The idea of housing hacking is that you can purchase a property in which to live while you rent out certain parts of it. For example, it could be that you are buying a two bedroom house and renting out the other bedroom. Or it could be that you are buying a fourplex and living in one of the units yourself. You are basically having other people pay for your housing expenses, while you work hard on (hopefully) accumulating more real estate.
Spending Money on Housing
People do tend to forget that aspect of it, I think. After all, why would some houses be called “starter houses?” There is already an implication that you are supposed to trade for a bigger house later. You are supposed to spend more and more of your money on your own housing. Meanwhile, an investor would think the opposite. They would think, well, why should I spend more and more of my own money on my own housing, when I can use the money to buy more houses to rent them out?
Thus, housing hacking is a great idea in the sense that you are trying to minimize your own housing expenses and use the money you save to acquire properties, or real assets to generate wealth instead. Let’s face it, you are not going to earn more money just because you live in an expensive house.
When most people talk about house hacking, it usually does involve living in one of the units of that newly purchased fourplex you just acquired. But if that area is not where you’d really want to live, why would you have to live there?
Why don’t you just go rent a place somewhere else and then rent out the property that you would have been “forced” to live in?
The Importance of Housing to Quality of Life
What I am saying is that house hacking shouldn’t necessarily restrict you to live in the place you purchased to invest. Instead of doing that, why not just go out there and rent a place, say, closer to your workplace?
Next time, before you invest in real estate, start thinking about your own housing expense first. Maybe you can lower your own housing expense by renting a smaller place. Or you can reduce your commute by moving closer. Or you can move somewhere else if your workplace does happen to change. By renting, you can have flexibility in trying to get in and get out.
On the other hand, many people fall into the trap of having to sell their home because their job changed or they had to move out of state. You have that flexibility. Then, use the capital you would’ve spent on your own housing to buy properties that yield you a great return. Even if you have to move, you can keep those properties there!
So folks, that’s my version of “house hacking.” What do you think?