Tim Kelly is a serial house hacker with years of experience with different strategies. He started with the room rental style house hack and transitioned into an accessory dwelling unit house hack. Today we will find out about each of these house hacks.

House Hacking Case Study

Tim serves as an active duty military member but also invests in real estate. He has been able to complete house hacks around the country with different styles along the way.

The idea of house hacking started when Tim thought about renting out extra space to friends. Once he did some research, he discovered that house hacking was an actual strategy! With multiple successful house hacks under his belt, he now teaches other military members house to house hack with their VA loan.

The House Hack

Tim conducted his first house hack in 2011 in Virginia. He and his wife bought a house with two master bedrooms. The intention was to have a nice place for their family to stay. But he decided that the space was simply too large for them. With that, he decided to rent it out to friends. That’s when he first started investing in real estate!

His next real estate purchase was in Pensacola, FL. He bought a four-unit multiplex with the intention of living in the smallest unit. However, the rehab on the smallest unit took 6 months. So, they never ended up moving into the smallest unit. But, they did buy a three-unit property including a small house and a duplex to house hack using a VA rehab loan. The couple moved into the small single-family home on the property. Then they rehabbed the duplex. When tenants moved in, the couple was able to live for free for 18 months!

Updating the Units

Each of the properties that Tim bought needed a lot of TLC.

The first single-family home needed a new kitchen and floors. Overall, these repairs cost $20,000. The second property needed $100,000 in repairs. In the third property with three units, Tim spent $70,000 in repairs. Each of the units needed several major repairs.

The Tenants

When they were first getting started, the couple only rented out extra rooms to friends. At some point, they decided to expand their search to Craigslist. Recently, they have started to use a third-party property management company to find and manage tenants.

The Numbers of the Deal

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

Financing

For the first single-family home, Tim used a VA loan to put down 0% with a 4% interest rate.

For the accessory dwelling unit house hack, Tim used the VA rehab loan. He put down 4% which was around $6,000. With that, his monthly mortgage payment was approximately $1,600.

Rental Income

While Tim and his wife lived in the house, the duplex was rented for $800 per side. That led to a total of $1,600 in rental income per month.

  • Gross Rent: $1,600
  • Mortgage payment: $1,600
  • Cashflow before maintenance and vacancies: $0

The overall cash flow of the property was neutral! That allowed Tim and his wife to enjoy mortgage-free living for 18 months. After that, they headed off to their next adventure.

The Learning Curve

Tim says that house hacking created his real estate “bug.” Since that first house hack, he has bought several more properties and built an impressive portfolio. House hacking can be a great place to start if you want to build wealth through real estate investing.

Get In Touch

If you want to learn more about this successful house hack, then here’s how you can connect with Tim. He is available via Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook. You can also check out his website – The Timothy Kelly. Plus, he’s written a bestselling book Military House Hacking

The Bottom Line

Tim’s story shows that it is possible for military members to pursue house hacking. With some effort, you could completely eliminate your housing expense!

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.