Hawaii Homesteader Journal
Building a better lifestyle... one step at a time.
by CURTIS INGRAM JR
When I arrived at Hilo airport November 21st, during the 2020 pandemic. The Hilo airport was empty except for military personnel, who signed me up to be bombarded with daily check in messages. It was lightly raining, warm and quiet, as I sat to locate an Uber. The Uber driver was Danny, had driven me around the last time I visited Big Island. What a small world!
On the ride to my Air B.N.B. we talked about land plots, good restaurants, the weather. Before we knew it, we were at the house I would be staying. Danny helped me unload the car and we laughed and said our goodbyes.
The house was two levels and had high ceilings, large windows and many patio doors. It was on about and eighth of an acre of land and had limes and tangerines growing over the balcony. It had five bedrooms, three bathrooms, one shared kitchen, plenty parking.
When I was all settled in I took to the kitchen for some food. There was a dude cooking veggies and tofu so I thought I’d get to know someone. The guy’s name was Yuri. He was there waiting for his off the grid house to be finished. He showed me pictures of his place out in the lower Pahoa area where the recent volcano covered the ground.
His plot was leveled flat with a little neat beach house overlooking the vast horizon and volcanic rock hills. It still needed some work on electricity and plumbing but it was cozy and quiet. It was nice to have someone to talk to about homesteading and self-sustainability who is doing it too. We had many great chats over the next couple days and we were off on our separate journeys.
I had rented an apartment closer to the center of Hilo, where almost everything is walking distance. It’s the biggest town close to where I want to buy my plot, about 20 minutes.
This is my first time attempting to building a house and I want to do the best I can. So instead of going straight in and buying a plot I decided to go in and look around. I had only been to Hilo once before to check things out, then I realized I should try living here to acclimate myself. Once I settled into my new place, I went straight to work.
Now, since this is my real life, I’ll be using my real budget, which is $6000 for a quarter of an acre. I’ll have to have a job to pay my recurring bills, to save money for materials and put in the building labor myself. I’ll be drawing the blue prints, contacting people for permits, and taking responsibility for all endeavors. Understand, everything takes time but if you work at it, it all comes together at the end.
My first goal is to get the plot by June 2021, and have the structure livable December 2021, land and structure complete by December 2022, permits cleared and sold by June 2023. I would like to take what I earned from the sale of my house to build two more like it, in less time, with my specialized mastermind circle of people. And this book, Hawaii Homesteader Journal, is how it all got started!