Plan to House-Hack In Central New Jersey

3 Replies

Hello Bigger Pockets Community, 

Currently I've got a good paying W2 job however, I've been trying to get my foot in the door to become a full time real estate investor.  I've purchased my first investment property in Ohio just over a year ago and though that's doing well, I realize that in order for me to expedite my goal I'll have to make some major life changes.  So, I've decided to prep my primary home for sale in March 2018, find a reasonably inexpensive rental and start looking for a multi-family home which I could move into and  "House-Hack" to free up my income.  This in turn will allow me to build for my down payments and reserves for future investments.

I've also recently been looking around Central East Jersey such as East Rutherford, North Arlington, Kearny, Nutley, Carlstadt, Wood Ridge, and the nearby areas and I've seen a few decent opportunities but, they seem to fly off the market as quickly as they come up. From the many guests on the Bigger Pocket Pod Cast that I listen to every week, they say that if it's on the MLS it's probably not the best deal. Does anyone here know how to gain access to information on properties prior to them being listed on the MLS?

These are my goals in obtaining my first house-hack:

  • My primary house is currently being worked on to stage it for sale in March 2018.
  • Put my primary home up for sale by owner in March 2018 with a fair market price (I'll get the appraisal done just prior to putting it on the market).
  • If I'm unable to sell it myself (I'll give it a good 2 months effort), I will get an agent to sell it for me.
  • Rent an inexpensive apartment to free me up from any non cash flowing debt.
  • Go at a 110% pace looking for a multi-family primary home in a B neighborhood.
  • Once acquired I'll then start preparing for the next multi-family home that I will be house hacking.
  • And then do it again.

Thank you Bigger Pocket's Community :-)


Does anyone know how to set triggers to send me an email when I get a response to posts?


Hey @Mark Belenky I️ like your plan, mainly because it is exactly what my wife an I️ did 3 years ago. We purchase a single family with intentions of one day making it a rental, but found it the place would never make money. So we sold it, moved in with parents for a few months then purchase MFR where we live today house hacking it. I️ have great news for you, the rental we purchased was off the MLS and was listed for a few months before we decided to move forward with it. There are deals on the MLS but yes they get swooped up quick in many cases. What is important for you is to make sure your lending is squared away so you can pull the trigger when the time comes. Also I️ highly suggest you are prepared to purchase a property that need works. Leading up the MFR my wife and I purchase I️ was in well over 100 units between find a property for us and showing clients properties of those 100 plus units I️ saw 1 that was turnkey a ready to make money.

Best of luck Mark.

Hi Shawn, 

Thanks for your response and encouragement. I actually attempted to acquire a MFR while living in my current home and the lender that I was working with goofed on the numbers and when we were in closing he said that I didn't qualify for the full amount but, could liquefy basically all of my assets (lol), to close on this deal. Lesson learned and this time around I have solid numbers for what I'll need to close on the next opportunity.

Now that you're house hacking have you been looking into additional MFRs?  What approach are you taking if you are?

My wife and I️ are always keeping an eye on MFR. right now we are still renovating the unit we live in while our tenants cover the majority of our mortgage. We are not in a rush to buy our next property because we want to establish strong rental income from tenants to increase our lending. We plan to refi some money out of current property and use it to purchase and renovate next location wherever that may be.