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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Finding the Perfect Rental

We have all done the Craigslist rental search, sometimes finding gems, sometimes finding things we would rather not have. (Did I mention the time I stumbled across a nudist hippy commune? Ummm, no thank you, I’ll go now.) I have been blessed with some amazing rentals over the years, and have found some methods that seem to work tried and true.

First, define where you want to live. My biggest thing has always been living close to the ocean, in a metro area, so for me, being able to walk to the beach is essential. Define where you want to live within a few mile radius, and then begin to narrow it down.

Search for listings with and without photos. I used to eliminate all non-photo searches, thinking if they didn’t post pictures, the place couldn’t be that great. I was so wrong! I found an incredible property on the water at the Gold Coast, at 70% of market value from a listing of about three lines and no pictures.

Use detailed search terms. This is probably the best thing for narrowing down properties. Don’t just search for "Honolulu," or "North Shore;" make your search as specific as possible. Find out what the locals call the neighborhood, search for street names, landmarks, and nearby parks. You’d be surprised how poorly some people advertise their space, and this will help you narrow down your search to exactly where you want to live. For example, when I was looking for that place on the Gold Coast, I searched for “Diamond Head,” “Kaimana Beach,” “Kapiolani Park,” “Coconut” and, of course, “Gold Coast.”

Use the map feature on Craigslist. I love that they have added a map feature, but proceed with caution. Many rentals don’t list coordinates, and so won’t show up on the map, and, for my latest rental, the map was miles off somehow. (But the property was perfect!)

And of course, search within your price range. No need to be finding gorgeous rentals that are thousands above what you can afford! 

Posted on Thursday, May 9, 2013 in Permalink

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About This Page

Honolulu Real Estate focuses on the Hawaii housing market, condos and homes for sale, Hawaii rentals and general news about real estate in Hawaii. It also includes stories on apartment living, home decor and profiles.

Melissa Chang graduated from the University of Hawaii with a degree in journalism and has been blogging since 2007, mostly on food and travel. She works primarily in social media, so you can find her online @Melissa808 on Twitter and Instagram.


Jaymes Song is a real estate agent at Prudential Advantage Realty in Kahala. Jaymes is in the top 7 percent of Prudential agents nationwide. Previously, Jaymes was at The Orange County Register, Honolulu Star-Bulletin and rose through the ranks to overseeing news and operations for AP in Hawaii and the Pacific Rim. Jaymes lives in the Portlock area and loves his real full-time job of being dad to two curious kids.

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