Today Arvi Carkanji shares her small multi-family house hacking story from Buffalo, New York.
House Hacking Case Study
Arvi is a full-time real estate investor that decided to pursue house hacking. When she first started investing in real estate, she didn’t think that house hacking was an option. But after doing more research about real estate, she discovered that house hacking was a viable strategy that could help investors build their portfolios more quickly.
Once she discovered the concept, she jumped into a house hack in order to live for free.
The House Hack
Arvi found the property through the MLS. She jumped on the large duplex as soon as it was available due to its prime location near downtown Buffalo. She was able to leave her small two-bedroom apartment with roommates behind and move into one side of the duplex after extensive renovations.
Updating the Units
The property Arvi bought needed a lot of work before it was ready to move into. The property essentially needed to be stripped to the studs and rebuilt. Arvi shares that the projects included new framing, new drywall, new windows, new plumbing, a new HVAC, new electrical systems, new flooring, new kitchens, new bathrooms, roofing repairs, and landscaping.
Although Arvi and her boyfriend did many of the repairs, it was still an expensive renovation. She hired help for any of the mechanical parts due to permitting and inspection concerns. Plus, the roofing repairs required professional help. In total, it cost around $90,000.
The duplex mid-renovation.
The living room after updates.
The kitchen after updates.
Arvi and her boyfriend decided to rent the other half of the duplex out through short term options. They listed the unit on Airbnb, Booking.com, and VRBO. She is able to manage her short term tenants more easily with the help of iGMS.
With the help of this software, renters will receive automatic booking confirmations and check-in messages. It also helps to connect the cleaning lady to let her know when check-outs are happening. Plus, it connects all of the platforms to avoid any double booking mishaps. Overall, this strategy has turned out to be efficient and profitable for Arvi.
The Numbers of the Deal
It’s time to find out exactly how profitable this house hacking strategy was!
When Arvi first bought the property, it was through the use of a hard money loan with a 12% interest rate. After the renovations, she was able to refinance with a commercial residential loan on the property. When she refinanced, the new loan required that around $12,000 stayed in the property and the interest rate is now 6%.
With the refinance, Arvi’s monthly mortgage is $1,500, which includes principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.
With the help of short-term rentals, the unit brings in around $1,850 each month.
- Gross Rent:$1,850
- Mortgage payment: $1,500
- Cashflow before maintenance and vacancies: $350
- Housing costs before house hacking: $600
- Total housing savings: $950
The cash flow of the property is positive. Plus, Arvi no longer has to pay $600 each month to a landlord. Instead, she is able to save on housing costs and pocket a few hundred dollars each month. The savings created by this house hack have allowed Arvi to buy other investment properties.
How to Connect
The Learning Curve
With the extensive renovations needed, this property taught Arvi many lessons along the way. She says that the whole process helped her to become a better investor, homeowner, and landlord.
If you are considering a house hack, Arvi says, “Don’t be afraid to start and take action. Worst case scenario, you will learn and get better at it. Best case you will live for free and be able to have more money and financial freedom for your future. ”
The Bottom Line
If you tackle the strategy of house hacking, you can completely transform your bottom line. Whether or not you want to be a real estate investor, house hacking can help you eliminate your biggest expense. Imagine if you could live without a monthly housing expense. What could you do with the savings?
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.