Best places to live for army nurse

  1. 0
    Hey everyone! I joined the army nurse corps and will hopefully get my first choice duty station of Hawaii next year!!! I am so excited to having the possibility of living there for 3 years. I'm hoping that all of you Hawaii locals can help me with something! I am a single 26 y/o female without children and will be receiving a Housing allowance from the army of $1800 per month. What are some suggestions for places to live where it's a nice area, air conditioning, and within my price range? I don't mind high-rise condos or renting the bottom floor of a house, or even a nice townhome or apt... I look foward to reading your responses!
  2. 5,260 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  3. 15 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Hi,

    There are a lot of choices. Most single residents people move downtown initially, since it is he most lively area of the island. Your price range, in large part, will determine where you can live. Generally speaking, homes cost less the farther you are from town. The exceptions are Kailua and Hawaii Kai. Although they are on the "ends" of the island, the homes there are in higher demand.
    If you want a central location, take a look at Salt Lake, Moanalua Valley and Aiea. If you want more of a suburban feel (with a lot of parks), take a look at Waikele and Mililani. Those are also on the way to the North Shore. There are numerous smaller communities as well. My advice: leave the community you are considering, at 7 AM and try to get to Bishop and King Streets. That'll give you an idea of the typical commute. Since you will most likely be at Tripler, you probably want to stay within 10 miles or so, to decrease your commute.

    You should seriously consider buying a place. I would try to narrow down the price within $50,000 or so first, then talk to a loan officer (send me an email if you would like some recommendations or have more questions) about whether you qualify for that price range. Once you have a figure, that will narrow things down for you and help you decide on the best place to buy your Hawaii home.

    If it were myself, I would rent a furnished 1 bedroom in the Makiki area for 6 months, until I got a feel for Oahu. They go for about $1200-$1500. Waikiki goes for $1600-$2200 for a furnished 1 bedroom (utilities included). Then I would buy a place, lots of bargains now.

    Welcome to Hawaii.
  5. 0
    i completely disagree with almost free.

    if you buy a place for $250,000... you'll spend at least 3% ($7500) or more to buy it. if you get a 6% loan, you'll pay $15,000 every year in interest. that's $$ you're giving to the bank.

    then move in a few years? that's nuts! either the army is gonna make you move after 3 years, or, if you're the average resident of hawai'i, you're gonna move, on your own, within 3 years. nothing personal, that's just the statistics. when you move in a few years, you're either gonna have the headache of managing the place long-distance (i've done that; it's a headache), or you're gonna spend 6% ($15,000) trying to sell the place.

    that sounds like the worst financial advice in the world, especially for a 26 y.o. who is new to the islands.

    renee: the bible writes, (paraphrasing) "don't go into debt." follow scripture's writing. also, www.daveramsey.com rocks!

    do yourself a favor. if you can, live on base the first six months. you'll have friends, community, lower prices for groceries at the pdx (i think those are the initials of the on-base supermarket). after 6 months, then decide what you want to do.

    if the army is gonna make you move in 3 years, then take the $7500 you would have spent to buy a place and the $15,000 you would have spent to sell the place, and put that $$ into a bank account! lisa ;-)
    Last edit by Lisa From Maui on Dec 17, '09
  6. 0
    Military people have a huge advantage when it comes to buying - their BAH of $20,000+ per year is nontaxable. Their house payment interest is tax deductible. So, that $15,000 in interest each year is nontaxable when you get it, and tax deductible when you pay it. No one else gets to do that. The $15,000 interest will reduce your taxes by at least $2000 per year.

    I didn't say to sell it when you leave. That's not a good idea. Real estate prices double every 12-14 years in Hawaii. You may be on the upside or downside. Rather than trying to time the market, it's better to keep it for 10 years, then sell. If you have 3 duty stations, you could have 3 condos, if you plan well. In 20 years (ideally), sell the first one. Retirements have been funded this way, along with stocks, and a pension.
    If you want to pay $15,000 in rent to no someone else (that had the foresight to buy the home), and have nothing after 3 years, that's your choice.

    I bought my first townhome in Makakilo when I was 24. Best thing I ever did.
  7. 0
    almostfree:
    when you bought it, how much did it cost you? principal? how much down payment did you have?
    how much money did you pay to a property management company, to take care of the property while you lived somewhere else? and, have you ever had to deal with the headaches of being a property manager from 3000 miles away?

    if someone (this 26 y.o. nurse or anyone else) does not have $50-100 k for a down payment,
    and their monthly mortgage (plus association fees) are $500 more...
    then...
    how are they gonna be able to afford to rent it out?

    that's exactly the situation my husband and i are in.
    the condo we are renting, if we bought it today, costs $ 250,000.
    if we bought it today, with no down payment... mortgage, piti, $1500.
    plus $400 association fee. = $1900 total.

    if we had to move, we could get $1200 monthly rent. where are we (or her) gonna come up with the extra $700 per month, to pay our mortgage. that makes no sense to me.

    i told my husband, if you want to buy a condo here, then we need to save up at least $ 50,000 for a down payment. we need to put enough $$ down so that...
    if... total of piti + association fees + property management company fee...
    if that's more than what we would realistically get for rent,
    then we'll buy a condo.

    until then, we're putting $1000 per month into the bank.
  8. 0
    i bought if for $120,000 with zero down. it doubled less than 10 years later. when i left, i paid 10% (that's standard for leases greater than 6 months) of the rent for the property management company. that is also tax deductible. yes, i have dealt with a management company more than 3000 miles away, including while underwater.

    if she is active duty, you can buy for no money down, literally zero. if you can only get $1200 for a $250,000 condo, then something is wrong. in ewa beach and waikiki, condos on the market for $300,000 are getting close to $2000 a month for rent. in makiki, condos for $200,000 are getting $1200 a month for rent. for a $250,000 property, you should get a minimum of $1500. craigslist is a good source for rents:
    http://honolulu.craigslist.org/apa/
    http://honolulu.craigslist.org/searc...k=max&bedrooms= (the townhomes in spinnaker are going for $300,000 now)

    if you qualify for a low or zero down loan, it doesn't make sense to put a lot of money down. it's better to hold on to that money for other purposes, such as stocks or mutual funds (also long-term investments).
    if you would like to put $1000 a month into the bank, that's great. it's safe. you'll get about 1% right now and hopefully inflation will be less than that, so you don't go backwards. the interest on that money is also taxable. it makes more sense to buy 3 or 6-month cds, however.

    try this calculator and see for yourself if buying makes sense (use an appreciation rate of 6%, which means the price doubles every 12 years):
    http://realestate.yahoo.com/calculat...nt_vs_own.html
    for property taxes, it will be $850 for a $250,000 home. i would use $5000 per year for maintenance costs, 2% for savings and 3% for inflation.
    this is what i get:
    "you would save approximately $904,337 (in today's dollars) by buying a home, rather than renting, over the 30 year timeframe you have entered." even when i raise the annual maintenance costs to $6000, or $7000, it still comes out higher.

    the years that you live in a home give you the biggest tax advantage. also, if you live in it for 2 out of the previous 5 years, all of the gain is tax free.

    prices are now at where they were in 2005. rates are where they were in 1975. if you want to rent, it's better for mobility, but in the long run, buying a home makes the most sense, because it is tax sheltered and will be indefinitely unless congress takes that away. saving is great, do that. buying a home is great, do that. buy some coins, buy some stocks, buy some cds. start your own business when you get really bold.
    to make a long story short, i would get a furnished 1-bedroom in makiki for 6 months (or get a roommate and share a place), then decide what to do, as i originally recommended.
    Last edit by almostfree on Dec 17, '09
  9. 0
    Wow! Talk about going off topic! The OP is coming to Hawaii for 3 years as an Army nurse...not looking to stay here permanently. All this talk about buying a property here is ridiculous. Most people from the Mainland who move here want to move back after a few years anyway.

    To the OP: I wish I could give you some advice, but I don't live anywhere near the area where Tripler is located. Someone else suggested Makiki, but it is a congested urban area, as are most areas in the city of Honolulu. Millilani has some nice areas, and has more of a suburban feel to it. Maybe you could talk to some other Army people and get their opinions. Sorry I can't be more helpful. I am hoping others will reply with more suggestions, and stop debating the wisdom of buying a property, as it is completely irrelevant for this person...
  10. 1
    It is exactly on topic. I already retired. Every month I see a new retiree that is dead broke and has to work another 20 years because they didn't plan when they were in their twenties. The decisions you make when you start out affect you for the rest of your life. In life insurance and financial planning, there is a saying:
    "90 out of 100 people are dead or dead broke when they turn 65."
    If you want to live close to Tripler, choose Aiea, Salt Lake, Moanalua, Pearl City, Kalihi, Pali, Pauoa Valley, or Punchbowl, those are all within 5 miles. On the upper side of Moanalua Valley, past the Moanalua Golf Course (do a Yahoo! Maps search for Ala Iolani or Ala Lani Streets), there are many 6 to 8 bedroom homes. A lot of these people rent out one floor of their home for $1200 to $2000. It is one exit away from Tripler.
    Miss Chybil RN likes this.
  11. 0
    Quote from lisa from maui
    almostfree:
    when you bought it, how much did it cost you? principal? how much down payment did you have?
    how much money did you pay to a property management company, to take care of the property while you lived somewhere else? and, have you ever had to deal with the headaches of being a property manager from 3000 miles away?

    if someone (this 26 y.o. nurse or anyone else) does not have $50-100 k for a down payment,
    and their monthly mortgage (plus association fees) are $500 more...
    then...
    how are they gonna be able to afford to rent it out?

    that's exactly the situation my husband and i are in.
    the condo we are renting, if we bought it today, costs $ 250,000.
    if we bought it today, with no down payment... mortgage, piti, $1500.
    plus $400 association fee. = $1900 total.

    if we had to move, we could get $1200 monthly rent. where are we (or her) gonna come up with the extra $700 per month, to pay our mortgage. that makes no sense to me.

    i told my husband, if you want to buy a condo here, then we need to save up at least $ 50,000 for a down payment. we need to put enough $$ down so that...
    if... total of piti + association fees + property management company fee...
    if that's more than what we would realistically get for rent,
    then we'll buy a condo.

    until then, we're putting $1000 per month into the bank.

    all of this red is hurting my ears... why so angry?
  12. 0
    it's not anger. it's in red to make it stand out. think of it as all caps, or highlighting, or bold print. -- lisa ;-)


Top