How to Start House Hacking Strategy?

Are you looking for a way to get into the real estate market with minimal risk? House hacking strategies or house hack may be just what you need.

What is house hacking?

House hacking also rent hacking is a real estate investment strategy that involves buying a property and renting out parts of it to cover the mortgage, taxes, insurance, and other expenses.

House hacking allows investors to live in their own home while also generating income from rental payments. It can be an effective way for individuals to get into real estate investing without having to save up large amounts of money, lack real estate investment knowledge or take on significant debt. A house hack can also provide tax benefits by allowing investors to deduct certain expenses associated with owning rental properties.

In this post we’ll look at some of these strategies including multifamily homes, duplexes or triplexes, Airbnb short-term rental and renting out a room.

george nicola

By George Nicola (Expert Stager)

Table of Contents

We’ll discuss also considerations for newbies such as location & property type along with time & effort requirements plus legal & tax implications.

At the end we’ll recap the pros and cons of each strategy so you can leave this post with enough information – all without breaking the bank.

So join us as we explore the ultimate guide to house hacking today.

4 Benefits of House Hacking

The Pros of house hacking

The biggest pros of house hacking are reducing your housing costs, building equity faster, generating rental income, and getting into real estate investing with less money upfront.

Financial Freedom

House hacking is great for achieving financial freedom since it provides you with an additional source of income.

By renting out part or all of your property, you can cover the cost of your mortgage insurance or monthly instalments, FHA loans and other expenses associated with owning a home and build equity.

So you can basically live for free, like a true house hacker. This extra money can then be used for investments, savings, or even just to enjoy life more!

Tax Benefits

With house hacking comes tax benefits as well. You may qualify for deductions on rental income, repairs and maintenance costs, insurance premiums and depreciation of the property value over time.

And these are just some of the tax benefits that could save you money in the long run each year.


Another benefit of house hacking is flexibility. If done correctly it allows you to live in the house while having tenants rent out another portion (or portions) of your home at different times throughout the year.

You have control over when people are living there and how much they pay in rent each month giving you more freedom than traditional landlords who must commit to longer leases upfront without any flexibility options available later on down the line.

Increased Equity

House hacking also provides increased equity because as tenants pay their rent each month it goes towards paying off your mortgage which increases your equity stake in the property over time.
Something that would not happen if no one was living there at all!

Depending on where you live this could mean significant appreciation gains due to market forces outside of your control which will further increase your overall return on investment from this strategy!

What is an example of a house hack?

house hacking strategies

An investor purchases a multi-unit property and lives in one of the units while letting out the other units to generate income.

This allows the investor to benefit from both living in their own home and generating income, all while building equity.

House hacking can be done with single family homes, duplexes, triplexes, or fourplexes depending on local zoning laws. In some countries this is called HMO (House in Multiple Occupation).

House hacking single family homes - The Big Win

House hacking is commonly done with single family homes as well. One option is to rent out rooms within your home to help cover the mortgage and expenses. Turning your home into an Airbnb rental is another popular single family house hacking strategy.

While you don’t get the benefits of multiple units, single family homes tend to be more affordable upfront. Single family homes still allow you to generate rental income, build equity, and reduce your housing costs. But you need to be comfortable with sharing your space.

Have ever heard of the BRRRR (Buy Renovate Rent Refinance Repeat) method?
In short is about buying a distressed property to flip and rent out, then cash-out refinancing to secure funds for other projects.

Am I investor if I get into house hacking?

Yes, you will be considered as an Investor. House hacking is a great way to get into real estate investing without having to put down a large sum of money.

It involves buying a property and letting out part or all of it in order to cover the mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, and other costs associated with owning the property.

This can be done by living in one unit while renting out another unit or by taking on roommates who will help pay for your housing expenses.

With house hacking you can start building equity right away and begin generating passive income each month. It’s a great way to get into real estate investing without having to break the bank.

Why you shouldn't house hack?

The Cons of house hacking

There are downsides as well. House hacking requires time and effort for property management. You also have to be comfortable living in close quarters with tenants. Legal and tax implications need to be fully understood too.

But wait, what?

While it can be an attractive option for those looking to reduce their housing costs and build wealth, there are several reasons why there may be better choices than house hacking for some.

Whether you’re worried about the responsibilities of being a landlord, or the potential for tension between roommates, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a decision.

So if you’re considering house hacking, be sure to check out today’s video for a comprehensive overview of the downsides of this investment strategy.

House hacking also has its downsides, from sharing your property with somebody to getting calls to fix toilets. If you aren’t keen on chasing the dream and put in the work, better watch the Jon Schwartz’s video below.

He even build a hacking calculator!

And if that did not scare you, let’s continue with other important bits.

Multifamily Property House Hack

Multifamily property is a type of real estate investment that involves owning multiple units in one building. It can be a great way to diversify your portfolio and generate passive income.

The most common types of multifamily houses are duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes. With creative house hacking, you can turn these houses into incomes that would be enough to even cover your mortgage payment.

Have a condo to buy, but not sure if it’s the right one? We can help >


A duplex is two separate living units within the same structure, with each unit having its own entrance and utilities.

House hacking a duplex allows for more rental income than single-family homes since there are two tenants instead of one.

Additionally, you may be able to take advantage of economies of scale when it comes to maintenance costs since both units will share some common areas such as the roof or exterior walls.

With the right usage of common rent hacking strategies, a duplex can generate income and is often enough to cover your housing costs.


Triplexes consist of three separate living units within the same structure while fourplexes have four separate living units in one building.

These larger multifamily homes offer even more potential rental income than smaller ones but also come with higher expenses such as taxes and insurance premiums due to their size. But don’t forget that a property with a large income can help you cover your mortgage. 

Investing in a multifamily home has several advantages over investing in single-family homes.

  • lower vacancy rates due to multiple tenants
  • increased cash flow from multiple rent payments
  • tax benefits from depreciation deductions on rental income
  • less time spent managing individual tenants since all renters would be under one lease agreement rather than many different agreements like with single family rentals.

However, there are also drawbacks associated with this kind of investment including higher upfront costs for purchasing or renovating the property as well as ongoing maintenance costs which could significantly reduce any profits made from renting out the space(s).


Duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes can all provide an excellent opportunity for investors looking to diversify their portfolios by adding property investments into their mix without breaking the bank or taking on too much risk at once.

However, they should still do their research before making any decisions about investing in these kinds of properties so that they know what they are getting into beforehand.

Multifamily houses can be a great way to generate income and build wealth, but it’s important to understand the pros and cons before investing. Next, we’ll look at one of the most popular types of multifamily houses: duplexes or triplexes.

Key Takeaway: Multifamily houses such as duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes can be a great way to diversify your portfolio and generate passive income.

Benefits include:

  • lower vacancy rates
  • increased cash flow from multiple rent payments
  • tax benefits from depreciation deductions on rental income
  • less time spent managing individual tenants.

With this great strategy called house hacking, a houseowner can live in one unit and rent out the others and create income.

However, there are also drawbacks associated with this kind of investment that should be taken into consideration before investing.

Can you house hack duplex

TLDR: Duplexes offer a great opportunity for house hacking. By living in one unit and renting out the other, you can cover a large portion or even all of your housing expenses. This allows you to build equity and generate rental income at the same time.

Duplexes tend to appreciate faster than single family homes and offer economies of scale for maintenance and repairs. However, duplexes do come with higher upfront costs and the need to manage multiple tenants.

Overall, duplexes can be an excellent option for house hackers looking to get started in real estate investing.

Should you buy buy a multifamily duplex or triplex?

A duplex is a two-unit dwelling, while a triplex is three units. Duplexes are usually side by side with each unit having its own entrance and separate living spaces. Triplexes can be either side by side or stacked on top of one another, but they all have their own entrances and living spaces as well.

Advantages of Duplex/Triplex Living

The primary advantage to owning a duplex or triplex is that you can rent out the other units for extra income.

This makes it an attractive option for investors who want to make money from rental properties without investing in multiple single-family homes.

Additionally, these multi-unit dwellings often appreciate faster than single family homes due to their higher demand in certain areas.

Disadvantages of Duplex/Triplex Living

One potential downside to owning a duplex or triplex is that you may need to deal with more tenants than if you owned just one property.

You also have additional responsibilities such as making sure all tenants pay their rent on time and maintaining the building properly so that everyone has safe living conditions.

Some lenders may require larger down payments when financing multi-unit dwellings compared to single family homes due to increased risk associated with them.

Tax Benefits of Owning A Duplex/Triplex

Owners of duplexes and triples may be eligible for tax benefits such as depreciation deductions which allow them to deduct part of the cost basis from their taxes over several years. Depending on how long they hold onto the property for investment purposes rather than personal use.

They may also qualify for capital gains exemptions when selling at a profit after holding onto it for more than 12 months, which could reduce taxable income significantly compared to short-term investments like stocks and bonds.

Lastly, landlords can write off expenses related directly to renting out the property, such as repairs, insurance premiums, etc., further reducing overall taxable income.

Duplexes and triplexes offer a great way to increase your rental income while also providing an affordable living option. Airbnb rentals are another great option for those looking to make some extra money by investing in real estate. 

Key Takeaway: Buying a home with up to four units is an attractive option for investors looking to make money from rental properties as they can rent out the other units and benefit from tax deductions.

This house hacking allows extra income, faster appreciation, capital gains exemptions when selling at a profit after 12 months, and write-offs on expenses related to renting out the property.

What tax deductions house hacking offers?

House hacking refers to buying a multi-unit property (e.g. a duplex or triplex) and living in one of the units while renting out the other(s). This allows you to live for low or no housing cost while also generating rental income. 

Some of the tax deductions include:

  • Mortgage Interest Deduction – You can deduct the interest paid on a mortgage for up to 2 homes, subject to certain limits. The mortgage interest deduction applies to your primary residence and the rental unit(s). If you’re married filing separately, it’s limited to 1 home instead of 2.
  • Property Tax Deduction – You can deduct property taxes assessed on up to 2 different properties (again 1 per spouse if filing separately). This deduction applies to both your primary residence and rental unit(s).
  • Rental Real Estate Losses – If your rental expenditure (interest, taxes, maintenance, etc.) exceeds your rental income, you can deduct that loss amount from your total taxable income, up to $25,000 if single or $50,000 if married and filing jointly.
  • Depreciation – You can depreciate your rental property, which is the loss of a property’s value over time due to wear, tear, and age. This allows you to deduct a portion of the property value as an expense each year.
  • Other Deductible Expenses – Things like rental insurance, travel to the rental property, repairs and maintenance, advertising costs, and property management fees are also deductible expenses for the rental property. Tracking business miles driven is also deductible at the current cents/mile rate.

Most common house hacking of 2024 - Airbnb Rentals

Airbnb rentals are a great way to house hack and make extra income. Airbnb is an online marketplace that allows people to rent out their homes, guest houses, in-law suites or rooms for short-term stays. Renters can list their property on the platform, set prices, and manage guests.

Pros of using Airbnb include

  • earning passive income setting your own rates
  • having more control over who rents your space
  • getting access to a larger pool of potential renters than traditional rental methods.
  • you don’t have to worry about long-term commitments like with traditional renting methods.

Cons of using Airbnb include

Drawbacks of using Airbnb include:

  • having to address any unexpected issues that may arise
  • such as maintenance requests or guest complaints
  • the need for additional insurance coverage in case something goes wrong during a stay
  • being responsible for cleaning up after each stay
  • not receiving the same level of protection from tenant laws as with traditional rental methods. 

Airbnb overview

Setting up an Airbnb listing is easy but requires some effort upfront.

You will need photos of your property, descriptions that accurately reflect what you are offering, pricing information based on local market trends, rules for guests (e.g., no smoking), amenities available (e.g., wifi), availability calendar, etc.

Once everything is set up correctly it’s time to start marketing your listing so it gets seen by potential guests.

Guest house management

Managing guests involves responding quickly when they contact you regarding booking inquiries or any other questions they may have before their arrival date – this helps build trust between both parties which makes the whole process smoother.

It’s also important to be flexible if possible since last minute changes do happen sometimes – just make sure all changes are communicated clearly beforehand so there aren’t any misunderstandings later down the line.

Lastly remember that communication is key throughout every step in order ensure successful stays for everyone involved.

What to consider

When considering whether or not house hacking through Airbnb rentals is the right option for you, there are several factors to take into account.

These include:

  • location (is it close enough that you can easily manage it?)
  • cost (what kind of expenses will be associated with setting up and maintaining an Airbnb?)
  • safety and security measures needed (are these already in place?)
  • as well as legal requirements and regulations specific to your area (do they apply?)

Taking all these points into consideration should help guide your decision-making process when deciding if this type of investment opportunity makes sense financially and logistically.

Overall, house hacking through Airbnbs has its pros and cons but can be done successfully if done properly. Understanding how much work needs to be put in ahead of time helps prepare better while managing expectations accordingly along the way as well.

Pros include earning passive income while having more control over who rents out space plus access to a larger pool of potential renters compared to traditional renting methods.

Cons involve dealing with unexpected issues like maintenance requests/guest complaints plus responsibility for cleaning up after each stay among other considerations mentioned above.

In conclusion, consider researching further before diving head first into this venture; however, those willing to take the risk could potentially reap rewards in the end too.

Airbnb rentals can be a great way to generate extra income, but it’s important to know the ins and outs of renting out your space.

Key Takeaway: House hacking through Airbnb rentals can be a great way to earn passive income, but it requires preparation and effort.
Pros include setting your own rates and having more control over who rents out space.

Cons involve dealing with unexpected issues like maintenance requestsguest complaints plus responsibility for cleaning up after each stay.

Now let’s take a look at one of the most popular house hacking methods: renting out a room.

Renting Out Rooms

Renting out a room in your home can be an excellent way to generate extra income. It’s important to understand the pros and cons of this type of arrangement before you make any decisions.

Pros of Renting Out Rooms

Renting out a room is often less expensive than renting an entire apartment or house, since you are only responsible for part of the rent.

You also have more control over who lives in your space, as well as how much they pay and what amenities they receive since you would also be able to live in the property.

It may be easier to find tenants for a single room than for an entire property. 

Cons of Renting Out Rooms

On the other hand, there are some drawbacks to consider when renting out a room.

For instance, if you live with another person (or multiple people), their privacy could be compromised by having someone else living in the same space.

Renters may not always respect shared spaces like kitchens or bathrooms; this could lead to tension between all parties involved if rules aren’t clearly established from the start.

Finding Tenants

To find tenants for your rental room, you can use online platforms such as Craigslist or Airbnb that allow users to search specifically for rooms rather than whole properties.

You should also create detailed listings on these sites so potential renters know exactly what they’re getting into before applying—this will help ensure that everyone is on the same page from day one.

Rental Agreements

Once you have found suitable tenants for your rental room(s), it’s important to draw up a formal agreement outlining each party’s rights and responsibilities during their stay at your property—including things like payment schedules and damage deposits (if applicable).

This document should also include information about pet policies (if applicable) and any other relevant details related to living arrangements while occupying the space together peacefully.

Don’t forget about taxes. If you earn income from renting out a portion of your home then it must be reported on both state and federal tax returns; so make sure that all payments made by tenants are properly documented throughout the year in order to ensure accuracy when filing.

Key Takeaway: Renting out a room in your home is one of the most common hacking strategies and it can be a great way to generate extra income, but it’s important to consider the pros and cons before making any decisions.

Make sure to use online platforms for finding tenants, draw up rental agreements with clear rules and responsibilities, and remember that all payments must be reported on tax returns.

Renting out a room can be an excellent way to generate additional income, but it’s important to consider all the potential risks and rewards before taking the plunge.

Next, let’s look at some considerations for newbies who are thinking about house hacking.

Considerations for House Hacker Newbies

meet kevin house hack

At first it might seem scary to dab in new investments especially in real estate, but with the right knowledge everything is possible. 

Meet Kevin has a great video where he not only shared insights of what is coming for house hackers, but also shares the launch of his new company HouseHack

Now after you have even more knowledge, let’s continue with the details.

Location Selection

Location is key when house hacking. Consider the local job market, population growth, and amenities in the area.

Look for properties near public transportation, universities, or other areas with high demand for rental units. Also consider crime rates and zoning regulations to ensure you’re making a smart investment.

Property Type Selection

There are many types of multifamily properties that can be used for house hacking such as duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes and more.

Consider what type of property best fits your budget and needs before making an offer on a property.

Keep in mind that larger buildings may require more maintenance costs but could also provide higher returns on investment due to increased rental income potential.

Another common practice is house hacking a single-family home for those who don’t want to buy a multifamily house.

With different types of house hacking strategies, you can reach various clients. Another way to hack a house would be moving into the accessory dwelling unit yourself and rent out the primary residence, if you don’t mind less square footage.

Have ever heard of House flipping? This is the process of buying a rundown property at the lowest possible rate to fix it and resell it for a decent profit.

Renting Out Rooms vs Entire Homes

Decide whether you want to rent out your home entirely or as individual rooms.

Renting out individual rooms of your multifamily home can help reduce housing costs while renting out entire homes as one unit allows you to maximize rental income potential from each unit in the building.

As a way to get started, you can also put your primary residence on market for short-term rental

Time Commitment Needed

House hacking requires dedication and time commitment from landlords who manage their own properties rather than hiring a professional management company or leasing agent.

Be prepared to handle tenant inquiries, repairs/maintenance requests, lease renewals etc., which will take up some of your free time if done yourself instead of outsourcing it to someone else

Although house hacking is a real estate investment strategy that is very common, it doesn’t mean that it is easy to comprehend all the legal aspects.

Before getting started with house hacking, make sure you understand all legal implications associated with owning multiple residential units under one roof as well as any tax implications related to renting them out (i.e., filing taxes).

Whether you are a full-time real estate investor or a newbie. It is recommended that you speak with an accountant and a real estate agent familiar with property investments.

Discuss the investment properties you are looking at before taking action.

Knowing exactly what kind of financial obligations come along with being a landlord; this way there won’t be any surprises down the road.

Especially for newbies, it is important to consider the pros and cons of house hacking before taking the plunge. 

Key Takeaway: House hacking is a strategy that allows you to make money, but it requires dedication and time commitment for property management.

Before getting started, research local job markets, amenities in the area, zoning regulations, and understand all legaltax implications associated with owning multiple units.

Speak with an accountant familiar with real estate investments for advice.

Now let’s take a look at a recap of those pros and cons house hacking may have.

Financing Options for House

Financing options for house hacking can vary depending on the type of property and strategy you choose.

Generally, there are two main financing options: Traditional mortgage loans or private money lenders.

Traditional Mortgage Loans

Traditional mortgage loans are the most common way to finance a house hack purchase. These types of loans require a down payment, credit score requirements, and other qualifications that must be met in order to qualify for the loan.

The amount borrowed will depend on your income and credit history as well as the value of the property being purchased. This option is best suited for those who have good credit scores and steady incomes that can support their loan payments over time.

Private Money Lenders

Private money lenders offer an alternative financing option for those who don’t meet traditional lending criteria or want to avoid lengthy approval processes associated with bank mortgages.

Private money lenders typically charge higher interest rates than banks but they often provide more flexible terms.

  • Shorter repayment periods
  • no pre-payment penalties

which make them attractive to many investors looking to get started in real estate investing faster without having to wait months for a bank loan approval process.

Private money lenders may also allow borrowers to use non-traditional forms of collateral.

Such as stocks or bonds in lieu of cash deposits when securing a loan against real estate investments. It makes them even more appealing if you lack sufficient funds upfront but still want access capital quickly in order to invest in rental properties right away.

Considerations When Choosing Financing Options

When deciding between traditional mortgage loans and private money lenders it’s important consider all factors:

  • including interest rate
  • repayment period length
  • fees associated with each option (such as origination fees)
  • prepayment penalties (if any)

and whether non-traditional forms of collateral will be accepted by your lender before making your final decision.

Answering these can ensure you get the best deal possible while minimizing risk exposure during your investment journey into housing hacking!

Key takeaways house hacking

House hacking is a great way to save money on rent and even make some extra income. It can be a very rewarding experience if done correctly, but it does come with its own set of considerations.

With the right house hacking ideas, you can maximize your profits while minimizing your risk. Some house hacking strategies include multifamily property investments, duplex or triplex rentals, Airbnb rentals and renting out rooms in your home.

Considerations for newbies include location and property type selection, housing expenses, time and effort required as well as legal and tax implications that need to be taken into account when making decisions about house hacking.

Overall, house hacking can provide many benefits if done properly – from saving money on rent to generating additional income – so long as you understand the pros and cons associated with each strategy before getting started.

Have a house to buy, but not sure if it’s the right one? We can help >

Are you a homeowner looking for creative ways to maximize the space and efficiency of your home?

The house hacking strategy provides a great way to make use of existing resources reduce costs, and increase value.

With the right house hacking tactics, you can have an array of benefits such as creating additional living or rental spaces, reducing energy bills through improved insulation or solar panels, and utilizing modern design principles like smart technology integration.

Let us help you explore all the possibilities that come with successful house hacking – contact our team today for architecture and interior design visuals tailored specifically to your needs and get into real estate market!

3 examples of effective house hacking strategies

For example, one approach is renting out extra bedrooms in a single-family home you purchase.

This helps offset your mortgage payments, allowing you to build equity while tenants pay down your loan.

To succeed, carefully screen potential roommates, draft solid lease agreements outlining expectations, and keep common spaces like kitchens very clean.

Handling maintenance issues promptly preserves good tenant relations. With the right tenants and management, rental income can cover nearly your entire housing expense.

Another method is purchasing a small multi-family property of 2-4 units and living in one while renting the others.

You get affordable owner-occupied housing while collecting rental income.

Opt for a property in a desirable area that needs some cosmetic upgrades.

Use sweat equity to renovate units before renting for top dollar. Set aside reserves for maintenance, advertising vacancies, and handling tenant needs to keep units filled. If done strategically, rental income may exceed your mortgage payment and expenses.

Or consider a duplex, triplex, or fourplex where you live in one unit and rent the other(s).

Screen tenants wisely and have clear leases and rules to avoid issues. Use any rental surplus to pay down the mortgage faster or make upgrades to boost property value. Living on-site lets you manage the investment property closely.

House hacking works best when you carefully evaluate potential properties, finances, and projected income beforehand.

Hands-on management and building strong tenant relations also helps maximize returns on the investment.