Hawaii Real Estate: Question of the Week

I am looking to buy property that will bring in rental income. What are my options, and what should I look for in a property?

Hi Doug,

First off, you’re not the only one looking for some extra cash on the side in the way of rental income. With the price of real estate so high in Hawaii, many people are looking for ways to supplement their housing costs. Rentals can be a great source of income, whether renting out a room in a house or an entire apartment. Now, to answer your question, I first need to ask a few questions of my own:

  • What type of rental property do you want? Are you looking to buy a home with a separate rental unit on the property, a place with extra bedrooms, or do you want it to be a completely separate property from where you live?
  • How involved do you want to be with the property?
  • Do you want a turnkey property, something you can buy and rent out immediately or are you willing to spend some time and money renovating?
  • Are you looking to rent out by the day, week, month, or year?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be in a better position to find a property that suits your needs.  A few things to remember when evaluating potential cash flow: don’t forget to talk to your accountant about the taxes you will owe on a property. Also, depending on the island you live on, short-term rentals (less than one month) are illegal unless you have a property which is specially zoned for that (such as a condotel) or you have a special permit, so be sure to talk to your realtor if that is something you are considering and find out the laws where you are considering buying.

The Real Estate Question of the Week is a new feature on the Honolulu Magazine Real Estate blog. Have a question related to buying, renting or selling real estate? Email me!