My Oahu Housing Experience

I moved to Honolulu Aug 2016 as I accepted a new job opportunity. I moved out here with a co-worker who arranged a few months stay with another co-worker who was living in Kaneohe. It quickly became apparent that trying to get a place to stay was a decent challenge. My co-worker and I searched the local Craigslist² postings for several weeks and happened to find a nice two bedroom, two bath condo. It featured AC, washer & dryer, was furnished, had a dish washer, garbage disposal, and had one parking spot. This condo was in the Salt Lake area, close to work and was listed for about a day. Good spots don’t seem to last real long once posted. This condo was $2400 per month which included all utilities. Definitely ask the landlord or property manager exactly what is included as well as accurate costs for what isn’t included (such as electricity).

Electricity on Oahu is pretty expensive at 27.5 cents per kilowatt hour on average. The national average is 12.5 cents, a pretty significant difference¹.

Once you make contact with the landlord or property manager, you’ll set up a time to look at the rental unit. It’s not uncommon to have several other people also looking at the same rental at the same time. Many people are looking for a place to rent, so if enough people are interested in the same place, a bidding war can certainly take place. Luckily my co-worker and I didn’t experience this. After a year at this condo, I did hunt for another place and experienced some of this.

Typically a rental agreement will include a background check (which is usually $20 per application non-refundable), a few pay stubs and possibly a few references. Rental agreements are usually one year but a six month is possible.

After living at that location for a year, I was pretty burned out from having a room mate. I ended up finding a small place out in Manoa for $1300 per month, six month agreement, month to month after. This place was a small studio comprised of two small rooms, a washer (no dryer), utilities included except internet and no designated parking spot. Street parking was usually not a problem until school was in session (University of Hawaii was about two blocks away). Take this into account when you are looking at a place that is pretty close to the University.

After about eight months, I was pretty tired of the living conditions and found a place in Palolo Valley. This place was a three bedroom, 1.5 bath home that came with two roommates. I did end up going this route once again to cut down on expenses. Cost was $745 a month, utilities included except internet. It was nice to split cost of the internet, ended up being about $12 a month. The agreement was for six months and month to month after. This place did include a washer & dryer, a small storage area and street parking.

After getting tired of the relatively long walk from street parking as well as the landlords wanting to do some renovations, I was back on the hunt to find a new place. I searched both Craigslist and Facebook market place. I ended up finding a nice large studio in Makiki up round top drive for $1300 a month on Craigslist. This place has a shared washer & dryer, one covered parking stall, small storage, AC, and amazing views of Diamond Head & Waikiki.
I can honestly say that I have never moved around so much in such a short amount of time in my life. It definitely adds to the adventure of experiencing Oahu!

 

 

 

 

¹https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/37551087/ranking-electricity-costs-twice-the-national-average-in-hawaii/

²https://honolulu.craigslist.org/oah/

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