Is House Hacking Right For You?

This year, I’ve been on a personal finance journey unlike ever before. It has been incredibly eye opening and rewarding. It began with buckling down to pay off debt, which led to reading and researching to keep myself motivated, and getting a little obsessed along the way.

Homes with guest cottages are a great option for house hacking

While learning about personal finance, I discovered the concept of “house hacking,” one I was already intimately familiar with, but not packaged in a catchy name.  House hacking is owning a home and generating enough income from the home through roommates or homeshares like AirBnB to enable you to live for free or at a discount because you’re not paying the mortgage all on your own.

I’ve been on multiple sides of this scenario, having lived in a backyard apartment, being a roommate myself, as well as renting out my former home’s guest suite to a friend. I’ve stayed in AirBnB guest rooms abroad and have had some amazing experiences for a fraction of the cost of a hotel without feeling alone on a solo trip. Either way, if you do it right, you’re paying less than market value to live, and in cities with pricey real estate, it’s a great option.  I’ve seen it done in college areas, where one student owns or rents a home and has roommates subsidize the monthly costs.

“That’s all well and good,” you say, “but that situation isn’t going to work for me and my family. I need my privacy, and I certainly don’t want a roommate or randos from AirBnB crashing my guest room. No, no, no.”

If this concept sounds crazy – then house hacking may not be for you – and that’s fine – but don’t discount it just yet. There are ways to make it work and maintain your privacy. You can buy a multi-family property such as a duplex or triplex and live in one section and rent out the others. You can own a home that comes with a guest suite, cottage or full-on apartment, like I lived in, and rent that out. If you find the right tenant, it can be a great way to live.

Don’t be afraid to think a little differently when it comes to one of the largest expenses in your life – housing. And, if you’re in South Florida, I’d be honored to help you make your real estate goals a reality, whether you’re buying, selling or renting… perhaps a house hack is in your future!

Whatever you do, ensure you’re working with someone who cares as much about how housing fits in to your financial goals as you do. Contact me at maggie@debianchi.com to discuss your next steps.


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