Moving to Hawaii is not your usual pack up the Uhaul with stuff and road trip to your new home. I am often asked, should I sell or ship my household goods to Hawaii? Are their furniture stores in Hawaii and what is available as far as choice and quality? And should I bring my own car or buy one there? The answers will be different depending on your situation but I wanted to give you a basic guideline that you can use to make the correct decision for you and your family.
I usually say if you absolutely love your household goods and can’t live without them, pack it up and bring it. The average cost of moving a 3 bedroom home to Hawaii is between $5,000-$10,000 (give or take). If you rent a container or pod, they will drop it on your doorstep and you can transfer your things into the new home. We do have furniture stores and some of them have pretty nice things and the costs are comparable to what you may find on the mainland within a few hundred bucks. We also have smaller stores that bring in inexpensive furniture such as end tables and headboards and sell them. Some are very nice and cost the same as the mainland and some are more expensive, so shop around. We also have big box stores which have everything and many of the prices are similar to the same box stores on the mainland. And many online stores such as Amazon and Wayfair will still ship most things to Hawaii. Amazon Prime is available here as well and will ship most things at no extra charge.
Shipping your car will cost around $1,000-$2,000 and prices may vary on the size of your vehicle and where you are shipping it from. I am often asked if you can fill your car with your belongings and ship it to save money. Unfortunately, most shipping companies can’t do that per federal laws. Another key thing to remember when shipping your car is they only allow a little bit of fuel to be left in the tank. This is important to check on before getting to the port and finding out you get to figure out a way to get rid of the fuel. For more information on all of this, I have attached the Matson link for shipping to Hawaii.
Another random thing to keep in mind when deciding whether to sell or ship your household goods to Hawaii is the current weather and humidity in your hometown and what it will be when you arrive in Hawaii. For example, I moved from northwest Montana where it is cold most of the year and there is little humidity in the air. We moved to the Kona side of the Big Island and the weather there is hot and dry. Most of our things weathered fairly well. When we decided to move to the Hilo side where the air is moist and balmy, the wood in the furniture started swelling and some of the drawers that never had a problem before began sticking. The wood swelled to the point in a couple of pieces of furniture that it makes them a piece of art instead of the functioning cabinet it once was. This is something to keep in mind.
Feel free to contact me or your Realtor with any questions you may have on specific items and we will be happy to help. Moving to the Big Island is an exciting adventure and a little planning will make a big difference in your comfort once you arrive. I hope this helps!