Buying Advice

Navigating Military PCS Season Amongst COVID-19 Pandemic

If there is one thing I am absolutely certain of, military families are resilient. Last minute deployment orders, change of Leave requests, and alterations to PCS orders are a part of daily military life. The recent announcement regarding PCS orders and travel restrictions, has no doubt, put a wrench in relocation and vacation plans and you’ve found yourself having to pivot, once again!

Silver Lining

In a time of uncertainty, it can be challenging to find a silver lining, but again military families have a keen way of always finding the positive. With the upheaval in the stock market and economic uncertainty, the real estate industry continues to be a great place to invest your money and shore up your long-term wealth strategy. Interest rates remain low and homes are still moving here on Oahu, as the need to sell or buy a home continues, amid this global pandemic. This means it is an opportune time to explore home buying at your next duty station.

If you are anticipating an OCONUS move to one of the military installations on Oahu, I am here to help!

Housing Research

With the current pause in military moves, this time can be spent exploring available housing options on Oahu. Determining the wait time for military housing, or connecting with a qualified real estate agent that can help you navigate your rent or buy options, would be time well spent.  If you want to explore various neighborhoods near your future duty station, let me know. Video touring a neighborhood by car, still fits into the CDC guidelines of social distancing!

If you prefer to have your housing locked on before arrival, utilizing virtual showing technology and video neighborhood tours can make you feel comfortable making a purchase from afar. Having personal experience in purchasing a home site unseen, and assisting military servicemembers in doing the same, I am confident that I can guide you through each step.

Selling Your Home

If you plan to sell your home, this period of sheltering in place can allow you to check items off of your home maintenance punch list. In a perfect world, your home would be exactly the way you wanted it from the moment you purchased it, but limited time and resources usually leave us with a list of the things we wanted or needed to do. This is an ideal time to start crossing off those items that will improve how your home will show and will lighten your load as your move approaches.

Declutter & Clean

You know the feeling when you open a box at your new duty station, and realize you have to deal with items you no longer have a use for? Often times, the chaos of PCS season leaves you with little time to prepare for your move, so you opt to pack it all up and deal with it later. This could be an ideal time for decluttering and deep cleaning, so your home is ready to list the moment orders are received.

Stay Informed

As the current situation continues to evolve, it is important to stay informed about how this may impact your PCS orders, or your decision to buy or sell a home. Call me if you would like to receive market updates for your Oahu neighborhood, or if you would like to start your research for your new duty station.

You’ve got this, just like all of the other times when life took an unexpected turn and I’ve got your six, now and when life returns to normal.



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Russ LeMay

March 2, 2021


I’m expecting a PCS to Oahu in a few months and I wanted to float a few questions your way as we start to plan ahead.

We are an Air Force Family interested in potentially purchasing property upon arrival in Oahu with the intent being to live in the home during my duty in Hawaii (~2-4 yrs) and to keep the property as a long term rental and investment property with the goal of long term appreciation or potentially making it a permanent residence upon retirement (~10-15 yrs).

We are currently in DC (renting), and have a home we recently purchased in our hometown in Kentucky, where we plan to eventually return in 1-5 years. I know the year ranges are odd, that’s because I’m in the Air National Guard so there is some flexibility in my tour length.

The KY house was purchased at around $510k and we have long term renters at $3k/month. We intent to move into this house when we return to KY. Or if we fall in love with Hawaii and decide to stay we will keep renting it. We have an excellent DTI ratio, 800+ credit, and substantial cash for a down payment or to handle a lapse in having renters. Our price range is $500-750k, assuming we can get a second home loan. My income is about $140k/yr and my wife will look to start working again in Hawaii as a Nurse, so that will increase our income level.

We are a family of 4 and we are comfortable in a relatively small space (we’re in <1,200 sq ft now). We are looking for a condo with 3 br and 2 ba. We have done some research on neighborhoods but were hoping for an expert take. If we can set up a phone call in the near future that would be great.

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