How I Get Paid to Live for Free
He is a nationally recognized leader in the real estate education space and has taught millions of people how to find, finance, and manage real estate investments.
Brandon began buying rental properties and flipping houses at the age of 21. He started with a single family home, where he rented out the bedrooms, but quickly moved on to a duplex, where he lived in half and rented out the other half.
From there, Brandon began buying both single family and multifamily rental properties, as well as fix and flipping single family homes in Washington state. Later, he expanded to larger apartments and mobile home parks across the country.
Today, Brandon is the managing member at Open Door hermes replica match strike
Capital, where he raises money to purchase and turn around large mobile home parks and apartment complexes. He owns nearly 300 units across four states. He has sold more than 400,000 books worldwide.
In addition to books, Brandon also publishes regular audio and video content that reaches millions each year. His videos on YouTube have been watched cumulatively more than 10,000,000 times, and the podcast he hosts weekly, the BiggerPockets Podcast, is the top ranked real estate podcast in the world, with more than 75,000,000 downloads over 350 unique episodes. The show also has over 10,000 five star reviews in iTunes and is consistently in the top 10 of all business podcasts on iTunes.
A life long adventurer, Brandon (along with Heather and daughter Rosie and son Wilder) spends his time surfing, snorkeling, hiking, and swimming in the ocean near his home in Maui, Hawaii.
What is House Hacking?
House hacking is the idea of combining your investment property withyour personal residence. Although it is possible to do with just a singlefamily house (by doing a “live in flip”), the phrase is more often used to describe the practice of buying a small multifamily property (a duplex, triplex,or fourplex), living in one unit, and renting the other units out. Then we rented the property out. Although we had stumbled across this “house hacking” strategy accidentally, we quickly realizedthe power of this method when the mortgage payment of approximately$630 per month was fully paid by the tenants in the other unit who werepaying $650 for rent. In other words, the tenants were allowing my wife andI to live for free, before operating expenses.
House hacking has several distinct benefits that make it an especiallyterrific investment for first time investors
Low (or No) Down Payment Financing: When you plan to livein a property for at least one year, financing becomes much morefriendly for the borrower. For example, an FHA loan allows forjust a 3.5% down payment and the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) loan allows for $0 down if you are buying ina rural area. Traditional 20% down loans also work in this pricingstructure and can do even more for your wealth building plans.
On the Job Training: House hacking is a great introduction tothe world of landlording. You buy the property, and suddenly youare a landlord so you’ll learn very quickly what to do and whatnot to do!
Close Monitoring of Your Investment: When you live in yourinvestment property, keeping an eye on the property and making
sure it’s running at peak performance is easy. It’s unlikely that thelawn will get overgrown, the tenants will move in a pit bull, ormaintenance will go unreported for months.
Saved Expenses: Because you live at the property, you can manage the other tenants yourself very easily and don’t have to worryabout paying a property manager who will do substandard work!
The following plan that you and I are about to walk through follows aserial house hacker. We’ll pursue the house hacking strategy for numerousproperties to reach our goal. In this case, let’s set a goal of simply “living forfree,” so we can save money and pursue other investments in the future. However, we are smart shoppers and can get a great deal on aforeclosed triplex for $180,000, and each side will rent for $950 per month.(As before, pay more attention to the concept here than the actual numbers;every area is different.) To get this $180,000 mortgage, we’ll put just 3.5 percentdown through an FHA loan.
After the purchase, we’ll invest a few thousand dollars and a few hundred hours making it look fantastic. Think new paint, cleaning, etc.
At this point, if the property were 100 percent rented out to tenants, it wouldbring in a total of $2,850 per month. But because we’ll be living in one ofthe three units, we can only expect approximately $1,900 per month inincome.
For expenses, we can expect a mortgage including taxes, insurance,and mortgage insurance of $1,200 per month. We also know the waterbill, which the landlord is responsible for paying, runs roughly $130 permonth. We’ll set aside 5 percent of the total gross rent ($2,850) for the vacancy,5 percent for repairs, and 5 percent for future capital expenditures (CapEx, the big ticket items that need to be replaced every so often) of about $142.50 each(because $2,850.00 x .05 = $142.50).
At this point, our expenses look like this:$1,900.00 $1,857.50 = $42.50
Now, we are not only living for free, but we are also making a smallsum of money each month for doing so! Notice that in the expenses wejust listed, we did not include property management. I generally advise thatpeople include property management in their analysis, because they won’talways be able to manage their property themselves. But in the case of househacking, including this figure is OK, because you will not be living in oneof the units forever, either.