Skating into Real Estate in Hawaii

Real Estate Agent 76990

For the past 9 years I've been playing professional hockey around the world. So how does a Canadian kid crazy about hockey end up in Hawaii of all places? Well, there's the the obvious answers of beaches, weather, surfing, palm trees, and adventure... but the driving force above and beyond all this for me being here is simple: Real Estate!

Hockey has been the center spoke of my life for as long as I can remember. From walking around the house in skates and an oversized helmet on Christmas morning as a 3 year old, to heading out of the house for a late afternoon practice on Christmas day as a 30 year old, it's always been there. My memories are usually recalled by what team I was on during any given year, and my years have not been divided into typical seasons of spring, summer, fall, winter, but rather the hockey season and the off-season.

Sounds simple... right? Well, it was at first, but as my life evolved and I grew into a man, and turned professional, and got married, and had a child, things seemed to get more complicated. The off-seasons weren't as easy as going back to my home town to hang out with buddies and train until the next season started. My wife is from the East coast of the US while I'm from the West coast of Canada. For years, we would end the hockey season and drift from family to family, living out of suitcases for months at a time. We didn't have a house of our own to call home, and why would we? We were only there for 4 months of the year before we were swept off to another city or another country for the next hockey season. It just didn't make sense financially. 

But everything changed the year we decided to spend our off season in Hawaii...

Instead of crashing in the spare bedroom of our parents' place, we decided to have an extended honey moon in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. It was a summer for the ages! Body boarding, snorkling, scuba diving, bike riding, and beaches everywhere. We explored as many adventures as we could on the Big Island... and we fell in love with the place.

Oh yeah... and my wife got pregnant while we were there. It almost seemed as though this magical place was part of our destiny. If only we could find a way to continue to have it in our lives...

Although it didn't dawn on us right away, the answer was right there. Real Estate!

We were starting a family now so we needed to figure out our living situation anyway. Crashing with the in-laws during the off-saeson was no longer an option, but we were still faced with the financial obstacle of carrying a mortgage for 12 months of the year while only living there for 4 months of the year. 

And then it hit us... Hawaii!!!

Where else could we buy a place that people would want to rent during the cold months of the winter? Not only that, but they'll actually pay a premium to go there in the winter. And when all is said and done, we get to live there whenever we want. 

But Hawaii must be crazy expensive right? Can we really afford to buy a place there?

While there are many beautiful mansions and estates to choose from among the islands, not everyone who lives here is a millionaire. In fact, there is a beautiful population of ordinary blue collar folks who choose to call Hawaii home.

In the end, we took the plunge, and purchased a 3b/3b 1100 sq ft home for a little over $330,000. We saved for 2 years so that we could make a down payment and moved our life out into the Pacific Ocean.

The first year we were away, we had some growing pains as far as managing the rental of the property. It wasn't living up to its potential. Regardless, our off-season was amazing. We weren't bouncing from place to place anymore. Instead, everyone was coming to visit us. And I mean Everyone! 

Then, we made a few adjustments on how we were going to rent the place out when we were away and BOOM! The house rented like crazy. It was awesome, it was profitable, it was fulfilling, it was... time to retire... from hockey anyway.

It's such a shame that I only found this situation near the end of my career. I can't help but think about how much more money I could've saved/earned over the years if only I made a wise investment at the beginning of my career. Maybe I could own a handful of income producing properties by now that could sustain me and my family for the rest of our days. In a way, that's what I always wanted... to be able to set myself up to not ever have to work a "normal" job when my playing days were over.

It's been a daunting thought for years now as my body ages and the clock ticks away on my earning years as a pro athlete. What am I going to do afterwards? Will I ever have a passion for a career outside of hockey? 

While I don't think anything will ever compare to the thrill of lacing up the skates and performing in front of thousands of screaming fans, I have at least found something else I can be passionate about: Real Estate.  I love talking about it, I love hunting for properties, and I love all those stupid shows on HGTV and the DIY network. And, most of all, I love the situation I discovered here in Hawaii, so I decided to get my real estate license and and share my experience with as many people as I can. I want people to invest in themselves and their dreams and I want to help them do it. I truly believe in the value of Real Estate, and buying my home in Hawaii was one of the most satisfying experiences of my life.

If you are curious or intrigued on how you could attain your dream of owning property in Hawaii, I'd love to hear from you. I'm here on the Big Island soaking in the sun and beginning my new career as a real estate agent and would love to help people find the home of their dreams, or the investment property of their dreams.

Mahalo for reading!

All the best,

Mike Ouellette (RS)

C. 808-769-0367  

LUVA Real Estate  75-240 Nani Kailua Drive, Ste 8, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740  | O.808.769.5111  F. 808.769.5226
Real Estate Sales  |  Property Management  |  Luxury Vacation Rentals
Licensed in the State of Hawaii  

Comments (27)

Susan Nealey
Coldwell Banker Realty - Annapolis, MD
No Pressure! Ever!

What a great post!!  Make sure that ends up on your website for all to read about you as your biography.  I read every single solitary word and think this will drum up business for you.  Good luck, but it sounds like you don't need it since you know exactly what you are doing.  You will go far.

May 23, 2015 07:02 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Mike Ouellette thanks for sharing your story.....and you're in the right state to gain strength with your real estate career....

May 23, 2015 08:28 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

and welcome to ActiveRain.... you also selected the right platform to market you inventory and successes in real estate....share some hockey stuff too!!!

May 23, 2015 08:29 PM
Richard Robibero, e-Pro, ABR, SRS
Panorama R.E. Limited - Toronto, ON
Selling Your Home as if it were My Own!

Congrats Mike! As a fellow Canadian I can definitely appreciate the change of lifestyle and the risks (and rewards) that come from moving to a very different place. Wish you nothing but the best!

May 23, 2015 10:14 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

You caught the curl of the wave and rode it in to shore all the way...mahalo

May 23, 2015 11:52 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

using SF Bay area home prices as reference. These condos prices are reasonable being in HI

May 24, 2015 12:00 AM
Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
Rowlett Real Estate School - Panama City, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

Hi Mike, great blog post.  Keep up the good work!

May 24, 2015 12:17 AM
Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
Rowlett Real Estate School - Panama City, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

and welcome to ActiveRain.  It's great to have you aboard.   I hope to read more of your posts

May 24, 2015 12:18 AM
Mike Ouellette
Kailua-Kona, HI

Thank you all for the great comments. Bruce- good suggestion! I will look into adding some pictures...

May 24, 2015 08:26 AM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Mike - Congratulations on getting your first post featured.  This is something that so many in the Rain hope for.

May 24, 2015 02:19 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Welcome to ActiveRain, and to your real estate career in Hawaii. My parents lived there for a decade or so (Hilo). The big island is a wonderful place.

May 24, 2015 09:41 PM
Frank Castaldini
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in San Francisco

Welcome to our world.  A real estate career can be truly a delight if you are dedicated to it.  I am an athlete too and the atletic drive certainly has been a huge asset to me.  Good luck in your career and congrats on skaking into Hawaii.

May 24, 2015 11:35 PM
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

Congratulations on entering the great career of real estate. I've been an agent and broker for 17 years. It's not quite the fast paced action packed hockey games you're used to and I think fighting with other agents is generally frowned upon.  However, I think you'll love it.

May 25, 2015 01:42 AM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Hi Mike and welcome to activerain. Congrats on producing your first blog post!  I know exactly how you feel, having also been one of those Canadians who came to Hawaii and immediately fell in love with it! 35 years later I still love Maui and can't imagine living anywhere else.

May 25, 2015 11:41 AM
The Temple Team
THE TEMPLE TEAM - Mooresville, NC
Specializing in Lake Norman/Charlotte/Charleston

CONGRATULATIONS on your first BLOG Post!!! Welcome to Active Rain ... you're going to LOVE IT HERE!



May 25, 2015 03:05 PM
Shanna Day Team Leader AZ & UT - Call 480-415-7616
Keller Williams Realty EV (AZ) & Keller Williams SLC (UT) - Mesa, AZ
Top 0.33 of 1% of 79,000 AZ Realtors

Hockey, Hawaii, or Homes to Buy/Sell... you must love diversity!   I wish you all the best and I hope to see you at a Hawaiian Luau sometime!  

May 25, 2015 04:16 PM
Teresa Harbert Broker
Better Homes and Gardens Realty Partners - Portland, OR

Congrats on your new career! Our family's life is also centered around hockey and I love how it transitioned into a real estate career for you. Based on your enthusiasm I am positive you will do amazing in your new career choice that will allow you to still enjoy the hockey life! 

May 26, 2015 01:16 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Best wishes for great success with your ActiveRain blogs.

Follow the bloggers you enjoy, make lots of comments and 'like' the blogs and comments as you view them. Your network will quickly expand.

May 26, 2015 04:53 AM
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

The very best to you and your new family on the Big Island, our favorite.

May 26, 2015 07:19 AM
Kona Home Team (luva llc) Lance Owens (RS)
Kona Home Team (luva llc) - Kailua-Kona, HI
Getting transactions done, when nobody else can!

Mike Ouellette you are a natural, great blog. 

I look forward to reading may more, and good luck on your real estate career 


Jun 17, 2015 09:34 AM