Advice on my first househack

11 Replies

Hi guys! The wife and I just received our TBD approval for an FHA loan (praise God)! We are looking to househack something. Just wondering if you guys have any tips, advice, or strategies that we should know moving forward? As I'm sure you all know, the market is tough and finding multi unit properties for sale with a vacancy is not going to be easy. Any advice is highly appreciated. We are in the East Texas market looking near Longview, Kilgore, Tyler area!

Congrats on the approval. I can give some general ideas as I started with a house hack myself. I bought a small undervalued single family that I converted to a legal 2-unit/duplex. I rented out the lower unit and this made the mortgage payments musch easier to pay. Basically look for a way to add value in your search. look for ways to maximize the properties income. Also can rooms be rented out etc. Hope these general ideas help. Others will hopefully jump on soon with more area specific help.

I would think outside the box. There are very few multi's for sale right now in Longview, so I would also look for a house that has a mil quarters or maybe do a garage converson. If you hsve any questions feel free to reach out. 

Bryan that would be a question you have to answer, it would depend on what you need / want. For instance my wife would feel more comfortable in a duplex with clearly defined boundries vs someone staying in our house now that we have kids. 

I havent seen any decent duplexs at a decent price listed for a while. The market as a whole is crazy right now. Low inventory and prices going up and multiple offers.  If you see something that is listed for sale you need be able to see it and place an offer quickly. So that means knowing what you want.

Fully acknowledging how difficult it is to even find a place right now...but if you do end up house-hacking, I recommend either using property management or buying under an LLC. I say this because it's generally better if the other tenant doesn't know you're the property owner. Not that they would necessarily try to take advantage of you, but you'd be more likely to let things slide if you had a personal relationship with the other tenant. My suggestion would be to just pretend you're renting out the unit as well, it will keep your relationship with your tenants much less complicated.

You won't be able to buy the property in an LLC using FHA, FNMA, etc.

You can transfer the deed to an LLC after you buy it, but because the purchase deed will have your name on it, expect a flood of junk mail to the property with your name on it.

We do agree that you should try to avoid your roommates or duplex neighbors knowing you are the owner. Leads to too many issues with them trying to pressure you into doing what they want! 

You can still accomplish the same concept by telling them you have a money partner you have to run evrything by. This buys you time to think and research (here on BP!) before answering and allows you to play, "good cop vs bad cop".