Boyer case study

House Hacking Case Study 51

Apr 21, 2021 | House Hacking Case Studies

Today Jay Boyer shares his small-multi family house hacking story from Fargo, North Dakota.

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Jay's House Hacking Case Study

Jay spent 5 years serving in the Marine Corps which had stationed him in California and Japan. Once he was honorably discharged from service, he moved back to his hometown of Fargo, North Dakota.

Luckily, he was able to move in with a friend that only charged him $250 per month. But he knew that he would want to get his own place soon. That's when the idea of house hacking entered the equation.

As a veteran, Jay wanted to use his VA loan soon after getting out of the Marine Corps. Once he discovered that he could buy a four-plex without putting any money down, he scoured the market for a building that would allow him to live in one unit and rent out three others to tenants.

After closing on the property with a VA loan, decided to remodel two out of the four units. With the help of family and friends, he was able to put in new flooring, repaint, and remodel the kitchens.

Jay used Facebook Marketplace to find tenants. Currently, he is self-managing his tenants with one-year leases. The goal of house hacking was to live for free. And Jay was able to get his mortgage covered in his successful house hack.

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House Hacking Rental Income

Jay uses a VA loan to purchase his property with a $10,000 down payment. Currently, he has three tenants in this property.

  • Gross rent: $2,300
  • Mortgage payment:$1,200
  • Cashflow before maintenance and vacancies$1,100
  • Housing costs before house hacking: $250
  • Total housing savings: $1,250

It is clear that Jay made a great decision with this house hack. He is getting paid to live in his unit!

The Learning Curve

Jay is very happy with his decision to house hack. In fact, he's already doing it again! He bought the fourplex next door to his current property and moved in. 

The numbers of the second property are very similar to the first. With that, he is able to save. 

Jay's only regret is that he wasn't able to start house hacking sooner!

However, he did face some challenges along the way. Jay says, “The toughest challenge I’ve had is when the heating system stopped working in the middle of February when it was below zero. Tenants were not happy and had to use ovens for heat. I ended up having to purchase a new heating system because they couldn’t figure out what the issue was with the old one over a span of a few days and I was sick of throwing money into it. New heating system for 4 plex- about $8000.”

But all in all, he would recommend house hacking to others! 

Tip: Veterans take advantage of your VA loan

If you have access to the VA loan, take advantage of the low barrier to entry!


Additional Resources

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

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