The Not-So-Glamorous Part of House Hacking.

You will hear nothing but praise and acclaim from me about the cash flow of house hacking. Renting out bedrooms makes a ton more than renting out the entire unit (although this method also takes a ton more hands-on management).

But, right now, we’re in the middle of the not-fun part. The work!

Moving is definitely stressful, no matter the situation; but moving into a house that you’re planning to list on AirBnB and/or find tenants to fill rooms is outright crazy.

Some things to think about when you’re deciding on if you’re ready to house hack…

Don’t forget about the CASH MONEY it takes to furnish all the rooms in the house (obviously depending on your plans… in my case four bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen), the cost of any immediate repairs (for us, two unexpected bathroom remodels), tools (this has been a crazy expense as we’ve decided to remodel the bathrooms ourselves instead of hire a contractor).

It’s so easy to be pumped about being approved for the house and being able to make the down payment, that the huge expenses coming up seem insignificant. So, if you’ve done research at all, I trust that you have an understanding about what you’re getting yourself into. (If you’ve done no research and are hearing about this concept for the first time, maybe start with this

So… you’ve done a ton of research about house hacking. Maybe you have some experience having roommates before. Maybe you’ve made hundreds of excel sheets in which you can punch the numbers for this deal you’ve had your eye on to see if it meets your criteria of a “good deal.”


I’m glad you’ve made this exciting decision! So let’s talk about some basic things I wish I had done to make the transition a little smoother from one house to the next!

Expect every project to turn into a much bigger project. I wanted to replace the linoleum and the toilet. After removing the toilet, we learned that the sub floor needed replaced. For whatever reason, things like to go this way- so plan for it to!

Youtube whatever you’re trying to fix to see if you can do it yourself vs. hiring a contractor! MAN! You can literally find anything online! When you find out that something isn’t working the way it should be… before hiring someone to fix it, make sure that it’s not something you can do yourself.

Have a food plan. Your whole day is hectic and you will want to eat fast food or have a pizza delivered every night! You will wake up, go to work, pick up stuff for the house on your way home, get home, start working on whatever project you’re on and then realize you are starving… or you’ll justify eating out on the way home because you’re about to start working again as soon as you get home. Plus, you don’t have any dishes because they are either still packed up or you need to buy some. Eating out is way easier. But that adds up quick! Buy foods that don’t need dishes for the week or two of adjusting to save yourself the temptation of eating out so frequently and the expense of doing so.

Have something in your car to hold your receipts. At my last house that I was house hacking, I kept my receipts in this binder that sat in this specific place. Now, I don’t know exactly where that is. And all these expenses related to fixing this house- although they haven’t been thrown away- they are scattered between my purse, the living room couch, on the floor in the kitchen, and in my car. If I’m missing one, I wouldn’t even know where to begin to look. If I were doing this again, I would keep some kind of receptacle in my car so that it wouldn’t be misplaced in my house where everything continues to be moved. Furthermore, when you buy something, you probably went back to your car afterward, so pretty convenient spot!

That’s all for now! But I’m sure I’ll have more tips soon!

House Number… TWO!

Yep, you read it right. We closed on our second house this week! It feels UNREAL.

My quick two cents about house-hacking…

It’s awesome because:

For the last two(ish) years, I’ve been house-hacking. In my three bedroom house, I’ve rented out a room to a typical renter, and AirBnBed the other room to pay the mortgage. The typical person spends 30% of their income on housing expense… so reducing your largest expense to ZERO is a GAMECHANGER!

Now you’ve got X more each month to save/invest/blow on fun stuff/etc.

It’s a drag sometimes because:

The weird part about house-hacking: it’s a business that you are running out of your home. Try to really take the meaning of the word home in for a second. When you are renting rooms out of your house to other people, you are sharing your home with them.

The day when you come home from work and are exhausted and want to be a shut in, will be the day where a new guest starts their stay (AirBnB) and they check in while you are in the kitchen and they really want to chat with you. The day when you’ve planned a lot of extra activities and are super busy, is the day your roommate (renter) will want to discuss what items are needed for the house (Yes! I already know we need more detergent!)

Tell me what you really think!

So, all-in-all, house-hacking is definitely a great place to begin on the road to riches! But, definitely not a place I’d like to be forever. If you’re younger and are still used to having roommates/living at home with family- this would be an easy transition, for sure.

What’s the new situation like?

Well, that’s the crazy thing! We will have two properties! We are moving into the basement of the new house and renting/AirBnBing the main level, and then renting/AirBnBing the first house completely. Do you know what that means?! One property will be 100% an INVESTMENT property!

This feels very different than when I bought my first house. If you buy a house to live in and house-hack, you can stop house-hacking when you want to if you don’t think it’s for you. (Roommates or strangers in your house isn’t for everyone).

But owning two houses, with two mortgages, is a lot riskier. You can’t just stop if you stop enjoying it. You’re committed at this point.

The thrill of answering the question, How am I going to do this? motivates me to get to work on this exciting project! Seeing how this project fits into the bigger picture I have for my life is insanely satisfying.