Hi, this is Jill Ward with Century 21 Island Homes. Let's talk today about whether you should buy a home when you PCS to Hawaii. I have a personal bias when it comes to using your BAH to buy a home. My husband and I have bought four homes here in Hawaii. We also bought a condo in Washington State and a home in South Carolina. We used our BAH and applied it to pay for our mortgage rather than paying off somebody else's mortgage.
So what is your BAH. Your BAH on the mainland is very different than what your BAH here is in Hawaii. So go on the internet and check a BAH calculator. And I think it'is really important to remember to think about what your BAH will get you. So there is kind of a rough formula; about for every $500 in BAH will give you a $100,000 of buying power. So if you have $3,000 in BAH, that will approximately get you a $600,000 house. You are not limited by this amount especially if you have additional down payments or other needs necessary.
I want to also let you know that buying a home is not for everyone. There are people who may tell you just go buy a home but I really think you need to look at several factors. Number one: how long are your orders? If you only have 18 month orders or two-year orders that's a little more questionable. But if your orders are for three years it makes a little more sense to buy. Also you want to know if you are going to come back or not. Do you love Hawaii? Are you going to get stationed here maybe have to go somewhere else but try to get back. It' is great to have a home to come back to and in the meantime you can get somebody else to pay your mortgage. And the last one is are you gonna rent it out or not. Maybe you plan on being here for a few years and leaving the island and using it as an investment. But again if you are gonna rent out your home after you leave that is another reason you might want to buy.
So do your homework. Find out what your motivation is to buy a home. Determine your length of stay. And really look at what you can afford. Don't stretch yourself too much that will put you in a bad position in the long run. So again work with a realtor that is going to be able to sit and talk through all the issues and also let you know what kind of a budget you are going to be able to work with.