Today Dan Sheeks shares his income suite house hacking story from Centennial, Colorado.

House Hacking Case Study

Dan and his wife live in Centennial which is a suburb of Denver. The Denver housing markets is one of the most expensive in the country. With that, the idea of house hacking was especially appealing to this couple in their mid-40s.

When the couple heard about the idea of housing hacking through a popular podcast, they decided to give it a try. The high school teacher and his wife have been able to dramatically stretch their budget to help reach their financial independence goals with the help of house hacking.

The House Hack

Before deciding to house hack, Dan and his wife lived in a two-bedroom condo in Denver. However, they had decided that they wanted to upgrade their living arrangement without footing the bill. That’s when they started toying with the idea of house hacking.

In the past, they had invested in rental real estate properties. So instead of shopping around for a new place, they decided to check out their own portfolio. One of their rental units was a single-family home that had a finished basement. Since they didn’t need all of the space that the house had to offer, it seemed like a good fit.

The couple moved into the house and rents out the basement as an income suite. The tenant is able to mostly stay in the basement. However, the couple does share the kitchen and main entrance with their tenant. But so far they have not experienced any tenant issues.

Updating the Units

When the couple decided to move into the house, they also decided to make some cosmetic changes. They put in new carpet, painted, refinished the hardwood floors, and painted the kitchen cabinets. With each job, they hired a contractor to handle the work. Overall, they were happy with the contractors and paid around $15,000 for these updates.

Although the basement was already finished, they decided to add a small fridge and microwave to accommodate some of the cooking needs for the tenant.

The Tenants

Dan is able to self manage the property and uses Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist to find new tenants. So far, all of his tenant experiences have been great. He is happy to report that he hasn’t had any roommate horror stories yet.

The Numbers of the Deal

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

Financing

Dan used a conventional loan to purchase the $600,000 house. The couple put down 40% because they had originally bought the house as a rental property with the help of a 1031 exchange.  The original interest rate on the loan was 4.125% but they were recently able to refinance the loan to a 2.625% interest rate.

Rental Income

Dan and his wife rent out the basement unit for $1,000 per month.

  • Previous housing costs: $1,600
  • Gross Rent: $1,000
  • Mortgage payment: $2,400
  • Cashflow before maintenance and vacancies: –$1,400
  • Total housing savings: $200

Although the property is not cash flow positive, the couple is still very happy with their decision to house hack. They are able to live in a beautiful home in a high cost of living area for under $2,000. That’s definitely a win!

How to Connect

Are you interested in learning more about Dan’s story? You can connect with him on his website – Sheeks Freaks. He is also available on Facebook and Instagram @sheeksfreaks.

The Learning Curve

Dan was able to optimize his house costs to enjoy an affordable housing cost in a high cost of living area. Although they are not living for free, they are enjoying their space at a discounted rate! With the $1,000 that they are able to save each month due to house hacking, they can fund the purchase of more rental properties.

Dan encourages anyone interested in house hacking to give it a try, “Be creative and don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. And you’re never too old to house hack. My wife and I are in our 40s.”

The Bottom Line

Dan was able to minimize his housing costs while enjoying life in a beautiful space. What if you could also save $1,000 on your housing costs? Those savings could supercharge your path to financial independence.

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.