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Meet James + Erica



The Army brought the Westmoreland Ohana - James, Erica, and their two boys - to Hawaii nearly 3 years ago. As a military family, the Westmorelands have lived all over the world, but as soon as they came to Hawaii, they were home. Erica and James made the decision to purchase a house and bought a townhome in Ewa Beach. It was their first home purchase, and they are so glad they went for it. “Hawaii real estate is such a solid investment. Just do it!” Erica says. 

When asked about their favorite piece of their home, Erica shares “Our neighborhood! And even though we’ve been off-island for a few months, we are still in touch with several of our neighbors.”

During their time on island, the Westmorelands made the decision that their future in Hawaii would be permanent… eventually. With James’ military service, they knew more moves were a possibility, and as it turned out, the Army decided to call James back to Virginia.

They made the decision that their future in Hawaii would be permanent...eventually.


Knowing that they eventually wanted to retire on Oahu, the Westmorelands had a difficult decision to make: did they keep their townhome, become landlords and rent it out, or did they sell it and use the built equity in a different investment until they were ready to purchase another home on Oahu?


Many considerations are made when it comes to renting out a home. In the case of the Westmorelands, they had to consider the monthly amount the home could rent for as well as HOA fee considerations. Additionally, Hawaii law requires that any landlord not residing on island have an on-island representative to serve as a property manager. 



Erica was referred to the team at Island Living Homes, knowing that they would be thrilled to sit with her and James and run the numbers to see if renting or selling was the better option. As military spouses themselves, Sarah and Shannon, the ILH REALTORS the Westmorelands worked with, understood the difficult decision in a very personal way.


“Normally I am an advocate for keeping your money in your home and renting it out and building that equity, but sometimes it does make the most sense to sell.

After running the numbers, considering the current market and looking at the rental market in the Ewa Beach area, it made the most sense for the Westmorelands to sell.” 


Erica was so thankful for their honesty and guidance. “These women have so much experience to draw from and I was so grateful for their wisdom and confidence through this process.”

"The women have so much experience to draw from and I was so grateful for their wisdom and confidence."


When it comes to selling homes, one thing is a non-negotiable for Shannon: staging. Over and over again, she has seen first hand how staging a home properly can make thousands of dollars of difference when it comes to selling a home, and Shannon insists on providing staging for every seller she works. It is vital to her that her clients to walk away with as much financial opportunity as possible. 


At first, Erica didn’t think staging was all that necessary. “I was surprised by what a difference staging made, though” Erica says. “So many houses in our neighborhood were for sale this spring and summer, but ours was noticeably easier to sell because of the staging!”


For now, the Westmorelands are enjoying their time in Virginia and being closer to family. But they are also counting down the days for when they can return to Oahu. “We will be back to Hawaii! And we will absolutely be buying our next house with Island Living Homes!”