Dan is a manufacturing engineer for a NASCAR team in Charlotte, North Carolina. He started house hacking in 2017 and has since house hacked his way through three properties. With experience in roommate-style house hacking and small multi-family unit house hacking, he shares a unique story today.

House Hacking Case Study

When Dan first moved to Charlotte in 2016, he bought an affordable townhome to live in. A few months later, he stumbled across the idea of house hacking through a podcast. After deciding that house hacking was an exciting strategy, he decided to give it a try.

The House Hack

The first house hack that Dan pursued was a roommate-style house hack. He found a roommate to share the expenses of his townhome. With that, he effectively cut his housing costs in half overnight.

Here is a look at his first townhouse:

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After living at the first townhome for a year, Dan started looking for another property to house hack. The goal was to move into the next property to house hack and also rent out the entirety of his first townhouse. After searching for the right fit, he found a brand new duplex in Mooresville, NC which is slightly north of Charlotte. He purchased the duplex for $275,000. At this point, he went from no tenants to two tenants very quickly. He was able to rent out the second half of the duplex, his entire townhouse, and a room in his unit of the duplex.

Take a look at this duplex:

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A year later, Dan decided to purchase a third townhouse to move into. The goal is to rent out one of the rooms to a long-term roommate and have the other room set up for traveling nurses or other short-term leases.

Updating the Units

In the first townhouse, Dan plans to update the floors when the current tenant moves out.

The duplex was brand new, so it required no updates. But Dan did have to buy a washer and dryer for both units. He also installed an overhead oven range in one of the units for $125.

In the second townhouse, Dan plans to upgrade the kitchen countertops, remove a wall, and upgrade the lighting.

The Tenants

Dan uses Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and Zillow to list the units. He also finds roommates through skydiving and work.

As a new manager of tenants, he uses Stessa to manage the finances and Google Sheets to track rent and expenses. But he plans to look into property management options on his units in the future.

The Numbers of the Deal

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

Financing

For the first townhouse, Dan used a conventional loan to purchase the property for $108,000. He put down 15% with a 4.25% interest rate. That lead to a monthly expense of $770, including the principal, interest, taxes, insurance, and HOA fees.

For the second townhouse, Dan used an FHA loan to purchase the property for $275,000. The loan had a 4% interest rate and required that he put down 5%. Overall, that lead to a monthly mortgage payment of $1,752 including principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.

For the final townhouse, Dan is using a conventional loan to purchase this property with an interest rate of 3.5%. The total monthly mortgage should be around $1,000.

Rental Income

The first townhouse rents for $1,250 per month. The duplex rents for $1,150 on one side and $1,200 on the other side. The new townhouse should bring in $500 to $700 per month per room.

We will take a look at the combined numbers from first townhouse and the duplex property since the third property is still under contract.

  • Monthly housing expenses before house hacking: $700
  • Gross Rent: $2,400 (townhouse + one side of the duplex)
  • Mortgage payment: $2,522
  • Cashflow before maintenance and vacancies: -122
  • Housing savings: 578

Although the cost of living in this area is relatively low, Dan is able to live for less than $150 per month. That is an extremely successful house hack. Not only is he house hacking, but also building his real estate portfolio at the same time!

The Learning Curve

Dan was able to greatly reduce his housing expenses. Although he technically profits from two of the units, he is simply saving that money as an emergency fund for all of the units. Additionally, he is able to save a lot of money each month. With those funds, he has been able to pay off his student loans and build his savings to buy more properties.

Looking back, he would have used a conventional loan for the duplex. The upfront cost might have been lower but the PMI over the lifetime of the loan will get expensive.

Overall, Dan highly recommends house hacking to everyone. With some planning, many could save a lot of money over the years.

Get In Touch

If you are interested in Dan’s story, then you can connect with him on Instagram @freeflykid, LinkedIn @freeflykid or Facebook @Daniel.Schiermeyer.

The Bottom Line

Dan has proven that house hacking can open opportunities to build a real estate portfolio. With three properties under his belt, he is continuing to gain experience and cash flow over time.

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.