Military Relocation to Hawaii? Some Things you Should Know!

Oahu Military Relocations
You are in the Military; you have your orders and will be relocating to Hawaii.  What are some of the things you may want to know about Hawaii military relocations?

Housing is quite expensive here. 

  • Fortunately you will receive a higher BAH than you probably are used to getting.  Here is a chart with the 2015 Basic Housing Allowance for Honolulu County (BAH).
  • VA mortgages are usually the best deal for you and the VA cap here for 100% financing is $721,050.  You can go higher if you add some down payment.  If you speak to a loan officer and they say they have a better deal than a VA loan, be careful.  That usually means they either can not do VA or have something they make more money on.  My best recommendation is to use a local loan officer and a primary lender; this will help you avoid many of the problems that come up when dealing with middleman and those who do not know the local market or laws. I can easily provide you a list of quality loan officers and lenders who specialize in Military/ VA.  You can do a pre-approval with the lender before arriving in Hawaii.  This will take a lot of stress off you and speed up the process.  It will also help you set a budget.  If you are already in Hawaii, attend one of the free Oahu VA Loan Seminars to find out more.  To find out the date and location of the next VA Seminar on Oahu, click here.
  • The government has and is building a large amount of base housing.  Some of it is new and much of it is not so new and not so nice.  If you take base housing, you will not receive BAH.
  • Most rental inventory here are either single family homes (a small percentage) or individually owned condominiums (the large majority of the inventory).
  • If you are planning or considering buying a home.  I have the ability start your search through the internet to allow you to be informed a ready to hit the ground running when you arrive.

Military Relocation to Hawaii – Picking a community to reside in.

Oahu Military Relocations

  • Some basic rules about pricing.  If you are planning to live close to KBAY (Kaneohe or Kailua).  You will find residential housing higher priced than many parts of the island.  If you are looking to cut costs areas a little further out will be less expensive.  You may also consider a drive over the H-3 freeway to some of the areas across the mountain.  One tip before I forget, there are some properties in some areas that are leasehold.  Leasehold is where you buy the home and lease the land.  These may appear as less expensive, but may not be and may.  A good professional real estate agent can help you with this situation.
  • If you are stationed at Pearl Harbor areas closer to Honolulu usually cost more for less.  If you go west (Leeward) there are several planned communities with newer and more cost effective housing.  The trade off is a little further drive.
  • If you are looking into schools in the area, you can find information about Hawaii Schools on the following sites.

Hawaiian Humane SocietyIf you are moving here with a pet, there are a few things you need to know.

  • Be sure to get shots and medical records in advance per Hawaii State requirements.  If you do not follow the procedure carefully your pet will be quarantined for an extended period of time.  We have no rabies in Hawaii and the State is very care to keep it that way.
  • Some pets and animals are strictly forbidden.  For example we have no snakes in Hawaii and want to keep it that way.
  • The Hawaii Humane Society has additional information about pets in housing, including a good list of pet friendly buildings.
  • Some of the forbidden animals:
      • Alligators
      • Bearded dragon lizards
      • Bees (alive or dead)
      • Bulbuls
      • Coconut crabs
      • Electric catfishes
      • Ferrets
      • Gerbils
      • Geckos
      • Hamsters
      • Hermit crabs
      • Land snails
      • Lion fishes
      • Lories
      • Monk parakeets
      • Piranhas
      • Snakes
      • Snapping turtles
      • Toucans

Similar restrictions apply to plants.  We live in a fragile environment here in the islands and we try to keep invasive species of not only animals from getting in, but also plants.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or otherwise contact us.  We are  passionate about helping those who serve relocate to and get the most out of their time in Hawaii and pride ourselves on helping a large number of happy military buyers purchase property on Oahu.

About Randy Prothero

Randy works with both buyers and sellers and takes extreme pride in having placed many first time home buyers in homes. He is an area expert for residential real estate and one of a small handful of agents who specialize in working with VA / Military clients. His services are normally free to buyers.

Contact Randy to start the process of buying or selling a home. He will make it a pleasant experience.

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