Relocating to O’ahu: To Rent or To Buy?

open house sign on sale or rental propertyRelocating to O’ahu and searching for a home, but not sure if you should rent or buy? There are pros and cons to each, and spending on your personal situation, there might be one that definitely comes out ahead. Here are some reasons to consider renting a home and some to consider buying a home.

Times You Should Buy a Home

There are definitely some times it makes sense to buying a home here (or anywhere). Here are some of those times:

You plan on staying three or more years.

You want the assistance, advice, expertise, and personalized attention of a Realtor when searching for your home. This can be especially important, as rentals can be difficult to find, and there’s not really a good place to search for them.  If you don’t know where you’re looking, this can result in a very frustrating process. And often times, rental properties won’t hit the market until they’re ready to be rented, which makes it difficult to plan ahead for your move and can leave you living in a hotel and shopping once you arrive.

Home For Sale Real Estate Sign and Beautiful New House.You want some stability. When you rent, there’s no guarantee your landlord will let you stay when the lease is up. If they decide to sell the property, or they raise prices out of your range, you might suddenly find yourself without a home.

You want to personalize your living space. There’s only so much you can do to update, modify, and customize a rental property. (Any anything you pay for is money wasted). But when you own a home, it’s yours to change or upgrade as you wish.

You want to pay your own mortgage, not someone else’s.

You want to make money. Buy a home, sell it for more. That’s money earned—without having to do anything. And with the housing market on the rise in O’ahu, you could even see as much as a $100,000 gain in price in as little as 3 years! Plus, you’ll get a much larger tax break; mortgage interest is deductible from your annual tax income.

You’re in the military.

Reasons to Buy a Home If You’re in the Military

Every month, you receive a BAH for your housing, and if you’re stationed on O’ahu, your allowance could be pretty high, starting at $1980 for an E1 with no dependents, or even as much as $3,000 for an E6 with dependents—that’s $36,000 a year and $108,000 in three years. If you’re able to find a cheap rental, you can just pocket the few dollars left over from unspent BAH. But here are some reasons to buy.

military family on the lawnYou can buy with 0% down. It’s called the VA loan and if you’re not taking advantage, you’re missing out. Put no money down and still get low interest rates.

You can build wealth. Buy your home for $200,000, pay for it with your BAH, sell it in three years for $210,000. That’s $10,000 in your pocket, versus a few hundred dollars saved by renting.

You don’t have to worry about rising prices. Rental prices in O’ahu are on the rise. Which means that your BAH could stay the same, even as your landlord jacks up the rental price. On the flip side of that, your mortgage payment will always be the same (and with prices rising, your BAH is likely to rise, too).

Times You Should Rent

Buying a home is a very attractive option, but there are some times it’s better to rent than to own. Here are a few of those times.

  • for rent sign on a nice houseYou’re going to live in the home less than three years.
  • You need the flexibility to be able to move without much preparation.
  • You have poor credit history and can’t get a good interest rate.
  • You don’t have a job or steady, reliable income, or aren’t sure where you’ll be working.
  • You want the instant gratification of saving a few dollars now, rather than waiting a few years to earn a few thousand.

Relocating to O’ahu and Thinking of Buying?

Whether you’re relocating for military, vacation, employment, or another reason, we want to help make your relocation to this beautiful island a smooth transition. Come explore Oahu. Discover its outstanding communities. Search homes for sale. And find the right location for you. All you have to do is contact RE/MAX Honolulu.

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