How to Find an Oahu Rental Property
You’ve made the decision, and you’re moving to paradise. Whether it’s for work, school, or to be closer to family — you’re going to need a place to live. You’ve decided to rent, but this raises questions like which side of the island, which neighborhood, what school, what type of house (house, apartment, or condo), all need to be answered. Oftentimes, one decision will help make another decision. For example, if you know which neighborhood, you’ll then be able to make a decision about what type of housing. If you know which school you would like your children to attend, you know what side of the island, and will be able to narrow down which neighborhoods.
First, decide on a region:
Locating a rental property on Oahu does not have to be overwhelming, and you can begin narrowing your search immediately.
Map Courtesy of HBR.
While common in most big cities, leasing agents (real estate professionals whose job it is to help you find a place to rent), aren’t used often in Hawaii, and as a result you’re going to have to do some work on your own.
Start your search online
Once you’ve chosen a region or two, take a look at these websites to get you started on finding a rental property on Oahu:
Honolulu Board of Realtors
Honolulu Star Advertiser
Hawaii Rental Properties
For military members – to locate a rental property on Oahu visit the new DoD sponsored website: homes.mil. Also see, AHRN — the Automated Housing Referral Network website (this one is no longer sponsored by DoD).
*Craigslist is a great resource for finding rental properties, however, it also serves as a breeding ground for scammers and thieves. Please use caution when responding to Craigslist ads, and never agree to send money (either by check, or by wiring funds) before seeing a property and meeting the Landlord/Property Manager. Also, double check the source of the property by visiting the website of the property management company to verify the property is actually for rent.
What to expect in the market.
Now, it’s time to make the calls, and schedule the showings. Monthly rent for a rental property on Oahu will vary, based on location and the size of the property. Quality will vary, based on the age of the property, and the quality of the maintenance performed. Importantly, demand will vary. Some properties are rented the same day they become available, while others will be available for weeks. Don’t be discouraged by how quickly rental properties on Oahu disappear. Instead, attend each showing prepared to complete a rental application, pay an application fee, and place a holding deposit if necessary.
Pets or smoking?
Many rental properties on Oahu do not allow pets, or smoking — if you need these accommodations, ask before viewing a property. If you do have a pet, and are looking for a pet friendly rental property on Oahu, visit the Hawaiian Humane Society website, where you will find information not only about pet-friendly locations, but also tips on how to be a responsible pet owning tenant.
Partly Furnished 2+1+1.
You may be asking yourself questions like, what does partly furnished mean – and what is the last number in a 2+1+1? A rental property on Oahu that is advertised as partly furnished commonly means that the property will include all large appliances (refrigerator, washer and dryer, in addition to stove top and oven). If you require more furnishings than this, be sure to ask. A 2+1+1, is a property that has two bedrooms, one bathroom, and one designated/reserved parking space. The last number in a sequence of three almost always refers to parking – so if it’s missing, and you require parking — ask about this too.
It is costly to find new tenants, and likewise, it is costly to move. For a rental property on Oahu, be prepared to sign at least a six month lease, and do not be surprised when a one-year term is the only option. While most landlords will not discuss monthly rent increase amounts, many will tell whether it is customary for them to increase the rent annually. Do not be afraid to ask. Likewise, to get a feel how much it will cost you to live in a home, ask about the average utility bills, and landscaping charges, and pest control. Do not save these questions until you sit down to sign the lease.
While I do not operate a leasing agent service – I can help you find a rental property on Oahu. All of the options available to me, are available to you — but sometimes the response to agents is different (are you getting called back?) — I am happy to help. Please visit my website here to leave your contact details, or contact Kasandra at 808.221.8904, or firstname.lastname@example.org, to answer any questions you may have. Good luck, and welcome to paradise!