How did you convince your spouse to house hack?

10 Replies

Great morning BP Fam,

How did you get your spouse to consider house hacking? My wife is not with it at this time. She wants free range to her whole house. I'm considering renting out my basement to help with our housing expense.

Hello Eric,
I would recommend getting her to read Scott Trench's book "Set for Life". My wife and I were able to listen to the book together on a long plane flight. It really helped me to start convincing my wife to house hack. The big point for me was my wife really wants flexibility to have kids. Getting into real estate helps her with that.

@Eric H. -  I would definitely say to first just plant the seed, which it seems that you have done. @Charlie Hyatt has some good advice. Get her to read, "Set for Life." Other books I would highly recommend are Rich Dad, Poor Dad and 4-hour Work Week. 

If she's not sold after that, maybe you craft up a spreadsheet comparing how your net worth will grow with and without the house hack. Be sure to include the purchasing of other properties too. As you buy multiple properties, the income starts to snowball. 

If she's not a math person, maybe you craft up some incentives? Perhaps, every deal that you do, you and her will take a nice vacation of her choice. OR if she prefers to have nice things rather than go on vacation, maybe you buy her a nice pair of shoes (or whatever item she values). 

Both my fiancé, @Carrie Penney and I were on the same page when it came to house hacking. We lost one of our two roommates over a year ago and decided to give Airbnb a shot. Once we both saw that Airbnb was bringing in double the typical rent and paying our entire mortgage we didn't look back. Luckily our house is setup with a separate entrance for Airbnb guests which we doored off and separated from the rest of the house. It also helps that we live upstairs.

If you can get your spouse to agree to give Airbnb or having someone rent your basement a try, hopefully the extra cash coming in will help in convincing her to continue doing it.

@Eric H.

I didn't.

She is dead set against it. So I have to come up with a compromise. The live-in flip was my compromise.

Yeah, I agree with @Garrott Nalle . Maybe start with AirBnB so it's not a commitment. Just list your space and then only open up reservations for a short time period. AirBnB doesn't lock you into a year lease with someone so your wife will get a brief taste and be able to better determine if she can handle it. Another great thing about AirBnB is that guests don't expect access to the kitchen or other common areas. They are typically just looking for a bed. We usually make more than double from our AirBnB guests than our traditional tenant. 

You may also want to look at AirBnB listings in your city and see how much a room can rent for, so you can show her your income potential. The numbers are seriously shocking. Even $50/night (good value, waaaay cheaper than a hotel) will give you $1500/month at full occupancy. Our occupancy rate is around 70-80% and we live in a relatively small city that doesn't have a lot of attraction. 

This may not apply to everyone, but for me, starting out young has helped. I'm 25, and my girlfriend of 4.5 years is 24. Up to this point in life, having roommates is all either of us have really known, so we don't mind continuing the trend for now. 

I own my 3 bedroom primary residence in the city, and the roommates pay 87% of all the monthly housing bills. Showing my girlfriend how drastic our monthly savings would be by having roommates really flipped a switch for her (before this, we were each paying $1000/month to rent downtown). I mapped out a timeline of when she would hit certain financial benchmarks through this expedited savings method, and that really excited her. 

Further down the line as we approach 30, I see myself in a similar boat as @Anthony Gayden in that my girlfriend will want to put her roommate days behind her. When that time comes, I too plan to compromise via live-in flip. 

I would start out with Airbnb so you don't have guests there full time. If you convince her to do this and she starts seeing that extra money come in she may consider it full time. My wife is all down for house hacking once we started Airbnb.

Agree with @Garrott Nalle and @Carrie Penney - start slow and move up. Next time you take a vacation, you could ask if you could try it then and then build out some projections on what 4 days a month of Airbnb or 20 days a year, etc. could do for your finances... whether that's re-investing, going on vacations or buying stuff. One other thing to keep in mind is that there are certain dates that are better than others - aka, three day weekends, festivals, etc. so if you can build the vacation around that, you'll both see more money on those dates. 

Thanks everyone for responding. So she's not with AirBnB at all. We have used AirBnB on multiple occasions so we are familiar with how it works. I offered her 20% of income to spend at her own discretion. No bites. Essentially she's not with house hacking at all. I tried. And yes @Scott Trench 's book prompted my interest. I will continue to run the numbers, analyze deals and see how we can cut back on our housing expense and commuting expense.


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