The House Hacking Strategy

The House Hacking Strategy

We don’t typically review books, but felt it necessary to review “The House Hacking Strategy:  How to Use Your Home to Achieve Financial Freedom” by Craig Curelop, published by Bigger Pockets.

House hacking helped me save over 50% of my income in my 20’s. And I didn’t own a multi-family rental, or rent out rooms in my house to live for “free” (though these are great options).

I networked myself into some great housing arrangements – such as renting a room in a 4,000+ sq. ft. mansion with high ceilings, arched floor-to-ceiling windows, in-ground swimming pool and horse stables for $300 per month!  

A lady who recently got divorced needed to rent rooms to afford the mortgage. At 24, I was working as an engineer, playing in a rock band, and sharing a mansion with three divorced women.

Sounds like a bad sitcom, I know.

But this arrangement was great leverage when I moved into a friend’s bachelor pad after taking a new job. He saw my old place and knew he couldn’t charge $300/month for my smaller room in a rougher neighborhood. So my rent went to $225/month, including utilities. (I didn’t use that in-ground pool anyway!)

House-hacking is a powerful tool, and you don’t have to be a 24 year old single renter in a rock band to benefit from it. You can own multi-family rentals, rent out rooms in your house to live for free, AirBnB your place, or any of a number of varieties.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

This book will show you how to use house hacking as the #1 proven way to build savings and net worth. It will be especially helpful if you’re still able to get an FHA loan – but you’ll find gold in it regardless.  

For years I sat on a good chunk of money, investing in very safe, low-return paper assets.  Not really exploring any alternative assets, or ways to get a better return other than looking at stocks and some bonds.

This all changed for me when I decided to get educated in real estate. 

Through this education process, I found an investment that really resonated with me… real estate notes! Basically buying debt tied to hard assets. I won’t get into the ins and outs of notes here (stay tuned for a future post).  I mention this because my returns have gone through the roof, and the only thing holding me back in the past was ignorance. 

Ignorance can lead to fear – and that can be costly.  On the other hand, knowledge coupled with action can be very potent.

That is why the information in this book is so powerful.  If you’re not familiar with house hacking and you want to intentionally build wealth and freedom, this will be the best $25 you spend!

HOUSE HACKING IN ACTION

What I liked most about the book was the actionable steps at the end of each chapter.  At a minimum, these steps should result in drastically reduced housing costs – but more often, free housing with additional cash flow per month. Huge win!

I know a couple who are not yet married and who just bought a 4-unit multifamily house with an FHA loan. They put the house under one of their names, and plan to live in it for a year. (That’s right – you can buy a double, triple, or quadruplex with an FHA loan if you live in one of the units for at least a year!) Then the other partner will buy another 4-unit building, again with an FHA loan.

When you apply for an FHA loan on a multi-unit property, the other tenants’ rent is considered as part of your income – which makes it easier to qualify for the loan. At the time of writing, you only have to have 3.5% down to close on the deal. 

So assuming this all pans out, this couple will have 8 units together after a couple of years – with some nasty cash flows! Their cash-on-cash return should be sick with that much leverage! And if you don’t know what that means, the book will explain that too.

This is the tip of the iceberg of what can be done when knowledge is coupled with action. And you couldn’t ask for a better Sherpa than Craig Curelop to guide you through the ins and outs of house hacking, and help you use this powerful tool to build more wealth and freedom for yourself.

You can’t turn back the clock, but you can take action today. Check out the book and comment below if you have any questions.  

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