The word Ewa comes from a native Hawaiian word 'ewa' that means 'crooked'. While nothing about present day Ewa suggests it is crooked, it is here that the sun shines down warmly for the most part of the year, while seasonal rains bring cool respite whenever necessary.
Ewa Villages is a census-designated place (CDP) nestled in the Ewa District and the City & County of Honolulu, towards the leeward side of Oahu. The islanders themselves use the word 'Ewa' loosely in the context of a direction that refers to western part of the island. With a population of 6108, this suburban community affords its residents expansive natural spaces and sufficient amounts of privacy.
Moving to Ewa Villages
The biggest reason why Ewa remains popular for those looking to buy a home is its proximity to the Honolulu International Airport which is a half hour drive away. However this popularity and natural beauty comes at a premium. Buying a home here is an expensive affair as median real estate prices are more expensive than 36.0% of the neighborhoods in Hawaii and 91.2% of U.S neighborhoods. With a 0.0% real estate vacancy rate, renters might have to scout around a bit for two bedroom apartments, duplexes and condos.
The average time spent commuting one-way to work in Ewa Villages is around 40 minutes. About 65% of the working population drive their own vehicle, 16% carpool, 15% use public transport and the rest work from home. Also called 'Oahu's Second City', Ewa Villages stands out for a number of reasons. It has one of the youngest populations with a median age of 31.4, a poverty rate of 8.8%, and an impressively low rate of unemployment at 3.5% which is way lesser that the U.S average that hovers around eight point something.
The Hawaii Department of Education overlooks the public schools in Ewa villages. Factors such as safety, high grade public schools, and a high rate of home ownership in single-family homes makes Ewa Villages an ideal place to settle in. It shows immense promise for growth and stability in the coming years.
Neighborhoods in Ewa Villages
Ewa Villages has a number of neighborhoods to speak of, each of unique in their own way:
Iroquois Point: This coastal suburban neighborhood is defined by row houses and attached homes where real estate consists mainly of medium sized to large town homes and single-family homes, most of it being renter occupied. With great waterfront views, its common to find commercial and military jets swooping low over the area.
Ewa Gentry / Ewa Villages: In this urban neighborhood referred to as Oahu's Second City, median real estate prices are more expensive than a third of the neighborhoods in Hawaii and most of the neighborhoods in the U.S. However rents here are more affordable. A relatively crime-free atmosphere sets this neighborhood apart from the rest. Kapolei is the downtown area of Ewa Gentry where all of the action takes place.
Puamaeole Street / Puahala Street: A densely populated urban neighborhood, median real estate prices and rents too are on the lower side. One finds small to medium sized apartment complexes/high-rise apartments and single-family homes, while most residential real estate is a mix of owners and renters. The Ewa Mahiko Park near Puamaeole Street is popular with families who camp out on weekends with picnic baskets.
Papapuhi Place / Kahiuka Street: In this urban neighborhood, median real estate prices are affordable while average rental prices are higher than most neighborhoods in Hawaii. A stone's throw away lies the exciting Coral Creek Golf course.
Launahele Street / Piliokahe Place: Here median real estate prices as well as rents tend to be on the higher side. Real estate here consists mainly medium sized to large single-family homes and townhomes, most of it being owner occupied. The Lauhani Community Park is a hit with residents of the area who stop by for a leisurely evening stroll.
Fort Weaver Road / Keoneula Boulevard: Here, median real estate prices and average rental prices are on the higher side. Real estate consists mainly of medium sized to large single-family homes and townhomes, most of it owner occupied. For an excellent Bacon Cheddar BBQ Chicken Sandwich, stop by at Zippy's restaurant on Fort Weaver Road.
Living in Ewa Villages
Away from the madding crowd and yet close enough to civilization, Ewa offers a perfect blend of both. The efficient United States Postal Service operates the Ewa Station Post Office here. An ambitious project that seeks to boost commercial and civic services is on the cards. Designed by Richard Bigler, the Ewa Villages Golf Course is creating ripples with America's rich and famous who are inspired by the challenging layout, tight fairways and streams and lakes liberally sprinkled in between.
Those with a penchant for history will be interested to know that a World War II-era internment camp was functional in Ewa Villages between 1943 to 1945. After its closure, it lay more or less abandoned until the president of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, declared that the signing of the Senate Bill 2678 would 'help ensure ... that history will be preserved and taught for future generations.'
Weekends can be spent leisurely exploring the surrounding island of Oahu and its natural wonders such as the crystal clear Kailua Beach. The list of fun activities goes on; choose from fishing, biking, boating, cruises, aerial helicopter tours, trekking, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling and surfing. If you are lucky, you might just spot a whale gliding through the bay waters. A word of caution: don't be too audacious by swimming close to the areas roped off by lifeguards. Strong and unexpected currents can take the best swimmer by surprise.
Those who miss the pulse of mainland city life can escape to Honolulu's cityscapes and neon nightclubs which are a short drive away. The FIA FIA Polynesian Show in nearby Kapolei is a must in order to experience the local dance and customs of Polynesian dancers, singers and musicians.
Living in Ewa Villages will put you in close connect with nature. At least this is what visitors to the 'Stars by Hawaii' show in Kapolei have to say about their sightings of Saturn and its rings and moons. Even those with a fleeting interest in astronomy will be moved by the celestial spectacle of twin stars, infant stars, dying stars and the Milky Way.