House Hacking: Lets You Get Your Housing For Free

This Hack lets you get your housing for free by having someone else pay for it, house hacking. investment, property, rental, rent, life, hacks, invest, fixer, upper, income, property http://jessicacoaches.com/2017/05/house-hacking/ ‎
This Hack lets you get your housing for free by having someone else pay for it, house hacking. investment, property, rental, rent, life, hacks, invest, fixer, upper, income, property http://jessicacoaches.com/2017/05/house-hacking/ ‎
This Hack lets you get your housing for free by having someone else pay for it, house hacking. investment, property, rental, rent, life, hacks, invest, fixer, upper, income, property http://jessicacoaches.com/2017/05/house-hacking/ ‎

No, this is not about marrying rich! This is a real solution to make living expenses more manageable, or even make money. And while this is not about getting a sweet sugar mama or daddy to pay your rent, it is having someone else pay for it.

Your renter.

What I’m talking about is commonly referred to as House Hacking. House hacking is when you buy a property with the intention of renting out units or rooms to people to pay for the property. The HGTV show Income Property often makes a reference to this when people are making a rental unit in their basements and such.

 

If you are in need of more immediate housing solutions, I would like to point you to https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/topics/rental_assistance

 

I have been house hacking for the last six years. What we do is purchase a home, we have a family, so we aim for multi-unit homes. We keep the property prices low as we don’t have a huge income and have lots of skills by buying fixer uppers, usually living in the unit we are fixing up. Right now we are living in a duplex, in the larger of the two units: a three bedroom two bathroom. The other unit is a two bedroom 1.5 which is completely separate is paying the entire mortgage. Pretty sweet right?

Related: How I never have to pay another penny for my retirement at age 34 on a 30,000 per year salary!

It gets better, once everything is fixed up we find a new property and do it all again, renting out the other property fully.

Examples of house Hacking situations:

–  Buy a 3 unit property, live in 1 and rent the other two out.
–  Get a large single family home with four bedrooms, you live in one bedroom and rent the others out.
–  Purchase a house with a guest house or basement that will function as a rental to help cut costs on your large residence.

Pros:

 

House Hacking allows for low-income investors to squeak into the investment property world. This is because the rental property will qualify for owner occupied loans with down payments of 3.5%-5% as long as it is four units or under.

Related: How to Buy a Property With No or Low Money Down!

It can lower your expenses, allowing you to save more money to invest in yourself. I do love it when other people pay my mortgage!

You are close to your tenants, so they tend to behave better, it is also convenient being your property manager allowing for more profits.

If you buy a fixer, you can live in a unit that needs to be fixed up and slowly do the renovations. No driving to the site. No lapse in rent during a renovation. Improve slowly, or by the room, as you have the money to do it, the only one who has to suffer a construction zone is you.

house hacking construction zone

Cons:

You will be living next to your tenants. For some, this can be awkward.

You may be giving up the privacy that having a whole lot between you and your adjoining neighbor provides.

Have you ever lived in a construction zone? While amazingly rewarding, there is nothing like building something to make you feel accomplished. It is stressful. There is always something to do.  In fact, that half done project might be right in front of you while you are trying to get some relaxation in. It also always tends to take longer than you expect!

 

Advice for first-time house hackers:

If you are going to get a fixer upper, and do the work yourself, try not to be too ambitious, stick to surface problems and properties that do not need to be gutted.

Get rid of your mortgage insurance by forcing appreciation with improvements. You can do this once you feel you have 20% equity. You can either refinance or try to get a reevaluation from your current lender, and they will likely want an appraisal.

Just because you are living in the home does not mean the numbers do not matter! Plan for possibly turning it into an investment property in its entirety. You still want a cash flowing property. When evaluating net income just use a fair market rent for the unit you will be living in.

 

Do you Have any experiences house hacking?  Would you recommend it?  Planning on trying it?

What everyone should know about being a Realtor, from one.

What everyone should know about being a realtor, salesperson, agent, houses, sales, home, tucson, az, arizona, salary, education, information, expect http://jessicacoaches.com/2017/04/what-everyone-should-know-about-being-a-realtor-from-one/

Jessica Deratany a licensed Realtor with Tierra Antigua Realty.

I love real estate.  I listen to podcasts about real estate for fun.  When I have access to cable television I will choose HGTV, Income Property is, of course, my favorite! I love touring houses, especially the really old gross ones that can be transformed into something beautiful.  I have been involved in many complete renovations and even a new build.  I have become very skilled at most things it takes to renovate a home, construction, and design.  I love negotiating a deal.

Real Estate is kinda my thing.

So, I decided to get my Real Estate Agent License, the entry requirements seemed pretty low in Arizona, and we have some of the higher requirements in the US.  Minimum of 18 years old, 90 hours of licensure course, background check, and pass a state and school.   All in for the license I was looking at under $1000, for a career with unlimited earning potential what a steal!

 

real estate agent giving couple their dream home keys

 

So I enrolled in a local quality school.  It became very clear that with a few exceptions the bulk of the course was about legality.  I enjoyed learning all of it, but there was a theme throughout the course that troubled me.  Refer out most knowledge, do not give opinions on most things to avoid fault, and full disclosure of any facts you do get. (Which most often seemed to be in a huge page that people would skim because of so much legal talk.)

 

Okay, Okay, I get it, my knowledge about anything other than real estate sales and marketing should not be used in this.  I passed the test with ease.

 

Then I started looking for a brokerage to work for.  This was very eye opening; the big companies straight up wanted half of everything I made.  This was usually till I had paid them up to some cap which in our area was around $20,000.  I also had to pay for all my consumables, marketing, insurance, MLS Access, associations, and necessities.  I managed to find a more human, charitable, local brokerage company, Tierra Antigua, which didn’t seem like my wallet was their bottom line.  So they are out there! However, it had become very clear, very fast that I was now a walking milkshake and everyone had a straw.  

 

 

 

 

It got worse.

 

I was thrust into an environment that was all about how to close.  Everyone who spoke to me, save a few, just sounded like a predator talking about the kill.  Sales is an intense world.

 

So where did that leave me? A person who wants to tell people:

  • Buy a house that makes you money, and never to buy one that would not rent for a good chunk higher than your mortgage. See: 4 Ways Real Estate Investing Could be Making You Money Right Now!
  • Selling your home is costly, and if you’re hoping to make money and not just break even or lose money in real estate, you need to hold on to that house as long as possible if there has not been significant forced appreciation (Owner fixing the house), or market appreciation. (Your neighborhood prices are skyrocketing.)
  • That the big American dream home is an unhealthy obsession and provides a lower quality of life.
  • That signing an agreement with me locks you into a decision for a period of time, and I like choice?
  • That house while pretty on the surface could be a potential nightmare, for this, this, and that reason.

 

Honestly, if my being a Realtor were our main source of income, I would have a quit a while ago and used my Real Estate Salesperson Licence for one of the other many jobs it affords; or maybe sold out and hustled?  I am not a shark, nor do I fit in with them. Perhaps, if I felt more positively towards American consumerism, it would be a better fit for me.  Right now, I keep it to help friends, family, or maybe someone who wants be told what they need to hear instead of want.  But, sadly, they do not seem in high supply.   The access to the MLS is also a great perk, as we are investors ourselves, and it is an amazing tool.

 

 

What is your experience with Realtors?  If you are one, have you experienced the same thing?

Smart Homes: Cutting Edge or Passing Fad?

Smart Homes: Cutting Edge or Passing Fad Amazon Echo Alexa Google Home Smart Devices http://jessicacoaches.com/2017/03/smart-homes-cutting-edge-or-passing-fad

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


 

First, what is a smart home? It is technology that has been integrated into your home, some of it has to be hardwired into your home while others are devices that communicate via Wi-fi. You now have the potential to control an enumerable amount of devices through movement or sounds, I have even seen some that use vibrations.

Set up your own security system? Check.
Have your entire house change mood lighting with a single phrase. Yep.
Keep an eye on an elderly family member. That too.
A personal assistant who plays music and will help you with your cooking by reading recipes or setting timers all without having to wash those chickeny hands! Yeah, even that.
Save you money by reducing your energy bill. That one is easy!
Control your home remotely? Piece of cake!

Technology has filtered its way into all aspects of our lives, and I imagine that slowly smart technology in homes will become standard. I have noticed as a Realtor, that when I encounter smart technology on a house, the buyers more often than not are excited, and it is one of the things they recall about the house after.

So where do you start?

For me, I just started my journey into changing our house into a smart home last year. Being a mom of three boys, I NEVER buy anything for myself. So when my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year, I felt like a splurge. After watching countless Youtube videos and articles, I told my husband that I wanted a Samsung SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit, and an Amazon Echo. I chose the SmartThings Starter Kit because I like all the things you can do with security, cameras, alert you if a window is open. (Good for burglars and wayward children!) The company is also large and more prominent in the Smart Home field which while slightly more costly, is better supported than some of the smaller companies. The Echo, I chose because it seemed better established than the Google Home, who just entered the scene in 2015 and has some catching up to do program wise. The Echo has had a large impact in my life; music is so much more often playing in my home now, which means more dancing and lifted spirits.

Now, if you are more interested in lighting, I would suggest a Philips White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit to start instead.

How does it work?

First, you must get a hub, this device receives and delivers transmissions to all your other devices and allows for their control. A few of the devices such as the Nest Learning Thermostat  and the personal assistant devices, while able to integrate with the hub can operate independently if you wish.

You can control your hub through your computer, smartphone, or through a personal assistant device like Amazon Echo, or Google Home.

How a smart home is set up.

Click to Enlarge!

 

What are the downsides?

Where ever technology goes there is always someone ready to exploit it, will this make your home vulnerable to hacking? There have already been some reports of abuse.

This is a rapidly developing technology, and it can be costly, and wildly variable. There are so many products out there it could take you weeks of research to learn everything.

Conclusions?

Setting up a program with your hub so you can holler at your personal assistant to turn off the lights or turn on the tv, while having echoes of a starship captain commanding his ship, in reality, is spending quite a bit of money and time to set everything up. If you want your Smart Home technology to perform useful tasks, you will have to buy several other devices after the starter kit. Our decision? We just ordered our Nest 2 Outdoor and 1 Indoor Camera Bundle.

 

Owning a Vacation Rental – Ready to Have That Winter Home and an Investment Too?

Owning a Vacation Rental, ready to have that winter home and an investment too jessica coaches real estate blogger life coach http://jessicacoaches.com/2017/03/owning-a-vacation-rental-ready-to-have-that-winter-home-and-an-investment-too/

Have you thought about buying a property near the beach? The mountains? You could vacation there whenever you want, a little home away from home, but it seems out of your reach? Or maybe you just hate finding, and paying inflated rates during yearly events, like our International Gem Show here in Tucson, AZ because everything is full, but wouldn’t imagine buying a house here because it would just sit empty for the rest of the year.

What if I told you: You can have that vacation home, and not only break even, but make a profit!

I have owned a vacation rental for a little over two years now and the gross yields off that vacation rental are over DOUBLE the gross yields of what it was getting as a month-to-month rental.  Keep in mind that vacation rentals have significantly more expenses though.  But, that means if you bought two homes, lived in one, and managed your own vacation rental out of the other it could potentially pay for both homes!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are all the things I have learned during this time:

The Good-
1. No more hotel bills when you visit your favorite vacation spot! You have a home there. You can have all your stuff locked away in the garage or a storage cabinet so you feel like you just left.
2. Great money. In general, the yields off a vacation rental are higher than a normal rental. People will pay significantly more for shorter stays.
3. Lower wear and tear. On average you have a lower occupancy rate with more dates that no one is using your appliances, walking on your floors ect. The premises are also being cleaned regularly which helps with this a great deal.
4. There are management companies that will take care of the whole thing for you.  These vary widely in how much they charge and the extent of what they do.

The Bad-
1. Most of the time you want to go to your rental when everybody else does. I have decided to stay with family instead of at my vacation rental because I really wanted that 2k paycheck!
2. You might be the one stuck paying all the utilities and bills for the property if your manager does not do that. These homes tend to have everything you do at your home, internet, cable, water, ect. This is mostly just an inconvenience but something to keep in mind.
3. The risk is higher than a month-to-month rental. There are periods of time when you might have no renters, such as low tourist season. You will still have to pay all those bills, and maybe a mortgage, while there is no money coming in. This will need to be planned for by saving back some earnings from better times of the year.

 

What are your experiences? Do you own a vacation rental or would you like to?

I never have to pay into my retirement again!

How I never have to pay another penny for my retirement at 34 on a 30,000 per year salary. Financial Freedom. early retirement travel money real estate rentals investment fire money http://jessicacoaches.com/2017/03/never-pay-retirement-again/
How I never have to pay another penny for my retirement at 34 on a 30,000 per year salary. Financial Freedom. early retirement travel money real estate rentals investment fire money http://jessicacoaches.com/2017/03/never-pay-retirement-again/

That is right, if I decided to hold all my current investments and not pay another cent into my retirement, I could retire comfortably at 65.  What is my secret you may wonder?  Well, it isn’t a secret, this is a proven wealth building strategy that has been used for a very long time.  The only difference from then to now is it is easier to get into the game.

Here it is:  I have someone else investing in my retirement for me.

 

I am a real estate investor.  In particular a buy and hold rental property investor.  What this means is, I buy properties with the intention of keeping it forever, and renting it out to others.  Not only are my renters paying my mortgage, giving me more net worth every month by paying my principle down.   They are also giving me extra to set aside for rental management, repairs, and cash flow which can be used now for life or to get to that retirement faster.

 

If we just held everything we have now at our current rents we would have $3,700 dollars of monthly income at 64 which is when our longest mortgage finishes at.  This is a conservative estimate, paying for property management, capital expenses (big repairs averaged over time), and vacancies.  The best part, rent keeps up with inflation.  So $3,700 today will be the equivalent in the market in 2047.  Which for us would be a very comfortable lifestyle for us.

 

 

So how did a family on a 30,000 salary start real estate investing?  Houses are expensive!

 

Our six-part strategy to fast tracking our retirement:

 

1. Finding a property that needed fixing up and getting a good deal.

 

2. Choosing a property that had at least two units so we could live in one and rent the other out to help cover our costs. See:  House Hacking: Lets You Get Your Housing For Free

 

3. We leveraged ourselves with owner-occupied, low-downpayment, mortgages.   See:  How to Buy a Property With No or Low Money Down!

 

4. We lived in the unit we were renovating doing as much of the work ourselves as possible.  

 

5. We went slow.  This is not a story of buying four properties in one year.  We have been at this for six years and have three multi-unit properties.

 

6. We managed our money, we didn’t let our money manage us.  See: Are you tired of worrying about money?

 

 

Lessons from our first rental property:

 

-Don’t over improve the property for the area.  When you are living in something you tend to fix it up for you, don’t improve it to your standards, improve it to just above the average standard for a rental in your area.  You will be more worried about what renters will do to your property, and you just don’t get the money back.

 

-Rental properties are a numbers game.   Make sure you get all the data and give yourself a conservative cushion to make sure it will be a profitable rental after renovations.

 

-Separate the electricity between the units if it is not already done.  It is just so much more hassle to provide utilities included!

 

-It is better to jump in on something you think is good, than wait for perfect. Even though our first purchase was not the ideal purchase, it still built us wealth and taught us an innumerable amount of things.  It was better to jump in with some basic knowledge than procrastinating finding the perfect property.

 

Now, I don’t have to invest another penny in my retirement, but I am going to! A retirement age of 65 seems so far off and I think with dedication I am going to try to retire before my husband hits 40, which gives us….. just less than 2 years.  Think we can do it?

 

Do you have rental properties? Or are you wanting to get in the game?