8 Things to Know Before Buying a Vacation Rental Condo in Kailua-Kona

Real Estate Agent with Koa Realty Inc. RS - 59254

8 Things to Know Before Buying a Vacation Rental Condo in Kailua-Kona, HI

Kailua-Kona has become a very popular place for second home/ vacation rental condo purchases. The weather is perfect year round so there really isn't an off season. The right condo will have very high occupancy rates all year. Buyers should know a few things before starting their search. 

1. On the Big island, condominiums rented for less than a 30 day period need to have an STVR (short term vacation rental) permit. The application can be found at the Hawaii County Planning Department web site .

2. The condo has to have the proper zoning and CC&R's that do not restrict rentals for a period of less than 30 days.

3. Location matters. The condo will have higher occupancy rates if it's in a location that offers ocean views or the opportunity to walk to the beach or restaurants.

4. There are many ways to manage. Some vacation rental condo buyers want to be completely hands off. Others, would like to be involved in the booking and marketing of their unit. Some are in between. The level of service that you choose will affect the cost of operating your vacation rental. 

5. Furnishings and artwork. Most vacation rental condos in Kona are sold turnkey furnished but it's a good idea to check the condition of the mattresses and furnishings. Refreshing the unit with some tropical art and, if necessary, some new furnishings, can provide a boost to your bookings.

6. Know your niche. Some vacation rental condo complexes have exercise rooms, pool/spa, expansive landscaped grounds, on site restaurants , tennis courts and more. Others may only have a pool with very limited common areas. Amenities cost money in the form of higher maintenance fees. Some travelers are looking for the best priced rental and do not care to spend more for amenities that they don't want to use. Others, are looking for more and are willing to pay for it.

7. Damage protection. A busy vacation rental is going to get some damage from time to time. The big vacation rental advertising web sites like VRBO and Airbnb offer policies that are guest paid and offer different levels of protection for a small premium. Normal wear and tear like plumbing issues and appliance repair can be handled by one of the many handyman/tradesmen services in town that specialize in these things. If you have a property manager, they take care of these issues. If you self manage, it's not difficult to get someone to make a house call.

8. Good agent. Lastly, you need a good real estate agent that knows which units and condominium complexes will allow you to reach your goals. Whether that is having a top producing vacation rental condo, or just a place that you and your family will enjoy while offsetting  some of the expenses. I have been a real estate agent and vacation rental owner for many years and take pride in providing excellent buyer and seller representation. Feel free to call, or email with any questions that you may have. (808) 785-4664,

Posted by


Rich Bosselmann 

Real Estate Agent

(808) 785-4664 




All content copyright by Richard Bosselmann.  All rights reserved.

Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Rich, great information to share with buyers that may not know all the rules.

Sep 30, 2021 05:12 PM
John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Hello Rich Bosselmann-RS these are very good list of things to know before buying a vacation rental condo in Kailua Kona.

Sep 30, 2021 07:59 PM