Buying first duplex as house hack

2 Replies

Hello from Lubbock, Texas!

My husband and I just went under contract with our first duplex, which we will live in, after doing improvements. We sold our primary residence, after totally redoing it, and are going to let our inherited tenant pay most of our mortgage, while we build up our bank balance in order to have emergency reserves, before we move on to the next property. We are older (he is 60), and this is our retirement plan.

The duplex we are purchasing was inherited by the seller, so he just wanted out. It is in a descent neighborhood, but was neglected by the previous owner for some time. My husband was a paint contractor for decades, and I did all the tile work and flooring in our primary residence. We will have contractors do the majority of the work now, because my husband is working 6 days/ 10 hours a day. We plan on self-managing, for now, so I will handle most of the day-to-day with the rentals. I will work from home part time, as well, until we get more properties. Our plan is to scale as quickly as possible to 10+ doors, then begin paying off one property at a time, using the proceeds, so he can quit his job and replace his income. Any advice from older investors would be great!

Hi Susan, I think you have an excellent strategy. I am curious, what type of loan did you use to purchase the duplex? FHA? Also, did you sell your previous home prior to buying the duplex? Or did you get a bridge loan? My wife and I also plan on using the same strategy in about a year but we would like to get a 4 plex if possible. How long do you plan on living in the duplex and what type of property will you acquire next? I am not a seasoned investor but I think the pros will have more questions about your time frame and strategy to help you further.

Hi, Jake. We have a conventional loan in the works and planned on living with a relative for a week or two, after the sale of our house, in order to complete the necessary repairs to the duplex, before moving in. We will have just enough money left, after closing costs, etc., for those repairs.
We plan on purchasing another duplex (I would love a quad, but those are not common in my area) in another year, after building up capital from having almost no living expenses. 

However, we have had a set back. We were due to close on the sale of our house on July 3rd, and about to move up the closing date on the duplex, when an unforeseen obstacle happened. Lightning struck our house and burned the entire garage, causing possibly $100,000 worth of damage. It was extenguished before making it into the house. We are now waiting on a repair timeline, to find out if our buyer will stay in contract or will back out. We’re not really sure what to do yet, as this could affect the duplex purchase. Any advise from anyone who has experienced something like this would be great.