PCSing to Oahu? To Rent Or To Sell?

Is it time for you to pack up and move away from your island home? According to a 2012 article in Pacific Business News, “Oahu has the fourth-largest military workforce in the United States.” If you are a homeowner and among the military members with orders to PCS to your next duty station, have you weighed your options of renting or selling your home? If you have been faced with this dilemma, there are several factors that you want to be very clear on before you pursue either option.

nicoles house

Photo courtesy of Nicole Vessichelli

What’s the Best Decision Financially?

Think about your financial situation. Does it make sense financially to rent out your home or sell your home? Some things to consider when assessing your fiscal fitness are:

1. Your level of indebtedness. Do you have little, moderate, or excessive debts you owe other than your mortgage?

2. Your access to liquid assets. Do you have at least six months of living expenses in reserve?

3. Your cash flow. How will the PCS effect your additional allowances like your BAH or any other special allowances you may have received while stationed in Hawaii?

4. Additional expenses. Typically property managers charge between 8 – 10 % of your monthly rental income as payment for their services. And how would it affect you financially if your home was not rented for a period of time?

Does It Make Sense Logistically?

Once you have determined your financial eligibility to rent your home then next you must consider if it logistically makes sense. Some considerations and questions are:

1. Consider location. Oahu’s housing market is healthy. Darlene Higa of the National Association of Residential Property Managers states that, “The rental market for 2016 should continue to be strong. Rents are projected to remain at an all-time high with dwindling supply and pent-up demand.”

2. Rent-ability. Is your home of the most desired type of rental on the market? Consider the size, type, community accessibility, location on the island, property amenities, and if it’s pet-friendly.

3. Return is imminent. Is there a possibility your family will have the opportunity to return to the island after a PCS or a few?

With all these answers and new found knowledge in mind, are you ready to be a landlord? Don’t worry if you answer is “no” on this one because, trust me, that one is best left up to the professional, just like the financial advice is.


If you are unsure of your financial status, it is always best to enlist the services of a professional financial planner.

Once you’ve consulted with a professional and you decide you cannot rent your home, now is the time to have a conversation with your Realtor about selling your home. And we at Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers, “We list your property properly.” With “smart marketing” and “solid representation,” we will get your home sold in an acceptable amount of time, so your PCS transition is as smooth as possible.

Want to Know More?

If you want tips on selecting the right property manager, and want to hear a real rental success story, stay tuned for my next blog on this subject.

Mahalo for reading. And never forget: “This We’ll Defend,” “Semper Paratus,” “Non sibi sed patriae,” “Semper Fidelis,” and “Aim High…Fly, Fight, Win.”

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