Leverage your money

Leverage Your Money and Watch it Grow

Hawaii’s expensive real estate market can be intimidating, and many people believe that they are unable to purchase a home. They continue to pay rent, without building equity. Using leverage can bring Hawaii’s expensive real estate market within reach. With today’s low interest rates, mortgage payments have come closer to rent payments, especially as rents here have continued to rise.


Leverage is a popular tool in real estate investing. Whether you are a first-time homeowner or an experienced investor, leverage may help you increase your wealth faster in a rising market.

Consider a $500,000 real estate purchase that requires a 20% down payment of $100,0002. For 20% of the cost of the property, the buyer can purchase a half million dollar home. If the $500,000 property appreciates 5% per year, the home’s value will have increased to $525,000 in 12 months; an increase in real estate equity of $25,000.

On the other hand, if the homeowner used that same $100,000 and bought a smaller property for $100,000, in 12 months, with an appreciation of 5%, the home’s value would have increased to $105,000; an increase in real estate equity of only $5,000. This illustrates how using leverage could increase your real estate equity at a faster pace, in this example, by $20,000.


Leverage can help you purchase a home sooner, build net worth quicker and may offer tax benefits at the same time since most mortgage interest can be tax deductible, depending on your situation. Consult with your tax advisor to determine the deductibility.

It is important to understand that leverage works both ways since the real estate market does not always increase in value year to year. Determining the appropriate amount of leverage for your situation is important in real estate investing. In a declining market, the value of the real estate could even decline below the amount you owe your lender. Consult with a banker who is experienced in working with both homeowners and investors to wisely use leverage as a tool for your success.


Rents for single-family homes are UP 7.2% ON OAHU compared to the FIRST quarter of 2015 (according to Real Property Management Alliance and RentRange)
Real estate is one of the few investments that you can acquire by PAYING ONLY A FRACTION of the purchase price
A investment that grows at 5% a year yields $5,000 but when leveraged, could yield $25,000

1 The examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not any indication of or prediction of growth or decline in the real estate market.

2 As of 7/5/16, the current APR of 3.265% for 30-years, with a 20% down payment the monthly principal and interest payment would be $428.38 per $100,000 borrowed. The payment does not include taxes and insurance and would be higher. Maximum loan amount is $625,000. Jumbo loans with higher loan amounts and other rates and terms are available. Subject to change without notice.