Financial Independence In 1500 Days With Mr. 1500 Days:


Meet Carl from 1500 Days to Freedom

Carl of the blog “1500 Days to Freedom” has made it his journey to become financially independent after being unhappy at his job. When he stumbled across the financial independence online community, he thought the entire notion was a fraud. But after deeper research, he found it to be the way out of an unhappy job. Along the way, he documented his journey on his blog – the 1500 days.

And part of his journey to financial independence started with house hacking.

House Hacking By A Live In Flip, One Repair At A Time

Carl noted that he was a white-collar, computer expert as his trade, so working with his hands was a foreign concept. Well, he experienced a leaky shower head, and figured he would call a plumber. The plumber decided not to show up, so Carl took it upon himself to fix it. The repair saved him over $100 in labor costs, and it empowered him to begin fixing up the home.

Slowly but surely, him and his wife began fixing up the entire home. The original cost of the home in the late 1990’s was $140,000. After all repairs, which cost a mere $10,000, they ended up selling the home for $240,000 in the early 2000’s. And the profits from this project were immediately rolled into the next project.

At this point, the house hacking bug had bitten both of them. This prompted them to continue executing their live-in flip lifestyle to save on housing costs and further their financial futures.

Working With Contractors During A Home Flip

The experience with contractors can heavily vary between each one. Some are outstanding, some aren’t so great. Carl gave great advice to not try to hire workers during the “high season” which is typically in the spring or summer. He said that after Thanksgiving, their plates tend to try up, so any large project he has is completed during the holiday season.

To Pay Cash For A Home Or Finance It

While there is no right answer to this question, Carl believes firmly that paying cash for a home is the better option. By paying cash, you are much more appealing to a seller and can have a much quicker closing. However, he has only paid cash for the home he is currently working on.

The One Nightmare Real Estate Investment

Unfortunately, not all house hacking projects go according to plan. Carl decided to invest in a luxury lake house in Wisconsin in 2006. Shortly after the purchase, the 2008 market crash occurred. Home prices collapsed, and Carl quickly realized that he would need to really make the home appealing to sell it.

For two years, he decided to devote his life to make sure this home was as appealing as possible, even with a full time job and children.

They purchased the home in 2006 for $535,000, and then sold it in 2012 for $725,000. 

Carl says that regrets are silly, but this is one real estate investment he would reconsider if he had the chance.

House Hacking With A Family

One of the main reasons that people don’t want to experiment with house hacking is that they have a family. Carl, married with two kids, says that his advice is to find a home with lots of upside. However, you want to be sure not to buy something that needs a ton of work as you will have much less time with your kids. 

Also, raising kids in a live-in flip is a unique situation as kids are growing up in a somewhat construction zone. When they are young, they don’t think much of it. But as they start to get older, things begin to change.

The Dynamic Of A Married Couple In Real Estate Investing

Carl’s wife has also been into real estate investing much before they met. When they got married, they each owned their properties. Once they moved in together, she sold her property.

But from the start, they were both on the same page when it came to real estate investing. And Carl of 1500 Days suggests having both partners analyze their values and long term goals to ensure both parties are aligning in their wants. 

The Opportunity Cost Of Chasing Financial Independence

Carl worked incredibly hard and sacrificed mightily to achieve his financial goals. However, there he explained that there is an opportunity cost to reaching your financial goals. As you continue to push to financial independence, you are extremely focused on one goal, without enjoying the journey. You can earn all of the money in the world, but you cannot get time back on your side.

And after reaching his financial goals, Carl has realized that having a specific number in your bank account does not bring you happiness. It is the ability to live life on your terms and be able to enjoy the things you want.

The Famous Six

What is your favorite personal finance resource (blog/book/podcast/etc)?

The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness by Morgan Housel


What’s your favorite real estate related resource you’ve read recently?

Remodel Plumbing by Rex Cauldwell. He picked this book to help save himself thousands of dollars on a recent fix.


What is your favorite destination so far?

Kauai, Hawaii.


Where will you travel next?

Kauai once again, but a long stay over 1 month to help pass time during the pandemic.


What is the biggest bucket list goal that you haven’t accomplished yet?

To live in a small mountain town.


What is your favorite life hack?

To forge your own path, and don’t pay attention to what other people do.


Books Mentioned in this Episode

12/02/2022 03:48 pm GMT

You Can Listen On:

1500 days Episode




How to get in touch with today's guest Carl from 1500 Days:

Be sure to check out Carl's blog 1500 days to Freedom at

Be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to House Hacking for a great overview of the different styles of house hacking and different types of tenant bases.

Check out the home page for “The House Hacking Podcast” here.