Today Cory Jacobson shares his roommate-style house hacking story from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Want to eliminate your biggest expense through the power of house hacking? What are you waiting for? Learn more in our House Hacking Quick Start Guide. 

House Hacking Case Study

As a sales manager for a family business, Cory became interested in the idea of house hacking when a mentor brought the idea to his attention. Cory viewed house hacking as an opportunity to start his real estate investing journey.

When he learned that he could put down 10% or less and live for almost free, the idea of house hacking became a complete game-changer in his investor midset. With that, he decided to give house hacking a try. The house hack he chose served as a springboard for his real estate investment portfolio.

The House Hack

Cory found a three-bedroom two-bathroom house that was just two blocks away from where he had been renting at the time. When he bought the house, one of his roommates came with him to the new place.

At that point, he only had to share his space with a friend and enjoyed the ability to dramatically cut his housing costs.

Here's a closer look at the property:

house hack


house hack

Living area

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The Updates

When Cory bought the property, it had been recently renovated by an investor. With that, he didn't have to make any updates to the property.

The Tenants

The first tenant that moved into Cory's property was a close friend. Since then, he has found other tenants through word of mouth. Cory felt more comfortable living with people that he knew and trusted.

In the beginning, Cory didn't use any software to manage his tenants. But now, he uses RentRedi to self-manage his property.

The Numbers of the Deal

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


Cory used an FHA loan to put down 10% on the $250,000 property. With that, his monthly mortgage payment, including principal, interest, taxes, and insurance, was around $1,400. 

Rental Income

Cory was able to rent the extra bedroom for $1,200 per month. 

  • Gross Rent: $1,200
  • Mortgage payment: $1,400
  • Cashflow before maintenance and vacancies: -$200
  • Housing costs before house hacking: $780
  • Total housing savings: $580

The cash flow of the property was slightly negative. However, Cory was still able to dramatically cut his living expenses while building equity in a property.

Want someone else to pay your mortgage? Dive into housing hacking with our House Hacking Quick Start Guide. 

The Learning Curve: Cory's House Hack

Looking back, Cory would consider putting down just 5% on the purchase of this property. With that, he would have had around $12,000 to pursue other real estate investments. Since he purchases a duplex one year later to rent out, the fund would have come in handy.

All in all, Cory is happy with his decision to house hack. The savings he created allowed him to snowball his rental portfolio into multiple units. Three years into the house hack, he is happily living in the same spot. But he would love to house hack again in a multi-family property.

If you are considering house hacking, Cory shares his advice, “The numbers do not have to be perfect. If I would have searched for the ‘perfect' house hack, I may never have taken the leap of faith. This strategy can be the single-most powerful stepping stone to building a rental portfolio, because the barrier of entry is so low (with low down-payment owner-occupancy loans). The beauty of house hacking is there are so many different strategies that can be tailored to your specific needs, and the stage of life that you are in. These rental savings can not only help you build equity, but they can be then spent on memories, vacations, and experiences that truly matter to you, without having to adapt your quality of life.”

Want to take action? Dive into this life-changing strategy with our House Hacking Quick Start Guide. 

How to Connect

Want to learn more about Cory's story? You can connect on Instagram @weeklyjuicepod.

Additional resources

If you are interested in creating your own house hacking story, then be sure to: