PCS’ing to Hawaii? Here are 8 FAQ’s From Our Clients
PCS’ing is stressful, there’s no doubt about it. As military relocation specialists we’ve had many clients who were in the same position that you’re in now — about to move to a new place and filled with questions and concerns. We’ve rounded up a list of our client’s most frequently asked questions so you can stop worrying and start getting excited about your upcoming move to Hawaii!
How do I find out more information on schools before moving?
If you’re moving with kids, schools are an important factor to consider when finding a home. You’ll want to move to a district with a school that meets your child’s needs. Each year HONOLULU Magazine publishes rankings of Hawaii’s public schools. This is a great place to start your research. If you’re interested in private school, here’s a list of options.
Any tips for when I move?
Don’t wait to immerse yourself in the community! Link up with other military spouses, join local organizations, and sign your kids up for sports, activities and clubs. These are all a great ways to meet people and develop friendships in your new home.
I’m moving for a short amount of time, is it even worth buying a home?
Absolutely! Just because you’re moving here for a few years, that doesn’t mean you should miss out on all the benefits of home ownership. One of the top reasons to buy: your BAH goes into your home, rather than a landlord’s pocket. When you go to sell later, you could get all that money back. This, combined with the fact that Oahu homes are consistently appreciating in value, could mean more money in your pocket.
Should I buy, rent or live on base?
This is one of the most common questions we get and we understand why — buying a home is a huge commitment and you’re here for a limited amount of time. However, you shouldn’t rule out buying because it certainly has its advantages. Check out our blog post here that looks at the pros and cons of buying, renting and living on base. This should help you narrow down which option is best for you.
How much do homes on Oahu cost?
So, you’ve told all your friends that you’re moving to Hawaii and they’ve probably all responded with, “oh, I hear it’s expensive there.” Well, they’re not wrong. Last year, the median home price on Oahu was $790,000. However, as a member of the military you get a variety of benefits that help to alleviate this burden. Not only do you get BAH, you also get COLA due to the high cost of living. On top of that you might be eligible for the VA Home Loan which will help tremendously if you’re looking to buy.
For active military and veterans looking to use a VA Loan in Hawaii, the loan limit is $765,600. But first-time loan users and those with fully-restored entitlements have no limit on their VA loan. That’s with 0% down and can be higher with a small down payment. There are loads of benefits associated with using the VA Loan: it can be used multiple times, has lower rates, easier qualifying criteria, and you can even own more than one home at a time.
I’ve already used a VA Loan during a different PCS, can I use the loan again?
YES! Most people think that if you’ve already used a VA Loan, you can’t use it again, but that’s not the case. In fact, the VA Loan is a lifelong benefit for both active service members and veterans. Got questions? Send us an email!
Where should I live when I move to Oahu?
There are so many beautiful places to live on Oahu and each neighborhood has its own unique characteristics. The answer to this question truly depends on where you’ll be stationed, your lifestyle and interests, and whether or not you have children (and where you’d like them to go to school). Do you prefer city-vibes? You might want to consider Waikiki or Kaka’ako. Are you ready for the laid-back, beach lifestyle? Kailua might be a better fit for you. Love the suburbs? Ewa Beach or Kapolei could be calling your name. We’d love to learn more about you and your family so we can help you find the best community to build your new home. Feel free to reach out!