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Real Estate




How does one find Idaho from Hawaii?

That's a really good question.

Honestly, I'm still trying to figure that out myself.

After almost 20 years of "The Rock", we knew this was not going to be for us permanently. Yes, a rock but it was the BIG rock. The Big Island. Of the Hawaiian Islands 6000 TOTAL square mile, the Big Island was 4000 square miles of that. So it was BIG. So when you hear of "Rock Fever" that wasn't the case for us.

Rather: Life on the Big Island= $350-$450 a month for electric (a modest 3/3 home with no air conditioning, gas dryer, solar hot water and gas stove)... and $500-$750 a month for water. A loaf of bread $6.50, a gallon of milk $8-$9.00 (Costco was a bit less, we're talking Safeway here). Just to start.

The State had become very "entitlement" and too liberal for us, and face it, the Locals have always hated us...but I'm not going to bash Hawaii any more than that, albeit, it was time to leave. I could have a blog leaving Hawaii for dummies!

So where does one go (from paradise?).

Being from Alaska, we thought about moving there (we owned land up there). That thought lasted for about a second! But then realized, we would be trading a warm Island for a cold Island (yes, I know it's not an island, but very similar having grown up there. I know Alaska!). I LOVE working with Alaskan people, they are just one of a kind special people, but not quite ready to die there. I call the "last season move of your life" akin to going back to die where you spawned.

It's very strange to say but we heard "Sandpoint", "Sandpoint", Sandpoint" "Sandpoint" from the landlord of my office building in Kona and from other clients who lived there or in the area. Four years of hearing this name Sandpoint," my husband finally conceded, "Lets to go check it out".

Now, I get it, most folks to think of retiring in a warm sunny place...not us...give me snow, mountains and seasons!

We flew into Seattle and drove to CDE (Coeur D Alene). Got to CDE and said "nope". Too busy, too spread out. Not enough mountains.

We kept driving North to this place called "Sandpoint". We hit that bridge over Lake Pend D Oreille and knew. Yup! This is it. 

Thus started the two-year journey to get off the Island. It's HARD to get to Hawaii but harder to get off. That's also another blog!

How odd, people from Hawaii would move to the mountains?

The first comment after the shock when you tell people  you are from, Hawaii (you guessed it)... they inquisitively follow with "Have you spent a winter here yet?"

I laugh, yes, I grew up in Alaska, not only that, I worked in remote areas from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay (where it was 100 below wind chill factor more than once on the TAPS Pipeline), BUT pray for my husband! He's the City Slicker. We did come 4-5 times over the winters to ski and snowmobile. I'll keep you posted on his first winter in Idaho!

So we went back to Hawaii and remodeled our house (I had wanted to remodel since the day we moved into it when it was brand new).

Here's a (Real Estate) lesson. The only "negative thing" about our house was that it had a 'galley" type if kitchen. Everything else was fine. I begged, pleaded, threatened death for 17 years to take that wall out and open the house up...Nope! (my husband is in construction management, ever heard of the plumber whos' pipes leak?) That was us.

I put the house on the market ( I have an RE company in Kona) with a big resulting no sale.

Finally "I" took the wall down, and did some other work (new kitchen), all the other things to update the house. I call it putting "lipstick on the Pig", albeit it was far from a "pig". Doing interior design for sales is probably the thing I LOVE the most about selling real estate. There is a lot you can do with little money to make your home more "saleable".

We put $47K into the total home remodel (new kitchen, baths, paint in and out, carpets etc. etc.) and got almost $150K more when it sold, AND it sold right away. Keeping in mind I did most of the work myself (with help). Had I hired a contractor it would have been $100K.

The sale closed the week before the volcano (Kilauea) really went off down in the Puna Area. The Vog was so bad many people left in a short period of time.  Benelevant timing!

Now the big next step is getting two HUGE Great Danes off the Island.

They were too big for a commercial aircraft. They had to be shipped on an air cargo carrier that shipped livestock.

Their kennels were 4' high, 3' wide and 5.5 feet long (custom made). One dog weighed 145 lbs the other 165, add the crates were 150 # each....and carrier doesn't fly anywhere else but into LA. How do we now get them to Idaho? It was a two-year dreaded task, and it was WORSE than the worst fear about it all.

Then there was the McCaw parrot and the feral cat.....

Headed to Idaho.........alehujuea! Off the rock.

Next....sorting out where to live with the menagerie (in Sandpoint)!



 Kitchen to Liv