July 17, 2020

The Best Middle Schools in Oahu | 2020 Edition

In looking for a new neighbourhood to settle down in, education remains an important factor. Parents want to ensure that they enroll their children in schools that provide quality education and cultivate a safe and nurturing environment for their students. In Oahu, you can guarantee just that.

Throughout the island lie top-notch middle schools with state-of-the-art resources and facilities, high academic ratings, and an extensive amount of extracurricular offerings to meet your child’s educational needs. Some of the best middle schools you can find in Oahu are listed below.

Looking for an elementary school? Head on over to our post about the best elementary schools in Oahu.

Moanalua Middle School

Opened in 1967, Moanalua Middle School provides quality education to approximately 850 students in the 7th and 8th grade. They have around 27 staff and 60 teachers, having a student to teacher ratio of 18.7.

The middle school is part of the Moanalua Complex consisting of six schools, namely the Moanalua High, Middle, and Elementary, Red Hill Elementary, Salt Lake Elementary, and Major General William R. Shafter Elementary.

Having a diverse student population, the school’s community highly values collaboration and communication between each of these schools. They ground themselves on the belief, “we are stronger as a team than as an individual”.

Moanalua strives for excellence above all, which is evident in their average standard score of 95.4. They remain to have the highest score among all others since 2016. The caring and supportive environment they nurture and provide for their students may be one of the main factors why students continue to perform at their best.

Located eight miles west from the capital city of Hononolulu, the middle school rests on a valley within a mainly residential area, among the tranquil neighbourhood of Moanalua.

Click to View Homes For Sale Near Moanalua Middle School >>>


Major Sheldon Wheeler Middle School

Major Sheldon Wheeler Middle School is one of the best middle schools in Hawaii, housing approximately 800 students in the 6th to 8th grade. In Wheeler Middle School, students get to enjoy a student to teacher ratio of 15.3.

The middle school is named after Major H. Sheldon Wheeler, a former commander of Luke Field on Ford Island who was killed in a plane crash on July 13, 1921. The school consists of three two-story buildings, with facilities for various extra and co-curricular engagements such as the arts, physical education, science, industrial arts, and music.

For three consecutive years, Wheeler Middle School has achieved being in the top 5 middle schools in the statewide assessments. With an average standard score of 92.11 for 2019, they ranked 2nd among other middle schools in Hawaii.

Major Sheldon Wheeler Middle School rests within the historic Wheeler Army Airfield amidst the stunning Ko’olau and Waianae mountain ranges.

Click to View Homes For Sale Near Major Sheldon Wheeler Middle School >>>


Niu Valley Middle School

Wearing the colors red and yellow, Niu Valley Middle School lies in the quiet residential area of Niu Valley in Honolulu. Established in 1955, the school started with just the seventh grade, eventually expanding their offerings to include the 6th and 8th grade. Now, it is home to approximately 900 students, with a student to teacher ratio of 17.8.

Niu Valley is the first authorized public middle school to offer the Middle Years Programme (MYP) curriculum designed by the International Baccalaureate (IB). The MYP curriculum comprises eight subject groups, namely, language and literature, individuals and society, mathematics, sciences, physical and health education, language acquisition, arts, and design. What makes the curriculum stand out is its inclusion of four themes, namely, approaches to teaching and approaches to learning, global contexts and concepts.

They constantly rank among the top 5 middle schools in O’ahu with an average standard score of 90.4. Along with academics, Niu Valley provides ample extra and co-curricular activities. This includes athletic, band, robotics, and visual arts programs, among others. Improvement efforts in the school are made possible with the advice and support of “the Friends of Niu Valley”, consisting of the parents and community.

Click to View Homes For Sale Near Niu Valley Middle School >>>


Kaimuki Middle School

Kaimuki Middle School’s mission is to provide "a positive learning environment that meets the unique needs of adolescents and their supporters". Approximately 1000 students are enrolled in the school from grades 6 to 8. The student to teacher ratio is 17.0, with more than 60 teachers in the school grounds.

Kaimuki Middle School is a recipient of many awards and recognitions including the National and State Blue Ribbon School of Excellence titles, the Hawai`i Distinguished School Award, which was awarded to them for four consecutive years, and various extra-curricular program honors.

They were also recognized in the "Best of the Best" Middle School by The Honolulu Advertiser, and included in the Top 100 School ranking by the National Association for Secondary Schools.

The school continues to perform well on statewide assessments, with a 90 average standard score, ranking better than 94.2% of middle schools in Hawaii. Nearby the vicinity, students have access to the Kilauea District Park, which is a public field where they can run around or do various sports activities such as tennis or softball. You can find Kaimuki Middle school in the residential neighbourhood of O’ahu, situated on the mountain side area of Diamond Head.

Click to View Homes For Sale Near Kaimuki Middle School >>>


Kailua Intermediate School

Kailua Intermediate School is the “Home of the Mighty Junior Surfriders”, providing education to approximately 800 students from grades 7 to 8, with a student to teacher ratio of 15.1.

The school offers a plethora of learning opportunities for their students. One of these involve a total of sixteen electives, including Crafts, Piano, Peer Education, Engineering, Polynesian Dance, and Body Conditioning, to name a few.

Kailua Intermediate School ensures that each student has access to the best resources by equipping each classroom with technologies that enhance learning and instruction. They also ensure some of the best teachers available with two Hawaii Association of Middle Schools (HAMS) Teachers of the Year and three teachers who have earned National Board certification.

The school remains exemplary with an average standard score of 89.60, placing 5th out of 69 middle schools.

You can find the school grounds minutes away from Kailua’s District Park and white sandy beaches, which are perfect destinations for unwinding from school-related stress and enjoying outdoor recreation.

Click to View Homes For Sale Near Kailua Intermediate School >>>



Whichever middle school you choose to enrol your child in, O’ahu schools assure you of the best education, resources, and environment for your child. It’s safe to say that you won’t have to worry much about your child’s education when moving here in O’ahu.

Posted in Island Living
June 5, 2020

The Best Elementary Schools in Oahu | 2020 Edition

The Best Elementary Schools in Oahu, HI

When moving to a new city or area, education options can play a significant role for parents to school aged children. Ensuring your child receives excellent education and is in a safe and caring school is generally on the top of the most have list.

Oahu, Hawaii is full of well rated elementary schools that lay the foundation for students' future success. Schools with high academic ratings, ample extra curricular programs and special education assistance are available throughout the Island.


Momilani Elementary School

Momilani Elementary School is located at the top of Pearl City among a peaceful setting offering students panoramic views of nearby Honolulu. Servicing students from pre-kindergarten through grade 6, Momilani Elementary have been recognized 6 consecutive times as #1 in Honolulu’s Magazine's ranking of 225 public schools.

Along with this coveted title, Momilani Elementary has been the recipient of the Hawaii Blue Ribbon School Award, the Hawaii Distinguished School Award and honored 15 times with the Hawaii Department of Education's Annual Achievement Award.

Momilani Elementary has been nationally recognized as well receiving the National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence title and the National School Safety, Discipline and Drug Prevention Award.

There are approximately 405 students enrolled at the Momilani Elementary School with a student to teacher ratio of 19.3.

Students routinely receive impressive average standard test scores with 2019’s being 97.1.

Originally built in 1972, Momilani Elementary School has continued to provide quality education in a safe, caring environment, which incidentally is the school’s motto.

Momilani Elementary is located in a quiet and safe neighborhood within Pearl City. The area offers access to a number of neighborhood parks and city amenities. Never too far from the beach residents of the neighborhoods that surround Momilani Elementary can find themselves on the ocean side in under half an hour.



Noelanie Elementary School

Within the city of Honolulu is Noelani Elementary School which provides education to children from pre-kindergarten to grade 5.

Coming a long way from its beginning as a one room schoolhouse in 1962, Noelani Elementary School is now home to six buildings and provides excellent education to nearly 450 students.

One of the things that sets Noelani Elementary School apart is its active and engaged Parent Teacher Association. Forget selling raffle tickets, these parents pull out all the stops to support their children and school with three major fundraisers a year.

Noelani Elementary School is known for setting high standards and encouraging students to not only routinely meet them, but surpass them. This is evident in their average standard test score which is a whopping 96.8.

The school has received a number of awards such as the Honolulu District and Hawaii’s Blue Ribbon Outstanding School and the National Blue Ribbon School. Beyond the school, teachers have also received individual awards namely the Honolulu District Teacher of the Year and Hawaii’s National Distinguished Principal.

Noelani Elementary strives to ensure that each student has access to the best quality education as well as resources available and this is evident in their state of the art computer lab and computers featured in every classroom.

The school is set within the mainly residential area of Manoa, which is set within a picturesque, lush valley. The neighborhood is set near a number of walking, hiking and biking paths as well as parks and a stunning waterfall.



Mililanki Ike Elementary School

Mililani Ike Elementary School is home to 642 students spanned through pre-kindergarten through to grade 5. The school's mission is to “champion every student to recognize that he/she is a complex thinker”. Students enjoy a student to teacher ratio of only 17.

Along with its academics, Mililani Ike has an extensive amount of extra curricular activities. Robotics, junior police officers, choir, drama and cross country are just a few of the clubs and programs will have access to.

The Mililani Ike Elementary School has an average standard score of 93.6 and constantly ranks in the top 5 elementary schools on the island of Oahu. One of the reasons may be the impressive amount of student support the school offers. Children have access to counselling, student adjustment, behavioural support and specialized programs for gifted and talented students.

Located in Mililani Mauka Mililani Ike is set among a mainly residential neighborhood that offers a range of real estate housing options. Parks, green space and quiet streets make up the area and offer quick access to many points around the Island.



Situated along the North Shore of Oahu is La’ie Elementary School. The school is 1 of 5 different elementary schools that make up the Kahuku High School Complex and is set below the campus of the Brigham Young University.

Students from pre-kindergarten through grade 6 have access to a plethora of educational resources and partners in education to ensure that each and every student reaches their full potential.

Comprehensive programs in math and reading that are routinely assessed to identify areas of need and talent are part of what makes La’ie Elementary School an exemplary institution.

Servicing approximately 655 students, the student to teacher ratio is a comfortable 19:1. Students have been routinely excelling with the average standard test score being 93.6.

Ensuring each child has access to well rounded education, La’ie Elementary also provides ample opportunity for extracurriculars, programs and clubs. Students enjoy participating in events such as History Day, Science Fairs, MathBowl and the Windward District Physical Fitness Meet.

Originally started in the late 1800’s as a religious school, the Territory of Hawaii took over the school in 1972.

La’ie is a quiet and scenic coastal area set within the Koolauloa District and offers some of the most beautiful views on the Island of Oahu. Neighborhoods within the area are steeped in history and provide access to trails, historic sites and more. Residents enjoy quiet streets and a healthy mix of real estate options.



Waikiki Elementary School

Located within Honolulu, Waikiki Elementary School strives to provide excellent and diverse education to the roughly 600 students that attend.

Understanding that diversity is part of what makes their school so great, the teachers provide a number of different learning styles and methods to meet students' needs. Providing students access to things like the student garden and mindful counselling, the staff at Waikiki Elementary proves that learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom. Waikiki Elementary School has a growing partnership with the Master of Education in Teaching program and the Philosophy Department at the University of Hawaii that aims to work together to provide the best in education. The payoffs are evident in the average standard test scores which sit around 93.

The school also focuses heavily on extra programs such as Philosophy for Children, peer meditation, drama, creative movement and dance.

Waikiki Elementary School is located in the Diamond Head area of Honolulu nestled between Diamond Head Park and Kapi’olani Regional Park. The area is predominately residential and offers residents access to a ton of parks and green space.

With all the excellent education options available to children, it's safe to say parents have many options to choose from. When considering moving around Oahu, there is confidence in knowing the Island is full of well rated schools that are actively working to provide the best foundation for your children's future.


Posted in Island Living
Feb. 26, 2020

Should You Use Zillow to Buy or Sell a Home in Pearl City, Oahu

using zillow in pearl city oahu

Are traditional realtors going the way of the Dodo? As our world becomes more and more virtual, companies like Zillow are emerging to try to take over the real estate industry. Will there ever be a time where you can buy or sell your home entirely online without having to hire anyone? While this sounds like the natural next step of the industry based on how integrated technology is in our lives, it’s not feasible. Should you use Zillow to buy or sell a home in Pearl City? Here’s why you should stick to a traditional realtor. 

Quick Jump To Links

What is Zillow? | How Does Zillow Make Money? | Using a Realtor vs Zillow | Hiring a Traditional Realtor

About Zillow

how does zillow work

Since 2006, Zillow has been attempting to change the real estate industry. They were established in Seattle, Washington. Their database acts as a free resource for people to view listings, connect with a realtor, and complete the full lifecycle of buying or selling a home in Pearl City online. Those who are looking for rentals can also find available properties in their area on Zillow. 

Zillow makes a lot of claims when it comes to their process and how beneficial it is for their clients. They can help with financing, renovation resources, mortgages, and more. Their principal product is called “Zestimates,” where they claim to give accurate appraisal information to users strictly online. Zillow also has a network of affiliate websites that work similarly to them. 

Find Your Dream Home in Pearl City Oahu >>>

How Do They Make Money?

how does zillow make money

Since Zillow is free to use, how do they make money? They partner with realtors who pay fees, they have their iBuying process, and they are a considerable advertisement platform for interested businesses. 

Their realtor partnership program is called the Premier Realtor Service. Essentially, realtors pay a subscription fee to be put at the top of the list when it comes to leads, advertisements, and the iBuying process. Each realtor that is part of the premier service will be notified of incoming leads, and they will have the same advertising opportunities as the other premier realtors. 

iBuying is buying a home or selling a home online, from beginning to end. It’s very automated and straightforward, so the iBuying process is efficient and straightforward. 

Zillow is popular among advertisers because of the clearly defined audience they serve. Companies like mortgage brokers, telecommunications companies, interior designers, construction companies, or insurance companies greatly benefit from being able to reach Zillow’s audience. They also pay top dollar to advertise on Zillow’s recognized network of websites. AOL Real Estate, MyNewPlace, Hot Pads, MSN Real Estate, and Trulia are all part of the Zillow group. 

Using a Realtor Versus Zillow

traditional realtors in pearl city oahu

It does seem like the real estate market would be the right candidate to move towards the e-commerce model, but Zillow falls short of this being possible anytime soon. If you want to buy or sell a home in Pearl City, reconsider using Zillow, and choose the tried and true method of a real estate agent. 

A realtor has access to up-to-the-minute listing information with the MLS system. Zillow is heavily criticized for having inaccurate information on their site. They usually have listings that have already sold being advertised as available. This can be very frustrating for Peal City residents who are looking to purchase their dream home in the area. 

A realtor has opinions, thoughts, and expertise that they can provide you. They can help you through any problem and find a solution for you. You build a relationship with them. Zillow is just data, and a means to try and get your Pearl City home sold or bought quickly without having to provide any support. You take care of all the leg work, sifting through homes for hours, and being bombarded by numerous realtors who aren’t even the listing agent of the property. 

A realtor can put you in contact with, or bring in, and experienced appraiser, who can give you an accurate idea of what your home is worth. Zillow is trying to overtake the market with their own “Zestimates,” but they are under fire for being almost always wrong. There is a big issue with this, as it adds another level of frustration for clients who take the information they get as face value. Zillow can’t possibly give an accurate estimate without seeing the property in question. 

When you hire a realtor, you are dealing with them individually for every interaction. Zillow’s revenue model encourages a negative customer experience. If you request more information or want to book a showing through Zillow, you will provide them your information. Your contact will be sent to every Premier Realtor in the area. This means you could be contacted up to 15 times by different realtors who are fighting for your business. They are most likely not the listing agent, so they won’t be able to answer any questions about the property as they haven’t seen it themselves. 

The Premier Realtors that have previously worked with Zillow don’t recommend other realtors get involved with the company. Zillow forces those who are just browsing their site to put in their contact information to continue browsing. However, they still get sent to the pool of partners as an interested potential client. This is frustrating for the realtors, as these are not great leads that have been qualified in any way. 

Find Your Dream Home in Pearl City Oahu >>>

Hiring a Realtor is Better

hire a traditional realtor pearl city oahu

Everything about choosing a realtor over Zillow will leave you a happier consumer for selecting an agent. Zillow has some work to do to be considered an asset to the real estate industry, as they don’t live up to many of their promises. If you are going to buy or sell a home in Pearl City, you will want to seek out a professional realtor. 

A realtor has a wealth of knowledge, especially if you choose someone who is an expert in the neighborhoods you’re interested in, or they’ve been doing the job for long enough. 

A Pearl City neighborhood expert knows the ins and outs of those communities, and they may even live there themselves. They can give you tips and information that aren’t available online. Whether it’s their favorite park to visit, or the trail closeby, they add value to the transaction you’re about to make. Zillow can only provide you with the information it’s given, and typically those tips are not included in the listing. 

A realtor’s commission is a huge motivation for them to provide an excellent experience, as they don’t make money until you’re satisfied and have closed the deal.   

If you’re going to sell your Pearl City home, a realtor can get you a real appraisal, and they can provide you with the best tips they’ve learned over their career on how to sell your home fast. They also know how to get your home in front of the right people. Zillow simply advertises your home the same way they advertise thousands of other homes. 

Choosing Zillow would only leave you frustrated and wishing you had hired a professional realtor in the first place. Zillow makes a lot of claims that it can’t deliver on, which is stressful for most of the clients who choose Zillow. Even if you have purchased and sold a few houses in your day, choosing Zillow could still leave you feeling like a novice. If you want to buy or sell a home in Pearl City, hire a realtor that has experience in your desired community. 

Traditional real estate agents have not been overrun by technology simply because they bring too much value, and companies like Zillow cannot compete. There’s still hope for personal touches in our technology-driven society, and that lies with the realtor. 

Find Your Dream Home in Pearl City Oahu >>>

Posted in Real Estate
Jan. 7, 2020

Should You Use Zillow to Buy or Sell a Home in Aiea, Oahu

Buy a home with zillow in Aiea Oahu

The internet has opened up a world of possibilities. You can do your shopping online. You can do your banking and taxes online. You can reconnect with old friends. And it’s not surprising that almost every industry is trying to get a leg-up when it comes to the online marketplace. It’s all about convenience, and real estate is no exception. Many e-commerce real estate companies have turned to the internet to handle house buying, selling, and advertising processes. Zillow offers exactly that. But should you use it?  What are the disadvantages? We’ve got the lowdown on why we frequently don’t recommend using Zillow, particularly in Aiea, Hawaii, and why we recommend turning to a traditional real estate agent instead. Let’s dive in!

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Posted in Family
Nov. 29, 2019

The Definitive Guide To Moving To Oahu, Hawaii

Guide to moving to Oahu Hawaii

Hawaii is considered one of the most beautiful places on earth. Constant sunshine, velvet sand beaches, salty waters, as well as a laid-back lifestyle, Hawaii is pure paradise. If you’re considering moving to Oahu, here is what you need to know.

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Posted in Hawaii
April 5, 2019

Tiger Woods to Help Design Makaha Golf Course


Pacific Links International has enlisted the help of Tiger Woods and his company TGR Design to design one of two gold courses at the Makaha Valley Resort on the Leeward Coast of Oahu. Woods and TGR Design will be the lead architects for the Makaha North Course, while Gil Hanse of Hanse Golf Course Design will design the Makaha South Course. Both courses are part of a mixed-use redevelopment that will include a golf club, restaurants, a health and wellness center, time share units, golf villas, and residential units. 


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April 5, 2019

Your Preapproval Does NOT Equal Your Budget


Pre-approvals are the best tool to understand your buying power. However in most cases, your pre-approval limit will not reflect how much of a mortgage you can actually afford when you consider your overall budget. If you max out your home buying budget you could end up house poor - meaning you have little cash left over to cover other day to day expenses, or even other bills. And what's the point of living in Hawaii if you don't have a little cash to go out and enjoy paradise! Luckily, we won't leave you house poor. Once you get pre-approved, we make it a point to go over what your ideal budget is, so that you can feel comfortable in your monthly payment. 


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April 5, 2019

What is the Kama'aina Discount?


Pretty much anywhere you get stationed on the Mainland, you will not get any perks for becoming a resident of that area. On Oahu, because of the huge amount of tourists and visitors we get to the island, residents often receive discounts at stores, restaurants, and especially on recreational activities like helicopter tours and at most state parks and recreational facilities. This discount is called the Kama’aina (kah-mah-aye-nuh) discount – kama’aina referring to locals or residents.


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April 1, 2019

Don't Let FEAR Keep You from Home Ownership!

March 29, 2019

Hawai'i's Sunscreen Ban: Everything You Need to Know


In July 2018, Hawai'i lawmakers passed a bill that will prohibit the sale of over-the-counter sunscreens containing the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate. These chemicals have been found to contribute to the destruction of coral reefs and other ocean life. And if you know anything about Hawai'i ocean life, you know how vastly important it is to the life of the entire islands. The bill takes effect January 1, 2021, but many folks are already making the switch to reef-safe sunblock.


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