Everybody’s dream to own a house


Downtown Honolulu, Hawaii.


Recently, a family from Vietnam purchased a 3 bedroom 2 bath house in our neighborhood for $860,000.  They support themselves by selling ukuleles at the Swap Meet.  I am amazed how immigrants can afford to buy expensive homes in Hawaii.

David and I are not immigrants.  His parents came from Canada, and my grandparents came from Korea.  We paid $380,000 for our 3 bedroom 2 bath house in 1991.  At the time, we barely could afford the mortgage by working three jobs.  David had a day job as an accountant and a night job as an accounting instructor.  I had a day job as a legal assistant.

My parents’ 4 bedroom 2 bath house in Hawaii sold for $1.175 million in 2015.  The profit was split among their five children.  I must say that David and I have a comfortable retirement because of my inheritance.  Also, our reverse mortgage helped us, when we were in dire financial straits in 2011.

Our first daughter owns a townhouse in Hawaii, and our second daughter is looking to buy a house in Nevada.

It’s everybody’s dream to own a house, but it’s out of reach for many people, especially here in Hawaii.

9 Responses to “Everybody’s dream to own a house”

  1. Roberta Says:

    It is crazy isn’t it? Housing in the most desirable places is out of the reach of so many. I worry about our children and grandchildren. I live in Brookline, MA. In 1997 I paid $184,000 for a 2 bedroom 2 bath condo. 911 square feet. We could barely afford it. Now the units in my building are going for over $700,000. All small like ours. Our building is almost all Chinese now. They come with cash. I don’t know where they get all that money…..

  2. Olga Says:

    I have noticed that playing has had a recent surge in popularity but it is still hard to imagine selling these instruments at swap meets is a lucrative business. Of course, my husband made a living selling antique motorcycle parts. Go figure.

  3. Christine Says:

    That was a nice little next egg to inherit!

  4. Beatrice Says:

    Good luck to those new homeowners, and perhaps they also have some sort of backup financial means. Selling ukelelees sounds like it may be a hard way tonpay for a home or the mortgage.

  5. anonymousinthemainland!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Says:

    Vancouver Washington has homes, if one is willing to pay almost $400,000 for a used home from the 1980’s!!!!!!!!!!!Most who buy are from the east and California they buy two homes for the one they lived in for 30 years and another for their children who are fleeing..I know Hawaii is the most expensive place to buy a home, no more land to build and many pay cash from asia or foreign countries, they cannot afford to live in those countries so Hawaii in their eyes is a big bargain, plus it is a multicultural place to live, not white or black but many many nationalities welcomed and blue skies and lovely sea, plus the juju there is like no other in the states..aloha and enjoy your piece of heaven on earth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. honoluluaunty91 Says:

    Indeed, our housing costs are so high. Hopefully it doesn’t go higher, but it seems to keep on climbing.

  7. DJan Says:

    I’m amazed at how expensive homes are, too. We are renters but that’s because it’s much easier to have the landlord fix whatever breaks down. 🙂

  8. dkzody Says:

    The only way we were able to retire at such young ages was our paid-off house. We have insurance and property taxes and any maintenance. I think, as we and the house get older, the maintenance will get to be too much, and like DJan, we will need to seek different housing.

  9. Tom Sightings Says:

    Makes the 4 BR 3 BA (altho’ they’re small) house we recently bought look like a bargain at 450K … but then we’re in Pensylvania, not Hawaii.

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