Today Lauren Keen Aumond shares her unique bed and breakfast style house hacking story from Tarpon Springs, Florida.

House Hacking Case Study

As the Director of Client Development for a training company on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Lauren and her husband are pursuing financial independence. When they looked at the numbers of their budget, they realized that they were spending $25,200 in housing expenses to live in their single-family home. With that, they knew that it would be difficult to reach FI with that large housing expense and looked for a solution. When they heard about house hacking, they knew it could be a good option for them.

Lauren had already done a room rental style house hack with a single-family home when she was single. But when looking for a house hack as a married couple, they knew they wanted more privacy.

The House Hack

Once Lauren decided to pursue house hacking, they started considering neighborhoods in Tarpon Springs, Dunedin, and Safety Harbor. After taking some time to get to know the areas, they decided that Tarpon Springs was their ideal location. However, they decided to look for a unique house hack. Instead of a traditional multi-plex, they looked for a property that could offer vacation rentals and double as their home.

The couple settled on a property that was built in 1901 and was currently being used as a bed and breakfast. The main house of the bed and breakfast was a 3 bedroom 2.5 bath. On the back of the property, there were two small cottages and a space to hook up a trailer. After decided to move on this property, it took four months to negotiate and close on the property.

Updating the Units

As an older Victorian home, there was a considerable amount of updating that needed to be done. The major projects included stabilizing the structure, replacing the roof, updating the floor and kitchen, painting the house, and remodeling the yard. Overall, the total cost of the renovations was $130,000.

Although Lauren’s husband did some work on the house, most of the repairs were done by contractors. If you’d like a closer look at a breakdown of each project, then check out Lauren’s full writeup.

Additionally, they plan to purchase a camper to create a third rentable space on the property.

The Tenants

The couple closed on the property in June 2020 and started repairs immediately. But they still haven’t opened for guests just yet. However, they plan to find guests through Airbnb and VRBO. For now, they are self managing the property but may consider hiring a property manager in the future.

The Numbers of the Deal

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

Financing

Lauren and her husband used a conventional loan to purchase this $285,000 property with 20% down. The interest rate on the mortgage is 3.75%. With that, the monthly mortgage is $1,700.

Rental Income

When Lauren opens for business, she plans to rent out the units for $60, $50, and $40 per night. For now, she is assuming a 50% vacancy rate.

  • Previous housing costs: $2,100
  • Gross Rent assuming a 50% vacancy rate: $2,281
  • Mortgage payment: $1,700
  • Cashflow before maintenance: $581
  • Total housing savings: $2,681

The cash flow of the property is cash flow positive with a 50% vacancy rate. Plus, Lauren is able to live for free with her husband in a property that they love.

How to Connect

Are you interested in learning more about Lauren’s story? You can connect with her on her websites – Real Adulting Is Easy and Vacation Tarpon Springs.  She is also available on Facebook and Instagram.

The Learning Curve

So far, Lauren is happy with their decision to house hack. However, if she had to do it again, she would rather buy a traditional multi-family property instead of a commercial bed and breakfast that’s 119 years old. She recommends that potential house hackers “consider renting a room in your house if you’re single, or buying a duplex to get started if you’re married. I wouldn’t take on a huge remodel like we did for first-timers.”

The decision to house hack will propel the couple towards their goal of achieving financial independence before 40.

The Bottom Line

Lauren’s story shows that you can start house hacking anywhere with a bit of creativity. Although this is not the traditional house hack, it serves the same purpose of lowering housing expenses to propel you towards your financial goals.

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.