Today Scott Hoefler shares his small multifamily house hacking story from Minneapolis.

House Hacking Case Study

As a realtor in the Minneapolis area, Scott is not a stranger to buying and selling houses. But when his twin brother started housing hacking with a duplex, Scott was intrigued by the idea of house hacking. With that, he decided to seek out a duplex of his own to house hack. Since the first house hack, Scott has successfully purchased three duplexes using the same strategy with his wife. Today we will discuss his most recent house hacking purchase

The goal of house hacking as a family was to eliminate their housing expenses on a path to financial freedom. Without a housing payment, the couple is able to choose things in life that don’t always need to fit within financial constraints.

The House Hack

While living in their previous duplex, Scott and his wife decided that they wanted to grow their family. With that decision, they knew that they would need to find a living situation with more space. So they decided to look for a larger duplex to employ a similar house hacking strategy.

When Scott found this duplex through an MLS, he immediately went to tour it. At the time, the market was very competitive. With that, the couple made a great offer that day and won the deal!

Updating the Units

After closing, the renovation process started immediately because they were pregnant at the time. The couple updated their unit with new countertops, new flooring, bathroom updates, and floorplan adjustments. Overall, the renovations cost $35,000 to update the unit. But they decided to rent out the other side of the duplex without making any renovations.

Scott hired a contractor to help with the renovations. He suggests, “Never start your search by asking who can recommend a really good contractor for cheap. They don’t exist. Be willing to pay good money for good service. You truly get what you pay for.”

The Tenants

Scott finds tenants through Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. After finding the tenants, he self manages with the help of Cozy.co.

The Numbers of the Deal

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

Financing

Scott used a conventional loan to purchase the $360,000 house. The couple put down 5% and the original interest rate on the loan was 4.75%. With that, the total mortgage cost is $2,650. However, after 6 months Scott was able to refinance the loan to obtain a total monthly payment of $2,300.

Rental Income

At first, Scott rented out the other side of the duplex for $1,350. But after six months, he was able to raise the rental income to $1,725 per month.

  • Previous housing costs: $350
  • Gross Rent: $1,725
  • Mortgage payment: $2,300
  • Cashflow before maintenance and vacancies: –$575
  • Total housing savings: $925

The cash flow of the property is slightly cash flow negative. However, when you factor in the rental income from the other duplexes that Scott bought while house hacking the couple is enjoying a slightly positive cash flow of $300 per month.

How to Connect

Are you interested in learning more about Scott’s story? You can connect with him on his website – Side by Side Realty. He is also available on Facebook and Instagram @scotthoefler.

The Learning Curve

As a serial house hacker, Scott cannot imagine living any other way. But he wants to make sure that potential house hackers understand that real estate investing comes with doubts along the way. For example, the day he closed on the latest duplex, h was very nervous. At the time it didn’t feel like a surefire victory. Although real estate deals don’t always feel like a home run, doing your research and jumping in is the best way to move your dreams forward.

Throughout their house hacking journey, Scott and his wife have been able to pay down debt, start a business, and be generous in amazing ways. If you are considering house hacking Scott says, “It is one of the most powerful ways to build wealth for you and your family.” As you start this journey, Scott advises, “build community with your renters. Real estate isn’t property business, its a people business, and your renters are the most important piece to your success as a landlord.”

The Bottom Line

Scott has been able to build a real estate portfolio while house hacking small multifamily buildings. Along the way he has been able to put those savings towards financial freedom. What if you could do the same?

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.