Small Multi-family House Hacking with Cheryl:

This week, we’re going to Wisconsin for the first time to hear about a small multifamily house hack in the city of Madison! Cheryl, her husband, and their two kids were living in this 850 square foot house when they came across a soon to be problem. As their kids became teenagers, they realized that they would need to start looking for a larger home. Moving into a larger home can be pricey, but with house hacking, Cheryl knew that it was very possible.

After 6 months of searching, Cheryl and her husband were able to find a triplex not too far from their old house. By incorporating a house hacking strategy on this new property, they were now able to live in double the amount of square footage by only paying about $300 more a month. This is one house hack story you do not want to miss out on! See below to hear this episode on your preferred podcast medium:

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Notable Mentions:

VA Loan Information:  https://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/

Mr. Money Mustache:  https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/

Go Curry Cracker:  https://www.gocurrycracker.com/

BiggerPockets:  http://www.biggerpockets.com

 

Transcript of the show:

Intro (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):

Well Cheryl, thank you so much for being on the show. How you doing today and where are you calling in from?

Cheryl (00:34):

Calling in from Madison, Wisconsin. I’m doing really good. I am sitting and looking out at the Lake and enjoying our latest house hack.

Andrew Kerr (00:43):

Awesome. Well I’m really excited about your story. I know I, I’ve heard a little bit about it, but why don’t you just, a good place to start is to give us this nice high level summary of what your house hack is.

Cheryl (00:55):

So this summer we just closed down a triplex and our plan was to move our whole family of four in and occupy two of the three units as our single family residence. But we are going to maintain them, um, with separate kitchens and bathrooms so that eventually when the kids move out we can go ahead and rent out that other unit and live in a single unit of the three.

Andrew Kerr (01:22):

Yeah, that’s really, really cool. I mean, I’m so excited about this because I think this is this really interesting approach that I haven’t really heard anyone do yet. I mean, so let’s really just sort of dig into this. You know, how’d you decide to do a house hack? I mean, how’d you first hear about house hacking or did you just have this idea and then realize later it’s actually called house hacking? I mean, how did it all sort of come about?

Cheryl (01:45):

Well, that’s exactly it. We really didn’t go into this looking for a house hack. We’ve been living in this small single family two bedroom and really loved living small. We had about 850 square feet, but my kids are getting older and as we start creeping up on the teen years, I just knew that it was going to get harder and harder because they’re physically getting bigger and also their interests are getting bigger and the amount of space that those hobbies and things take up is starting. We’re starting to push us out of that comfort zone. So we started looking at houses. We really loved the neighborhood that we’re in and we only looked in a very small area and we found a few houses that we really loved, but we weren’t as fond of the price tag. It’s a very hot neighborhood also. So prices are pretty high.

Cheryl (02:36):

And I was flipping through the newsletter, the neighborhood newsletter one day and there was a little um, hand drawn picture of a house and it just said, you know, for sale call and it had no details whatsoever. And I was intrigued. So I called and it turned out to be this house. Um, the previous owner had lived here for 40 years. She actually house hacked herself, um, living in various units over the years and living here with her kids and now by herself. So we looked at it and when I first met with her, we honestly just looked at the first floor unit, which is where she lives. And I knew right away that we wanted to buy this house. Um, it’s an awesome location and it’s very large and has a ton of potential. And so my husband, I’m just a creative thinker and my husband kind of goes along with it. And um, so he was game and we decided to go ahead and buy the house then. And the kids are really excited because they’re going to get their own bedrooms. Basically it’s three, two bedroom unit. So the kids kind of have their own living space on the third floor. And then we have our, our family’s space on the second floor.

Andrew Kerr (03:58):

Okay. Awesome. So yeah. Yeah. Oh man. Oh my goodness. I just saw so many things came up. I’m trying to figure out where, where I really want to start. All right, so you are living in this small, roughly 800 square foot, two, two bedroom house. I mean, how big is your family? So it’s you, your husband, and how many kids do you have?

Cheryl (04:15):

Two kids.

Andrew Kerr (04:15):

Okay. So in, in your previous housing, you and your husband were in a room and the two, two young kids were, were sharing a room.

Cheryl (04:24):

Exactly. And it was a really well designed house, so if you came over, you would never guess that it was 850 square feet. Honestly, people often commented on how we had a large house, but at the end of the day we started feeling it. And especially one bathroom was really one of the big bottlenecks of the whole thing. Um, and as the kids get older, you know, they’re wanting more privacy and as I mentioned, have all of these things that they want to do and having to clear off the dining room table every night to try and sit down and eat dinner. I just got to be a hassle and we were ready for a little bit more space, but not really ready to make the commitment to like a huge four bedroom house that I knew would be kind of empty in 10 years. So this seemed like a really good option.

Andrew Kerr (05:14):

Yeah, absolutely. So that, that place that you were in before, were you just renting that or did you own that place?

Cheryl (05:21):

We’ve owned that house for about 17 years. Um, it was, I bought the house before my husband and I got married and actually he moved in with his cousin. That was my very first house hack. So they were contributing to the expenses and made things a little bit easier on me.

Andrew Kerr (05:38):

Oh, okay. Great. Yeah. So you’re doing that room rental house hack even before how hacking was, was sort of a thing. And what, what was your, your mortgage payment on that house before you moved out of it?

Cheryl (05:50):

So, uh, we had refinanced over the years and um, use the cash out to buy properties. But when we moved out we had just recently refinanced to a 12 year mortgage and our total, um, payment was 1207.

Andrew Kerr (06:10):

Great. And then did you end up keeping that place or did you end up selling it after you moved out?

Cheryl (06:15):

We kept it honestly, we love it so much that I couldn’t bring myself to sell it and honestly we might move back to it someday. I don’t know. It’s hard to say how things will go. But um, we are currently renting it for 1500 a month.

Andrew Kerr (06:29):

Oh great. So you had this first property, your husband moved in with you, his cousin moved in for that second bedroom, you had this sort of room, rental house hack, and now it’s a longterm rental for you and that caused you to move into this, this triplex.

Cheryl (06:46):

Exactly.

Andrew Kerr (06:47):

Okay. And then from when you decided to actually go find a bigger place, I mean, how long was it that you actually started looking in before it sort of came up in the newsletter of this house and the area for sale?

Cheryl (07:00):

I believe that we started looking seriously in January, February of this year. So it all came together really fast in six months we had already closed.

Andrew Kerr (07:10):

Okay, great. Yeah, and I mean I think that’s a sort of a normal timeframe. I mean back in like 2011, 2012 you could find a house and close on a house in 45 or 60 days because there were so many, so many properties for sale. But yeah, six months seems like a pretty normal timeframe. And then when you found the house and you saw it, was it originally built as a triplex or was it a big old single family home that was divided up and converted into a triplex?

Cheryl (07:38):

It was actually built as a duplex and then at some point someone renovated the attic to be a triplex.

Andrew Kerr (07:46):

Okay. And then let’s talk about each of these different floors. So the, the first floor unit, how many bedrooms and bathrooms was that?

Cheryl (07:55):

So all three units are two bedroom, one bathroom, and the bottom two units are 1200 square feet. And the attic unit is about 750 square feet.

Andrew Kerr (08:06):

Okay, great. I mean even the attic at 700 square feet is just slightly smaller than than the house that you moved into. And when you, you saw the property, did you realize, you know, this could be a rental or this is actually the house for us and we could take over to the units and rent the other unit.

Cheryl (08:24):

I knew instantly that I wanted to live here. I really, I really had an affinity for the house. You know, it’s, it’s a historic home. It’s got all of the beautiful big trim and it’s, as I mentioned, right across from the Lake. So we get some Lake views and it really just felt like the right place for us to be.

Andrew Kerr (08:44):

Now earlier you mentioned you are the more creative one that could sort of see this stuff and your husband agreed to it. So was there any convincing here or was he on board right away?

Cheryl (08:56):

There was no convincing, but we’ve been married for almost as long, about 17 years. And honestly he has gotten over the convincing part over all of those years as he’s gone along with all of my crazy schemes, he gets more and more comfortable with it.

Andrew Kerr (09:13):

So he just knew. He was like, all right, another one of her crazy ideas. I’m just going to say you asked because I know her at this point. Okay, great. That’s fun.

Cheryl (09:21):

Yeah, he trusts me at this point.

Andrew Kerr (09:24):

Awesome. That’s a really cool relationship to have. All right, so

Cheryl (09:28):

it absolutely is

Andrew Kerr (09:29):

w when you bought the house, was this completely off market or had it actually gone on the multiple listing service? The MLS at this point?

Cheryl (09:38):

it was off market. Um, but we weren’t the only ones who found it. There were two other offers that she was anticipating when we came to see the house. So we definitely wanted to put in an attractive offer. And what we ended up doing was we offered her asking price and um, she wanted to remain as a tenant on that first floor unit. So we offered her really attractive rent basically to sweeten the deal. So she rents the first floor unit for 850, which is well below market.

Andrew Kerr (10:10):

Okay. And you really did that as you’re saying, just to make it attractive where she said, Hey, maybe they’re not coming in with the highest price or maybe they’re equivalent, but they’re also gonna let me stay and rent back the unit so she doesn’t have to move out.

Cheryl (10:24):

I was definitely hoping that that would be a selling point for her. But also I felt like, I mean she sold us the house for what I believe to be an under market price also. So I knew that this was a good deal and that was my way of kind of giving back to her.

Andrew Kerr (10:40):

Yeah. And so what was the final sales price on the property?

Cheryl (10:44):

So she was asking a 352 and we came to an arrangement where we took the taxes out. So she did not pay us the taxes for the first half of the year. So she dropped the sale price to 348. And our appraisal right away was 470, which I actually think is even a little low because a very similar house and it’s hard to find comps on something like a Triplex, but a very similar Triplex sold a couple months after we bought this for 550.

Andrew Kerr (11:18):

Oh wow. I mean it sounds like you’ve got a killer deal. Like, I’m trying to just envision this in my head right now to triplex, a beautiful old historic home. You got it for just, you know, three 48 it appraise for four 70. There’s views of the Lake. I mean this sounds pretty picture perfect. Did the house actually need any work? Was there any deferred maintenance? Did it need a new roof or was there anything you had to do to, to make it ready for you to, to rent it?

Cheryl (11:44):

So we certainly, it was moving ready to really, um, she had done some knob and tube removal, so we went and did, you know, cleaned up all of the knob and tube where we’re in the process of doing that right now actually it’d be electricians working on it. And then we decided we wanted some cosmetic updates because it was a little dated on the inside. So we splurged on a marble bathroom on the second floor, or we put in new tile and new fixtures and the third floor bathroom, um, put in new countertops in the kitchen. Those kinds of things.

Andrew Kerr (12:23):

Yeah. Basically making it your own.

Cheryl (12:26):

Exactly. We’re refinishing the hardwood floors and just trying to spruce it up a bit.

Andrew Kerr (12:32):

Yeah. And it sounds like, I mean, you’ve got it at such a good deal. Putting that money into it is, is really easy to do when you say, Hey, you know, I could put 30, 40, 50 grand into it and it’s still your purchase plus any of the renovation work is way below the appraised value. So, I mean, yeah, it sounds like you had this really amazing deal. All right, so you bought the house, you’re doing some cosmetic work, pulling out some of that knob and tube, which you know, I lived down in new Orleans, I’m super familiar with knob and tube. Uh, we just closed on our fourth house hacking where we’re actually pulling out some of the knob and tube that was left in there.

Cheryl (13:07):

Yeah, it can certainly be pricey, but it’s worth it to get that out.

Andrew Kerr (13:11):

Yup. All right, so you, you did the work, you let you let her in there. What type of loan did you end up doing? Did you do an FHA loan or just do a traditional conventional loan?

Cheryl (13:23):

Well, we were pretty fortunate on that front too because my husband is a veteran, so we were able to get a VA loan and do 0% down, um, with no PMI. And we’ve actually never done a VA loan before. And this was a little tricky because most banks don’t, even though you can get a VA loan for a four unit, most things don’t actually do that per their own internal criteria. So the bank that I normally work with only will do two unit VA loans. Many of the other banks I called also had criteria that made it so that we were not able to go through them. So in the end I just used um, veterans United and that was really a great experience.

Andrew Kerr (14:13):

Okay, great. And yeah, we’ll link to them in the show notes. That way if anyone has the ability to do a VA loan and they’re running into that obstacle. And I think it was good that you mentioned this because while the VA guidelines might allow up to a four unit, banks had their internal guidelines and they don’t want to be held liable. And a lot of times banks can be more conservative or a little bit stricter. So, um, we’ll definitely link to a VA United in the show notes for everyone. But I mean that’s crazy. You bought this awesome property that’s way under market value, really cool location and you did it with the VA loan. So 0%, I mean this is just phenomenal. And what’s your mortgage payment end up running you when it was all said and done?

Cheryl (14:58):

So our final mortgage payment ended up being $2,322

Andrew Kerr (15:04):

and is that with your taxes and insurance?

Cheryl (15:08):

It is.

Andrew Kerr (15:09):

Okay, great. All right, so you’re a little over 2300 a month. You were spending 1200 a month, but now you’ve got the tenants downstairs and what, what’d you do for her? Is it sort of on a handshake basis or did you actually have her sign a lease? Is it an open ended lease or sort of month to month?

Cheryl (15:30):

So she said that she wanted to stay for at least two years, so we wrote a two year lease with an auto renewal at the end of that. So we’ll just see how it goes.

Andrew Kerr (15:40):

Okay, great. And just out of curiosity, what do you think market rent would be for that first floor level? I know you, you gave her a discount to try to lock down the property at an at 850 a month. You know, what do you think you could actually rent that lower unit for?

Cheryl (15:56):

I would estimate 1250 like if I had to put it on the market today, I would put it on at 1250 with no renovations. If we did some cosmetic updates, we can probably get between 15 and 18

Andrew Kerr (16:09):

Oh my goodness. I mean that’s, that’s huge. Even at 1250 I mean that, that’s enormous. And what about the, uh, the, the second floor, same thing about same square footage 2 1. Now that you’ve done some cosmetic work to it, would it also rent in that 15 to 1800 range?

Cheryl (16:26):

That’s what I would list it for, yes.

Andrew Kerr (16:28):

And then what about,

Cheryl (16:29):

and I actually attend, Oh, I’m sorry. I actually tend to be a little bit conservative in my rent numbers, so,

Andrew Kerr (16:35):

Yup. No, nothing wrong with that. I think that’s good to be conservative upfront. And then if you come out better, that’s great. But I think a lot of times people are too optimistic when they’re running their numbers. And then that 700 square foot attic space, if when you move out, what do you think that would actually rent for?

Cheryl (16:55):

I’m thinking with the renovations that we already did, it would be right around a thousand dollars.

Andrew Kerr (17:03):

I mean, so you’re really looking at at the low end 1500, 1500 a thousand. I mean you’re essentially when you’re done with this property, you know you could bring, be bringing in, you know four grand to 4,600 and have a mortgage payment of 2300 so there’s plenty of margin in there to cover the mortgage, put money aside for maintenance and cap backs and for vacancy and still have a healthy profit.

Cheryl (17:30):

There is an honestly, I mean this is, as I mentioned before, is a very high demand area and we have a number of other rentals in the neighborhood and I have a 0% vacancy rate over the last seven years, I would say.

Andrew Kerr (17:45):

Yeah, I just think this is crazy because even as is, I mean it well longterm when you want to move out it’s going to be a killer rental. Then in the short term, I mean you went from 1200 a month in a mortgage payment to 2300 but you back out the rent. So now you’re down to 1500, but I mean you more than doubled your square footage in your housing is costing you, you know, 300, $350 a month. I mean that’s like a super house hack right there.

Cheryl (18:13):

It really is. It really felt like a no brainer.

Andrew Kerr (18:17):

Yeah. D double the space for only a housing costs of like 300 a to $400 a month. Yeah, really, really cool. All right, so the woman downstairs, she’s on a two year lease. How you collect and rent? Does she just bring up a check? Do you use any sort of software, property management software? I mean, how does that all work?

Cheryl (18:37):

So for our other rentals, have we actually through our bank have a system called money link. And um, even if you don’t bank at my bank, you’re able to go ahead and link up to my account. So most of my tenants pay directly through money link. Um, now our first floor tenant is older and was not comfortable with setting that all up. So we went old fashioned. I went to my bank, I got a piece of paper that we had to fill out and sign and then return physically to the bank. And now we’re set up on an automatic payment.

Andrew Kerr (19:16):

I, I’m, I’m guessing she’s probably 60s or 70s or maybe a little bit older.

Cheryl (19:22):

She just turned 85.

Andrew Kerr (19:23):

Oh wow. Yeah. Yeah. I’ve, I’ve had some tenants like that that are definitely, uh, that older generation. And if you try to do anything electronic or software online, they’re just not comfortable with that at all.

Cheryl (19:36):

Yeah. And really she is the ultimate house hacker because she bought this property 40 years ago, has lived in all three units over the years, as I mentioned, with or without her children. And now she’s just simplifying her estate by selling it off so that they don’t have to deal with that. And it’s really brilliant.

Andrew Kerr (19:57):

Yeah. Very, very cool story that she had. And now you’re sort of taking over, right? So I just want to talk a little bit about, you know, the, the living situation. So you said that the second floor is your living space and then the attic is where your sort of bedrooms are, is that right?

Cheryl (20:16):

No, not exactly. So there’s the two bedrooms on each floor. And so the kids right now, we’re actually all living on the third floor as we renovate the second floor. Um, but we will be moving our bedroom down to the second floor this week as a matter of fact. And then the kids will each have their own room upstairs, they’ll have a living space. And my youngest son is super excited to have his own kitchen. You know, all the science experiments can happen of the crazy cooking can happen up here. And then my husband and I have, we’ll have our bedrooms and bathroom downstairs and then our communal kitchen and living space.

Andrew Kerr (20:58):

Oh, okay, great. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So, I mean, I don’t have kids at this point, but I would imagine someone might be listening in and they can be thinking, Oh my goodness, my kids are going to be in a full separate unit. You know, what if someone just walks up there or the kids can walk out and go out the front door and I’d never notice them leaving. I mean, how do you manage that or is there like a common hallway where they got to walk by the door to the second floor unit? I mean, can you just describe that a little bit for us?

Cheryl (21:31):

Yes. So part of what made this really feel like the right thing was when you walk up to the house, there’s two front doors and the front door on the left actually goes up to the second and then third floor. So that is our household right there. And then the other front door goes into our tenants first floor apartment. Really it lends itself to this. Um, and then there is also a back staircase that hits all three units, but they do have to pass that second floor either way.

Andrew Kerr (22:07):

Yeah. So basically your front door, front door is the front door for the, the two units, and then you can just leave the front door, actually enter your unit open and you can see the kids walking up and down and they can move all back and forth. Okay. Yeah, that’s a really cool, cool setup. And I think it fits really well for this family situation.

Cheryl (22:27):

I think so too. And we’re still growing into it, but I actually think we’re going to remove the front door on the second floor so that, um, it just is open to this, that staircase and it all flows a little bit more cleanly.

Andrew Kerr (22:39):

Oh yeah. And that’s something easy to add back in too. I mean, adding in a exterior entry door is pretty easy to do when you’re done.

Cheryl (22:47):

Yes, for sure.

Andrew Kerr (22:50):

Awesome. I mean, I think you just have this incredible house hack experience that you took over from like the ultimate house hacker woman that had lived there for, for several decades. I mean, if you’re thinking back through this period, what do you feel like your biggest success was with, with this project so far?

Cheryl (23:06):

Well, I mean, the numbers speak to themselves. I think that I would be remiss to not list that as our biggest success because honestly, I mean it’s, it’s a great arrangement or a really great price.

Andrew Kerr (23:21):

Yeah. I, I haven’t heard people getting amazing deals like that in 2019. Uh, yeah, I’ve heard people getting deals like that back in like 2012 and 2013 and 2014 but, you know, getting a property, you know, a hundred grand below market value and being a triplex in having lake views is a pretty amazing, uh, thing.

Cheryl (23:43):

We’re very fortunate.

Andrew Kerr (23:45):

And then, you know, I know you’ve only been in there five months coming up on six months. I mean, what’s been the biggest challenge so far with this new property?

Cheryl (23:46):

So we actually haven’t physically been here quite that long because there were tenants in place when we closed in June, so they weren’t fully moved out and tell the end of August. So we really have only been in here for a pretty short period of time. Um, you know, I think that the hardest thing is moving kids is always a little bit of a challenge. And my older son really adjusted well, but my younger one definitely had a few bouts of tears missing the old house, which then made me miss the old house. So that was the thing that was, was the challenge for us to get through. But he’s, he’s already, um, really feeling positive about space so.

Andrew Kerr (24:37):

Well that, that’s great. And I imagine that can be really hard having kids and moving them. Did they have to change schools or was it all close enough where they still could see their normal friends and still go to the same school?

Cheryl (24:49):

We actually only moved to blacks. So is that, that part was pretty smooth and easy.

Andrew Kerr (24:57):

Yeah. Yeah. So I guess my next question is would you actually do another house hack again or what’s your plan of how, how long do you think you’ll actually stay in this property?

Cheryl (25:07):

Well, we plan on staying here indefinitely, to be honest with you. I think this is really when once everything is said and done in the dust settles, I really think that this is our forever home. It feels really good and right to us even though we still have a lot to do. It’s funny, I knew you were going to ask if we would do it again and in some ways I feel like I threw my whole life in a blender because moving is traumatic and we have not done it in so long that like touching all of your things and I think when you move a short distance like two blacks, you underestimate how much of a hassle that actually is. So I, I’m sure I would do it again, but it’s all a little fresh right now. I wouldn’t recommend moving with any frequency.

Andrew Kerr (25:56):

Yeah, I know it’s almost exactly the same amount of work to move, whether it’s two blocks or 200 miles away. It’s like you still got to pack up stuff where, but you start to think like, Oh, it’s only two blocks. This is all easy. I can just do little trips back and forth and yeah, it’s definitely a, as much work. I mean, so you think you’ll, you’ll stay in the home till the kids go off to college and then potentially move back to your, your previous home that you love?

Cheryl (26:19):

We’re kind of debating right now. Um, you know, we wanted to, to keep the other house just to make sure in part to make sure that we really were going to be comfortable here, but we are debating because we might want to take advantage of the opportunity to sell within, you know, having lived in the house two of five years and avoid that capital gain. So we’re, we’re trying to decide what the best move is with the other house, um, and if we will sell in the next couple of years or we’ll go ahead and keep that long term.

Andrew Kerr (26:54):

Gotcha. Now I know as we are talking, you’ve mentioned some, several other properties, so you were pretty much expanding and growing as a real estate investor before you did a full, like multifamily house hack. Is that right?

Cheryl (27:07):

Sort of. I’m kind of, uh, a reluctant landlord I guess. So I was very excited about buying our first rental property back in 2005. And we bought a single family home and for the most part we’ve had really great experiences with it. And then, um, about five years ago, right next to that single family home are two duplexes. And they were, um, it was the owner occupied one of those four units and he passed away and all of the neighbors kind of kept knocking on our door and saying, you should really buy these. And I was like, Nope, Nope, not interested, not going to do it. We’re happy with our one single family rental. And then I went and looked at the property and um, again, it’s an older house with all of the character and also all of the challenges that come along with that.

Cheryl (28:06):

And it was really in rough shape. And ironically, I saw how bad it was and I was like, okay, I’m in, you know, let’s do this thing. So we’ve, we spent the better part of the last five years renovating those units. One by one. We just finished and part of the reason I was looking at moving is because we put all this time and energy into making those units really beautiful and modern while still honoring the historic character of the house. And I kind of wanted to do that for us. So that’s how we started on this path.

Andrew Kerr (28:42):

Yeah, that’s really cool. I know a lot of folks actually start with the house hack as a way to dip their toe into real estate investing and you sorta did it this other way of like buying a single family, starting to buy some small multifamily and then the right situation came around and you’ve got this amazing house hack deal. I mean it’s just such a cool story and I really appreciate you being on and sharing it with us. Uh, but before we let you go, what we like to do is ask all of our guests a set of final six questions that we like to call the, all right. You ready for the six questions?

Cheryl (29:21):

I am.

Andrew Kerr (29:22):

All right. Number one, what is your favorite personal finance blog book or podcasts that you’ve read or listened to recently?

Cheryl (29:31):

I feel like it’s kind of a tie between mr money mustache and Go Curry Cracker. Um, and it’s funny that I have such affinity them because they are not big fans of real estate and obviously we’re quite invested in real estate, but I really appreciate their advice and their, their individual takes.

Andrew Kerr (29:52):

Yeah, I really like, I mean mr money mustache was that sort of early retirement idea that first came about for me. Um, I don’t always agree with the extreme frugality side, but I just, I can’t not get it really sort of put me on a personal finance track and helped accelerate my thinking on stuff. And I love go Curry Cracker as well and all linked to those in the show notes for anyone that’s listening that wants to follow up on them. All right. And then number two, what is your favorite real estate related blog book or podcast?

Cheryl (30:25):

I have to say bigger pockets. I haven’t been on there in a while, but certainly I found it incredibly useful over the years.

Andrew Kerr (30:33):

Absolutely. I mean I think that’s a pretty common answer. If you’re doing anything in the real estate world, they’re sort of like the biggest and baddest uh, website on the block.

Cheryl (30:43):

They truly are.

Andrew Kerr (30:44):

All right. Now going on to number three, what is been your favorite travel destination you’ve been to so far?

Cheryl (30:51):

This is a really hard question. Um, we prepped, we traveled pretty extensively. I would have to say probably my favorite so far has been Japan. I took the kids on a month tour of Asia and we spent a couple of weeks in Tokyo and really, really loved it.

Andrew Kerr (31:08):

Ooh. Yeah. Well I’ve been wanting to go to Japan for the cherry blossom festival. That’s, that’s all on the list. I haven’t made it yet. Uh, but it’s definitely on there and we’re, where else did you go in Asia?

Cheryl (31:19):

We went to Shanghai and we spent some time in Seoul as well.

Andrew Kerr (31:23):

Oh, cool. All right. So then that brings me to number four. What’s next on your travel vacation list?

Cheryl (31:30):

We are going to be leaving in a few weeks for a road trip. I am driving the kids down to Florida and we’re going to be staffing quite a few places along the way. And then my husband, the way we typically do our travels, my husband will fly down for like a week in the middle of our trip and then we’ll slowly make our way back home. So, um, we’re leaving right after Thanksgiving and we should be back just before Christmas.

Andrew Kerr (31:57):

Awesome. All right, moving on to number five. What’s the biggest bucket list item you haven’t accomplished yet?

Cheryl (32:05):

You know, I would like to pick up steaks and live in Europe for awhile. Um, I don’t know, I don’t have any solid plans to do this, but it is something that I would really like to do.

Andrew Kerr (32:20):

So that’s actually on our list as well. I mean, something we’ve been looking at is, and I’ll mention this because you’re in the real estate investing, is a the golden visa opportunity where if you invest a certain amount into a country, you can then get a visa to be there so that way every 90 days you don’t have to leave and come back. Um, and there’s been some really cool options where I’ve, I’ve found several websites where folks were taking someone their investments in the U S using them to buy property in Greece that would then rent out on Airbnb and that would qualify them for that economic visa. So I think it’s this really cool idea. I’m just starting to play with the idea, but we’d love to spend a majority of our forties either in Asia or Europe. So we’re, we’re right there with you.

Cheryl (33:05):

That’s a great approach.

Andrew Kerr (33:07):

All right. And then number six, and the final question is, what is your favorite life hack?

Cheryl (33:13):

Um, honestly, I’d have to say just living below your means. I mean, it really, the amount of stress and pressure that that takes off of your life is just, it’s UN beatable.

Andrew Kerr (33:30):

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, life’s so much better if you’re not stressed about the paycheck and it’s hard to have money to invest if you’re not living below your means. So yeah, great house act or a great life hack tip I should say. Also get house hack story that you have as well.

Cheryl (33:44):

And there’s one more thing. Actually your, one of your questions brought up that I did not mention and we’re still playing with this idea, but I just found out that someone in our neighborhood lists their whole house on Airbnb for something that I consider outrageous, like $1,000 a night. And because of our location and festivals and events that happen in the area, they actually book about 10 nights a year. And I’m just feeling like we might want to try and figure out some way to take advantage of that idea, especially with the two units. I feel like we could potentially rent out one of the units and everyone can sleep on the other floor. Um, and there’s just a lot of flexibility there.

Andrew Kerr (34:37):

Yeah. For $1,000 a night. I’d be happy to sleep on a floor. Right?

Cheryl (34:41):

Yeah, me too.

Andrew Kerr (34:43):

Or I mean for $1,000 a night. It’s like, Hey, if they’re going to book for a long weekend, let’s go do a road trip somewhere fun and or take a nice little trip and rent out the place.

Cheryl (34:53):

Exactly. You could still really net a great amount to doing that.

Andrew Kerr (34:58):

Yeah. Awesome. Well, Cheryl, thank you so much for being on the show and sharing your house hacking story. I really appreciate it. It was so fun talking with you.

Cheryl (35:07):

Well, I appreciate it too. Thank you for having me.

Speaker 1 (35:12):

Thank you for listening to the house hacking podcast. For more up to date information on house hacking to access links and resources mentioned in today’s show, and connect with the guest and host head over to https://www.fibyrei.com that’s www.fibyrei.com Dot com where you are house hacking journey.

 

More Small Multi-family House Hacking episodes:

Small Multi-Family House Hacking with Even Steven Money:  https://fibyrei.com/small-multi-family-house-hacking-with-even-steven-money/

Small Multi-Family House Hacking with Brooke:  https://fibyrei.com/small-multi-family-house-hacking-with-brooke/

Be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to House Hacking for a great overview of the different styles of house hacking and different types of tenant bases.

Check out the home page for “The House Hacking Podcast” here.