Small Multi-Family House Hacking with Brooke:

This week we are traveling to Providence, Rhode Island to meet Brooke. From living rent-free as a university RA to having to pay $550 a month, she soon realized that she did wanted the rent-free life back. Brooke decided to start looking for houses in the area after she came across the concept of house hacking. Using a conventional loan, Brooke was able to buy a triplex property in class A neighborhood.

Brooke is now able to free up more money to travel with this small multi-family house hack. Handling multiple tenants can be tough while traveling, but she learned a few tips and tricks. Listen to her story as she explains how she efficiently handles property management while she travels.

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Transcript of the show:

Speaker 1 (00:03):

Across the world. People have their housing costs taken away as much as half of their income. Have you ever thought of trying to change that? The good news is there is a way house hacking is real and we are here to show you how other people just like you have made it happen. Welcome to the house hacking podcast and here is your host, house hacking expert, Andrew Kerr.

Andrew Kerr (00:29):

Brooke, thank you so much for coming on. I'm really excited to hear about your house hacking journey. So how are you doing and where are you calling in from?

Brooke (00:36):

Yeah. Thank you for having me. I'm doing well. I am calling in from Mexico city where I've been for the past couple of weeks now.

Andrew Kerr (00:45):

Oh, that's awesome. Did you do a house hack in Mexico city or are you just traveling and I mean or did the you do the house hack in the U S like how? How'd you end up in Mexico city?

Brooke (00:55):

No, I didn't do my house hack in Mexico. Maybe my next one! But my property's located in Providence, Rhode Island and I use that as my home base. I work remotely. So, um, I travel quite a bit, especially this past year. I've probably been gone about six months out of the year.

Andrew Kerr (01:12):

Oh, that's awesome. I'm a little bit jealous that, that's really cool. Well, let's really get into your house hacking sort of story. I mean can you just give us this high level sort of overview or summary what it is and then we'll really start to dig in to all the pieces of it.

Brooke (01:25):

Sure. I have been living in my first house hack since spring of 2018 I think I closed on the property in April, 2018 and it's located in Providence, Rhode Island. As I mentioned, it is a three unit and multifamily. So I live in one of the units and I rent out the other two, two tenants and yeah, I use my apartment as my home base while I travel.

Andrew Kerr (01:51):

Yeah, that's really awesome. So you bought it back in the spring of 2018 I really just want to start to dig in like did you know what, house hacking was at the time? I mean, how'd you first hear about the idea? What made you want to buy a three unit? A triplex?

Brooke (02:04):

Yeah. So I had thought about house hacking before. Really before I knew there was a term for it. I knew I didn't want to pay rent ever again and paying a mortgage only seemed like a small step up. So I thought why not try buying a multi where I could live in one of the apartments you know, have tenants cover the monthly payments. And that's when I started doing my research and I stumbled upon, of course like the bigger pockets forum and other resources similar to that where lots of people were using the house hacking strategy. So I thought if they can do it then why can't I? And that's when I got serious about um, looking at properties and I had a friend in the city who was a realtor and a property manager, so it was kind of off running from there.

Andrew Kerr (02:49):

That's awesome. I mean, so was it really this desire of I want to work remotely and I want to travel is what made you think about house hacking in and buying a multiunit or what sort of drove that idea of like, I don't want to pay a mortgage cause I feel like the typical thing, at least here in the US is, you know, you buy a house, soon as you have your first real job or you get married, then you buy a house together and you buy that nice single family home with the dining room, the living room, the bonus room, way too many bedrooms. So like what, what was this drive of actually wanting to do a house hack?

Brooke (03:18):

Yeah, that's a great question. So I've always been very like personal finance savvy. And when I was in college I was an RA, so my housing expenses were covered by the university. Um, so paying rent was actually something that was new for me after I graduated. Uh, so my first year out of college I rented a two bedroom apartment with a roommate and we were each paying about $550 per month in rent, not including heat and electric on the East side of Providence. And yeah, after that year I, I decided, you know, if I'm going to try to never pay rent again. So I kind of just challenged myself to eliminate that. Like most Americans I think spend like 30 to 35% of their income on housing. So I was like, I'm going to figure out how, how to not, how to not do that.

Andrew Kerr (04:10):

Yeah. So you went from no rent as an RA to pay in rent and you're like, Oh, this is just sucks. This isn't fun. So let me figure out how to not pay rent. All right, I like this. And when did you end up graduating from college? How long ago was that?

Brooke (04:22):

That was in 2015.

Andrew Kerr (04:24):

okay, so 2015 paid rent for a little bit. And then you bought in the spring of 2018 so luckily you had this friend that was a property manager and also a realtor, you know, did you go to her and say, I want to do a house hack. Did she know what the, house hacking was or did you just say multifamily? Like what was the criteria that you were actually looking for?

Brooke (04:45):

Yeah, sure. So I guess to go back a little bit, a few weeks before my lease was up, after that one year of wrenching and working in the city, um, I negotiated with my employer to work 100% remotely as a contractor. So I was doing the work I was already doing, but less hours per week at a higher hourly rate. And that allowed me to move back to Connecticut where I'm from and save money for a property by not paying rent for almost two years. Uh, so that's kind of like financially how I got there. Um, and then, um, my I had a friend who ended up moving into a property and getting to know the property manager there. And, um, that's how I became friends with my realtor and he's really awesome. He had owned, already owned a few properties himself and was very familiar with the house hacking, like owner occupied idea. So it was really, uh, a great fit.

Andrew Kerr (05:35):

I mean, would you give that as like a recommendation for someone that's looking to do a house hack is go find a realtor that's also a real estate investor and sort of understands what you're, you would be looking for?

Brooke (05:46):

Yeah, absolutely. I would say if they're investing themselves, especially in the property type that you want to invest in. Like for me it was multi-families, um, and he had owned duplexes and triplexes before, so it was really perfect. And I think too, or if you could find a realtor who's also a property manager because they have so many contacts that you can then tap into.

Andrew Kerr (06:09):

Awesome. Yeah, I think that's really smart. All right. So then did you just tell the realtor, you know, any sort of multifamily in Providence? I mean like was there a specific geographic area or like what was the radius that you were looking at and was it just duplexes and triplexes or did you say quads or what was that sort of overall criteria that you told her and what was sort of the price range that you felt comfortable looking in?

Brooke (06:33):

Absolutely. So I knew that I wanted to live in more of more of an A class neighborhood. Um, I didn't want to have to be chasing tenants down for rent because I worked full time, so I knew I wasn't going to be full time on property management. Um, and I was going to be living there, right. And probably solo. So I wanted a place where I feel comfortable living. And luckily I had lived in Providence before and that's where I wanted to buy. So I knew the neighborhoods very well. I had, um, two neighborhoods picked out where I felt comfortable, um, focusing on for my property search.

Andrew Kerr (07:09):

Okay. So you knew that one thing you mentioned was sort of class A for folks that are listening. What do you mean by like class A and what would be a class B and class C?

Brooke (07:18):

Yeah, so you might be able to give a better definition than me. But um, from my perspective and like what I've read class a is more of like the higher um, higher class of properties. Like the neighborhood tends to be better, the people living there, the median income tends to be higher and things like that. And also I think that you can account the school district and things like that.

Andrew Kerr (07:39):

Overall just better, better location as well as newer properties versus the properties that might be 60, 70 years old and wearing down. And then B is sort of that middle tier. And then C is that sort of rough, rougher neighborhood needs some improvement. Okay. So you said, all right, I want A class area so you feel comfortable and safe. And from when you started looking to when you actually closed on the property, how long did that whole process take? How long did you actually spend looking?

Brooke (08:06):

Yeah. So I feel like my, my story is made probably a little different from the ones that I've heard, but, um, I think from start to finish, like from getting prequalified for a loan to closing, it was maybe eight months. So fairly quick. I think the unique thing though is that I, I only looked at three or four properties with my realtor before I had a bid that got accepted. And the, the story around that is so I was actually traveling when, um, when, I mean my realtor sent me the property that I ended up purchasing. Uh, so all the credit for finding my property goes to my realtor. In fact, I was like, I was out of the country, I was in Guatemala when I got your message. Yeah, about the property. And we put a bid in, it was my first bit ever on a property. I really didn't think it was going to get accepted. Um, the owners countered the next day and we came back with the same bid and it got accepted.

Andrew Kerr (09:08):

Okay. That's awesome. So you had actually went under contract, never actually physically seen the property in person. You just saw the pictures online. Did your realtor go out and walk the property before you made the offer? Or how did that sort of work?

Brooke (09:22):

Yeah, so I had a lot of trust in my realtor who's also my good friend. So he also took photos. He did a video walkthrough for me of the units. Um, and more importantly I knew the neighborhood extremely well. Um, it's a good neighborhood with quality tenants, which was important to me. Um, and I can actually see my old bedroom from my current kitchen where I know,

Andrew Kerr (09:46):

Oh, awesome. So yes, super familiar with the area then.

Brooke (09:50):


Andrew Kerr (09:50):

So you found the property, you're in central America, you make an offer on it, it gets accepted. All right. And now do you have to fly back to the U S for closing or you know, how much further that process where yet of the country for?

Brooke (10:05):

yeah, so I had maybe 60 days before we had a closing date in the future. So I actually, I didn't have to cut my trip short. I actually from Guatemala I went to Belize for a week and then Mexico for two weeks. So I was kind of, I kind of looked at like I was able to finish my trip and I came back, I want to say like the weekend before the final walkthrough. So luckily I was of course able to do the final walkthrough and all of that. So the timing really, really worked out. I think my closing date got pushed by maybe a week, so it afforded me some more time.

Andrew Kerr (10:43):

But look at you, you're like, nah, you know, I'm not going to go back. I'm just going to do everything remotely. You know, I'm gonna go visit a couple of other countries and close on the first property. No big deal. I got this. That's awesome.

Brooke (10:54):


Andrew Kerr (10:55):

What were like your friends and family, like thinking at this point, did you let them know you're closing on a property while you're traveling around the world or like, I mean?

Brooke (11:04):

You know, I think I, I was still kind of skeptical myself that it would end up going through. So I didn't really, I didn't really tell anyone except for my coworker who I was traveling with. So yeah, I kind of, I kind of held off until pretty much the day before signing the final paperwork.

Andrew Kerr (11:22):

You're like surprise a mech in the country and I'm buying a property tomorrow. Awesome. Okay. So you bought the triplex. What was the purchase price ended up being on it and what type of loan did you use?

Brooke (11:32):

Sure, so the purchase price was 365,000. Um, and the loan that I used, I ended up using a conventional loans. So in Rhode Island, at least in the time where I, I bought my property and if you're owner occupied, uh, purchasing a multifamily, I was able to put down 3.5% on a conventional loan.

Andrew Kerr (11:55):

Oh, okay. So not FHA, like actual conventional loan.

Brooke (11:58):

Exactly. So I didn't have PMI.

Andrew Kerr (12:00):

Oh, that's awesome. All right, so then what did your actual mortgage payment come to?

Brooke (12:05):

Yes, so my, so the total loan amount was 346,750 um, after, after doing the down payment and then my monthly mortgage was $2,737.

Andrew Kerr (12:20):

Okay. Was that with your taxes and insurance or was that separate?

Brooke (12:24):

That's everything together.

Andrew Kerr (12:26):

Okay. So I mean, you know, most folks would say like, Oh, $2,700 for a mortgage payment, you know, that seems really high, especially for a first home. You know, what made you feel so comfortable buying a property at this value and being able to carry a payment that, that big, especially with this being your first property?

Brooke (12:45):

Yeah, absolutely. I think for me it was, it was two main factors. So I had a very, a very stable job where I still work there. Then there for about three and a half years, um, and it's 100% remote. So I knew that if something went wrong, I could, if I needed to put in some sweat equity to fix anything, I could do that. Um, and also the rents at the time of purchase were 2,550. So I was paying, um, you know, about $250 a month that wasn't covered by rents.

Andrew Kerr (13:17):

Oh. So that makes it pretty easy then if you've got that much rent coming in. So we're all three units of, of the triplex occupied at the time or was there one that was empty? Like what was that makeup when you bought it?

Brooke (13:27):

Yeah, so there was one unit that was unoccupied and the other two were, were rented out to tenants who I inherited.

Andrew Kerr (13:36):

Awesome. So then what was the makeup of each of the units? Were they like one bedroom, two bedroom were, were they all exactly the same? What was the floor plan like?

Brooke (13:45):

Yep. So they're all very similar. The three units, each of them have two bedrooms.

Andrew Kerr (13:50):

And are they just one, one bathroom each?

Brooke (13:52):

Exactly, yes.

Andrew Kerr (13:53):

And then so one was empty, the other two units. What were you getting for rent and was that sort of below market rent at the time or was it, were they actually paying market rent?

Brooke (14:02):

Yes. So when I purchased, um, the rent sent purchase, so the first floor was paying 1350 a month, uh, which pretty much market value could probably go a bit higher, but they'd been there for two years. So I knew that they were fairly reliable tenants. Um, and then the third floor was paying 1200, so total 2550.

Andrew Kerr (14:23):

And then did they have existing leases in place that you cap or did you have them sign new leases?

Brooke (14:30):

They did. So both, both floors were on a one year leases. And I actually had a surprise at closing where I found out that the first floor and signed a two year lease. So, and they still had maybe a year and a half to go on that lease. Which, um, I don't think is, I don't think he's very common. But, uh, I actually didn't know that until closing.

Andrew Kerr (14:56):

And then, so then did you have to ask that, that person to vacate on that first floor or was it your, you were on the, the sort of basement apartment level and then it was the first floor and second floor that were rented?

Brooke (15:08):

Yeah, so, so the first floor and the third floor were rented out and then the second floor was vacant. Um, and I, I actually ended up, uh, remodeling the second floor.

Andrew Kerr (15:17):

Okay. And then did the other two units need to be remodeled when the tenants moved out or were they sort of pretty good for a rental unit?

Brooke (15:25):

Yeah, so the third floor, um, they just moved out this year, so, uh, May, 2019 and I did like mostly cosmetic updates, paint painted the whole unit, um, new flooring. Um, pretty, pretty simple things. So nothing major, but they did require some updating.

Andrew Kerr (15:48):

And now is the new tenant in at, at higher rent than the 1200 that the previous one was paying?

Brooke (15:55):

Yes. So now, uh, those tenants are paying 1300 per month, so I increased it by $100 a month.

Andrew Kerr (16:02):

Okay. So now you're bringing in what, like 2650 a month in your mortgages? Just a hair over 2,700 a month. So you're almost, you know, breaking even on, on owning a property.

Brooke (16:13):

Yes. And I actually just refinanced in August, so my new monthly mortgage payment with insurance and everything is now at 2,574

Andrew Kerr (16:25):

Oh wow. And so yeah, you're actually now, you know more than breaking even. You got a little bit of a buffer in there as well. So what, why'd you end up deciding to refinance? Did rates just drop from when you originally bought the property?

Brooke (16:37):

Yes, absolutely. When I bought the property and the rates were actually pretty high, I want to say around almost 6% so I just refinanced to 3.1%

Andrew Kerr (16:48):

Oh, okay. Awesome. So yeah, that's a big jump and that gets you that, that savings there. All right, so now your two bedroom that you're living in, are you renting out a room in there or is it just sit empty while you're traveling or what are you doing with that unit?

Brooke (17:04):

Yeah, that's a, that's a really good question. I right now it's, it's empty when I'm traveling. Um, I didn't plan on traveling as much as I did this year. Otherwise I think I would have probably gotten a roommate sooner. But my plan for 2020 is to furnish the second bedroom and then rent it out to maybe like a single student on like a six monthly, something like that.

Andrew Kerr (17:30):

Oh, awesome. I mean, so now what is your family and friends think about this whole process now where like you obviously bought a triplex, you picked up this big mortgage payment, now you've got rent, you're essentially having a free place to live. Is your home base as you travel around? Are they coming around now asking you how you, did it? Still think it's crazy? I mean, w what's everyone's sort of, uh, thought thought process on this?

Brooke (17:54):

Yeah, I think now that they've kind of watched me go through the whole process and you know, it's been a year and a half, I've been getting a lot more questions around like how can I mimic this? Um, and it's kind of, it's kind of two, twofold. It's like how do I get a remote job and then how do I do a house hack?

Andrew Kerr (18:15):

I feel like that's the perfect combination, right? So that way you got the free place to live and then if you want to travel, you can travel to and know you always got a place to go back to. Awesome. So what are you doing with the tenants? I mean, you're obviously traveling around, you're calling right now from Mexico City. Are you managing the tenants yourself or did you turn it over to your realtor friend that also does property management?

Brooke (18:37):

So I'm currently, this year I've managed the whole thing remotely. Um, I've had a couple of major things happen, but nothing that, nothing that I couldn't handle with like a single phone call. And what also helps me is I did create a Google doc that I share the link to all my tenants with and it has everything from how and when to contact me. Emergency contacts, like if there's major flooding, please call this handyman. Um, and also like links to the city, website, resources, et cetera. So I think that's, that's kind of cut down with put down on any, um, like one off management things with tenants.

Andrew Kerr (19:16):

So you're, you're pretty open then that like, Hey, I'm, it's not that I'm not in town, like I'm in another part of the world, so you might be able to reach me or not. And you just sort of list out all those options are, were you ever worried about that they could take advantage of you or it's nah, I'm not worried about it. I'm traveling, I'm up front because you know, when I've talked with folks, they have that dilemma of like, well, I want to manage my own property to save the money, but I'm always worried they're gonna like try to pull a fast one on me and I'm worried about leaving town. And if something happens, like I feel like that's every landlord's nightmares. Like, Oh, what happens? Like the toilet's gonna overflow or a pipe's gonna break while I'm on vacation and I'm not going to be able to handle it. And it sounds like you just created this system where like a couple major things came up and you're like, eh, I had it. It was a quick phone call. No problem.

Brooke (20:04):

Yeah, exactly. And part of it too is just having a trust, having trusted boots on the ground if you are going to leave for an extended period of time. Um, like I've been the handyman who I use, he's kind of my go to person for everything and he was referred to me by my realtor, so I knew that I could trust him. And I've been working with him for over a year and a half. So when something happens, it's not like he's just going to work with a tenant. He knows to contact me first. So it's, you know, having trusted people really helps.

Andrew Kerr (20:33):

Yeah. So the tenant can actually call the handyman, like here's the emergency and if it's a real emergency, he'll go stop it, but fix the issue. Uh, but he knows to actually call you and say, Hey, I'm actually going over there, a pipe broke or whatever the issue is. Do you want me to fix it? Not fix it? Okay. I mean that sounds like a pretty good system. Now I guess my other question is most folks at house hack are like, Oh, just bring the checkover. You know, when I get off of work that obviously doesn't work. You know, a tenant can't bring over the rent check. So how you actually collecting rent checks?

Brooke (21:04):

Yes, so very simple. I use Zelle payments, which I think they service like over 200 different banks, including all of the major ones. Um, so that allows me tenants to pay electronically. I haven't had a single issue with that and the service actually allows tenants to schedule recurring payments. So I have had tenants who just set it recurring for the first of the month and it's just automatically goes into my account and it's a free service and it's so far been very simple to use.

Andrew Kerr (21:35):

Yeah, that's awesome. In it, you really got this great system built out where it lets you work your remote job and not have to worry about a headache and be able to travel along. You mentioned you had a couple sort of major issues that come up. What were those issues and how'd you end up handling them?

Brooke (21:53):

Sure. So in, I was in Ireland at the time. Um, and I think this happened at, it must've been midnight on the East coast, but I had a tenant they emailed me cause they knew that I was out of the country so they probably thought that I wasn't taking calls. Well luckily I get notifications. So definitely a good tip to make sure that you have a separate email address. The notifications turned on in that case, but a water heater had burst in the basement so there was a good amount of uh, flooding. Um, and I texted my handyman and uh, 15 minutes later he was like, I'll be there in 10 minutes. And he, he took care of the problem, replaced the broken boiler and yeah, it was, it was actually much less stressful than that I would have thought.

Andrew Kerr (22:42):

Yeah, I like to think that you said where it's like create a specific email that you have your notifications on. Because I do that when I travel, I'm like, I go on my phone and I specifically say turn these emails off. And like my parents, they know how to get ahold of me, but really no one else does. And like every, like once a week I'll open up the email and check in and scan it. But I like having that like a VIP email that always stays on and you actually have the notifications on for, for your phone. That way it'll pop up that. That's a smart tip. I like that one. I'm going to copy that one. All right. So I mean it sounds like the year and a half you've owned the property, it's gone pretty well. I mean, you bought it, it was costing you a little bit of money. I mean, you're already cash, had cash coming in on day one, you know, 25 or 2,600 and you're paying 2,700 you increase the rent on the tenant that moved out and then you did a refinance. So now you're actually having a little bit of money. I mean, you know, think back through that house hacking experience. What do you feel like your biggest win was or your biggest success was over this period?

Brooke (23:39):

I think simply making the move and putting in a bid and doing it, even when at times I felt, and I still feel like sometimes I don't know what I'm doing because the first time is always the most difficult. But now if I want to, I certainly feel like I can invest in another property, um, maybe next year or in an upcoming year and be even less dependent on my nine to five. So I think just, just making the move.

Andrew Kerr (24:04):

Awesome. And then what was your biggest challenge over this past year and a half with your house hack?

Brooke (24:11):

Ooh, I think that's an easy one. And it's turning over a unit for the first time. It's really hard. Um, I had at least three months of vacancy this year after my third floor tenants move out. Um, and part of that was because I was traveling for some of the time because I thought that I was going to be able to turn it over much quicker. Um, and I was going through a small renovation on that floor too so that I could update it, have new photos and um, and then screen all of the tenants. But going through the tenant screening and showing is a lot more work. Um, and I wasted some time showing the apartment to potential tenants who were not qualified. So I've since updated my processes and I think the next time it will be so much easier. Having had this learning experience.

Andrew Kerr (25:01):

So are you planning then to be back home at the property when the next lease comes up or do you feel comfortable enough now with your processes where you can actually do it remotely and just pay someone to open the door and show folks around?

Brooke (25:15):

Yeah, that's a great question. I think it depends. Um, it depends what will be going on in my life in terms of my travel plans. Um, I think next time I'll prefer to be home and take a second go at it myself. Um, but I'd certainly feel comfortable like finding a local property management company now that I've done some networking in the area. I feel, I feel like I could certainly find someone, um, who could do a good job. But I think next time I'll probably try to be home for a couple of months at least.

Andrew Kerr (25:45):

Awesome. So do you think it will take you three months again next time? Or how quickly do you, can you condense that down when you turn a unit?

Brooke (25:54):

Yeah, I think, I think having the remodel happen at the same time and like trying to rush through that. The contractor that I usually work with for the remodel wasn't available, so I had to go with someone new. I'm the first person I talked to didn't work out. So it just like delayed the process a lot. Um, but next time with the third floor, especially since I know that it's, it probably won't be anything. Maybe some light patching on the walls for paint, but I think it will be so much quicker, much easier.

Andrew Kerr (26:24):

Awesome. So you've only been doing it a year and a half? I mean my, my next question is, would you actually do another house hack?

Brooke (26:32):

I would, I would, I think it's interesting because at least from my area, um, Providence and the neighborhood that I live in, the taxes are really high if you are not owner occupied.

Andrew Kerr (26:44):

Ah, so they give you like a homestead exemption where your tax rate gets discounted. Okay.

Brooke (26:49):

Exactly. Exactly.

Andrew Kerr (26:51):

Do you think the property would cash flow pretty well with those higher taxes if you were to move out and then rent the unit that you were living in?

Brooke (26:59):

I think it would once I, once I turned over the units again cause I still have the inherited tenants on the first floor. Um, and I think with some minor, some minor remodeling, I could increase that rent even more. Um, and then my unit is probably, it's one of the nicer ones. So I think I could rent that out for even more. And um, I'll have to run the math on that cause I'm, I'm also really interested. But I think that my next, my next game plan would probably be to buy a multi in the town that's literally 10 minutes over the line for me because the taxes make that much of a difference.

Andrew Kerr (27:34):

Oh wow. Yeah. Especially if you're going to be working remotely, you can just sort of say like, well, I'm going to go over here because taxes are a little cheaper and yeah, 10 or 15 minutes doesn't make that big of a deal.

Brooke (27:43):


Andrew Kerr (27:44):

Awesome. Well, Brooke, thank you for being on the show. I really appreciate you sharing your story. It's awesome talking with someone that has this cool house acting experience and they leverage that with a job where they can work remotely. Uh, but before we let you go, we like to ask all of our guests a set of final six questions. Are you ready for them?

Brooke (28:07):

I'm ready.

Andrew Kerr (28:08):

All right. Number one, what is your favorite personal finance blog book or podcast?

Brooke (28:15):

Okay. So I have a lot, but if we're looking at what I've been going through recently, it's the, Our Next Lifelog it follows a woman named Tanya and her husband and they retired early at, I think they were 38 and they retired. And uh, it's really cool cause it kind of backtracks from like how they started on this path to what they're doing now in their early retirement to stay fulfilled.

Andrew Kerr (28:42):

I haven't heard of that. I'll have to look that up. And for anyone listening, I'll put a link to the website in the show notes. All right, so then a number two. What's your favorite real estate related blog book or podcast?

Brooke (28:54):

Sure. So I've been deep in the podcast listening game recently because when I'm traveling it just seems to be the easiest way for me to take in information. Um, but my friends, Jimmy and Frank have an incredible podcast called the Cashflow Kings. And I learned something new every episode. It's all focused on real estate from like beginners like me, to people who own, you know, hundreds of multi-families. So I find it extremely valuable in there in my local area. So.

Andrew Kerr (29:24):

Cool. Well we'll, we'll definitely do a link to their podcast and website in the show notes as well so folks can check that out. I'm definitely going to go check, check it out cause I haven't heard of it yet. All right. I mean, I'm really excited for these next two questions because me and my wife are huge travelers and it sounds like you are too. So. All right, number three. What's been your favorite travel destination so far?

Brooke (29:44):

I knew this was coming in. This question is really hard, but for me, I would say Guatemala. Um, this small city of Antigua, Guatemala is surrounded by, volcanoes and nature and it's absolutely gorgeous with plenty of really incredible day or weekend trips. So I would highly recommend adding that to your list.

Andrew Kerr (30:05):

Awesome. All right. And then number four, what's next on your travel vacation list?

Brooke (30:11):

Next on my list is Cuba. I'll actually be flying from Mexico city to Havana this weekend.

Andrew Kerr (30:18):

Well, I'm super jealous. That's awesome. And then after Cuba, do you have another trip lined up after that or are you going going back home? Cause I feel like you might, from the conversation we've had, I feel like there might be one or two more after that. So I'll, I'll let you expand on the question a little more.

Brooke (30:35):

Yeah, I've been going pretty much nonstop since January 1st I was just in Germany for Oktoberfest month and I'm, I'm going home after, I'll do a week more in Mexico after Cuba and then I'll be home for the holidays and I think I'll, I'm looking for just taking some time to reflect on all the traveling I've done and then kind of plan my next move from there.

Andrew Kerr (31:00):

Very cool. All right, so number five, what is the biggest bucket list item you haven't accomplished yet?

Brooke (31:08):

That I haven't accomplished yet? I actually, this is super interesting because I'm doing my 2020 goal planning, but um, and I took it more from like a travel perspective cause that's what my year isn't focused on, but I really want to swim with the whale sharks.

Andrew Kerr (31:26):

Ooh, very cool. That's a good one. All right. And then number six, what's your favorite life hack? Or maybe I'll let you also throw in your favorite travel hack as well.

Brooke (31:35):

Okay. So life hack, and this isn't a quick hack, but break down your goals into habits. That's been, yeah, it's been really, really huge for me in terms of both real estate and then just career in life things. Um, and then travel hack. I mean there's so many, but if you can, if you can slow travel, it's a lot more affordable. Like if you can, if you can negotiate working remote somehow and then go somewhere for four weeks just to try it out, um, it's much easier to negotiate like a Airbnb or rental pricing and really live somewhere versus doing like a, you know, a 6 night trip.

Andrew Kerr (32:20):

Yeah. And I know, especially luckily flight prices have really come down, but usually one of your biggest expenses is that flight. And if you're only stretching that flight over like six, seven days, it's very different than stretching that flight cost out over like four, six, eight weeks. So yeah, unfortunately with our, our work and everything going on, we can only do about three weeks at a time. So every April we do a big three week trip as well. And then we do a bunch of smaller trips through throughout the rest of the year. But yeah, I agree with you on that one. Try to do slow travel. Well Brooke, thank you again for being on and sharing your house hacking story. I think it's a perfect example of, you know, giving people a reason not to come up with an excuse. I mean you're like, ah, I'm going to do it. I'm going to make an offer on a property and we're going to contract all, well not even being out of the city or out of the state, out of the country. So if anyone's listening and you've been using that excuse of like, Oh, I can't do it because I'm nervous. You know, Brooke just did it while in another country and is managing her properties, not out of state but out of country. So thank you again for coming on and sharing your story.

Brooke (33:22):

Thank you so much for having me.

Outro (33:27):

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