House Hack Advice

2 Replies

Hey BP! 

I am a recent college graduate and have been studying REI for a few years. I am currently living at home to save money (and because it's really close to my work), however I am looking to house hack a small multifamily property within the next year in the Milwaukee area. I have a few options that I am considering:

  • Should I purchase a duplex or wait until I have more capital saved for a triplex or fourplex
  • Should I purchase something turnkey, or something that needs a little work, but isn’t a total rehab job.  I would most likely hire out the work, and the main reason behind this would be to add equity to refinance down the road

My plan is to keep the property after I move out as a rental, and I would prefer the rent to cover as much of my living expenses as possible while I am there. Long-term, I have goals in place to be financially independent by the time I am 30 (I’m currently 22) and my focus is primarily buy and hold investing. Any advice or shared experience is greatly appreciated!

Hello Drew,

Welcome. That's great. You sound like me at that point in my life. I bought my first duplex at 21. First off, if by turnkey you mean rent ready (I assume), I'd stick with Brandon's (Turner) advice since it seems you're looking to do the BRRRR strategy. I would buy something like a light rehab. Patch, paint, carpet, maybe some new cabinets or something like that. See if there's a local REIA in your area and get to know those folks. The membership fee will more than pay for itself. I'm not a big fan of waiting. When I was your age, I got my grandpa to co-sign a mortgage with me. It was basically him who got the financing. It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders and I'm sure you have someone in your family who agrees. I'd say go for the duplex now. Who knows, you could find a tri or a quad in your price range, too. My duplex had a 1 br unit and a 3 br unit. I lived in the 1 br and rented out the top 2 floors. It only had one furnace and the upstairs tenant paid the heat for the whole place. I owned this house for about 15 years and it served me very well. I hope this helps and best of luck to you. But definitely buy something where you can do some work and force some appreciation right off the bat. The world needs more young people like yourself.

Hey Ian, I'm glad to hear your first property worked out well for you. Thank you for the kind words and the advice!  This definitely helps.

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