Today Norman shares his house hacking story from Houston, Texas. With an accessory dwelling unit or ADU House Hack, Norman was able to enjoy the benefits of splitting rent without sharing space with a roommate.

This case study will shed light on a growing trend – housing hacking. With house hacking, homeowners are able to live for free and dramatically reduce their cost of living. You can tap into this life-changing strategy for free! Grab a copy of our House Hacking Quick Start Guide to get started – it can save you thousands with information you won’t find anywhere else.  

House Hacking Case Study

Norman had some experience with real estate through his corporate housing company. With this knowledge base, he discovered that house hacking could be a profitable way to live. He spent some time looking at the numbers of house hacking and sought out a deal that would allow him to live for free.

The House Hack

After searching for the right deal, Norman settled on a property that had an accessory dwelling unit. The house has a large rentable unit and a back unit. Norman lives in the back unit and rents out the front to offset the property’s mortgage.

Before closing, Norman spent a considerable amount of time negotiating the purchase price. He was able to lower the upfront cost significantly. The deal closed in 2020 and is proving to be a profitable choice.

Updating the Units

The property was ready to move-in after the closing. Norman spent under $500 for some minor repairs.

The Tenants

Norman filled the front unit via ads placed on Facebook, Craigslist, and Roomster. For each of the tenants, he runs a background check unless they were referred by a friend. Although he has not yet, he plans to find a roommate to fill the second room in the back unit.

The Numbers of the Deal

It’s time to find out exactly how profitable this house hacking strategy was!


Norman used an FHA loan to fund this home purchase. He put down 3.5% with a 3.5% interest rate. Overall, the monthly mortgage cost is $2,000 including principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.

Rental Income

The front unit in this property rents for $1,200. In the second unit, Norman plans to rent out an extra room for $800. That brings the total rental income to $2,000

  • Monthly housing expenses before house hacking: $1,000
  • Gross Rent: $2,000
  • Mortgage payment: $2,000
  • Cashflow before maintenance and vacancies: $0
  • Housing savings: $1,000

Norman is able to live for free in this property while building equity along the way. The savings he is creating are helping him save to buy another property in the near future.

Want someone else to cover your mortgage? Dive into housing hacking with our House Hacking Quick Start Guide. 

The Learning Curve

Norman is happy that he took the plunge into house hacking. He plans to try house hacking again in the future. Looking back,  he would choose to focus on negotiating the repairs of a home instead of the initial purchase price.

Get In Touch

If you are interested in Norman’s story, then you can connect with him on Instagram @norm.hamilton, LinkedIn @itsjustnorm, or Facebook @norman.hamilton73. You can also check out his website, Comfy Livings, that is centered around corporate housing.

The Bottom Line

Norman’s ADU house hack shows that it is possible to live for free and build equity. Be sure to check out next week’s house hacking case study with Jon.

If you are interested in creating your own house hacking story, then check out our ultimate guide, listen to our house hacking podcast, or read more case studies for inspiration. You never know how dramatically your life can change through this one choice!

If you choose to pursue a house hack of your own, then please share your story with us! We would love to showcase your success.