What is House Hacking in Real Estate?

Hello Hampton Roads,

Coming off a hot housing market with spiking home sale prices, housing affordability at all time lows. Many folks are looking for ways to help ease this burden and reduce their out of pocket housing payments and where there's a will there's a way--enter "house hacking"!  What is house hacking in real esate? While the concept isn't new it involves creative ways for people to more easily afford their housing payments by making the house pay for itself.  

Let me explain: You basically turn your house into a productive assset by making it help you generate an income.  A little flexibility and an open mind can lead to large savings and these days house hacking goes beyond renting out a room.   If this situation decribes you, let's explore some of the things you can do right away to get started!

What is House Hacking

Renting Out a Multi-FamilyProperty 
As a home owner living in a mulitfamily home (2-4 units), you can  live in one unit and rent out the rest.  Owning a multi-family home where you live in one unit, allows you to purchase using regular financing, not an investor loan and lets you experience the benefits of investing while taking advantage of owner occupant loans.

Renting Out an Additional Dwelling Unit
If you have a guest house, or separate dwelling unit, this could be an additional source of income as well.  You would live in the main home and maintain your privacy while renting out the other home where the tenant has their privacy as well.

Live in an RV and Rent Out Your House
This is the exact opposite of the example above; instead of you living in the main house, you rent out the main house and live in an RV or the additional dwelling unit on your lot. You can collect a much larger payment buy renting out your main house.

Renting Out Rooms In a Single Family House
If you own a single family home with more bedrooms than you need, you may want to consider renting to  roommates.  This works great is you already have a bunch of friends in mind who you like and who are looking for rentals. This situation can benefit everyone where you reduce your out of pocket housing costs and your friends get to live in a house versus an apartment and pay more attractive rent prices.  

 If you're in a popular travel destination, you can also consider shorter terms rentals and go the air bnb route but you should check what the rules are about this for your city/locality.  Air bnb during the holidays or special events can mean higher rent payments.

Renting out a Portion of Your Home --Inside and Out
These days you can even rent out your driveway, garage, land, storage shed and attic! If you have an unsed driveway space or extra garage bay or even a large lot, why not take advantage of unused space and let someone else rent it from you?

You won't have to deal with roommates in this scenario and you could earn up to a couple hundred a month or more depending on what you have to offer that people need.

Check out these apps to get started:

There are many different ways to house hack and whatever you decide to pursue, first make sure that you are not violating any local laws or ordiances for your city and for that matter for your community especially if you are living in an HOA or condo. 

If you have any quesions about buying or selling real estate, feel free to reach out! I'm happy to help.

Thanks for Reading,


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