Today Joaquín Camarasa shares his room rental house hacking story from Aurora, Colorado.
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House Hacking Case Study
As an elementary school teacher, Joaquín was interested in finding a way to live for free to stretch his budget farther. When he first started house hacking, he hadn't heard of the term. But he was able to achieve his goal of living for free.
After coming to the US as an au pair, Joaquín was able to secure a visa sponsorship in the Denver public school system. Joaquín managed to get by couch surfing until his first two paychecks came in to cover a room rental. A year later, Joaquín purchased a home with a friend to achieve the goal of living for free.
The House Hack
Joaquín and a friend decided to go into a house hack together. The two friends were able to find a four-bedroom home through the MLS to purchase with their combined funds. After adding a door, they were able to rent out rooms to three tenants and each live in their own room.
After purchasing the property, Joaquín and his friend added a door and created a more welcoming backyard. All in all, they spent around $2,000 on the upgrades.
Although they hired a contractor to do the work, it turned out to be a scam. Unfortunately, the contractor never showed up to do the work. But luckily, they were able to get their funds back after a lengthy process.
Joaquín and his business partner found tenants through Facebook. Although the way, they had their fair share of interesting renters. Looking back, he would have invested in better tenant screening options.
But he was still able to live for free!
The Numbers of the Deal
It’s time to find out exactly how profitable this house hacking strategy was!
Joaquín and his partner used an FHA loan to put down 3.5% on a $315,000 property. With an interest rate of 4.2%, their monthly mortgage payment was around $2,000.
Joaquín was able to rent each of the extra rooms for $650.
- Gross Rent: $1,950
- Mortgage payment: $2,000
- Cashflow before maintenance and vacancies: -$50
- Housing costs before house hacking: $600
- Total housing savings: $550
Although the cash flow of the property is slightly negative, it is still a very good deal. Joaquín and his business partner were able to live for free.
After several years, they were able to refinance their mortgage when they hit 20% equity in the property. With the refinance, they were able to save hundreds on their mortgage payment. Additionally, Joaquín has moved out. With that, his partner is able to live there for free and each of them receives $500 in income from the property each month.
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The Learning Curve: Joaquín's House Hack
Looking back, Joaquín would change his tenant screening process. But he has been able to implement new tenant screening strategies in his new house hack in Virginia.
With the help of house hacking, Joaquín was able to travel and save up for his next house. If you are considering house hacking, Joaquín recommends, “Be prepared to sacrifice short term to have a better life long term. You will struggle but eventually, get better at tenant screening and save up enough money to scale fast.”
How to Connect
The Bottom Line
House hacking can help anyone achieve their financial goals. How would house hacking change your life?
If you are interested in creating your own house hacking story, 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, please share your story with us! We would love to showcase your success.
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