Mortgages & Creative Financing

Best Deal Ever Show #6: Using FHA to House Hack

Expertise: Real Estate Investing Basics, Landlording & Rental Properties, Real Estate News & Commentary, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Wholesaling, Personal Development, Flipping Houses, Business Management
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You’ve probably heard that when a successful real estate investor hires an accountant, it’s not long before the accountant also starts investing in real estate. One glimpse of how easy it can be is all it takes. 

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Five years ago, Ola Dantis was neither an accountant nor a real estate investor, and he wasn’t even close to having the capital most people need to start a business. He had just moved to Maryland from Nigeria with only $160 in his pocket, but he also had a Masters of Strategic Marketing and Consulting from the University of Birmingham and an endless supply of ambition. 

Within two years, he’d founded a consulting firm and was renting a comfortable luxury apartment in suburban Baltimore with his pregnant wife Weona. But just like a real estate investor’s accountant, it only took one job consulting on a multifamily syndication deal for Ola to realize it was time to switch careers.

A few months later, he and Weona purchased and moved into the bottom floor of their first investment: a 1920s two-story duplex in downtown Baltimore. The property sat in an upscale neighborhood, but it hadn’t been updated in decades. The bathrooms still had original cast iron tubs and piping, the formica kitchen countertops were hideous, and the whole thing needed a cosmetic makeover. 

Ola offered $220K to the $260K asking price and landed on $240K with a new roof. They were eligible for a Federal Housing Authority (FHA) loan, so the down payment and monthly interest were only 3.5 percent. Since the upstairs renters wanted to stay put, their rental payments would cover Ola’s monthly mortgage. This deal was a triple slam—live-in flip, house hack, and upstairs turnkey

The fact that he had never owned, renovated, or even sold a home before didn’t slow Ola down—a contractor helped him finish the first floor in only six weeks. He and Weona rented it out at $1,200, then moved upstairs to renovate again. With a newborn baby inspiring him to finish ASAP, they completed the project in four weeks!

Related: Introduction to Real Estate Investment Deal Analysis

The rehab process cost $50K total, so Ola was all-in at $290K. He and Weona had been noticing that despite everything, their income was still growing every month. Fully grasping the potential of positive cash flow, they decided to rent out the top unit and start the process all over again by purchasing another fix-and-flip down the street.

calculating-your-time

With $1,200 rent from the downstairs unit and $1,400 from up top, the combined rental income was $2,600. The mortgage was $1,000, so this meant a $1,600 monthly cash flow. Plus, a new appraisal came in at $375K—an $85K equity gain in less than a year! 

Related: The Best Real Estate Deal I’ve Done This Year

Ola didn’t start out a rich man. Grit, ambition, and a solid education led him to success as a business consultant, which led him to that first duplex, which led him to founding his multifamily investment syndication firm: Dwellynn.com. In the three years since, the deals he’s sourced have amounted to over $40 million.

(Oh, and he just closed on a 160-unit cash-flowing commercial property in Texas.)

All it takes is one great deal to realize the sky’s the limit! Get inspired by more stories like this on The Best Deal Ever Show with Ken Corsini on the BiggerPockets YouTube channel! New episodes are posted every Wednesday!

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What’s the best deal you’ve ever heard about? Or experienced yourself?

Share in the comment section below. 

Ken Corsini G+ is the host of the Deal Farm Podcast (on iTunes) and has 10 years of full-time real estate investing experience...
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    Nick Peters Specialist
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Impressive story! Great job on the scale-up, very motivating.
    Ola Dantis Multifamily Syndicator from Baltimore, MD
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Thanks, Nick I'm glad I could share my story and hopefully help someone :)
    Peter McDonough Rental Property Investor from Huntsville, AL
    Replied about 2 months ago
    So they didn't occupy the property for a year, per FHA requirements?
    Ola Dantis Multifamily Syndicator from Baltimore, MD
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Hi Peter, we stayed in the property for way more than 1 year.
    Edson Benmont
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Regarding cashflow... article is a bit misleading.. yes the mortgage may be around $1000 - but let's not forget that FHA comes with private mortgage insurance... and there's still home owner's insurance & taxes. So cashflow is probably closer to $1000 in reality..