How to Find an Apartment in Honolulu Hawaii

Whether you’re currently residing in Honolulu or looking to move there, you probably won’t get a lot of sympathy from other people. But finding an apartment anywhere can be a real chore, and Hawaii is no exception.

There are a lot of places where you can look to find apartments. If you’re in the area, pick up some free local real estate guides, available at most grocery stores. Also check the local newspapers, like the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, which list apartments for rent in their Classifieds sections.

Another way to find apartments – sometimes ones that aren’t even listed – is to visit the apartments personally. Talk to a rental manager and pick up a brochure. Often if all of the apartments are currently filled, you won’t see them advertised anywhere, but you can usually put your name on a waiting list for the next available vacancy. One advantage of actually going to the apartment complex is that you can see the neighborhood and possibly get a look inside a model apartment.

While there are plenty of resources for finding apartments if you’re in Honolulu, anyone not in the area will have to rely on the Internet to search for rentals. Here are some websites that can help you find an apartment in Honolulu:


All of these websites are searchable by category or certain specifications, and there is no fee for apartment hunters to use them.

In addition to real estate websites, check for apartments listed by individuals. “Apartment” can often mean a converted garage or basement, or an extra room in a single family house. Locally, these apartments can often be found advertised on bulletin boards at community centers or supermarkets. Online, you can find them on craigslist or similar websites. Craigslist’s Honolulu page has several sections where you might be able to find an apartment: “apts/housing,” “rooms/shared,” or “sublets/temporary.” You can also use the search feature to narrow the options down.

If you have the money, you can hire a local real estate agent to find you an apartment. They can either send you the information on possible choices, or if you happen to be in the area (either for business or pleasure) they can take you around to look at apartments. Real estate agents work on commission, so this is definitely not your cheapest option.

If you’re thinking of getting a hotel room in Honolulu while you search for an apartment, make sure you have plenty of money set aside. Ranked among the top 20 U.S. tourist destinations in 2007 by Pacific Business News, Honolulu is not a cheap place to stay. Book your room well in advance, or use a discount site like Priceline or Expedia to secure a good rate.

One final tip: don’t put down a deposit until you’re sure you’ve found the right place. Deposits are almost always non-refundable, and you’ll kick yourself if you have to give up that money because the day after you put it down you found a better, cheaper apartment down the street.