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Joseph Nguyen
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Questions about HELOC, Banks, and Rent by the Room

Joseph Nguyen
Posted Apr 26 2024, 19:00

Hello! I wasn't sure where to post this, so hopefully this is fine. 

I'm a new investor in Dallas, TX! Hoping to connect and learn from others! I recently purchased a SFH (4 bed/ 3 bath) in Plano via First Home Buyer/owner occupied conventional loan and am renting by the room. I currently rent out 3 of the 4 rooms (all MTRs) and keep 1 for myself. However, I'm also a travel professional and am usually away from my home months at a time for each contract that I do. I originally thought I had to occupy one of the rooms (it being owner-occupied), but I've heard people say that they were in the same situation and would just sleep on the couch. My question is:

For the time that I am away, would I be able to rent out the 4th room as a MTR as well? 

As for HELOCs, how does one use one? I know it's a line of credit, but would I receive a card / account number? Wondering how I would access it.


Also, looking at opening a HYSA with Sofi or Ally for when I get more properties. I was seeing if anybody had experience using either one? Wanted something for easy transactions for rent collection, bookkeeping, etc. 

Thanks in advance for any advice!

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Bonnie Low
Pro Member
#1 Medium-Term Rentals Contributor
  • Investor
  • Cottonwood, CA
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Bonnie Low
Pro Member
#1 Medium-Term Rentals Contributor
  • Investor
  • Cottonwood, CA
Replied Apr 27 2024, 07:10
Quote from @Joseph Nguyen:

Hello! I wasn't sure where to post this, so hopefully this is fine. 

I'm a new investor in Dallas, TX! Hoping to connect and learn from others! I recently purchased a SFH (4 bed/ 3 bath) in Plano via First Home Buyer/owner occupied conventional loan and am renting by the room. I currently rent out 3 of the 4 rooms (all MTRs) and keep 1 for myself. However, I'm also a travel professional and am usually away from my home months at a time for each contract that I do. I originally thought I had to occupy one of the rooms (it being owner-occupied), but I've heard people say that they were in the same situation and would just sleep on the couch. My question is:

For the time that I am away, would I be able to rent out the 4th room as a MTR as well? 

As for HELOCs, how does one use one? I know it's a line of credit, but would I receive a card / account number? Wondering how I would access it.


Also, looking at opening a HYSA with Sofi or Ally for when I get more properties. I was seeing if anybody had experience using either one? Wanted something for easy transactions for rent collection, bookkeeping, etc. 

Thanks in advance for any advice!


 Hey Joseph - it sounds like you're already off to a great start! House hacking is so smart and you absolutely can offer your room for rent as well. Your lender doesn't care where you sleep ; ) You are technically supposed to use your home as your primary residence for a defined amount of time according to the terms of your loan. However, circumstances change and people do sometimes end up using it for something other than their primary. As for rent collection, bookkeeping, etc I recommend you go through some online demos of different products to see what works best for you. I used several before I landed on Baselane. For me, it's a great blend of banking, bookkeeping and tenant management software. It's quick to set up, has a very intuitive interface and has a lot of flexibility. It was designed specifically for real estate investors BY real estate investors, which is one of the things that differentiates it from other banking and bookkeeping platforms and why I think it serves its purpose so well. It's also free and considering how much other programs are charging, this is a huge plus. Check it out!

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Joseph Nguyen
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Joseph Nguyen
Replied Apr 27 2024, 15:23
Quote from @Bonnie Low:
Quote from @Joseph Nguyen:

Hello! I wasn't sure where to post this, so hopefully this is fine. 

I'm a new investor in Dallas, TX! Hoping to connect and learn from others! I recently purchased a SFH (4 bed/ 3 bath) in Plano via First Home Buyer/owner occupied conventional loan and am renting by the room. I currently rent out 3 of the 4 rooms (all MTRs) and keep 1 for myself. However, I'm also a travel professional and am usually away from my home months at a time for each contract that I do. I originally thought I had to occupy one of the rooms (it being owner-occupied), but I've heard people say that they were in the same situation and would just sleep on the couch. My question is:

For the time that I am away, would I be able to rent out the 4th room as a MTR as well? 

As for HELOCs, how does one use one? I know it's a line of credit, but would I receive a card / account number? Wondering how I would access it.


Also, looking at opening a HYSA with Sofi or Ally for when I get more properties. I was seeing if anybody had experience using either one? Wanted something for easy transactions for rent collection, bookkeeping, etc. 

Thanks in advance for any advice!


 Hey Joseph - it sounds like you're already off to a great start! House hacking is so smart and you absolutely can offer your room for rent as well. Your lender doesn't care where you sleep ; ) You are technically supposed to use your home as your primary residence for a defined amount of time according to the terms of your loan. However, circumstances change and people do sometimes end up using it for something other than their primary. As for rent collection, bookkeeping, etc I recommend you go through some online demos of different products to see what works best for you. I used several before I landed on Baselane. For me, it's a great blend of banking, bookkeeping and tenant management software. It's quick to set up, has a very intuitive interface and has a lot of flexibility. It was designed specifically for real estate investors BY real estate investors, which is one of the things that differentiates it from other banking and bookkeeping platforms and why I think it serves its purpose so well. It's also free and considering how much other programs are charging, this is a huge plus. Check it out!


Hey Bonnie! thank you for the feedback! Yeah, I wanted my first property to be fairly turnkey mainly to learn some of the processes, build connections with local contractors, and mainly build confidence/momentum for future deals. Still have lots to learn though! I haven't heard of Baseline. Will definitely check it out!

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