Receiving PCS orders to Hawaii can be exciting and fear provoking at the same time. Living on a beautiful island is appealing, but paradise comes at a price, and for military service members, this can be daunting. Living on the military installation is certainly an option, but utilizing the generous Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is a great way to invest in yourself and your future.
And yes, it is possible to afford a house on the beautiful island of Oahu!
What Kind of Buying Power Does Your BAH Afford You?
Let’s look at a few scenarios:
You are a single E-6, stationed at Fort Shafter, receiving $2,328 a month and you are looking for a reasonable commute to work and access to dining and recreation on the weekend. A monthly allotment of $2,328 roughly translates to a purchase price of $370,000 (credit score, interest rate, taxes and insurance, and HOA fees may adjust this amount).
Just 5 miles from Fort Shafter and less than 3 miles from all that Waikiki has to offer, this 2 bedroom condo is an ideal location. Utilize the second bedroom for rental income and reap the benefits of having someone help you meet the mortgage payment. The Homeowner’s Association Fees (HOA) come in at $620/mo., but this includes both water and electricity!
1710 Makiki St #301, Honolulu, 96822 (MLS# 201704964)
Stationed at Schofield Barracks or Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam as an E-9 with dependents provides you with monthly BAH of $3,363, giving you the ability to buy a home priced at $658,039. And this stunning home fits that bill!
91-1006 Wahipana St, Kapolei (MLS# 201706819)
The beautiful Kapolei-Iwalani neighborhood is located in the booming city of Kapolei. Just shy of 17 miles to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and 20 miles to Schofield Barracks, the easy access to Interstate H-1 will ease your commute.
Kapolei is a master planned community that is often referred to as the “Second City of Oahu” as it is self-contained with a new shopping mall, parks, recreational facilities, and all the amenities you could desire, without having to drive to Honolulu. With 3 beds and 2.5 baths, this home makes for easy living and a great entertaining space too.
While this wasn’t intended to be a discussion about the buying vs. renting, it is important to look at those numbers in order to understand the true buying power of your BAH. If you were to spend the respective housing allotments of $2,328 (E-6) and $3,363 (E-9) renting a home, you would have spent $83,808 (E-6) and $121,068 (E-9) over three years.
Clearly, with all things considered, investing that money into yourself is the best way to go. Not only can you spend this time living in paradise, but you can have something important to take with you to your next duty station – cash!
Ready to Invest in You?
Contact me so I can help you determine your BAH buying power, and guide you towards achieving your perfect Hawaii Life!