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Old 02-23-2015, 04:13 PM   #1
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Moving to Oahu (Hickam AFB)

Hey guys,

I just found out today that I will be PCSing to Hickam AFB later this summer. I'm reaching out to get to know everyone and to get some ideas on housing locations. Basically where are some of the best places to live and where to stay away from. I'd like to have an easy commute to the base. I am trying my best to learn what I can off google maps, but you guys are the experts and I default to you. As the million questions come up, I will post. Thanks for the help.

Dave
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:48 PM   #2
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popular place is Ewa Beach...but traffic going to base in the morning and going home in the afternoon sucks.

I guess the bigger question is if you have kids/wife or not. Theres Navy housing right off base too...

You'll be working pretty much right at the front gate, so you don't have to worry about the 15min drive to back of the base like me
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:51 PM   #3
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yeah just try to get housing right out the gate. even ford island is good too. the EOD building is literally right at the gate.
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luka View Post
popular place is Ewa Beach...but traffic going to base in the morning and going home in the afternoon sucks.

I guess the bigger question is if you have kids/wife or not. Theres Navy housing right off base too...

You'll be working pretty much right at the front gate, so you don't have to worry about the 15min drive to back of the base like me
Yeah I'm married with 2 small dogs so a fenced in back yard is a bonus. I'd like to avoid as much traffic as I can. Then again I cab sing a different tune for the right place. (I'm looking to rent because I bought a house here)

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Originally Posted by batmobile View Post
yeah just try to get housing right out the gate. even ford island is good too. the EOD building is literally right at the gate.
A couple of the guys here said that too. I guess that is a bonus. I'm pretty excited about this move. I am very fortunate to get this assignment after being stationed here in FL.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:32 PM   #5
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having dogs might be a little more challenging, unless you can get into the Navy housing right off base...but yeah, you can almost spit and hit the EOD building from the front gate...i'm jelly
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Old 02-23-2015, 08:44 PM   #6
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well im looking to probably rent my house in Ewa beach end of this summer. so if anything maybe we can work something out haha
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Old 02-24-2015, 02:58 AM   #7
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The community I live at in Ewa Beach is dog friendly. Only lame part is that it's a small monthly fee if you want a fenced yard.
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:27 AM   #8
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Sounds like Ewa Beach is pretty popular. I've seen a few listings so far. I don't get there till Aug so I'm sure more will open up as pcs season hits.
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EODTRD View Post
Sounds like Ewa Beach is pretty popular. I've seen a few listings so far. I don't get there till Aug so I'm sure more will open up as pcs season hits.

I work on Hickam and live in Ewa (Air National Guard). You will hit traffic all the time. I have to be at work at 0530. I leave my house at 0430 and can get to work in about 15-20 minutes. If I leave after 0430 I get caught in traffic. In the afternoon I have to leave base by 1500. Anything later and you will be stuck in bumper to bumper traffic exiting the gate all the way to Ewa. Normal time to get home is an hour. If its around 1700 you'll be in traffic more than an hour and a half. If there are any accidents or road work (which we have had for the past few years) you could be stuck in traffic for awhile. Last Halloween there was an accident on the freeway and it was also raining. I left base at 1500 as usual, it took me two and a half hours to get home! BTW its about 18 miles one way from where I live in Ewa to Hickam.

Your best bet is to live on base. Yeah you wont make money but if you live in Ewa your gonna spend most of your work day in traffic. If you live on Hickam you could ride a bike to work and save money on gas.

If I could, I would live on base in a heartbeat. No traffic, secure, and a good community. Plus there is a cool place to take the dogs on the beach.
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:22 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by STOCKTRD View Post
I work on Hickam and live in Ewa (Air National Guard). You will hit traffic all the time. I have to be at work at 0530. I leave my house at 0430 and can get to work in about 15-20 minutes. If I leave after 0430 I get caught in traffic. In the afternoon I have to leave base by 1500. Anything later and you will be stuck in bumper to bumper traffic exiting the gate all the way to Ewa. Normal time to get home is an hour. If its around 1700 you'll be in traffic more than an hour and a half. If there are any accidents or road work (which we have had for the past few years) you could be stuck in traffic for awhile. Last Halloween there was an accident on the freeway and it was also raining. I left base at 1500 as usual, it took me two and a half hours to get home! BTW its about 18 miles one way from where I live in Ewa to Hickam.

Your best bet is to live on base. Yeah you wont make money but if you live in Ewa your gonna spend most of your work day in traffic. If you live on Hickam you could ride a bike to work and save money on gas.

If I could, I would live on base in a heartbeat. No traffic, secure, and a good community. Plus there is a cool place to take the dogs on the beach.
You are at least the 10th person to mention living on base as appose to downtown. Sounds like the pros outweigh the cons on this one. I still have 6th months before I get there. I will keep looking and see what pops up. Thanks for the help.
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:33 AM   #11
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its mostly the traffic heading West in the afternoon that sucks, traffic headed East cleared up a lot after they modified the freeway lanes, which could be another option if on base housing is full.
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:51 AM   #12
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Have lived on base the last 2.5 years and if I ever get an assignment here again I would live off base. The management is terrible but as noted above the commute is great if on base. Drive times depend on what type of shift you work. A good amount of my coworkers live up by KBay as H3 traffic isn't to bad about 25-35 min if you plan on staying out here a few tours (IPCOT) then buying a house could be a good investment.
For your truck I would recommend buying all the heavy parts now as shipping out here can be most costly.
What SQ will you be assigned to?
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:39 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Azazruk View Post
Have lived on base the last 2.5 years and if I ever get an assignment here again I would live off base. The management is terrible but as noted above the commute is great if on base. Drive times depend on what type of shift you work. A good amount of my coworkers live up by KBay as H3 traffic isn't to bad about 25-35 min if you plan on staying out here a few tours (IPCOT) then buying a house could be a good investment.
For your truck I would recommend buying all the heavy parts now as shipping out here can be most costly.
What SQ will you be assigned to?
I going to be assigned to the 647 Civil Engineer SQ. I'm glad you responded, I was hoping that someone on base would give me their point of view. I wish I could buy another house, but I bought here in Florida and I am underwater. So I am still trying to manage that situation.

My wife and I are excited to get out there and see what the Island has to offer. Plus the TW community seems pretty active so that is an additional plus. Thanks again for the input, I am sure I will have more questions soon.

Dave
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Old 02-27-2015, 10:45 PM   #14
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Hey Dave...my wife and I are realtors out here and specialize in helping out members with VA benefits. If you have any questions at all just let me know. I do a lot of property management here and 95% of the privately owned rentals here are not pet friendly. So you will find it challenging to get a place to accept dogs.

I know you mentioned being upside down on your house in Florida. But there may still be options for you here to buy. Especially if you haven't used up all your VA loan benefits. The thing that makes it smarter to own here than rent is your mortgage right now with the rates so low will be about the same if not less than what you'll pay in rent. And properties here don't depreciate like the rest of the U.S. Most of our clients either rent out their homes or sell when they PCS and it works out for them. Majority of them just rent it out because they break even or are positive and will have a place to come back to should they decide to when they get out. Anyways even if you just need some advice on areas and complexes I'll be happy to help.

If the rest of you guys have any questions feel free to ask as well. We have monthly VA information seminars that are free if you guys ever want to attend.
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Old 02-28-2015, 12:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanguard View Post
Hey Dave...my wife and I are realtors out here and specialize in helping out members with VA benefits. If you have any questions at all just let me know. I do a lot of property management here and 95% of the privately owned rentals here are not pet friendly. So you will find it challenging to get a place to accept dogs.

I know you mentioned being upside down on your house in Florida. But there may still be options for you here to buy. Especially if you haven't used up all your VA loan benefits. The thing that makes it smarter to own here than rent is your mortgage right now with the rates so low will be about the same if not less than what you'll pay in rent. And properties here don't depreciate like the rest of the U.S. Most of our clients either rent out their homes or sell when they PCS and it works out for them. Majority of them just rent it out because they break even or are positive and will have a place to come back to should they decide to when they get out. Anyways even if you just need some advice on areas and complexes I'll be happy to help.

If the rest of you guys have any questions feel free to ask as well. We have monthly VA information seminars that are free if you guys ever want to attend.
First off, thank you for responding. My wife and I are very interested in what you have to say. We'd like to explore all our options. We will continue to keep our eyes and ears open.
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Old 03-01-2015, 10:43 AM   #16
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If you are on a 4 year tour and consider an IPCOT I think what Vanguard said above is spot on in 4+ years here you could build a respectable amount of equity and along as your spouse is working the debt to income ratio shouldn't be to bad when you PCS out. Still kicking myself in the butt for not buying.
Your EOD section here looks nice, I have never been inside but in has its own area right by the front gate so easy to access and completely removed from the remainder of CE.
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Old 03-28-2015, 10:53 AM   #17
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If you're renting... Windward side.

Beautiful, Cooler, greener, and a lot less traffic to and from work. I work on Sand Island, and the commute wasn't that bad from Kaneohe when we lived there. For you it'd be even better as you'd be getting off right after the H3-H1 merge. Unless you're buying a house, I'd never live in Kapolei/ Ewa. We had to sacrafice a lot to go from renting in Kaneohe to buying in Kapolei... but for investment purposes I couldn't be happier with the deciscion we made.

^What Ryan said... I'd HIGHLY reccomend looking into buying while you're here. Even 3-4 years here you're going to make $ off the place. We bought last year, and are already seeing $50-75k increase in our home value in just a year! Already owning a house is a crappy excuse, espescially when you have a VA mortgage available to you, you can claim the rental income from your other property to count towards your new house. There is a reason why it's a very competitive market, and tons of Chinese investors are jumping into the market the past few years.

Also, interest rates... I actually refinanced my house after just 1 year of owning because we were able to go from a 4.25% to 3.25%! In just 3 years that'll make a $20,000 difference in equity if we make the same payments we have been.
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