Yes, you read that right, I said Aloha.  In just a few short weeks, the Burkholder family is picking up stakes & moving to Schofield Barracks on the Island of Oahu.  I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am about this.  I grew up in the same town my whole life, from age 3 to age 18…same house, same schools, same friends…never moved.  I crave change, I love searching for new houses, figuring out how to arrange my furniture, learning the streets of a new city.  It all appeals to me & my insatiable wanderlust…it must be hereditary, my mom has it too.  She & my dad travel like crazy.

But I digress…I’ve been looking for homes, looking at maps of the island, learning the geography & figuring out the best areas for us to look when we get there in October.  It’s a bit of a puzzle…I have to factor in commute to Schofield, which is in Central Oahu, finding the best school for Aidan (which is laughable because schools in Hawaii are pitiful unless you want to pay through the nose for private, it reminds me a lot of Louisiana), safety & upkeep of the home itself & the neighborhood in general and the aesthetics of the house.  I’ve gotten kinda picky about houses since this is our fourth duty station…I’ve seen a lot!

Here are two of my biggest turn-offs (inside a home, at least):

These hideous cabinets, straight out of the 1980s. I lived in a townhouse with cabinets like these when Ryan & I were expecting Aidan.  They’re made of particle board so if they get wet for any extended period of time, they’re done for.  They puff up & swell like a sponge.  The white laminate on them also stains like crazy.  They’re just the cheapest, ugliest things you could ever possibly put in a house & if I see these in a listing, I move on.  Picky?  Yes.  But Oahu, especially the areas right around Schofield/Wheeler are very transient, so there’s always something new coming onto the market.

The next offender are these awful little 4″x4″ white or off-white tiles…also from the 80s. You can usually find the cabinets & the tiles together, they seem to go hand-in-hand. Not only are these tiles ugly, they always have black or dark grey grout, or is it that they didn’t seal it properly and it’s gotten filthy over the years, but they’re dangerous as well. They have no texture at all, get a little bit of water on them and it’s slicker than ice. In that same townhouse I mentioned with the cabinets, we had those tiles in the kitchen, entry hall & the 2.5 bathrooms…pretty much anywhere there could be water, we had those tiles. SO ugly & so not safe. Again, if I see those hideous little buggers, good-bye listing!

Other little real estate things I’ve noticed…

  • “Section 8 OK, No pets”…this just seems weird, is it just me?
  • Little old lady window coverings left up…I know they cost an arm & a leg, but so do Plantation Shutters & those look SO much better and fit with the aesthetic of the area!
  • Not posting photos of the home you’re listing…how is someone supposed to be interested in a home if you don’t even post a photo of the front of the house?
  • White, white, white, white…I get that you’re supposed to make your house neutral so someone can imagine themselves in your home but completely sterile is another thing. Pleasant neutrals can go a long way!
  • Open toilets (some with the seat up!), photos of the floor, blurry photos…do these real estate agents not look at their own ads? Oy!  I’ve found that owners usually do a better job advertising their own houses.

All kidding, joking & grousing aside, we really can’t wait to get on with the show & get over to the islands!