You are here

27 Jan 2023
Related Items: 

North Shore Oahu Turtle Bay Condos: How To Own a Profitable Short-Term Rental

The Lowdown

The ultimate getaway from it all is nestled along the coastline of the North Shore of Oahu. The condos are sprinkled within the boundary line of the Turtle Bay Golf and Tennis Resort and next to the famous world surf mecca at Pipeline and Waimea Bay. Impressive Winter swells (Nov-Early Feb.) can be as powerful and big as 20-40+ feet in height. Situated approximately 28 degrees North is a sprawling 1,300-acre playground with 12 miles of hiking and biking trails, horse stables, casual, fine dining, and five miles of gorgeous coast. You don’t have to be a surfer to take part in all the beauty and adventure that awaits you in the quiet countryside.

man golfing on north shore oahu

This gated complex comprises 368 units in 2-story buildings. In comparison, the West side was built in 1973 within the 18-hole Fazio golf course, and the East side was built in 1975 within the newer 18-hole Arnold Palmer golf course. Each side has its own pools, tennis courts, resident manager, and a board of directors for the association of apartment owners (AOAO). Currently, the East side allows pets, but the West side does not. The locals still fondly refer to the estates and resort as the “Kuilima,” which was the original name given in 1972 by developer Del Webb.  Hawaii Life Rentals offers guests an elevated boutique accommodation experience with the carefully curated “Kuilima” Collection. It’s an ode to the origins with a modern twist, giving each guest a new sense of place.

The Prices, Fees & Rates

At the moment, prices range from mid-$800,000s for studios, mid-$900,000s for 1-bedroom units, to over $1.9M for 3 bedrooms. Monthly fees range from $500-$1200, depending on the size of the unit. Over the years, the open beam ceilings on the top floors have mostly all been converted to lofts to maximize interior space and rentability. In 2012, the Lease-Fee conversion was offered to owners and now mostly all of the units are Fee Simple. Check out this cool West side studio with loft that is very popular with guests and currently has over 90% occupancy rate.

studio vacation rental on oahu

Studio with loft, sleeps 1-2 guests

The Scoop on Taxes

Oahu has recently changed the law regarding short-term rentals (Bill 41).

This area is limited to one of just 3 locations on Oahu that allows an owner to operate legal, daily, vacation rentals. Because it’s within a resort zone, this also means that, unlike residential-zoned properties, you will pay a higher property tax rate. You will want to consult with a tax advisor for more details. See the table below to compare current tax rates. Also, check out this link for FAQs regarding owning a rental property and preparing for taxes.

honolulu country real property tax rates

Honolulu County Tax Rates 2021-2022

The Profit

There is a trade-off. These condos can command a premium rate per night because of this special ordinance. Owners of well-managed and upgraded units are reaping the rewards. This updated 2 bedroom with loft space rents for $450-$650 per night and is the perfect home away from home to live like a local in comfort and style.

Wish you were here… 2 bedroom, 2 bath with loft space and covered lanai with bbq.

The Perks

Larger groups and families wishing to stay in the resort will find this a much more cost-effective alternative to staying in the Turtle Bay Resort, such as:

  • Cook your own meals
  • Stay together in one unit
  • Avoid the parking and other fees the resort charges.

You can still enjoy the resort amenities, such as dining options, beaches, horseback riding, tennis, and golf. Inquire with the resort front desk to find out about fees and other details that are not a part of the Turtle Bay Estates. For more info about the Turtle Bay Resort, call #866-475-2569 or go online:

The Essentials

1. HAWAII LAW:  If you are not a resident, you must have a property manager or someone designated as a contact on the island. By and large, this is one of the most important steps that easily gets overlooked. If you want to make some serious income and do it right, hire a full-time, professional property manager. A seasoned pro will help you run the numbers and create a marketing plan that will guarantee a return on your investment, obtain the required certification from the state, as well as help you collect and file the required taxes. (GET/4.712%), transient accommodation tax (TAT/10.25%), state tax 3%. *current tax rates as of this blog post.

2. SET THE STAGE: Offer guests a well-maintained and amazing experience they will rave about and keep your unit at the top of the search. No TARGET, big box stores, or home furnishing showrooms for miles on the North Shore! That’s why you need a pro to handle everything, like the owner of this charming 1 bedroom on the East side, who also happens to be a seasoned local Realtor. If she’s all in, that’s a tell-tale sign that this is a good investment.

3. ASSEMBLE AN A-TEAM: Cleaning, repairs, upgrades, booking, guest communications, and general maintenance are a constant. The North Shore can be a challenging place to find reliable people to service your property. This is THE essential step in making this process a success. It’s not easy to weed through the good, bad, and ugly vendors to ensure things run smoothly. A bad review can cost you dearly.

coffee maker

Let the adventure begin with 100% Kona Coffee grown in Hawaii Island…


Here is what some of our owners have to say about our property management services:

“I own a beautiful condo at Turtle Bay/Kuilima West, but I live on the mainland. When you live so far, you have to put your trust into your “on the ground” property managers. I couldn’t trust anybody more than Jill and Diana! They take care of my place like it’s their own. They live local, so they’re always available for emergencies and have a personal touch with guests that is unlike any other property management group I’ve worked with. “
-Shirley O’Connor 

A Hui Hou, Diana & Jill from the Hawaii Life Rentals Team