Our Rental Guide
Gathering the information necessary to make an informed decision on the neighborhoods that work best for you can be a real challenge. That challenge becomes even more daunting when a house-hunting trip is not feasible due to the time and expense involved with flying to the islands. Stott Property Management, LLC hopes that this article helps save you some time and frustration in preparing for your coming move. If you have not done so already, please read the article titled “Finding a Rental Property” as well.
In general, the most affordable neighborhoods are located in West Oahu (Ewa Beach, Kapolei, Makakilo, Waianae) and Central Oahu (Mililani, Wahiawa). In general, the most expensive neighborhoods are located in East Honolulu, Hawaii Kai, and Kailua.
Searching for “vacation rentals Oahu” or “beach rentals Oahu” on one of the larger search engines like Google or Yahoo will provide numerous links to websites. Our favorite for Kailua and Lanikai beach rentals is Hawaiian Islands Bed & Breakfast.
If you are a military/DOD retiree, consider the Hale Koa Hotel. It is a first class hotel, on the beach in Waikiki.
Here are some other links that you may find useful:
Hawaii is famous for sunshine and beaches. A feature of Hawaii’s weather patterns that is not as well known is often referred to as Hawaii’s microclimates. The islands have weather patterns that can vary significantly over short distances. In general, the weather tends to be cooler and wetter on the Windward Side of the island (Northeast Oahu), and hotter and dryer on the Leeward Side of the island (Southwest Oahu). It will also rain much more often the closer you get to the Koolau Mountain Range. The wettest town on Oahu is Kaneohe and the driest town on Oahu is Waianae.
If you are allergic to mold, then you would most likely be happier living in a neighborhood with a dryer climate. If you like rain showers and lush greenery, then you should look at living on the Windward Side or close to the Koolau Mountain Range. During most of the year, you can see the amount of rainfall that an area gets by looking at the mountain ranges. The mountains are noticeably greener on the Windward Side of the island and turn brown on the Leeward Side.
Oahu’s traffic patterns not only drive some commuters crazy, they significantly affect the rents on the island. Congestion is the worst along the stretch of highway known as the H-1 corridor (from Kapolei to Honolulu). Commute times west of the H-1 / H-2 interchange to Honolulu are in excess of one hour and can exceed two hours when an accident occurs.
Stott Property Management, LLC recommends driving your commute during rush hour (7:00 am – 9:00 am & 3:30 pm – 6:00 pm) before signing a lease. You may realize that you would prefer to pay the additional rent to avoid the traffic.
Schools are of major concern to many families relocating to Hawaii. On Oahu, most of the public schools are K-6 for elementary school, 7-8 for intermediate school and 9-12 for high school. The entire state is a single public school district with the public schools varying considerable from area to area. In general, the public schools tend to mirror the homes in the area. In nicer neighborhoods where most of the students will be attending college, the parents tend to be very interested in their children’s education, support the PTA, etc. The schools reflect this interest both by the students and their parents. In contrast, there are areas on Oahu where a high percentage of students will dropout prior to graduation and more students exist that tend to create a disrupting influence in the schools.
A useful link for locating public and private schools is the greatschools.net website.
In our opinion, Honolulu Magazine provides some of the best information about Hawaii public and private schools. Please use the link below to read the latest articles.
Pet Quarantine is a state website with frequently asked questions and links to the applicable rules.
Honolulu is home to Waikiki Beach and Magic Island. There are also a number of great surf spots along this stretch of coastline.
Hawaii Kai is home to Sandy’s Beach. Sandy’s is the destination for the more adventurous body surfer’s and boogie boarders on the island. The waves break on the shore and can easily injure inexperienced swimmers.
Waimanalo is home to Waimanalo Beach. This beach stretches for miles and is not nearly as crowded as other parts of the island.
Kailua is home to Kailua Beach and Lanikai Beach. These are two of the best beaches for swimming, kayaking, kite surfing, windsurfing, and stand up paddling. Some parts of Kailua beach are also popular boogie boarding and surf spots.
Ko Olina is home to man made lagoons that are excellent for swimming and relaxing.
The North Shore is home to world-class big wave surfing in the winter and swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving in the summer.
Waianae has beautiful stretches of beaches and is also home to great surfing when the south swells kick in.