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Can you make money renting out your home on Oahu?

Couple Packing House to Move

Can you make money renting out your home on Oahu? On the surface, it seems straightforward. You buy a house, live there for a few years, rent it out, and make a boat load of passive income. In a market like Oahu’s, the housing market is fairly robust and home and rental values can increase rapidly, making it seem like a no-brainer. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as they make it out to be on HGTV or TikTok. Especially in Hawaii.

If you are considering renting out your home, there are a few key factors to consider when making the decision between renting out or selling your home when you move.

Rent Vs. Sell: Key Factors to Consider

  1. How much equity do you have in your home? Have you built enough equity to offset the costs of selling your home?
  2. Will there be a difference in taxes if you sell now vs. later (FIRPTA/HARPTA)?
  3. What are comparable rentals going for in your area?
  4. What are your total monthly expenses (mortgage, HOA, landscaping, pest control, pool maintenance, property management etc)?
  5. What do property managers charge in your area? If you don’t plan to use one, are you familiar with all the applicable federal, state, county and city rental laws to help protect yourself legally and financially?
  6. Are you able to rent your home out for more than your monthly expenses?
  7. Are you comfortable with taking on the responsibility of being a landlord?
  8. Will you be able to afford to keep your current home and rent/purchase your next one?
  9. Which option (rent or sell) will best help me reach my financial goals?

Need help answering these questions? Contact Us to request information on our next monthly Rent Vs. Sell Homeowner’s Workshop or for a 1-on-1 Consultation.

As you can probably tell, there are a lot of factors to consider in making the decision to rent out your home. Owning a home is expensive, and depending on how long you have owned your home and what your payments are, you may not be able to charge enough rent to offset your expenses. This leads us to the question…

Why rent out your home?

The short answer is that someone else is paying a large majority of the expenses on your biggest investment each month. Therefore, whether or not you should rent out or sell your home when you move depends on your financial goals:

A) Short Term – to create a monthly passive income or

B) Long Term – to pay little to nothing out of pocket on your home while benefiting in the long-term from appreciation

If your goal is to make as much money as possible RIGHT NOW, then selling your home may be the best option for you. If your goal is to build your net worth in the long run, then keeping your home and renting it out could be the best option.

Every home and situation is unique, so it is important to sit down and identify which pathway is the best fit for you and your goals.

Request a free 1-on-1 rent vs. sell consultation.

Julie Principe - Oahu Realtor

Written By: Julie Principe


Julie Principe is a real estate agent based out of Honolulu, Hawaii. She began her real estate career in San Diego, California and moved to Oahu with her husband, Adam, on military PCS orders.

Since then, Julie has specialized in helping educate and empower active duty service members as they transition to and from the island of Oahu.

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