Welcome to Oahu
Buying a home can be intimidating, but buying a home knowing that you’ll be moving in a few years can be downright scary. Many military families choose to rent when they are transferred to Hawaii because they know the move here isn’t a permanent one. However, there are many reasons why owning your home on Oahu makes more sense than renting, even if it’s only for a few years.
Don't Throw your Money Away
The first and most important reason: Don't pay someone else's mortgage. On Oahu, a typical 3-bedroom home rents for $2,800 per month. In just three short years, you'll have spent $100,800 and you'll have nothing to show for it. Put that money back in your pocket instead of your landlord’s bank account. Your BAH allowance will most likely cover your mortgage payment, and with a VA loan, you may be able to purchase with no money down (if you qualify).
Real Estate is an Investment
Think of buying a home in Hawaii as a long-term investment. If you buy a home, enjoy it while you are here, then leave it behind as an investment--you'll be creating wealth. You could rent it out and let someone else pay your mortgage while you're away, and you'll still permanently own a piece of paradise. When you retire, you could sell it to buy your dream home or move back to paradise. Either way, your investment will have paid off.
The tax benefits of owning a home are huge! You may be paying more to rent than to own because you don’t have the tax benefits of homeownership. On top of the thousands of dollars in rent you’re throwing away, you’re also missing out on thousands in tax breaks each year.
The VA-backed loan program is an excellent resource for military personnel. A VA-backed loan helps you purchase a home at a competitive interest rate, with no PMI (private mortgage insurance), and often without a down payment. If you’re moving to Hawaii on a military transfer, we have excellent local lenders who are very familiar with VA-backed loans.
The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) applies to married service members and those authorized to live off base. The amount varies based upon rank and length of service. The Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) varies depending upon location. The Variable Housing Allowance (VHA), also varies based on rank and other factors.
Do your homework to see which options will best help you to offset your cost of homeownership in Hawaii.