First Investment Property...Condo or House?

3 Replies

I am an active-duty military member preparing to make my first-ever property purchase using my VA loan. I am looking for a property than will generate positive cash flow but it seems that Oahu (my current residence for the next two years) might not be the best place to find a property that will do that. Does anyone have any stories or opinions to share about owning rental properties on Oahu? Would a Condo or a Multi-Unit House make more sense?

Aloha Holland! It's typically quite challenging to make the numbers work to cash flow here. If you're set on it then there's two ways to go about it: Vacation rentals ie: Airbnb or some type of multi-family property. Since you'd be looking to use your VA loan, I'd go the multi family route as it's the best bang for your buck option. You'll typically see a home setup for multi-generational use here. Second story or extension to the original house with a fully functional "wet bar." Or ideally a home that has a legal "Ohana" (family) house or permitted ADU( Accessory Dwelling Unit). The individual lot and zoning will affect each and of course whether or not it's already a part of the existing house. These would be a supplement to your BHA and also provide cash flow once you move on to the next duty station.

Multi is your best bet. I own a condo out here and although it was a sweet gig at first, you'll most likely be breaking even at best. Use your access to military tenants as an advantage too. Great way to fill in vacancies. Just know before you buy, (only in my opinion though) count on it being a long term hold and having an exit strategy. Homes are stupid overpriced and you may take a loss if you're not prepared. 

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