality and quantity of your expectations for both! There is a ton of shopping in Kailua-Kona town, there's even a Pier One Imports, a Costco and a Target. But if you're looking for upscale like Nordstroms, there is none, and there are very few small high end boutique shops. There is also all the employment that comes along with a major area where people live, but our major industry here in Hawaii is tourism, so the vast majority of jobs are related to tourism in some way. Sure there are a few banking jobs and a few tech jobs here and there, but it's not like the mainland with lots of different industries and types of jobs to choose from. The overwhelming majority of people are entrepreneurs, unless you go to Oahu where the major metropolitan center lies.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 23, 2013
We have many major chain stores as well as hundreds of small to medium size stores for shopping. All of the people I know who want to work, have a job.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 23, 2013
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