So you’re thinking about buying a vacation rental in Hawaii, and renting it out for a profit?
This could be a fantastic idea, a great source of income, and give you one more reason to visit the beautiful Hawaiian Islands regularly! More than likely at some point in this process you’re going to asking yourself…
What Do I Need to Know Before Buying a Hawaii Vacation Rental?
Here are 4 things to know and do before you buy a vacation rental in Hawaii.
1. Work With a Realtor Who Knows the Zoning Laws.
In Hawaii there are only certain areas that can be used for short term rentals. You can’t just buy any house or condo and be allowed to put it up for rent on Airbnb. Many locations in Hawaii only allow long term rentals, which are defined by the state as a rental of 180 days or more.
2. Account for GET Tax & TAT Tax When Estimating Potential Income.
In Hawaii, there is a (General Excise Tax) GET and (Transient Accommodation Tax) TAT that you must pay when you rent out your short-term rental property in Hawaii. Rates vary slightly by the island, but 15% is a good starting point for a combined total. GET and TAT are charged against the gross rent you receive. So, If you rent out your condo for one night and get $100, your tax may be about $15.
3. Is the Price Too Good to be True?
If you’re looking online at condos and search by the lowest price first, it may be confusing why one 2 bedroom unit is 3 times as much as another.
The reason for this could be due to things like extremely high maintenance fees, a leasehold property vs. a fee simple property, or a monthly special assessment fee. Remember, there is always a reason why a property is listed at a particular price.
4. Get to Know the Potential Property & Talk to the Property Manager.
There’s a lot that you can learn from talking to a property manager and residents about their condo building, and a good realtor will do this work for you. You’ll want to know if the condo rules allow for short term rentals, how people in the building feel about short term rentals, if there’s been any talk about the building not allowing short term rentals, if there’s any deferred maintenance on the building, sinking funds, how residents feel about the condo board, and more.
Want to Know More?
Whether you are new to investment properties or you’ve been doing this for a long time, Hawaii is different than most other states, and getting help from an industry expert is really the best way to go. I love discussing investment properties. If you have more questions about buying an investment property in Hawaii, you can email, call, or text me TomSelman@HawaiiLife.com (808-209-6389).
If you have ideas for a Hawaii real estate topic you’d like me to research and write about, let me know, I love getting suggestions! To see what other helpful articles I’ve written recently and to learn more about me, please follow this link to my Hawaii Life realtor page.